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Anti-drugs drive, tea wage hike mark a month of Himanta government in Assam

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. File   | Photo Credit: ANI

A drive against drug-trafficking and hike in the daily wage of tea plantation workers were among a slew of measures that marked a month of the Himanta Biswa Sarma Ministry in Assam, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Dr. Sarma was sworn in as the 15th Chief Minister of the State on May 10, replacing Sarbananda Sonowal in the second successive BJP-led government.

“Assam’s performance on the COVID-19 front has been one of the best in India with more than 40 lakh people vaccinated, hospitals ramped up and oxygen supply assured. We have also initiated the process of providing ₹3,500 a month to children orphaned by the coronavirus,” Water Resources Minister and government spokesperson Pijush Hazarika said.

The focus on tacking the “second wave” of COVID-19 had, however, not diluted the government’s attention to other issues such as the drug menace, cattle smuggling, pension for the old and widows, stipends for the differently-abled, employment to 1 lakh youth and rescue of women from debts due to microfinance loans, he stated.

“We started the drive against drug-traffickers within a week of forming the government. Till May 31, the police have registered 120 cases, arrested 223 drug dealers and seized a huge quantity of narcotic substances,” Mr Hazarika noted.

“Our achievements within a short time include increasing the daily wage of tea plantation workers by ₹ 38 to ₹ 205 in the Brahmaputra Valley and ₹ 185 in the Barak Valley, and fast-tracking the restoration of 28 embankments damaged by floods,” he claimed.

Electoral promises

A flood and erosion-free Assam was one of the electoral promises of the BJP-led government.

The Minister underlined the increase in the government’s stakes in Numaligarh Refinery from 12.35% to 26% as a major step. It would accordingly invest ₹ 2,187 crore in the refinery that exported petroleum products to a few countries.

“We have also introduced the concept of guardian ministers. Each minister has been given charge of a cluster of districts for better nurturing and handling of local issues,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 11:04:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/anti-drugs-drive-tea-wage-hike-mark-a-month-of-himanta-government-in-assam/article34771121.ece

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