GUWAHATI, Jan 27 - The governance system and economy of the State has improved a lot during the last 15 years, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, adding that steps have been taken to further bring about progress in various sectors including agriculture, healthcare, education and women�s empowerment.
�When my government took charge in 2001, there was dysfunctional governance. From such a crisis, the State has come a long way during the last 15 years. Gone are the days of empty coffers. Today the government employees are not only getting regular salaries but are also at par with the Central government employees in respect of pay scale. The per capita income of the State has increased 3.8 times from Rs 13,059 in 2001-02 to Rs 49,480 in 2014-15,� Gogoi said after unfurling the national flag at the Veterinary College ground here on Tuesday on the occasion of Republic Day.
Gogoi said that every section of Assam�s multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society needs to be involved in the process of development by empowering them through development councils and autonomous councils.
He said that State government has been all along recommending grant of ST status to Ahom, Koch-Rajbongshi, Chutia, Moran, Motok, Tea tribes and ex-tea tribes communities to the Central Government, without affecting the interests of the existing ST population of the State.
Terming agriculture as a vital sector, he said the State government is committed to increasing farm income and enhancing production in the farm and allied sectors.
The Chief Minister said that the government has placed priority on expanding and improving the rural road network and construction of RCC bridges by replacing old timber bridges.
Regarding the education sector, Gogoi said that over 13 lakh school students have been sent on educational excursion to various parts of the State under the �Gyanjyoti� programme.
The Chief Minister said that 93,000 students residing in remote villages have already been provided solar lamps.
Gogoi said that the State government has taken steps for revision of wages of the �ordinary daily rated workers� in the tea plantations.
Gogoi said that financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each will be provided to one lakh women�s self-help groups during the current year.
�Steps have also been taken for setting up of a separate Development Authority for Women and Children to facilitate expeditious implementation of schemes for their welfare,� he said.
Gogoi said the State government has proposed to extend old age pension to include all BPL citizens above 60 years of age.