Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented an Rs 1,352.57-crore deficit Budget in the state assembly for 2013-14 on March 11, 2013.
This budget proposes to make tobacco products, pre-owned commercial vehicles, marbles and granite sanitary wares and bathroom fittings costlier.
The Assam budget for 2013-14 proposes Metro rail project for Guwahati which would be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 1,800 crore. Also at least 30 cold storages are proposed to be set up across the state at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore.
So, here are the salient features of Assam Budget 2013-14 as a whole:
· This is a deficit budget of 1352.57 Crores. The estimated spending in this budget is 302002.02 Crores and estimated earning is 301180.12 Crores.
· The Assam budget proposes Metro rail project for Guwahati which would be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 1,800 crore.
· Targeted economic growth rate for 2013-14 is 8. and in the 12th Five year plan (2012-17) the growth rate will be 8.33.
· To discourage tobacco smoking, VAT on cigarette, bidi, cheroots, cigar and smoking mixture has been increased to 25 per cent from 20 per cent.
· Giving relief to marginal dealers, the budget increased the exemption limit under Assam Value Added Tax Act, 2003 from the existing Rs 4 lakhs to Rs 6 lakhs, while that for retail dealers having turnover up to Rs 40 lakhs was raised to Rs 60 lakhs.
· To encourage infrastructure and construction sector, the tax rate on stone chips and boulders was reduced from 13.5 per cent to 5 per cent.
· College and high school buildings above 50 years would be renovated along with all government buildings, including offices, staff quarters, hospitals and other institutions.
· A pilot project for reclamation of Brahmaputra’s river bed and its big tributaries would be taken up and embankments which were over 30 years old will be strengthened at an estimated cost of Rs 600 crore.
· MLA fund increased to 1 Crores.
· For Garbage management 1440 crore is allotted.
· 344.75 Crores for Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) development.
On the other hand following are the sector wise budget features for different sections:
· Fixed pay for ad-hoc employees will be increased from Rs 4500 to Rs 6000.
· 1500 Madhyamik (middle) school is registered as state government schools.
· All the vacancies in Forest sector will be filled up.
· More assistance for Self help groups.
· 2000 New posts in Assam Police.
· Coaching center for training unemployed youths in Assam for the purpose of Indian Army, Indian Air force, and Navy, CRPF and paramilitary forces etc.
· Barpeta medical college will get MRI machines and budget is allotting 8 Crores for this purpose.
· A new cancer Hospital in Guwahati with 200 beds.
· Dhubri, Nagaon, Lakhimpur, Kokrajhar will get new Medical colleges each.
· A health management and Research Institute in Assam.
· For development of infrastructure Budget allots 1000 Crores for State universities and colleges.
· B.ScNursingCollege in Silchar and Dibrugarh in Assam.
· Indira Goswami Chair in GuwahatiUniversity.
· Furniture for Colleges.
· New buildings for schools and colleges those more than 50 years old.
· Two new Army Schools.
· 150 core for establishing 30 cold storage units.
· Each family will get a bank account.
· Increase in senior citizen pension from 250 to 500 Rs for citizens who are above 80 years of age.
· 200 Oil mill and 500 pulses processing units.
· 100 veterinary hospitals and dispensaries will be established.
As mentioned in the budget, infrastructure and other civic amenities in all districts and sub divisional headquarters will be improved; banks for developed land would be created for setting up industries besides tourism facilities on cost recovery basis. Satellite townships with developed infrastructure, a Rs 60 crore ‘Mini Assam’ tourism project, a Rs 295 crore wireless connectivity covering all towns and villages, besides introduction of GPS based tracking of passenger buses, commercial transport and school buses at an estimated cost of Rs 105 crore are the other proposed projects.