A roadmap to combat COVID-19 was one of the key issues discussed as Assam's new Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met his cabinet on Tuesday, a day after the oath ceremony.
Formation of committees to boost employment and look into micro finances were among other plans chalked out.
Mr Sarma on Tuesday afternoon allotted portfolios to his 13-member cabinet. Hours later, he held the second meeting at 7 PM to discuss several key issues.
Speaking to the reporters after the meet, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said, "The Chief Minister has asked to assign each minister two or more districts where they will travel and take stock of the Covid situation along with those districts' Deputy Commissioner and health department." A report will then be submitted to the Chief Minister and the Health Minister within three days.
Assuring that a cabinet meeting will be held every Wednesday, Mr Mahanta said, an "economic package" will be discussed if the reports by the ministers don't give hopes on a drop in infection rates in the next 15 days.
He added, "We (the Cabinet) have also formed an initial roadmap to mitigate COVID-19 in the state which will be further discussed with the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police on Wednesday and the following steps will be taken accordingly."
Before the meeting, Mr Mahanta said the state isn't considering state-wide lockdown yet, even though other northeast states have either imposed total lockdown or in capital area regions or district.Advertisement
Assam recorded its highest deaths since the outbreak with 85 new deaths in the last 24 hour and 6,258 fresh cases, taking the total active cases to 39,264. 4,409 people recovered; the recovery rate stood at 86.06 per cent.
Mr Mahanta, who addressed Tuesday's media interaction with information and public relations minister Pijush Hazarika and Industries And Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, said the cabinet has decided on forming committees in two of the pre-poll promises.Advertisement
"The BJP had before elections promised 1 lakh government jobs if voted to power. A committee with finance minister Ajanta Neog as chairperson and Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary to Health education and Home as its members have been formed that has been asked to submit a draft to that effect to the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister within a month," Mr Mahanta said.
"To find a solution to waive off or provide aide to those who have taken loan from micro financers, another committee headed by Ashok Singhal (Urban Development Minister) along with Principal Secretary to Finance and Panchayat and Rural Development as its members has been formed and asked to file a report to the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister within a month," Mr Mahanta added.Advertisement
In another decision by the Cabinet, the Assam government has raised its stake in the Numaligarh Refinery Limited from its existing 12.35 per cent to 26 per cent, said Mr Patowary.