Assam Budget: Rs 980 Crore Allocated for School Infrastructure, skill Training programme for youth | News, Business, Health | Nelive

Assam Budget: Rs 980 Crore Allocated for School Infrastructure, skill Training programme for youth

Mar 12, 2018 17:42

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday presented the Budget for the 2018-’19 financial year. The Budget presentation, billed as the state’s first e-budget, was streamed online and details were updated on social media.

In his speech, the minister talked of expanding the scope of policies and programmes the government has announced in the last two years. The government has allotted Rs 980 crore for improving the infrastructure of schools that still lack basic facilities such as separate classrooms and electricity, Sarma announced.

In the health sector, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government announced that it would launch an inclusive cancer control programme in partnership with Tata Trusts. “The North East region has a very high cancer incidence and Assam accounts for a majority of these cancer patients,” the minister said. “Cancer has become synonymous with death – time has come to address this fallacy.”

The government will also strengthen the infrastructure of six government medical colleges and 11 district hospitals by next year to help them provide “varying degrees of cancer care”. The Tata group will contribute Rs 830 crore to this project over two financial years, while the government will contribute Rs 1080 crore, he added.

The minister had sparked a controversy in November 2017 after claiming that cancer was “divine justice” for sinning. He had later apologised for the statement.

Related: Assam set to live stream its first e-Budget, launch app on Google Play

Sarma spoke glowingly about the government’s health scheme – Atal Amrit Abhiyam programme –

that was launched in December 2016. “Over 1.6 crore beneficiaries have already been enrolled in this program,” the minister pointed out. “It is envisaged that almost 92% of Assam’s population will be covered by this scheme and when fully implemented, it would be one of the largest such universal health assurance schemes in world catering to both BPL [below poverty line] and APL [above poverty line] population.”

The minister also announced a programme for improving state highways and the major roads in districts, and a scheme to assist young entrepreneurs. The government announced a skill-training programme for youngsters and promised to invest Rs 14,800 per person.

The government has also allotted money for a scheme to promote the use of digital modes of financial transaction among tea garden employees. Every tea garden employee who opened a bank account after the government had announced the demonetisation policy will receive Rs 5,000, Sarma said. The government will also provide each “line sardar” – the leaders of the labourers in tea gardens – with smartphones that cost about Rs 3,000. This, will promote digital literacy and usage, the minister said.

Girls and women between 12 to 20 years old, whose family income is below Rs 5 lakh, can avail of an annual stipend of Rs 600 to buy sanitary napkins, the finance minister said. The government also announced a scheme for unmarried daughters of pensioners, saying they will be eligible to avail of the money in case the pensioner in their family dies.

The government also committed to increasing the wages of child care centre and health workers. “For this purpose, it has been decided to increase salary allowances of the workers by Rs 1000 and helpers by Rs 500,” Sarma said.


Mar 12, 2018 17:42

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