Governor Address - 1997


Hon'ble Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,

At the outset, I take this opportunity to welcome you all to this Budget Session of the 6th Legislative Assembly of Manipur and also wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous year

2. The Honourable Members, as you are aware, in the next three years, along with the rest of the country, Manipur would be entering the Twenty-first Century. Hon'ble Members will agree that at this juncture, nothing can be more relevant than a retrospect of the four decades since Independence in various fields, which alone can help in preparing and equipping Manipur for a brighter future. I am sure your deliberations in the course of this Session will focus upon shaping the socio-economic future of the State and its people.

3. May I now present before you Hon'ble Members some of the major concerns of my Government and the Policy perspectives and programmes that my Government has implemented and will be implementing in the current year and the years following in a bid to put Manipur on the road to prosperity.

4. Hon'ble Members, while my Government continues to keep up its efforts for launching various programmes aimed at alleviating the economic conditions of the people of the State, violence with overtones of divisiveness has occasionally distracted its attention from the main agenda—the agenda of socio-economic consolidation. Hon'ble Members would, however, appreciate that above notwithstanding, my government has exhibited unflagging commitment to peace and harmony and to achieving progress. As I mentioned last year, my Government remains committed to protecting the territorial integrity of Manipur as also of our country. And, I am sure, with the co-operation of Hon'ble Members and the people of Manipur, my Government would succeed in further consolidating the gains of the previous years on various fronts.

5. Hon'ble Members, since peace is a pre-requisite to progress, it has always, remained the endeavour of my Government to maintain peace and harmony. With a view to achieving this objective, my Government adopted a two-pronged approach, i.e. peaceful resolution of the law and order problems caused by the undergrounds and instilling in the minds of the common man a sense of security by strengthening the law and order machinery. A National Highway Security Scheme has been formulated, for extensive patrolling, and for providing telecommunication coverage to NH-39 and 53. For the welfare of the police personnel, it is proposed to allocate a sum of Rs. 6545.39 lakhs during 1997-98 for construction of 779 residential buildings. This is going to ease, to some extent, the housing shortage for policemen. The Central Government has been requested to support the above Scheme with a sum of Rs. 264 crores. Hon'ble Members, my Government follows an open door policy for peaceful dialogues with the extremists who are today following the path of violence. Such of the misguided youths, who decided to give up arms and return to normal life, are being provided financial support and facilities for self employment under the liberalised rehabilitation scheme. I am glad to say that the response to the above policy has been encouraging. It is heartening to note that more and more sections of the society are coming forward and joining Government's efforts aimed at restoration of peace and harmony among the various communities. In order to accelerate the pace of normalisation, I would sincerely reiterate once again my Government's appeal to the misguided youths to shun violence, come forward for joining the national mainstream and participate actively in meeting the vistas unfolding before the State of Manipur and its people.

6. Hon'ble Members, the State is yet to get over the problems created by infrastructural deficiency, unemployment and the resulting socio-political tensions, youth unrest, secessionism, drug addiction, crimes, etc. keeping these challenges in mind, my Government has formulated a new strategy for the Ninth Five Year Plan, commencing w.e.f. 1997-98, wherein the development of economic infrastructure, reduction of unemployment enhancement of agricultural output etc. will receive a more focussed attention. Hon'ble Members, the Annual Plan l997-98 has already been finalised in consultation with the Planning commission and the annual outlay is pegged at Rs. 410 crores, which is an increase of 17% over that of Annual Plan 1996-97.

