Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while welcoming the budget 2018-19 tabled by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed it as peoples’-centric, farmers’ centric, development-centric and welfare centric which would address the needs of all sections of the people of the country.
Chief Minister Sonowal said that the budget tabled on Thursday in the Lok Sabha has all the elements to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education, employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors.
Raising of institutional farm credit to 11 lakh crore and enhancing the Minimum Support Price of all unannounced kharif crops to one and a half times of their production cost would really augur well to bolster agriculture production and of course the lot of the farmers.
Moreover, as a tool to protect the interests of 86 per cent small and marginal farmers, the decision to develop and upgrade 22,000 rural haats in to Gramin Agricultural Markets will definitely elevate the socio-economic conditions of the farmers.
Further, what comes as a respite to the consumers also, the budget provision of launching ‘Operation Greens’ to address price fluctuations in potato, tomato and onion is noteworthy, Sonowal added.
The Chief Minister added announcement of two new funds of Rs. 10,000 crore for fisheries and animal husbandry and Rs. 1290 crore re-structured National Bamboo Mission will bring in paradigm shift in these sectors.
The phenomenal leap of loans to Women Self-Help Groups from Rs. 42,500 to Rs. 75,000 crore will also go down well towards women empowerment. To provide succor to lower and middle class group in providing LPG connections, electricity and toilets is one of the another snapshots of this year’s budget.
Moreover, outlay on health, education and social protection will be 1.38 lakh crore and setting up of Ekalavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2022 and welfare fund for SCs is yet another notable announcement of the budge, Sonowal said.
Maintaining that the Health Protection Scheme for more that 10 crore poor and vulnerable families would also help the government to continue its welfare demeanours for all sections of the people of the country, the Chief Minister added.