Gogoi favours expenditure cut in 2013

Guwahati, Jan 1 (IANS) The Assam government will step up efforts to reduce its expenses and increase revenue in the year 2013, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Tuesday.

Gogoi was interacting with media at his official residence atop Koinadhara Hills near Assam capital Dispur.

"We are going to instruct all the government departments to reduce expenditure at least by 20 percent this year and also for steps to increase revenue generation," he said.

Gogoi said he would push for reducing the government holidays as well as for discouraging the bandh (strike) culture.

The government would take steps to usher development and prosperity in the state, he said.

"When the Congress government came to power in Assam in 2001, the state's GDP growth rate was 2.60 percent. The GDP growth rate recorded last year was 8.42, which is the highest among all the states," the chief minister said.

Sectors like agriculture had received a commendable boost in the last few years, he said.

"The state agriculture department was awarded with the Krishi Karman award by the government of India for its performance in 2012," Gogoi said, adding that the sector had recorded 6.62 percent growth rate last year.

"The big industries require more land but we do not have land. So, we are going to stress on small and cottage industries to boost the rural economy," he said.

Gogoi led the Congress party to power for three consecutive terms since 2001.

"We have already lost 4 lakh hectares of land due to (river) erosion in the past. We must reclaim those lost lands, otherwise where will we settle the people who had lost their lands?" said Gogoi.

The state annually loses about 8,000 hectares of land to erosion caused by Brahmaputra and other rivers.

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