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Assam Budget 2021-22: Covid-19 assistance scheme, aid for tea garden workers, and more

Keeping with the government’s vision of making Assam flood-free, the government has announced that 1,000 km of embankment-cum-roads will be built along the Barak and Brahmaputra rivers.

Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog tabled the annual Budget for fiscal year 2021-22 in the Assembly on Friday. This is the first State Budget under the new BJP-led government under Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Sarma pegged it as a “historic day” for Assam with Neog as the state’s woman Finance minister to present the Budget. He added that it was “equally special” for him as this was his first Budget after becoming Chief Minister of the state.

Among the notable schemes Neog announced are relief to those who have lost their family members to Covid-19, assistance to distressed borrowers for micro finance loans, distribution of smartphones to Class IX and X government school students to address the digital divide and an increase in the assistance amount of its flagship DBT Orunodoi scheme for underprivileged women, among others.

Key Takeaways:

CM’s COVID-19 assistance scheme

Rs 40 crore allocated for financial assistance to families who have lost one or member to COVID-19. As a part of it, Rs 1,00,000 will be given to the next of kin of the deceased. Additionally, under the Chief Minister’s Sishu Seva Scheme, Rs 3,500 per month will be given to COVID orphans below 15 years of age.

Welfare of tea garden workers

805 tea estates have been earmarked for assistance. Houses will have functioning Household Tap Connections, piped gas supply and the government will bear expenses of electricity dues and chemicals for five years. 2,69,648 people are expected to benefit from the scheme.

Assam Microfinance Institutions Regulations of Money Laundering Act

To help those distressed borrowers of microfinance loans, the government will provide assistance to two categories: Rs 25,000 will be paid for regular repayment of loans and maintaining good credit discipline. The government will clear the overdue amount if payment is overdue by 1-89 days. Incentive of Rs 25,000 will be paid after restarting regular repayment/

Employment

One lakh vacancies across 48 state government departments will be filled.

Orunodoi scheme

Rs 1800 crore has been set aside for the beneficiaries of the government’s flagship DBT Orunodoi scheme for women of
marginalised families of Assam. While the scheme was announced in previous year’s budget, this year the monthly assistance will be increased from Rs 830 to Rs 1000.

Asom Mala

Rs 5,556 crore will be allocated to develop road infrastructure under Asom Mala. 250 km of roads by ASRIP (with aid from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and 313 km of roads by ARNIP (with aid from Asian Development Bank) will be constructed.

Sonali Xaishab Bikkashit Axom

1,000 model Anganwadi centres will be set up with Rs 13.50 crore. Each centre will be constructed at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.

Flood-free Assam

Keeping with the government’s vision of making Assam flood-free, the government has announced that 1,000 km of embankment-cum-roads will be built along the Barak and Brahmaputra rivers.

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