Assam govt initiates process to give 1L jobs to youth, waive micro-finance loans

The Assam government headed by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday initiated the process to provide one lakh jobs to the unemployed youth of the state and to evolve strategies to waive the loans given by the micro-finance institutions to the rural people.

Chaired by Sarma, the first Cabinet meeting in the second term of the BJP-led government was held on Tuesday, during which several decisions were taken, including providing one lakh government jobs and waiving micro-finance loans.

After the meeting, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said that a committee headed by Finance Minister Ajanta Neog has been constituted to prepare a roadmap for providing one lakh government jobs to the youth of the state.

The committee would prepare a report which would be submitted to the government at the earliest.

Other members of the committee include the Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, and the Principal Secretary, Health, Education and Home.

During the meeting, another committee headed by Guwahati Development and Urban Development Minister Ashok Singhal was constituted to assess the financial involvement arising out of waiver of loans given by the micro-finance institutions to thousands of people, mostly in the rural areas.

Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and the Principal Secretary for Finance, Planning and Rural Development would be the members of this committee.

Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that the Cabinet has also decided to increase Assam government’s stake in the Numaligarh Refinery (NRL) from the existing 12.35 per cent to 26 per cent.

He said that the total financial involvement to increase the government’s stake would stand at Rs 2,187 crore.

“The Cabinet directed the Finance Department to release the remaining Rs 1,687 crore financial involvements thus arising from this enhancement as the government has already paid Rs 500 crore for enhancing its stake,” the minister said.

Set up in eastern Assam’s Duliajan, the NRL was commissioned as per the provisions of the 1985 Assam Accord, signed after six years of Assam agitation launched to eject “illegal immigrants” from the state.