Meeting on Monsoon Preparedness at Pakyong District

Pakyong, May 31 (IPR): Second coordination meeting on Monsoon Preparedness under District Disaster Management Authority was conducted today at RURBAN Community Complex, Pakyong District under the chairmanship of District Collector, Pakyong, Shri Tashi Chophel.
The program was also attended by S.P Pakyong, ADC Pakyong, ADC Development, DFO Territorial East, Colonel Dushyant Sisodia-Pedong Brigade, Colonel Shukla-Rhenock Army Unit, SDMs, BDOs, Line Department Officials, M.D NHIDCL, GREF personal and AGM A.A.I.
The purpose of the meeting was to follow up on the previous meeting and action taken on for the focused area, plus to prepare beforehand for the monsoon season in order to function routine activities smoothly.
D.P.O Pakyong ushered about the present scenario of roads and vulnerable areas which might create havoc during the upcoming monsoon.
The respective SDMs of Pakyong District elucidated the condition of their jurisdiction and also highlighted the requirements for monsoon preparedness.
The house was open for discussion where representatives from AAI, GREF, PMGSY, and line department officials expounded on their project. Whereas M.D. NHIDCL clarified that his team shall start mobilizing men and machinery in the vulnerable areas at the earliest.
During the meeting, D.F.O Territorial East requested the coordination of the NDRF team amidst emergency and further D.C suggested that NDRF train the Forest team for extremity. S.P Pakyong and Colonel Dushyant also suggested being exemplary, with mature responses to challenges and avoiding taking leave during emergencies.
D.C Pakyong appreciated Forest Department, NDRF, and Power Department for their commendable job and has the same expectations from everyone. He also notified to conduct preparedness meetings at the subdivision level and block level too with the activation of APADA Mitra at the earliest. The meeting concludes with the finalization of the upcoming cleaning of drainage of every G.P.U and has directed the heads to fix the dates for the above.

