Comprehensive Skill Development and Livelihood Act in Assam soon?

Pankhi Sarma

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Guwahati: An Assam Skill Development and Livelihood Act is likely to be tabled during the next budget session of the state, Minister Jayanta Malla Baruah revealed to Business North East.

The Skill, Employment & Entrepreneurship minister, speaking to this platform, asserted that the Act would aim to streamline skill development and livelihood initiatives and consolidate them under a single umbrella for more "effective implementation" and bolster the state's economic growth. Earlier this month, Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog presented a Rs 2.9 lakh crore budget and proposed no new taxes.

Baruah, who also holds the tourism portfolio, earlier hailed the state's new tourism bill on the last day of the budget session as a landmark achievement. He remarked, "For the first time, a tourism bill got passed in the state. The previous tourism policy was from the British period. This new one will bring more opportunities for the industry as tourism is now being recognized as an industry."

The tourism bill, among its provisions, enforces restrictions on certain practices around tourist areas. Specifically, it prohibits begging and hawking of articles for sale in and around such areas. Violators of this prohibition face fines, with penalties escalating for subsequent offenses and habitual engagement in such activities.

To enhance the overall tourist experience in Assam, the state has also introduced regulations for various tourism-related businesses. These regulations cover activities like amusement parks, ropeways, safaris, tourist villages, resorts, rural tourism, handicrafts, and facilities such as restaurants and cafeterias in tourist areas. The objective of the new bill is to ensure quality services, the safety of tourists, and the well-being of the local populace.

The newly established authority, empowered by the tourism bill, is tasked with regulating tourism activities and registering service providers such as hotels, homestays, travel agents, tourist guides, and more.

It is also mandated to safeguard the interests of tourists visiting the state, formulate detailed regulations and guidelines, and ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations for sustainable and responsible tourism activities.

Additionally, Minister Baruah also mentioned that the other departments spearheaded by him have also shown progress as several water supply projects were also announced during the budget session in some of the cities on a bigger scale.

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Pankhi Sarma