Governor Address - 1991
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI CHINTAMANI PANIGRAHI TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 8.3.1991
Hon'ble Speaker and Distinguished Members of the House.
I am very happy to welcome you to the First Session of Manipur Legislative Assembly for 1991 and take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy and prosperous year.
Last year, while addressing this august House, I had the opportunity to appeal to Hon'ble Members of the House to strive, with a sense of direction and devotion, for achievement of the noble goals set by the Constitution. It is gratifying to note that, during last one year, my Government has been able to take positive steps for socio-economic and cultural development of the State and the administration has become more responsive to the needs and aspiration of the people.
Peaceful and harmonious relations among different sections of the society is a pre-requisite for development of the State. It is a matter of satisfaction that except for some sporadic minor incidents, the State's law and order situation, in general, was peaceful and remained under control. The State of Manipur remained totally unaffected by the anti-reservation agitation and communal tensions arising out of Ram-Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid issue which affected many other parts of the country. However it is sad to note that some anti-social elements have been trying to disturb social harmony and to wean away our youth from the main stream. My Government is trying sincerely, to bring such elements back to the main stream so that they could be productive assets of the State and contribute equally for its development.
My Government is making serious efforts to
*- improve and enrich the quality of life of the people and to alleviate poverty;
*-remove disparity between different regions of the State on the one
hand and different sections of the Society on the other;
*-raise the infrastructural level of the State;
*-decentralise the plan formulation and implementation process to the
grass root level;
*-expand productive employment opportunities for the youth;
*-expedite the completion of on-going projects and to take new
projects which would accelerate development of the State.
The Members of this august House will be happy to know that the plan formulation methodology has been systematized with the reconstitution of the State Planning Board and streamlining of its working. The Annual Plan 1991-92 and the approach to the Eight Plan have been formulated after careful and thorough review of the on-going developmental schemes, the need and aspirations of the people of the State and also the commitment of the Government to usher in a new economic order. Keeping in view the important objectives such as removal of poverty and disparities, expansion of employment opportunities and decentralization of plan formulation and implementation process, the thrust areas of the 1991-92 annual plan and Eight Plan have been identified and physical targets will be set to achieve the objectives.
I am glad to note that my Government's ability to overcome the financial difficulty and to avoid overdraft during the year was appreciated by the Union Ministry of finance and the Planning Commission.
Manipur is basically an agrarian economy. My Government has given priority to food grain production so that self-sufficiency in food grains is achieved by 1994-95. Special emphasis will be given on production of pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables. In order to make sure that farmers get reasonable return, marketing and processing of cash crops, fruits and vegetables will be given special emphasis.
Innovation is the key word of modern development administration. My Government's initiative on this front deserves special mention. Under National Watershed Development Project for rain fed areas, a new integrated project will be taken up at Chamung area of Imphal and Senapati District. Similar Projects which will give direct benefit to farmers will also be taken up at Sanalok and Khamenlok Watersheds. Members will be happy to know that a bill for establishment for Central Agricultural University for North Eastern Hill Areas, with headquarters at Imphal, was introduced in last winter session of Parliament.
My Government realizes that early completion of on-going major irrigation projects is important for development of the State. While Singda Project will be completed in 1991-92 and Thoubal barrage will be commissioned in early part of the year; efforts have been stepped up to achieve the collection of Thoubal and Khuga Projects. Along with the timely completion of these projects, priority is given to the utilization of irrigation potential which have already been created with proper co-ordination between different agencies working in this field. Considering the losses to life and property caused by frequent floods. This approach will, inter-alia, include afforestation in the catchment area of major rivers falling in Loktak Lake and management of water along riverbeds. My Government has already started implementation of the project for rejuvenation of Loktak Lake , with which, ecology and economy of the State are linked. Dredging in the Lake and Chakpi Diversion project will reduce flooding around the lake.