An awareness-cum-token distribution program of Agriculture & AH&VS Department

Khamdong, May 31 ( IPR): An awareness-cum-token distribution program of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services dept. for Khamdong constituency was held at Simik Lingzey Village Administrative Centre, today. The program was graced by the Hon’ble Minister-cum-area MLA Dr. MK Sharma, as the chief guest and the Hon’ble Minister, Agriculture, Horticulture and AH&VS Shri Lok Nath Sharma as the guest of honor.
A total of five hundred and sixty-one households benefited from the farming mechanization tools, equipment, and also the financial incentives of agricultural produce under Mukhyamantri Krishi Atma Nirbhar Yojana. It was informed that the farming equipment including power tiller, chaff cutter, functional packhouse, low-cost greenhouse plastic, silage bags, and production financial incentives had a monetary value of rupees one crore, twenty lakh, and ninety-nine thousand were handed over to the beneficiaries.
It may be mentioned here that the Cheques of financial incentives per kilogram of production of notified crops, vegetables, spices, and fruits were handed over to four hundred twenty ( 420) beneficiaries under Mukhyamantri Krishi Atma Nirbhar Yojana, for the first time which earlier was availed through direct bank transfer (DBT).
Hon’ble Minister Dr. MK Sharma stated that the program was a very special one for the farming community of his constituency. The agricultural farming scenario at present is in a transforming stage and everyone should be updated with adequate knowledge, technology, and trained skills. He encouraged farmers to acquire more knowledge and information in order to secure available benefits and generate significant output in changing dimensions from conventional farming to experience-based learning. The farmers should come forward to be aware of all facilities and programs and connect themselves with the practice of farming with full potential. He underlined the prestigious dignity of farming and marked the profession, as the most sustainable, globally.
He added that the state government has given all support to uplift farmers while the farming community needs to prepare themselves to be more determined and professional. He also advised a knowledge-sharing program amongst the farmers of different localities to enhance the production level for the revival of depleting varieties, too.
He informed that the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Animal Husbandry has provided agricultural tools and financial incentives of Rupees One Crore, Twenty Lakh, and Ninety-nine thousand for the Khamdong constituency and expressed the heartiest gratitude to the concerned departments.
He also had placed demands for the implementation of the PMKSY cluster in two GPUs and the creation of water resources for farmers.
Minister, Agriculture Shri Lok Nath Sharma, in his address, emphasized the unfathomable importance of agriculture as a profession in human society and motivated farmers to adopt a lucrative and sustainable profession of farming.
He appealed to the educated youth to initiate cluster farming and promote entrepreneurship for self-reliance.
He announced to implementation of the PMKSY cluster in Simik Lingzey GPU and Dung-Dung Thasa under which each GPU will be given benefits of around rupees two crores. He also announced the creation of a water resource at the cost of rupees seven lakhs in the dry region of the khamdong-Singtam constituency.
He also announced to establish the Custom Hiring Center at Simik Lingzey GPK at the financial cost of rupees nine lakh and fifty thousand only.
He articulated the benefits of agro-based tourism and advised farmers to take advantage of advanced means of communication to advertise in attracting visitors and tourists.
Minister Sharma shared his experiences of the US visit and motivated local farmers by encouraging them to practice farming and increase their earning capabilities through agriculture and other allied sectors.
He also informed that the marketing alternatives have been channelized while the farming community should be able to provide the required demands.
Shri Lok Nath Sharma added that the state government under the leadership of the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri P S Tamang has ensured the true monetary value of organic products with the launching of numerous farming schemes with financial incentives. The ruling government has focused on the development of the rural population and ensured the flow of funds in the form of financial incentives under various schemes. The state government has been providing more than fifteen crore rupees as the financial incentives for milk under the Mukhyamantri Pashudhan Samridhi Yojana, annually. A total of 1450 unemployed youths were provided a credit of twenty-two crores under “Development Through Credit” and became entrepreneurs in agriculture and allied sectors.
Secretary, Horticulture, Shri BB Subba, informed that the department has distributed the financial incentives in the form of cheques to the beneficiaries under Mukhya Mantri Krishi Atma Nirbhar Yojana. The amount of the Production Incentive Scheme above three thousand will be handed over in cheque and below three thousand will be transferred directly to their bank account. He also encouraged farmers toward Paramparagat Krishi and Integrated Farming.
Principal Director, AH&VS, Dr. BM Chettri, elaborated on various steps of dairy farming strategies to be taken care of so as to acquire an optimum quantity of milk from cow rearing. He also advised farmers to take benefit of PM Mudra Yojana.
Director, Agriculture, Shri Sonam Rinchen Bhutia, highlighted various schemes like National Food Security Mission, Integrated Nutritional Management, MOVCD-NER and drew light on the ways of acquiring benefits.
Earlier, Additional Director, AH&VS, Dr. Tilak Ghatani proposed the welcome address.

