Assam government to constitute Task Force to revive the state’s economy in post-COVID-19 scenario

Guwahati, April 28: Assam constitute task force to revive state`s economy. Given the ongoing nationwide lockdown due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday said that the state will constitute Task Force in district level to monitor the implementation of long term and short term development policies in the state by aiming to revive Assam’s economy in the post-COVID-19 scenario.

Sonowal called for a unified approach to tackle the economic slowdown while discovering Assam’s inherent strengths to make it a self-reliant economy that can bear the brunt of future situations.

As part of his efforts to reach out to various sections of the society, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday held an interactive session with the leading economists of the state at the Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati for seeking their suggestions to revive Assam’s economy in post-COVID-19 scenario.

interactive session with the leading economists of the state
Interactive session with the leading economists of the state.

Welcoming the suggestion of setting up economic task forces in the state till block level for taking specific revival measures for the state’s economy, the Assam Chief Minister highlighted the need to prepare a time-bound roadmap for achieving short and long term goals to rejuvenate the economy which has been hit by COVID-19 pandemic.

Underlining the importance of a 100 days action plan for restructuring the economic system, Sonowal said that prioritizing expenditures and streamlining various sectors such agriculture, livestock, etc to overcome the situation through planned interventions are the focus points of the government.

He also stressed on the need to plug the loopholes in the system while cutting out unnecessary expenditures.

“Utilizing natural soil fertility and climatic advantage for agricultural resurgence in the State are the keys and we must use this opportunity to make the state self-reliant and producer surplus in sectors such as fisheries, agriculture, livestock, horticulture, etc to generate employment opportunities,” Sonowal said.

“All the leading economists of the state have extended their suggestions to us and based on those suggestions, the state government is going to implement a lot of developmental programs, schemes with long term and short term methods. To monitor the whole exercise we are going to constitute task force up to different district levels,” Sarbananda Sonowal said.

Assam constitute task force to revive state`s economy

Referring to the nearly 10 lakh youths returning to the state from various parts of the country given COVID-19 pandemic, Sonowal said that returning manpower should be viewed as an asset instead of a burden. He opined that the skill sets and experiences acquired by the returning youths working outside could be utilized to propel Assam towards economic resurgence and opportunities must be created within the State to absorb these youths productively.

He also called for inter-department coordination to overcome the economic challenge while equally taking care of weavers, farmers, daily wage, earners etc through government interventions and also harnessing the potential of the State through labor-intensive agri-based industries.

During the deliberations, the participants offered their suggestions and feedbacks while urging the government to take innovative and strong measures to overcome this challenge and bring the state’s economy back on track.

Welcoming the suggestion of setting up economic task forces in the state till block level for taking specific revival measures for the state’s economy, the Assam Chief Minister highlighted the need to prepare a time-bound roadmap for achieving short and long term goals to rejuvenate the economy which has been hit by COVID-19 pandemic.

Assam constitute task force to revive state`s economy

On the other hand, Assam Finance minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that, Assam had a buoyant economy before the COVID-19 pandemic as the state clocked impressive GDP growth of 12-16 percent in the last three financial years as against a national average of 6 percent.

“Assam’s devolution of Rs 24,000 crore per year from Central government’s pool of funds sustained the economy along with nearly Rs 13,000 crore state’s earnings and because of financial slowdown, innovative measures must be devised to overcome this crisis,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

As many as 29 economists and economic experts of the state took part in the interactive session and offered their suggestions for formulating the revival plan of Assam’s economy in the post-COVID-19 scenario.

Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Social Welfare Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami, Legal Adviser to the Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali, MLA Rituparna Barua, Principal Secretary of Finance department Samir Kumar Sinha were present in the meeting among others.