The new cabinet of the Himanta Biswa Sarma led-government in Assam held its first meeting on Wednesday, May 11. In this meeting, a series of decisions were made keeping in mind the promises made to the people of Assam during the campaigning season, as Sarma had said in a press conference just after being sworn in.
The Assam Government has decided, 'more restrictions & containment measures would be put in place' from May 13, 2021 to contain COVID cases. Pijush Hazarika, the Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs Minister said, "We have thoroughly discussed the COVID situation in the state. The decisions will be announced on Wednesday. Decisions on lockdown are yet to be taken. But yes, strict restrictions will be implemented. We will also discuss an economic package related to COVID if required in the next cabinet." A detailed SOP has been issued on Wednesday. In case restrictions have to continue for more than a fortnight, the Government will consider a financial relief package for weaker sections.
As promised during elections, the Cabinet also decided to 'give employment to 1 lakh educated unemployed youths of the state' in posts considered essential to improve 'public service delivery'. A Committee is being constituted under Finance Minister Ajanta Neog to work out the modalities.
Sarma had in the press conference on May 10 brought up micro-finance loans and schemes. So, in the cabinet meeting, the government has further decided to ease the burden of loans availed by women in Assam from Micro Finance Institutions. A Committee has been constituted to examine various aspects and to make recommendations within a month.
The Cabinet also approved increasing the stake of Government of Assam in Numaligarh Refinery Limited from the present 12.35% to 26%, involving a sum of Rs 2187 crore. "This is the biggest single investment in the industrial sector ever by the state government," Sarma said.
It was also decided that the Cabinet will meet every Wednesday for faster decision making and their time bound implementation.