Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog presented the state budget for the year on Wednesday.

The Assam Government is developing an ambitious reform agenda to unlock Assam’s growth potential over the medium term, focusing on policy and institutional reforms dovetailed with downstream investments in related sectors.

Highlights from FM Neog’s speech:

  • Four new schemes for road construction announced – Pakipath Nirman Achani, Unnoti Pakipath Nirman Achani, Mothauri Pokikaran Achani and Path Nobikaran Achani for construction, upgradation and maintenance of all-weather roads, including those on embankments.
  • Two major bridges to come up over Subansiri at Dhunaguri and Luit with help from government of India and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A bridge linking Majuli with Bihpuria and Nemati is also in progress. Trumpet Junction to be built at Gauripur, North Guwahati to enhance utility of the bridge over Brahmaputra.
  • Four roads under Asom Mala to be upgraded in 2022-23, with 19 new road over bridges being taken up. A new flyover project to be taken up in Mancota Road in Dibrugarh and a new elevated road at GNB Road in Guwahati.
  • Reduction of 1 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) for aircraft. Proposal to start new scheme to facilitate cheaper air connectivity from Guwahati to Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Silchar and Tezpur.

BUDGET ESTIMATES – Finance minister Ajanta Neog

The Budget Estimates of 2022-23 show a receipt of Rs. 119027.95 Crore under the Consolidated Fund of the State.

Out of this, Rs.96374.59 Crore is on Revenue Account and the remaining Rs. 23673.71 Crore is under Capital Account. I have shown the estimated receipt in the Consolidated Fund from different sources at Table-1.

After adding the receipt of Rs.162886.83 Crore under Public Account and Rs.2000 Crore under Contingency Fund, the aggregate Receipts amount to Rs.283914.78 Crore. As against this, total expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State in 2022-23 is estimated at Rs.119551.06 Crore of which Rs. 96367.05 Crore is on Revenue Account and Rs.23184.01 Crore is on Capital Account.

The estimates of Grant-wise Expenditure from the Consolidated Fund during 2022-23 have been shown in Table-2. Taking into account the expenditure of Rs.163743.58 Crore under Public Account and Rs.200 Crore under Contingency Fund, the aggregate expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs. 283494.64 Crore.

Thus, estimated transactions during the year will result in an estimated surplus of Rs.420.14 Crore. This, together with the opening deficit of Rs.1020.50 Crore will lead to a Budget deficit of Rs.600.36 Crore at the end of the year 2022-23.

