Assam will be the first Indian state to put its budget in the public domain via Google app, informed Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday.
Addressing a press meet on Sunday, Sarma said that while Assam is the second state after Andhra Pradesh to prepare an e-budget, it will be the first to put it in public domain.
“This time, every MLA will get a tablet which will contain the entire budget. Earlier, MLAs were given the copy of the budget speech which the minister reads aloud in the assembly. But the budget speech is just 5 per cent of the entire budget. Most legislators would look at just the speech. Some serious MLAs would collect the entire budget and take it home, but most wouldn’t do that. So, this time we have decided to give the entire budget in one tablet. Of course, there will be the printed version also for those who are not comfortable with tablets” he said.
Himanta added that the budget will also be published as a supplementary with all the leading newspapers of the state. “In this way, we will be able to reach people living in far flung areas. We will also be giving live updates on the budget in facebook and twitter from 10.30 am tomorrow. This will help those living outside the state to know about the budget” he said.
He said that the government had asked for suggestions from almost 1000 common people of the state and most suggestions received have been in sectors like environment, urban development and education.
Himanta also informed that the GDP of the state has increased by 15 per cent in 2016-17 compared to the year 2015-16. He also said that around 65 per cent of the Budget Expenditure Plan of 2016-17 will be achieved which will be more than what Congress had spent in its last ten years.
When asked why maximum budget has been allocated for education and health, two portfolios which he holds, Himanta said, “Education and health are two of the most vital departments for the government. 50 per cent of government employees work in education department, 20 per cent work in health, 20 per cent work in police and rest of the 10 per cent work in other departments combined. So under the tenure of every government, maximum budgetary allocation has been made in sectors like health, education and home. This is not because I am holding these portfolios. Anyway, this money doesn’t go to home.”