SKM manifesto promises jobs and subsistence allowance to the unemployed

Gangtok, 27 Mar:

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha released its election manifesto for the upcoming assembly and parliamentary elections here today. With an eye clearly on the younger voters, among its many promises, SKM has also announced government jobs for unemployed youth and a subsistence allowance of Rs 10,000 to those who cannot be accommodated in a government job.

The manifesto was released by SKM party president, PS Tamang [Golay], in the presence of senior leaders and workers and candidates of the party.

Holding up the government job promise as a “flagship programme” of the party, Mr Tamang announced that these jobs will be rolled out with 100 days of SKM forming the government. He added that the Rs 10,000 subsistence allowance would continue until the beneficiary landed government employment.

The party is also promising to increase MGNREGA wages to Rs 300 per day by adding a State share, providing Rs 5 lakh in five years in the name of the woman head of the family, introducing a 5-day week regime in government offices, upgrading Pakyong and Soreng sub-divisions to district status, regularising jobs provided under the One Family, One Job scheme within 100 days of government formation, regularizing the services of all adhoc teachers, waiving farmer loans and loans given to the unemployed etc.

The party has also promised schemes for workers in private companies and reaffirmed that it will not allow the Citizen Amendment Bill to be implemented in Sikkim.

SKM has also promised to bring in rules which will require private companies in Sikkim to deposit salaries of employees with the state government for distribution by the latter.

The 132-page manifesto, currently released only in Nepali with an English translation expected soon, is divided into political, social, economic and other issues sections.

When asked to comment on the Universal Basic Income scheme floated by SDF and HSP, Mr Tamang, while welcoming it as a good concept, remarked that it was not possible in a debt-laden state like Sikkim. Only revenue surplus States can implement the UBI, he said.

He, however, added that the spirit of the UBI has been included in SKM programmes which is committed to fulfill all the basic needs of the people.

He announced that SKM would fulfill all its election promises in five years and would also work promises made in the 2014 election manifesto.

Mr Tamang appealed to the people of Sikkim to give SKM five years “to save Sikkim and to uproot the autocratic SDF government.”

He said that in five years, SKM will take account of all the funds that came to Sikkim in the past and place the record before the people.

Responding to media queries on why he was not contesting the elections despite having frequently claimed that his conviction in a corruption case did not disqualify him from contesting, Mr Tamang said that being the party president he was busy reaching out to the people across the State hence decided against contesting to work for the party.

As for SKM announcing him as the CM candidate, he said that there was a provision to do so and added that this was not his personal decision but the decision of the parliamentary committee of the party.

As for the nepotism allegations which SKM’s decision to field his son has attracted, Mr Tamang said that it would have been “pariwarvad” if both of them had contested the elections. His son, Aditya Golay, contesting the elections was not perpetuation of dynastic politics but to teach him the political traditions and civility of Sikkim, he said.