GUWAHATI, April 24 - The Fifteenth Finance Commission will visit Assam from April 25 to 27.
The Commission led by the Chairman NK Singh, members Shaktikanta Das, Dr Anoop Singh, Dr Ashok Lahiri and Dr Ramesh Chand and secretary Arvind Mehta along with other officials will assess the state of the finances of Assam, its socio-economic challenges and understand the efforts of the State Government to tackle these.
�Assam, of late, has made visible strides in growth and socio-economic development, transcending its geographical and historical challenges. However, there are significant opportunities for accelerating the momentum in the State�s health, educational and economic outcomes. Demographic diversities give rise to myriad socio-cultural conditions and contingencies offering developmental challenges of various forms. Notwithstanding recent growth spurt, endemic structural issues need to be addressed in a time bound manner,� a note from the commission on the eve of the visit stated.
The Commission recognizes the special characteristics of Assam and notwithstanding acceleration in growth momentum, it will have to make enormous development strides to catch up with national averages particularly with respect to per capita income, it said.
�It is a matter of concern that per capita income of Assam is significantly lower than all India average which itself is lower than other emerging markets. The Commission, therefore, would seek to explore opportunity of what structural, administrative and other changes are necessary by way of augmenting resources of State and also its proper utilization,� the note added.
Assam is the second state that will be visited by the Fifteenth Finance Commission, the first being Arunachal Pradesh.
The Commission will have meetings with the Chief Minister, Ministers and other officials of the State. Detailed presentations will be made on the finances of the State Government. The Commission will also meet leaders of various political parties, representatives of autonomous councils, representatives of trade and industry viz. Chambers of Commerce/Assam branch of FICCI, Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association, and other stakeholders to understand the opportunities and the challenges in the State. There will also be interactive session with Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions.