Gangtok, 04 Feb:
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha president, Chief Minister PS Tamang, today announced that promises made in the party’s election manifesto will be reflected in the upcoming budget which is slated to be placed next month.
In this regard, he urged the people not to compare the eight months of SKM government with the 25 years of SDF since most of this time was spent undoing the damage wrecked on Sikkim in the past two and a half decades.
The remainder of the term will deliver what the SDF failed to do in the 25 years that the people kept it in office, he said.
Mr Tamang was addressing a massive gathering on the occasion of the party’s eighth foundation day at Rangpo playground in East Sikkim on Tuesday.
Reminiscing about the formation of SKM on 04 February in 2013, Mr Tamang contended that the date was important not only for SKM supporters and well-wishers, but all change-loving people of the State who suffered much under what he sees as the repressive authoritarianism of the SDF Govt.
“I myself faced many personal attacks and allegations from the previous government but I was always committed to fulfill the dreams of the people and liberate them from 25 years of autocratic government,” he said.
Mr Tamang pointed out that SKM had won 10 seats in 2014 within one year of formation and took the opportunity to thank SKM MLAs KN Lepcha and Sonam Lama for standing firm with the party during its difficult times when seven of their colleagues joined the SDF.
He also thanked the party workers and supporters who have remained with the party despite the privations sent their way for the political leanings and then working hard to bring the party to office in 2019.
He claimed that the real democracy was restored in the State only with the formation of the SKM government.
He accused the SDF government of destroying the State and contended that SKM was now on a rebuilding project for Sikkim.
On the same, he urged the people to support and assist the government make Sikkim a model State.
Mr Tamang stated that the SKM Govt undertook austerity measures immediately upon coming to office and was working towards abolishing the VIP culture instituted by the SDF.
He assured that SKM has not forgotten the difficulties and exploitation faced by the party workers and called on the people to give a free hand to the government to take action against every corrupt and exploitative person of the previous government.
“We will not spare anyone who had a role to play in destroying the State over the past 25 years of SDF government,” he said.
He accepted that many people were coming forward to support the party now that it was in government and acknowledged that the real party workers were those who have worked for the party since its formation.
The SKM Government has also come under some criticism for hiring non-locals and indulging in service extension of govt officers, matters it had strongly opposed when SDF was in office.
Addressing these issues, Mr Tamang explained today that the SKM Government has not given service extension to anyone and has instead offered re-employment to a select few. This latter option, he said, did not hamper the prospects of in-service personnel and went on to state that even re-employment will be discontinued from April onwards.
The only exception to this rule will be one-year service extension only for Grade IV employees who needed it.
He also took potshots at his predecessor and today claimed that former CM Pawan Chamling has accepted that he was a citizen of Nepal.
On the appointment of Sunil Sarogi as the OSD to the CM, he said that this appointment was totally political in nature and did not violate any aspect of Rule 4(4) since Mr Sarogi will not be drawing any salary or enjoy any perks and was giving his services to the state on a monthly honorarium.
Likewise, he further informed that the appointment of Dr Mahendra P Lama as the Chief Economic Advisor was also on honorarium basis. He added that the Centre has given Dr Lama the responsibility to prepare the Vision Document 2035 so his service would help the State in the national and international levels.
On the State Govt’s plans to contract retired CBI sleuths as SPs and DSPs in Vigilance Police, Mr Tamang said that this was to take action against the corrupt and alleged that the opposition has been trying to instigate the people of Sikkim on these issues.
He asserted that SKM government has been committed to make Sikkim corruption free.
He announced that services of all temporary govt employees will be automatically regularised after eight years of service and informed that Home Guards will also be similarly regularised.
CM informed that the government has cleared all pending land compensation of Pakyong airport and will be functional soon. He announced to cover the government employees in the department, projects and PSUs with a health insurance ‘Sikkim Swastha Bima Yojana’. He informed that a total of 89,201 employees and their five dependents will benefit from this scheme. He further announced that eventually, every citizen of Sikkim will be covered under this medical insurance.