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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Assam performed better across all metrics: Finance minister Ajanta Neog

GUWAHATI:

Finance Minister Ajanta Neog tabled the Assam budget for the year 2022-23, with focus on increasing the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), on March 16.

Stating that Assam’s post-Covid financial situation is far better than other states of the country, she revealed that the state’s economy recovering well from the pandemic and is in a much better position to tackle any other Covid-19 related contingencies in future

Presenting the budget on the third day of the Assam Assembly session, she said, “One of the prime reflections of the state’s economy is the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). The GSDP of Assam at variable prices is expected to be Rs 4,33,925 crore in 2021-22. This is 13.89 % higher than the GSDP in 2020-21. In 2019-20 and 2020-21, in the midst of the Covid crisis, Assam is the only state showing positive growth rate while many states have shown negative growth.”

Assam is one of the few states that has shown tremendous growth despite Covid pandemic in 2020-21 and 2021-22, she maintained during her budget speech.

The 15th Finance Commission has recommended share in central taxes amounting to Rs 20,600.73 crore to the state for 2021-22. However, after adjustment of arrears on account of short devolution to states, the Centre released Rs 25,176.39 crore during 2021-22, she added.

Giving more details of the past tends, she said, “During the last five years, the trend of expenditure has been in ascending order on the budgetary allocation which signifies prudent fiscal management, meticulous planning of expenditure including large scale procurement reforms in the state. Overall expenditure of the state significantly improved from 63% during 2015-16 to 83% during 2019-20. The capital expenditure also grew from Rs. 4919 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 14630 crore in 2020-21,”

The minister proposed a reduction of 1% VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel for aircraft. Proposal to start new scheme to facilitate cheaper air connectivity from Guwahati to Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Silchar and Tezpur.

She also proposed an allotment of Rs 156 crore for the acquisition of 50 acres of land for Jorhat Airport, Rs 50 crore for the acquisition of 870 acres of land for Greenfield Airport at Silchar and Rs 3.56 crore for the acquisition of 84 acres of land for Lilabari Airport at North Lakhimpur.

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