Government of Mizoram
Budget Speech: 1972-73
By Shri. Khawtinkhuma
Mr. Speaker Sir,
I rise to present before the House
the Budget of the Union Territory of Mizoram for the period from 3rd
May, 1972 to 31st March, 1973. This is the first year of
the Union Territory of Mizoram which came into existence on the 21st
January, 1972 after a long deliberation between the Prime Minister
and our leaders. We know that the present status does not fully meet
the aspirations of our people. However, our Prime Minister who is
a better judge than us in this matter, thinks that this is the best
arrangement for the time being for us in the context of the present
situation obtaining in the area. We shall, therefore, have to share
her views and try to make the best out of it, looking forward with
hope and confidence to the time when the aspirations of our people
will be fully met by raising the present status of Union Territory
to a full Statehood.
As the Honorable Members are aware,
we have been passing through the most difficult time since 1966 on
account of disturbance. All the development activities had to be completely
suspended. As a security measure grouping of village was done by uprooting
the villagers from their homes. As a result, the people could not
continue their work of cultivation (Jhumming) as usual and were left
with hardly any alternative means of earning their livelihood.
We are, therefore, now faced with
a really difficult task. It is, however, very encouraging to note
that the Government of India are fully aware of the peculiar circumstances
prevailing in this area and the need for special care and attention
in matters of development. I can, therefore, say with confidence that
shortage of fund will not be allowed to stand in the way of our economic
Before the popular Government
was installed the Government of India made a provisional grant to
Mizoram for this financial year. We have been operating this tentative
budget as authorised by the Administrator. The total provision in
this tentative budget under Non-Plan is Rs.8.26 crores and Rs.2.64
crores under Plan, making a total of Rs.10.9 crores for the current
2. With the popular Government
installed, and with the creation of a Consolidated Fund of Mizoram,
budget estimates based on the requirements of the new Government and
for developmental purposes were made. The estimates were discussed
with the Government of India, and I am happy to mention that the Government
of India showed consideration and deep sympathy for this infant Government
and backward people of this area. This was evident during discussions
at official levels and in formal meetings with Central Ministers,
including the Prime Minister. With constant conscious efforts on our
part, I have confidence that finance will not be a constraint for
our economic development even in future. The Government of India have
approved our budget estimates for Rs. 17.92 crores for the period
from 3rd May 1972 to 31st March 1973. Our expenditure
for the period from 1st April 1972 to 2nd May
1972 (i.e. the period in the current financial year before we have
legislature) was about Rs. 55 lakhs; making a total of Rs. 18.5 crores
for the whole year. This is against the tentative provision of Rs.
10.9 crores approved for Mizoram Government earlier.
3. Largely for lack of proper
organisation and shortage of experienced and trained personnel, we
were not in a position to prepare and finalise the detail Plan schemes
in time. The Planning Commission have, however, approved our Plan
schemes for Rs. 437.01 lakhs for the current year. Our present plan
Budget estimates are, however, limited to Rs. 2.75 crores for the
whole year. Additional Plan schemes for Rs. 162.01 lakhs have been
approved and the fund for these additional schemes is likely to be
made available to us during the current year provided we can execute
plan schemes in time.
4. Mizoram is now a Union Territory
with Legislature. Our aim for attaining Statehood will without doubt
be realised in due course. We are, however, to be prepared for it.
In this context, I wish to mention that domestic receipts of our Government
will have to be increased many-folds. Our Christian Missionaries taught
us the principle of ‘giving’. The success of Christian work in Mizoram,
to me, is largely due to this principle of giving. It is true that
these days comparatively backward sections lean on more advanced people.
This is so even in colonies of Welfare States. There is no doubt that
the Central Government will render necessary assistance to us. But
it will be for our own interest if we start learning the way of giving.
Otherwise we will ever be children in the eyes of others, and we will
never become mature people. Bearing the principles of equity, the
Government will have to raise revenues by way of levies of some sorts.
And it will be for representatives of the people and for all public
leaders to educate our common mass in the right direction.
5. The Government have since created
three districts, namely (1) Aizawl District with four sub-divisions
(2) Lunglei District with two sub-divisions and (3) Chhimtuipui District
comprising the three autonomous regions of Pawi, Lakher and Ckhakma.
