The Fourth Session (Part III) of the Tenth Assembly of Sikkim Legislative Assembly commenced from today. The Session began with the Speaker, SLA, L.B. Das welcoming the Governor and all the Members to the Session.
Governor, Ganga Prasad, began his address by extending his warm greetings and best wishes to the Speaker and all the members. He said that the State Government during this period of crisis has been working tirelessly and has effectively overcome the obstacles presented forth. There have been zero cut on salaries and developmental activities have been carried forward with utmost zeal and without any interruptions.
The Governor stated that the Budget for this year has been formed taking into consideration the impact of Covid -19 on the economy of the State, and has devised ways by which we shall remain shielded from its detrimental effects. He expressed his confidence that the Budget deliberations will address the needs of the evolving times and will usher in greater glory to allow Sikkim to reach its truest potential.
The State Government has designed the Budget to substantially address the pertinent issues reflected in the Union Budget. It is development centric with a special focus on healthcare, education, increasing agriculture and horticulture produce.
The Governor elaborated on some of the notable achievements and area of focus of the State Government. He maintained that due fiscal priority has been accorded to development, health, education, social sector and infrastructure requirements. “So far we are moving in the right direction towards the growth and prosperity of the State and I am confident that the budget session will be in furtherance of this momentum,” stated the Governor.
Speaker Shri L.B. Das reported the Governor’s address on the floor of the House. He announced that the businesses listed for Fourth Session – Part (III) of the Tenth Legislative Assembly, Budget 2021-22 will be taken up in two days. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Private Members Businesses i.e., Question Hour, Private Members Resolution and other Motions stand suspended. He further said that as a precautionary measure, Members are requested to continue wearing their face mask while deliberating on the floor of the House or otherwise as per the advice of the State level Task Force on Covid-19 Management. He said that the country is leaving no stone unturned to contain the Second Wave of the Covid-19 virus, despite speedy vaccination drive and phases of Un-lock, Safety Protocols are still in effect.
Chief Minister, Prem Singh Tamang, in his motion of thanks on the Hon’ble Governor’s address, said that the Members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly assembled in the Session are deeply grateful to the Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim for his address which he has been pleased to deliver today, the 14th June, 2021.
The Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s address was seconded by Member Sonam T. Venchungpa.
The discussion and voting on the Motion of Thanks on Governor’s Address will be taken up tomorrow, the 15th of June, 2021.
During the Financial Business, Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister, also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance Department presented the General Budget of the Government of Sikkim for the financial year 2021-22.
The Chief Minister, while delivering his Budget Speech, highlighted the key areas of the Budget for the financial year 2021-22 along with the budgetary profile.
Against a gross expenditure provision of Rs.9852.85 crore, (Rupees nine thousand eight hundred fifty-two crores eighty-five lakh) the net outgo comes to Rs.9588.65 crore (Rupees nine thousand five hundred eighty-eight crores sixty-five lakh) after taking into account recoveries amounting to Rs.264.20 crore (Rupees two hundred sixty-four crore twenty lakh).
He acknowledged the support of the very committed legislators and minister colleagues, officials, doctors, nurses, health workers, police personnel, community organizations, civil society members and the media to deal with the pandemic. Being located within the boundaries of the international borders, national security is our prime consideration and had to deal with the pandemic with a unique approach.
He said that despite serious financial constraints and severe geographical handicaps and also suddenness of the spread of pandemic across the world and in India, the State Government has been able to put together a considerable level of physical infrastructures and facilities to deal with the COVID-19.
He gave a brief outline of the economic losses incurred by the State Government in all sectors due to the lock-down induced by the pandemic.
He said that the State Government is determined to minimise the adverse impact, provide maximum possible relief to all the stakeholders and people in general by consistently making major strategies to revive and rebuild our economy. In fact, the economy had already started showing signs of recovery during the short period of August 2020 to March 2021, he added.
The Chief Minister once again expressed his thanks to the people of Sikkim, frontline warriors, doctors, nurses, officials, police personnel, home guards, safaikarmacharis, Dhobi, Medical attendant and all supporting staffs, volunteers, civil society organisation, political workers, media, farmers, daily wage workers, drivers, businessmen, tourism industry stakeholders and all others for their patience, forbearance, cooperation and support during both waves of the pandemic in Sikkim.
He also thanked the Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim for being an extraordinary source of encouragement, moral support, and guiding light during these tough and burdensome times.
In the end, the Chief Minister appealed to all to once again march forward to fulfill our goals based on sustainable development policies for the benefit of the people of Sikkim. “Let us re-dedicate ourselves to further peace and tranquillity and ensure that the State grows to become an example of innovation and progress,” he stated.
The discussion and voting on the General Budget 2021-22 will be taken up tomorrow, the 15th of June, 2021.