CHIEF MINISTER LAYS THE BUDGET FOR 2021-22 IN THE SIKKIM LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
The Fourth Session (Part III) of the Tenth Assembly of Sikkim Legislative Assembly commenced from today.
The Session began with the Hon’ble Speaker, SLA, Shri L.B. Das welcoming the Hon’ble Governor and all the Members to the Session.
Hon’ble Governor, Shri Ganga Prasad, began his address by extending his warm greetings and best wishes to the Hon’ble Speaker and all the Hon’ble members. He said that the State Government during this period of crisis has been working tirelessly and has effectively overcome the obstacles presented forth. There have been zero cut on salaries and developmental activities have been carried forward with utmost zeal and without any interruptions.
The Hon’ble Governor stated that the Budget for this year has been formed taking into consideration the impact of Covid -19 on the economy of the State, and has devised ways by which we shall remain shielded from its detrimental effects. He expressed his confidence that the Budget deliberations will address the needs of the evolving times and will usher in greater glory to allow Sikkim to reach its truest potential.
The State Government has designed the Budget to substantially address the pertinent issues reflected in the Union Budget. It is development centric with special focus on healthcare, education, increasing agriculture and horticulture produce.
The Hon’ble Governor elaborated on some of the notable achievements and area of focus of the State Government. He maintained that due fiscal priority has been accorded to development, health, education, social sector and infrastructure requirements. “So far we are moving in the right direction towards the growth and prosperity of the State and I am confident that the budget session will be in furtherance of this momentum,” stated the Hon’ble Governor.
Hon’ble Speaker Shri L.B. Das reported the Hon’ble Governor’s address on the floor of the House. He announced that the businesses listed for Fourth Session – Part (III) of the Tenth Legislative Assembly, Budget 2021-22 will be taken up in two days. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Private Members Businesses i.e., Question Hour, Private Members Resolution and other Motions stand suspended. He further said that as a precautionary measure, Hon’ble Members are requested to continue wearing their face mask while deliberating on the floor of the House or otherwise as per the advice of the State level Task Force on Covid-19 Management. He said that the country is leaving no stone unturned to contain the Second Wave of the Covid-19 virus, despite speedy vaccination drive and phases of Unlock, Safety Protocols are still in effect.
Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, in his motion of thanks on the Hon’ble Governor’s address, said that the Members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly assembled in the Session are deeply grateful to the Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim for his address which he has been pleased to deliver today, the 14th June, 2021.
The Motion of Thanks on the Hon’ble Governor’s address was seconded by Hon’ble Member Shri Sonam T. Venchungpa.
The discussion and voting on the Motion of Thanks on Governor’s Address will be taken up tomorrow, the 15th of June, 2021.
During the Financial Business, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Hon’ble Chief Minister, also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance Department presented the General Budget of the Government of Sikkim for the financial year 2021-22.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister, while delivering his Budget Speech, highlighted the key areas of the Budget for the financial year 2021-22 along with the budgetary profile.
Against a gross expenditure provision of Rs.9852.85 crore, (Rupees nine thousand eight hundred fifty-two crores eighty-five lakh) the net outgo comes to Rs.9588.65 crore (Rupees nine thousand five hundred eighty-eight crores sixty-five lakh) after taking into account recoveries amounting to Rs.264.20 crore (Rupees two hundred sixty-four crore twenty lakh).
He acknowledged the support of the very committed legislators and minister colleagues, officials, doctors, nurses, health workers, police personnel, community organizations, civil society members and the media to deal with the pandemic. Being located within the boundaries of the international borders, national security is our prime consideration and had to deal with the pandemic with a unique approach.
He said that despite serious financial constraints and severe geographical handicaps and also suddenness of the spread of pandemic across the world and in India, the State Government has been able to put together a considerable level of physical infrastructures and facilities to deal with the COVID-19.
He gave a brief outline of the economic losses incurred by the State Government in all sectors due to the lock-down induced by the pandemic.
He said that the State Government is determined to minimise the adverse impact, provide maximum possible relief to all the stakeholders and people in general by consistently making major strategies to revive and rebuild our economy. In fact, the economy had already started showing signs of recovery during the short period of August 2020 to March 2021, he added.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister once again expressed his thanks to the people of Sikkim, frontline warriors, doctors, nurses, officials, police personnel, home guards, safaikarmacharis, Dhobi, Medical attendant and all supporting staffs, volunteers, civil society organisation, political workers, media, farmers, daily wage workers, drivers, businessmen, tourism industry stakeholders and all others for their patience, forbearance, cooperation and support during both waves of the pandemic in Sikkim.