In each of these districts, Deputy Commissioners have already been
6. The village Council administration
is being looked after by a new Department called ‘Local Administration
Department’ after the dissolution of the District Council which used
to look after the Village Councils in the past. The Town Sanitation
etc. is also being entrusted to the Department.
7. Land utilisation has been the
concern of the Government. The Revenue Department has started documentation
of passes and permits on land in proper land record forms village-wise.
In future, settled lands will be surveyed and mapped.
8. As the Honourable Members are
painfully aware, there has been shortage of our staple food, namely,
rice for some years. Disturbed condition, grouping of villages and
natural calamities are contributing factors. Our reliance on jhumming,
which is the primitive method of cultivation of most uneconomic nature,
will also have to be stopped gradually. With this aim, we have this
year a scheme to bring 191.7 acres of land under permanent paddy cultivation
under the Crash Programme for Rural Employment and 400 acres under
other Agricultural Programme. In addition cash crops cultivation is
given due importance.
9. With a view to accelerating
the progress of development work steps are being taken to withdraw
Block Development Officers and other departmental staff now working
as Administrative Officers in Group Centres in order to make their
services available for development work. Steps are also being taken
to create suitable posts and appoint suitable persons to relieve them.
10. The Government have decided
to strengthen the existing two hospitals at Aizawl and Lunglei by
providing more staff such as specialists in E.N.T., Eye, Gynaecology
and Surgery. For the purpose of equipping medical stores with medicines
a sum of Rs. 16.18 lakhs has been provided. It is also intended to
strengthen the existing dispensaries by providing each with additional
staff, e.g. Staff Nurse, Health Assistant and Grade IV staff. Extension
of hospital buildings at Aizawl and Lunglei and provision of more
accommodation for office and staff is being taken up. Buildings for
T.B. patients will be constructed at Durtlang very soon.
As it is difficult to build permanent
houses, Government propose to provide temporary buildings for dispensaries
and doctors in 25 places and post additional staff in these dispensaries.
The hospitals will also be provided with more ambulance vans.
11. Development of dairy, pig
and poultry farming is being intensified for which efforts are being
made to establish a departmental ‘Feed Mill – cum – Mixing Plant’
in the Union Territory. Out of over 30 Veterinary outposts in the
Territory, only 10 Rural Veterinary Aid Centres have their buildings.
Five of such buildings will be taken up during this current year.
Poultry bird distribution programme
at 75 percent subsidy is not much of a success in view of high mortality
on transit by road. To remove this, it is proposed to bring birds
from outside Assam by air upto Silchar or Tuirial.
12. The Soil Conservation Department
under Assam had started some work. Our emphasis from now on will be
Cash Crop Cultivation as one of the methods of Soil Conservation.
The measures are intended to finally stop jhum cultivation which goes
directly against the aim of Soil Conservation. Crops Demonstration
Centres will be set up as a measure to show in practive to the jhum
cultivators the possibility of going in for permanent cultivation
of Cash Crops as an alternative employment.
13. The Industrial Training Institute
Aijal now a guest Institute at Srikona near Silchar will be shifted
to Mfizoram; and pending construction of buildings, the Institute
will be accommodated even in a hired house.
14. In the Agricultural sector,
stress is laid on an all round development for Food production so
as to bring about Green Revolution in the Territory. With this end
in view, the Agriculture Department will intensify various schemes
like introduction of high yielding varieties of crops, potato development,
vegetable development, sugarcane development, horticultural development,
land reclamation, minor irrigation, fertiliser distribution, seed
farm and nurseries and fruit processing. Under the seed farm scheme,
two large farms at Thenzawl and Thingdawl have been established while
small seed nurseries at Chite and Sihphir (Aizawl) and Dubinallah
(Lunglei) for multiplication and distribution of quality seeds have
been doing well.
To solve the problem of market
difficulty for surplus fruit produce, fruit processing factory has
been established at Vairengte where production of Pineapple Squash
has started, and production of Jam and Jelly would also be taken up
Mention may also be made that
the Government of Mizoram is very much aware of the plight of the
Ginger growers due to the slump in price of ginger. A price support
scheme is now being initiated so as to enable the Ginger growers to
dispose of their produce with marginal profit.
