Governor Address - 1975
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI LALLAN PRASAD SINGH TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 6.3.1975
Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members of the Legislature,
I welcome you once again in this august Assembly with my greetings and best wishes. I am happy to note that the year that has slipped past us has, despite the initial difficulties, sustained the democratic processes and I hope that we shall in the ensuing year find a greater measure of fulfilment of the aspirations of the people in Manipur.
LAW & ORDER
The general law and order situation in the Manipur valley continues to be generally under control. The marginal increase in crime in the State in the year 1974 compared to the previous year was largely due to increased coverage provided by the Police during the year 1973-74. My Government continues to deal with crime with firmness and increasing efficiency. In the Hill districts, the underground insurgent activities remained alive during the year 1974. Although paucity of force was a serious handicap, all possible efforts were made to keep the underground hostile activities adequately contained. I congratulate the members of the Security Forces for the success they have achieved in dealing with the insurgents. At the same time my Government appeals to the misguided insurgents to return to the path of peace and tranquillity and to give up insurgency to take up development work in the interest of the State and its welfare.
On the occasion of Republic Day 1975 my Government released 3 life convicts and 9 long term convicts and granted special remission to 5 life convicts. My Government has also withdrawn all cases registered in regard to and as an aftermath of the September 1973 incident in so far as the general public are concerned. It has also withdrawn various cases against some of the ring leaders and persons connected with the co-called Revolutionary Government of Manipur.
The current financial year started with an optimistic note and the financial transactions of the year were expected to result in a marginal surplus. However, large unbudgeted liabilities, mainly relating to the purchases made in the past through D.G.S. & D. and settlement of discrepancies in the figures of the State's deposit account with the Reserve Bank of India, had to be met during the year. These have seriously affected the resources of the State. The situation demanded that my Government should save even from out of the budgeted provisions in order to keep the total spending under control. While a part of the unforeseen liabilities are being met by exercising economy in non-plan expenditure and by stepping up the collection of revenue, my Government has sought special assistance from the Central Government for meeting the remaining part of the unforeseen financial burden. The position in the coming year is, however, likely to improve though the need for exercising utmost economy in non-plan expenditure will continue to be there so that maximum resources can be diverted for financing development activities in the State. The size of the Annual plan for the coming year is yet to be settled with the Planning Commission. My Government has also taken steps for tapping additional resources for the Plan and the expected additional yield during 1975-76 is Rs. 75.00 lakhs. Efforts are being made to step up the collection of Revenue. The Taxation and Excise Departments are being re-organised. A proposal to constitute a Finance & Accounts Service is also under active consideration for ensuring better management and control of the finances of the State. A separate Cadre for Finance & Treasuries in Class III Service has also been created to streamline working of Treasuries.
My Government is fully alive to the needs of improving the emoluments and service condition of its employees, notwithstanding the financial difficulties being faced by it. The basic needs of the employees have been taken into account and the Pay Commission's report is in the process of examination and implementation, as a result of which every employee will be assured of a minimum raise of Rs. 31.00 per month. My Government has also decided to provide social security to the families of Government employees by taking a Group Insurance cover for all the employees.
Planning for development is a continuous process. The broad social and economic objectives as formulated in the 5th plan of this State have been incorporated in an overall outlay of Rs.91.77 crores which, as you are aware, is nearly three times the size of the 4th plan. Although the outlay for the Annual Plan for 1975-76 proposed by the Planning Commission was of the tune of Rs. 12.78 crores, my Government has been making positive and reasoned effort to apprise the Planning Commission of some basic issues such as increase in the quantum of market borrowings and improvement in the formula for Central assistance which are relevant to the financial well being of Manipur State. As a result of the revision of the formula it would be possible to expect an Annual Outlay of a higher order. Besides the national priorities given to the Agriculture and Power sectors, my Government has taken care to aim at improvement of the infra-structure, with particular reference to communication, power, credit, skills and entrepreneurship, and the stabilization of the economy with emphasis on Agriculture and Food production, and optimum exploitation of industrial resources, etc.
LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT
My Government is making serious efforts to place the labour movement on a proper footing and to improve the relations of the Government with the Trade Unions. The minimum wage for a labourer is being increased to Rs. 6/- per day. Industrial Training Institutes have been established at Karong and Tamenglong and it will be the endeavour of my Government to provide more employment opportunities in the State in the coming year. Full-fledged Employment Exchanges will be opened in the next year at 3 outlying headquarters to afford opportunities for registration and employment to employment seekers. The Labour Department is being strengthened and expanded suitably.
