Assam cabinet accords priority to Majuli, stopping rhino poaching

Guwahati, June 27 (IANS) The first cabinet meeting of the BJP-led government in Assam on Monday decided to fulfill poll promises, including a special task force to stop poaching of one-horned rhinos and upgrade the state’s river Island Majuli to a district.

State Excise and PWD minister Parimal Suklabaidya, speaking to media persons after the cabinet meeting, also announced other key decisions such as appointment of 10,000 TET qualified teachers in different schools and appointment of 700 doctors in government run hospitals by next year.

“The cabinet has decided to upgrade Majuli Sub-Division to a full-fledged district and inaugurate it before August 31 this year,” he said. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, represents the river island constituency in the state assembly.

“In line with recommendations of Jahnu Barua Committee, it decided to rationalize entertainment tax and service charge for exhibition of cinema. The cabinet decided to reduce the service charges from Rs 40 per ticket to Rs 8 per ticket for non-AC cinema halls and Rs 12 per ticket for AC cinema halls. This would increase the proportion of proceedings of admission charges due to producers while the owners of cinema halls are duly compensated,” said Suklabaidya.

He said that the cabinet also decided to constitute “Silpi and Kalakaushali Kalyan Nidhi” (welfare trust for artistes) for which Re 1 to be collected from every cine-goer.

Besides, the cabinet has approved constitution of District Mineral Foundation under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner concerned. “This foundation will be funded from fees to be paid by the mining lease holders as per Government of India norms. This fund will be used to relief and rehabilitation for those affected from mining activities,” he said.

Suklabaidya also said that to perpetuate the memory and highlight the contributions of late doyen of Assam’s mobile theatre industry, Achyut Lahakar, concerted steps will be taken at his native village in Barpeta district.

“The Cabinet has also decided to preserve the house of martyr Kushal Konwar at Sarupathar and convert it to a Heritage Building. Similarly, the Cabinet has also given its nod to develop the house of music maestro Bhupen Hazarika at Kuthari in Nagaon District as a unique and prized memorial,” he said.

It was also decided to grant one time ex-gratia compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the next-of-kin of 45 journalists who had lost their lives in various incidents of violence in the state.

The cabinet also decided that the budget session of the assembly will begin on July 18 and go on till August 12.

“The vabinet also congratulated Angaraag Mahanta (Papon) on winning the best Playback Singer (Male) Award at IIFA 2016 and conveyed its best wishes for all his future endeavours,” he said.

–IANS

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