New Delhi, June 12: (IPR) Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) accompanied by RMDD Minister Shri Sonam Lama made a courtesy call to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Tuesday and congratulated him for leading the BJP party to a spectacular majority for second consecutive term. He submitted that this phenomenal victory is reflective of the unanimous endorsement of the people of India towards the Prime Minister’s far-sighted social-economic and political policies that was initiated and instituted in 2014.
Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) updated the Hon’ble Prime Minister on various pending issues of Sikkim and sought his intervention in ensuring its early resolutions. He elaborated on Article 371 F of the Constitution and said that Article 371 F of the Constitution of India is the greatest gift to the Sikkimese people which needs to be preserved, protected and implemented, both in letter and spirit. He further expressed his confidence towards the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that his second term shall definitely ensure ways and means to further strengthen and stabilize this glaring feature of the Constitution which in turn is to strengthen our Constitutional frameworks.
He further made it clear that the political rights of the Sikkimese Limboo-Tamang tribes must be ensured at the earliest possible. He reiterated that despite the lapse of all these many years, Limboo and Tamang still remain deprived from accomplishing their political rights Vis-à-vis- Limboo Tamang seat reservation in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. Prime Minister Shri Modi remarked that it was owing to the faulty and unstable stand of the hitherto State government that this long pending demand remained unsettled. He however assured to work on it in coordination with the new SKM government for early fruition.
The Prime Minister was quick to respond positively on Chief Minister’s presentation towards inclusion of the eleven left out communities of Sikkim namely, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Bhujel, Sunwar-Mukhia, Thami, Yakha(Dewan), Khas, Newar, Jogi and Sanyasi in the list of Scheduled Tribes. The Chief Minister has sought necessary amendments in the existing legislation’s to pave way for inclusion of these eleven left out communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes given Sikkim’s peculiar position in the country which is primarily governed by Article 371 F.
Hon’ble Prime Minister was most sympathetic on the Chief Minister’s elaboration on the State’s dwindling financial status which is virtually bankrupt and drowned into debt. He further informed the Prime Minister that the circumstances turned from bad to worst owing to the huge loans acquired by a large number of hydro power projects against the State’s guarantee from various financial institutions. Interestingly, Teesta Urja Hydro Project obtained a loan of Rs. 11,020 crores from a financial institution against State guarantee. Pertinent to mention here, some of these projects are already closed down for reasons best known to either such projects or the then Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling.
It is put on record here that as on 31.03.2019, the loan of the Sikkim Government stands at whopping figure of Rs. 8819. 10 crore while its Annual Budget is around Rs. 7000 crore and debt burden of more than Rs 8000 crore. In fact all this has now crippled in releasing the fund to settle our State government employee rightful dues owing out of the pay revision. Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang accordingly proposed for a one time grant of financial aid of Rs 4000 crore from the Government of India to bail itself out from this financial disarray. The Prime Minister assured to help the State alleviate it out of this massive fiscal deficit. He equally expressed his extreme surprise over such financial low despite the Union having provided huge and uninterrupted budget allocation to the State over the years. He accordingly requested the Chief Minister to account for such misuses in the earlier regime. Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang submitted that the State shall soon come up with a white paper on the existing financial status of the State and the ways and means to pacify the same.
Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister on having accorded blanket permission of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim anytime. In fact, this eighteen years old dharma aspiration of the Sikkimese people that went into complete oblivion during the long years of Pawan Chamling’s misrule turned into reality owing to the bold and compassionate approach of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his efficient team in the government.
The visiting delegation exchanged customary white scarfs, Khada with the Prime Minister at his Lok Kalyan Marg residence in New Delhi. Earlier in the day, the team met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for Youth & Affairs Kiren Rijiju. The Chief Minister and his team are still expected to meet more Union Ministers to attract their attention on various pending issues of Sikkim.