BUDGET SESSION Day-3 packed with Q&As and financial business Assembly passes amendment easing payment of motor vehicle road tax

August 1, 2019

Gangtok, 31 Jul:

The third day of the Budget Session 2019-20 of Sikkim Legislative Assembly started with question hour on Wednesday. During the question hour, three legislators, Bishnu Kumar Sharma, Sunita Gajmer and Aditya Golay placed queries with the concerned Ministers.

In response to a question put forth by MLA Aditya Golay Tamang, Forest Minister Karma Loday Bhutia stated that the Department will put in place norms providing due relaxation for environmental clearances to carry out development works of the Government.

While replying to Ms Gajmer who sought a detailed list of funds received by the state under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Tourism Minister BS Pant mentioned in the year 2015-16, the approved amount was Rs 98.04 Crore and that the amount released by the Ministry so far is Rs 78.44 Crore of which Rs 75.95 Crore has been spent.

He further informed that fund approved for the Swadesh Darshan Scheme-2 in the year 2016-17 was Rs 95.32 Crore and the amount released by the Ministry so far was Rs. 73.21 Crore and expenditure till date is Rs. 36.96 Crore.

It is added that funds received under this scheme have been utilized and were being used in many projects and locations.

Replying to a question placed by MLA Bishnu Kumar Sharma, Animal Husbandry Minister LN Sharma informed the House that the department has distributed 824 milch cows in the last five years.

He shared that according to the Estimate Survey Report carried out regularly by the department under Integrated Sample Survey Scheme for Estimation of Milk, Meat and Egg, data revealed that milk production in the State has increased significantly in the last five years.

The State annual milk production has reached 61.244 thousand tons from 49.990 ton in the year 2014-15 and the State is producing 1.68 lakhs litres of milk per day. Minister also provided the district-wise breakup of the milch cattle distribution in the last five years.

On a supplementary question by the Mr Bishnu Kumar Sharma, he informed that the government was taking concrete steps to ensure that farmers get the best price for their produce.

Replying to a question put forth by the MLA Sunita Gajmer, the Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Kunga Nima Lepcha informed that the work of up-gradation of the Jorethang playground was initiated by the Buildings and Housing Department and the work has not yet been handed over to Sports & Youth Affairs Department, nor any intimation has been received regarding present position of work.

He added that the Sports & Youth Affairs Department has not made any expenditure with regard to the above work.

The Minister added that till 2018-19, the State Government did not make any provision for upgradation of Jorethang playground. However, during the current financial year, the present Government has proposed to make a provision to complete the work.

Replying to a question Ms Gajmer, Power Minister MN Sherpa informed the House that the total fund allocated to Sikkim under Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana since 2014 was Rs 26.07 Crore.

During the Legislative Business, the Sikkim Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the House. The Statement of objects and reasons of the Bill states that in order to facilitate the general public of Sikkim, the State Government has proposed the amendment to introduce online payment of taxes and a one-time tax consisting of single / lump sum amount payable of the existing annual tax for 5 (five) years at a time for all category of vehicles.

The Financial Business saw discussion, voting and subsequent passing of Separate Demands for Grants of various government departments.

The House passed the Demands for Grants under the Charge of Minister for Tourism & Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industries Departments. Likewise, the Demands for Grants under the charge of Minister of Human Resource Development, Law, Legal, Legislative & Parliamentary Affairs, Land Revenue & Disaster Management and Sports & Youth Affairs Departments were passed by the House.

The Demands for Grants under the charge of Minister for Urban Development & Housing and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Departments were passed by the House.

The House also passed the Demands for Grants under the charge of Minister for Energy & Power and Labour Departments. Likewise, the Demands for Grants under the charge of Minister for Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management, Mines, Minerals & Geology and Science & Technology Departments were also passed by the House.

The Demands for Grants under the charge of Minister of Health Care, Human Services &Family Welfare and Social Justice, Empowerment & Welfare Departments were also passed by the House. Replying to a question of the Member Aditya Golay Tamang, the Minister-in-Charge of Health Dr MK Sharma stated that the Government is committed to improve the health services in the State and all measures would be taken to ensure access to quality health care services for the people. He informed about the recent recruitment of staff nurses as well as the proposal to recruit doctors and paramedical staff to fill the manpower requirement in all hospitals and health centres throughout the State.

Likewise, the House passed the Demands for Grants under the charge of Minister of Food Security & Agriculture Development, Horticulture & Cash Crops Development, Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries & Veterinary Services, Information & Public Relations and Printing & Stationery Departments.

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