Apart from highlighting achievements and progress registered under the Sikkim Democratic Front government in the last 19 years, the CM also set out deadlines for officials to deliver a set of new schemes and commitments in remaining few months of the fourth term of his government in office.
The CM directed the Chief Secretary and the Department of Personnel to submit a detailed report to finalise the list of unemployed youth by 15 January 2014 to facilitate timely release of allowance for unemployed youth of the State.
The CS and Department of Personnel were also directed to finalise paperwork for regularisation of Worked-Charged, Temporary and Master Roll employees who have been in service for more than ten years. This also needs to be completed by 15 January, he directed. If completed in time, the State Government can take it up with the Planning Commission for the meeting scheduled for January 2014, he informed. The paperwork for regularization of services of temporary workers who have been in service for more than 15 years is already being processed at the Departmental level.
The CM also announced today that post-Matriculation scholarship for Sikkim students wqill now also been extended to the State’s Other Backward Classes [Newar, Bahun and Chettri] at par with similar scholarship already being extened to ST, SC, and MBC communities in Sikkim.
He further informed that the State government has taken a policy decision to extend popular schemes such as GCI sheets to construct houses, house upgradation assistance of up to Rs. 20,000, induction cooking stove along with other benefits to also cover all people on the voter list in rural areas. These facilities will be released during the Janta Mela scheduled to be held in January next month.
He further assured that the salaries and allowances of the Panchayats will soon be doubled. Further, compensation and ex-gratia to labourers will be increased by 25%, allowances to physically challenged students would be increased by 25%, and also announced post-matric scholarship to students belonging to OBC category. Further, unemployed youth starting a private venture could avail of 50% subsidy, he informed.
The Chief Minister directed the concerned department to propose the beautification of Rongli Bazaar and instructed the HRD Department to arrange for the shifting of Rongli School as demanded by the people of the area during his recent visit. Further, the Chief Minister announced the launching of vaccination for Cervical Cancer from January 2014.
Extending his best wishes to his cabinet colleagues, MLAs and officers of the Government, the Chief Minister highlighted all the major achievements of the Government and attributed the progress and positive image of the State to stable political leadership and good governance.
He further stated that the Government has been successful in taking opportunities to the villages through various schemes, which has helped bridge the rural-urban economic divide. This, he said, was also possible through power devolution and decentralisation and concentration of over 70% budget on rural development. The Chief Minister also informed that 1,130 landless families have benefitted from the Land Bank Scheme of the Government. He called on his political colleagues and officers from various departments to lend a human touch while serving the interest of the people.
The Chief Minister underlined the need for governance and administration to graduate from providing basic minimum needs to delivering qualitative services.
The media came in for some severe stick from the Chief Minister today as he railed against what he sees as intentional misrepresentation by a section of the media in Sikkim. He came into this topic by referring to the recent incident when his comments on the Companies Act 2012 were misquoted and misrepresented by some newspapers here.
Arguing that non-local journalists did not understand or care for Sikkim’s sensibilities, the CM announced today that he would counter such mischievous propaganda in all required forums – political, intellectual and legal.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the Government has preserved and embellished the identity and value of Sikkim Subjects and entities like Article 371F and the Land Revenue Order No. 1, thereby safeguarding the legal and ethnic rights of citizens. The Chief Minister also dismissed persistent allegations by certain sections over the status of Article 371F and urged the media to check dissemination of misconstrued news and establish positive journalism in Sikkim.
These misleading reports, he said, worked against public interest.
Further, Mr. Chamling dismissed media reports suggesting that Sikkim was deep in debt. He clarified that Sikkim has the lowest loan liability as compared to other States, and shared the Government's vision to make Sikkim a debt-free State by 2015.
The Chief Minister also released a coffee table book, “The Legacy Maker: Pawan Chamling’s Ideas that shaped Sikkim” by Yishey Doma and published by the Information & Public Relations Department.
Earlier, Chief Secretary R Ongmu, in her welcome note, highlighted the major achievements of the Government in the last 19 years.
MLA and Chief Whip of the Government, Ugen Gyatso Bhutia, in his brief address, cited Human Resource Development to be the greatest contribution of the SDF government. He further shed light on the achievements of the Government in the field of Social Development, Women’s Empowerment, Economic Development, Education sector, Agriculture sector and in the maintenance of secularism in the State.
Later the programme concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Secretary, IPR, CC Wangdi.