Press Release From The District Collectorate Office, Gyalshing

Gyalshing, 31st  May (IPR): The nation celebrates the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate the Indian Independence. As a part of this momentous occasion, the Hon’ble Prime Minister interacted with the beneficiaries of about sixteen schemes/Programmes spanning nine Ministries/Departments of the Government of India. The number of beneficiaries of many of the schemes runs in crores and in several cases is tens of crores.
All these schemes address the poorest segments of the population, therefore, the event is aptly named “Garib Kalyan Sammelan”. The principal objective of the interaction is not only to understand how these schemes have brought about ease of living for the citizens but also to explore the possibility of convergence and saturation. This will also give an opportunity to assess the citizens’ aspirations for India as it completes 100 years of independence in the year 2047.
The Sammelan is one of the largest ever single-event nationwide interactions spanning all districts, wherein the Hon’ble Prime Minister interacted with beneficiaries about the impact that the wide-ranging schemes/programmes covering housing, availability of potable water, food, health and nutrition,
livelihood and financial inclusion etc., have had on their lives. These schemes/programmes are:
(i) Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (both Grameen & Urban)
(ii) Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi
(iii) Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
(iv) POSHAN Abhiyan
(v) Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
(vi) Swachh Bharat Mission (both Grameen & Urban)
(vii) Jal Jeevan Mission & AMRUT
(viii) Pradhan Mantri SVANidhi Scheme
(ix) One Nation One Ration Card
(x) Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana
(xi) Ayushman Bharat PM Jan Arogya Yojana
(xii) Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre
(xiii) Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana
The Gyalshing District is proud to have been a part of this August event and conducted the Video conference successfully at the National Informatics Centre (NIC) from 9:30 A.M. onwards today. The event was presided over by Smt. Yishey D. Yongda, District Collector, Gyalshing. The beneficiaries of the various schemes attended the programme along with Additional Political Secretary(West)to HCM Shri Madhusudan Sharma, Zilla members, Panchayat Presidents, ADC (Development), SDM (Gyalshing), BDO(Gyalshing), CDPO(Gyalshing), DIO(NIC) and representatives of various departments.
The District-level event was linked with the National event at 11.00 A.M. when the Hon’ble Prime Minister was live from Shimla interacting with the beneficiaries of the country.
Earlier in the morning, starting at 10:00 a.m all the Gyalshing District attendees also witnessed the live telecast of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang interaction with beneficiaries conducted at Samman Bhawan, Gangtok.
The national-level Sammelan was held at Shimla today, wherein the Hon’ble Prime Minister directly interacted with the beneficiaries. Hon’ble Prime Minister also released the 11thinstallment of the Kisan Samman Nidhi. Hon’ble Prime Minister also interacted with some of the beneficiaries spread across the country through videoconferencing.

Virtual interaction programme of the Prime Minister of India in North District

Mangan, 31 May (IPR): Garib Kalyan Sammelan, a virtual interaction of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, with the beneficiaries of various central government schemes, was held at the Election Hall of the district administration center Mangan, for the district.
The virtual interaction in the election hall had the presence of the Chief Guest, MLA Dzongu, Shri Pintso Namgyal Lepcha along with DC Mangan, Dr. A B Karki, ADC(Dev) Mangan, ADC(Dev) Chungthang, SDMs, BDOs, Pipons, Panchayats, beneficiaries and farmers, officers and staffs from line departments.
Chief Guest, MLA Dzongu, Shri Pintso Namgyal Lepcha in his address, welcomed the attendees present for the interaction program and said that these types of programs are for the betterment of citizens. He mentioned the various benefits that are being availed by the people of the district from the scheme provided by the Central Government.
The beneficiaries attended the live webcast of the Prime Minister’s address to the country. The beneficiaries of various central schemes from all over the country shared their experience and details on how this act of getting the scheme helped them to improve their livelihood through virtual interaction.