7. Hon'ble Members are aware that the Prime Minister of India Shri H.D.Deve Gowda recently announced an economic package for the North East and also constituted a High Level Commission for determining the gaps in infrastructure and the backlog in Basic Minimum Services. The focus of the package is upon bridging the gaps, which have so far imperilled the State's development process. My Government has consequently worked out an Infrastructure Equalisation Plan which seeks to minimise the deficiency by increasing the road length from the Eighth Five Year Plan (anticipated) length of 6759 kms to 9373 kms by 2001. Hon'ble Members would also be happy to know that on my Government's request, the following projects have been sanctioned under the Prime Minister's Economic Package for the North Eastern Region :-

i) Up-gradation of NH-53 - Rs. 130.00 crores

ii) Infrastructure facilities for National Games - Rs. 17.10 crores

iii) Industrial Growth Centre - Rs. 10.00 crores

iv) LPG Bottling Plant - Rs. 15.00 crores

v) Phase-II of RIMS - Rs. 90.00 crores

vi) Maram to Phaibung Road - Rs. 15.00 crores

My Government is grateful to the Prime Minister Shri H.D.Deve Gowda and is also taking steps for ensuring implementation of these projects in time.

8. To remove the backlog in basic minimum services in terms of augmentation of connectivity of villages by all-weather-roads, universalisation of Primary Education, primary health care, housing to poor families etc., my Government has requested the Central Government for special funds to the tune of Rs. 1416.33 crores as an additionality, during the next five years. For the benefit of passengers travelling outside Manipur, a Computerised Railway Reservation Office has already been set up at Imphal.

9. Hon'ble Members, with a view to coping with the ever increasing demand for power and eliminating gap widening between its demand and supply in the State, my Government is launching generation projects, viz., Liquid Fuel Based Power Project of 36 MW capacity at an estimated cost of Rs. 103 crores under short term plan and Loktak Downstream Hydro Electric Project of 90 MW capacity at an estimate cost of Rs. 647 crores under long term plan. At the request of my Government, Loktak Downstream hydro Electric project has been included in the prime Minister's economic Package; an amount of Rs. 426 crores has already been earmarked for this purpose. With a view to strengthening the transmission and distribution systems during 1996-97, one 132/33 KV sub-station at Karong (Senapati District) and two 33/11 KV sub-stations at Karong and Moirang Khunou have been commissioned; three more 33/11 KV sub-stations at Kamjong, Tolloi and Churchandpur are also expected to be commissioned within the current year. Another 132/33 KV Sub-station at Churchandpur would also be commissioned soon. During 1997-98, one more 132/33 KV Sub-station and four 33/88 KV Sub-stations three in the hills and one in the valley, would be commissioned. During 1996-97, 193 villages are expected to be electrified; electrification of the remaining 242 villages out of a total of 2183 villages (1991 census) is expected to be completed during the second-year of ninth five Year Plan. i.e., 1997-2002.

10. My Government has taken measures to stabilise the ways and means position of the State. This has in turn enabled my Government to be liberal in granting benefits to the employees in the form of interim relief, additional instalments of D.A. ad-hoc bonus etc. My Government has decided to extend the benefits of the Manipur Civil Service (pension) Rules, 1977 to the employees of the Autonomous District Councils. Measures to maintain financial discipline generate more resources and step up saving will continue for sustaining welfare measures on the one hand and ensuring investments in the priority areas on the other.

11. With a view to increasing production and productivity within the agricultural sector, my Government has accorded priority to supportive measures like irrigation, soil conservation and supply of modern inputs. Three major multipurpose and medium irrigation project, viz,. Thoubal Multipurpose Project, Khuga Multipurpose Project and Dolaithabi Barrage Project are expected to be completed during the Ninth Plan Period. The Cumulative irrigation potential created with the help of the projects already commissioned and ongoing is 57,862 hectares. Besides, Thoubal Multipurpose Project and Singda Multipurpose Project have started providing 14 million gallons of drinking water per day. Formulating of a comprehensive Master Plan for management of the major rivers and their tributaries is on the anvil. During the year 1996-97, 2,200 hectares of irrigation potential will be created through minor irrigation projects. Against the annual requirement of 4.38 lakh tonnes of rice, the State produced, 3.86 lakh tonnes during 1996-97. To make certified seeds available to the farmers, the Department of Agriculture has set up a Seed Certification Cell at Imphal. The existing Rice Research Station at Wangbal will be upgraded, and the construction work on the Bio-Control Laboratory at Imphal will be completed soon. Towards mechanisation of the farming systems, my Government has requested the Central Government for funds to enable us to provide equipment subsidy up to 50% to small and marginal formers. The objective of the State Government is to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains production in Manipur with expediency.

