Monsoon session of State Assembly held amidst Opposition boycott
Kohima, August 13: The one-day monsoon session, which is also the sixth session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), was held with the presence of ruling members while the only opposition in the Assembly, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) boycotted the session.
This is the first time in recent known history that the Opposition boycotted the entire proceedings.
NLA Speaker said the sixth session was called amid COVID-19 pandemic as it is required by the constitution. He also informed that the NLA organized a pre-session comprehensive COVID test in-order to minimize the risk of exposure of members and others attending the assembly session. He further added that following all the SOP of the government seating arrangements were also rearranged to maintain social distancing norms.
The Assembly Secretariat also provided N95 mask to the members while thermal scanners were kept at every entrance and hand sanitizers were arranged in all rooms and Assembly Hall.
The session chaired by Speaker Sharingain Longkumer and attended by 22 legislators of the ruling coalition commenced with the House conveying condolences to the passing of five former legislators of NLA – Kakheho Sukhalu, Noklem Konyak, Dr T Myinthungo Lotha, Rev Lhousuohie Mhasi and Sualemba during the intercession of the Assembly.
Despite the absence of the Opposition members, the replies to 12 starred queries, mostly on COVID-19 pandemic put up by them, was tabled in the House by the Ministers in-charge.
Commissioner & Secretary NLA, Dr P J Antony reported the assent of the Governor to five bills – The Nagaland Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2020, The Nagaland Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2020, The Nagaland Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020, North East Christian University (First Amendment) Bill, 2020 and The Nagaland Goods and services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which were passed by the Assembly during its sitting in February.
The House also passed by voice vote The Nagaland Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which was moved Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
He also laid the annual administrative report 2019-20 of the Department of Justice and Law while Minister V Kashiho Sangtam laid the report of the Department of Soil and Water Conservation.
Chief Minister Rio also tabled four rules on State Disaster Management Plan, Incident Response System, State Disaster Management and Minimum Standards of Relief.
Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, Advisor K T Sukhalu presented the Committee’s 120th, 121st and 122nd reports on the examination of the report of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India for the year 2012-2013 on the State Finances Audit Report and Audit Report on Social, Economic, Revenue and General Sectors; Audit on Forests, Ecology, Environment & Wildlife and the year 2013-2014 State Finances Audit Report and Audit Report on Social, Economic, Revenue and General Sectors.
Member of Committee on Public Undertakings, Advisor N Bongkhao Konyak presented the 83rd to 86th report on the examination of the CAG of India report for the year 2011-12 pertaining to Nagaland Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation under Department of Industries and Commerce, Nagaland State Mineral Development Corporation Limited under Department of Geology and Mining, and 2012-13 and 2013-14 report on Nagaland Hotels Limited under Department of Industries and Commerce Department.
Advisor Toshi Wungtung and Member of the Estimates Committee laid the 140th report on Action Taken on the observations/recommendations contained in the 133rd report of the committee pertaining to National Rural Health Mission under Health and Family Welfare Department.
The Opposition NPF while expressing dissatisfaction on the Speaker’s decision not accepting the party’s proposal of having a longer session to deliberate on the pertinent matters of Naga political issue, SARFAESI Act, 2002 and the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario in the State had decided to boycott the session.
Meanwhile, in his brief statement in the House today, Chief Minister and Leader of the House, Neiphiu Rio expressed his unhappiness on the Opposition party decision to boycott the session.
This session was earlier scheduled for July 30 but due to detection of COVID-19 positive cases among six NLA staff, it was deferred and held Thursday. (Page News Service)