Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will be fully withdrawn from the State by the end of this year. He claimed that with normalcy returning to the State, the Act will be withdrawn from the eight districts in the State where it is currently in place.
“I want to assure the people of the State that by the end of this year, we will take fruitful steps to withdraw AFSPA from every district of Assam. That will be an ‘amritmoy’ time for Assam’s history and we are eagerly waiting for that day,” he said in his speech addressing the people of the State to celebrate the country’s 77th Independence Day.
To buttress the growing economy of Assam, the Chief Minister said that a mega investment summit is being planned in 2024 to facilitate massive investment in the State. He cited State’s Gross Domestic Product figure of ₹ 5.5 Lakh crore as a proof of how Assam has grown over the last few years.
He also spoke of his Government’s commitment to boost the rural economy of Assam. “Over 71,000 farmers of the State have benefited so far from our paddy procurement initiative. We have disbursed
₹ 2,482 cr to these farmers thereby boosting the rural economy,” he said adding that palm oil cultivation will give a new dimension to the rural economy of the State.
Dr Sarma, who was delivering his 3rd I-Day speech after becoming the Chief Minister of Assam, said that the Government will bring an effective law to end polygamy in the State. “To end polygamy in the State, we have decided to enact a strong law. We have constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of Justice (Retd.) Rumi Phukan to seek ways and means of ending polygamy in the State.” He spoke of his committed to end child marriage in the State by 2026.
“We conducted a massive operation against child marriage across the State and nearly 4,000 people were arrested. We plan to launch yet another drive against child marriage in September this year,” he informed the gathering.
Claiming that his Government is determined to eliminate the menace of corruption in the State’s administration, he cited the arrest of 127 Government employees for allegedly demanding and accepting bribes. “The process to terminate them from services is in progress. By the end of our Government’s term, we will eliminate corruption from Assam,” Dr Sarma asserted.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister announced that the Government will regularise the services of TET teachers working under Samagra Siksha Abhijan and State pool. He spoke of the Government’s commitment to regularise the services of all high school contractual teachers.
Claiming a major stride in road infrastructure development in the last two years, the Chief Minister said that 13,600 km road network have been developed and processes have already been initiated for many key projects including – Narengi–Kuruwa Bridge over the Brahmaputra River as well as the the Guwahati Ring Road besides the 32-km long elevated corridor in Kaziranga National Park “Under the Asom Mala project, we will invest ₹ 5,000 cr for important road development-cum-economic corridors construction”.
On the social security front, the Chief Minister said that the State Government’s scheme of ‘Ayushman Asom’, a family-floater health assurance scheme offering cashless medical treatment up to ₹ 5 lakh per year to each ration card holder family will encompass more families. Dr Sarma said that the Assam Government has decided to expand the food security net by increasing the income criteria for families from existing ₹ 2.5 lakh per annum to ₹ 4 lakh.
The Assam Chief Minister announced that a university, named after Kanaklata Barua, with a capacity to enrol 10,000 students will come into being soon.
Talking about the tree economy, Dr Sarma said that in the next three years, 10 cr commercial tree saplings will be planted across the State. As part of the move, over one crore saplings will be planted on September 17 this year.