The BJP-led government in Assam placed its first full Budget in the Assembly with Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma putting maximum focus on farmers, youths and women, besides infrastructure and rural development. He also announced a new legislation to deduct the salary of government employees who failed to take care of their elderly parents.
“Employees working in the government, state PSUs and companies will be expected to take care of their elderly parents in a desirable manner. In case of non-compliance, the proposed legislation would mandate that a certain portion of the salary of such employees would be deducted to be given to their respective parents,” Sarma said.
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Announcements in the Budget — which showed an overall deficit of Rs 2,349.79 crore — include spending nearly Rs 1,000 crore for educational institutions, Rs 287 crore for tea garden labourers who receive wages through bank accounts for six continuous months, zero interest on crop loans and Rs 65 crore cash incentives to farmers who activate their Kishan Credit Cards, two-wheelers to 1,000 girl students, converting 1,000 wooden bridges to RCC etc.
Sarma also proposed the opening of three engineering and two medical colleges, a new cultural university, five model degree colleges, six new planetariums, 23 district science centres, 219 Aryabhatta Science Centres, a training and research centre for first-generation tea growers and two more bridges on the Brahmaputra in Guwahati.
The finance minister announced providing eggs twice a week in the mid-day meal scheme which would cover 42.61 lakh children in lower primary and upper primary schools across Assam, costing Rs 130 crore per year. Sarma said that this would not only improve nutrition status of children but also create local demand for eggs.