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State’s economy will see revival by the third and fourth quarter: Himanta Biswa Sarma

GUWAHATI: Assam finance minister,Himanta Biswa Sarma said that by the third and fourth quarter the economy will be revived, adding that the state government will come out with a compensation package to assist those affected by the Covid-induced lockdown by November this year.

Sarma, while speaking on the appropriation bill in the state assembly on Tuesday, said: “In first two quarters the economy was affected. The GST collection in April this year was just Rs 150 Crore, it was down by 90 percent. But from April to July, against the projected GST collection of Rs 960 crore, we have managed to collect Rs 600 crore.”

A report prepared by State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA) on the economy has claimed fall in the growth rate and rise in unemployment. This department comes under the Transformation and Development department and Sarma is the minister incharge of this department. The report was submitted in assembly on Monday.

Sarma said, “Although SITA comes under my department, we will have to see how realistic the report is. It was academic work and we did not interfere with it and the report was submitted.”

Stating that the economy of Assam is largely driven by the government spending, the finance minister stated, “Like we managed the COVID-19 situation, we will be able to manage the economy. Assam is among the few states where employees did not have to take pay cuts and even the austerity measures announced will be withdrawn in next seven days.”

Sarma announced that the government is preparing a scheme under which compensation will be provided to those who suffered losses during lockdown. “We plan to roll out the scheme by November or December. The scheme is yet to be discussed in the state cabinet.”

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