Assam Budget Proposes Metro Rail Project for Guwahati

Assam state budget for 2013-2014 financial year has proposed a metro rail project for Guwahati, besides strengthening of embankments, widening and upgradation of state highways and major district roads, expansion of the power infrastructure in the state.

Presenting the budget on the floor of state legislative assembly on Monday, the Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who holds the finance portfolio said the metro rail project for Guwahati city has an estimated cost of Rs 1600 cr in the next financial year.

“We have proposed strengthening of embankments which are 30 years or older at an estimated cost of Rs 600 cr, sewerage project for Guwahati city at an estimated cost of Rs 1400 cr,” the Assam CM said.

He further said a proposal of construction of a six lane road bridge over the river Brahmaputra from Narengi to Kuruwa with road link upto Dumuni Chowki at an estimated cost of Rs 1600 cr included in the budget.

“In the next financial year, we have proposed setting up of satellite townships with developed infrastructure, upgradation of the standard of higher education by improving the infrastructure in the state universities and colleges at an estimated cost of Rs 1000 cr, upgradation and expansion of the power infrastructure including augmentation of APGCL’s generation capacity, wireless connectivity covering all the towns and villages of the state at an estimated cost of Rs 295 cr,” Gogoi said.

Meanwhile, the budget has proposed to introduce GPS based tracking system in passenger buses, commercial transport and school buses at an estimated cost of Rs 105 cr.

In addition, the budget is expected to increase the disbursement loans for Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise (MSMEs).

“The disbursement target for MSMEs loans in the state for 2013-2014 was fixed at Rs 3,800 cr, which is an increase of nearly 50% over 2012-2013,” the Assam CM said.

The budget has proposed to increase rate of tax on cigarette, bidi, cheroots, cigar, smoking mixture from existing 20% to 25%, increase entry tax from existing 4% to 6% on marble, granite and other decorative slabs, furniture and fixtures, sanitary wares and bathroom fittings.

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.