WORK & ACHIEVEMENTS

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENTS FORMED BY ASOM GANA PARISHAD DURING THE PERIODS 1985-1990 & 1996-2001

OVERCOMING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS :

  • The coffers of the Central Government have been enriched by the resources of Assam , but the Central Government had earlier been giving approximately 70% of the Annual Plan Expenditure as loan to Assam.
  • Also funds disbursed to the state for flood relief by the Center which usually required a lot of persuasion were also given as loan. As a result Assam Government had a debt burden of more than 4000 crores. This was the main reason for the financial crisis in Assam.
  • During the days of AGP government this issue was taken up with the Central Government and finally the system was reversed to 90% Grant and 10% Loan ratio, thus saving Assam from a future debt burden and averting a possible financial crisis.
  • In addition, due to our persistent efforts , a mechanism was evolved and adopted whereby 10% of funds were allocated for the North East Region in all Central government departmental budgets. As a result of which sufficient fund allotment was possible, for not only Assam, but for all the NE states.

CRUDE OIL ROYALTY :

  • During the 36 years long Congress rule in Assam prior to AGP assuming power , the crude oil royalty given to Assam was @ Rs. 61.00 per metric tonne. But , during the 5 year AGP rule, this was increased to Rs. 314/- per metric tonne , thus earning an additional Rs. 140 crores for the state.
  • During the Congress rule, despite a mass movement , only two toy refineries were set up in Assam with a combined refining capacity of 1.8 million tonnes. Crude oil amounting to 3.3 million tonnes was piped to the Barauni refinery. In addition to this a plan for laying another loop line for sending additional crude oil outside state was taken up. AGP government foiled this conspiracy, – the refining capacity of Bongaigaon Refinery was increased and an additional new refinery with 3 million tonnes refining capacity was commissioned.
  • Congress governments divided old Assam and created seven new states. A conspiracy was hatched to further create divisions. The AGP government took a clear and bold stand in this regard – that Assam will not be divided further, and thus foiled such a conspiracy.
  • During the earlier Congress led governments for more than three decades, an estimated 60 million cubic feet of natural gas was flared off daily which was worth a total of more than Rs. 2000 crores. AGP government got clearance for 5 projects using this gas – A gas based petrochemicals project (Gas Cracker) , Amguri & Kathalguri gas based electricity plant, LPG Project and Gas Pipeline project – through which when completed , not less than 1.5 lakh unemployed will get employment.

ASSAM ACCORD IMPLEMENTATION

  • The Assam Accord was the result of a six years long anti-foreigners Movement and implementation of the Assam Accord was the first and primary promise of AGP , but to solve the core issue - the first step was identification of “illegal immigrants” and the main obstacle to this process was the IMDT act which the Central Government was supposed to amend as per clause 5.9 of Assam Accord. But the Central Government did not make the necessary amendments, and therefore the overall implementation of the Assam Accord remained incomplete. Because deportation of foreigners and deletion of their names from the Voter’s lists was not possible without identification.
  • The above IMDT act defines foreigners as those who settled down in Assam after March 25, 1971 and puts on the one who denounces a person the onus of proving that he/she is a foreigner. The above Act provided for two individuals living within a radius of 3 km of a suspected illegal migrant to approach an IMDT Tribunal, deposit a sum Rs 25 and then file a complaint. (The three km restriction was subsequently modified and now the complainant could be from the same police station limits as the accused, while the deposit sum was reduced to Rs 10).
  • But the most contentious provision of the act was the condition that the onus of proving the citizenship credentials of a person in question lies with the complainant and the police, not on the accused. Under the Foreigners Act prevailing in the rest of the country, the onus is understandably on the accused. To cap it all, the act also provided that 'if the application is found frivolous or vexatious' the Central Government may not accept it. In short, the country had two anti-immigration acts.
  • Midway during the AGP rule, the Congress government at center amended the act, but the main obstacles were not removed. Using this act, the congress government was not only contended with giving safeguards to foreigners, but also in a very discriminatory manner, created a mechanism wherein people identified as foreigners in other states of India were treated as Indian nationals in Assam.
  • For implementation of Assam Accord , both the Central as well as the State governments were equally responsible, we want to reaffirm with conviction that in this regard the state government carried out its responsibility to as much extent as possible.

