GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, interacting with media persons in Guwahati on New Year’s Day, shared that for the first time the state did not have to depend on the Centre for paying its employees’ salaries. This, he said, had become possible because of the financial stability brought about in 2022 due to increased oil royalty, excise, transport and GST collections.
Claiming that the state was on growth trajectory, Sarma asked the people of Assam to exert “moral pressure” on proscribed ULFA (I) chief Paresh Barua to give up his sovereignty demand. He opined that criteria other than population should be considered for future delimitation exercises and the state police was keeping a strict eye on the involvement of Islamic clerics in ‘jihadi’ activities.
On the last day of last year, the state Cabinet had approved the merger of four newly created districts with existing ones. According to the merger plan, Biswanath district will be merged with Sonitpur, Hojai will be merged with Nagaon, Tamulpur district will be merged with Baksa, and Bajali district will be merged with Barpeta district.
The Chief Minister also said that the Cabinet didn’t approve the district merger for delimitation, but for administrative reasons. It will, however, impact delimitation a little but only to the benefit of the people, he added.