Guwahati: Assam Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of State chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, which was organised at Dhemaji in the eastern part of the State on Thursday (September 30), took several major decisions regarding reliefs to nearly 11 lakh micro-finance borrowers, relief packages for Nagaon & Cachar paper mill employees, various projects for Dhemaji and other adjacent localities, new municipal corporations with others.
The council of ministers' meet approved rupees 1800 crore to provide reliefs to the micro-finance loan (maximum up to rupees 25,000), who are making regular payments to the banks. The cabinet meeting also endorsed rupees 700 crore relief package to the over one thousand distressed employees of Nagaon and Cachar projects under Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd. They are facing extreme hardships because of the closure of the mills in 2017 and 2015, respectively.
Days back, CM Sarma had discussions with HPC employees' unions & associations and agreed to provide relief packages to the Employees. The cabinet approval referred to assessing the quantum of relief package based on the PF, gratuity, pension, salaries and other dues, as claimed before the liquidator.
Reliefs will also be offered to school teachers, contractual HPC co-operative's workers, etc. The government will facilitate the employees who have not completed their services to get jobs in new industries to be established in the HPC lands, which the government will acquire after paying dues to the employees.
The meeting agreed to approve rupees 150 crore flood control packages for Dhemaji. It endorsed rupees 183 crores for constructing a road cum embankment starting from Jonai to Majuli river island. The cabinet, in principle, approved the land acquisition for Dhemaji medical college hospital. Moreover, rupees 50 crores were sanctioned for constructing an integrated deputy commissioner's office at Dhemaji and another 50 crores for a sports complex there.
It also endorsed the up-gradation of Silchar MB to Silchar Municipal Corporation and Dibrugarh MB to Dibrugarh Municipal Corporation by providing more administrative powers with greater resources. The cabinet meeting agreed to set up a garbage transfer station at two-bigha land at Panjabari by Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
It may be mentioned that for the first time, the 100-day-old Sarma led government organised its cabinet meeting outside the Dispur Secretariat in the city. The Dhemaji DC office hosted the cabinet meeting for which the authority readied it. Sarma's predecessor Sarbananda Sonowal also holds a cabinet meeting at Majuli.
Then it was a first of its kind to shift ministers' meeting outside the State capital complex at Dispur. Sonowal was a BJP legislator from the Majuli constituency, and he was re-elected for the legislative assembly. After being inducted into PM Modi's Union cabinet and recently getting elected to Rajya Sabha, Sonowal lately resigned as its legislator.
However, not every saffron leader was happy withholding a cabinet meeting outside the capital city, spending a lot of government revenues. Senior BJP legislator Mrinal Saikia took his tweeter account to express resentments saying that holding a cabinet in a remote district is great but questioned 'what is the need to spend money in Jaakjomokota and carrying journalists from Guwahati to publicise it?'
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