  • Proposal for new airports in Karbi Anglong and Silchar, along with three new heliports at Nagaon, Geleki and Haflong. Active engagement with government of India for a Greenfield Airport at Diphu. Joint survey for de-notification of 180 acres of forest land for development of Rupsi Airport.
  • Allotment of ₹156 crore for acquisition of 50 acres of land for Jorhat Airport, ₹50 crore for acquisition of 870 acres of land for Greenfield Airport at Silchar and ₹3.56 crore for acquisition of 84 acres of land for Lilabari Airport at North Lakhimpur.
  • Assam Inland Water Transport Development Society to develop 13 small terminals on National Waterway 2 on Brahmaputra at Umananda, Uzan Bazar, Kurua, Guijan, Ghaghor, Kachari, Goalpara, North Guwahati, Aphalamukh, Neemati Ghat, Matmora and Disangmukh.
  • Projects to preserve Eksarana Dharma undertaken at Bordowa Than in Narayanpur and Gangmou Satra
  • New project to come up at Patbaushi Satra. ₹2.5 lakh to each of 1,260 namghars under Assam Darshan Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra to have a 4th auditorium for ₹5 crores.
  • Preservation and beautification of Lachit Borphukan Samadhi at Hollongapar, along with a digital documentary film and organising lectures in Delhi and Mumbai. Allocation of ₹7 crore for Alaboi War Memorial to honour 10,000 Ahom martyrs.
  • Jorhat Jail to be developed as North East Freedom Fighter’s Memorial Park, and Maniram Dewan Samadhi and Gomdhar Konwar Samadhi at Jorhat to be renovated. Light and sound show to come up at Rang Ghar, Sivasagar to attract international tourists.
  • ₹15 crore earmarked for land acquisition for Pratima Pandey Barua Museum at Gauripur, Dhubri to preserve memories of the iconic folk singer and promote Goalparia folk song as well.
  • APSC to fill 13,572 Class III and 13,787 Class IV posts and finalise 3,587 Grade-I and 1,568 Grade-II vacancies. Compassionate Appointment for 930 posts in Education Department and Sixth Schedule Areas to be completed soon to meet target of 1 lakh jobs.
  • Incentives under Category-1 of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS) to be disbursed before Bohag Bihu in remaining 7 districts of Assam. Government to pay overdue amounts of Category-2 and clear outstanding debt of Category-3 borrowers whose accounts have turned NPA. Total budget of ₹2,500 crores allotted for the same.
  • Orunodoi assistance enhanced to ₹1,250 per month from next financial year, with ₹250 additional subsidy for 50 units of electricity. Six lakh additional beneficiaries to be added from Bodoland Territorial Region.
  • Proposal to organise North-East festival of Indigenous and Tribal Culture and games to present indigenous culture to the world audience. ₹10 crore earmarked for the same. Additionally, 10 colleges in Bodoland Territorial Region to be provincialised.
  • To augment education facilities, 436 schools in tea garden areas to be brought under ambit of state government. 117 Model High Schools in gardens to be made operational from May 10, 2022. Remaining 2.9 lakh households under Jal Jeevan Mission to be covered by 2022-23.
  • Launch of Mission Zero Drop-Out for identification and mapping of vulnerable girl children and customised plans to provide child-specific interventions such as conditional cash transfer.
  • Mahaprabhu Jagannath Community and Skill Centre in 800 tea gardens for skilling tea tribe youth and organising community-based events. Disinvestment strategy for Assam Tea Corporation Limited and payment of outstanding provident fund liabilities by 2023-24 for ₹142.5 crores.
  • ₹25 crore earmarked each for the holistic development of Tai Ahom, Moran, Matak, Chutia and Koch-Rajbongshi in the present budget. Transfer of entitlement grants under single head of account to councils under Sixth Schedule.
  • OBC communities to have their own authorised organisations for recommending issuance of caste certificates to respective community members. Proposal to allow up to 50 bigha per tribal family by removing upper ceiling of 8 bigha under Assam Land Policy, 2019.
  • Continuation of Pragyan Bharati scheme with free textbooks, hostel mess dues waiver, admission fee waiver for Below Poverty Line (BPL) students, scooters to meritorious students, ₹10,000 mobility grant to girls, education loan under Abhinandan and Anundoram Barooah Award.
  • Aarohan relaunched where girls and boys securing first position in Class IX to be given exposure to premier academic institutions such as IIT Guwahati. ₹2000 to be given to every student as book grant & mobility grant, with allotment of ₹1 lakh per district.
  • Seuj Axom Abhijan to increase green cover in Assam from 36 per cent and to 38 per cent in five years using Miyawaki model. Establishment of Assam Agro-Forestry Development Board. Introduction of 200 electric vehicles and 100 CNG buses for ₹250crore under Smart City project in Guwahati.
  • Renovation of 241 anti-poaching camps in Golaghat, Nagaon, Biswanath and Sonitpur districts. 35 km elevated corridor for safe passage of animals from Kaziranga to Karbi Anglong for ₹4,865 crore. Nine elephant corridors to be notified.
