GUWAHATI, April 26 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today urged the 15th Finance Commission to make substantial fund allocation for Assam to help the State to pursue its avowed objective of �Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas�.
He also proposed an embankment-cum-circular road to protect Majuli and requested the Finance Commission to consider this proposal as top-most priority.
Drawing the attention of the visiting members of the 15th Finance Commission, including its Chairman, at a meeting held at the Assam Administrative Staff College here today, the Chief Minister also called for an inter-State border development programme in the Northeast.
Sonowal further said that Assam has long international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh. It shares inter-State border with all Northeast States. He requested the Commission to initiate steps for international border development and inter-State border development programmes to intensify vigil and other developmental activities along the borders.
The Chief Minister stated that although the law and order situation in Assam has improved considerably over the last two years, the State still faces challenges from insurgent groups and radical religious elements. He sought the intervention of the Finance Commission in terms of resource allocation for strengthening and modernization of infrastructure meant for the police force. He reiterated that the area has suffered due to absence of any grant in the last Finance Commission�s recommendations for the State.
He requested the Finance Commission also to make recommendations for strengthening the prosecution machinery and related infrastructure like forensic laboratories, etc., to ensure speedy justice from the Fast Track Courts in cases related to crime against women.
The Chief Minister said further that Assam faces the problems of massive flood and erosion every year. However, the funds under SDRF are not sufficient to tackle the situation. Moreover, he maintained that Majuli island has seen severe erosion. Saying that this place of cultural and ecological majesty of Assam will disappear if steps are not taken to preserve it, he proposed embankment-cum-circular road to protect Majuli and requested the Commission to consider this proposal as top most priority for the State of Assam and give specific recommendations in this regard.
The Chief Minister also sought the help of the 15th Finance Commission for adequate resource devolution for the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam and empower them socially and financially.
He also stated that the Budget expenditure increased from Rs 42,000 crore in 2015-2016 to around 70,000 crore in 2017-2018 with capital expenditure increasing from around Rs 4900 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 12,800 crore in 2017-18. The revenue collection of various taxes under the State Government has shown an average increase of around 20 per cent annual increase in last two years other than GST.