My Government has taken action for construction of vendor sheds at different market places of Imphal Municipality and other Notified Areas. Programme for the beautification of Imphal Town and for slum clearance is being taken up soon, inclusive of the commencement of the new Phase of Kangla Park, renovation of Purana Bazar, repairing of the New Market and Lakshmi Bazar and erection of a Shahid Minar at Bir Tikendrajit Park . While new important places will be declared as Notified Areas, upgrading of some of the Town Committees into Municipalities will also be taken up. Important towns will be brought under the Master Plans. (My Government is contemplating also to enact laws for the establishment of an Urban Development Authority for Manipur and to convert Imphal Municipality into a corporation).
A Working Group consisting of 6 members, including 2 representatives of the Jawaharlal Nehru University to be nominated by them in consultation with the University Grants Commission, 2 representatives of the State Government, the Director of the University Centre and the Director of the National Council of Educational Research & Training has been set up for planning a university to be started by the beginning of the 6th Plan.
My Government has taken a decision to introduce the 2-year Higher Secondary course from the academic session 1975-76 in selected Higher Secondary Schools. It is proposed to introduce a wide range of vocational subjects in the proposed 2 year Higher Secondary Course in due course. My Government has started giving grants-in-aids to colleges in the District Headquarters in the Hill Areas.
Introduction of text books for tribal dialects as language subjects in the primary schools has been approved by my Government. Steps have also been taken for translation of the N.C.E.R.T. text books on social studies, sciences etc, into Manipuri and tribal dialects. My Government have also approved of the introduction of Manipuri as a medium of instruction upto High School standard with immediate effect, and as a medium of examination upto High School Leaving Certificate Examination from 1976. A review of the Manipur Education Code already introduced earlier has been taken up. Some of the Rules which have been adopted are in regard to (1) The Manipur Aided College Employees (Service Conditions), (2) The Manipur Aided College Employees (Leave), (3) The Manipur Non-Government Schools and Colleges (Recognition), and (4) The Manipur Aided Secondary Schools (Managing Committee), My Government have also decided to fix the age of retirement of Aided School Teachers at 60. A separate Directorate of Physical Education has been created. My Government lays great emphasis on technical Education. The annual intake of the Government Polytechnic has been raised from 70 to 120 in fulfilment of the 5th Plan target for technical education. A part of the Polytechnic will shift to its new building at Takyel by the time the next working session starts. The aim is to convert the Polytechnic into an Engineering College in due course.
HILL AREAS AUTONOMOUS DISTRICT COUNCIL
My Government have under active consideration the question of transferring more responsibilities to the District Councils.
THE Assam Motor Vehicles Taxation (Manipur Amendment) Bill, 1974, the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Manipur) (2nd Amendment) Bill, 1974, and the Manipur Legislative Assembly Members, Salaries & Allowances (1st Amendment) Bill, 1974 were introduced on 5th July, 1974 in the Vidhan Sabha, and these Bills are likely to come up for enactment in the present session of the Sabha. In addition to these, my Government will introduce the following Bills in the current session:-
(a) The Manipur Legislature (Removal of Disqualifications) (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
(b) The Manipur Hill Areas (House Tax) Amendment Bill, 1975.
(c) The Indian Registration (Manipur Amendment) Bill, 1975.
(d) The Manipur Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
(e) The Manipur Town & Country Planning Bill, 1975.
(f) The Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
(g) The Manipur Panchayati Raj Bill, 1975.
(h) The Manipur Municipalities Bill, 1975.
An amendment to the Hill Areas Autonomous District Council Act is also contemplated by the Government.
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
My Government made special effort for the construction of the Nungba-Tamenglong Road which was completed upto a jeepable standard by the joint effort of the Manipur Public Works Department and the Border Roads Development Organisation. This road is now being widened to an all-weather motorable standard under the auspices of the North Eastern Council. Construction of important bridges such as Kakching, Sekmai, Lamlong Likli and Ningomthong bridges is in full swing, and the bridges are likely to be completed very soon. Work on Sekmaijing, Thumbuthong, Mahariver bridges ( Pallel-Chandel Road ) and the bridge on Nambul River connecting Mayang-Imphal Road to Naga Mapal Road will also be taken up shortly. The North Eastern Council has already agreed to take up the construction of Jiri-Tipaimuk Road under its programme and the work on the road is being started afresh. The Council has allotted Rs. 20 lakhs for this financial year for taking up Nungba-Tamenglong and Jiribam-Parbung road. The Water Supply Schemes at Ukhrul, Jiribam, Churachandpur, Karong and Mao and in other rural areas are in advanced stage of construction and the water reservoir at Chinga Hillock is being completed shortly.