AGRICULTURE & ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

  • By using modern methods , different crops can be cultivated in the same land during a year. With a view to introducing multi-crop pattern, various “Pathar Parichalana Samitis” were formed under AGP government and they were provided with free power tillers. 2600 such committees have been formed till now. This began to transform Assam’s agriculture.
  • Gone are the days when farmers were crying for debt, fertilizers, seeds etc. The AGP govt. established a Krishi Bikash Kendra in every Development Block for providing loan, fertilizers, seeds, different agricultural equipment and necessary advice for the farmers- all under one roof. 266 such centers were established.
  • To increase productivity in agriculture, many more new small irrigation projects were taken up and better seeds were provided to farmers at the right time.
  • Due to the above measures taken by AGP govt., the rice production increased from 27 lakh metric tonnes (in 1985) to 32 lakh metric tonnes (in1990)
  • Each of the almost more than 300 small tea-planters was provided with a minimum of 30 bighas of land. Preventing encroachment of border areas by the neighboring states was one of the aims of this project along with increased tea production.
  • Better breeds were introduced in Animal Husbandry, Poultry, Fishery, etc. Thousands of unemployed youths were employed through the various self employment schemes in these sectors. During the 5 years reign of AGP , 71 additional new veterinary centres and 314 new artificial cow insemination centres were established.
  • Production and distribution of animal feed, milk and milk products were developed by forming various milk production development cooperative committees.
  • By investing Rs. 12 crores in Tezpur, an “Agricultural Land and Water Control Cell”, was established. Besides in Jorhat by investing Rs. 5 crores a “Farm Machinery Training and Testing Centre” was established and one more additional “Gramsewak Training Centre” was established in Nalbari district. 300 exploited & tortured victims of the Assam Agitation who were unemployed youths were appointed as the Gramsewaks.

FORESTRY

  • 1st armed forest guard battalion was established
  • The practice of giving forest land on lease to private businessman was stopped
  • The continued export of forest based raw products during the earlier Congress rule had brought the forests of Assam to near extinction, a total prohibition was enforced to stop such a practice.
  • Also during floods , to protect the affected wild animals , 50 highland bases were constructed
  • An additional 89000 hectares of new forest area was created
  • A Forest Research Center was set up in Jorhat

EDUCATION

  • During the 38 years long congress reign, primary education was the most neglected area. Corruption and irregularities had eaten into the vitals of the education system. The poor education system run by Congress led governments was the main stumbling block in the development of the state. It had also adversely affected the development of the Assamese language. Most of schools had been running for years without any minimum basic infrastructure. The regional party took the charge of uplifting this situation. The success and failure is for the people to judge.
  • More than 7000 Primary Schools were newly constructed and all necessary facilities were made available at all schools through Operation Black Board scheme. More than 500 High schools were reconstructed.
  • A new principle was introduced for appointment of teachers by scraping the traditional method of employment where corruption had played an important role.
  • More than 2000 primary and Middle English schools were provincialised.
  • An additional 100 Bodo language teacher posts were created. More than 150 posts were created in minority dominated areas.
  • Steps were taken to teach Rabha and Mising languages in primary education stage. Besides, Rabha and Mising languages were introduced in 100 and 50 schools respectively.
  • Importance was given on Teacher’s training and more than 12,000 teachers were trained.
  • Steps were taken to solve the long term problems faced by the Madrasas.
  • Free text books were distributed, the problems of teachers were solved. A girl’s hostel was established in New Delhi for girl students from Assam, scholarships were provided for those who cleared the IAS preliminaries , UGC scale salary scale was implemented for college and university teachers. These were some of the key successes of AGP govt.
  • Establishment of educational institutions - The AGP government established several technical as well as other general institutions during its 5 years reign. It got permission for establishing two central universities. A Fishery college in Raha , a second Veterinary College in Lakhimpur, Agricultural Engineering College in Jorhat, another Agricultural College in Biswanath Chariali, a Textile Technology College in Nalbari, Ranjer College in Barpeta, Silk College in Titabor, two polytechnics in Bongaigaon and Lakhimpur & an Institute of Management and Cost Accounting in Guwahati were established during the reign of the AGP govt. These steps will have a long term positive effect on Assam’s development and will help us overcome the ills of being governed by the agents of an anti-Assam establishment of Congress for a long time.

