Guwahati: Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog on Monday introduced a Bill in the assembly, which seeks to allow the government to raise the borrowing ceiling by 0.50 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to strengthen the resources of the state to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introducing the Assam Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Neog said that the Union Finance Ministry has informed Assam that during 2021-22, it will be allowed the Net Borrowing Ceiling (NBC) of four per cent of the projected GSDP for the fiscal.

In the beginning of the financial year 2020-21, the state was allowed borrowing permission based on 3.50 per cent of GSDP.

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The remaining borrowing ceiling of 0.50 per cent of GSDP is earmarked for incremental capital expenditure by the state and will be allowed on the basis of Capital Expenditure incurred by the state during the year 2021-22.

The decision has been taken in view of the unprecedented COVID-19 situation and to strengthen resources of the state to fight the pandemic as well as maintain the standards of service delivery to the public, Neog said.

Additional borrowing ceiling of 0.50 per cent of GSDP over and above the ceiling of 4 per cent of GSDP will also be allowed to the state, based on guidelines issued by the Centre, subject to the amendment of the Act, she said.

The state Cabinet had, in its meeting on Jun 24, approved the amendment of the Act for incorporating the conditions.

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