The Assam cabinet on Saturday decided to create a new department to protect the culture and practices of people belonging to tribal and other indigenous communities, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said here. The new department, he stated, would ensure that the state's indigenous population gets to preserve their faith and traditions, while providing requisite support to them.
Addressing a press meet, Sarma also said that the cabinet, during the meeting, has agreed that financial and administrative reforms were necessary to remove red tape and ensure speedy implementation of schemes. It further decided that departmental heads will be entitled to give its nod for projects worth Rs 2 crore and below, and a finance committee headed by chief secretary for those between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore, the CM explained.
A special standing finance headed by the finance minister will be approving projects that are worth anything between Rs 5 crore and Rs 100 crore, and only the cabinet gets to give a go-ahead to schemes that involve funds over Rs 100 crore, he added.
Meanwhile, Sarma also allocated additional portfolios to two cabinet ministers Ranoj Pegu of the BJP and Urkhao Gwra Brahma of the UPPL, a notification said. Brahma, who holds the Handloom and Textile, and Soil Conservation portfolios, will also be the in-charge of the Welfare of Bodoland Department, it said.
Besides the Education (Higher, Secondary and Elementary) Department, Pegu will also take care of the Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes Department. Sarma’s 13-member cabinet has 10 ministers from the BJP, two from the AGP and one from the UPPL.
The alliance has won 75 seats in the 126-member assembly.