Ajanta Neog, Finance Minister (FM) of Assam, has presented the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Assam government’s Rs 935.23 crore deficit budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) in the assembly, with an emphasis on social security, and has also announced various new schemes for boosting micro-entrepreneurship and creating employment.
i.The aggregate receipts for FY24 came to Rs. 3,21,742.71 crore, after adding the receipt of Rs. 1,80,298.83 crore under the public account and Rs. 2,000 crore under the contingency fund.
ii.The estimated aggregate expenditure for FY24 was Rs. 3,21,081.75 crore, after taking into account the public account expenditure of Rs. 1,79,326.48 crore and Rs. 2,000 crore under the contingency fund.
iii.The estimated transactions for FY24 will result in a Rs. 660.96 crore surplus.
iv.This, together with the initial deficit of Rs. 1,596.19 crore, will result in a budget deficit of Rs. 935.23 crore at the end of FY24.
v.The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is projected to rise to Rs. 5.5 lakh crore in FY24.
Major Highlights of the Assam Budget for FY24
i.The Assam government has announced the launch of the Mukhya Mantri Ayushman Asom Yojana, which will allow 27 lakh families to get Rs. 5 lakh worth cashless treatment, making it India’s largest health insurance scheme.
ii.The Mukhya Mantri Awaas Yojana, which will be launched in tandem with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for FY24 and for which Rs. 800 crore have been earmarked, would cover one lakh beneficiaries.
iii.The FM proposed the establishment of 3000 new model Anganwadi Centers equipped with all modern amenities.
iv.77 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Polytechnics would be transformed into “Centres of Excellence” (CoE) at an investment of Rs. 367 crore.
v.The Assam government intends on recruiting 40,000 employees by May 10, 2023.
- With an investment of Rs. 5,000 crore over the next 3 years, the Assam government proposed to develop a scheme to support micro-entrepreneurs with the goal of “transforming” more than 2 lakh youth into job creators.
- Under the initiative, a sum of Rs. 1,000 crore has been set aside for FY24 to offer self-employment options for unemployed youths from below-the-poverty-line (BPL) families and low-income households.
vi.The state budget for FY24 also includes a number of infrastructure projects, such as the NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance (NIDA) programme, the Assam Secondary Road Network Improvement Project (ASRIP), and the Asom Mala program.
- The Asom Mala program includes several implementation legs, including Special Operations Procedure for Development (SOPD), externally funded projects, and NIDA.
vii.Under the Assam Secondary Road Network Improvement Project (ASRIP), eight projects totaling 247 km have been undertaken, with funding from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) totaling Rs. 3,519.27 crore. The roads include the historic Dhodor Ali.
- Five road packages totaling 135 km in length have also been started under NIDA with a budget of Rs. 1,252.14 crore.
viii.The 91 km Guwahati Ring Road, featuring a six-lane bridge across the Brahmaputra River, is another project being worked on by the Assam government.
ix.Other projects include the Kaziranga elevated corridor, a bridge over the Brahmaputra River connecting Majuli and Jorhat, and the development of flyovers and elevated roads throughout the state.
x.District jails in Dibrugarh, Cachar, Tezpur, and Jorhat will be relocated to give space for public parks.
xi.Other projects include the construction of new district libraries and circuit houses, the strengthening of the existing Nehru Stadium, the development of the Khanikar integrated sports complex from 5,000 to 15,000 seats, the reconstruction of Guwahati’s Rabindra Bhawan, and the establishment of new medical colleges in Karimganj and Sibsagar.
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The First of its kind CBG plant is being built by entrepreneurs Pankaj Gogoi and Rakesh Doley under the banner of Redlemon Technologies Pvt Ltd based in Guwahati, Assam. The plant is proposed to be operational from November 2023.
Chief Minister– Himanta Biswa Sarma
Governor– Gulab Chand Kataria
Airports – Lilabari Airport; Silchar Airport; Tezpur Airport
UNESCO Heritage Sites (Natural Heritage) – Kaziranga National Park; Manas Wildlife Sanctuary