Gangtok, 29 March (IPR): The second day of the Sixth Session of the Tenth Assembly (Budget Session 2022-23) of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, which was presided over by Speaker, SLA, Shri L.B. Das commenced today with the Governor’s address.
Governor, Shri Ganga Prasad, began his address by extending his warm greetings and best wishes to the Speaker and all the Members.
He informed that this year’s Union Budget aims to strengthen the infrastructure with its focus on inclusive development, productivity enhancement and investment, energy transition, and climate action, the overall goal being ‘Development’. Likewise, the State of Sikkim’s budget this year also aims at holistic development while expediting the process of the upliftment of the people of Sikkim.
He further said that the State Government has introduced “BAHINI” scheme that focuses on providing free sanitary pads, safe and healthy environment for girls studying in classes 9 to 12 in different schools in Sikkim. He also spoke about “Sikkim AAMA Sashaktikaran Yojana” which will provide One-Time Assistance of Rs. 20,000/- and this fund can be utilized for medical care, support educational requirements, renovation of houses, and establishment of any source of income.
The Governor apprised the House about the ‘Vibrant Village Programme’ that has been launched this year by the State government to ensure that development gains reach the farthest corners of the State. This programme will cover border villages with a sparse population, limited connectivity, and infrastructure.
He also highlighted the major up-scaling of the health sector in Sikkim through improvement in infrastructure, capacity building, and manpower placement to ensure the smooth functioning of healthcare facilities. Shortages in dialysis units, blood banks, ICU in district hospitals have also been efficiently addressed by the State government, he added.
Focusing on the education scenario in the State, the Governor reiterated the State government’s commitment to providing quality education in Sikkim with a major focus on the digitization of education. To allow easy access to online education, the State government provided SMART-TVs to the students from Classes 8-11 under the E-Vidya programme. This significant and historic step has made it possible for every student to access digital education in the comfort of their homes by facilitating access to the Swayam Prabha channel and also various apps including Sikkim Edu. Tech, the Governor stated.
He further highlighted that the State government has been successfully implementing all flagship programmes and schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Sikkim Garib Awas Yojna (SGAY), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Gramin (PMAY-G), Swachha Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), etc.
He also said that the State government in tandem with the Central government has been constantly making efforts to develop a sound network of roads for smooth connectivity and solve issues of recurrent maintenance of roads.
He expressed hopes that this year’s Budget will enhance the goals of the State Government towards the development of Sikkim in a progressive way.
After the Governor’s address, Speaker, Shri L.B. Das reported the address of the Governor. Subsequently, the Chief Minister and also the Leader of the House Shri Prem Singh Tamang moved the Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s address.
Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, in his motion of thanks for the Governor’s address, said that the Members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly assembled in the Session are deeply grateful to the Governor of Sikkim for his address which he has been pleased to deliver today, the 29th of March, 2022.
The Motion of Thanks was seconded by Member, SLA, Shri Sonam Tshering Venchungpa. The discussion and voting on the address of the Governor will take place on 31st March, 2022.
During the Financial Business, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Hon’ble Chief Minister, also the Minister-in-Charge of the Finance Department presented the General Budget of the Government of Sikkim for the financial year 2022-23.
The Chief Minister, also the Minister-in-Charge of the Finance Department, while delivering his Budget Speech, highlighted the key areas of the Budget for the financial year 2022-23 along with the budgetary profile. He presented an Explanatory Memorandum of the government of Sikkim, Annual Financial Statement, Estimates of Receipts, Demands for Grants for Financial Year 2022-23.
Explaining the budgetary profile for the year 2022-2023, the Chief Minister informed that against a gross expenditure provision of Rs 10419.71 crore, (Rupees Ten Thousand Four Hundred Nineteen Crore and Seventy One Lakhs), the net outgo comes to Rs 10116.11 Crore (Rupees Ten Thousand One Hundred Sixteen Crore and Eleven Lakhs) after taking into account recoveries amounting to Rs 303.60 Crore (Rupees Three Hundred Three Crore and Sixty Lakhs). The fiscal deficit remains in adherence to the fiscal management targets set in the Sikkim Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2010, i.e. not more than 4% including additional borrowing space of 0.5% of GSDP on certain criteria for performance in the Power sector. The contribution from own Tax Revenue is of the order of Rs 1336.42 Crore (Rupees One Thousand Three Hundred Thirty-Six Crore and Forty Two Lakhs) and that of Non-Tax Revenue Rs 990.09 Crore (Rupees Nine Hundred Ninety Crore and Nine lakhs).
Further, he explained that the total gross expenditure includes allocations amounting to Rs. 9.56 crore (Rupees Nine Crore and Fifty Six Lakhs) under the dispensation of the North Eastern Council, Rs. 255.48 Crore (Rupees Two Hundred Fifty-Five Crore and Forty Eight Lakhs) under Non-Lapsable Pool of Central Resources, and Rs. 2660.45 Crore (Rupees Two Thousand Six Hundred Sixty Crore and Forty-Five Lakhs) only under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
While presenting the Annual General Budget for the Financial Year 2022-23, the Chief Minister said that the consistent efforts and perseverance have resulted in achieving many laurels in different fields after the formation of the government as enlisted below:
i) Pakyong Police Station ranked as the 7th Best Police Station in the Country.
ii) Sikkim also received the Most Film Friendly State award in the Country during the 67th National Film awards.
