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Budget Session: Guv Chauhan re-emphasis government’s focus on health, education, and infrastructure

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Shillong, March 20: Governor Phagu Chauhan said the government is focused on enhancing the service delivery in health and education sectors and making larger investments in physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, power and drinking water supply.

Highlighting the key priorities of the MDA government in his address during the first day of the Assembly’s budget session on Monday, Chauhan said, “Another critical focus is on improving rural livelihoods and promoting enterprises through mission mode interventions in the sectors of Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry.”

Stating that it is the government’s responsibility to make collective efforts and strive towards socio-economic development and progress in all spheres, he said the government is making concerted efforts to improve the standard of living of the people of the state through better governance.

Speaking on the government’s effort on resource mobilization, the governor said, “I am happy to state that the taxation department has made significant progress in collecting revenue for the state. By the end of December 2022 Rs 1,078.25 crore and Rs 429.84 crore have been collected under GST and Non-GST components, for 2022-23. The departments of Excise, Registration and Stamps are also making efforts to increase the revenue collection.”

Informing that steps are being taken to start scientific mining, Chauhan said prospecting licenses have been allotted to 17 applicants out of which 4 have obtained the approval of the Ministry of Coal for the geological report for preparation of the mining plan adding it is expected that the mining leases will be granted soon.

He informed that the government has successfully executed the business correspondent model aimed at delivering banking services to the last mile. Through this, about 600 new business correspondents have been deployed, in addition to the 1,100 existing business correspondents, who are successfully providing banking services even in remote villages.

On implementation of the FOCUS and FOCUS+ under the Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Chauhan said, “The government endeavors to expand the reach of the program to all the 8 lakh urban and rural households within the next 5 years.”

He said till date, more than 3 lakh households have benefited with a support of over Rs 200 crore through FOCUS and FOCUS+.

Claiming that the state has made tremendous progress towards achieving universal health coverage and improving access to quality health care services, Chauhan said 109 health facilities are being renovated and 19 are being newly constructed to ensure the well-being of the people at the grassroots.

Apart from these, over 6,254 village health councils were formed, which will formalize the role of communities in addressing health issues.

He said the MOTHER program was launched to track and monitor pregnant mothers to tackle the challenge of high maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. Over 2.2 lakh mothers have been supported since its inception. The government has also launched the drone medicine delivery system to deliver medicines to the remotest locations of the state on time.

The government has also inaugurated the cancer wing of civil hospital, Shillong in December 2022 in view of the high cancer cases in the state.

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