Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati: In a bid to check the economic crisis arising out of the COVID-19 lockdown, Assam government’s finance department has come up with austerity measures to contain non-developmental expenditure and release additional resources for priority schemes.

Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that no new scheme or project will be implemented without prior approval of the finance department and establishment expenditure for the first quarter of the financial year, from April to June, will be reduced from 20% of the budget allocation to 10%.

As announced earlier, there will be 30% cut in salaries of governor, chief minister, ministers and MLAs. Additionally, from now on, remuneration of chairman and vice chairman of all PSUs/ corporations/ boards will be reduced by 25%, effective from May 1.

However, the salary for government employees will not be cut for the month of April. But instead of paying it on the first of every month, now it will be paid on the eight-day.

Further, the state government announced that all industrial exemptions, subsidies and incentives of various sectors have been suspended until further orders. No GST reimbursements will be allowed to industries for the first quarter of the financial year.

Also, a ban has been imposed on the purchase of new vehicles by government departments without the approval of CM except for ambulance or vehicles required for police duty. And no conferences, workshops, seminars, functions or fairs can held till June. Any meeting or conference in five-star hotels has been banned.

No executive class travel will be allowed except in the case of governor, CM, chief justice and other judges of the High Court and the chief secretary.

The state also suspended the release of MLA Area Development Fund till July.

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