- Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim
The Sikkim Legislative Assembly (SLA) today passed the First Supplementary Demands for Grants worth of Rs 35,972.27 lakh for the financial year 2022-23 on the second and concluding day of the Sixth Session (Part II) of the Tenth Assembly 2022-2023 of SLA.
The First Supplementary Demands for Grants of Rs. 35,972.27 lakh was passed by the House to meet gross additional expenditure after it was moved for consideration and passed by Chief Minister P.S. Tamang, who is also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance Department, during the Financial Business of the session.
The concluding day of the Sixth Session (Part II) of the Tenth Assembly 2022-2023 of Sikkim Legislative Assembly today commenced with Question Hour.
In reply to the question put forth by MLA D.R. Thapa for the Finance Department, Government of Sikkim, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri P.S. Tamang, also the Finance Minister-in-Charge, shared that the total amount of borrowing by the State Government from May, 2019 to till date from different Banks, Financial Institutions and Government of India amounts to Rs. 4428.79 Crore (Rupees Four Thousand Four Hundred Twenty-Eight Crore and Seventy Nine Lacs). He further gave a detailed account of the borrowings utilised by the various agencies of the State government. The details of the schemes are reflected in the corresponding State Budget which has been placed in the Legislative Assembly, he added.
Replying to the question raised by MLAs, D.R. Thapa and N.K. Subba, for Social Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim, Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Shri M.K. Sharma, said that the State Government has placed the request before the Union Government for the provision of seats to Limboo and Tamang communities in the State Assembly. He reiterated the State government’s commitment to resolving the long-pending demands related to the provision of LT seats in the State Assembly and the inclusion of 12 left-out communities in the Tribal category.
Chief Minister Shri P.S. Tamang further clarified that committees have been constituted to pursue the ST status for 12 left-out communities and LT seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
In reply to the question raised by MLA Shri D.R. Thapa for Home Department, Government of Sikkim, Hon’ble Chief Minister, also the Minister-in-Charge, refuted the statement that “The Chief Minister has distributed more than fifty-three vehicles to his supporters on a Government function”. He assured that no such expenditure has been incurred from the consolidated fund of the State for the purchase of the said vehicles.
Replying to the question raised by MLA N.K. Subba concerning the status of the under-construction artificial lake at Uttarey, Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Shri B.S. Panth, stated that a total amount of Rs. 3 Crore had been sanctioned for the construction of the artificial lake which is known as Kritim Lake at Uttarey Bazaar under Maneybong-Dentam constituency and the construction work is under progress.
Tamang, also the Minister-in-Charge, shared that various relief measures have been provided to the stakeholders in the Tourism sector including the provision of relief amounting to Rs. 4,53,35,000.00 to 9067 drivers @Rs 5000.00 through Transport Department.
He further informed that the State government introduced the State Bank of Sikkim (SBS) Motor Insurance loan to taxi drivers and owners as a relief for paying insurance premiums. The scheme was opened to all taxi drivers/owners and 974 beneficiaries availed the loan amounting to Rs. 256.56 lakhs. He added that the Skilled Youth Start-up Scheme has also been introduced through SBS to provide and generate employment for skilled youngsters of the State. The State Government also provided a rebate in terms of waiver of lease rent by lessees of the assets belonging to the Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation for which lease rent is less than Rs 15000/- per month, he added.
The CM, also Minister-in-Charge of the Department of Personnel, informed that a total of 77,912 employment cards have been issued, out of which 7,793 cards have been cancelled on employment in the Government. A total of 34,097 persons have been engaged under temporary appointment in the Government sector. The employment card is not cancelled on securing a temporary appointment in Government and private sector.
He stated that the State government has decided to start a system wherein all vacancies for direct recruitment to Government jobs are taken up on annual basis. Further, the Skill Development Department has established a Niyukti Kendra, a one-stop convergence centre at Khadi Bhawan in Deorali, Gangtok for Training, Apprenticeship Placement, and Job Placement for the unemployed youth and also to organise various training programmes regularly.
The Chief Minister welcomed the suggestions put forth by D.R. Thapa and said that we must work in tandem to find a solution for addressing the issue of unemployment in the State.
During the Legislative Business, the 12 Bills introduced by the concerned Ministers-in-Charge in the last sitting of the House on 22 August were unanimously passed after elaborate discussions and the with the consensus of all the Legislators.
Besides, the CM, also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance Department, presented three reports – Evaluation Report of Compliance to Provisions of the Sikkim FRBM Act : Fiscal Year 2019-20; Finance Accounts 2020-21 Volume I & II and Appropriation Accounts 2020-21; Annual Consolidated Audit Report on the Accounts of Panchayati Raj Institutions & Municipalities for the Financial Year 2020-21.