Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday emphasized the need for developing all the 33 districts as per available resources of the respective districts for preparing the budget and roadmap for development. He was chairing the governing body meeting of State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA) at Janata Bhawan.
“We must develop all 33 districts of the state as per the resources available in each of those districts. When we focus on the available resources of the respective districts for preparing the budget and roadmap for development then only we can achieve holistic development of the state. In this regard, SITA can help us by studying the resource status of the districts,” Sonowal said.
During the meeting, discussion regarding the proposal submitted by SITA’s expert committee for revival of Assam State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development (ASCARD) Bank also came up. Saying that after demonetization there is an increased need for bank branches at remote areas to transfer government scheme benefits to the beneficiaries, Sonowal stated that state government entities like ASCARD must be revived after thoroughly considering its feasibility and outstanding liabilities. Digital India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be implemented to bring in transparency and efficiency in cooperative banking systems and empowering the weaker section of the society, he opined.
Reviewing the proposal of SITA to conduct study on Tocklai Tea Research Institute, the chief minister said that the research centre must aspire to become one of the best in the world providing cutting edge solutions to tea industry for increased production and quality maintenance. He also said that the tea sector must also incorporate best practices from around the world from tea producing countries like Sri Lanka, Kenya and incorporate those practices to break into newer markets for Assam tea and reclaim the glory of the tea industry here.
The chief minister also directed SITA to find ways to popularise cultivation and consumption of local seasonal fruit varieties for their high nutrient contents. Referring to Prime Minister’s vision to develop Northeast as an organic hub, Sonowal urged SITA to conduct study to develop the organic agricultural field in the state. The proposals for conducting study on muga rearing, producing renewable energy and utilising bioengineering technologies to tackle river bank erosion were also discussed.
Water Resource Minister Keshab Mahanta, Vice Chairman of SITA Dipok Kumar Borthakur, Legal Adviser to the Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali, Chief Secretary Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia were also present in the meeting.