Works on improving Imphal Water Supply and Distribution is in progress.
My Government has started work on Singda, Iramsiphai and Khoupum irrigation projects which were recently approved by the Planning Commission. The Loktak Lift Irrigation Scheme is also making satisfactory progress and is expected to be commissioned by 1976-77, in time with the completion of the Loktak project.
Forest being one of the main natural resources of the State, my Government is planning to undertake a complete review of overall forest policies, reorganisation of forest administration, raising forest produce, and developing forest industries with the ultimate objective of generating enhanced economic growth in the State.
My Government proposes to take up economic plantation of 900 hectares, construction of 10 km. and maintenance of 40 km of Forest roads, reservation of 200 sq kms and demarcation of 120 km of forests, cutting of 60 kms. of fire-lines, compilation of working plan for 150 sq kms opening of 3 Range and 5 Beat Offices, opening of 6 Research Centres, creation of a Forest Publicity Division, compilation and publication of statistical data, opening of a Forest School, training of 2 Forest Officers, 3 Rangers and 4 Foresters, establishment of a sanctuary and zoo, construction of one Rest House, one D.F.O.s office, 2 Range and Beat offices and installation of a seasoning plant and saw mill. Under Minor Forest Produce scheme a new item namely, plantation of rubber over an area of 50 hectares has been taken up with the approval of the Planning Commission.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY & VETERINARY
One Statistical Cell was opened towards the close of the year 1974-75 and the recruitment of the necessary staff is now underway. Under a scheme of Training & Education, 11 students were sent for qualifying in degree courses in Veterinary Science and 3 Veterinary Graduates and 2 other Veterinary Graduates were also sent to different colleges in the country and outside India , respectively for specialisation in different subjects. Ten other fresh students and a few Veterinary graduates will also be deputed for graduation and specialisation in different subjects under the Annual Plan for 1975-76. More than one lakh animals have so far been vaccinated against different epidemic diseases upto the end of December 1974, and one medicine and vaccine store has also been opened for procuring medicines and the vaccines centrally for further distribution to the districts. My Government is putting emphasis on the poultry production programme, and the piggery development programme in addition to the cattle development programme. The 1975-76 Annual Plan has been suitably modified to provide for a prospective scheme of opening of a State Cattle Farm with a view to produce the required number of pure breed animals to meet the demand of the State.
PANCHAYAT & COOPERATION
My Government has taken steps for the enactment of a law of its own to replace the present U.P. Panchayati Raj Act, 1974, as extended to Manipur. The proposed Manipur Panchayati Raj Bill is under active examination of the Government and is calculated to provide for wider ramification in the Panchayati Raj Movement. Training and study tours, both for officials and non-officials, have been conducted and 3 Pradhans have so far been sent out.
The emphasis is now on developing institutional agencies in the cooperative sector to meet the growing demand for Agricultural Credit and re-organisation of Agricultural Credit societies; and consolidation and rehabilitation of other types of cooperatives, including consumer cooperatives, are going to be taken up. Manipur Whole-sale Cooperative Society opened a Departmental Store at Paona Bazar, Imphal under the name of Sanakeithel with financial assistance received from the Government of India and the State Government, as a result of which the Whole-sale Society has been able to increase its sale considerably and to attract more and more customers. Sub-branches are also being opened. Under the Half-a-Million Job Programme, 5 Graduates and 33 Matriculates have so far been given employment through the implementation of different schemes.
One of the highlights of our agricultural successes is that, against the target of 16,000 hectares during 1974-75, 30,000 hectares were brought under high yielding varieties. In other words, my Government had already achieved the 5th Plan target of 30,000 hectares (as planned earlier) by the end of the 4th Plan. As a result, the price of rice is lower than in any other part of the country. Production of rice in Manipur went up as a result of introduction of irrigation by constructing seasonal dams across rivers, rivulets, digging canal, drainage and application of fertilizers and insecticides. In 1974-75 only 4,000 hectares were brought under double-cropping in rice. This year our target is 10,000 hectares, both in the hills and plains. My Government is trying to increase production of wheat, potato, pulses, oil-seeds and other rabi crops. I note with satisfaction that as against the production target of 2.71 lakh M.Tonnes of food-grains in the 4th Plan, the achievement was around 2.83 lakh M.Tonnes. Similarly the likely achievement in respect of food-grains production this year is around 3.09 lakh M.Tonnes as against the target of 3.05 lakh M.Tonnes. This achievement has been kept in view while fixing the target of 3.19 lakh M.Tonnes of food-grains for 1975-76. For horticulture, village-wise approach has been adopted with success. Soil Conservation work has been channelled through the Hill Areas District Councils on village basis to replace Jhum cultivation. This will receive greater attention next year as the N.E.C. has sanctioned a Pilot Project for Jhum control in the catchment area of Iril watershed. Besides, my Government is giving full encouragement to terrace cultivation.
