Budget session: House passes 7 demands
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Feb 12: The Manipur Legislative Assembly today passed seven demands amounting to Rs 3999,23,27,000 after several rounds of discussion and arguments.
Eight different Bills were also introduced in the House today for discussion and approval, if possible.
The demands were for Police (Rs 2345,79,50,000), Public Works Department (Rs 760,98,66,000), Vigilance & Anti-Corruption (Rs 5,99,67,000), Fire Protection & Control (Rs 30,65,96,000), Jail (Rs 33,43,37,000), Home Guards (Rs 47,97,20,000), Minorities & Other Backward Classes and Schedule Caste (Rs 774,38,91,000).
Opposition Members AK Mirabai, Kh Joykisan, Alfred Kanngam Arthur, Surjakumar Okram, K Govindas, Th Lokeshwar, K Meghachandra and Md Fazur Rahim raised cut motions in the course of discussing the demands.
The demand for grants was tabled one after another by Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar who is also in charge of Finance Department.
Before Ministers concerned gave clarifications to the policy cut motions raised by Opposition Members, Speaker Yumnam Khemchand made an intervention.
Commenting on an observation made by Kh Joykisan on ILPS while discussing the demand for Police Department, Khemchand said that all the papers laid submitted to the House with regard to ILPS are being examined by an Assembly Committee.
The committee had held three meetings–– twice last year and one on January 29 this year.
Moreover, due process is underway to convene a joint meeting of the State Assembly’s legal section, Home Department and Law Department.
Although the committee does not have a specific time frame, its activities were somewhat impeded on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and resignation of the chairman, Khemchand said.
Chief Minister N Biren remarked that ILPS is a common issue of all the people and the points raised by Joykisan are quite valid.
ILPS was brought to the State with a conviction to protect the indigenous people of the State.
“But I would not like to go into details regarding the base year and other rules as there is already an Assembly Committee”, Biren said.
Raising the policy cut motion, Joykisan asserted that the gazette notification issued by the State Government regarding implementation of ILPS is devoid of any substance.
The notification does not define indigenous people. Its rules and guidelines are not clear. Even though ILPS has been extended to Manipur, there are many loopholes and lacunas in the implementation part, Joykisan said.
Clarifying to a cut motion raised by Alfred Kanngam Arthur, Biren assured that all efforts would be invested to provide adequate manpower, vehicle and equipment to all police stations opened in hill districts.
At present, 2747 police personnel are being trained. Although the training schedule was delayed for sometime due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they would be posted where they are needed soon after the training is completed, Biren said.
The Government has been planning to procure 35 vehicles and these vehicles would be distributed between hill districts and valley districts without any partiality, the Chief Minister continued.
On the tripartite talks with SoO groups, Biren said that a separate interlocutor was designated earlier but the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to hand over the same responsibility to the IB Director. The peace talks are heading to the direction of a solution, he added.
The Government has been working to carry forward the dialogue with those demanding withdrawal of the creation of new districts, he said.
To a query raised by AK Mirabai, N Biren said that out of 17 organisations/firms which offered private security service, licences have been issued to two namely; Manipur Guards Service and NE Brothers Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
He said that befitting action would be initiated if the private security firms do not abide by specified rules.
To a point raised by Surjakumar, the Chief Minister claimed that due process has been initiated to streamline all irregularities which have been dogging promotion of women police officers and Constables.
On traffic control, Biren said that traffic lighting system has been introduced and traffic islands/roundels have been modified. The Government has been searching for appropriate sites within Imphal area for development of multi-storeyed parking lots, he continued.
Works Minister Th Biswajit said that the Imphal Ring Road should be taken with financial investment from ADB and its alignment was approved in 2014.
He was replying to a cut motion raised by Kh Joykisan in the course of discussing a demand for grant pertaining to PWD.
However, there are complaints and objections from people at three places–– Khabam Lamkhai, Langol Tarung and Kongba Ucheckon despite the ADB’s assertion that there should not be any objection or impediment to the project, Biswajit said.
Of the three places where the project is protested, an understanding is likely to be reached at two places. On account of the objection at Langol Tarung, it is being considered to divert the ring road to one of the existing roads for a short distance, he said.
The diversion touches certain areas of Imphal Municipal Corporation but this is not the final decision. There should be an opportunity to discuss the matter with all the MLAs and the public, said the Works Minister.
Clarifying to a point raised by AK Mirabai, Biswajit said that there are technical difficulties in building Takyel Khongbal’s Moirang Thong with RCC.
As such, construction of a bailey bridge has been enlisted in work programme. For the time being, the wooden bridge would be repaired and the necessary amount would be sanctioned.
Moreover, a large RCC bridge would be constructed in the vicinity of Moirang Thong as and when Imphal Ring Road is constructed, Biswajit said.
Relying to queries raised by K Govindas, Biswajit said that due approval has been obtained for expansion of NH 150 but some sections of the highway are handled by NHIDCL while some others are managed by PWD.
He also hailed the proposal of demarcating the highway.
He further assured that engineers would be sent to examine the Babupara road which is often flooded before it is constructed at the earliest.
Later in the House, Chief Minister N Biren introduced the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland (Amendment) Bill, 2012 (Bill No. 16 of 2021), Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar (in-charge of Finance) introduced the Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Third Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 3 of 2021); Th Biswajit Singh (in-charge of Textiles, Commerce and Industries) introduced the Manipur Industrial Single Window Clearance Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 7 of 2021) and the Manipur Public Services Delivery Guarantee Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 6 of 2021); S Rajen Singh (in-charge of Education) introduced the Manipur Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 8 of 2021); O Lukhoi Singh, Minister (in-charge of Agriculture) introduced the Manipur Oil Palm (Regulation of Production and Processing) Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 15 of 2021) and Th Satyabrata (in-charge of Law & Legislative Affairs) introduced the Manipur Legislature (Removal of Disqualifications) (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Bill No.4 of 2021) and the Court Fees (Manipur Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 9 of 2021).