Opp demands white paper from Assam govt

Progress of development schemes in the past four years

GUWAHATI: Opposition Congress has demanded a white paper on the progress of the development schemes announced by the BJP-led Assam government on the basis of its Vision Document during the past four years.

Addressing the media here on Saturday, leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia alleged that while the state government has presented several incorrect facts regarding various critical issues in the Assembly, it ought to come out with a white paper on the pre-poll promises and announcements before the budget session in February-March 2020.

“According to information from official sources, there has been no development work across various state departments under the schemes announced by the government in the past two years or so. Therefore, the government is answerable to the people for which we demand a white paper before the budget session where the issues would be taken up for further deliberations,” Saikia said.

The Opposition leader further said, “Contrary to the government’s promises in regard to revival of the Hindustan Paper Corporation paper mills at Jagiroad and Panchgram (Cachar), we have not seen any pragmatic steps taken by the BJP government in the past three years. Of late, state industries and commerce minister, Chandra Mohan Patowary had stated that the mills could not be revived with only Rs 98lakh at its disposal,” he said.

He recalled that Union heavy industries and public enterprises minister, Arvind Ganpat Sawant had stated in the Lok Sabha in July this year that an investment of Rs 4141 crore was made in the HPCL mills between 2014-15 and 2017-2018.

“However, an RTI application revealed that only Rs 509.66 crore was released for the mills during period,” Saikia said.

In regard to the price escalation of essential items, of late, he alleged that the state government has not taken any steps to tackle the situation. “A price stabilisation budget of Rs 150 crore was announced in the last budget session to tackle inflation by procuring items in short supply from outside the state with the fund. However, no action has been seen to keep the abnormal price rise at bay either,” he said.

He further sought a probe by the state home department into the alleged irregularities, while alleging that the government has always been in denial mode in regard to illegal syndicates or illegal mining of coal, sand or stones. “The government needs to clarify its position on these issues for which we have sought a white paper,” he said.

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