Electricity, which is one of the most important infrastructural inputs for development of the State, has been accorded due priority by my Government. All the villages will be provided with electricity by the end of 1993-94. The State power grid will be strengthened and extended to all areas of the State. As a step for increasing our own power generation capacity, State will propose the implementation of Loktak Down Stream Hydro Electric Project of 90 Mega watts in the State sector.
The need for promoting scientific knowledge and modern technical innovations within the State has been given emphasis by my Government. Use of non-conventional sources of energy is being actively propagated with greater stress on protection of ecology and environment.
Development of hill areas has been given priority so as to remove disparities between hill and valley. Scientific schemes such as Jhoomias settlement are being implemented in the hills. Economic Plantation of Industrial and commercial species have been taken up extensively.
Besides strengthening the revenue administration, the Government is trying to streamline and improve the maintenance of land records through computerization.
As a part of decentralization of Planning, implementation and monitoring processes, fuller involvement of village Authorities, Village Panchayats, District Councils and local bodies like Municipalities will be ensured. The role of Village Authorities and Panchayats, which are already involved in the implementation of poverty alleviation programme, shall be expanded with their involvement in other sectors of development. This will, in turn, expand employment opportunities for rural people. I am happy to note that in the 1990-91 Plan, more than 70% of plan fund flow to rural areas.
Creation of self-employment opportunities for providing employment to educated and uneducated youth of the State is another important priority area of my Government. As a step in this regard, emphasis has been given to scheme which could provide self-employment in Agriculture and allied sectors like Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Horticulture by using local resources and skills. These efforts will also help in increasing the production of fish, meat, eggs and milk, which improve the nutritional level of the people.
The activities in the co-operative sector have increased manifold. A Co-operative Training college has been established at Imphal to give Co-operative education to the people of the State as well as neighbouring states of Mizoram and Nagaland. Two Integrated Co-operative Development projects have also been commissioned at Thoubal and Bishnupur Districts.
In the industries sector, priority will be given to agro-based industries and also to those industries which have low volume/weight and high value such as electronics. Due emphasis will be given to development of Handloom sector which has a vast potential of employment generation. Stronger infrastructure for industries will be developed with an adequate incentive backed by new industrial policy and the policy document will be laid on the table of this august House. The State will undertake a tea factory and a mini cement plant, and will revive sick industrial units like the Manipur Spinning Mills and the Khandsary factory. Arrangement for large scale production of different kinds of oil seed in order to meet the requirement of the State and oil producing industries is also being made.
Manipur has tremendous tourist potential due to its scenic beauty and salubrious climatic conditions. Tourist potential which has a number of backward and forward economic development linkages needs to be exploited. Although the restrictions on visits by foreign tourists were partially relaxed, yet as these restrictions are not fully removed, the foreign tourists hesitate to visit the State. Keeping in view the effect of tourism on the development of the State, my Government will take up the matter for complete removal of restriction and endeavour to develop a sound tourist infrastructure.]
As all of us are aware, Manipur has rich cultural heritage. The Government is paying special attention to the preservation and development of Arts & Culture in the State. Ninth Finance Commission have recommended Rupees Ten crores for development of INA Memorial complex at Moirang and the work for projectisation of the memorial is underway. A composite cultural policy of the State is now being worked out. My Government is also planning to establish a composite Cultural Centre, which will go a long way in the direction of cultural integration.
1991 being the Centenary Year of Manipur's War of 1891 (against British colonialism), the Government will observe it in a befitting manner so that the people of the State can rededicate themselves on this occasion.
I am proud to say that boys and girls of the State have achieved distinction in the field of sports at the National and the International level. Kumari N. Kunjarani Devi of Manipur won first bronze medal for the Country in weightlifting at Asiad '90 at Beijing . Five other players of the State represented the country at Beijing . Kumari Lakshmi Devi of Imphal received National Youth Award from the Prime Minister of India on 17th January 1991 . My hearty congratulations and best wishes to these youths as well as their parents and coaches. My Government will develop proper sports facilities at the State, district and block levels for promoting sports activities. The State Government is also bidding for 1993 National Games. Adequate care was taken to ensure speedy completion of Khuman Lampak main Stadium well before 1993 National Games.
