GUWAHATI, Feb 7 - The central theme of the State Budget for the year 2017-18 is �Resurgent Assam�, said Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in his Budget speech today.
The Budget has six strategies covering the entire spectrum of the society, which include reforms consolidation and strengthening of public financial management, giving a boost to public infrastructure, professional colleges and universities, stress on farmer, youth, women, rural development and employment generation, cultural and economic renaissance of Assam centring history and heritage.
The emphasis of the Budget is on productive expenditure and 25 new treasuries are proposed to be set up in the next five years. The process of installation of CCTVs has started in the treasuries while a committee under an Additional Chief Secretary is preparing a draft public accountability bill. The utilisation by the departments up to December 31 last year is about 42 per cent more than the previous year.
The government has already prepared a project proposal of Assam State Public Finance Institutional Reforms with the assistance of World Bank and the project is likely to start from May 2017. The Finance Department will also set up a cash and debt management cell for better financial management.
Assam was using more than 80 years old Assam Treasury Rules, 1937, and a new set of rules have been formulated and those will come into effect from April 1, 2017.
Sarma announced that governance depends on four pillars � personal integrity, political inclusivity, governance legitimacy and people�s participation. �Over a period of time, governance in the State was preoccupied with personal gains through unethical and immoral activities. Corruption even engulfed constitutional body like the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC). In Social Welfare Department, it gobbled up the food of malnourished pregnant women and even that of infants and children. The very symbol of Assam�s heritage and pride, the one-horned rhinoceros of Kaziranga, was also not spared,� he said.
The present government has taken bold and lawful action against people involved in corruption and efforts have been initiated to reform the system, he said.
Due to the government�s efforts to clean the system the price of each laptop bought for Anundoram Borooah Award came down by 30 per cent this year, Sarma said.
He said that another theme of the government is political inclusivity and organised visit by MLAs of all parties to the borders to understand the complexities. For the first time in the history of Assam, the government conducted pre-Budget consultations with MLAs of all parties to seek their guidance and advice.