Governor Address - 1979
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI LALLAN PRASAD SINGH TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 19.3.1979
Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,
I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this Budget Session.
2. Except for a few instances of forcible collection of taxes from boatmen plying along the Barak River by small gangs of Mizo-Kuki hostiles in the South District, the overall law and order situation in the hill areas during 1978-79 was peaceful. As many as 59 underground persons surrendered to the Government and five other were arrested.
3. The law and order situation during the same period, however, caused some concern in the valley. Some extremists who had gone to Tibet for training returned to Manipur and committed series of crimes by indulging in violent activities, such as armed robberies, lootings, snatching away arms and killing some Police personnel. The Government took every possible measure to maintain law and order and the situation is improving. This is in spite of the fact that in all the crimes committed by the extremists, it would appear as if some sections of the public were not co-operating with the Government. It is, therefore, my appeal to all sections of the people and the press to help the Government in maintaining peaceful conditions so as to make all round development possible.
4. In the meantime, in order to bring these misguided elements into the mainstream of life, the Government is continuing to give financial assistance for rehabilitation of Ex-UG, Ex-RGM and Ex-members of the Meitei State Committee. An expenditure of Rs. 8.84 lakhs has been incurred and 354 Ex-UG including 95 Ex-RGM and 2 Ex-members of Meitei State Committee rehabilitated. Further, the Government had given financial assistance to 44 loyal citizens who were either killed by the UG or in the operations by the security forces.
5. The period under review had also seen various activities organised by the students' community, teachers' unions, Government employees and other trade unions to fulfil their demands. The Government have tackled them carefully and handled the situation firmly.
6. On the occasion of the Republic Day 1979, the Government released five short term and four long-term convicts and granted special remissions to 8 short term and 30 long-term convicts. Under the schemes for modernisation of Jail, the Government of India had released a sum of Rs.35, 400/- as grant-in-aid and Rs. 1, 81,700/- as loan for improvement of Jail during1978-79. It is also proposed that homes for Women destitute, juveniles and lunatics would be started.
7. The Government is aware of the anxiety of the honourable Members for the early vacation of the area of Kangla by the 4th Assam Rifles. It may be mentioned here that the Government of India has recently intimated that the construction works for the alternative accommodation of 4th Assam Rifles would be completed by 31.3.1981.
8. Substantial progress was made in respect of decentralising the process of plan formulation and implementation in the year gone by. The Government has created six posts of District Planning Officers along with other essential staff for augmenting plan formulation and implementation capability at the district level. It is expected that the formulation of plan in the future would be initiated at the district level with the association of the people and their representatives. The adoption of such a procedure will make for speedier and more efficient implementation of plan programmes. Attention has also been given to strengthening the planning organisation at the State level. Besides the addition of some technical staff to the Planning Department, a post of Technical Adviser, who will also undertake monitoring of plan schemes as they are implemented, has been created.
9. The Fifth Five-year Plan, which was earlier to run from 1974-75 to 1978-79, was allocated a plan provision of Rs. 92.86 crores. As you are aware, the Fifth Plan was terminated in its fourth year, i.e. at the end of 1977-78. Excluding the provision of Rs. 28.26 crores for 1978-79, which would have been the terminal year of the Fifth Plan but is now the first year of the Sixth Plan, the total funds available for the Fifth Five Year Plan were Rs. 64.60 crores. Against this outlay, an expenditure of Rs. 66.61 crores was incurred.
10. Including the provision of Rs. 28.26 crores for 1978-79 the Government has proposed a provision of Rs. 278 crores for its Sixth Plan. Although discussions in respect of this plan have been held with the Planning Commission, the size of the Sixth Plan has yet to be finalised.
11. As far as the financial year 1978-79 is concerned, against the plan allocation of Rs. 28.26 crores, the anticipated expenditure is Rs. 30.74 crores. The Government has been able to complete the Khoupum Project and the Loktak Lift Irrigation Project Stage-I. The addition of substantial power in the State and construction of a large number of roads of various categories have further improved the infrastructure in the State. It is hoped that with these improvements, the State will be in a better position to undertake diverse kinds of economic development programmes for the benefit of the people.
12. The prospects of maintaining a rapid phase of development in the coming year are also good. The State has proposed a plan size of the order of Rs.34 crores for 1979-80. The Planning Commission has presently allotted Rs. 31 crores. Various programmes under different sectors are highlighted hereafter.
