Be prepared to face hard truths to resolve Naga issue: CM

Be prepared to face hard truths to resolve Naga issue: CM

Kohima, February 13: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today said all leaders must be prepared to face the realities and the hard truths and must be prepared to address the core issues without any hesitation to find an early solution to the prolonged Naga political issue.
In his speech during the presentation of Budget 2020-2021 in the State Assembly here, Rio iterated that Indo-Naga political issue has been the PDA Government’s most important agenda. “Though the state government is not a direct party to the ongoing negotiations, we have committed to the people that we will play the constructive role of an active facilitator in the peace process. We have continued our efforts and endeavours to create an enabling atmosphere for the peace process to make positive headway,” he said.
He appealed all sections of the people to make further efforts towards unity, oneness and reconciliation “because it is only through unity that we will be able to overcome the challenges and the hurdles that lie ahead.”
“As a people, we cannot delay peace any longer,” Rio said, adding that “we owe it to the present and future generations to usher in and pave the way for them to strive towards their aspirations of achieving success and excellence”.
“Let us all work towards this aspiration in a spirit of togetherness with renewed commitment and sincerity,” Rio said.
Citizenship Amendment Act
Rio said that Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) which is now the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 had created serious apprehensions in the minds of the people not just in Nagaland but also across the region.
“The PDA government had always maintained a consistent stand from the very beginning as we have said that Nagaland is protected under the provisions of Article 371A of the Constitution and the ILP Regulation of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873,” Rio said.
Stating that the CAB was discussed and passed by both houses of Parliament and is now law in the shape of the CAA, he said “Now the provisions of the ILP and BEFR 1873 provision have been mentioned and incorporated into a Union law and have received a constitutional endorsement.”
“Our consistent stand that we are protected has been vindicated as our neighbours also began to demand the introduction of the ILP regime in their respective states so that they too can be protected and exempted,” he added.
FFC Award
Rio said that the coming financial year 2020-21 is important for the State because it marks the commencement of the Fifteenth Finance Commission Award period. He said the tenure of the Fifteenth Finance Commission has been extended by another year up to October 2020 and so, the submission of the final report of the commission has been delayed.
The commission has, however, submitted its report for the year 2020-21. The ommission will be submitting a separate report for five years for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26 by October 2020.
We are accordingly proceeding with a full budget, he said.
Rio recalled that two members of the Fifteenth Finance Commission-Dr. Ashok Lahiri and Ajay Narayan had recently visited Nagaland from January 8-10.
“We had meaningful discussions with them and have conveyed to them the problems we face, such as the remote location of the state and the increase in financial problems after the pattern of financing contained in the 16 Point Agreement was discontinued,” Rio said adding that he told them the need for support in completing the Trans Nagaland Highway (Foothill Road) and for Ciethu Airport. (Page News Service)