Assam’s First Digital State Budget Addresses Women’s Issues Under A Rs 30 Crore Scheme
- IWB Post
- March 12, 2018
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma presented the first ever digital state budget on Monday.
Finance Minister Sarma read out the state budget from a touch-screen tablet as he marked the inception of a new digitally powered era. The initiative made Assam the third Indian state to digitalize budget after Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
“The budget copies used to be so heavy that several MLAs, including myself, used to leave them in the assembly itself. Now they will be able to carry the budget with them and check details,” said Sarma as he boasted of the progressive change.
A Rs 2,149 crore deficit budget was presented with an annual outlay of Rs 90,673 crore for the year. Education, health, and agriculture sector have been allocated 11,570 crores, 5,082 crores, and 1,801 crores respectively in the budget.
The best news, however, comes in the form of a special Rs 30 crore scheme. Under the scheme, the government has promised an allowance of Rs. 50 to girls aged between 12 to 20 years to buy sanitary pads. The allowance has been sanctioned for girls belonging to families whose annual income if below Rs. 5 lakh.
To make the process hassle-free, the allowance would be directly transferred to the bank accounts of these girls and would be discontinued when they turn 20. To add to it the government has also introduced a plan to provide unmarried orphaned girls with a pension allowance. The state has also announced to support one lakh self-sustainable self-help groups for women. The support would be provided through loans and capital subsidy.
Assam’s budget sounds like a practical one as it addresses some real issues. The finance minister said on a hopeful note, “I have always believed and felt that the day is not far when Assam will be among the top five states in the country in good governance, economic progress, human development indicators and overall happiness quotient of its people.”
H/T: Hindustan Times