The Assam government on Tuesday decided to start the state’s own civilian awards on the lines of Bharat Ratna and Padma awards for eminent personalities from various fields, by providing cash rewards and a slew of other benefits.

While Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour in India and the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri Awards follow, Assam has announced conferring of one Asom Ratna, three Asom Bibhushan, five Asom Bhushan and ten Asom Shree awards every year.

The Asom Ratna award, which was earlier conferred once every three years, will now be given every year.

A media release from the Chief Minister’s office said, “The awards will carry Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh cash respectively. The awards will also include benefits like free medical treatment of critical illness, free stay at Asom Bhawans, free travel in ASTC buses etc.”

The Cabinet has also decided on initiating a literary pension on the name of litterateur Homen Borgohain to be conferred on his birth anniversary December 7, and a sports pension in the name of Arjun Bhogeswar Barua, on his birth anniversary on September 3.

Artiste Award will also be conferred on January 17 every year from now onwards, and the list of awardees will be announced prior to the presentation ceremony.

The cabinet also decided that from now on all state government offices will have to put up photos of the President, Prime Minister and that of Gopinath Bordoloi, the first chief minister of Assam.