Guwahati, July 19: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today targeted a growth rate of 7.2 per cent in the current fiscal year. He also set the ambitious goal of catching up with the national target of eight per cent by 2005-06.
“This is going to be a budget aimed at fiscal reform and consolidation of the state government and rapid growth of the state economy,” Gogoi said in his budget speech in the Assembly today.
“Our target is to improve upon the 6.2 per cent growth rate of last year and reach 7.2 per cent in the current year and the national target of 8 per cent by 2005-06,” Gogoi added.
During the Ninth Plan period from 1997 to 2002, Assam’s growth rate was only 2.1 per cent against an all-India average of 5.4 per cent, Gogoi declared.
“Things have now changed for the better and the state economy is looking up despite the handicaps of less-developed infrastructure, geographical isolation, transport bottlenecks, natural calamities and insurgency,” Gogoi said.
He added that all the 53 treasuries and sub-treasuries would be networked through computers “within three months”.
Very soon, the computerised tax administration of Assam will also be networked with banks, Gogoi said, adding that the reforms have seen a marked increase in tax collection.