Imphal: Manipur State Legislative Assembly today passed seven Demands for Grants amounting to Rs. 2032,70,93,000 on the fourth day of the 2nd Session of the 12th Manipur State Legislative Assembly. The Demands for Grants included Demand No. 6 – Transport (Rs. 58,86,31,000), Demand No. 8 – Public Works Department (Rs. 1026,52,47,000), Demand No. 9 – Information and Publicity (Rs. 15,89,83,000), Demand No. 16 – Cooperation (Rs. 38,48,97,000), Demand No. 35 – Stationery and Printing (Rs. 7,74,39,000), Demand No. 37 – Fisheries (Rs. 62,01,79,000) and Demand No. 44 – Social Welfare Department (Rs. 823,17,17,000).
Policy Cut Motions were raised by MLA Sugnu AC, K. Ranjit Singh, MLA Wangkhem AC, K. Meghachandra Singh, MLA Khundrakpam AC, Th. Lokeshwar Singh and MLA Khangabok AC, Surjakumar Okram on four Demands for Grants including Demand No. 8 – Public Works Department, Demand No. 9 – Information and Publicity, Demand No. 37 – Fisheries and Demand No. 44 – Social Welfare Department. MLA Thangmeiband AC, Kh. Joykisan Singh, MLA Phungyar AC, Leishiyo Keishing, MLA Ukhrul, Ram Muivah, MLA Kakching AC, Mayanglambam Rameshwar Singh and MLA Khangabok AC, Surjakumar Okram also gave observations on certain matters in the house.
Giving clarification on Policy Cut Motion raised on Demand for Public Works Department, Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam stated that good roads are the driving force for the economic development of the State and added that the State Government under the leadership of Chief Minister N. Biren has been putting in best efforts to upgrade the road infrastructure and trying to get funds from all possible sources for the same. He added that roads of economic importance would be constructed on a priority basis due to constraints of funds.
The Minister continued that the Department would set up a Quality Control Lab to check the standard of Bitumen used in blacktopping. Stating that the State Government had proposed the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway to upgrade certain State Highways to National Highways, he informed that the Government had already started the process for widening 79 selected roads in the State.
He expressed concern on the considerable increase in the number of vehicles plying on roads and further added the State Government was also planning to construct an elevated highway of 25 km with a cost Rs. 4000 crore. The Minister further informed that the Department has a liability of Rs. 560 crores and added that 20-25 percent of the liability would be cleared this year. As such, the Department would try to clear the whole liability gradually in the coming years, he added.
Govindas further informed that the State Government is planning for the monetization of Government Assets and also decided to set up a land bank for facilitating future development projects under the guidance of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.
Dr. Sapam Ranjan, who is in charge of the Information and Publicity Department, informed the house that the Department had earlier conducted recruitment to fill vacancies adding that he would try to announce the result soon in consultation with the Chief Minister. He further informed that Press Identity Cards for Media persons had been distributed to almost all of them.
Speaking on the welfare of Journalists taken up by the Department, Dr. Ranjan mentioned that a corpus fund of Rs. 10 crore had been kept for the Manipur State Journalists Welfare Scheme. Apart from this, media persons had been given other facilities like inclusion of media persons under Chief Ministergi Hakshelgi Tengbang Scheme, Manipur Working Journalist’s Pension Scheme and Manipur State Journalist Awards among others. He stressed the need to strengthen the working of the Manipur Information Centre at Delhi to disseminate the information on development taking place in the State to the people of other States. He also informed that there is no policy for digital media as of now adding that the Department would try to make the policy soon.
Fisheries and Social Welfare Minister, Heikham Dingo, while giving clarification to Policy Cut Motion, informed that fish farmers are given loans under Kisan Credit Card and so far, 89 of them had availed loans. Rs. 2 lakh is given per Hectare. He added that under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, grants are also given to the beneficiaries for establishment of hatcheries, construction of ponds and setting up of biofloc units. He continued that the Department would procure testing kits to check the presence of Formaldehyde in fish brought from outside the State and would start testing in certain entry points.
Regarding the Old Aged Pension Scheme under the Social Welfare Department, the Minister stated disbursement of old aged pension was done through MLAs for their respective constituencies earlier. However, after 2017, the pension amounts are transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer.
The House also passed five bills including The Code of Criminal Procedures (Manipur Third Amendment) Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 3 of 2022), The Manipur Goods and Service Tax (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 6 of 2022), The Manipur Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 8 of 2022), The Factories (Manipur Amendment) Bill, 022 (Bill No. 7 of 2022) and the Legal Metrology (Manipur First Amendment) Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 9 of 2022).
The Manipur Panchayati Raj (Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 4 of 2022) which was moved by Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RD & PR) Minister Shri Y. Khemchand Singh was referred to the Select Committee for further discussion. The Select Committee included RD& PR Minister, Y. Khemchand as Chairman and MLA, Langthabal AC, Karam Shyam, MLA Wabgai AC, Usham Deben Singh, MLA Sugnu AC, K. Ranjit Singh and MLA Khundrakpam AC, Th. Lokeshwar Singh as Members.