PLANNING

  • For the first time in the entire country, decentralization was done up to subdivision level planning.
  • For the Annual Plan Outlay , the earlier system of funds allocation from the Central Government as 70% loan and 30% grant was amended and changed to 90% grant and 10% loan.
  • In 8th 5-year plan , an additional commitment to the tune of 8000 crores from the Central Government was obtained to set up a Gas cracker unit , Power Plant , Refinery , etc.
  • According to clause 7 of the Assam Accord, to prepare the base for economic development of Assam, a separate planning approach was adopted with a high powered committee constituted under the leadership of Lakhichaand Jain and grants were realized in different fields.

HEALTH AND PUBLIC HEALTH ENGINEERING

  • Within 5 years, 48 new hospitals, 911 sub centers , 202 primary health centers & 15 rural hospitals were set up
  • In more than 8000 + villages , drinking water facilities were provided
  • Upgradation of B. Barooah Cancer Institute (BBCI)
  • Healthcare facilities were provided for those who suffered grievous injuries in the Assam Agitation

TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION

  • An additional construction of more than 3000 km of roads were completed
  • 2 flyovers were constructed in Guwahati
  • Bus services to additional 160 places were commenced
  • 2 new trains to Delhi and to South India were inducted
  • Development of aviation services were extended
  • Extension of telephone, STD and electricity services to village areas were some of the key successes during AGP govt.
  • Following new projects were taken up for the 8th Five year plan- Rs. 350 crores for Jogighopa-Pancharatna Naranarayan Bridge, Rs. 200 crores for the expansion of Guwahati to Dibrugarh broad gauze railway, Rs. 200 crores for the expansion of Lanka- Silchar broad gauze railway, Rs. 100 crores for the 4th Bridge over the Brahmaputra in Dibrugarh etc.
  • Following new projects were taken up for the 8th Five year plan- Rs. 350 crores for Jogighopa-Pancharatna Naranarayan Bridge, Rs. 200 crores for the expansion of Guwahati to Dibrugarh broad gauze railway, Rs. 200 crores for the expansion of Lanka- Silchar broad gauze railway, Rs. 100 crores for the 4th Bridge over the Brahmaputra in Dibrugarh etc.
  • As a result of the efforts of the AGP Government Assamese news in doordarshan was made available to all areas.
  • Despite the financial crisis, the general public will judge the repair , expansion & construction of roads during the 5 years of reign of AGP in comparison to the last 4 decades of Congress rule.

WELFARE OF THE TRIBES AND BACKWARD SECTIONS

  • In all direct State Government appointments, the rules of reservation for SC/ST/OBC were properly maintained according to the norms established by the Central govt. All the back log of promotion and employment were filled though this process which was redundant during the Congress led governments. For filling up these back log of posts separate interviews were organized in different departments. The movement regarding Mandal Commission never touched Assam because of the proper implementation of the Reservation policies in employment by AGP government.
  • In addition to the usual developmental activities, for the Plains & Hills tribes and other scheduled castes , an additional 25% fund of planning funds were allotted.
  • A hostel was constructed in Guwahati for the schedule tribe students; land was allotted for constructing hostels in every district for the tea garden tribal students.
  • Land as well as housing grants were allotted for the landless ST and Ex- tea garden workers. A new scheme was launched to provide free weaving looms & yarn for women.
  • An additional several hundred schedule tribe youths were employed in police department.

INDUSTRY

  • New Industrial Policy was adopted, workshops were organized in every district to attract youth for industrialization. Industrial farms were established in 7 districts, 7 district industrial centers were established, 106 numbers of big and medium industries were set up and 9,379 numbers of small scale industries and 6891 handicraft based industrial units were established. In addition 4 spinning mills were set up and also the process to set up Ashok Paper Mill and Silghat Jute Mill were initiated. Establishment of “Tea city” in Amingaon was completed.
  • A new Petroleum Advisory Committee was formed by the state government and through that several new projects were initiated.
  • Under the 8th 5 year plan, Gas cracker project, Gas based electricity production, establishment of new Refinery and extension of old refinery, Carbon Black Project, LPG Project, in total more than Rs. 8000 crores of Central investments were channelized to Assam.
  • A decision was taken to supply gas at 50% discount for Assam based industrial units.
  • The AGP government also took steps to have 26% share in the new refineries.

