New Delhi: Mr Ranjit Barthakur, Chairman, FICCI Northeast Advisory Council while congratulating Ms Ajanta Neog, Finance Minister, Assam (first women Finance Minister of Assam) on presenting her maiden budget said, “I would like to compliment the Finance Minister on presenting a forward looking budget free of any additional tax burden at a very difficult time.”
Welcoming the focus of the budget on agriculture and the rural economy Mr Barthakur said, “Decisions like setting up of farm machinery bank, capacity building initiatives for farmers, measures taken for improving cattle stock and community-based initiatives for increasing fish production will go a long way in ensuring food security of the state.”
He also welcomed the infrastructure development proposals under the Asom Mala initiative, particularly the proposal for development of 1000 kms of embankment cum roads and the roads and bridges proposed to be developed across the state.
“FICCI has been advocating the need for harnessing the states riverways for transportation, we welcome the initiative for development of river transportation and the proposed formation of two new companies ‘Assam Shipping Company’ and ‘Assam Ports Company’. I am sure the government’s initiatives will create a robust IWT network in the state and hope the government will also take steps to facilitate private sector investments in the sector,” he added.
Mr Barthakur also welcomed the initiatives taken for the Tea workers like provision of tap drinking water connection in tea garden labour lines, and the previous announcement by the Chief Minister regarding allowing work to be carried out in Tea Garden areas under MENREGA.
On conservation of Biodiversity, Mr Barthakur said, “The move to announce three new National Parks at Raimona and Dihing-Patkai and a wildlife sanctuary at Azgarh in Goalpara are very positive developments.”
“We look forward to working with the Government in ensuring a robust pipeline of capital formation and revenue generation for the state,” he added.
Mr Dipankar Barua, Chairman, FICCI Assam State Council said, “This is a very progressive and responsive budget, a number of recommendations made by the industry have received due consideration. We are delighted that the government has decided to address the difficulties faced by the unorganised sector, particularly small traders and craftsmen by giving them a one-time grant. The decision to provide social security to motor transport workers and Small Tea Garden Workers is also very welcome.”
Mr Barua also welcomed the plan to develop 100 industrial parks and the decisions to create Nano Incubation Centres for industries at Silchar, Bongaigaon, Tezpur and Dibrugarh.
“We also welcome the initiative to reduce regulatory burden for businesses, the decision to allow deemed registration under Professional Tax Act, for businesses already registered under various taxation Acts will greatly reduce the compliance burden,” he said.
He further welcomed the decision to eliminate the physical interface and provide an electronic platform for online compliances for various non-GST taxes.
Mr Barua also welcomed the proposals for development of open space in urban areas, development of zoos at Silchar and Dibrugarh, development of road connecting Rupsi and Kokrajhar, Installation of Ropeway between Kamakhya Railway Station and Kamakhya Temple, and allocation of funds for Development of Sivasagar as an iconic Destination. “These developments will not only provide amenities for citizens of the state but also greatly help tourism,” he added. The decision to operationalise Sanjivani and Amar Alohi Schemes are particularly welcome for the tourism sector, noted Mr Barua.