13. The system of quarterly letter of credit introduced in 1976-77 for better budgetary control of non-plan expenditure continues to be followed. In the wake of the grant of Central rates of D.A. to the State Government employees, the Government has imposed 10% cut on non-plan expenditure other than salaries. In all the hill district headquarters, treasuries have started functioning with banking facilities. The Government of India hasve agreed to the proposal of opening a rural bank in Manipur and details are being worked out by the State Government.
14. The State's receipts from Tax Revenue during the current year are as under :
15. Efforts are being made to increase the receipts from these sources, except Excise because of Prohibition and Land Revenue because of drought conditions.
16. The Government has accepted the recommendation of the Committee on Prohibition by declaring four days as dry days in a week. In addition, all public holidays are observed as dry days.
17. Efforts to improve the working of the offices are continuing by conducting training courses with the faculty members from the Institute of Secretariat Training and Management, New Delhi in the fields of CM and Work Study, Financial Rules, Performance Budgeting, Modern Aid to Management and Office Procedure. The Government also imparted training to about 600 UDCs/LDCs working at Imphal and in the hill districts in Office Procedure, Disciplinary Rules and Accounts Rules.
18. The Monsoon in 1978 was unkind to Manipur. The deficit of rainfall from September, 1977 to September, 1978 was 375 mm. This had seriously affected our programme of double cropping where only 2,500 hectares could be covered against the target of 7,950 hectares. However, as a result of the anti-drought measures taken by the Government with advanced plan assistance from the Centre, as much as 51, 112 hectares of fields, which would otherwise have remained fallow, were brought under cultivation.
19. To meet the increasing requirements, the Agriculture Department has been re-organised. A circle has been created for minor irrigation. A custom service has been organised and a cell for agriculture development has been opened.
20. The Government continues to give priority to the expansion of horticulture and vegetable farming. The programmes of producing and distributing fruit plants, rejuvenating existing orange orchards and distribution of vegetable seeds have been intensified. The Government has simultaneously taken up large demonstration and extension programmes. To further popularise these programmes, the capacity of the fruit preservation factory has been increased so that fair prices become available to the farmers for their horticultural produce.
21. The Government has also expanded the Fishery Department by creating five district fishery offices. Substantial loans have been given to co-operative societies and individual pisiculturists by the flow of finance from the ARDC through Manipur State Co-operative Bank Ltd. Manipur stood first in the North Eastern Region and fourth in India in the execution of bankable schemes for pisiculture development as per the Annual Report (1977-78) of the ARDC. More schemes will be taken up during 1979-80 through similar refinance from the ARDC.
22. In the field of Forest development, emphasis is and will continue to be given on economic plantation, departmental logging, training of staff, improvement and exploitation of forest maintenance, mobilisation of resources and protection improvement of wild lives. Besides soil conservation and Centrally Sponsored Schemes, 24 other schemes covering 1,500 hectares will be taken up for plantation of economic species such as teak, pine, uningthou, heijuga and agar for industrial and economic purposes.
23. Under the Social Forestry Programme, 1,450 hectares will be brought under quick growing trees to provide fodder, fuel and small timber to the local people. 40 hectares will be brought under rubber and coffee plantation programmes for the economic upliftment of the jhumias. All these programmes will be executed through the District Councils. During 1979-80, a Special Cell for the exploitation of medicinal plants will also be established.
24. The revenue from the Forest Department for 1978-79 is expected to exceed Rs. 30 lakhs against Rs. 24 lakhs in 1977-78. During 1979-80, the anticipated revenue is Rs. 50 lakhs.
25. The Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department has been elevated as a major department and the post of one Joint Director, three Deputy Directors and a large numbers of field staff have been created.
26. The Intensive Cattle Development Project is in full progress with the opening of more artificial insemination centres and sub-centres. Public enthusiasm has been created both in the hills and the valley to attract them to avail institutional finance for poultry, piggery and dairy development. A broiler project was also attached to the Central Poultry Farm to cater to the needs of the farmers.
27. The Government has launched a vigorous drive to intensify animal health coverage and has opened four new dispensaries. Six dispensaries will be upgraded into hospitals and 24 new Veterinary Aid Centres will be opened in the hill areas.