FLOOD RELIEF & FLOOD CONTROL MEASURES

  • The relief measures undertaken by the AGP government during floods are known to all.
  • For protection of Wildlife and property in flood affected areas, high land base creation measures started in our first term
  • As a result of the neglect of the Congress led governments , continued unabated destruction of forest areas along the river banks led to situation where a few bouts of rainfall were enough to cause floods in Assam. No measures were explored/undertaken to find a permanent solution to the flood problem of Assam.
  • Under Brahmaputra Board , a new Hydrological Research Center set up

ART & CULTURE

  • Establishment of Shankardev Kalakhetra at Guwahati, institution of Shankardev Award, establishment of Anandaram Barooah Language & Culture Research Center, financial assistance to Assam Association for establishment of Assam Cultural Center at New Delhi, Financial grants for rebuilding the historical auditoriums like Kumar Bhaskar Natya Mandir, Guwahati ; Milan Mandir at Barpeta ; Tarajan Natya Mandir at Tezpur etc. are some of the notable achievements of the AGP government.
  • Financial grant to Madhupur Satra
  • Success in removing the barriers in establishing harmony between the Barak & Brahmaputra valleys which had taken roots during the Congress rule.

WELFARE SCHEMES

  • Reduction in school fees of girls up to Class 12.
  • Free bus travel arrangements for Senior citizens.
  • Agricultural loan and land taxes relief to flood affected areas.
  • Entertainment taxes waived off for Mobile theater groups for 1 year
  • Increase in minimum wages for Tea Garden workers
  • Equal daily wages for male and female tea garden workers
  • Treasury Challan system for job applications abolished
  • Pension of Artists , Litterateurs , freedom fighters enhanced
  • Job provided to the oppressed and those who suffered disability during the atrocities perpetrated during the Assam Agitation
  • Conditions of prisons improved with additional facilities to prisoners

OTHERS

  • To protect the interests of indigenous population , transfer of agricultural land for non agricultural activities was banned.
  • An 50 additional development blocks were set up within 5 years
  • The AGP government persuaded the shifting of employment centers & regional offices of many All India Services to Assam, in addition measures were adopted for employment , business , pollution control, local area development & safeguarding the interests of the local population.
  • Due to the initiatives of the AGP governments , many national organizations like ONGC, OIL India , Coal India Ltd. etc came forward to participate in local area development programs like establishment of educational institutions, road development & other social welfare programs.

FOR TEA WORKERS AND EX-TEA WORKERS COMMUNITY

  • After 30 years, the AGP government fixed the minimum wages under Minimum Wages Act for tea workers.
  • Equal wages for Male & Female Tea Garden Workers
  • A provision was set up for getting nursing training for those girls of Tea garden workers and Ex-Teagarden workers who could not clear HSLC Examination. Besides the AGP government made provision for reservation of seats for nursing education for the girl students of tea garden laborers irrespective of whether someone had cleared the HSLC examination.
  • The AGP government introduced the scheme of giving retirement funds of tea garden workers through cheque to create awareness of savings as well as to prevent corruption.
  • AGP government for the first time the introduced establishment of community centers for the community. Development of Tea sports council was also done during the tenure of AGP government.
  • For the first time AGP government took the initiative to preserve and develop historical cultural traditions by providing financial assistance for Tezpur & Dibrugarh Tea garden Workers
  • Gratuity scheme was introduced so that the labourers can get their retirement gratuity immediately after their retirement.
  • The Provident Fund contribution percentage was increased from 8% to 10%
  • Advance for higher education and medical treatment was increased.
  • Two inspection offices were established in Sonari and Lakhimpur.
  • Sivasagar office was promoted as regional office.
  • A permanent building of Provident fund office named Nidhi Bhawan was established in Lalmati, near Basistha in Guwahati
  • Through setting up of Standing Labour Committee, many initiatives were taken like : Provision of electricity to homes of tea garden labourers, supplying mosquito nets, determination of number of tea garden workers in a garden on the basis of 1/1/1969 Act. Etc.
  • Through Tea and Ex- garden workers directorate :
    • grant for buying bulls for cultivation
    • grant for maintenance of house
    • grant for rearing of poultry
    • distribution of sewing machines
    • grant for fishery development, establishment of horticultural gardens
    • distribution of grants for cycle repairing and carpentry work
    • Facilities for Excursion
    • Financial assistance for students
    • Commencement of Assam Excursion tours for women