It is gratifying that the students of the Regional Medical College secured the second, the seventh and the eighth position in the 1st M.B.B.S. Examination under the University of Gauhati held in December, 1974 and January, 1975 and the percentage of pass in the said Examination was 45%. My Government is also doing its best for completion of buildings for 3 new Primary Health Centres and 9 Primary Health sub-centres. Two 30-Bedded District Hospitals and two 30-Bedded Rural Hospitals have also been approved by my Government and a new Dental Unit has been opened at Ukhrul. Stipends for 110 students were awarded for training in M.B.B.S. in various colleges and 9 doctors were deputed for Post Graduate studies. Training of 19 regular Nurses has been completed and another batch of 25 has been recruited for training. Six Lady Health Visitors were deputed during the year for training at Lady Reading Health School, New Delhi.
The posts of one Radiologist, one Physiologist, one Radiographer and 2 X-Ray Technicians have been created. 5 Professors have been appointed in the Regional Medical College, Imphal. One Drug Inspector was sent on a course and one doctor sent on Leprosy Training.
A significant feature of the next year's Annual Plan is the sanction of Rs. 1 crore by the North Eastern Council for completing construction of the Regional Medical College. Another amount of Rs.30 lakhs has also been sanctioned for the current financial year.
3 important amendments of the existing legislation in respect of (1) The Manipur Hill Areas (House Tax) Act, 1966, (2) The Indian Registration Act, 1908 as applicable to Manipur and (3) The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960 are proposed to be introduced during the current session. The objective of the amendment is to increase, even though not substantially, the resources of the State. As the Hon'ble Members are aware, the rate of Hill House Tax at the rate of Rs.3/- per house was fixed in 1891 and the proposal is to increase it to Rs.10/- per house. In the Bill for amendment of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, it is proposed to insert suitable clauses for grant of licences, fixation of rates and other terms and conditions of the Deed Writers. The third amendment is calculated to fix a ceiling on holdings and to fix a date for their introduction as also for exemption and compensation for land acquired and for distribution of surplus land.
As last year, continued, concerted efforts have been made for the liquidation of the heavy arrears of land revenue and other Government dues. The total demand in respect of land revenue, as on 1.1.75 was Rs. 64 lakhs, approximately. Out of this, the arrears demand alone was over rupees forty lakhs. In respect of outstanding loans due for recovery, an amount of over rupees seventy one lakhs was outstanding on 1.1.74 in the valley areas of the State only. From the beginning of the current financial year, the land revenue collection upto date was Rs.13.37 lakhs and it is hoped that by the end of the current financial year the targeted figures, for the current financial year, of rupees twenty lakhs would be achieved. In respect of recovery of outstanding loans the achievement is not equally satisfactory. It is, however, hoped that the targeted figure of Rupees eight lakhs for the current financial year would be achieved.
In the case of Hill Districts where the main source of revenue is the Hill House Tax, an amount of Rs.2.24 lakhs has so far been realised from 1.1.74.
FOOD & CIVIL SUPPLIES
The overall food position in the State is satisfactory. My Government made concerted and detailed planning for food production, procurement and distribution of food grains throughout the State through fair price shops/ration shops. During the lean period of 1974, 5,200 M.Tonnes of rice, 1,200 M.Tonnes of paddy and 1,062 M.Tonnes of wheat were distributed.
The Paddy production in the State during Kharif season, 1974-75, was comparatively better. An intensive procurement drive had been undertaken by my Government with financial assistance from the F.C.I. As a result, a total quantity of 55,000 quintals of paddy has already been procured. The procurement operation is still continuing.
The position of supply of Kerosene oil, sugar, cement and motor tyres is satisfactory. There is however shortage of G.C.I. sheets but my Government has taken appropriate steps to ensure supply of G.C.I. sheets also.
