The Himanta Biswa Sarma government in Assam today held the 100th cabinet meeting, marking a significant milestone in governance. The state government has held 100 cabinet meetings in just 2 years and 4 months, since the government came to power in May 2021.
Elaborating on how this is a massive jump in the number of cabinet meetings by the state government, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that in comparison, in the last 20 years before his government took oath, a total of 264 cabinet meetings had taken place. Against that, 100 meetings have taken place in just 28 months.
— Chief Minister Assam (@CMOfficeAssam) August 25, 2023
Addressing a press conference after the over 5-hour meeting in Guwahati, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that 1238 decisions have been made in the last 99 meetings, and out of them, 1217 decisions have been implemented either fully or partially. That means the govt has been able to implement 98% of the decisions taken by the Assam cabinet.
The government has also published a booklet detailing the decisions taken in the cabinet meetings and their implementation details in the last 2 years and 4 months. As per the record, the state cabinet has taken 119 decisions for the Revenue and Disaster Management Department, 109 decisions for the Education Department, 67 decisions for the Housing and Urban Affairs Department, 57 decisions for the Industries and Commerce Department, 50 decisions for Power department, 37 decisions for PWD (B & NH) department.
Similarly, 35 decisions for the Transport Department, 31 decisions for the Sports and Youth Welfare Department, 27 each for PWD (R) and ARTPPG departments, 22 decisions for the Agriculture and Horticulture Department, 21 decisions for the CM secretariat department, 19 decisions for Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes Department, 16 decisions each of Tourism and Water Resources departments have been taken by the cabinet.
Apart from this, the cabinet has also taken decisions on Act East Policy, Soil Conservation and Indigenous and Tribal Faith and Culture departments, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department, Bodoland Welfare and Implementation of Assam Accord departments, of Women and Child Development and Information and PR departments, Science and Technology and Information Technology departments, Cooperation and Border Protection and Development departments, and Public Health Engineering and Irrigation departments.
It is notable that after taking charge of the BJP-led government in May 2021, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced that his cabinet would sit every week on Wednesdays. This was decided in the first cabinet meeting held on 11 May 2021. The govt has been largely been able to maintain this schedule. However, not all meetings were held on Wednesdays due to various issues and there were no meetings in some weeks.
The state govt had also decided that out of 4 meetings in a month, one will be held in a town outside Guwahati. Accordingly, several meetings have been held at district headquarters and other towns. Several convention halls also have been built at several places for this purpose.
One cabinet meeting earlier this year was held at the British-era Polo Gymkhana Club in Panery Tea Estate in Udalguri district.
In December last year, a cabinet meeting was held at the Gandhi Mandap in Guwahati, a monument dedicated to MK Gandhi located on a hilltop inside the city. In another first, the ministers sat on the floor during this meeting.
Some of the meetings of the Assam cabinet were also held in Delhi when the CM and a significant number of other cabinet ministers were in the national capital for various reasons. In those meetings, those who were not in Delhi attended the meetings through video conferencing. The 98th cabinet meeting on 9th August was also held in Delhi.
Apart from his cabinet sitting 100 times in 28 months, the office of CM Himanta Biswa Sarma remains open 24 hours a day. The CMO staff has been split into 3 shifts of 8 hours each, and the office remains open 24 hours a day. The CM visits various places outside Guwahati almost every day, returns to Guwahati in the evening and attends office. He often goes on a tour of the capital city well after midnight, sometimes inspecting construction works.
In the press conference, CM Sarma said that the 100th cabinet meeting was also the longest, from 11 AM to 4 PM, which was cut short by an hour as media had already assembled for the press conference. He briefly detailed the major decisions taken in today’s meeting.
He said that Assam govt has decided to introduce a semiconductor policy for Assam, under which a production linked incentive scheme to set up semiconductor manufacturing plants in the state.
In the 100th cabinet meeting we have taken an important decision to introduce a semi conductor policy for Assam – a production linked incentive scheme to manufacture semi conductors in the State: HCM Dr @himantabiswa #AssamCabinetAt100
— Chief Minister Assam (@CMOfficeAssam) August 25, 2023
In a major administrative reform, the cabinet decided to introduce new Rules for Executive Business to govern administration in the State. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the existing rules were made during the British raj, and they needed major reforms as only minor changes were made to them.
In another major decision, the state cabinet decided to form 4 new districts, which were merged with other districts ahead of the delamination exercise by the Election Commission. As the EC has completed the exercise and published the final list of assembly and parliamentary constituencies, the 4 abolished districts have been formed against, however with changes in their geographical areas as per the newly formed assembly constituencies.