28. To improve the milk supply for Imphal, two rural Centres at Kangpokpi and Moirang have been opened and the Regional Cross-Bred Cattle Breeding Farms at Turibari under the NEC is in full operation.
29. The opening of frozen semen laboratory in 1979-80 will be the main programme under the Intensive Cattle Development Project. Other new programmes for 1979-80, include distribution of buffaloes and mithuns, up-gradation of local ponies, pilot project in duck-rearing and establishment of a State Level Hospital with modern equipments and facilities.
30. The endeavour of the Government is to build up an autonomous self-reliance co-operative movement to serve the people specially the small marginal farmers, agricultural labourers, rural artisans and ordinary consumers. With this end in view, re-organisation of the weak and non-viable primary agricultural credit societies at the village level into 100 Gram Panchayat Level Multipurpose Co-operative Societies in valley areas and 50 large Agricultural Multipurpose Co-operative Societies in hill areas are being completed. The scheme of integration of short term credit with medium and large term credits was also implemented during the Fifth Plan.
31. The Government continued to give high priority for irrigation and flood control programmes in the State. The Khoupum Medium Irrigation Project has been completed and will commence irrigation this year. The three pumping sets of Loktak Lift Irrigation Project are expected to go into operation this year for providing irrigation waters. The progress on the Singda Multipurpose Project and Imphal Barrage are satisfactory despite some difficulties regarding availability of construction materials.
32. The cross regulator across Turel Ahanbi which forms and integral part of the Imphal Barrage Project has almost been completed. The construction of the Sekmai Barrage Project, the second of its kind taken up in the State, is making good progress.
33. During 1979-80, adequate outlay for the Thoubal Multipurpose and Khuga Irrigation Projects have been provided. These projects are expected to cost about Rs. 39 crores. A Flood Co-ordination Committee has also been constituted for tackling and managing various problems which arise during the flood season.
34. The Government has set up a separate unit for conducting detailed survey, investigations and preparation of projects. This unit is surveying all potential location in the river systems of the State and has taken up detailed investigation including collection of data.
35. The Government is also contemplating taking up of a multipurpose project designed to reclaim water logged areas in the valley such as Kharungpat, Pumlen and Ikop which to-day cannot be put to proper use. Such a project will involve flood control schemes in respect of all the major rivers flowing through the valley as also a well designed drainage scheme covering the low lying areas. It is proposed to commission an expert body to prepare the project which, after implementation, will besides making additional areas available for agriculture, yield additional benefits in terms of flood control, drinking water supply and pisiculture.
36. As the Hon'ble Members may well remember, the Flood Plain Zoning Bill was enacted by this august House during the last Session and formulation of various rules under this act is under finalisation.
37. After detailed investigation, work on the construction of three Micro Hydel Schemes, namely Leimakhong Stage II, Nungsangkhong and Lokchao have been started. These projects are expected to be completed during 1979-80 making an additional 2.4 MW of power available to the State. With a view to reducing the cost of generation as also improving power generation as a whole, the Government contemplate setting up a Micro Thermal Plant in Imphal. The necessary project has already been prepared and is under consideration of the Planning Commission. Simultaneously, necessary steps for improving the transmission and distribution system have also been undertaken. The Rural Electrification Corporation has also accepted a programme of electrifying 350 villages by providing loans in the order to Rs. 3.5 crores for the purpose.
38. In the field of industrial development, the Government has taken various steps for expansion. One District Industries Centre has been sanctioned in the State for each of the six districts. Five of them at the Central, the South, the East, the North and Tengnoupal District have started functioning. The Centre for the West District will be opened shortly. A number of training schemes have been availed of both in and outside the State. A separate engineering cell has been embedded in the department for expeditious construction of minor departmental buildings.
39. Under the Intensive Handloom Development Project, ten new Handloom Extension Centres have been opened and started functioning. Each of the Centres is now taking care of 100 weavers. The total value of cloth produced by the weavers under this scheme is about Rs. 12.64 lakhs during the year. In addition, ten more centres will be opened during 1979-80.
40. Steps will be taken to set up a new Industrial Complex at Jiribam.
41. A project Report for setting up a Starch and Glucose Factory has been prepared based on 6.4 million tonnes of limestone deposit in Manipur East District, the possibility of setting up a mini-cement plant of about 50 tonnes per day capacity is under consideration.
