Governor Address - 1992
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF MANIPUR, SHRI CHINTAMANI PANIGRAHI TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON 24.4.1992
Mr Speaker and Hon'ble Members,
It gives me immense pleasure to welcome all of you to the first Session of this august House this year. I wish you and the people of the State a happy and prosperous year ahead.
2. As Hon'ble Members are aware, the State was brought under President's Rule on the 7th January 1992 . Such measures are temporary in nature and administration of the State has since been restored to the elected representatives of the people. During the spell of President's Rule, I got the opportunity to acquaint myself directly with the problems of the State and I would like to convey my sincere thanks to the people and to all the public leaders who irrespective of their political affiliations co-operated with me in the task of running the administration during this period when the annual Plan 1992-93 with an outlay of Rs. 210 Crores was approved by the Planning Commission.
3. The new ministry headed by Shri R.K. Dorendra Singh took office on the 8th of April. The priority areas of the new Government will be first and foremost, the restoration of public confidence in the State Administration and instilling in the common man a sense of security by revamping of the law and order machinery, accelerating all round economic development, providing productive employment to the unemployed youth and checking price rise by ensuring easy availability of essential commodities to the citizens. It will be the endeavour of my Government to reduce developmental disparities between different regions and sections of the society so that the benefits of development are shared by all in an equitable manner. Keeping in view the national objectives and resources of the State the main emphasis of the Government will be on certain key sectors of the economy of which infrastructure development is the most important. Hon'ble Members would be aware that the economic thinking and policies have undergone a sea change in the nation and a command economy is veering towards indicative planning. The process of change will call for sacrifices by all of us in long-term interest of the people and I am sure we will come out of the period of transition with a brighter future.
4. Severe financial constraints have forced us to take stringent economy measures to reduce unproductive and wasteful Government expenditure and put a cut on fresh Government employment and redeployment of existing staff for the execution of new Plan Schemes etc.
5. On the law and order front, while normal crimes were comparatively less, the State witnessed spurt on insurgency front. My Government will spare no efforts in controlling insurgency by modernizing the Police force and make it more effective in tackling insurgency and restore peace in the State. I will sincerely appeal to the insurgents to come to the negotiating table through an apex forum for the talks with the Centre. My Government will play a mediator's role between the insurgents and the Union Government.
6. I mentioned earlier that infrastructure development including roads, electrification of villages, creation and utilisation of irrigation potential and marketing facilities is important for economic well being of the State. My Government, therefore, will –
* improve the existing road system and connect all administrative units with all weather roads;
* start and complete the construction of a flyover at Keishampat Junction during the 8th Plan period;
* increase the road density from present 25.21 Kms. to 27.33 Kms. during the same period;
* make efforts to improve and convert the present NH53 into a double lane road with help from the Union Government so as to utilize the rail-head facility at Jiribam properly;
* increase the coverage of rural electrification to 1782 villages during the Annual plan 1992-93 and all villages in the State by 1995-96;
* to strengthen the power transmission system by setting up several 132 KV and 33 KV sub-stations and to give high priority to the implementation of the Loktak Down Stream Project with generating capacity of 90 MW.
7. Irrigation is an important component in agricultural development for a switch over from mono –cropping to multiple cropping systems with consequent increase in employment and income generation. My Government is trying to achieve an irrigation potential of 60,900 hectares by the end of 1992-93. Since efforts will be made to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains production by the end of the 8th Plan, it has become imperative that farmers are educated in modern cultivation techniques while the government provides packages of High Yielding Variety seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, mechanization and irrigation. The objectives here would be to maximize self-employment opportunities in rural areas through production oriented schemes and to promote conservation of environment to arrest the depletion of natural resources.
8. My Government will encourage development of horticulture and food processing industries. Particular emphasis will be laid on increasing production of pineapple per unit area. For avoiding distress sale by the growers, juice extraction centres at suitable growing Centres will be opened and the capacity of the Departmental fruit preservation factory shall also be increased to 1000 Mt. Private entrepreneurs will be encouraged to take up low volume-high value crops like spices which will boost the economy of the State in a big way. Jhumming continues to be a big problem in the State. Government shall be making effort to rehabilitate a large number of Jhumia families and will also involve non-departmental voluntary agencies in order to alleviate poverty in the Hill areas. Alternative agricultural techniques will also be introduced for soil conservation and maintaining ecological balance. Forest Department would also be actively involved in this effort. A major thrust area could be plantation of high value trees and plants like tea, rubber, spice, coffee plants and good quality timber. A controlled/regulated felling of trees and better forest management would save the State from ecological degradation. The Government will devote its attention to this aspect with all sincerity and commitment.
9. In the field of education, rationalization of the whole system with greater emphasis on science and computer education by provision of equipments and redeployment of teachers has assumed great importance. Hills and the rural areas require particular attention in this regard. It will be the effort of my Government to achieve this objective and bring about a qualitative improvement in the education system.
10. Manipur is justly proud of its young sportsmen and women who have won laurels both at the National and International levels. My Government shall be making an effort to complete the sports complex at Khuman Lampak at the earliest and also sports facilities at district headquarters and extend them eventually to the sub-divisional level. To give encouragement to sports, the Government will formulate a proper and well-thought out scheme of incentive for outstanding sportsmen/women.
