For Assam, there is a mixed bag of comfort and displeasure in the Union Budget tabled by finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday. Some people say it’s a fantastic while for others it’s an election budget which in no way help Assam.
Speaking to reporters, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the Budget is a big respite for the common people and he thanked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Finance minister P Chidambaram for a hike of Rs 2,000 crore for the north eastern region.
On the other hand, noted economist Dr Jayanta Madhab said it’s all about election. He wondered how the finance minister will be able to relief the farmers across the state with the huge Rs 60,000 crore. He said the relief would be helpful for the central and western Indian farmers and not their eastern and north eastern counterparts. He also said there is no specified way in the budget how the package will be implemented.
FINER also welcomed the budget saying it will be help the north eastern region with the increased allocation. BJP and Asom Gana Parishad also criticized the budget saying it a poll gimmick.
Dhemaji which at one point of time was an important township. I say with a heavy heart and felt for the people who are so bereft of basic need of life in contact to their compatriots in the rest of the world. I wonder why does this place remains so neglected till today when so many prominent personalities, eminent writers, journalists, doctors, top government officials, politicians, educationalists can trace their roots from this area.
2008 Budget: There is hardly anything of significance mentioned in the key sectors like Agriculture, Handloom & Sericulture, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Forest conservation, Environment, Science & Technology, Guwahati Development etc.
Although the Budget shows a divert to growth in a balanced manner, it falls short of specific strategy to reduce unemployment which is perhaps the largest problem. We wonder how we going to meet the unprecedented order of deficit. The debt burden which currently runs at amount Rs 20, 000 crores will therefore expectedly go still higher in the coming fiscal.
Recent Budget for the fiscal 2008 - 2009 is more or less soft and people friendly and in conformity with guide posts of the election oriented Union Budget. It contains enough material on tax - expenditure policy to a higher growth path in his endeavour to narrow down its distance from the national economy.
CM has taken the right steps to grant for school infrastructure provided each institution get the same amount of grant. Such grants should always be need based and not ad-hoc type with populist connotations!. Because the absence of infrastructure is certainly not the same in the 429 provicialized high / higher secondary schools or all the girl's schools set up 75 years back. Again there seem to be no concern of the state govt. for enterprise building by local enterpreneurs of the state. It is quite understandable while preparing the budget concerning tax - sops proposals creation of some new posts, colleges and universities, constitution of development councils to six ethnic groups which have been on war path or grant of ST status, special packages to the tea tribes and minoritiesand the next parlimentary elections must have played a decisive role. The Budget for 'Aam Aadmi' remains to be seen as other than committing to implement the centrally sponsored rural developmemt schemes which are funded Centrally with a small State share no state government schemes of any reckening have been announced.
Asseration of ones identity would appear quite natural, especially in societies where primordial loyalities have dominant say over one's world view. Social movement have their foundations among people who feels deprived of soom good (s) or resource (s)
The decision of Govt. to set up a 3 more new medical colleges in Jorhat, Barpeta and Kokrajhar is a very good head start. Similarly an Engineering college with newer branches of engineering is a high pirority.
Dhemaji being geo-graphically disadvantaged, economically backward, having high rural and tribal population, absence of high technical institution should be the criteria to select it for awarding an opportunity to complete with progressive cities. It seems everything gone out of the window. Situated in a small corner of the state Dhemaji comes to limelight due to control miseries caused by flood every year. For uniform development of Assam in particular and of the county in general, no part of the county should be considered 'remote'.
Assam has only 3 Engineering college. Even after 60 years of independence, the north bank of Brahmaputra lacks any higher educational institute apart from Tezpur university. Professional institutes have a great role to play in the overall development of the society. An engineering college at Dhemaji could have designed to cater to local needs and face local challenges particularly those of Lakhimpur districts of Assam and neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh and in these backward areas. Better way for further development, infrastructure, attracting industries only then the 'backward area' and 'no communication' syndrome will disappear from the geo-graphical map.
This shortfall leads to deprivation of deserving candidates by forcing them to keep away from persuing higher education.
It is very sad that Dhemaji has been once again ignored in the recent Budget. May be it is truly a forgotten district?
A vociferous protest against big dams reaches its crucial stage when union environment minister Jairam Ramesh was greeted with protest as he was arriving in Guwahti for a public hearing on the NHPC owned big dam in Arunachal Pradesh.
As the Union minister started the public hearing at Machkhowa, ITA, hundreds of local organizations and political parties approached him to register stiff protest again the on going construction of the big dam in Gerukamukh by NHPC in the name of the lower Subansiri hydel project. Citing the expert panel report, these parties and organisations have told the minister that the big dam might spell an ecological disaster for the people in down stream areas.