MEDIA REPORTS ON GOLAY COME UNDER FIRE
GANGTOK, 28 June: The annual budget of Rs. 5,277.10 crore comprising of Rs. 2,540.23 crore under Plan and of Rs. 2,736.87 crore under Non Plan accounts for 2012-13 was passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly here today. Chief Minister and Minister-in-Charge of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department had tabled the budget on the floor of the House on 26 June.
Besides this, the House also unanimously passed separate Demands for Grants for Animals Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services and Irrigation and Flood Control departments under the Charge of Minister, Dawcho Lepcha.
The separate Demands for Grants for Tourism, Forest, Environment and Wildlife department, Mines, Minerals and Geology and Science and Technology departments under the charge of Minister Bhim Dhungel were passed after a short discussion. Tulshi Devi Rai and Sonam Gyatso Bhutia participated in the discussion and demanded that the problems and developmental aspirations of their respective constituencies be taken up on priority basis.
Meanwhile, the separate Demands for Grants for Department of Building and Housing department was passed without discussion.
While taking part in the discussion of Urban and Housing Development and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department under the charge of Minister DB Thapa, Gangtok MLA Dorjee Namgyal re-iterated his demand for a proper system of recording addresses and house numbers in the Gangtok Municipal area and urged the Leader of the House and government to consider the establishment of the film industry in Sikkim by providing relaxations on entertainment tax.
Minister DB Thapa in his reply informed the House that numbering and proper addressing of households in GMC area is being undertaken by the GMC and that it will take some time to finalize the model for household numbering.
On the issue of Morf discotheque at Adampool [into which Upper Burtuk MLA PST Tamang had demanded an enquiry since it shouldered a school], the Minister informed the House that the establishment was operating on a provisional licence for one year and that when the licence expires on 11 July, the department will not renew it. He admitted that the discotheque was situated within 100 meters of a school compound.
He, however, denied that any complaints from the local public or school management committee were received by the UD&HD or HRDD.
The Demand for Grants for the department under the charge of the Chief Minister was also passed by the house.
The focus of deliberations also fell on the state’s media as Salghari-Zoom MLA Madan Cintury demanded that a motion of breach of privilege be moved against media reports on dissident MLA Prem Singh Goley’s statements.
Similarly, Mangan-Lachen MLA Tshering Wangdi Lepcha contended that it was media pandering which had inspired the ‘unruly behaviour’ of the Upper Burtuk MLA and urged the house to impose restrictions on the media.
While commenting on the points raised by the members in the House, the Chief Minister endorsed the demand to move a motion of breach of privilege against the media and appropriate action as per the rules of the House.
Mentioning that there have been too many instances of misuse of democratic institutions in Sikkim, the CM argued that allowing such abuse to continue unchecked would compromise democracy and the Constitution. He left it to the Speaker of the house to take action on the matter since the breach of privilege motion is the Speakers’ prerogative.
He also urged members to maintain decorum in the House and alerted them to be responsible to the State and the people and further asked them to respect the people’s mandate. On Mr. Tamang’s conduct through the Budget Session, he said that the MLA had gone out of line with his actions which were not in accordance with the business of the House and supported the Speaker’s ruling suspending him for the day as being in line with the rules for conduct of the house.
The CM highlighted that even those who choose to oppose are bound by the rules of the House and bound by the Constitution to respect them. The Upper Burtuk MLA’s actions were “against the interests of the people, law and proceedings”, stated the CM.
Besides this, the SLA today also passed the Appropriation Bill moved by the Chief Minister.