11. My Government will make a serious effort to promote tourism in the State which has both forward and backward linkages. It holds a great potential of expanding economic activities and generating self-employment. My Government will create attractive tourist facilities and remove the impediments in the inflow of larger number of domestic and foreign tourists.
12. On the industries front my Government will set up a Fruit Processing Unit in the Joint Sector. Manitron will be taking up a Telecommunication Project for producing VHP equipment, digital VHP radio relay, Cordless telephones and MARR equipment. In order to cater to increasing demand of acrylic yarn, the Manipur Spinning Mill shall be adding 9,000 spindles to its existing capacity. My Government will encourage the small sector in a big way and promote rural industries. A Centre for Entrepreneurship Development will be set up to identify and train potential entrepreneurs. The Raw Material Bank shall be selling yarn to small weavers and weavers Societies at reasonable prices which will reduce their exploitation. The Government will also be implementing the Target Group Approach Scheme to help the low-income weavers and to improve the quality of selected handloom products. Necessary equipments and accessories shall also be distributed to all handloom and handicraft trainees during the present annual Plan. A detailed exploration of limestone deposits in Phungyar area and survey for chromite deposits shall also be taken up which would help in setting up cement ferrochromite plants in future. Serious attempts will be made to establish Bamboo-based industries like paper, pulp and yarn mills etc. which will create both direct and indirect employment opportunities besides earning revenues.
13. My Government will set up five Health Sub-Centres, two Primary Health Centres and one Community Health Centre in 1992-93. It shall be working towards strengthening the Cold-chain system for vaccines under Universal Immunization Programme. Attention shall be paid to leprosy eradication programme. AIDS has assumed frightening proportions and poses a grave danger to the existence of humanity. My Government will be making a special thrust on Information, Education and Communication, besides providing health care facilities in different hospitals with the help of the Govt. of India and international agencies. Drug abuse has to be checked and the Police shall be enforcing the existing law strictly to check drug trafficking. The State Excise Department would be creating a task force to detect and destroy cannabis.
14. Urban slums need to be improved by providing basic civic amenities like construction of drains, roads, sanitary latrines, provision of markets, Women Vendor sheds, Bus terminals etc. Urban basic services for the poor and low cost sanitation programmes shall be implemented by my Government vigorously. Housing loans shall be disbursed to 240 people in the lower income group and 350 people who belong to economically weaker sections. My Government would also take up schemes for the integrated development of small and medium towns. All these efforts, however, will not yield any result unless hygiene is improved by good quality water supply. The Govt. will be working towards tapping more sources for water, better supply system and exploring alternative sources where the original ones are drying up.
15. My Government has identified areas for increase of production of mulberry and cocoon silk as a major thrust area for development of sericulture in the State. For achieving this objective, it will be taking the following steps.
(i) improving the capacity and productivity of Government Seed farms and make them self supporting;
(ii) making available required inputs and technical know-how to the farmers;
(iii) ensuring remunerative returns to the farmers through better marketing.
16. When we talk of Manipur its rich art and cultural heritage immediately comes to mind. Hon'ble Memebers would be happy to know that my Government would be adopting a State Cultural Policy during 1992-93 to promote and preserve this heritage. My Government also plans to improve the State Museum , taking over the Public Library as a full-fledged Government Library, opening of a site museum at Sekta, and extending financial help to the local film producers during the current year.
17. My Government proposes to work towards upliftment of the socio-economic condition of fishermen and fish farmers thereby providing more self-employment and income generation through adoption of modern scientific techniques. New fish seed farms and hatcheries shall be opened both in the private and public sector during the year and fish booths shall be opened in Imphal and various District Headquarters. In the field of Animal Husbandry too, high yielding breeds shall be made available to the farmers.
18. On the Civil Supplies front while my Government will look closely into the serious irregularities committed in the past it would also be working towards improving the public distribution system by covering the entire population of the State through issue of ration cards, declaring all sub-divisional headquarters in the Hills as principal distribution centres and using the rail head at Jiribam to a great extent. Additional items like tea, pulses, soaps etc. shall also be brought under the system. An LPG Bottling Plant is proposed to be set up in Manipur by the Indian Oil Corporation and my Government shall extend all help.
Loktak Lake is the heart of Manipur and it is being degraded because of indiscriminate felling of trees and the resultant siltation due to soil erosion. My Government shall try to implement an integrated programme of afforestation, management of water along rivers which drain into it and development of the lake itself by desilting, removing the weeds and bunding along the periphery of the lake.
Hon'ble Members would appreciate that the policies of my Government as enunciated above, aim at creating more and more self-employment opportunities because employment in the Government Sector has reached a saturation point and any further addition to the Government workforce can only be made at the cost of reduced outlays on development works. I sincerely hope that the Hon'ble Members will realize the gravity of the situation and help the Government fully in its effort to create employment opportunities outside the Government Sector. I am also hopeful that our brothers and sisters who have been misled to become insurgents would also listen to the appeal of my Government, eschew the path of violence and come to the negotiating table for peaceful settlement.
19. The purpose for which I have summoned this Assembly is also to give an opportunity to the new Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House. I convey my best wishes to all of you and now I leave you to your deliberations, which, I am sure, will be extremely fruitful.