Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (File Photo, Image credit: India Today)

Assam follows Bengal, TN, announces pre-election sops

A week after the Tamil Nadu government waived farmers’ loan worth Rs 12,000 crore and West Bengal government hiked the amount under Krishak Bandhu Yojana, the Assam government on Friday cut the petrol and diesel prices by Rs five per litre and reduced the liquor duty by 25 per cent. 

Making this announcement during the Vote-on-Account the state finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that keeping in view the fall in number of corona virus cases the state government has decided to remove the cess imposed on petrol and diesel during the height of COVID-19. The decision in this regard came into effect from midnight of Friday-Saturday. The price of petrol in Guwahati on Friday was Rs 90 while that of Diesel, Rs 84.29.

Ironically, this decision has come exactly a week after the Tamil Nadu government’s sop for the farmers of the state.  In all 16.43 lakh farmers who have taken loans from the cooperative banks would be benefited by the loan waiver announcement.

On the same day (Feb 5) West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee while presenting the Vote-on-Account had announced an increase in payment under the scheme Krishak Bandhu Yojana. Now each farmer having land-holding of one acre or more will get Rs 6,000 annually against Rs 5,000 earlier. She also announced schemes for old-age people and widows. All these three states along-with Kerala and Puducherry, are going to polls in April-May.

The Union Budget tabled on February 1 had also announced generous allocations in the infrastructure sector for these poll-bound states. Special amount has been earmarked for Chennai and Kochi metros as well as for the tea garden workers (of Assam and West Bengal) and their family members.

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