iii) All four districts of Sikkim were ranked in the top 20 among 120 districts of the North-East region in the Sustainable Goals, with East Sikkim ranking 1st, South Sikkim 6th, North Sikkim 14th, and West Sikkim 17th.
iv) Sikkim also received the India Today State of the State Awards for the best performing State in Economy, Most Improved small State in Law & Order and Environment and was also adjudged as the best performing small State in cleanliness.
v) Sikkim ranks 1st in Public Affairs Index 2021 under “ Good Governance” category published by Public Affairs Centre (PAC)
vi) Sikkim tops North East and Hill states in NITI Aayog innovations rankings.
vii) Sikkim is adjudged among the top 5 states with the highest score in the overall Smart Policy Index, 2021.
viii) Sikkim has attained the first position with 92% eligible population administered with the second jab of the COVID-19 Vaccine.
ix) Sikkim has been ranked as the 5th Happiest Indian State/Union Territory.
x) Sikkim achieved the highest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education, with 75.8% in Higher Education, in the age group of 18 to 23 years as compared to the National average of 27.1%.
The Chief Minister of the State informed about the allocated 18 acres of land to Khangchendzonga State University at Temi – Tarku of which the foundation stone was laid by Hon’ble Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu recently. The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 581.57 Crore and the construction and other programmes including academic and ordinances will be started soon.
Likewise, for Gyalshing Degree College Rs. 25.13 crores was allocated in the first phase, and Rs. 59.02 crore was allocated in phase II and over 45% of the work has been completed, he said.
He apprised the House about the initiative taken for the establishment of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University of Excellence at Chakung in West Sikkim and that the State Government has already allocated 32 acres of land for the University campus.
Similarly, he added that the State has a range of private universities located in rural areas of Sikkim including Medhavi Skill University at Bermiok (West Sikkim), Sikkim Professional University at Budang (West Sikkim), Capital University at Zoom (West Sikkim), Sikkim Alpine University at Kamrang (West Sikkim), Sikkim International University at Sreebadam(West Sikkim) and Sikkim Skill University at Passi under Namthang-Rateypani Constituency.
The Chief Minister also highlighted the various fellowship schemes under the State Government that are primarily aimed at harnessing inner talents and providing training-oriented platforms for young students. One such scheme is the Chief Minister’s Internship Fellowship which provides Rs 10,000 to over 100 students who have either graduate degrees or are class twelve passed.
He added that the Government of India under its Operation Ganga mission evacuated 36 Sikkimese students from Ukraine and the State Government has set aside a sum of Rs 1 Crore in this fiscal year to provide secure and smooth facilitation to complete their studies on time and in devising ways forward to this effect.
For the cause of Environmental Protection and Climate change, the State government has operationalized a ban on the use of plastic more effectively including the use of plastic water bottles.
The Chief Minister also said that the State government has also started some major interventions for Dairy Farmers wherein a remunerative price incentive of Rs. 8 per litres of milk and a minimum procurement price of Rs. 40 to all the dairy farmers under the newly initiated Milk Production Incentive Scheme (MPIS), thereby increasing the supply up to 56,000 litres per day. Similar incentives are extended to piggery farmers under the Pig Production Scheme Incentive Scheme (PPIS).
The Chief Minister concluded his speech by urging all to collectively re-dedicate themselves in order to elevate Sikkim to greater heights of progress and development through the implementation of sustainable policies and also asked everyone to take a pledge to maintain the peace and tranquillity of our State and to set an example at the national and international level.
The discussion and voting on the General Budget 2022-23 will be taken up on the 31st of March, 2022.
The House then passed the Demands for Excess Grants/Appropriation for the expenditure of the Government of Sikkim relating to 2012-13 which was moved for consideration by Chief Minister Shri P.S. Tamang, who is also the Minister-in-Charge of the Finance Department.
Subsequently, the House also passed the Sikkim Appropriation Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 05 of 2022) for Demands for Excess Grants/Appropriation 2012-13 which was moved for consideration by Chief Minister Shri P.S. Tamang, also the Minister-in-Charge of the Finance Department.
The Sikkim Appropriation Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 05 of 2022), is introduced in pursuance of clause (1) of Article 204 read with sub-clause (b) of clause (1) of Article 205 of the Constitution of India to provide for the appropriation out of the Consolidated Fund of the State of Sikkim of the money required to meet the expenditure incurred in excess of the appropriation charged on the Consolidated Fund and the Grants made by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly for the financial year ended on 31st day of March, 2013.
Thereafter, the House passed the Demands for Excess Grants/Appropriation 2013-14 for the expenditure incurred during 2013-14 which was presented and moved for consideration by the Chief Minister, also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance Department.
The House also passed the Sikkim Appropriation Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 06 of 2022) for Demands for Excess Grants/Appropriation 2013-14 which was presented by Chief Minister Shri P.S. Tamang, also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance Department.
The Sikkim Appropriation Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 06 of 2022) is introduced in pursuance of clause (1) of Article 204 read with sub-clause (b) of clause (1) of Article 205 of the Constitution of India to provide for the appropriation out of the Consolidated Fund of the State of Sikkim of the money required to meet the expenditure incurred in excess of the appropriation charged on the Consolidated Fund and the Grants made by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly for the financial year ended on 31st day of March, 2014.
The Speaker adjourned the House till 10:50 am of 31st March, 2022