Assembly passes 2021-22 Budget by voice votes | Arunachal dedicates 2021 as ‘Year of Education’: Khandu

ITANAGAR, Mar 05: The state government has dedicated 2021 as the ‘Year of Education’ with an investment of Rs 1000 crore in the sector, Chief Minister Pema Khandu informed the assembly here on Friday.

Participating in Budget discussion, Khandu said that the government this year will launch “Mission Shiksha” with an all encompassing strategy to improve the standard of education in the next two years with six focus areas including, infrastructure development of schools; technology intervention through information & communication technology and digital initiatives.

He said the other areas of focus include, teachers training through DIETs and SCERT; early childhood care and education centers; continuous performance evaluation of teachers and students and rationalisation of teachers’ posting through appropriate transfer policy.

The chief minister also suggested for involvement of panchayat members including strengthening of village level committees to strengthen the state’s dismal education sector.

“From a limited number of schools today we have more than 3000 schools but without quality education,” he lamented and added that the quality of education in the state derailed after introduction of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan where one school was established in every one kilometers as a result of which the quality of education dropped.

Lauding the state finance department, Khandu said that the department meticulously managed the finance last year despite Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the Budget for 2021-22 was prepared based on six pillars as announced in the union Budget 2021-22 including, Health and Wellbeing; Reinvigorating Human Capital; Inclusive Development for Aspirational Arunachal; Physical & Financial Capital and Infrastructure; Minimum Government and Maximum Governance and Innovation and R&D.

“Arunachal is a challenging state due to its varied topography and central schemes which are based on population criteria due to which problem arises while executing schemes,” Khandu said adding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi realizing the problems of the state and Northeast, undertook development initiatives in the last few years which was not witnessed since last several decades.

The chief minister added that the flagship programmes of the Centre have immensely benefitted the people.

Announcing formation of a society for Divyanjans under SJETA this year, Khandu said an amount of Rs 5 crore would be initially kept for this which would be released as grant in aid. He informed that the society will also look at needs of those looking after old age homes and orphanages.

Responding to various queries and suggestion of members, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein informed the assembly that the government has taken up equitable and sustainable projects in all districts without depriving anybody.

“Progress in road connectivity is going on significantly while air connectivity in the state is getting a major push. Moreover, survey of several important railway tracks are going on which will improve connectivity bottlenecks in several districts of the state,” Mein, who also holds the Finance, Planning and Investment portfolios said.

He said the government’s effort would be to preserve important historical and heritage sites, promoting youth through skill development programmes, infrastructure development in health and education sectors and harnessing the hydro power potentials.

“We will request the Centre for a special financial package against the decrease of central share of taxes to the state in the last and current financial year,” Mein added.

Former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki of the Congress while participating in the discussion, suggested for checking tax pilferage by strengthening the monitoring system.

CLP leader Lombo Tayeng stated that the Budget should remain realistic, pro-people and pro-poor with focus on equitable development.

Mein also introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Appropriation (No 2) Bill, 2022 (Budget Estimates) which, was passed in the house.

Later the house passed the Budget for 2021-22 by voice votes before Speaker Passang Dorjee Sona adjourned it sine die.

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