Gangtok: Sikkim Legislative Assembly session on Friday culminated with the passing of 3 Amendment and 4 Financial Bills.
Chief Minister PS Tamang who also holds the finance portfolio sought Vote on Accounts in view of the Code of Conduct enforced due to Urban Local Body Elections in the State. Full Budget he said would be taken up next month. The House passed Vote on Accounts for Rs 232148.06 lakh by voice vote conveniently as it does not require any discussion. ‘The Vote-on-Accounts is for payment of salaries and wages and pensions. It shall not be used for incurring expenditure on new services,’ said CM Tamang. The Appropriation Bill for Vote on Accounts was also passed. The third batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants, placed by CM PS Tamang was also passed as was the Appropriation Bill to the tune of Rs 19,988.13 lakhs, including Rs 4000.00 lakh on the Revenue Account and Rs 15,988.13 lakh on Capital Account. Net cash outgo aggregating to Rs 16,299.34 lakh has been projected.
In between Chief Minister was requested by MLA DR Thapa, (BJP ) for justice for students expelled from Gayzing Govt College, on the plea that they have not committed any crime. CM PS Tamang said since the matter was sub –judice he would not like to comment, but he made it clear that action has been taken by the college administration.
Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical Technological Sciences Act has been amended, unanimously. It was earlier introduced by the Minister for Education, Kunga Nima Lepcha to enable President or Chairman of the Manipal Education Foundation to appoint any Pro-Chancellor for the University. The present incumbent said he is finding it difficult to bear the heavy responsibilities, hence these amendments ere necessiated.
The Sikkim Regulations of Societies, Associations and other Voluntary Organizations Act was also amended, relaxing certain powers introduced by Minister of Law Kunga Nima Lepcha.
Sikkim Municipalities (Amendment) Bill introduced by Minister for Urban Development, Arun Upreti was also passed. It increases Gangtok Municipal wards to 19 from the earlier 17. MLA DR Thapa raised a question about the timing but later voted in favour of it, possibly after a convincing reply by the concerned minister.
Reports of Comptroller and Auditor General of India on the performance Audit of Select District Hospitals in Sikkim for the year ended March 2019 was also presented.
In the beginning the House paid tribute to Late Phetuk Bhutia, who was a member of the SLA (Sangha), from 2009 to 2014. Obituary references were made to late Phetuk Tshering who expired on February 20, 2021 in Namchi, by the Speaker LB Das, Leader of the House CM PS Tamang, Sangh MLA Sonam Lama and MLA KS Lepcha.
Speaker LB Das announced that existing committees and panel of Chairmen would continue functioning presently. The session was cut short to one day only due to the risk of coronavirus, said Speaker LB Das.
The Chief Minister and Speaker thanked all concerned, and the House has been adjourned sine-die.