IMPHAL, March 8: The 10th Session of the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly has begun with the address of Gurbachan Jagat, Governor of Manipur to the house this morning at 11.am.
The Governor in his more than one hour address before the House elaborately mentioned that the law and order situation in the state is showing signs of a turn-around. The number of civilians killed and injured has come down from 92 and 117 in 2007 to 20 and 53 respectively on 2010.
He further mentioned that the number of police and security personnel killed has also come down from 41 to 5 in the corresponding period. On the other hand, the number of extremists arrested has risen from 1296 to 1397 and detention under NSA has risen from 145 to 230 during the said period.
He also acknowledged that there is an increasing realization among the general public about the activities of the militant organizations in the state. This has raised willingness to resist. ‘Wakat Meepham’, sit-in-protest are promptly organized against underground organizations that kidnapped, kill or indulge in extortions. There are periodic cases of villagers beating up persons trying to extort money. Seminars on “Peace Dividend” and “The Way Forward” were well attended by representatives of academia, media and all sections of society. And it is believe that for safeguarding the democracy and sustaining peace, this dialogue has to continue and expand, the Governor added.
He further mentioned that, the existing SPF government has increased police manpower significantly during the last two years which is in line with the advice of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to strengthen the State Civil Police Force. Through concerted recruitments, the strength of the state police force has increased from 15,414 in January 2008 to 24,618 by January 2011. On January 7, this year, the passing out parade of 2915 constables was held at MPTS, further training of 1505 constable drivers and 2587 riflemen is expected to be completed within the next six months. The additional manpower is expected to enable the government to deploy adequate police personnel in the hills and remote rural areas of the valley districts for securing these hitherto under police areas.
It is also mentioned that, during the past six months, the state government have, with some well coordinated efforts succeeded in moving 18 tribal militant groups under the two umbrella organizations, UFP and KNO into ten designated camps. As of today, 1493 cadres are lodged in these camps and 709 arms deposited. A Joint Monitoring Group (JMG), chaired by the State Home Commissioner, reviews the arrangements and takes up cases of reported violation of the agreed ground rules. Steps are under way to impart training for rehabilitation of these militants, he added.
He further mentioned that, in August 2010, an agreement was signed with KCP(MC), Lallumba Faction. This militant group agreed to lay down arms and abjure violence. Altogether 112 cadres and leaders attended an ‘Art of Living’ training programme at Pune as part of rehabilitation and vocational training. State Home department is now seized with the task of identifying suitable vocations for their rehabilitation, the Governor added.
Mentioning state fiscal policy of the state for the years to come, state governor in his address mentioned that, the state government is taking effective steps to strike a balance between fiscal consolidation and enhanced Plan investment for accelerating growth and development. A fiscal consolidation pathway has been worked out on the basis of the roadmap recommended by the 13th Finance Commission. The roadmap envisages reduction of fiscal deficit of the state to 3% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) from 2013-14 onwards and to maintain revenue surplus. Accordingly, the Manipur Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Rules have been amended and fiscal targets have been incorporated in the Rules.
Governor, further mentioned that, the state government obtained a record Annual Plan outlay of Rs.2600 crores during 2010-11, a quantum jump 30% over the Rs.2000 crores outlay under Annual Plan 2009-10. The plan expenditure registered an average growth of 9.12% per annum and capital expenditures increased by almost 50% during this period. Outlays in key sectors like irrigation, power, roads and bridges have been enhanced significantly and emphasis is on early completion of major ongoing projects in these sectors. Again Annual Plan 2011-12, the state government has obtained an outlay of Rs.3200 crores an increase of 22% over the Annual Plan 2010-11. These Plan funds will be utilized for completing ongoing projects.
He also mentioned that, following the fixation of the borrowing ceiling by the government of India, the state government has taken several steps to increase its revenue receipts to finance its plan and non-plan expenditures. Rate of State’s Own Tax Revenues such as Valued Added Tax, Goods and Passengers Tax and State excise, have been revised and proposal for revision of power tarrif, forest royalties, motor vehicles tax, etc are under process. On the expenditure side, minimum restraint is being exercised to restrict fresh liabilities on the non-plan account. Besides the state government is committed to abide by the targets envisaged in the Manipur Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act and all concerted efforts shall be made to further improve the fiscal situation, he added.
Mentioning some of the major achievement of the SPF government during these past few years, governor further mentioned that the democratic decentralization could be made successful in the state by this SPF government by reviving the six-Autonomous Hill District Councils which had remained non-functional for more than two decades in the five hill districts of the state. In spite of resistance by anti-democratic vested interested, the successful conduct of election to the six-Autonomous District Councils, has won acclaim all over.
The government has already devolved greater powers to these Tribal Councils and has empowered them to provide local self government to meet the rights of tribal people’s aspirations. Apart from devolving powers in respect of subjects of various Departments, administrative control over DRDAs has been handed over to councils to enable them to take full charge of rural development in the hill areas. Similarly, administrative controlof DRDAs have been handed over to the Zilla Parishads in the valley districts.
Governor, Gurbachan Jagat further mentioned with the implementations of various centrally sponsored scheme and central funded projects in different sectors there is tremendous improvement in developmental taken up in the sectors like, Education, Health and Family Welfare, Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution, Rural Development, Agriculture and Horticulture Sector, Drinking Water, power Sector, Public Works Infrastructures, Irrigation and Flood Control, Urban Development, youth Affairs and Sports, Tourism, Information Technology, Relief and Disaster Management, Welfare of Weaker Sections, Manipur Bhavan Infrastructures etc. he added.
Governor in conclusion of his address in the house this morning, mentioned that, the state government have achieved significant success in many fields yet the government is aware that there are numerous challenges and constraints facing by the government. In their endeavour to overcome these challenges expressed his solicit the whole-hearted support, cooperation and understanding of the members of the house, with the cherished goal of making Manipur a peaceful and prosperous state.Later motion of thanks to the governor’s address was moved by the MLA, Dr Kh Loken Singh in house and seconded by MLA Dr. Ratan.
It may be mentioned that, earlier this morning just before the deliberating Governor speech, a group of Manipur Police Band Party have given their Guard of Honour to the Governor Gurbachan Jagat as soon as he arrived at the Assembly Complex and the formal session of the 10th Session of the state Assembly begin with the playing of National Anthem by the police band party at the Assembly complex this morning.