Assam CM welcomes 'people-centric' budget

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Guwahati, Jul 16 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday welcomed the budget tabled in the assembly and said that it did not include any new tax proposal to ensure that no additional burden falls on the people, already bogged down by the COVID-19 situation.

He said that the budget has proposals aimed at the welfare of the poor and middle-class, while the outline for the next five years' developmental work has been laid down.

'We are grateful to Ajanta Neog, the first woman finance minister of our state, for this people-centric Budget,' Sarma said, addressing a press conference.

She tabled a Rs 566 crore deficit budget for 2021-22 in the state Assembly earlier.

Sarma said, 'I want to thank Neog for not imposing any new tax, especially during this COVID situation when people already have much financial burden on their heads and are in economic problems.' He said that the budget proposals to provide free smartphones to class 9 and 10 students of government schools, take measures to boost agricultural production and others will have a positive impact on the poor and the middle class.

'There is a provision for serving cooked lunch for the urban poor in the budget, which is a welcome move,' he added.

The chief minister said the budget has drawn the roadmap for implementing poll promises of the BJP, such as waiving loans from microfinance institutions for women borrowers.

'The constitution of an agricultural commission to make the state self-sufficient in agriculture, horticulture, dairy and veterinary products in the next five years will be highly beneficial,' he said.

He also appreciated the revenue generation proposals, like enabling people to deposit money directly in the state treasury to procure forest goods while constructing residences.

Sarma further lauded the proposal for providing permanent settlement status to eligible people who have been residing on hills around Guwahati. PTI SSG NN NN

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