GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - Bringing the administrative mechanism back to order was the biggest challenge faced by the Government in its first 100 days in power, said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. He also expressed confidence that the Assam Government would get adequate help from the Centre to translate its promises into reality.
Talking to The Assam Tribune on the completion of 100 days in office, the Chief Minister said that the people expected a change from the new Government and bringing back the administrative mechanism in order was the biggest challenge to deliver the good to the expectations of the people. He said that efforts have been made to bring in coordination between ministers, legislators, officers and employees of the Government so that the system can be improved for better governance. �We have taken a number of initiatives to deliver good governance to the people. But we still have miles to go to achieve our goals,� he added.
Sonowal said that immediately after assuming office, he had made it a point to ensure that the common people are not affected by his movement, and the number of vehicles in his convoy has been reduced and the police have been directed not to block the traffic during his movements. Similarly, the common people are not affected by the movement of other ministers on the road.
The Chief Minister said that for years, the common people have been hit by corruption and irregularities. He claimed that a number of corrupt people have already been put behind bars, and that the crusade against corruption would continue in the days to come.
Immediately after assuming office, the devastating flood was a major challenge faced by the Government but there was no major complaint of any irregularity in relief distribution to the affected people and the Government was able to release funds for relief operations on time.
Sonowal admitted that the poor financial health is a major crisis faced by the State. But at the same time, he thanked the Prime Minister and the Union Petroleum Minister for releasing additional royalty amounting to Rs 1,450 crore. He said that the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister have assured him to provide adequate help not only to tide over the crisis but also to implement the promises made in the first Budget of the Government.
The Chief Minister said that steps have already been initiated for increasing revenue generation through various departments like Transport, Forest, Excise, etc., and hoped that the initiatives in the Agriculture sector would make the State self-sufficient in the days to come. He also pointed out that Assam was the first State in the country to pass the GST Bill in the State Assembly.
Replying to a question on the criticism faced by the Government to control prices of essential commodities, Sonowal said that price rise is a national phenomenon, but on its part, the State Government has taken all possible steps to ensure that the prices are kept under control. In this regard, he pointed out that he has already directed the officers concerned to initiate legal action against cement companies.
Sonowal also asserted that the Government is committed to check infiltration of foreigners and said that he would soon visit the international border areas to assess the situation on the ground.