Mega Inaguration of SGAY House under Namchi BAC

Namchi, 31st May (IPR): Mrs. Krishna Rai the Spouse of Chief Minister Mr. Prem Singh Tamang handed a total of 76 SAGY house keys to the beneficiaries of Poklok- Kamrang, Namchi-Singithang, and Melli Constituency at NMC Hall, Namchi today.
The program was also attended by MLA, Melli Constituency Mrs. Farwanti Tamang, Zilla Adhyaksha (South) Mrs. Tshering Dem Bhutia, Additional Political Secretary to HCM (South) Miss Anjeeta Rajalim, Chairman, SCPCR Mrs. Rama Tamang, Chairman, Skill Development Department Mr. Satish Chandra Rai, Chairman, Housing and Building Department Mr. Tashi Dorjee Tamang. Chairman (NMC) Mr. Ganesh Rai, Vice-Chairman (NMC) Mrs. Sabitri Tamang, Councilors, Panchayats of concerned GPU, SDM (Namchi) Mrs Rajni Pega, BDO (Baiguney) Mrs. Babita Rai, BDO (Namchi) Mr. Tenzing Bhutia, Officials (MTL) and staff members of BAC (Namchi) and the public at large.
Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Krishna Rai highlighted the scheme of the SGAY house. She said that the scheme started in the year 2020, the time when the Nation was in deep pain when there was a complete lockdown due to a pandemic. She added that though there was complete lockdown the construction of the SGAY house was still going on, as the State Government wanted the house to be completed in a stipulated time and wanted to hand it over to the beneficiaries. As such, she thanked all the concerned BDOs and contractors who efficiently worked even during the pandemic to make it possible.
She further added that during the first phase many beneficiaries under Poklok Kamrang Constituency have received their SGAY Houses and those who haven’t received them yet will definitely be provided with them during the second phase.
She elaborated that the Chief Minister Mr. Prem Singh Tamang has a dream, a vision where no citizen of Sikkim will be homeless and that every citizen will live in dignity and honor. So she requested the Panchayat to inform the people of their respective wards that those who haven’t been provided with this SGAY House will definitely get a home of their own.
Furthermore, she stated that among the total allocation of 3050 houses and further addition of 284 houses, a total of 3334 houses have been provided to the beneficiaries and in the future with the new allocation of the scheme, 5000 – 10000 houses will be distributed to the respective beneficiaries so that each and every citizen of Sikkim will live a happy and dignified life.
She further added that the State Government has enhanced the number of up-gradation of houses to five hundred per year. She also said the State Government has decided to provide a non-refundable loan of Rs. one-two lakhs to the sellers of the roadside stand so that they can enhance their livelihood.
She then highlighted the different schemes like “Aama Scheme”, “Bahini Scheme” and “Vatsalya Scheme” provided by the State Government for the benefit of the people of Sikkim. She further stated that due to many factors, the hormonal changes especially in girl child has started to be visible at a very young age and as such the State Government has decided to distribute Sanitary napkins wherever applicable instead of just class ix and above.
During the program, BDO (Namchi) Mr. Tenzing Bhutia expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Krishna Rai for her gracious presence and reflected on the SGAY Scheme of the State Government. He added that the SGAY house which is being inaugurated today would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the previous BDO (Namchi) Mrs. Babita Rai. During her tenure as BDO (Namchi), she had made all possible efforts to bring 228 SGAY houses under Namchi BAC, the highest in the State, and today 76 houses are being formally inaugurated under his tenure. He also expressed his gratitude towards all the Panchayats who have been in constant support to provide a house to poor people.
At the end of the program, Mrs. Krishna Rai patiently interacted with the public and discussed their problems.

Garib Kalyan Sammelan held at the Soreng District

Soreng, May 31 (IPR): As a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration, a nationwide virtual interaction with the beneficiaries led by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi webcast from Shimla was also held at the district level at the Soreng Community Hall, today along with other 5 districts of the State. With the theme Sath Pratishat Sashaktikaran or 100 percent empowerment, the Garib Kalyan Sammelan had the attendance of Shri K.S Lepcha (MLA/ Rinchenpong) as the Chief Guest along with Shri Ashok Kumar Gurung (Upadhakshya/WDZP). Accompanying them were Block Panchayats, DC Shri Bhim Thatal, ADC Shri Dhiraj Subedi, ADC/Dev Shri Gaayas Pega, SDM Shri Ranjan Rai, SDM/HQ Shri D.R Bista, BDOs, Principals, Officials and the beneficiaries of the scheme from within the district.
Speaking on the occasion, MLA Shri Lepcha extended his warm wishes to everyone present. He also expressed his happiness for being invited as the Chief Guest for such a historical event. In his brief address, he said that a Nation is considered to be developed only if societal evils such as poverty and discrimination are fully eradicated and that it has always been the vision of the Prime Minister. He added that contribution from each individual is a must for stronger and independent nation-building. He urged the Government officials to be more proactive in assuring that the schemes have been reaching our genuine beneficiaries, especially those living at the fringes of our society.
In his concluding remarks, he expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister for working in tandem with the central Government for the betterment of the State.
Addressing the gathering, DC Shri Bhim Thatal briefly spoke about the various Centre sponsored schemes meant for the unfeigned beneficiaries. He said that India being a welfare nation has always focused on schemes and policies that are beneficial for its citizens. He highlighted the schemes that are currently being availed and said that this function is a part of the ongoing celebration of India’s 75th Independence.
During the program, a short interactive session was held with the beneficiaries and the stakeholders wherein they shared their fruitful experiences of being a part of the scheme and how it has helped them with their livelihood. Issues related to various schemes were also thoroughly discussed. Then after the Guests and the audience joined to witness the live broadcast of the Prime Minister’s address to the Nation.
The program ended with a Vote of Thanks presented by ADC Shri Dhiraj Subedi.