15. Directorate of Information,
Public Relations and Tourism has been established. This Directorate
will also look after printing and publication works of the Government,
as there is no separate Department of Printing & Stationery. As
part of the publicity work, the Department has been taking up printing
and publication work of ‘Mizo News Bulletin’, ‘Tunlai Chanchin’ at
Aizawl, ‘Khawvel’ at Lunglei, ‘Kaladan’ at Saiha and ‘Mizoram Gazette’
at Aizawl and other publicity pamphlets.
In view of the increasing public
demand for information and publicity, provisions have been made to
strengthen the department with better equipments. It is proposed to
start Information Centres at 20 important places.
In order to foster a spirit of
partnership and to promote emotional integration and national awareness,
conducted tours will be arranged for village leaders, students, social
workers, writers, artistes and artisans. Although Mizoram has potentialities
for the development of tourism, a beginning is yet to be made in this
respect. A small provision is made for making a survey of potentialities
of the development of tourism.
16. With the formation of Mizoram
as Union Territory the necessity for construction of various buildings
to house the Secretariat and other Government offices and the Assembly
Hall has arisen. Apart from these, residential accommodations for
the Ministers, Members of the Assembly and Government Officers have
also to be built on a priority basis. But unfortunately due to acute
scarcity of land for building construction, it has not been possible
to finalise the sites for the Secretariat buildings. Assembly Hall
and other buildings. At present large portions of the land in the
central portion of the town is occupied by the Assam Rifles who have
been here for several decades. Efforts are being made to find an alternative
location for the Assam Rifles outside the town area and a Committee
has been set up to inspect various sites and recommend suitable sites
for the approval of the Government. It is hoped that very soon a decision
would be taken about the alternative site for them. For the time being,
the Secretariat and other offices have to be accommodated in temporary
buildings in the available space.
During the current year, the construction
programme has to be on a limited scale due to the fact that the P.W.D.
which has to shoulder the immense task of meeting, the needs of the
Union Territory is required to be re-organised and strengthened and
this is bound to take some time. The activities of the P.W.D. in various
sectors have therefore to be limited, to its capacity to deliver the
goods. Besides land for construction is not readily available and
materials and machinery for construction have also to be procured
from outside from various parts of India, along the difficult and
uncertain route through Assam. With the reorganisation and strengthening
of the P.W.D. to be completed during this year, it is expected that
the activities under various sectors of construction will be greatly
stepped up next year.
17. Supply of safe and adequate
drinking water to the population is one of the basic responsibilities
of the Government and top priority has therefore been given by Government
to finalise the Water Supply Schemes for the towns and villages as
quickly as possible and to execute them expeditiously. It is our objective
to provide drinking water to all the Group Centres and major villages
by the end of the Fifth Five Year Plan (1978-79). In case of isolated
and small villages, the scheme will be executed under Block Development
In the current year a provision
of Rs. 34.42 lakhs under plan has been made to meet the cost of construction
and maintenance of the schemes. The Aizawl Water Supply Scheme has
been partly completed and water is already being supplied to large
sections of the population. The work of construction of the distribution
lines is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The scheme
will be completed when electricity driven pumps are provided in place
of the present Diesel pumps now operated, since the cost of operation
of Diesel pump is very high. This will, however, depend on completion
of the work of bringing power to Aizawl from Dulapcherra in Assam
by 66 KV line which is expected to be completed by the end of 1973.
Apart from Aizawl Water Supply,
it is proposed to take up works on the water schemes in the following
major Group Centres and towns.
4. North Lokhicherra
Besides these, works on 8 minor
Group Centres are nearing completion. Water Supply Schemes have been
made for six other villages.
18. At present all the works connected
with Generation and distribution of electricity are being done by
Assam State Electricity Board. In due course a separate department
or board will be set up under this Government which will take over
the work from the Assam State Electricity Board for execution of various
schemes. The matter of setting up this organisation is under consideration
of Government. In the current year’s budget, under Plan Scheme, a
sum of Rs. 54.98 lakhs has been provided.
19. Investigation of the possibilities
of using Daleswar (Tlawng) and Kolodyne rivers for the purpose of
Inland Water Transport was done by one sub-division located at Silchar
under the control of Assam Government. This unit is expected to be
transferred to this Government shortly after which the activities
will be expanded and proper schemes will be finalised based on data
available for approval by Planning Commission. In the budget a small
provision is made for the establishment expenditure of the investigation
sub-division and for removal of some obstructions in Daleswar river.