12. During the year 1996-97, the State produced 1.41 lakh tonnes of fruits against the target of 1.37 lakh tonnes and 0.43 lakh tonnes of vegetables against a target of 0.37 lakh tonnes. The Department of Horticulture and Soil conservation, in collaboration with Spices Development Board, Government of India, has launched cultivation of low-volume and high value crops like cardamom and black pepper and spices like clove, turmeric, ginger and chilly. To contain the practice of jhuming in the hills, my Government, with Central Government's assistance, is implementing watershed management projects in 89 (eighty-nine) watersheds.

13. In the realm of primary education, the focus has been on universalisation. The national commitment is to make free and compulsory education up to the age of 4 years a fundamental right. In order to realise this commitment, my Government has approached the Government of India for funds to the tune of Rs., 239.12 crores under the Infrastructure Equalisation Programme. During the current year, Rs. 270 lakhs has been provided for teachers' housing, teaching –learning equipments and furniture under Basic Minimum Services (BMS). Under this scheme, 113 teachers' quarters will be constructed at and around the schools located in the remote and hilly areas; and equipment furniture etc. will be provided to 1582 elementary schools, on my Government's request, Tenth Finance Commission has sanctioned Rs. 631 lakhs for up-gradation of girls' education during the current and the next three year, to meet the demand for enrolment of students at the plus-two stage, 11 High Schools have been up-graded to the status of Higher Secondary Schools. The process of de-linking of +2 stage of education from the colleges will continue as before. Vocational courses have also been introduced in 19 Higher Secondary Schools and with total support form the Central Government, my Government has sanctioned Rs. 34 lakhs for imparting computer education through 30 Secondary Schools and another Rs. 27.13 lakhs for providing scholarships, equipments etc. to 721 handicapped school children during the current year. As a part of the measures taken for up gradation of the quality and the skill of the teacher, District Institutes of Education and Training will be set up with the Central Government's assistance, in 4 districts, viz., Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong. My Government has formulated a policy for rationalisation of transfers and postings of teachers in a bid to raise the level of Satisfaction among the teachers and also to ensure equitable distribution of their services. The Post Graduate Training College has been converted into a full-fledged College of Teachers ' Education. My Government has also set up D.M. College of Commerce, and opened vocational courses in 4 (four) Government colleges under the sponsorship of University Grants commission. With the taking over of an aided College at Chandel, my Government has fulfilled its commitment of setting up at least one Government college in each district in the state. For coping with the technological advances and the requirements of the youths, technical education is being diversified and the establishment of an engineering college at Imphal is under active consideration.

14. As Hon'ble Members are aware, our boys and girls continue to excel in games and sports. In recognition of their outstanding record and also in order to encourage them, Ms G.Anita Devi was appointed as Deputy Inspector of Schools in the Education Department. Besides, Government seats have been reserved for meritorious sports persons who aspire for medical and engineering studies. In its commitment to up-grade sports infrastructure my Government will support efforts aimed at making improvements to the ground and seating arrangements at “Mapal Kangjeibung” I am glad to mention that all the Hon'ble Members of Parliament from Manipur have assured whole-hearted support in any such endeavour. Further, the construction of the 5th National Games infrastructure is to progress. National Games village will be constructed at Meitei Langol at an estimated cost of Rs. 63.57 crores.

