Assam Budget 2019-20: Government targets brides, students as it doles out sops; highlights here

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Guwahati, Feb 06: The Assam government has set aside Rs 300 crore in its Budget 2019-20 for a scheme in which the government will offer one-tola gold to brides belonging to families with annual earnings of less than Rs 5 lakh, state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday while presenting a Rs 1,193.04-crore deficit Budget.

He also introduced several other schemes, including rice at Rs 1 per kilogram for the poor.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (right) with Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal

Budget Highlights:

  • Government to provide rice at a subsidized rate of Re 1 per kg for the benefit of 53 lakh households under Nutrition & Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana. The pilot implementation of ANNA Yojana from March, 2019.
  • Government to give ‘one tola gold’, costing around Rs 38,000, to brides belonging to families with annual earnings of less than Rs 5 lakh. The gold scheme will also be applicable to the first two offsprings of a family and only in cases where the bride and the groom have both attained the legal age of 18 years and 21 years, respectively.
  • The government will provide free text books to students upto degree level (Arts, Science and Commerce) from the present level of Class XII.
  • A subsidy of Rs 700 per student per month to be paid for 10 months in a year, irrespective of their economic status, on the mess bills, for those students staying in the hostels of government, or provincialised colleges and universities.
  • The government will also provide battery operated ‘e-bikes’ to all girl students who secure 1st division or above in their higher secondary examinations.
  • Government to provide rice free of cost to 4 lakh families in the tea garden areas and 2 kg of sugar per month to the families of the tea garden workers.
  • Government launching a new scheme under which any woman, up to the age of 45 years, who loses her husband, will receive an amount of Rs 25,000 as ‘Immediate Family Assistance’. She will also be eligible for a monthly pension of Rs 250 until she attains the age of 60 years, post which, she will be moved to the old age pension scheme.
  • Government has earmarked Rs 200 crore for scholarships to girl students of minority communities for higher education.
  • Government to establish a Development Corporation for the Indigenous Muslims which will take up various programmes for their development.
  • A Cashless Health Assurance scheme for government employees will be rolled out from this year which will also enable them treatment across leading hospitals in India.
  • Government will create a separate new district from existing Dima Hasao district.
  • Government to encourage traditional Assamese sports such as Nau Khel, Kaar Khel, Kori Khel, Ghila Khel Maal juj, Haatur, etc. which are extremely popular. To organize a Traditional Sports Festival in Assam in 2019-20.
  • Government to install giant statues of Kumar Bhaskaravarman, Chaolung Siu-Ka-Pha, & Maharaj Nara-Narayana in Assam Secretariat Complex.
  • Government to take special care to ensure that cultural identity of Majuli is protected and preserved.
  • Steps to be taken to get Charaideo Maidams listed as World Heritage site.
  • Each Gaon Burahs (headmen) to be provided with smart phones.
  • Government has decided to introduce a one-time amnesty scheme for property tax payers in . On voluntary declaration of their building violations, a one-time settlement & regularisation of construction will be done against the payment of the building violation penalties.
  • To express its appreciation to sporting icons and to encourage others, government to give a one-time cash incentive of Rs 50,000 each to 2000 Sporting & Cultural talents for their contributions.
  • Government to provide a one-time grant of Rs 50,000 for theatre artists and technicians, who have spent at least 5 years with the industry.
  • Through of Assam State Transport Corporation scheme, Government intends to put 1000 new buses on roads over next 3 years.
  • Farmers will continue to get 25% subsidy on short term crop loans against up to max limit of Rs 25,000. Government to continue with on short term crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh.
  • Over 1,000 religious and historical places, and places of tourist attraction in Assam will be given facelift under a new scheme “Asom Darshan”.

(With inputs from IANS)