Assam’s Finance Minister Ajanta Neog today presented the Assam Budget 2021-22 that seeks to adress the problems of a post-pandemic era.
Neog’s announcement of smartphones to almost 8 lakh Class IX and X students of government schools for online education will come as a relief to many. Check some of the key points of the Assam Budget 2021-22:
Scheme for tea tribe community:
Ajanta Neog has announced a scheme to cover 805 estates. Functioning household tap connections to all households in TEs Bear expense of electricity dues & chemicals for 5 years Provide piped gas supply to households. 2,69,648 people are expected to benefit from the scheme.
Chief Minister’s COVID Relief Scheme:
Under the Chief Minister COVID Relief Scheme, financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh will be given to the families that have lost one or more members to COVID-19, Rs. 1 lakh will be given to the next of kin of the deceased. Rs. 40 crore has been allocated for this scheme.
Assam Microfinance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS) 2021:
Rs. 25,000 to be provided for regular repayment of loans and maintaining good credit discipline. The government shall clear overdue amount if payment is overdue by 1-89 days. An incentive of Rs. 25,000 shall be paid after restarting regular repayment. Meanwhile, loans are categorized as a nonperforming asset are to be disposed of with Rs 7,500 cr state funds. Rs. 4,000 crore benefit shall be transferred by lenders.
Employment for economic growth:
Neog said that the state government shall provide employment for economic growth and one lakh vacancies are to be filled up across 48 state government departments.
‘Asom Mala’ Scheme:
The government will undertake several projects worth Rs 5,556 crore to improve road connectivity under the Assam Budget 2021-22. Four major roadways — Kokrajhar to Rupsi Airport via Bashbari, Rowta to Misamari, Gohpur to Dholpur via Ghagrabasti, and NH 52 (Dirak gate) Bijulibon Pengeree – are to be constructed.
Neog announced that there will be direct procurement of handloom items from weavers through ARTFED & AGMC Weavers’ skill training. The first phase of this scheme shall cover 1.23 lakh beneficiaries setting up sales counters across India Leveraging e-commerce portals and apps.
Sonali Xaishab Bikkashit Axom:
Under this scheme, 1,000 model Anganwadi centres will be set up at a total expense of Rs 13.50 crore. Rs. 25 lakh has been allocated for the construction of each Centre, with the allocation of a further Rs. 144 crore for electrification of 48,805 ACs and 13,656 primary schools.
Affordable Nutrition & Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana and Anna Nischito Asoni:
Assam’s government has allocated Rs. 390.08 crore for the Affordable Nutrition & Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana under the Assam Budget 2021-22. Meanwhile, Fair Price Shop dealers’ margin has been hiked from ₹101.1 to ₹143 per quintal. The Assam Finance Minister also announced annual grant-in-aid of Rs. 5 lakh each for services rendered in supply chain management of food grains towards reaching ONORC goal.
‘Sunil Biplab’ Scheme:
To boost the fishery sector, 10,000 village community tanks of 1 hectare each are to be constructed in revenue villages which could increase the fish production by 50,000 megatonnes per year.
Additionally, Neog has also announced that a sum of Rs. 1,000 crore has been allocated for the building of 1,000 km of embankment cum roads along the flood-prone Brahmaputra and Barak rivers.
Neog has announced Rs. 9.60 crore for the allocation for the “Garukhuti project” in which 77,420-bigha land was “freed” from encroachment in Darrang district. 134 Ecological Task Forces shall be deployed for massive afforestation activities, she said, adding that the government plans to introduce 2,000 Gir cows.
Rs. 100 crore has been earmarked for the Indigenous Faith and Culture Department that is to be set up and three departments – Directorate of Archaeology, Directorate of Museum and Directorate of Historical and Antiquarian Studies – are to be subsumed under the new department.
Moreover, Tamulpur (currently under Baksa) has been proposed to be created as a new district “to felicitate good governance.”
Small traders and artisans affected by COVID-19 shall be given a one-time grant of Rs. 10,000 through an institutional mechanism in convergence with PM SVANidhi Scheme of Government of India.
The Assam Budget 2021-22 is the first budget under the new BJP-led coalition government at Dispur under chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Rs. 3,500 shall be given to children orphans below 15 years of age who have been orphaned by COVID-19. Rs. 7, 81,200 will be deposited in their names.
Under the CM’s Widow Support Scheme, women from low-income families and who have lost their husbands due to #COVID. One time financial assistance of ₹2.50 lakh to be provided. In first phase, 874 widows assisted with funds from CM Relief Fund
During the financial year 2021-22, the revenue of the state is estimated at Rs. 1,07,317.55 crore, out of which Rs. 41,996.37 crore is tax revenue, Rs. 6,097.60 crore is non-tax revenue, Rs. 40,885.44 crore grant-in-aid receipts, Rs.18,325.53 crore is public debt and Rs.12.61 crore is recoveries of loans and advances.
Out of the total estimated expenditure of Rs. 1,07,556.29 crore during 2021-22, Rs. 84,405.47 crore is revenue expenditure and Rs.23150.82 crore was capital expenditure.