42. Considerable progress in sericulture development was made. Another aspect of sericulture development is the consolidation and the expansion of mulberry and eri farms for the Scheduled Castes in the valley. Improved mulberry seeds of biveltins variety, which yields white cocoons and white silk o superior quality were obtained from the Central Silk Board and distributed.
43. There has been considerable increase in the percentage of road-worthy fleet of bus of the Manipur State Road Transport Corporation whereby the passenger's services have been increased. For facilitating movement of goods vehicles, rules under the Manipur Passengers and Goods Taxation Act have been framed and will be implemented during 1979-80 as a result of which additional revenue of about Rs. 92 lakhs per annum is anticipated.
44. In the field of education, action was taken to take over 526 Primary Schools, 94 Middle and Junior High Schools and 107 aided High and Higher Secondary Schools for the purpose of re-organisation of the institutions and quality improvement.
45. As a measure of universalisation of primary education, it is proposed to open 300 schools in 1979-80 in villages which have no schools so far. It is also proposed to upgrade some institutions for which a survey has been completed.
46. In order to improve the quality of general education in the colleges, the Government have taken over nine aided colleges during the current year. While this will mean more additional financial burden to the State, the standard of education would be improved. The remaining colleges affiliated to Gauhati University will also be taken over during 1979-80.
47. The Government has adopted the new 10 + 2 system, and the State Institute of Education has finalized the curricula and syllabi. In the coming financial year, printing of text books for the revised syllabi will be undertaken.
48. In order to improve the teaching of science and mathematics, science kits will be provided to all the schools up to the elementary stage in 1979-80. Scientific equipment for all the High and Higher Secondary Schools will be provided during the next financial year. The required number of science and mathematics teachers in the High and Higher Secondary Schools will be provided during the same period.
49. 300 Adult Education centres have already been opened during 1978-79. Another 600 centres will be opened for education of age group 15-35 during 1979-80. In the field of arts and culture, it is proposed to start construction of the new Central Library building.
50. The construction of mini stadiums at Ukhrul, Senapati and Churachandpur are progressing. Construction of a similar stadium at Tamenglong will be taken up during 1979-80. The indoor mini stadium at Imphal is to be completed during 1979-80, and the allotment of 65 acres of land at Khuman Lampak for the composite stadium and necessary provision of funds has been made.
51. In the field of medical coverage, it has now been possible for one P.H.S.C. to cover 12,700 rural population whereas our target is to serve 5,000 and 10,000 rural population by one P.H.S.C. in the valley and hills respectively.
52. Under the Community Health Workers' Scheme, 424 Community health workers have been given orientation training to cover 424 villages. Multipurpose Workers' Scheme is also implemented in relation to the Community Workers' Scheme, and necessary orientation training provided.
53. Special efforts have been made to control the recurrence of malaria in the State with the help of WHO, SIDA and Government of India. Simultaneously the immunisation services to the children has been intensified to synchronise with the International Year of the Child, 1979.
54. In order that the Family Welfare Programmes are implemented more successfully, the Government have formed a State Family Welfare Bureau. Various family planning programmes are being carried out effectively through the District Councils, Panchayats and voluntary organisations. The performance in Manipur is one of the best in the North Eastern States.
55. Besides the Imphal Municipal Board elected in March 1978, there are 29 Small Town Committees including those of Shinghat and Moreh constituted during the current year. The Government is also examining the up gradation of a few major Small Town Committees into Municipal Boards.
56. Schemes for planned development of Imphal town has been prepared. A new shopping complex will shortly be developed at Lamphelpat. For the extension of the existing Khwai market, development of Chakrikon is under consideration.
57. The House is aware of the acute problem of water supply both in the urban and rural sectors. Vigorous steps have, therefore, been taken to complete schemes for augmentation of water supply for Imphal. The Singda Water Supply Scheme is to be commissioned by 1981-82. Another Scheme at Ningthem-Pukhri is being planned to start this year.
58. In the rural areas, augmentation schemes at Nambol, Kakching and Moirang are being commissioned and Lamlai is being taken up this year. Three hill district headquarters have now been covered with the water supply schemes and the remaining districts will be covered as early as possible.
59. A separate Public Health Engineering Department with two circles and six divisions have been established. Another Circle with the required divisions are also being created.