15. With the enunciation of a New Industrial Policy in November 1996, my Government hoped to find Manipur with a stronger economy. The main ingredients of the new Industrial Policy are creation of an investment friendly environment, optimisation of production capacity, generation of gainful employment, especially for entrepreneurs, and protection of the interests of traders and small-scale industries. My Government is trying to set up 2 (two) Trade Centres, one at Imphal and another at Moreh, and an Export Promotion Industrial Park at Kakching. The North Eastern Council has agreed to sponsor an Export Processing Zone, to be set up at Moreh. During 1996-97, 3265 hectares has been brought under silk plantation and 400 Silk Loom Projects are being taken up in the scheduled caste villages of Imphal and Thoubal districts. Under the North East Action Plan for development of mulberry sericulture in Manipur, the Government of India will provide assistance to the tune of Rs. 47.00 lakhs. My Government is also exploring the possibilities of external funding to the tune of Rs. 200.37 crores for the Overseas Economic Co-operations Fund (OECF), Japan , for development of mulberry and eri industry in Manipur. The Project envisages plantation of mulberry in over 87000 hectares and eri in over 1500 hectares for production of 376 MT of mulberry and 166 MT of eri silk yarn annually.

16. Hon'ble Members, you are already aware of my Government's concern in preservation and protection of environment. During the year 1996-97, plantation was take-up over 6890 hecatares under Afforestation, Economic Plantation and Social forestry programmes. Under the Integrated Afforestation and Eco-Development Project, it is proposed to take up during 1997-98, Thoubal River Watershed Project, Maklang River Catchment Project, Imphal River Catchment Project and Jhumia Rehabilitation Project with estimated Central Government's assistance of Rs. 29.78 crores. The Loktak Lake being the key to the future of Manipur my Government has prepared a scheme for integrated development of the lake at an estimated cost of Rs. 109 crores of which Rs. 30 crores has been made available through Tenth finance commission award. The Central Government has been requested for financial support for the balance amount.

17. My Government has taken measure for improving the overall healthcare system in the State. During the Ninth Plan period, my Government proposes to strengthen and modernise the State Hospital at Imphal, and all the District Hospital , at a total cost of Rs. 6351 lakhs. For containing AIDS and the consequential socio-economic menace in Manipur, my Government has formulated a State AIDS Policy. In addition, a Master Plan is being prepared for prevention and control of drug addition and HIV, including rehabilitation of drug addicts. My Government has also established Drug de-addiction Centres at Imphal, Churachandpur and Moreh with financial assistance and support from National Aids Control Organisation (NACO). During 1997-98, it has proposed to implement a World Bank Project for T.B. control in Imphal with an outlay of Rs, 38.76 lakhs . The J.N. Hospital has been strengthened by positioning of sophisticated, diagnostic and treatment facilitate of ultra-sonography, C.T. Scanning facilities, Haemodialysis, Cardiac Pacemaker, etc. About 42% of the Doctors are now working in the hill and rural areas of Manipur—a significant achievement when compared with the rest of the country.

18. In order to achieve the target of providing water supply to 100% urban and rural areas by 2000 AD, my Government now proposes to provide water to 607 rural habitations which have so far not been covered and to augment the existing supply level in 204 partially covered habitations during the next two year. The Central Government has been requested for an assistance of Rs. 301.87 crores for this purpose. Regarding supply of drinking water to Greater Imphal, it is proposed to augment, by the middle of 1997, the present supply of 13 milllion gallons per day to 16 million gallons per day, which would be about 91% of the demand of 17.5 million gallons per day. With regard to rural water supply, we have covered fully or partially, 50.5% of the total habitations in the State; and by the end of the current year, 60% of the habitations will be covered. On my Government's request, the Central Government has accorded technical clearance for improvement of the urban drainage system for Imphal city at an estimated cost of Rs. 36.39 crores. During the year 1996-97, a sum of Rs., 70 lakhs has been provided for environmental improvement of urban slums and Rs. 30.39 lakhs for providing low cost sanitation facilities to municipal areas.

