Highlights of Himanta Biswa Sarma’s first 30 days as Assam CM
GUWAHATI: Himanta Biswa Sarma, the BJP’s point-man in the northeast, was sworn in as the 15th Chief Minister of the State on May 10. His first month in office has been spent waging a battle against the deadly coronavirus. Curbing the drug menace, cattle smuggling, pension for the old and widows, stipends for the differently-abled, and rescue of women from debts due to microfinance loans have marked the early days of Sarma’s chief ministership.
War Against Coronavirus:
Sarma took over as the CM at a time when the COVID-19 cases were rising dramatically in the state. A partial lockdown has been imposed with quite strict restrictions. With the state now finally starting to show a downtick in the number of cases, lifting of some curbs is inevitable — perhaps as early as June 16. Assam has so far vaccinated more than 40 lakh people. Moreover, the state government has promised a stipend of Rs. 3,500 a month to children orphaned by the coronavirus.
Assam’s War Against Drugs:
Till May 31, the Assam police have registered 120 cases, arrested 223 drug dealers and seized a huge quantity of narcotic substances.
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Raising Tea Workers’ Wages:
The Himanta Biswa Sarma led coalition government has increaded daily wage of tea plantation workers by Rs. 38 to Rs. 205 in the Brahmaputra Valley and Rs. 185 in the Barak Valley. This, however, is a far cry from the BJP’s promise to increase the wage to Rs. 351.
Increasing Stake in the Numaligarh Refinery:
In another significant development, the government’s stakes in Numaligarh Refinery has risen from from 12.35% to 26%. It would accordingly invest Rs. 2,187 crore in the refinery that exported petroleum products to a few countries.
‘Guardian Minister’ Concept:
Sarma since coming to power has also introduced the concept of a guardian minister wherein each has been given charge of a cluster of districts for better handling of local issues.
It needs mention here that Sarma celebrated the completion of his first month as CM by dedicating a 300-bed Covid hospital, set up by the DRDO, to the people at the Sarusajai Sports Complex here on June 10. The opening of this facility is expected to ease the burden on the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital and other health institutions.
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