As part of sports policy, sportsmen/sportswomen of repute are given Government jobs on priority. A new sports policy will soon be announced 300 meritorious artists, craftsmen and sports persons were given State recognition by giving awards on the last Anniversary Celebration of Manipur's attaining statehood.
My Government is committed to bring administration of justice within easy reach of the people, the poor in particular. To facilitate quick disposal of cases, new courts have been established. The courts of Chief Judicial Magistrates are now functioning at headquarters of Hill districts except Chandel. The single District and Sessions Court have been divided into two divisions. My Government has been providing free legal aid and advice to the poor litigants. It is expected that Manipur will have a permanent Bench of Gauhati High Court in the early part of 1991-92.
Social service institutions like hospitals, schools etc. will be strengthened so that the delivery of service is adequate. Members of this august House will appreciate my Government's efforts to make Imphal district 100% literate by 1991-92. A government College will start functioning from academic session 1991-92 at Tamenglong.
My Government has adopted a policy of rationalisation of distribution of schools and teachers to remove the imbalance in the location of schools. A State Education Commission has been constituted which will, amongst other issues, also suggest measures for improving the quality of education. There are plans to link vocational subjects to the existing curriculum in selected schools to impart employment linked educational system.
The Government is seized of the problems of drug abuse and AIDS in the State. Steps have been taken to contain the spread of AIDS in the State with the assistance of Government of India and World Health Organisation. The Government has decided to enforce prohibition in the State and a bill to this effect is being introduced in the current Session.
In order to meet the growing needs of urbanisation, my Government has taken steps to improve the drainage system in urban areas, to provide low-cost housing to urban poor, to develop infrastructure to match the growing commercialization and to build proper facilities for sanitation and health in urban areas.
With a view to providing safe drinking water, the Government is augmenting the existing water supply system in the urban areas. Special attention has been given to improving water supply distribution system in Greater Imphal Areas.
In Rural Sector, 1749 villages, including 450 partially covered villages, have so far been provided water.
Since road transport is the only mans of communication in the State, special attention is given to the improvement of quality of road and network in the State. NEC is also supplementing the efforts of the State in providing assistance for construction of roads in Hill areas.
The Public Distribution system, Hon' ble Members will be pleased to note, has been revitalized and strengthened with the constitution of committees under the chairmanship of Hon'ble Members in each constituency to select Fair Price Shop Agents and for location of Fair price shops. Ration cards were distributed to each family. My Government also provided 18,832 MTs of subsidized rice to the consumers at a total subsidy cost of Rs. 50 lakhs during the lean months between June and November of 1990. Despite the difficult economic situation in the country in the wake of Gulf War, adequate steps were taken to ensure availability of essential commodities and maintenance of price-line. I am happy to note that the situation has been kept under control.
My Government has been urging and will continue to urge the Government of India to include Manipuri Language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India so as to fulfill the rising aspirations of the people of Manipur and also to strengthen emotional integration of the State with the rest of the country. The extension of Sixth Schedule to the Hill areas of Manipur is at advance stage of consideration by my Government.
Hon'ble Members, I have briefly touched upon my Government's strides and achievements in different sector of development. I have also apprised you of the positive and firm regulatory measures taken by my Government in maintaining social order and upholding the tenets of the Constitution of India. With its rich natural endowments and human resources, I am confident; Manipur will surge ahead without ever looking back in the years to come. However, there is no room for complacency. The Gulf situation resulting from an easily avoidable confrontation has been causing adverse effects on the World Economy, India not being an exception. Back home, to reiterate what I have said in the beginning, some antisocial elements are attempting to divert the attention of the people by rising counter-productive and divisive issues. But taking cue from our past and heritage, I am sure, the people of Manipur will overcome such deterrents.
Distinguished Members, you are not only the pillars of our democracy but also the custodian of the destiny of the people of Manipur. I have confidence in your collective wisdom and strength. Your exertions and endeavour will steer the State to a new era of progress and prosperity.
I wish you success in your deliberations.