19. With the extension in November 1996 of the Employment Assurance Scheme to the valley districts, the entire State is now covered under the wage employment scheme. The main objective of the scheme is to provide at least 100 days employment to the rural poor . During the financial year, it is expected to provide funds to the tune of Rs. 1575 lakhs under this scheme. Under the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, 3.20 lakhs man-days would be generated during the current financial year. A provision of Rs. 85.67 lakhs has been kept under the Nehru Rozgar Yojana for providing employment to the urban poor. During 1996-97, a provision of Rs. 449.60 lakhs was kept for providing self-employment opportunities under the integrated Rural Development Programme. Under the Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana, 3000 educated unemployed persons would be given assistance during 1996-97 for taking up self-employment ventures. For implementing poverty eradication programmes during 1996-97, my Government has made a provision of Rs. 116 lakhs under the Prime Minister's integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme. Special Employment Programmes under Khadi and Village Industries are being launched in Imphal district and in 2(two) other blocks-Kamjong block in Ukhrul district and Thanlon block in Churachandpur district.

20 Hon'ble Members, for generating new avenues of self-employment, my Government has been organising training in rearing of rabbits for meat and wool. Floriculture has been identified as one of the key areas with potential for self-employment, and in this connection, a Research Project for Micro-propagation of orchids using tissue-culture technology has started producing over 7000 plants belonging to certain varieties of local orchids. In an effort to popularise Science, my Government has set up a Science Park with the theme of Energy, at the State Museum . The use of remote sensing technology in the State for project formulation and monitoring has also come of age. The focus now is upon utilisation of non-conventional sources of energy development of R & D facilities, development of science and technology entrepreneurship, environment monitoring etc.

21. Under Social Housing, a provision of Rs., 850 lakhs has been kept for providing loans to 700 beneficiaries from the service sector. Further, in continuation of my Government's efforts aimed at improving rural housing conditions during the current financial year, 808 dwelling units are being constructed under the Indira Awaas Yojana. Under the Basic Minimum Services Programmes, work on construction of another 155 houses will be completed during the current financial year.

22. Hon'ble Members, with a view to improving the child development services, work on opening of 2 (TWO) new ICDS projects will be completed during the current year. My Government is also going to implement children's nutrition and immunisation programmes through 32 ICDS projects and 4005 Anganwadi Centres. 8092 beneficiaries are receiving pension under the National Old Age Pension Scheme, National Maternity Benefit Scheme and National Family Benefit Scheme. For the welfare of women, among other things, 4263 numbers of accounts have been opened in the rural post offices under the central Government scheme of Mahila Smridhi Yojana. Under the National Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme, 5.54 lakh children within the age group of 0-5 years of age have been covered through two rounds of immunisation programmes launched in December, 1996 and January, 1997.

23. My Government has also embarked upon a policy for devolution of powers and functions to the local bodies. All the Municipalities and Nagar Panchayats have been made functional. Elections to the 3 Zilla Parishads and 166 Gram Panchayats have been completed recently and the process of elections to Autonomous district Councils is underway.

24. My Government has also launched a number of family oriented welfare schemes for the socio-economic up-liftment of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes. During 1996-97, it is proposed to provide assistance to 5136 families living below poverty line. For creating opportunities for self-employment for backward classes and minorities terms loans of Rs. 456.58 lakhs have been sanctioned for being channelised through the Manipur Tribal Development Corporation during the current year. Welfare schemes for providing financial assistance in medical treatment, participation in Civil Services examination etc. are continuing. It is expected to award Post Matric Scholarships to 22,561 SC and ST students during the current financial year.

25. With assistance from the Government of India and other re-financing agencies, my Government is trying to rejuvenate to co-operative sector. During the Ninth five Year Plan period, the Manipur State Co-operative Bank and the Manipur State Land Development Bank are going to be rehabilitated.