My Government levied a permit fee of fifty paise per quintal from 16th October, 1974 on export of maize outside the State. The permit fee was raised to Re.1/- per quintal from 1st January, 1975. A revenue of over Rs.60,000/- has so far been earned by the State on this account.
On the request of my Government the Centre has agreed to treat Imphal as the railhead in respect of fertilizers. Action is being taken for extension of the same facility in respect of other commodities too. My Government is also taking active steps to control prices through price Fixation Committees and other agencies.
MANIPUR STATE TRANSPORT
With the completion of some of the buildings at Mantripukhri a part of the workshop and stores section has been shifted to the new site, relieving much congestion. Hon'ble members are aware that there is a proposal for converting M.S.T. into a corporation to enable it to draw upon institutional finance. The General Manager was sent to study the working of the State Transport Corporations of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura and the scheme is now taking concrete shape. The Department operated daily 1334 km for city service, 2184 km. for district service, 1161 km. for Inter-state service on an average, and the average daily earning for city, district and inter-state services were Rs.854/-, Rs.1,935/- and Rs. 2,328/-, respectively during the year 1974-75. The department carried 25.65 lakhs passengers and transported 4,23,930/- quintals of goods from Dimapur to Imphal during the year 1973-74, as against 3,49,812 quintals in 1972-73. The estimated borrowing and non-borrowing Revenue receipts were Rs. 102.39 lakhs as against an estimated revenue expenditure of Rs. 96 lakhs during 1973-74. The M.S.T. trained 50 Matriculates in Motor Mechanics for six months under Half-a-Million Jobs programme. So far an amount of Rs.2,40,590/- has been advanced to 34 loanees for purchase of vehicles under the Scheme.
Steps are being taken to add a number of trucks and buses to the M.S.T.fleet and 10 chassis have already been received, and 6 others are being used for body construction.
My Government is making efforts through the North Eastern Council for extension of the railways to Jiribam. The survey work has already been completed.
SERVICES & SECRETARIAT ADMINISTRATION
Considerable headway has been made in framing of Recruitment Rules, new Service Rules for Cadres, progressive liquidation of ad-hoc appointments, confirmation of eligible Manipur Police Service Officers, and Manipur Civil Service Officers, preparation of select lists for the I.A.S. and I.P.S. reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes etc. It is the policy of my Government to streamline the system of recruitment, promotion, maintenance of A.C.Rs, and to generally tone up working of the Services in the State.
A total of Rs. 10 lakhs has been deposited with the C.P.W.D, New Delhi for expeditious construction of the Manipur Bhavan at Ramkrishna Puram.
Action is being taken by my Government to install one 132/33 KV receiving sub-stations at Yurembam so as to enable the State to utilise the power from Loktak Project. This sub-station will cater for the distribution of power both in the Hills and the valley through 33/11KV sub-stations. The state is also executing 2 inter-state lines for feeding the requirements of the North Eastern Region when Loktak Power is available. The overall supply of power against the demand continues to be inadequate. The Department has taken up the installation of one 1060 KW Diesel generating set procured from Gujarat Electricity Board and 8 numbers of 248KW new diesel generating sets.
The Department is being strengthened consistent with the increasing work-load.
My Government proposes to appoint shortly, an Industrial Advisor to step up the industrialisation process. A Project Officer for the Spinning Mill is also expected to join shortly for taking concrete steps for installation of the Mill. Hon'ble Members would be glad to know that a letter of intent for setting up of a Pulp & Paper Mill at Chandighat in Jiribam and an insulated Paper Mill at Karong has been granted by the Government of India. Appointment of a Project Manager for this is also under consideration of my Government. Similarly a letter of intent for setting up a 125 M.Tonnes, Insulating Paper Mill based on pine has also been received. Thirty two new sales depots were opened for the sale of handloom products and a Weavers Service Centre of the Government of India is being established. A separate Handloom & Handicraft Corporation is being set up for meeting the needs of the handloom weavers in Manipur.
Steps are also being taken to take up more small scale and Khadi & Village Industries such as a number of Gobargas plants.
Hon'ble members, I wish to conclude my address by wishing all success to the women of Manipur , alongside the women of the rest of India, and indeed the world, and also congratulate them in their march towards constructive activities in all spheres of welfare in this International Women's Year. I hope that their endeavours would prove fruitful for the betterment of society as a whole. Although women are not represented in this Assembly, they nevertheless can play a significant role in achieving the overall social, political stability and economic progress of this State. Finally, I wish you all complete success in your deliberations.