20. The main Aizawl Bazar was
destroyed by fire in 1966. No assistance for reconstruction and rehabilitation
could come forth all these years. The Government of India have now
agreed to provide Rs.75 lakhs as loan for the purpose. There is also
a provision of Rs.20 lakhs as Housing loan to Public. It is expected
that the town will present better appearance and a number of people
will be rehabilitated when these loans will be utilised.
The Government considers that
economic development in Mizoram can be accelarated if Industrial development
also is given due importance. The Agricultural produce will have to
be processed. Items for local consumption can also be manufactured.
I may mention with apology that we have not been able to make Industrial
potential study of Mizoram. The Government intends to invite the expert
services from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Preliminary
steps have been taken on this line. In the current year, it is proposed
to start some Industries not requiring high technology. There is a
proposal in the budget to give loans for 14 Rice Hullers and 8 Oil
Expellers. It is also intended to give other Industrial Loans for
the schemes which may be found feasible on economic and technical
ground and there is a budget provision of about 9 lakhs in the current
year’s budget for this purpose. I may also mention that the erstwhile
Mizo District Council employed one Paper Consultant to study the feasibility
of starting Paper and Paper Pulp Industry. This report has been submitted
and it is under study.
It is a matter of pride that inspite
of past deficiencies Mizoram has succeeded in achieving a fairly high
percentage of literacy namely 50.9. This does not, however, allow
us to remain complacent in our efforts to attain a much higher percentage
of literacy and various steps have been taken to gear up the whole
machinery to meet the challenge. The much needed Directorate of Education
has been installed and the services of a mature and experienced officer
have already been secured for the post of the Director of Education.
As a result, the past inadequacies due to dependence on Shillong for
direction, guidance and finances have been overcome to a very large
Besides provincialising quite
a few non-Government Middle and High Schools the Government have taken
steps to bring many of the other deserving ones within the ambit of
the deficit system of grants-in-aid and to provide them with some
non-recurring grants for improvement of their physical plants, furniture
and teaching aids etc. The honourable members will, I am sure, appreciate
the difficulties inherent in the task of restructuring education in
this newly born territory and allow sufficient time to the government
to achieve tangible results. I would, however, like to assure them
that the government will leave no stone unturned to attain higher
and higher levels of achievement in the field of education. In this
connection I would like to submit most
humbly that it is not so much
the quantitative expansion which we need at the various stages of
education today as an all-out effort to achieve qualitative improvements
therein. Teaching of Science and Mathematics has unfortunately been
badly neglected till now both at the School and College stages. I
am happy to announce before this august house that a Pilot Project
for improvement of Science teaching in the elementary schools is being
taken up in collaboration with the UNICEF and the NCERT. The Government
of India have already given their clearance for undertaking this project
and it is hoped that by the end of March 1973 functional operation
of the project will start. The Government also have decided to start
Science Courses in the P.M. Govt. College, Aizawl with effect from
the commencement of the ensuing academic session and for this purpose
construction of laboratory buildings in the College campus is already
under the active operational steps of the Public Works Department.
The non-government College at Lunglei has also started Science class
this year and the Government have taken steps to provide some financial
support for this purpose.
The pupil-teacher ratio in our
primary schools is at present extremely unsatisfactory and the Government
have decided to appoint 200 additional Primary school teachers this
year with a view to improve the situation. It is hoped that the pupil-teacher
ratio will be brought to about 1:40 as a result of this measure. A
scheme has also been taken up to provide a good number of pre-matric
boarding-house stipends (hostel subsidies) to enable poor and deserving
students to continue their studies unhampered.
It is unfortunate that our primary
school teachers are, till now, mostly untrained. Besides, they are
also rather deficient academically, most of them having qualification
as low as M.E. standard. To overcome their academic deficiencies as
far as possible as also to provide them with more adequate pedagogic
competence the present primary school teachers training course of
one year duration is being replaced by a more comprehensive training
course covering a period of two years.
Funds have also been provided
in the budget for various youth activities like educational excursions,
sports, games etc. and a scheme has been taken up in the state plan
for organisation of coaching in sports, games, athletics etc. It is
hoped that our boys and girls, who have inherent talents in sports
and games will be able to make a distinctive mark through this measure.
With these words, Sir, I conclude
and I beg your leave now to present the Budget Estimates for the year
1972-73. (3.5.72 to 31.3.73)