Press Release from Tourism & Civil Aviation Department

Tourism & Civil Aviation Department deeply condoles the death of five tourists from Maharashtra and one local driver, who were killed in a road accident at Khedum Bhir situated approximately 13 kms South of Lachung, North Sikkim. All the bodies were brought down to Gangtok, the post-mortem was completed late on the night of 29th May. The Tourism & Civil Aviation Department led by the Hon’ble Minister, Additional Chief Secretary along with all the officers and staff sincerely regrets this shocking incident. The Department is also grateful to DC and SP (Mangan and Gangtok) and their staff and the State Health Department for their prompt assistance in this tragic hour. The Department also wishes to thank Sikkim Valley Tours & Travels for rising to the occasion and extending all possible help to the bereaved family. The Department extends a special thanks to Chairman, STDC, TAAS, ASTHA, and other stakeholders who extended all possible help during this difficult time.
The Department also appeals to all the tour operators, taxi drivers, and stakeholders to take all possible precautions and ensure the safety and security of tourists.

Legal Awareness Programme under the Micro Legal Literacy Scheme

PRESS RELEASE FROM
DLSA, EAST
The District Legal Services Authority, Gangtok under the directions of Hon’ble Mrs. Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai, Judge, High Court of Sikkim & Hon’ble Executive Chairperson, Sikkim State Legal Services Authority organised a Legal Awareness Programme under the Micro Legal Literacy Scheme jointly with Taluk Legal Services Committee at Samdong, Middle Khesay on 29.05.2022.
The said programme was attended by Shri Prajwal Khatiwada, Ld. Principal District & Sessions Judge, Gangtok & Ld. Chairman, DLSA, Gangtok, Ms. Zamyang Choden Bhutia, Ld. Civil Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate, Gangtok & Secretary, DLSA, Gangtok, Mr. Gulshan Lama, Legal Retainer, High Court Legal Services Committee/Panel Advocate, Smt. C.K. Koirala, Ward Panchayat, Middle Khesay, Mrs. Indra Maya Nepal, PLV along with the general public and DLSA staff.
The Resource Person Mr. Gulshan Lama sensitized the gathering on the topic “Land Acquisition” and the relevant provisions of the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Re-Settlement Act, 2013”.
The Ld. Secretary, DLSA, Gangtok apprised the gathering on various important topics such as Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act, 2012, Free Legal Aid Services, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, Alternative Dispute Redressal and appealed the participants to remain vigilant and not to fall prey to Cybercrime.
Ld. Chairman, DLSA, Gangtok Shri Prajwal Khatiwada highlighted the importance and motives of conducting such programmes and apprised the gathering to take the benefits of Legal Aid Services. A vibrant interactive session was held wherein various queries/grievances were addressed by the Ld. Chairman and Resource Person Mr. Gulshan Lama.
The programme concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by DLSA staff followed by the distribution of light refreshments.

