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Assam Cabinet approves policy to make the state a logistics hub

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The Assam Cabinet on Monday has rubber-stamped a new policy to turn the state into a logistics hub.

Further, the cabinet has also given a green signal for making amends in the existing acts to widen the scope of master plans for the development of Guwahati and other urban areas of the state.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, approved the Assam Logistics Policy, 2022, under which a dedicated logistics division headed by a secretary-rank officer will be set up.
The key features of the policy include the proposal evaluation and incentive disbursement through the EoDB (Ease of Doing Business) portal.

Under the new policy, the Industrial park developed by AIIDC and AIDC will earmark 15 percent of its land for the development of logistics infrastructure including a logistics park, truck terminal, cold storage, warehouses, primary processing centers, etc.

In another key feature of the policy, the department of Revenue and Disaster Management will be prioritizing the conversion of land wherever required for setting up of logistics facility.

The Cabinet also approved an amendment to the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority Act, 1985, for effective implementation of the Guwahati Master Plan. This will not only widen the scope but the content of the Master Plan for the Guwahati Metropolitan Area. Moreover, it will also introduce new land use zone and meet reform agendas like transfer of development rights, transit-oriented development, implementation of local area plans, and town planning schemes.

Cabinet also gave a go-ahead to the amendment of the Assam Town and Country Planning Act, 1959. It will entail the declaration of planning areas for the Master Plan, town planning scheme, local area plan, etc, and strengthen the implementation mechanism of the Master Plan.

In addition to this, the Cabinet also approved the standard operating procedure for e-files disposal in the Chief Minister’s Office as the state secretariat is shifting to paperless administration from October 2 this year.

Aiming to simplify GIS payment, the cabinet allowed the deduction of shortfall and granted Group Insurance Scheme (GIS) in case the pensioner or the legal heir agrees to a deduction with an interest of the shortfall through a written undertaking.

To simplify and avoid delay in payment of GIS amount to beneficiaries, a new clause was also added to GIS.

The Cabinet approved the setting up of a statutory body, Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), for preparing a comprehensive mobility plan for the city, organizing investments in urban transport infrastructure, etc.

This will enable the state government to avail central assistance for Mass Rapid Transport System/ Bus Rapid Transport System and other transport projects.

A decision to amend the Assam (Services) Pension Rules, 1969, was also taken by the cabinet to ease the hardship faced by an unmarried dependent daughter of a pensioner in availing family pension and to ensure apportionment by the unmarried daughter to all other eligible beneficiaries.

The government further added a provision, which states that in case of a complaint about the unmarried daughter not apportioning the pension among the beneficiaries, the government can apportion it equally among the eligible persons.

A one-time relaxation of the qualifying service period for promotion to the post of block development officer from feeder cadres, ensuring the filling up of 34 vacant posts, was also cleared.

A go-ahead was given to amend Assam Motor Vehicle Rules, 2003, to empower designated officers to auction off vehicles seized, impounded, and detained under various motor vehicle offenses.

Also, an additional 3 percent increment to cadres of ‘Mandal’ and ‘Amin’ to ensure parity with ‘Patwari’, which was granted the increment earlier, was given a go-ahead by the cabinet.

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