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:: Press Releases ::
Friday, November 29, 2013

1. Dr. Y.V. Reddy, Chairman, Prof. Abhijit Sen, Ms. Sushama Nath, Dr. M. Govinda Rao and Dr. Sudipto Mundle, Members of the Fourteenth Finance Commission, and Sh. A.N.Jha, Secretary visited the State of Assam on November 28-29, 2013 to hold consultations with the State Government and key stake holders.

2. The Commission met with the Hon’ble Chief Minister, his Cabinet Colleagues and senior officers of the State Government, for discussions.

3. The Chief Minister in his speech, welcomed the 14th Finance Commission and highlighted the historical background of partition and its impact on the economy of North East in general and Assam in particular. He mentioned the efforts made by the State Government in strengthening the democratic process at the grass root level and involving the local communities in the developmental process. He added that such efforts not only led to decline in insurgency related violence but also has led to economic growth. He further enumerated the efforts made by the State Government to raise its resources and indicated the limited scope for further improvement. He elaborated the efforts made by the State Government in developing small and cottage industries. He also stated that: State had been able to improve its financial position on account of fiscal discipline and improved public and revenue administration; State is focusing on agriculture and agro based industries for economic development and providing gainful employment; For sustained development, it was important to preserve the ecology. Soil erosion in the Brahmaputra River had led to loss of land and livelihood. Include ‘Erosion’ as a natural calamity under SDRF. Heavy investment was required in building roads, bridges and for rail and air connectivity; State is focusing on developing the employable skills of the people of Assam; Total devolution of central taxes needs to be raised to 50% from 32% and the limit on fiscal deficit needs to be reviewed and made more practical and flexible; Special funds are required for the development of areas under the VI Schedule; Assam could be the bridge to the South East Asia under the Look East Policy of Government of India. However, infrastructure in the State would need to be developed to reap the benefit of the Look East Policy.

4. The State Government submitted its Memorandum and made a detailed presentation on the finances of the State Government, its projection for the award period and gave its views on some of the Terms of Reference of the Commission. The Commission also interacted with representatives of Political parties, Autonomous District Councils, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies and Trade and Industry Associations.

5. The Commission placed on record its appreciation to the Chief Minister and State Government for the cooperation and support extended to the Commission and assured that the issues raised would receive due attention in the deliberation of the Commission. The Commission also looks forward to continuing interaction with the State Government.

6. The Commission will finalize its recommendations by October 2014 after completing its discussions with all the State Governments, the Government of India and relevant stake holders.

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