26. Hon'ble Members, for eliminating the gap between the demand and supply of fish, my Government has taken up various R & D and extension programmes, viz, liberation of fish seeds in the a natural water areas, propagation of fish culture and extension of technical and financial assistance to fish farmers. Under the fishermen's welfare scheme during 1996-97 2229 numbers o fisherman will be issued and 55 low cost housing units will be constructed. With a view to improving supply of livestock, my Government has launched various schemes for up-gradation of local cattle and buffaloes and production of improved variety of piglets, chicks and ducklings. For augmenting milk supply, 40 dairy co-operative societies have been successfully promoted. During the Ninth Five Year Plan, it is proposed to set up a Regional Veterinary Biological Production Centre and one Livestock Feed Production Plant of 280 MT capacity in the State. It is also proposed to up-grade 7 District Veterinary Hospitals into veterinary Polyclinics and 50 Veterinary Dispensaries into full fledged Veterinary Hospitals.

27. My Government's efforts aimed at strengthening and modernising the information services in the State have yielded positive results. Hon'ble Members would appreciate the constructive role being played by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations in co-ordination with the Doordarshan Kendra (Imphal) and the All India Radio (Imphal), for dissemination of utility information to public. For the welfare of journalists, among other things, a pension scheme is being implemented.

28. With a view to attracting and facilitating arrival and movement of tourists to Manipur, my Government has implemented various schemes for up-gradation of the infrastructural facilities and also promotional measures. Up-gradation of the existing 2-Star Imphal Hotel to a 3-Star Hotel status is also under consideration.

29. My Government has succeeded in strengthening public distribution system through a network of 1.928 fair price shops covering population of 20.82 lakhs. For storage of essential commodities, Godowns with a capacity of 4050 MT each have been constructed at all the district headquarters excluding Imphal and 25 godowns of 200 MT capacity each have been constructed at the sub-divisional headquarters with Central Government's support. Under the Basic Minimum Services Programme, the Government of India has announced a new scheme for distribution of food grains at half the Central Issue Price to the families living below poverty line at the rate of 10 kg per month per family. In order to ensure effective functioning of the fair price shops, 1330 Vigilance Committee have been set up at village level.

30. To bring administration closer to the people, my Government has decided to bifurcate Imphal district into two districts—Imphal East and Imphal West- and to create 5 Sub-divisions in the course of re-organisation of the existing districts in the valley. My Government's decision for creation of a new district for the Sadar hills areas is also being implemented.

31. My Government remains committed unflaggingly to the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of Manipur and its people. Diverse, yet united, Manipur is a minuscule India . Down the ages, our culture has been made richer as a result of being able to absorb the best ingredients of outside influences. Manipur has reached a stage of development where it has become necessary to project the artistic and aesthetic aspects of life of the people. Keeping this in view, my Government has been implementing various programmes for preservation and protection of historical sites and monuments and for promotion of art and culture. Since the Kangla Fort occupies a unique place in the social and cultural history of Manipur, my Government has been urging upon the Government of India for the early vacation of the Kangla by the Assam Rifles, which the Government of India has also agreed. The Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre at Palace Compound with a seating capacity of 4500 persons was dedicated to the people of Manipur on 21 June, 1996 . With the inclusion of Manipuri language in the VIII Schedule, the Central Government has been approached by the State Government for providing special funds for the development of the language at the national level. Hon'ble Member would be happy to know that my Government has taken steps to introduce Meitei Mayek (Meitei Script) in Class I during the current academic session.

32. Hon'ble Members, I have presented before you some of the important policy perspectives and programmes concerning peace and progress of the State which my Government has implemented and is going to implement during the current and following years. I would like to reiterate that inspite of severe financial and other local constrains, my Government is optimistic about leading the people and the State of Manipur into a stronger economy in the twenty first Century. As my Government plans and concentrates its efforts towards a better future for the State, it is incumbent upon everyone that conditions of peace and harmony were maintained in the Society, for which I sincerely solicit the co-operation of all Hon'ble Members and the people of Manipur.

33. The purpose for which I have summoned this session of the State Assembly is to provide an opportunity to the Hon'ble Members to participate in a deliberate upon the business of the House and the Budget. I am sure the deliberations will be in the best interest of the people of Manipur. I now, with all my best wishes, leave you to your deliberations.





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