Assam To Replace Paper Ballots With EVMs During GMC Polls; Check-Out Key Cabinet Decisions 

Posted in Assam, Featured, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

The Assam Government has approved the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2022 for replacing paper ballots with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to ensure transparency and efficiency in elections.

This decision has been undertaken during a cabinet meeting presided by the Assam Chief Minister – Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday. It has also given approval to final publication of notification for GMC elections (Amendment) Rules, 2022.

Taking to Twitter, Sarma wrote, “At today’s #AssamCabinet, we took several important decisions pertaining to repealing of obsolete laws, revision of land premium rates, ease of doing business, ensuring safety of workers, empowering law enforcers, raising loan from NABARD, transparency in GMC polls, etc.

Among the key decisions undertaken by the state cabinet, the concept of revenue town has been abolished. From now on, all revenue towns will be treated as rural areas for the purpose of land revenue.

“Except the district headquarters and a few other important towns, the periphery of all other towns will be treated as rural area and land premium, etc, will be fixed as per notified rates of rural area.” – reads a bulletin tweeted by the Assam CM.

It further mentioned that no trade license will be required for running any commercial institute, except brick kilns, liquor shop, hospital, school and other industries with heavy pollution.

Besides, for better management of finances, Rs 142 Crores will be raised as loans from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for continuation of projects sanctioned under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)-XXVII in Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Elementary Education and Irrigation Departments.

The cabinet has also decided to approve the Assam Taxation (Liquidation of Arrear Dues) (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for extending incentives provided under Assam Taxation (Liquidation of Arrear Dues) Act, 2005 to ensure efficiency in revenue collection.

“Creation of Grants and renaming of existing Grants of Budget, under which 19 existing grants will be renamed and number of grants to be raised from 78 to 80 in respect of Budget Estimates.” – adds the bulletin.

Meanwhile, the Assam Contingency Fund (Augmentation of Corpus) Bill, 2022 to permanently augment the corpus of Contingency Fund from existing Rs 200 Crores to Rs 2000 Crores to meet exigencies like natural calamities, Covid-19 pandemic, etc.

In order to secure the working conditions and safety of workers, the cabinet has also guaranteed several provisions under the Assam Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Rules, 2022.

According to the bulletin, a single online registration must be maintained for all workers in official websites of the departments along with auto generation of registration certificates. Annual medical examination must be conducted for every worker who has completed 40 years of age.

Appointment letter must be provided to every employee along with mandatory identity cards. Grievance reporting mechanism must be followed for employees to report any unsafe or unhealthy condition in the establishment to the employer/Safety Officer. Besides, constitution of a Safety Committee with representatives of employers and workers for every establishment employing 100 or more workers.

The cabinet has also approved the Assam Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2022 to strengthen law agencies for eliminating intoxicants.

Accordingly, the objectives associated with its approval includes – Empowering Police Officers to investigate offences under Assam Excise Act 2000 by amending Section 42. Authorize Police Officers to report to magistrate to take cognizance of offences under Sections 53, 54, 55, 61 or 61-B of the Assam Excise Act, 2000 by amending Section 69.

As per the Assam Excise Repealing Bill, 2022 approved for improving ease of doing business in the Excise Department, following obsolete acts will be repealed. These incorporates of – The Assam Ganja and Bhang Prohibition Act, 1958; The Assam Opium Smoking Act, 1927; The Assam Opium Amendment Act, 1933; The Assam Opium Prohibition Act, 1947; The Assam Opium Amendment (Autonomous Districts) Act, 1954; The Assam Temperance Act, 1926.

The Assam Borstal Institution Act, 1968 and the Assam Children Act, 1970 will be repealed following enactment of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.


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