GUWAHATI, April 28 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today vouched for the need of preparing a time-bound roadmap to rejuvenate the State�s economy hit by COVID-19 pandemic. Sonowal, while taking part in a discussion with the leading economists of the State at the Assam Administrative Staff College, also said that it was important to ascertain both short-term and long term goals to revive State�s economy in the post COVID-19 scenario.
The Chief Minister taking note of the suggestions offered during the interactive session also threw his weight behind the idea of setting up economic task forces up to the block level for taking specific revival measures for the State�s economy
During the deliberations, experts coming from various institutes urged the Government to take innovative and strong measures to overcome this challenge and bring the State�s economy back on track.
Stating that every crisis presents an opportunity, the Chief Minister called for unified approach to tackle the economic slowdown while discovering Assam�s inherent strengths to make it a self-reliant economy which can bear the brunt of future situations.
Underlining the importance of a 100-day action plan for restructuring the economic system, Sonowal said that prioritizing expenditures and streamlining various sectors such agriculture, livestock etc to overcome the situation through planned interventions are the focus points of the government.
He also stressed on the need to plug the loopholes in the system while cutting out unnecessary expenditures. �Utilising natural soil fertility and climatic advantage for agricultural resurgence in the State are the keys and we must use this opportunity to make the State self reliant and production surplus in sectors such as fisheries, agriculture, livestock, horticulture etc to generate employment opportunities� he asserted.
Referring to the nearly 10 lakh youths returning to State from various parts of the country in view of COVID-19 pandemic, Sonowal said that returning manpower should be viewed as an asset instead of a burden.
Earlier, State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma that the State had a buoyant economy before the COVID-19 pandemic with it clocking a GDP growth of 12-16 per cent in the last three financial years as against national average of 6 per cent.
Assam�s devolution of Rs 24 thousand crore per year from Central Government�s pool of funds sustained the economy along with nearly Rs 13 thousand crore State�s own earnings and in view of financial slowdown, innovative measures must be devised to overcome this crisis, he said.
As many as 29 economists and experts of the State took part in today�s interactive session and offered their suggestions for formulating revival plan of State�s economy in the post COVID-19 scenario.