  • 832 hectare land acquisition for Kaziranga National Park. ₹48.08 crore for land compensation to 1,085 displaced families. Finalization of Eco-Sensitive Zone of integrated Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
  • Construction of seven more cancer hospitals in Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Tezpur, Jorhat, Lakhimpur and Darrang to commence within 2022-23. Robotic Surgery unit earmarked for State Cancer Institute, GMCH for ₹15 crore.
  • Proposal to set up three new medical colleges at Sivasagar, Karimganj and Goalpara, along with a super-specialty hospital at IIT Guwahati. Construction of medical colleges at Dhemaji, Bongaigon, Morigaon, Golaghat and Tamulpur to start this year.
  • Expansion of primary healthcare with establishment of 1,000 Buniyadi Swasthya Kendras and upgrading 200 sub-centres. New Ayurvedic Colleges to be set up at Dudhnoi and Palashbari. One BSc Nursing College and GNM Nursing School for each medical college.
  • District hospitals in Barpeta, Silchar, Diphu, Jorhat, Tezpur and Lakhimpur to be upgraded to super-specialty hospitals for ₹3,798 crore. Sneha Sparsh Plus scheme to cover rehabilitation costs for children suffering from cerebral palsy.
  • Mission Basundhara 2.0 has been introduced to offer next generation land related services. This will enable realisation of land revenue from rightful owner and allow them to use land as collateral to unlock value of land.
  • All post-retirement benefits will be ensured for state government employees including payment of GPF, Gratuity, Leave Encashment and GIS through single window interface.
  • ₹129.89 crores earmarked towards interest subvention for state government employees under Apun Ghar and Bidyalakshmi scheme at subsidized rate of interest.
  • Dedicated IT portal to be launched for a simplified medical reimbursement process for state government employees.
  • Empanelled hospitals to be withdrawn so that employees can avail treatment at hospital of their choice.
  • Extensive training and demonstration for promotion of natural farming. International Year of Millets to be celebrated in 2023. Fodder Mission proposed to be set up.
  • 40 seed farms under Assam Seed Corporation Limited and Directorate of Agriculture with allocation of ₹10 crores. Decentralised Procurement Scheme for Kharif Marketing Season 2022-23. 150 Paddy procurement centres and at least 30 rice receiving depots to be set up.
  • 3 per cent increase in Dearance Allowance in addition to the 11 per cent already provided to state government employees and pensioners.
  • ₹28.80 crores earmarked for Bhasha Gourab Scheme which provides corpus funds to 21 indigenous Sahitya Sabhas and one-time assistance to authors under Lekhak Sambardhana.
  • ₹4000 crores earmarked for Mukhya Mantri Souro Shakti Prokolpo to increase generation of clean energy by installing solar power generation plants with aggregated installed capacity of 1,000 Mega Watts.
  • ₹2,127 crores for 120 MW Lower Kopili Hydro Electric Project. Two projects of 46.5 MW on Borpani river are in progress. ₹2500 crores earmarked for 10MW Namrup Replacement Power Project Phase-II and 100MW Namrup Gas Engine Project.
  • New Industrial and Investment Policy, 2022 to boost industrial growth. Hospitals, hotels and cruise services, shipbuilding and vehicle scrap processing facility will be included in industrial sector for various incentives under the new policy.
  • Sibsagar College, Kokrajhar Government College, Bongaigaon College, Jagannath Barooah College, North Lakhimpur College, Handique Girls’ College and Nagaon college to be elevated into universities. ₹10 crore to each college as grants-in-aid for capital expenditure.
  • NIDA Fund of ₹50 crore each to Majuli University, Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhattadev University, Madhabdev University, Birangana Sati Sadhini State University and Aniruddhadev Sports University.
  • ₹25 crores to Gauhati University for start-up ecosystem. ₹15 crores each to Assam University, Tezpur University and Silchar University. ₹25 crores to Assam Agriculture University. TISS Guwahati to get ₹15 crores and ₹10 crores for IIT Guwahati.
  • ₹10 crores earmarked for Science block in Haflong College. Grant-in aids for payment of 75% salary for Srimanta Sankardeva Vishwa Vidyalaya. Faculty members can withdraw salary in 12 equal instalments without ceiling.
  • Youth Commission to be set up under Mukhya Mantri Vikas aru Niyog Asoni. Candidates will be enrolled in intensive coaching for employment in all India/State/ Civil services /SSC/ Banking/ Insurance sectors/ PSUs/ Central Armed Police Forces.
  • Amrit Guwahati Integrated Global City (Amrit GiG City) to be developed as a new-age, world class integrated business city. Spread across 1,000 acres, it will have world class infrastructure for next generation industries.

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