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'Budget lacks direction on asset creation'

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 11 � AIUDF MLA Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Kasimi today urged the State government to take steps for resources mobilization and added that failure to do so will lead to a financial crisis.

Speaking at the Legislative Assembly during the general discussion on Budget, Kasimi said that while the Budget presented by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday has a number of short-term schemes, �it lacks any long-term agenda for resource mobilization�.

�There is no programme for asset creation,� he said.

Kasimi said that fiscal indicators presented by the NITI Aayog are in Assam�s favour. �We need to be self-sufficient� Funds are currently not used for asset creation� Such a situation will lead to financial crisis. As our fiscal position is good we can borrow from institutions and create assets,� said the leader of the AIUDF Legislature Party.

He added, �How many permanent jobs can we create without capital outlay? So we have to increase capital investment.�

He said that major issues, like flood and erosion facing the State, has not been addressed in the Budget proposal.

Assam is now a rice surplus State, but the government continues to spend a huge sum to procure rice from other States for supplying through various schemes to the citizens, he said.

�Lack of rice mills is major handicap. The PPP model should be adopted to deal with it,� he said.

The AIUDF leader said that 19 State PSUs have closed down while others are in pathetic condition, leading to thousands of employees facing an uncertain future.

�The government is saying that it will provide houses costing Rs 25,000 under Indira Awaas Yojana. Houses cannot be built even at a cost of Rs 75,000. So how is it possible to build them for Rs 25,000,� he questioned.

Taking part in the discussion, Banendra Mushahary of BPF said that while the government has announced a slew of schemes, there is no clarity regarding modalities to select beneficiaries.

He said many such schemes have been announced only with the intention of vote-bank politics and intended to benefit the ruling party members in local areas.

Mushahary said lack of proper guidelines in implementation of schemes will lead to scams.

He said the previous Budgets also had provisions for distribution of subsidized tractors and power tillers but �there was no result on the ground.�

�Such schemes cannot bring permanent solutions. We need long-term planning,� he said.

The BPF MLA said that there are many backlogs in filing up vacancies and promotions under SC/ST category.

�The law has been enacted in this regard and the necessary office memorandum filed. But there is nothing in the Budget about plans to fill up such posts,� Mushahary said.

Bhupen Borah of Congress, however, said that the Budget has laid down a road-map for development of the State.

�The Budget encompasses the needs of all segments of the society and will take forward the State in a new direction,� he said.

In a lighter note, Borah said that only people addicted to alcohol and smoking are disappointed by the Budget.

�People are saying that this is the last Budget of the Congress government. But that is not the fact. This is our 15th consecutive Budget and we will present five more Budgets,� he said.

Accusing the Modi government is the Centre of betraying the trust of people of Assam, Borah said, �Our Budget will fulfill the wishes of the people of Assam that were betrayed by the Modi government.�

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GUWAHATI, March 11 � AIUDF MLA Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Kasimi today urged the State government to take steps for resources mobilization and added that failure to do so will lead to a financial crisis.

Speaking at the Legislative Assembly during the general discussion on Budget, Kasimi said that while the Budget presented by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday has a number of short-term schemes, �it lacks any long-term agenda for resource mobilization�.

�There is no programme for asset creation,� he said.

Kasimi said that fiscal indicators presented by the NITI Aayog are in Assam�s favour. �We need to be self-sufficient� Funds are currently not used for asset creation� Such a situation will lead to financial crisis. As our fiscal position is good we can borrow from institutions and create assets,� said the leader of the AIUDF Legislature Party.

He added, �How many permanent jobs can we create without capital outlay? So we have to increase capital investment.�

He said that major issues, like flood and erosion facing the State, has not been addressed in the Budget proposal.

Assam is now a rice surplus State, but the government continues to spend a huge sum to procure rice from other States for supplying through various schemes to the citizens, he said.

�Lack of rice mills is major handicap. The PPP model should be adopted to deal with it,� he said.

The AIUDF leader said that 19 State PSUs have closed down while others are in pathetic condition, leading to thousands of employees facing an uncertain future.

�The government is saying that it will provide houses costing Rs 25,000 under Indira Awaas Yojana. Houses cannot be built even at a cost of Rs 75,000. So how is it possible to build them for Rs 25,000,� he questioned.

Taking part in the discussion, Banendra Mushahary of BPF said that while the government has announced a slew of schemes, there is no clarity regarding modalities to select beneficiaries.

He said many such schemes have been announced only with the intention of vote-bank politics and intended to benefit the ruling party members in local areas.

Mushahary said lack of proper guidelines in implementation of schemes will lead to scams.

He said the previous Budgets also had provisions for distribution of subsidized tractors and power tillers but �there was no result on the ground.�

�Such schemes cannot bring permanent solutions. We need long-term planning,� he said.

The BPF MLA said that there are many backlogs in filing up vacancies and promotions under SC/ST category.

�The law has been enacted in this regard and the necessary office memorandum filed. But there is nothing in the Budget about plans to fill up such posts,� Mushahary said.

Bhupen Borah of Congress, however, said that the Budget has laid down a road-map for development of the State.

�The Budget encompasses the needs of all segments of the society and will take forward the State in a new direction,� he said.

In a lighter note, Borah said that only people addicted to alcohol and smoking are disappointed by the Budget.

�People are saying that this is the last Budget of the Congress government. But that is not the fact. This is our 15th consecutive Budget and we will present five more Budgets,� he said.

Accusing the Modi government is the Centre of betraying the trust of people of Assam, Borah said, �Our Budget will fulfill the wishes of the people of Assam that were betrayed by the Modi government.