Assam Finance Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday placed the last full Budget of the Sarbananda Sonowal State government, as the state is going to polls in 2021. Stating that the clarion call of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of a 'Bideshi Mukto, Durniti Mukto, Santrakhbad Mukto and Produkhon Mukto Asom' (Immigrants free, corruption-free, terrorism free and pollution-free Assam), a reality now, Sarma opened his budget speech.
Sarma also informed that Assam was the first state to publish an eBudget in 2018-19 and now the state has this time witnessed the introduction of the QR Code feature. Rs 1,05,246.23 crore has been earmarked for the financial year 2020-21.
Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma also said that the state's spending has set a new benchmark over the last three years. The Budget has witnessed major reforms from the withdrawal of agricultural tax to slashing for state sales tax on petrol and diesel by 50 paise. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal lauded the budget as a transforming budget fulfilling the aspirations of the people.
The opposition, however, alleged that the budget for this financial year is an election oriented budget that tried to copy the Delhi model or Kejriwal with freebies. Finance Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma meanwhile countered the opposition saying that when elections are around the corner, the budget definitely will be election oriented. He further said, "This is Assam model and not Kejriwal's model or anyone else's model."
The Finance Minister announced free bus services for women and senior citizens in Guwahati. The special bus facilities will not be available on other buses. Apart from this, candidates appearing for job interviews can travel for free where the call/ letter will be treated as a ticket. The pickup and drop can be to any location in the State buses.
The Finance Minister also announced a scooty each for 20,000 girl toppers of the State. Students who topped the 12th boards from the Assam State Higher Secondary Council will be eligible for this.
Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma also announced 200 new state of the art schools. These schools will be on par with the private schools of the State.
The indigenous Muslims of the State will get a separate development board soon. The demand for a separate development board has been there for a long time. The indigenous Muslims of the State have been also demanding a separate census for them, as their identity has been threatened by the rampant illegal influx of Bangladeshi Muslims.
From now onwards anyone applying for State government jobs will have to have the knowledge of a native language. Anyone failing to fulfill this will not be able to apply.
The State police constables will now get Rs 2000 for ration monthly. This will be apart from the allowance they get.
One lakh students will get Rs 1000 each for textbooks. This measure has been taken to light the burden on parents.
From now onwards, any Divyangs will not have to pay registration fees while buying immovable assets. The asset will have to be registered in his or her name.