SKM Govt committed to public welfare despite financial burden, says Golay
Gangtok, 01 Aug: Chief Minister, PS Tamang [Golay] today said that the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha government is committed to continue all its welfare programmes despite having huge financial burden and liabilities incurred under the previous government. He assured that the government has been taking all possible austerity measures to spend more on welfare of the people of Sikkim. He was responding to queries of Members Aditya Golay Tamang and Em Prasad Sharma placed during the discussion on Demands for Grants for different departments under the charge of the CM on the fourth day of the Budget Session of Sikkim Legislative Assembly here on Thursday. The CM further mentioned that SKM took the charge of the government on 27 May this year and inherited huge loans, liabilities and financial burden from the SDF government. He informed that the first cabinet meeting decided not to use expensive vehicles for the CM, Ministers and legislators and the meeting also decided to auction all luxury vehicles used by the previous government and put money back to the State exchequer. He added that the government has stopped using police escorts for the Ministers of the State and has further decided to use STNM hospital for the treatment of the CM, Ministers and MLAs to prevent spending huge sums in hospitals in and outside the country. The CM mentioned that there was the practice of making political appointments of lots of advisors and chairpersons in the earlier government. On the same, he added that except for few Advisors the present government has not appointed any other advisor and chairperson. He mentioned that fund has been allocated in this budget to provide arrears and pension to government employees in a single instalment. Responding to a query on Teesta Urja HEP, the CM mentioned that because of the carelessness of the earlier government the State has suffered huge losses in the hydel projects. Instead of making the State self-reliant through hydel projects as promised by the previous government, the State has incurred financial losses, he added. He informed that the earlier government had constituted a committee headed by the then Chief Secretary and decided to build 13 hydel projects but only Teesta Stage III was executed by Teesta Urja. He added that despite having 60.8% share in the project, the State sustained huge losses. The previous government had announced to execute 31 hydel projects but was able to implement only 7 projects, said the CM. He mentioned that the earlier government had appointed officials by providing very high salaries in crores. On the same, he informed that the State government has negotiated with top officials in the project and managed to save around Rs 3.45 crore in salaries per annum. CM also welcomed suggestions of the Member Aditya Golay and Em Prasad Sharma and assured to work on providing district status to Pakyong and Soreng. He also assured to work on the issue placed by Aditya Golay to increase the salaries and facilities for home guards in the State.