Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has urged his cabinet colleagues, legislators and bureaucrats to "change their mindset" and work towards a vision to ensure the State goes up the development ladder "by at least two levels" by 2026.
It is time for Assam to "re-emerge" as a developed state, Mr. Sarma asserted while inaugurating a 'Chintan Shivir' here.
"Assam cannot live anymore with the scar that its place in the country's development journey can be counted only from the bottom, and not the top... We have to live with dignity and not always approach the Centre for assistance," he said.
There are many development indicators that can be changed in the next two to three years "if we work collectively and resolutely, and we have to decide on how Assam can go up by at least two levels by 2026," the Chief Minister said.
He noted that "at the time of Independence, Assam's per capita income was higher than the national average" and the journey of the last 75 years should have been that of development, growth and aspiration.
The situation, however, changed post-independence, primarily due to certain incidents like the Great Earthquake of 1950, immediate negative impact of Partition, insurgency, and others "which led to a mentality not conducive to a proper work culture".
Mr. Sarma said there was no need to frame visions for the next 50 years as no one knows who will live till then to see its implementation or review it.
“We are in a hurry and we need to see what we can contribute by 2026... During the last few decades, it has been observed... that a mentality has crept into the minds of ministers and bureaucrats, and they have almost accepted that Assam can no longer be a developed state. This mentality needs to change and the decision makers must dream of a developed Assam.”
"I strongly believe that the central government never neglected our state. If we see the budgetary allocation and the investments made by the Centre, we will realise that it is we who have failed collectively and blame them to save our face," he said.
The 'Chintan Shivir' has been organised to discuss and debate on various issues with a positive and creative streak so that new ideas emerge, the CM added.