By : A Staff Reporter 3/12/2008 2:28:23 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 11: The Manipur Hill Areas Autonomous District Council Bill, 2008, tabled in the House today by the state TD and hills minister DD Thaisii for consideration and passing has been deferred for consideration in tomorrow’s session as per suggestion by the Speaker during the afternoon session.
The current session of the Assembly will conclude tomorrow.
Soon after tabling the Bill, Opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam made his comments over the lapses of rules and procedures for consideration and passing of the Bill as the report of the Hill Area Committee related to the Bill was supposed to be given to all members three days before presentation in the House.
Failure to provide the reports to the members in time created several inconveniences for the members who could not analyse the Bill deeply and it would not be appropriate to pass the Bill hastily, he suggested.
Later, senior Opposition MLA O Joy drew the attention of the Speaker to refer the Bill either to a select committee of the House or to allocate time for consideration in the next sitting of the House. Power minister Phungzathang, and MLAs V Hangkhalian and Dr. Khasim Ruivah made strong appeals in the House for having the bill passed today as passing of the bill in this budget session was very much required as the state government had already announced the tentative schedule for elections to the district autonomouscouncils of the hill districts.
The Speaker after noting the observations from various members of the House made an official declaration that consideration and passing of the Manipur Hill Areas Autonomous District Council Act 2008 would be held in tomorrow’s session.
Earlier, chief minister O Ibobi Singh introduced two other government bills in the House including the Manipur Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2008 and The Assam Amusement and Betting Tax (Sixth Manipur Amendment) Bill, 2008.
Dr. Meinya urges timely completion of Jiri-Tupul rail line
Manipur Information Centre
New Delhi, Mar 11: Dr. Thokchom Meinya, MP from Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha last evening strongly urged the government of India and particularly the ministry of railways to see the Jiribam-Imphal (Tupul) rail line is completed by 2009, one year ahead of its target of completion.
Participating in the consideration of the Union railway budget, 2008-09 presented by the Union minister for railways Lalu Prasad Yadav, Dr Meinya congratulated the minister and his team for having presented a people friendly budget for the fifth time under the UPA government.
Coming to the seven national projects ranging from Jammu and Kashmir to other parts of the country and four to five projects belonged to north eastern India, he said, “I come from a state which has never seen a train in the last 60 years after the state of Manipur merged into the Union of India. The first railhead for Manipur was laid at Jirighat and it would be constructed under the name of Jiribam-Imphal (Tupul) rail line with the target of completion by 2010.”
He stated that this national project would take the train from Jiribam to Imphal and then to Myanmar and to South East Asia. The people of Manipur would be very happy when the train passed through their state and their economic activities that were slow due to bad communication and less infrastructures would be accelerated.
He further stated that the people in Manipur were looking forward towards development of their own activities. They were now yearning for very fast development.
Referring to the various problems taken place in this particular state, he underlined that the economic development was the key for all problems.
As the railway connectivity had become very essential part for economic development in the state, Dr Meinya urged the government on the floor of the Parliament to see the completion of the Jirabam-Imphal national rail project by 2009.
————————–60 percent of annual budget incurred in paying salaries during 2007-08
By : Thingbaijam Dhamen/IFP 3/12/2008 2:30:57 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 11: A total of Rs. 842.67 crores was incurred towards payment of salaries of 62111 employees serving in 97 departments during 2007-08 which is 60 percent of the annual budget of the state.
The revised annual plan outlay for the financial year 2007-08 for the state was Rs. 1420.14 crores including Rs. 500 crores under special plan assistance to the state.
As per latest statement on medium tern fiscal poliicy and strategy of the Manipur government, the state government spent Rs. 861.32 crores in 2005-06 and Rs. 735.02 crores in 2006-07 which was later revised to Rs. 788.92 crores in meeting salary commitments.
The Manipur government has a total of 69937 sanctioned posts in 97 different departments and offices while the present strength is 62111.
With a present strength of 12,519 employees out of the total sanctioned posts of 12,910, the state directorate of school education has the highest number of employees while the Rajya Sainik board having five employees out of total eight sanctioned posts has the least employees.
Apart from this, in 13 different public sector undertakings which are mostly defunct or running with no profit, there are 510 employees. The state government spends Rs. 668.73 lakhs per year in the payment of salaries of these employees.
The government also spent Rs. 247.61 lakhs on the payment of salaries for its 369 adhoc employees in 14 different departments/offices.
The total number of casual employees working in different departments is 830 and the expenditure incurred is Rs. 189.64 lakhs in a year.
A total amount of Rs. 193.68 lakhs is spent in the payment of 2376 works charge while the total number of muster roll employees is 4913 and government incurred Rs. 819.49 lakhs in paying their salaries per year.
Another 184 employees were appointed in the state adult education and fisheries departments with a total expenditure of Rs. 69.12 lakhs in the provision of salaries for them.
The state government also spent Rs. 66.80 lakhs in the payment of salaries for 4073 employees in the form of grant-in-aid to four departments.
On the other hand, the source said that after the enactment of the fiscal responsibility and budget management Act, fiscal consolidation of the state has made satisfactory progress. The fiscal deficit of the states as a proportion of GSDP has come down from 10.73 percent in 2004-05 to 6.08 percent in 2005-06.