Sikkim joined the rest of the nation in the virtual interaction programme of the Prime Minister of India

Gangtok, May 31 (IPR): Sikkim joined the rest of the nation in the virtual interaction programme of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi with beneficiaries of various Central Government Schemes/Programmes across the nation today. The Prime Minister was addressing the nation from the Garib Kalyan Sammelan organised at Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. The programme coincided with the completion of three years of the second consecutive term of the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
For Sikkim, the programme was organised at Samman Bhavan Gangtok and chaired by Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang.
Coordinated by the Rural Development Department, the programme had the presence of Rural Development Minister Shri Sonam Lama, Power Minister Shri M.N. Sherpa, MLAs, MP Lok Sabha, Chief Secretary, Panchayats, officers, representatives from SLBC, Lead Bank and SBI, and beneficiaries.
Before the programme was joined by the Prime Minister, beneficiaries of various schemes interacted with the Chief Minister. He mediated the interaction programme and shared his valuable insights on each scheme. He thanked the beneficiaries for their feedback and information on the implementation of the particular scheme. He stated that the State of Sikkim has set the unique distinction of efficient and effective implementation of all the schemes envisioned by the Central Government.
Earlier, Principal Secretary, Rural Development Department, Shri C.S. Rao, in his opening address briefly highlighted the schemes and programmes of the Central Government being implemented in the State of Sikkim. He invited feedback and suggestions from the beneficiaries with regard to the implementation of schemes in their respective areas.
The Schemes and programmes of the Central Government being implemented in the State of Sikkim are as follows:
1. Poshan Abhiyan
2. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
3. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
4. Jal Jeevan Mission
5. Pradhan Mantri Swanidhi Yojana
6. One Nation One Ration Card
7. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana
8. Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana
9. Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Scheme
10. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana
11. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
12. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
13. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
Apart from the above-listed schemes implemented in the rural areas, three schemes are designed for the urban areas, taking the tally to sixteen.
Thereafter, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi virtually interacted with beneficiaries of various States and Union Territories.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi transferred the 11th instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana amounting to Rupees Twenty One Thousand Crore in the bank accounts of over ten crore farmers across the country.
Addressing the nation, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi reiterated his resolve to ensure economic prosperity, social upliftment and the safety and security of every Indian. He touched upon the paradigm shift in development experienced by the country in the last eight years through an utmost priority on service delivery, good governance and inclusive development through the model ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’.
The programme at Samman Bhawan concluded with a vote of thanks by Special Secretary, RDD, Smt. Sarika Pradhan.

Namchi District virtually joined the Prime Minister’s interaction

Namchi, 31st May (IPR): Along with the rest of the nation, Namchi District also virtually joined the Prime Minister’s interaction. This interaction is conducted with the beneficiaries of various public welfare schemes at ‘Garib Kalyan Sammelan’ which was a webcast from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
The event was joined through a virtual District Level Interaction program which was held at the conference hall of Namchi District Administrative Centre, today.
The program had the presence of Zilla Adhakshyay (Namchi) Ms. Tshering Dem Bhutia as the Chief Guest. Also, present amongst others were Zilla Upadhakshya (Namchi) Mr. Bhim Lhakhey, DC (Namchi) Mr. M Bharani Kumar, ADC Development (Namchi) Mr. C.P. Rai along with department officials from RDD, Health, Agriculture, and the beneficiaries of various National Schemes from the district.
Addressing, the gathering Ms. Tshering Dem Bhutia said that these types of interaction programs enable the involved to get constructive feedback, which in turn will help the policymaker in formulating and implementing the schemes in an efficient manner. This will further pave way for the development of the nation as well as the state.
She then exhorted the department officials to become more proactive in assisting the beneficiary while implementing the various schemes and projects.
Speaking, during the program DC Mr. M Bharani Kumar informed us that ‘Gareeb Kalyan Sammelan’ is being held under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate the 75 years of Independence of the Nation. The sammelan is a nationwide interaction of beneficiaries with the elected representatives including those of Panchayati Raj Institutions
and other stakeholders will hold a fruitful discussion on the schemes and overview its progress.
During the program, the beneficiaries of various central schemes of the district shared their experience and detailed how this act of getting the scheme helped them to improve their livelihood. In addition, various suggestions and problems faced by them were put forth for discussion.
Subsequently, the beneficiaries together watched the live webcast of the Prime Minister’s address to the country.