GUWAHATI: Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog will table the state budget for the 2024-25 fiscal in the State Assembly at 2 pm on Monday.
“This will be my fourth budget. This budget will be realistic. Establishing a sensible budget is my top agenda. The expenditure should always be 100 per cent of the budget, which is a crucial consideration,” Neog told media in the last week.
In the last three years’ budget, our expenses can reach as high as 80 per cent at times. We are going to test a new formula this year whereby spending will increase if we set a realistic budget. “Neog said.
“Our goal is to create a budget that takes into account all sectors. In addition to trying to offset increased public spending and capital expenditures in the case of infrastructure development, we will also strive to provide benefits to women and young people,” she added.
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Assam became the third state in India to introduce a green budget, committing US$2 billion (Rs. 17,195 Cr) for FY 2023-24 towards a state-level action plan on climate change.28 Sept 2023
“This time the budget will focus on green energy generation and massive plantation programme to increase the canopy cover of the state,” said an official.
Sources said this time the budget will focus on green budgeting with the commitment towards a state-level action plan for climate change.
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In the state budget for 2023-24, Neog emphasized social security and promised to start Mukhya Mantri Ayushman Asom Yojana in the state to enable 27 lakh families to avail 5 lakh rupees worth of cashless treatment, making it the largest health insurance scheme in the country.
The budget will also propose special schemes for women empowerment, child welfare and continuation of the schemes undertaken for tea garden workers ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
In last year’s budget, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) (at current prices) was projected at Rs 5.67 lakh crore, amounting to growth of 15% over 2022-23.
The expenditure (excluding debt repayment) in 2023-24 was Rs 1,35,348 crore, a decrease of 11% over the revised estimates for 2022-23. In addition, the debt of Rs 4,407 crore was to be repaid by the state.
It is estimated that the state government will cut some unnecessary expenditures of some departments in this year’s budget also.
The budget is likely to propose the promotion of micro-entrepreneurship among families below the poverty line and low-income households to generate employment in this sector.
The government proposed to give special focus on the growth of the veterinary sector to explore more job opportunities among the unemployed youths.