Monday, March 4, 2024

Assam govt tables Rs 774.47-cr deficit Budget

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Guwahati, Feb 12: Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog presented a Rs 774.47 crore deficit Budget for financial year 2024-25 in the Assam Legislative Assembly on Monday, stating that the government’s objective “is to have a realistic” and citizen-centric Budget with a focus on employment creation, women empowerment and own-source revenue enhancement through reforms.

“The budget estimates of 2024-25 show a receipt of Rs 1,43,605.56 crore under the consolidated fund of the state. Out of this, Rs 1,11,943.84 crore is on revenue account and the remaining Rs 31,661.73 crore is under capital account. After adding the receipt of Rs 1,44,550.08 crore under public account and Rs 2,000 crore under contingency fund, the aggregate receipts amount to Rs 2,90,155.65 crore,” Neog said in her Budget speech.

“As against this, total expenditure from the consolidated fund of the state in 2024-25 is estimated at Rs 1,43,890.62 crore of which Rs 1,10,091.86 crore is on revenue account and Rs 33,798.76 crore is on capital account. Taking into account, the expenditure of Rs 1,42,670.09 crore under public account and Rs 2,000 crore under contingency fund, the aggregate expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs 2,88,560.71 crore,” the finance minister stated.

“Thus, estimated transactions during the year will result in an estimated surplus of Rs 1,594.94 crore. This, together with the opening deficit of Rs 2,369.41 crore, will lead to a Budget deficit of Rs 774.47 crore at the end of the financial year 2024-25,” she said.

The minister further said that the government’s focus was to have a realistic Budget – one that fulfills real aspirations of citizens of the state on one hand and avoids inflated figures on the other.

“Our efforts will be to fully utilise the budgetary allocation by all the departments. Another feature of a realistic Budget would be laying more emphasis on enhancing own-source revenue in the coming years, through a slew of reforms,” she added.

Notably, this was Neog’s fourth budget presentation under the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam government.

As per projected estimate, the State GDP at current prices for the year 2024-25 is expected to touch Rs 6.43 lakh crore. “This is more than 150 percent increase over the GSDP of Rs 2.54 lakh crore for the year 2016-17,” she said.

“As per the advance estimates, the nominal GSDP for Assam at current prices for 2023-24 (AE) is likely to reach Rs 5.70 lakh crore, as against Rs 4.93 lakh crore in 2022-23 (QE) reflecting a growth of 15.6 per cent over the preceding year,” the finance minister said.

“The real GSDP for Assam at constant prices for the year 2023-24 is likely to attain a level of Rs 3.19 lakh crore as against Rs 3.01 lakh crore in the year 2022-23 (QE) reflecting a growth of 5.9 per cent over the preceding year,” she said.

 

Key highlights of Assam Budget 2024-25:

# Ten lakh girls will be supported with financial grant as admission incentive to continue their education to higher secondary, graduation and post-graduation studies, for which Rs 240 crore has been proposed.

#An entrepreneurship fund of Rs 10,000 to each one of 39,67,743 women members of self-help groups in the rural areas, subject to certain conditions, throughout the state.

# Assam government to organise a global investors summit in November 2024 in the state with an aim to attract investments and create more jobs.

# Energy audit to be undertaken for government establishments to reduce the carbon footprint of these buildings. A sum of Rs 10 crore has been earmarked for this purpose.

# Assam government will support tea garden families by paying the arrear electricity dues of tea garden worker families living in the lines, for which 75 crore has been proposed.

# In order to encourage big-screen Assamese cinema, a grant of Rs 10 lakh each would be provided to full-fledged Assamese cinemas.  Artists and technicians of Assamese cinema and mobile theatre will be brought under Atal Pension Yojana. The government will be paying 50 percent of their contribution for 5 years.

# Rs 50 lakh has been proposed to be invested as share capital/ grant/soft loan for each new cinema hall. Grants proposed to set up 50 new cinema halls.

# A museum will be established for the former chief ministers of the state to capture the essence of leadership, challenges and triumphs of each chief minister who has played a pivotal role in shaping the state.

# Steps to be taken to develop 10 model climate resilient villages this year. This comes after the postgraduate students selected for the Chief Minister’s Climate Resilient Village Fellowship Programme provided village-specific climate action plans for 100 villages.

# Assam medical colleges to implement the Village and Community Outreach Programme for MBBS students to learn communication skills along with the various cultural factors affecting community health.

# Rs 100 crore allotted for the development of Sukapha Samannay Kshetra over the next three years.

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