60. In the absence of railway communications in Manipur, road communications play the most vital role for the economic growth of the State. In the past, emphasis was laid on improving the State highways, link-roads to district and sub-divisional headquarters and major bridges. During 1978-79, however, greater stress has been given for constructing rural roads under the Minimum Needs Programme. Similar emphasis will continue to be given during 1979-80 when about 35% of the outlay provided for roads and bridges will be earmarked for constructing rural roads under the Minimum Needs Programme. Besides, under the NEC Roads Programme, a provision of Rs. 100 lakhs has been made for the Tamenglong-Khongsang road and the Jiribam Barak river road and bridges thereon. Two roads started during this year under Central Road Fund are likely to be completed during 1979-80. Out of the two bridges, which are taken up under Central Loan Assistance, one is already completed and second one will be completed in 1979-80.
61. The Government is concerned about the unemployment situation in the State. The Government has accordingly taken up a number of employment oriented schemes including self-employment schemes. In addition, the Government proposes to avail of the Government of India's scheme of Food-for-work to generate more employment especially in the rural areas and to create durable assets by construction of more roads, tanks, temporary dams, etc.
62. The programme under the construction of Public Administration buildings includes construction of Manipur House at New Delhi , new blocks of Manipur Secretariat and M.P.S.C. buildings. To provide sufficient accommodation for the Government employees, construction of residential buildings is being taken up.
63. The Applied Nutrition Programme now covers 17 out of 26 Development Blocks in the State. The Hon'ble Members would be glad to know that a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme with UNICEF's assistance involving an outlay of Rs. 8.50 lakhs is being started at Bishenpur A.N.P. Block.
64. The Government of India has selected five Development Blocks for implementation of a new programme called Integrated Rural Development with Rs. 5 lakhs per block as Centrally Sponsored Scheme in addition to the special schemes taken up by the S.F.D.A.
65. The Manipur Panchayati Raj Act, 1975 which envisages three-tier systems has been implemented up to the second-tier, i.e. up to the Panchayat Samiti level. The Government is considering giving more responsibilities to the Panchayat Samitis for execution of development programmes in their areas. Nyaya Panchayats are also being established shortly.
66. In spite of some hurdles, survey of wet-rice cultivable areas in 12 hill villages in Tengnoupal District, West District and in North District was completed by December 1978. The total area of cultivable land so far surveyed in five hill districts comes to 4,880 hectares against the target of 5,000 hectares.
67. A special cell for Land Reforms is being set up for the expeditious implementation of land reform measures. About 2,635 acres of land are estimated to be surplus on the enforcement of the ceiling laws.
68. Poor rainfall and partial failure of the first paddy crop resulted in increased demand for imported food grains in the early part of the year. The public distribution system was strengthened by opening a large number of fair price shops all over the State. The Government also undertook free distribution of food grains to those who were severely affected by failure of crops. 1,200 tonnes of rice and 1,000 tonnes of wheat have been distributed in this State.
69. During 1978, the Government enacted 10 Acts of which the three main Acts are:
(i) The Manipur Passengers and Goods Taxation Act, 1977.
(ii) The Manipur Irrigation Act, 1977.
(iii) The Manipur Flood Plain Zoning Act, 1978.
70. Members will recall that the Manipur Official Language Bill was passed on 31.3.78 by this august House. I had returned this Bill for examination of a legal issue that had been raised before me, and with some advice relating to the safeguards in respect of the use of the Official Language in the Autonomous District Councils. The revised Bill is proposed to be introduced during the current Session of the Assembly.
71. The Hon'ble Members will also recall that a Tribal Laws Commission was set up last year to examine the prevailing laws applicable to the tribal communities in the hill areas and to suggest measures for giving them greater autonomy and participation in their economic development. Hon'ble Members would be glad to know that the Commission had since submitted its report and a Bill to give effect to the recommendations in the report is expected to be introduced during this session.
72 Hon'ble Members, I have recounted some of the activities undertaken by the Government during the current year and have given you a brief outline of the action plan for the next year. You will appreciate that we have achieved considerable progress during the current year. We look forward to a still higher tempo of development, for which I hope, co-operation of all Members of this august House will be forthcoming in full measures.
73. I wish you all success in your deliberations and in the discharge of your great responsibility.