He also thanked the Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim for being an extraordinary source of encouragement, moral support and guiding light during these tough and burdensome time.
In the end, the Hon’ble Chief Minister appealed to all to once again march forward to fulfill our goals based on sustainable development policies for the benefit of the people of Sikkim. “Let us re-dedicate ourselves to further peace and tranquility and ensure that the State grows to become an example of innovation and progress,” he stated.
The discussion and voting on the General Budget 2021-22 will be taken up tomorrow, the 15th of June, 2021.
During the Legislative Business, the following Bills were placed in the House by the concerned Minister-in-Charge:
1. The Sikkim International University Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 13 of 2021) was introduced by Hon'ble Minister of Education Department, Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha.
As per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill, the State government has deemed it expedient to establish a self-financing Private University in the name of "Sikkim International University" in the State of Sikkim sponsored by the Research and Gyan for Noble Upliftment Trust at Sreebadam in West Sikkim.
The aim for establishing the University is to provide high quality education supplemented with industrial internship and professional training, education in the area of Engineering, Medical, Technical, Accounting, Finance, Commerce, Agriculture and many others through regular, online, part time and distance education mode. It also aims to create higher level of intellectual abilities. Further, establishment of the University in West Sikkim will provide necessary momentum for overall development of the area. The Bill has been framed with these objectives in view.
2. The Sikkim Labour (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 11 of 2021) was introduced by Hon'ble Minister of Labour Department, Shri Mingma Norbu Sherpa.
The State government has deemed it necessary to have a comprehensive database by making it legally mandatory for registration of the entire spectrum of workforce, intermediaries or service providers or sub service providers, owner, employers and establishments and annual licensing of service providers or sub service providers and establishments, to enable the various programme implementing agencies to effectively execute the plethora of existing welfare schemes and also to capacitate the State government to formulate informed policies and programmes for improving the working and living conditions of labourers and also to protect them from exploitation by their employers. It is equally necessary to list out the duties and responsibilities of the employers and to document the legally necessary working conditions including wages of the workers. With these objectives in view, the Bill has been framed.
3. Similarly, the Medhavi Skills University, Sikkim Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 12 of 2021) was introduced by Hon'ble Minister of Education Department, Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha.
The State government has deemed it expedient to establish a self-financing Private University under the name of "The Medhavi Skills University, Sikkim" in the State of Sikkim sponsored by Medhavi Foundation at Bermiok in West Sikkim.
The aim for establishing the University is to promote quality skill education and entrepreneurship in an integrated manner with higher education to meet the qualified skilled manpower requirements of a growing national economy and to develop qualified youth with skilled proficiencies. Further, establishment of the University in West Sikkim will provide necessary momentum for overall development of the area. The Bill has been framed with these objectives in view.
4. Likewise, the Sikkim Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 9 of 2021) was introduced by Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, who is also the Minister In-charge of Finance Department.
The State government has felt it necessary to amend the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2010 in view of the decision of the Government of India to allow more fiscal space to the State government from the financial year 2021-22 to 2025-26 as per the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission.
5. Lastly, the Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management University, Sikkim (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 14 of 2021) was introduced by Hon'ble Minister of Education Department, Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha.
The State government has deemed it expedient to revive the Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM) University by changing the name of the University to Sikkim Alpine University and sponsoring body from Malvika Foundation to AMOGH Advanced Education and Research Foundation.
In order to revive the University, the State government has deemed it necessary to make changes in the nomenclature of the Act and in the nomenclature of the sponsoring body and insert sub-section (5) and sub-section (6) in section 47 of the Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management University, Sikkim Act, 2006.With these objects in view, the Bill has been framed.
The discussion and voting on the Bills will be taken up tomorrow, the 15th of June, 2021.
Hon’ble MLA and Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Shri Aditya Golay (Tamang) presented the Reports of the Committee on the floor of the House. The Hon’ble MLA put on record his gratitude and appreciation towards the State Government for creating a separate budget heads for Soreng Sub-Division and Pakyong Sub-Division. He said that this will ease out administration and benefit the people of these two sub-divisions.