Guwahati, March 16 Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog today presented a Rs 600.36 crore deficit budget for the fiscal 2022-23. The budget proposes to optimise excise revenue collection through a slew of measures like restructuring of excise duties for all categories of liquor and adopting technology-driven track and trace initiative coupled with strict enforcement to prevent cross border smuggling.
“After adding the receipt of Rs 162886.83 crore under Public Account and Rs.2000 crore under contingency fund, the aggregate receipts amount to Rs 283914.78 crore. As against this, total expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State in 2022-23 is estimated at Rs.119551.06 crore of which Rs. 96367.05 crore is on Revenue Account and Rs.23184.01 Crore is on Capital Account,” Neog said, while giving an account of the Budget estimates towards the end of her presentation.
“Taking into account the expenditures under public account and contingency fund, the aggregate expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs 2,83,494.64 crore,” she said.
“Thus, the estimated transactions during the year will result in an estimated surplus of Rs 420.14 crore. This, together with the opening deficit of Rs 1,020.50 crore will lead to a budget deficit of Rs 600.36 crore at the end of the year 2022-23,” she added.
The finance minister also proposed to levy a “green tax” on all old vehicles to discourage people from continuing use of such vehicles which are detrimental to the environment.
“Green tax increases the overall well-being of society, by reducing pollution ensuring that the cost of pollution is borne by the polluter. We propose to utilise the revenue collection from such tax for implementing measures to tackle air pollution,” Neog said.
The finance minister also proposed to optimise excise revenue collection with an additional target of Rs 500 crore, totalling Rs 2,500 crore in the financial year 2022-23.
The Budget also emphasised on infrastructure development as the minister announced four new schemes for road construction, upgrade and maintenance of all-weather roads, including those on embankments.
“Four roads under Asom Mala will be upgraded in 2022-23, with 19 new roads over bridges to be taken up. Besides, a new flyover project will be taken up in Mancotta Road, Dibrugarh and a new elevated road on GNB Road, Guwahati,” Neog announced.
The Budget also accorded immense priority to improving healthcare facilities in the state.
The finance minister, while making a slew of announcements in the health sector, said that the district hospitals in Barpeta, Silchar, Diphu, Jorhat, Tezpur and Lakhimpur would be upgraded to super-specialty hospitals for Rs 3,798 crore.
“Primary healthcare will be enhanced with the establishment of 1,000 Buniyadi Swasthya Kendras and upgrade of 200 sub-centres. New Ayurvedic Colleges will be set up at Dudhnoi and Palashbari while one B.Sc Nursing College/GNM Nursing School will be set up for each medical college,” she said.
The minister further proposed to set up three new medical colleges at Sivasagar, Karimganj and Goalpara, along with a super-specialty hospital at IIT-Guwahati.
Neog further announced that the construction of medical colleges at Dhemaji, Bongaigaon, Morigaon, Golaghat and Tamulpur will start this year.
“Besides, construction of seven more cancer hospitals – in Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Tezpur, Jorhat, Lakhimpur and Darrang districts – will commence within 2022-23.