Review Nepal News

Himanta Biswa Sarma presents Assam's first E-Budget
  Kathmandu, Nepal      March 12 2018

Guwahati, March 12 : Assam Finance minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday had presented the state's first Digital Budget or E-Budget for the FY 2018-19 at the Assam Legislative Assembly in Guwahati.

Himanta tabled the E-Budget instead of the conventional paper based.

For the first time in Assam, the state budget was presented in the electronic format and it enabled in Computer and mobile phones.

The budget enabled Tablet PCs were distributed among the Assam legislators and also LIVE on Twitter and Facebook.

Assam is second state in the country after Andhra Pradesh has been presented the state budget in an electronic format.

The BJP-led Assam government has taken a new scheme named Axom Adarxo Gram Yojana taking inspiration from the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana conceived by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In his budget speech, the Assam Finance minister said that, Axom Adarxo Gram Yojana, a scheme which envisages a creation of model villages where good quality public services in terms of sanitation facilities, roads, drainage, drinking water, school, healthcare institutions are provided on incremental basis to all the citizens and provide Rs 5 crore to each model village over the next 3 years and in FY 2018-19.

Presenting Rs 2149.04 crore deficit Budget for the state for 2018-19, the Assam Finance minister also proposed another new scheme in the budget for development of each Legislative constituency.

"Rs 500 crore is allocating for the new scheme Uttoron - State government signature projects for Legislative constituencies," Himanta Biswa Sarma said in his budget speech.

On the other hand, the Assam Finance minister proposed Rs 200 crore for a programme Axom Mala in line with Bharat Mala in the state budget for the FY
2018-19 for reconstruction and maintenance of roads and rehabilitation of RCC bridges.

Some key highlights of Assam state budget 2018-19 - 1. To promote digital literary and usages, each line Sardar in the tea garden will be provided with a smart phone of around Rs 3000 and it will benefit around 20,000 Tea Garden Sardars.
2. Assuring rights of unmarried daughters of pensioners.
3. Monthly stipend for purchase of sanitary napkins.
4. Girls the ages of 12-20 years and whose family income is below Rs 5 lakh
can avail of an stipend of Rs 600 which will be directly transfered to her
bank account.
5. A social media cell will be established in each of the line departments
to bring thegovernment closer to the people.
6. Swastha Sewa Utsav and Gram Utsav.
7. Seats reservations in the Medical Colleges for North Eastern states. A
new medical college, ten new governmentLaw colleges, ten new BEd colleges,
three new polytechnics, nine new women colleges, six new degree colleges, a
horticulture college will be established.
8. Two wheelers to top 5000 girl students who pass higher secondary
examination, 2018.
9. Geographical Indicator Tag for various Indigenous Assam based entities.
10. Set up Botanical garden at Kaziranga.
11. Set up Inter state boundary pillers.
12. Assistance to cinema hall entrepreneurs.
13. Zero Interest on Crop loans,Farmers' Debt releif and financial
assistance forfarm implements.
14. Cess on green tea leaves completely exempted. Exemption limits under
the Agriculture Income Tax Act raised up to 2.5 lakh from the exemption
limit of Rs 1 lakh and the other tax slabs have already been rationalized.
15. 13,000 urban youths to be trained under Deendayal Antyodoya Yojana –
National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).
16. Each panchayat will be given Re 25,000 to organize Gaon Panchayat level
Football tournament.
17. Rs 5 crore each for installing flood lights in stadium in Dibrugarh,
Jorhat, Karimganj, Diphu, Mangaldai, Tezpur & Tinsukia thereby
strengthening rural sports infra.
18. Govt to set Media Fellowship for pursuing higher studies in journalism
so that 20 journalists can be selected for this fellowship at rate of Rs
50,000 each. One-time grant of Rs 10 lakh.
19. Pension Scheme for Journalists.
20. Rs 91 Crore allocated for carrying out of NRC works for 2018-19.
21. Daily Wage of Home Guards to increase from Rs 250 per day to Rs 300 per
day. The enhanced wages will start from FY 2018-19.
22. Salary allowances of Anganwadi workers and ASHA workers to be increase
by Rs 1000 and of Anganwadi Helpers by Rs 500.
23. To provide an assistance of Re 5000 for medical treatment for
differently abled people under Deen Dayal Divyang Xahajya Achoni.
24. Proposed to construct 4 more bridges over river Brahmaputra namely
Dhubri - Phulbari, Gohpur - Numaligarh, Disangmukh - Tekeliphuta,
Kamalabari - Nematighat. In addition to the bridge over Brahmaputra the
Union government approved between Panbazar and North Guwahati.
25. Nine new flyovers at various locations on National Highways.

The Budget estimates of 2018-19 show a receipt Rs 90,673.42 crore under Consolidated Fund of the state. Out of this Rs 74,118.50 crore is on Revenue Account and the remaining Rs 16,554.92 crore is under Capital Account. After adding the receipt of Rs 2,90,914.84 crore under Public Account and Rs 100 crore under Contigency Fund, the aggregate Receipts amount to Rs 3,81,688.26 crore and total aggregate expenditure is estimated 3,80,688.27 crore. The opening deficit of Rs 3149.04 crore will lead to a Budget deficit of Rs 2149.04 crore.

Reacting about the state budget, former Assam Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi said that, there are lot of promises in the budget and it is the nature of the BJP-led government and Prime Minister Modi also. In last two budgets, they had made lot of promises were included, but what about the implementation.

On the other hand, Assam Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that, this budget has several dimensions.

"We are trying to create capital assets so we have declared very important bridges over river Brahmaputra. We have emphasised to develop the rural areas in the state," Himanta said.

(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)