`No price hike for Kerosene`

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IMPHAL June 27: Spokesperson of the SPF government, minister N Biren today clarified that the nation wide price escalation of diesel and LPG will also be affected in the state, sans kerosene.

Talking to media persons at his New Secretariat office, the minister said that since the state population consists of mainly below poverty line families, in the purview, the state government has decided to exempt the Value Added Taxes (VAT) which is 5% above the cost of kerosene per liter, in the interest of the public.

The minister further informed that the state government has suspended, commissioner hills BB Sharma and under secretary Lalthanglun Guite until further notice.

Clearing the issue of the Sadar Hills chief’s allegation that government agents had confiscated village files illegally, the SPF spokesperson has said that the allegation is baseless.

Informing the media persons further, he stated that the commissioner, hills BB Sharma had issued orders during April 2011 recognizing 96 new villages in the Hill districts without being competent to do so. The records seized from the Hills Section on June 23 indicate that BB Sharma completely ignored the provisions under Section 29 A of the “Manipur Hill Areas District Councils (Third Amendment Act, 2008” which require a mandatory recommendation from the concerned district council for recognition of villages of the state government by passing a resolution by simple majority of the total members of the district council, he added.

On prima facie, it was found that there was no such recommendation from the concerned district council, he maintained.

Further, as per the rules of business of the state government, approval of the concerned ministers (in this case the CM) should be obtained before the issue of such an order, BB Sharma did not obtain approval and he picked up cases selectively and accorded approval.

Based on his unauthorized approval, the under secretary, Lalthanglun Guite, issued the orders and no copy was endorsed to the CM, he added.

The minister further informed that this action tantamount to gross violation of the Hill Area Act,2008 and the prescribed procedure for discharge of official business of the state government. And as such the government decided to cancel the unauthorized recognition given to the 96 new hill villages by BB Sharma and the cancellation orders have been issued. Thereby, both officials on ignoring the rules of the government have been announced suspended until further notice.

Further, the minister also informed that in order to prevent corruption in the process of recruitment of teachers for Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and to enable complete transparency in the process, the government has decided to cancel the viva voce which had been ordained before from the recruitment process.

It may be mentioned that the government had allotted 15 marks for viva voce earlier, however in a recent cabinet meeting; it was deducted to only five marks.

However the miister has added that the candidates will be subjected to health examinations and the test results will also be announced before the final announcement of the results of the recruitment, the candidates will avail the facility of having an objection call if they doubt the health results, he said.

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