Assam finance minister tables Budget, says govt wants to address … – The Indian Express

Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog tabled a Rs 935.23 crore deficit Budget for the year 2023-2024 Thursday, stressing that the government’s primary focus is to address issues of unemployment and poverty in the state.
“The aggregate expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs 3,21,081.75 crore. Thus, estimated transactions during the year will result in an estimated surplus of Rs 660.96 crore. This, together with the opening deficit of Rs 1,596.19 crore, will lead to a Budget deficit of Rs 935.23 crore at the end of the year 2023-24,” said Neog.
Stating that 40,000 candidates will be recruited for government jobs by May 10 and that another 18,000 will also be recruited soon, Neog announced that the government will invest Rs 5,000 crore over the next three years to “transform” unemployed youths into “job creators”. Allocating Rs 1,000 crore for this in this year’s Budget, she announced a ‘Mukhya Mantri Sva-Niyojan Mission’ to promote micro-entrepreneurs.
Assam’s first budget of #AmritKaal will fulfil the aspirations of a New Assam & prioritise the dreams of the neediest sections of society.
This budget will strengthen the foundations of our developmental trajectory & will make our State a major contributor to national growth.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) March 16, 2023
Under this scheme, the government proposes to provide one-time seed capital of Rs 2 lakh to one lakh beneficiaries to start micro-enterprise units in activities such as trading, manufacturing, service, food processing, handloom, handicraft, agriculture and allied activities like animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy. Apart from this, the government has also proposed to cover another one lakh beneficiaries by providing project-based subsidies in defined projects.
Neog also announced relief for “stressed and destitute” women borrowers whose accounts became Non-Performing Assets as on March 31, 2021. “This year, our government will prioritise those who have borrowed up to Rs 25,000 only. This will benefit lakhs of debt-ridden women borrowers who will be able to access credit again from formal sources,” said Neog.
She also announced that the government is launching a ‘Mukhya Mantri Ayushman Asom Yojana’ to supplement the ‘Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana’ which currently covers 30 lakh families in Assam. She announced that the new scheme will make Rs 5 lakh worth of cashless treatment available to 27 lakh additional families which are National Food Security Act beneficiaries.
Similarly, she announced a Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojana to supplement the PMAY to cover one lakh beneficiaries in 2023-2024.
In the education sector, Neog earmarked Rs 2,500 crore in the Budget for upgrading 500 government high schools, out of which, 400 will be renovated and 100 will be built as model schools with “state-of-the-art infrastructure”. She also announced 100 new tea garden high schools and free bicycles for all Class IX students in government and provincialised secondary schools, as well as setting up a new university and upgrading eight existing government colleges into universities.
The Assam government’s crackdown against child marriage also found resonance in the Budget with Neog allocating Rs 200 crore for a mission under the Women and Child Development ministry for “affirmative action” towards a goal of making the state free of child marriage by 2026.
“This mission will specifically focus on surveillance, strengthening institutions, introduction of helpline and rehabilitation of victims. There will be a call centre to monitor the complaints,” she said.
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Sukrita BaruahSukrita is a reporter based in Guwahati, covering India's North East f… read more


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