The month of October began on a very auspicious note with the blessings of Maa Durga on people across the country. This year it was special since there were no Covid-related restrictions that had marred the previous two years. Assam was fortunate to have a productive visit of India’s Home Minister Amit Shah who made the Centre’s priority towards the State and the region very clear. He was straight to the point on all counts: Making Assam floodfree in five years; use of mother tongue as the primary medium of instruction in early schooling, thwarting the use of ‘dirty money’ and ‘organised mafia’ to damage the country’s economy and national security, etc. On the latter, he told the chief ministers of all the States of the region that drug trafficking is a borderless crime and spoke of better coordination between all drug and law enforcement and Intelligence agencies in the bordering districts of the North Eastern States to tackle the menace. Here was a Home Minister who had no ifs and buts, he was an exemplar of decisiveness, something which I am sure we all can learn from.
He deliberated on issues related to inclusive growth and development in the region during his meeting with the North Eastern CMs and Governors. This means that he had progress of the region uppermost on his mind, a goal which Prime Minister Narendra Modiji has been relentlessly pursuing since he became the Prime Minister of India.
In pursuance of the same objective, my address in New Delhi at the round table of USISP Forum focused on our inherent strengths – geographical, natural resources, flora & fauna – coupled with enabling policy push guided by the vision of the Prime Minister that I had outlined above. This has, today, made Assam a powerhouse of opportunities. The Three Ts: tea, trade & tourism, offer enormous possibilities for businesses and coupled with how we’ve been working relentlessly on creating a robust environment for investments through a bouquet of policies, I am sure Assam is a destination investors would like to miss at their own peril. My speech was backed by the confidence that I generated after we had signed a spate of MoUs with leading corporate houses both Indian and global across several sectors. These MoUs will result not only in the growth and development of Assam but also transforming the region into a ‘New Engine of Growth’ as our Prime Minister refers to the North East of India.
If at all one needed a testimony to my claims, I am glad to share with you all that on October 5, with 132 aircraft movements & 17,591 passengers at LGBI Airport Guwahati, the numbers crossed pre-Covid statistics. It is a signal that we are back to normal and ready to steer Assam’s economy to a new high with an admixture of manufacturing and services besides the key sector of agriculture.
Just prior to the Festival of Lights, we announced the results of the Assam State Level Recruitment Commission for Class IV posts. The entire process of conducting the examinations to the declaration of result was very effectively carried out sans any hiccup. I must compliment the team, who had worked day in and day out to get the kind of process in place that I am referring to. It is a renewal of our commitment to ensure a corruption-free and transparent employment generation opportunity in the State.
Our Government also took a humane decision of enhancing the daily wage of Home Guards, whose effectiveness go unreported most times, by two-and-a-half-times to ₹ 767 per day. I am sure this will not only give them a dignity that they deserve but also pave the way for improved education and health for them and their children. I must admit that we have not done them a favour, rather we feel it was what we owed them for a long time.
I distinctly remember that it was a home guard who had, by his exemplary courage and honesty, refused to be lured by any sort of temptations in Karbi Anglong and helped in the arrest of drug peddlers. That was the day that I had renewed my own resolve to crack down on any drug-related activity conducted in Assam no matter what. I and my Government have faced relentless criticism on this, but thanks to the support of the Assam Police and other stakeholders, we have made life miserable for those dealing in drugs. Statistics alone will not be a benchmark of this success but when I observe the resolve on the face of an Assam Police personnel, I rest assured and conclude that the campaign against drug trafficking is in good hands.