The mandated FRNMA mechanism has thus proved effective, it said.
The achievement of fiscal targets in 2005-06 and 2006-07 has also enabled the state government to earn a benefit in the form of writing off of government of India loans to the extent of Rs. 37.54 crores in 2005-06 and an equal amount in 2006-07.
The fiscal consolidation process adopted by the state government has been aimed at reducing diversions of development funds for non-development purposes without however affecting the resources for meeting establishment expenditure.
Reprioritization of expenditure has been attempted with a focus on outcome coupled with generation of more tax and non-tax revenues. The tax-GSD ratio, although small, has risen from 1.94 % in 2004-05 to 2.13% in 2005-06, 2.12% in 2006-07 and 2.17% in 2007-08. State’s non-tax- GSDP ratio has also risen from 1.67 % in 2004-05 to 3.15% in 2006-07 and is likely to be 2.49% in 2007-08, the state government statement on the fiscal consolidation said.
It added that in 2006-07 there was not a single instance of the state government availing itself of the ways and means and overdraft facility from the Reserved Bank of India. Expenditure was incurred as planned in the budget. With the consolidation and rescheduling of the loans from HUDCO, REC and NCDC, the debt repayment burden has been substantially eased.
While stating that the growth of the state’s economy is expected to be 11.74% at the current prices in 2006-07, the overview report of the economy also said that the growth impetus of the economy was low in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
However, the situation has improved since 2004-05 when the growth was registered at 10.14% at current prices. Agriculture sector shows a growth of 11.17% in 2006-07 while the industrial sector and the services sector shows 15.12 percent and 10.63 percent respectively in the same year. Measured by the wholesale price index of all the commodities, the inflation in 2005-06 was 3.89 percent.
——————-State failed to produce food surplus, says minister
By : A Staff Reporter 3/12/2008 2:27:21 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 11: The agriculture minister N Loken admitted there was failure on the part of the department to help farmers produce surplus food crops.
Mentioning this the minister in his reply on cut motions raised by the Opposition MLAs in the House today further disclosed that the department, despite making efforts, failed to distribute enough seeds for both rabi and kharif crops due to low budget.
The minister also said with the gradual improvement of finances of the state, the department has initiated many training programmes and campaigns both in the hill and valley districts to impart awareness of modern techniques of agricultural production.
The minister clarified that the department after procuring the required fertilizers from different agencies was now maintaining adequate stock for kharif crop. Besides, the department has already taken up initiatives for establishing a state organic farming cell.
Regarding irrigation facilities to the agricultural areas of the state, he said a total of 30,000 hectares had been covered by proper irrigation systems and the remaining 2 lakh hectares of agricultural land were still dependent on the monsoon rains. The department in order to ensure multiple cropping in various agricultural lands had tied up with other departments like minor irrigation and IFCD for proper maintenance of existing cannal systems and also to start new irrigation canal projects.
Elaborating on some of the action plans taken up by the state agriculture department, the minister said the department had already set up mechanised workshops for repair of machinaries used in agricultural fields at the district and sub-divisional headquarters and was also planning to send interested candidates from the state ITI free of cost outside the state for training in repairing the modern machinaries used in agriculture.
Earlier, Opposition MLAs led by O Joy, Dr. Ng Bijoy, Dr. Ibohalbi and RK Anand raised their cut motion on the lack of vision in development of agriculture in the state.
Further, minister N Loken who holds the portforlio of social welfare, mentioned that in order to streamline the proper implementation of various schemes, the department was considering giving more powers to the state medical board.
He said the existing state medical board was carrying out identification and certification of disabled persons in the state and above 8000 disabled persons had been identified and registered by the board. Process was also on to establish the district medical board with increased specialist doctors in the department.
Later, the minister further clarified that the department was following the advised norms of the centre in disbursement of honararium for angawadi helpers.
——————RIMS to disclose names of KCP(MC) backed candidates if threat persists
By : A Staff Reporter 3/12/2008 2:24:35 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 11: The attention of the RIMS authority has been drawn to a news item issued to the print and electronic media by the KCP(MC) which asks inter alia, the director Prof L Fimate and the medical superintendent Prof Y Mohen to surrender before it latest by March 15, 2008 failing which drastic punishment would be given, a release from the RIMS has said.
In this connection the RIMS authority denies all the charges. The authority has never colluded with any organization nor had informed their “enemies” about the presence or coming of the KCP(MC) members to the RIMS complex for investigations into the alleged corruptions. However some unknown persons had come to collect information on which organizations had recommended how many candidates for nurses and attendants for appointments,etc, the release elaborated.
It is also a fact that the KCP(MC) had submitted to the RIMS authority a list of candidates for nurses and Grade IV posts with instructions to have them appointed. Since there is no scope for hanky-panky underhand plays in the appointments in this institute no assurance was given to it or any organization. All examinations are conducted by a committee comprising faculty staff of RIMS and questions are sent from outside the state in sealed envelopes.These are opened only on the day of the examination with coding system of the examination and results are announced the same day, the release mentioned.
In view of the grim threat to the director and the medical superintendent the names of the candidates recommended by the KCP(MC) will be released to the media anytime after March 15 if the situation so warrants. Should anything untoward happen to these top officials of the institute the candidates concerned should be held accountable, the release further said.