CM Tarun Gogoi announces Rs 862 crore package for Assam

Guawahati: Tarun Gogoi Tarun Gogoi also claimed that the law and order situation in the state has “improved considerably” during the Congress rule. PTI
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday announced that a Rs 862 crore ‘package’ will be distributed to the people before the state Assembly polls, slated to be held in 2016.

“We will give benefits to 76.41 lakh people across the state. The distribution will start from November this year before completion of our term,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Saturday.

The people, whose houses have been damaged in recent floods will be offered cash, while most of the amount will be distributed in the form of in-kind such as – yards for weavers, laptops to students, seeds to farmers, blankets to poor people and pensions to senior citizens, Gogoi said. The schemes will also provide “benefits” to widows, orphans, unemployed youths and women, he added.

When asked if the package was meant for political gains in the Assembly polls due early next year, Gogoi said, “Who doesn’t do politics? Has the Opposition not indulged in politics? If this helps me, why will I not do it?” Asked about the “benefits” that the government is planing to dole out to common people, he said it will be in the form of “cash as well as kind”.

The “benefits” will be under existing as well as new schemes, he said.

“About 25 total schemes will be rolled out for the purpose….The total expenditure for this exercise will be around Rs 862 crore. This will be entirely funded by the state exchequer,” Gogoi said. He said the Congress government in the state in its three terms have given employment to 4.46 lakh people.

“This figure is in addition to the people, for whom we have created livelihood opportunities. That will be in many lakhs,” he added.

Gogoi also claimed that the law and order situation in the state has “improved considerably” during the Congress rule.

“Even Home Minister Rajnath Singh appreciated the scenario during his meeting with NE CMs. But the local BJP unit says that law and order situation has deteriorated. That means they are contradicting their own Home Minister,” he added.

The Chief Minister accused the state BJP of full of contradictions and making “cheap political” statements. He also refuted the BJP’s allegations that the state government has diverted funds meant for developmental schemes for other “political purposes”.

“In this fiscal, we have received Rs 4,354 crore so far. Out of that, Rs 3,985 crore have been released to various departments,” he added.

Gogoi accused the Centre of not working for the North- East and blamed it for scrapping Special Status category states and suspension of North East Industrial & Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP).

“The Centre has also not provided any separate flood relief fund to the state. Whatever amount we have got, that is due under the SDRF. In any case, we would have received it,” he added.

He said the NDA government in its first and second term together has given a total of Rs 1,024.05 crore fund for calamity relief, while the two tenures of the UPA rule released Rs 2,440.16 crore to Assam. Gogoi also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign visits, saying no investment has come to Assam, thus failing the very spirit of ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“The flow of visits of Central ministers to Assam has come down because they are not able to fulfil their promises. Before polls and after becoming ministers, all of them announced big plans, but nothing happened on ground,” he said.