In recognition to the State Government’s initiatives to ensure development and quality of life for its citizens, Assam has been awarded the most improved large state in the categories of Overall performance, Economy and Health by leading news magazine of the country India Today at the ‘State of the States Conclave’ held in New Delhi on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal thanked the Prime Minister and the Union Government for their un-stinted support and the cooperation of the government employees and people of the state in scripting a new growth narrative in the state.
He also highlighted the achievements of the State Government and various innovative measures adopted in economy, health, education and different other sectors.
“Due to the unparallel political will of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, the North East region is fast emerging as a centre of growth. Modi ji has called the North East as ‘New Engine of New India’ and ‘Ashtalakshmi’. He has laid special emphasis on improving connectivity within the region and with the rest of India, be it railways, waterways, roads, air or telecommunication,” he said.
Moreover, the Chief Minister said, “From day one, corruption-free Assam has been our Government’s top most agenda. In the most unprecedented manner, our government has cracked down against corrupt practices in the state”.
Stating this he informed that during last thirty months, the state government has detected and cancelled four lakh bogus job cards under MGNREGA, over 36,000 bogus ration cards and over 70 thousand bogus beneficiaries registered under National Old age pension scheme apart from officials held for APSC ‘cash for job scam’.
“With our efforts at plugging leakages, revenue collection of the State increased from Rs. 7011 crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 8457 crore in 2017-18, which is an increase of 21%. At the same time, capital expenditure has increased from Rs. 4919 crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 12,817 crore in 2017-18, showing our commitment to improve quality of expenditure,” he said.
Sonowal further underscored the Government’s sustained efforts to harness the internal strengths and focus on boosting rural economy through leveraging growth of agriculture and other allied sectors.
“As a result of our interventions, annual production of rice has increased by 2.27 lakh tons, horticulture production has increased by 6.19 lakh tons and fish production by 33 thousand tons in 2017-18 as compared to 2015-16. For the first time direct export of fruits and vegetables from Guwahati to Dubai and other international destinations has started,” he underlined.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government organized North East India’s first ever Global Investors’ Summit to realise agri-business potential being thrown open by the ‘Act East Policy’.
He also informed that in the aftermath of the summit, the state has recorded Rs 12,000 crore worth of investments and this has generated direct employment of around 40 thousand and even more indirect employment.
Sonowal said that in tandem with the motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, the Assam Government has taken up several path-breaking initiatives to empower the women, youth and all sections of the society in the State. He also mentioned about the initiatives being implemented in the health sector including schemes like Atal Amrit Yojana, CM’s Free Diagnostic Scheme, wage compensation scheme for tea garden pregnant women and cancer care grid, etc.
The annual India Today ‘The State of the States’ study is an attempt to find out which of India’s states offers its citizens the best opportunities, both at work and outside. The study tracks each state’s performance over time and it takes into account both the business environment and quality of life.
The categories on which the States are judged include economy, agriculture, education, healthcare, infrastructure, inclusive development, law and order, governance, entrepreneurship, environment and cleanliness.
On behalf of the people of Assam, glad to receive @IndiaToday's #StateOfStates18 Award in the Most Improved State (Overall, Economy & Health) categories. Honoured to receive the award from Hon'ble @VPSecretariat Shri @MVenkaiahNaidu ji. pic.twitter.com/Fyd2e5rb9M
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) November 22, 2018