Says Address shortened, as finer details can be debated during demand wise discussion
IMPHAL, February 22: Clarifying on amendments raised by three Opposition MLAs against the motion of thanks to the Governor’s Address today, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh appealed to the MLAs to participate in the debate during demand wise discussions for budget grants of various departments.
Clarifying to the Oppostion MLAs’ claim that the Governor’s Address was short, the Chief Minister said only the points felt necessary were included in the Governor’s Address as it would be time consuming to include all the important matters in the Address.
The CM elaborated that the issues that the members feel have been left out could be easily discussed in the coming days during the demand wise discussion.
The CM who is also the leader of the House said regarding the recent earthquake, a detailed project report has already been submitted to the Centre seeking financial assistance after collecting detailed information.
At the same time, the State government has released some amounts amounting to around Rs 20 crores in two phases as immediate relief from the State Disaster Management department for those killed by the quake, he added.
Implementation of the Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Bill 2014 is also already under process, he said adding that the framework of the bill has been prepared for its effective implementation in the State.
As for the production of food grains in the State, the State has already received awards for three consecutive times in the smaller States category from the President of India , he said.
However, we have no surplus production, Ibobi observed.
The details of all these can be reflected in the demand wise discussion for allocation of budget, he added.
As for the installation of a Fish Centre at Moirang, it is a Centre funded project under the Fisheries Ministry, Government of India, he added.
He said the government had applied for the project some two-three years ago and after considering a convenient place for the fish farmers, the government had selected Moirang for the Centre where the farmers can store their productions in the freezer.
Ibobi observed, if we had included every detail in the Governor’s Address, it would have taken a lengthy period and as such we left out some issues including development works in hill areas; however, this doesn’t mean the government has no concern for the hill areas, he observed.
Discussion for Tribal Development for grants will also come in the near future, he said.
He said as for provision of incentive cash rewards of job provision for sports players of the State who have brought laurels, the State government has not done any less than other States or even the country.
Regarding the issue of Manipur Human Rights Commission raised by MLA Ibomcha, he said it is very hard to find a (retd) Chief Justice to fill in for the post of chairman of the commission. The same goes for the chairman posts of the RTI and the MPSC, he added.
He said a Chief Justice has recently retired from the Meghalaya High Court and the State Law department has already approached him for the Manipur Human Rights Commission post.
The remaining others will also be filled soon, the Chief Minister added.
Regarding the law and order situation in the hill area, especially in Churachandpur district, the government has already opened its doors for any negotiation if the three bills passed by the Assembly in 2015 have hurt the sentiments of any group of people.
He said the hills have full constitutional protection under the MLR and LR Act 1960.
We have always appealed to the agitators of Churachandpur to bring the provisions or parts of the bills they are not satisfied with to the negotiating table and find amicable solutions with the government, he added.
At the same time, it is unfortunate that armed police personnel cannot be deployed in the Police Stations in the hills due to apprehension of their arms being snatched away by anti-social elements, he observed citing that very recently the National Railway Project senior deputy site manager was kidnapped by UG groups.
He said if such incidents continue to hamper the railway project, its completion might have to be deferred from December 2016.
As of now police personnel deployed in the Hills District Head quarter is 200/300 for each district, he said adding that if the railway asked for more protection, there is need to recruit another 500 minimum personnel.
The Chief Minister also assured that the JNIMS will be upgraded to the most excellent hospital in the North Eastern region.
He said the government is trying to open various post-graduation courses in the institute.
Regarding the issues raised on the development of National Highways, he said the State government is focused on the National Highways for which around Rs 160 crore have been used from the State budget although the State is facing acute financial constraint.
He said the government understands that the IVRs are more important to improve the State economy; however, due to lack of funds the PMGSY has been implemented for road blacktopping in the valley districts, whereas in the hills its phase I is used for cutting hills and road construction and phase II for blacktopping.
Meanwhile, following the clarification of the Chief Minister, the opposition MLAs withdrew their amendment motions and allowed passage of motion of thanks on the Governor’s Address.