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Sustainable development for Assam in future
Published on 4 Jul. 2009 11:34 PM IST
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Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today conceded on the floor of the state Assembly claiming of ‘innovation schemes’ for ‘inclusive development of the state’, Gogoi maintained that the budget incorporated a vision of sustainable development for the future. Reacting to Opposition’s charges of excessive borrowing by the state government, the chief minister said, “The RBI fixes loan capacity of every state and our state is far from nearing that upper limit fixed by the RBI. We are borrowing for developmental and productive programmes and the state has reaped rich dividends so far.” Gogoi also claimed to improve the financial health of the state and said the new budget will carry forward the momentum of development. Gogoi also claimed that the state’s own financial resources and central transfers had increased almost three times during his tenure. Replying to a debate on the budget in the assembly today, the chief minister said from 2000-01 to 2007-08, the state’s own resources had increased almost three times from Rs 1937 crore to Rs 5494 crore. “Similarly, central transfers have also increased from Rs 3701 crore to Rs 9831 crore and this has been possible because I have been able to bring more central funds for the benefit of the state”, he said. Gogoi said that many members had expressed concern about the state’s debt burden but their apprehension was misplaced as the per capita burden of Assam was the second lowest in the country and “our debt stocks are well within the limit prescribed by the 12th Finance Commission”. Refuting the opposition’s charge regarding the non-release of state share for police modernisation scheme, the chief minister said the state government has released the entire past liability amount of Rs 47.17 crore and this has been complimented by the CAG in its annual report. He, however, failed to elaborate on the measures suggested to be adopted in tackling insurgency and law and order issues, flood and erosion problems, though these problems have been hitting the state hard. Meanwhile, Gogoi also cast his vote in favour of Kaziranga National Park in a bid to make it one of the seven new wonders of nature. Official sources said here that the Chief Minister voted by logging on to and appealed to all nature lovers and the people of the state to cast their vote for the world-famed National Park. “Kaziranga is our pride and we are optimistic that this World Heritage site makes it to the seven wonders of nature”, he said. Kaziranga National Park falls under Category Group F-- forests, national parks and nature reserves. It has entered into the second phase of the nature campaign which ends on July seven. The first phase of voting ended on December 31 last year. The top 77 nominees by group categories i.e the top eleven in each of the seven groups will be eligible for consideration by the New7Wonders of Nature Panel of Experts under the leadership of Prof Federico Mayor, former Director General of UNESCO. The final declaration of the New7Wonders will be made in 2011.

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