Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (left), finance minister Ajanta Neog and health & family welfare minister Keshab Mahanta

The BJP-led Assam government presented a Rs 935.23 crore deficit budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year as the state finance minister Ajanta Neog announced several new schemes for promoting micro-entrepreneurship and creating employment.

Among the major highlights of the budget was the announcement of Rs 5000 crore funds for transforming 1 lakh youths under the below-poverty line category into job creators.

Under the scheme, 1 lakh youths will be given Rs 2 lakhs as seed funding to start their micro-enterprise.

The finance minister said the state has set a target of Assam’s Gross State Domestic Product to touch Rs 5.5 lakh crore in 2023-24.

Ajanta Neog said with the completion of two years of the government of the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government on May 10, 40 thousand youths will be recruited by the end of May- a step towards fulfilling the BJPs poll promise of 1 lakh jobs.

“Our government already provided employment to about 42,000 youths across various departments. The remaining 18,000 are at various stages of recruitment, and this will be completed very soon,” Neog added.

She also announced a series of infrastructure projects in the state budget for the fiscal year 2023-24.

These projects include the Asom Mala programme, Assam Secondary Road Network Improvement Project (ASRIP), NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance (NIDA), and others.

Under the Asom Mala programme, 14 roads of approximately 343 km in length have been taken up under the Special Operations Procedure for Development (SOPD) leg, and five works of 110 km have already been completed.

The minister also announced eight works of 247 km under ASRIP, aided by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and 11 works of 312.5 km under ASCCIP with an outlay of Rs 3,994 crore.

In addition, five road packages of length 135 km have been taken up under NIDA with an outlay of Rs 1,252.14 crore. The state government is also working on completing the Guwahati Ring Road, which will span approximately 91 km and include a six-lane bridge over the Brahmaputra River.

Other projects include the Kaziranga elevated corridor, the construction of a bridge over the Brahmaputra River connecting Majuli with Jorhat, and the construction of flyovers and elevated roads across the state.

The minister also announced plans to relocate district jails in Dibrugarh, Cachar, Tezpur, and Jorhat cities, to create urban open spaces in the form of parks for the public.

Other projects include the construction of new district libraries and circuit houses, the strengthening of the existing Nehru Stadium, the conversion of the Khanikar integrated Sports Complex from 5,000 to 15,000 seating capacity, the reconstruction of Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati, and the construction of new medical colleges in Karimganj and Sivasagar.

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