Sarma also announced a series of welfare schemes, which include providing rice at Rs 1 per kg to 53 lakh households.
Guwahati: Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma here on Wednesday presented a deficit budget of Rs 1,193.04 crores with a capital outlay of Rs 3,81,688.27 crores for 2019-20 with no new tax proposals. The budget’s key highlight was a rise in allocation of grants to temples across the state by over Rs 2 lakhs.
Free school uniforms will be given to BPL students while the government will disburse Rs 50,000 as a one-time assistance for students taking educational loans.
Mr Sarma, attired in traditional “dhoti-kurta”, began his speech by paying tribute to Vaishnavite saint Srimanta Sankardev, and claimed to have increased the state’s revenue earning by 20 per cent, leading to a total expenditure of over Rs 70,000 crores — a new milestone in the state.
The government will provide battery-run “e-bikes” to all girl students who secure first division or above in their higher secondary exams to commute to their places of higher studies.
Proposing free books till university for students from families with incomes upto Rs 2 lakhs a year, he also announced the government will contribute Rs 50,000 on every educational loan taken in the state.
The minister said the government ha earmarked Rs 300 crores for the “Arundhati” scheme, under which one tola (10 grammes of gold would be gifted to girls at the time of marriage. “A customary ritual which has been part of Assamese society for centuries now is to gift a set of gold ornaments to one’s daughter as a blessing as she leaves her father’s home to start a new life for herself and her family,” the minister said, and added: “The benefit under Arundhati could be availed upon formal registration of marriages under Special Marriage (Assam) Rules 1954. It will be limited to only economically weaker sections, whose annual income is below Rs 5 lakhs.”
The minister, in his budget proposals, announced that his government would provide Rs 25,000 immediate assistance to widows below 45 years. The Assam government has also proposed a Rs 10 crore solidarity fund to the Meghalaya government as a goodwill gesture for the National Games 2022, that is being hosted by the neighbouring state.
Mr Sarma also announced a series of welfare schemes, which include providing rice at Rs 1 per kg to 53 lakh households.
Rice at Rs 1 per kg will be provided under the Affordable Nutrition and Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana. The government will start the pilot implementation of ANNA Yojana from March 2019.
He also promised to create development councils for indigenous Muslims for holistic development of the council. “Once the corporation is formed during the course of the year, I will immediately allocate a sum of `100 crores for taking up various development and employment-related activities,” the minister said.
The provision of admission fee waiver till the degree level will be extended to parents whose potential annual income is below `2 lakhs and the government will provide free textbooks to students upto degree level (Arts, Science & Commerce) from the present level of Class 12.