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CEM Pramod Boro tables Rs 2200 crore budget for BTC

Focus on accountability, grassroots empowerment & landmark initiatives marks FY 2024-25 budget session

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HT Correspondent

KOKRAJHAR, June 18: CEM Pramod Boro presented a budget outlay of Rs 2200 crores for the financial year 2024-25 for the Bodoland Territorial Council in the budget session of the Bodoland Territorial Council Legislative Assembly (BTCLA) held at the BTCLA House, Bodofa Nwgwr in Kokrajhar on Tuesday. The two-day budget session of the BTC Legislative Assembly was chaired by Katiram Boro, the Speaker of the BTC Legislative Assembly.

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The budget session commenced with the question hour, followed by extensive discussions focusing on welfare, development, peace, tranquility, and sustainable development. During his budget speech, Boro stated, “The budget, themed under ‘Vibrant BTR Mission 2024-25’, encapsulates the BTR government’s efforts to ensure accountability, transparency, effectiveness, efficiency, and timely delivery of services for the people of BTR.” He emphasised that the budget ensures continuity in implementing existing flagship programs of the council government while envisioning landmark efforts for social justice in the future. Notably, this is the first instance in the history of the Bodoland Territorial Council that its budget has been prepared following the List of Major & Minor Heads of Account (LMMH) as prescribed by the CAG of India [Rule 19(7)(a) of BTC Fund Rules, 2012].

“This achievement is the result of a series of diligent activities aimed at achieving transparency and accountability in the council’s financial management system,” Boro added.

From the budget speech, it is evident that the Boro-led BTR government’s unique focus has been on empowering grassroots institutions, processes, and voices of BTR, a departure from past practices. The core principle of the budget is a people-centric approach that envisions “governance from the roots to the top”, as articulated by Boro.

Several major initiatives planned for FY 2024-25 include the Vibrant BTR-100 Days of Action, a program designed to expedite the reach of services across BTR. This initiative aims to fast-track flagship schemes from all sectors and departments crucial to realising the vision of a peaceful, smart, and green Bodoland. The respective Directorates of the Council are tasked with executing the 100 Days Action Plan.

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Boro highlighted other significant initiatives such as massive tree plantations, Miyawaki Forest at the BTC Secretariat campus, action-based research on groundwater management, pilot projects on wetland conservation, and a rigorous campaign on the Green Mission and reducing disposable plastic usage. Additionally, efforts are underway to develop clean villages, incentivise top-performing communities, and conduct workshops on carbon sequestration, carbon offsetting, groundwater management, and plastic pollution reduction.

Furthermore, updates on the implementation of the Bodo Peace Accord 2020 were also emphasised during Boro’s budget speech. The foundation stones for six projects under the historic Bodo Peace Accord 2020 were laid during the ‘Celebration of 3 Glorious Years of BTR Government’ at Bijni on December 20, 2023, by HCM Himanta Biswa Sarma. These projects include: Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Sciences at Tamulpur estimated at Rs 19.45 crores; Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Sciences at Udalguri estimated at Rs 28.88 crores; Polytechnic and Vocational Training Institute at Gobardhana Baksa district estimated at Rs 24.07 crores; Polytechnic and Vocational Training Institute at Parbatjhora Kokrajhar district estimated at Rs 24.07 crores; Birsa Munda Cultural Complex at Amguri Kokrajhar estimated at Rs 9.62 crores; Gorkha Bhawan and Cultural Centre at Chirang estimated at Rs 9.63 crores.

The budget speech also highlighted achievements related to the Bodo Peace Accord 2020, including the completion of the rehabilitation package for 4,203 cadres and ex-gratia payments to 632 martyrs’ next-of-kin. Additionally, the inclusion of 41 villages from Sonitpur district into BTR, provincialisation of teaching and non-teaching staff services, and the submission of detailed project reports for 19 projects under the Special Development Package were mentioned.

Sectoral achievements such as certification of 13 traditional and cultural articles under the Geographical Indication Registry, democratic empowerment of institutions, and various developmental initiatives across sectors were also noted.

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Moreover, initiatives like the empowerment of places of worship, distribution of land pattas to landless families, digitisation of land records, introduction of e-office, completion of PMAY-G houses, financial support for poor families, recruitment in education sector, and success in civil service examinations through the Bodofa Super 50 Mission were highlighted in the speech.

Further, new initiatives for supporting PhD students, promoting science education through Bodoland Science Mission, operationalisation of medical and nursing colleges, support for women through Mainao Swrang Bithangki, and advancements in sports infrastructure were discussed.

Efforts in environmental conservation, including the distribution of Agaru saplings and wetland conservation projects, as well as initiatives in industry development, tourism, rights of STs and traditional forest dwellers, and collaborations for overall development were also underscored.

Boro concluded by reaffirming the government’s commitment to inclusive development and peace-building in BTR, emphasising that the administration has strived to increase social trust among all communities and groups, contrary to divisive practices employed by the Opposition in the past.

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