Speech of Pu Hiteswar Saikia, Governor of Mizoram before the second Mizoram State Legislative Assembly on 31st January, 1989
Hon’ble Speaker and other Members of the House,
This is a rare privilege for me to address the First Session of the Second Mizoram State Legislative Assembly. The year 1988 witnessed the dramatic fate of the MNF Ministry and upsurge of a new faction of the MNF in the banner of MNF (D), which led the State to have been under a short spell of President’s Rule. I am happy to mention before this august assembly that a largely peaceful General Election has now paved the way for installation of a popular ministry. We are grateful to the Election Commission for holding a free and fair election in the State while we are also grateful to all political parties for helping in holding of the election in a very disciplined and peaceful manner. Indeed, all the political parties have created a unique example of maximum possible restraint in their election campaign, and of their faith in the democratic process.
2. My Government was committed to fulfill the terms of the Peace Accord. Throughout the last year, we strived for that goal to the effect that over 300 MNF returnees were provided with Government jobs and housing assistance amounting to Rs.175 lakhs and Ex-Gratia grants amounting to Rs.220 lakhs were sanctioned for disbursement. About 261 MNF-returnees including those who resigned from service offered to them, were provided with contract works. A total of Rs.100 lakhs have been sanctioned towards Famine Relief Schemes for the 3 districts of Aizawl, Lunglei and Chhimtuipui.
3. This Government is committed to protect the rights and privileges of minorities and to give due attention to their welfare in the state according to the provisions of the Constitution of India and the values enshrined in the Mizoram Accord. Concern of the Central Government is well reflected in the enactment of the latest amendment of the VIth Schedule to the Constitution, the benefits of which are initially meant for the minorities of Tripura and Mizoram only. We are thankful to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues.
4. During the Current Financial Year, the prime concern of my Government is to improve the supply and distribution of essential commodities so that the same can reach the bowls of rural folks. To check every pilferage at all the levels of supply and distribution, several measures have been taken including anti-hoarding drives, formation of Flying Squads to watch over the movements of supply, formation of vigilance committees and the like. Total number of Fair Price Shops in the State has been raised to 785. The monthly allotment of rice has been raised from 6500 MT to 7500MT while for the lean season; a buffer-stock of rice has been planned. There are shortfalls in the adequacy of supplies of edible oils, sugar and cement mainly due to the shortage of wagons but attempts are being made to recover from all these shortcomings.
5. The process of all-round development was engineered smoothly. Notable achievements include the commissioning of the Greater Aizawl Water Supply Scheme Phase-I costing Rs.16.59 crores; the inauguration of Khawiva Micro Hydel Project with a capacity of 1.05 MW (later to be raised to 2.55 MW); the laying of the foundation stone of Greater Lunglei Water Supply Scheme with an estimated cost of Rs.14.20 crores; the opening of truck road to Mamit and introduction of Helicopter Service in the State which also links Mizoram with the rest of the country by air. The Government not only continued the on-going schemes but also initiated many short-term plans.
6. Whole-hearted co-operation of the public, village councils and voluntary organizations was sought with enthusiastic responses from them, especially in the matters of fighting social evils and detection of criminals. Media campaign against drug abuse was launched in collaboration with local press. Public Grievances Cells have been working actively to redress public grievances in the best possible manner.
7. Welfare of Government servants have not been neglected. A number of adhoc appointments have been regularized in almost all departments and at all levels. At the same time, a number of Recruitment Rules for all categories of Government employees have been framed and finalized including the Mizoram Civil Service Rules and the Mizoram Police Service Rules. The Pay anomalies of Government servants consequent upon the implementation of the recommendations of the 4th Pay Commission have also been removed. The U.G.C.-pay-scales for College Teachers are being introduced in consultation with the Government of India and the recommendations of the National Commission on Teachers have also been implemented for the benefit of the Teaching community. For construction of the Mizoram Secretariat and other Government office complex, a portion of land at Khatla, Aizawl presently occupied by Mizoram Range, Assam Rifles has been handed over by them and taken over by the Government of Mizoram during this period. The long-awaited Electronic Exchange at Aizawl has been commissioned. The telephone exchange is made functional and telegraph office has been opened at Saiha, the Hqr. of the three district councils of the Chakmas, Lakhers and Pawis in Chhimtuipui District.
8. During the current financial year the approved outlay for Mizoram is Rs.85 crores, which is expected to be, increased to Rs.110 crores during 1989-90.Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme the Aibawk Rural Development Block has been covered by the Jhum Control Programme. For the next year Chhimtuipui District is proposed to be covered with an outlay of Rs.4.75 crores. In order t develop the available flat-land for increased production of paddy it is also proposed to take up mass land-development-programmes for which a proposal involving Rs.5 crores has been submitted to the Planning Commission. I am sure, the Hon’ble Members will agree with me on the need for increasing local production of paddy so as to attain self-sufficiency in food production. One of the schemes envisaged by my Government is introduction of a composite farming system, with the resources of all the departments especially those of the Agriculture and allied activities. Much priority is being given to the power-sector for generation and transmission of power to meet the growing domestic and industrial demand. Another priority sector is road communication. Supply of potable drinking water to the public is also given due emphasis under which it is proposed to cover all the problem-villages by 1990 AD. Under the Medical and Health Services, the scheme of "Health for all by 2000 A.D." envisages to provide all the population with adequate health coverage which will eradicate all communicable diseases. Within the context of Mizoram the importance of development of cottage and small industries, handloom and handicraft sectors is also not neglected. My Government has recently set up Mizoram Handloom Corporation to look after this vital and important traditional means of livelihood of the people. Due to our persistent effort the share of three autonomous district councils of the Chakmas, Lakhers and Pawis has also been substantially increased under the plan sector. Recently, we have provincialised three aided colleges and also up-graded the status of Hnahthial and Lawngtlai colleges’ to deficit-status upto the degree level. A number of middle schools have also been brought under the deficit-system. In fact, one Training Institute for Veterinary Science has also been opened. In the other sectors like Forest and Environment, Tourism, Social Welfare, Transport, Rural Development, Planning and Statistics, Local Administration etc. also steps have been taken for ensuring development of Mizoram in all these sectors. Emphasis has been given to afforestation schemes to ensure ecological balance. This is being taken care of even in the context of the Bairabi Multipurpose Hydel Project, which involves rehabilitation and re-settlement along with a massive scheme of afforestation. In fact, a new housing scheme has been introduced from this year for making loans available to the general public in collaboration with the LIC and HUDCO apart from the normal housing loan scheme under the Government.
9. I have highlighted some of the important achievements and the programmes during the current year and the forth-coming year. I am sure, the Hon’ble Members of the Second Mizoram State Legislative Assembly will spare no efforts in implementing the programmes chalked out by my Government so that our state marches along with the rest of the country.
10. I fervently hope, the new Council of Ministers will wisely go for laying down the policies, physical and financial targets to be achieved during the next year. I am confident that the Hon’ble Members will participate in the deliberations in greater depth and insight and profer their constructive suggestions to improve the performance of the Govt. during their tenure.
11. Now, I must make way for the Hon’ble Members for their deliberations wishing them a very enlivening and successful Session.