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Ajanta Neog

Assam: Budget backs education for 10 lakh girls; no new taxes imposed

February 13, 2024

The Assam government’s budget for 2024-25, amounting to Rs 2.9 lakh crore, introduced numerous women-centric initiatives. Notably, the budget allocates financial assistance to educate 10 lakh girls up to post-graduation, aiming to eradicate child marriage. Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog presented the budget without imposing new taxes on the public or commercial establishments.

To encourage participation in government jobs, Neog proposed a new law offering a 5% weightage in total marks for candidates applying for Grade-3 and Grade-4 positions if their family lacks government or PSU employees. The estimated budget receipts for 2024-25 are Rs 2,90,155.65 crore, with a surplus of Rs 1,594.94 crore.

The state’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is projected to reach Rs 6.43 lakh crore in the next fiscal year. Neog assured that no additional tax burdens would be imposed on the people of Assam in the current budget.

A key initiative, the Mukhya Mantri Nijut Moina (MMNM) scheme, plans to support 10 lakh girls with financial grants for education up to post-graduation, reinforcing the government’s commitment to eliminate child marriages. The Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyaan offers an entrepreneurship fund of Rs 10,000 to each of the 39,67,743 members of Self-Help Groups in rural areas.

The budget also extends the Orunodoi poverty alleviation scheme, adding 2.5 lakh beneficiaries and allocating Rs 3,800 crore. Additionally, a third phase of the microfinance loan waiver scheme worth Rs 550 crore was announced, focusing on poor women borrowers.

On the employment front, the government aims to provide one lakh government jobs during the NDA’s five-year tenure. Neog highlighted the commitment to constructing 5,000 model Anganwadi centers in the next financial year, completing the target of 10,000 such units in the state. The budget reflects a holistic approach to women’s empowerment, education, and poverty alleviation in Assam.

Also read: Assam among top five states in NEP implementation: Governor

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