Chamling announces financial assistance for paragliders

Gangtok, 11 Jun:

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today interacted with the public of Upper Burtuk constituency at Khelgaon in Reshithang as part of the second phase of his 32-day Jan Sampark Yatra in East district.

In his address, the Chief Minister announced that two Janta Melas will be organised for the poor people living in bazaar areas and the monks on 28-29 Jun wherein GCI sheets, cookers and gas cylinders will be distributed. This Janta Mela for East and North districts will be held on 28 Jun while for South and West districts, the programme will be held on 29 Jun, he added.

Speaking on the development in Upper Burtuk constituency in the past 24 years, the CM stressed on the benefits being derived by taxi drivers and shop owners due to Banjhakri Falls and other such tourist spots in the area.

“Our government wants to develop 10,000 tourism destinations across the State to take entire Sikkim forward in tourism sector,” said the CM.

Highlighting on tax exemption for Sikkim Subject Certificate [SSC] holders provided by the State Government, the CM informed that demand for income tax exemption for the old settlers of Sikkim has been placed.

He appealed to the SSC holders to avoid sub-letting their trade licenses and contract works to non-SSC holders as it puts the income tax exemption under risk.

“We must ensure protection of the income tax exemption to the SSC holders,” he expressed.

He further informed about steps taken by the authorities to close down shops belonging to SSC holders but run by non-locals.

“We give three months’ time so that shops being run on lease basis can clear all their dues and make all other arrangements and then leave the shops. We have also made a law for the villagers to carry out trade, contract works and jobs in their villages by themselves and not allow non-SSC holders to take such opportunities. We want the rule of villagers in the villages of Sikkim,” he added.

He said that this year tourist flow in the State was tremendous and thus more opportunities in the tourism sector will open but “we must be strictly against subletting of our hotels to people from outside”.

The CM also informed that the state government is considering forming a women’s company in the Sikkim Armed Police.

Talking about the health sector in the state, the Chief Minister stated that Sikkim was the first state to start Hepatitis B vaccination. He also encouraged health workers and Panchayats to work with strong determination in eliminating TB by 2022. He also said that the State Government provides free HPV vaccine for prevention against cervical cancer for girls and that we need to generate massive awareness about it.

During the course of the event, the CM sanctioned in principle all the demands placed by area MLA, DR Thapa, on behalf of the Upper Burtuk constituency including demand for financial assistance to paragliders who lose their lives or get injured while paragliding at Reshithang.

Following the same, the CM announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh in case of any accidental death of a paraglider and financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to injured paragliders.

Further, the CM also made other announcements including processing allotment of unused government lands to the Sukumbasis; new roads proposals to be all sanctioned and work upto Rs 2 crore to be handed over to Panchayats which will be distributed through open tender to the people belonging to the concerned Constituency only; various proposals for three waterfalls as tourist sites in Upper Burtuk Constituency were all sanctioned in principle; upgradation of Sichey Secondary School to Senior Secondary School; and, employment for non technical manpower in the upcoming hospital at Sichey to be filled in by local people of the area.

Keeping in view the noteworthy work of peons in the State Government, the CM also announced that they will be granted conveyance allowance.

The programme also saw the distribution of cheques to the youth/beneficiaries under the Chief Minister’s Start-Up Scheme to carry out the various entrepreneurship ventures.