GUWAHATI, March 10 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in his Budget speech today, proposed a slew of new schemes, mostly involving women, children and backward and minority communities and creation of different authorities.
Gogoi proposed setting up of a Brahmaputra and Barak Valley Authority and reclamation of the Brahmaputra and other rivers through digging of their beds. He further proposed a State Water Mission for proper management of the water resources of the State, besides a State level Water Management Authority to mitigate flood and erosion problems in a comprehensive manner.
The Chief Minister proposed formation of a State Environment Management Authority to enable sustainable management of the State’s environment.
The State Government would initiate a detailed investigation for coal in Karbi Anglong district, geo-chemical mapping and specialised thematic mapping in Kamrup district, hydro-geological investigation of groundwater and district-wise assessment of groundwater quality. Gogoi said the State government would seek help from experts for resolution of man-elephant conflict. In order to combat climate change, the government would take up a new scheme, he said. A post of Deputy Development Commissioner would be created in each district for effective ground-level supervision of developmental activities. Gogoi proposed to set up an Assam House or Assam Bhawan in Hyderabad.
Gogoi proposed creation of an Assam Land and Revenue Service for smooth maintenance of land records and other revenue matters.
Agriculture: The Chief Minister proposed a special programme for assistance to small and marginal farmers to provide cash assistance at the rate of Rs 5,000 per head to cover one thousand farmers in each of the Legislative Assembly constituencies. He proposed to provide 1,890 tractors and 5,000 power tillers at 75 per cent subsidy. He proposed setting up of 219 agriculture service centres covering all block headquarters, besides introducing a best farmer’s award after late Moinul Haque Choudhury. An amount of Rs 30 crore has been earmarked to cover an area of 2,000 hectares with certified seed production programme of potato. He said that two cold storages, each of 5,000 MT capacity for potato and onion farming at a cost of Rs 5 crore would be set up. A tissue culture laboratory in public sector has also been proposed in the Budget, besides two fruit and vegetable processing units with government subsidy. He also announced a host of new schemes for development of agriculture including Rs 10 crore for horticultural products and said that money has been earmarked for setting up a centre of excellence for potato at Nagaon and another centre of excellence for oranges at Boko.
He proposed a policy to regulate conversion of agricultural land for non-agriculutural purposes in order to control haphazard urbanisation.
Roads: Gogoi proposed formation of a Road Safety Authority and establishment of five driving training schools and road accident trauma centres. He also proposed construction of 500 kilometres of all-weather roads in all Legislative Assembly constituencies, including char and border areas in the coming financial year. He proposed steps to expedite the five major projects –improvement of Jorhat-Marioni-Mokokchang road, Morigaon-Nagaon-Naltoli road, Dudhnoi-Goalpara-Pancharatna road, Barpeta-Abhayapuri-Bongaigaon road and construction of RCC bridges over rivers Khabalu and Lohit on North Lakhimpur and Kamalabari Road under the World Bank-funded project.
Gogoi proposed to set up industrial estates in all district headquarters and special incentives for small and medium industries. He proposed to launch an Assam Silk Outreach Mission for a period of 10 years from 2015 to increase muga production by ten times and eri by five times. This Mission is aimed at producing one million kg muga and 10 million kg eri silk by 2025.
New colleges: Three more engineering colleges are proposed to be established at Nalbari, Nagaon and Udalguri. Gogoi said that Rs two crore each would be provided to the existing engineering colleges to upgrade their infrastructure. An integrated hostel campus for students would be created in Guwahati with various facilities like studies, recreational and transportation.
Youth Development: Gogoi proposed formation of a dedicated youth development authority and launching of a scheme for digital literacy for youths of socially and economically weaker sections and conversion of all employment exchanges as career centres.
Health: Gogoi proposed to establish 50 bed cancer wings in all the medical colleges, establishment of a dental college, BSC nursing college, institute of paramedical science and an Institute of Physiotherapy and rehabilitation centre. He proposed to launch a scheme for free health care for BPL students below 18 years of age and mobile cancer detection laboratories in rural areas.
Literary Awards: The Chief Minister proposed institution of a literary award in the name of Syed Abdul Malik. He also proposed production of documentaries on lives and achievements of great women like Sati Joymati, Sati Radhika, Mula Gabharu, Chandraprava Saikiani, Bhogeswari Phukanani, Sati Sadhini, Amal Prava Das, Kanaklata, Mamoni Raisom Goswami among others in order to focus on women empowerment. He proposed to organize Assam Mahotshav in the metropolitan cities of the country. He also proposed to institute an award in the name of late Kamala Saikia for excellence in the field of journalism. He also proposed assistance to the bereaved families of journalists who died untimely while in service.
Women and Children: Gogoi proposed a separate Development Authority for Women and Children. He also proposed a host of schemes for women and children including construction of working women’s hostels in all district headquarters, residential schools in for BPL girls in every district headquarter with private sector involvement with pilot project in five districts, sanitary pads at very low cost to school going girls, financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each for one lakh women self help groups, financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each to BPL families for marriages of their unmarried girls, financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each of the unmarried women of the age group of 40 to 60 years, financial support of Rs 10,000 each to 200 poor widows in each of the legislative assembly constituencies, Rs 5000 to each of the mother of girl child, launching of a mission to remove malnutrition among the children, construction of special children’s homes for orphans, monetary grant to 2486 women cooperatives.
Minority and ethnic groups: The Chief Minister has proposed formation of six more development councils for the Garos, Kumars, Modahis, Suts, Hajongs and Chowdangs and provide adequate funds for their development through these councils. He also proposed setting up of a Scheduled Caste Development Council and a Minority Development Council.