State Assembly passes Rs 21068.85 cr budget

State Assembly passes Rs 21068.85 cr budget

Kohima, February 15: The Nagaland Assembly passed the State Budget for the financial year 2020-2021 amounting to Rs 21068.85 crore by voice vote on Saturday.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had presented the Rs 2358.81 crore deficit budget on February 13 while the discussion and voting on the budget was taken up today following two-days of debate and also cut motions of opposition MLAs on irregularities and wrong policies in some departments.
Law & Justice Department: Moving the cut motion, Opposition Leader T R Zeliang expressed concern on the Deputy Secretary of the Department letter to the Finance Department stating that the Securitisation & Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement Interest (SARFAESI) Act 2002 is against the provisions of Article 371(A) and BEFR 1873, which has led to the banks stopping loans to the people.
Expressing concern that the people, especially businessman, entrepreneurs and contractors, are suffering due to inability to avail loans, Zeliang sought the assurance from the Government that it would initiate measures to write to the banks and use the existing law of the State – Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2002.
Leader of the House, Neiphiu Rio asserted that there have been no complaints from any quarter on the issue while the State Bank of India has informed that there has been an increase in the number of people seeking loan.
He however assured the House that the Government will call a meeting of the Finance Department along with the banks and resolve the issue at the earliest.
To this, MLAs Chotisuh Sazo and Zeliang reacted saying the increase may be because of Government employees seeking various loans as they don’t have to mortgage land or property to apply for loan, but it is the common people and students suffering.
However, accepting Government’s assurance to hold meeting with bankers to resolve the issue, Zeliang requested that it needs to be held immediately in order to relieve the people.
Police: MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu while highlighting the anomalies of recruitment in Police Department sought the assurance of the Deputy Chief Minister, Y Patton in-charge of Home that such anomalies will not be repeated. He sought the policies of the Department, especially concerning recruitment which allows recruitment from only one constituency.
Patton replied that the recruitment committee comprises of IG, DIG and AIG of Police Headquarters and that since he (Patton) is not the appointing authority no assurance can be given in the floor of the House.
CU Amendment Bill passed
The Nagaland Assembly today passed the North East Christian University (First Amendment) Bill 2020 by voice vote.
The Bill was moved by February 7 by Minister for Higher & Technical Education, Temjen Imna Along and taken up for consideration on February 10, however Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had asked the Minister to make proper clarification on the usage of religious names for institutes as there had been a complaint in the past.
In the absence of Minister Along, the CM moving the Bill for passage today informed that St Joseph University Nagaland Bill 2016 was also amended from the original name of St Joseph Catholic University Nagaland so he wanted make sure that no confusion is created.
But this time, he said there is no objection after reconsideration.
Thereafter, the NECU (First Amendment) Bill was passed by voice vote.
Higher Education: MLA Muthingnyuba Sangtam highlighted that students of Wangkhao College Mon have been on agitation protesting the shortfall of teachers in the college. He said that students have informed that a memorandum was submitted to the Higher Education Department on February 3, 2019 for deployment of teachers.
Citing that other Government colleges have sufficient teachers, he said Wangkhao College has only 17 teachers while shortfall is in education and sociology departments.
Pointing that the State Government has made 2634 appointment within one year while 31 posts are still vacant in Higher Education Department, he sought assurance that even if no new appointments will be made the department should send at least 4-5 teachers to balance the ratio.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the concern expressed is “genuine”. He said discussion have been held with department concern, and assured the House that the matter will be shorted out within two weeks time.
Works & Housing: MLA Khriehu Liezietsu raised concern that the Kohima City bye-pass road was approved in 2016-17 and Rs 12 crore sanctioned for preparation of DPR. Subsequently, NHIDCL was appointed as the implementing agency and approved Rs 542.47 cr.
But Liezietsu lamented that the same road has been reduced to two lane. This shows the insincerity of the State Government and the department towards development, he said, while cautioning that if we fail to secure the approval for four lane, it may not come again.
Also highlighting that no compensation would be paid for two lane road, the project may face problems from land-owners, and he requested the Minister in-charge to pursue the matter again for four-lane.
Patton, who also holds National Highways, informed that initially it was meant for four-lane but later did not qualify as it did not meet the minimum traffic volume of 20000 passenger car unit.
MLA Zeliang said that the city road connects from Jotsoma bye-pass-Secretariat-BSF-Kigwema so that heavy vehicles and those heading for Imphal, Manipur can take the route and don’t disturb the traffic in the city. He said the four-lane if approved now will be secure for future saying that if we go for two-lane now, than after construction it will be difficult for expansion.
He asked the Minister in-charge to consult with the Department and go to Delhi and explain the position to the Ministry.
Accepting the suggestion, Patton assured to re-process with the Ministry on four-laning.
Subsequently, with the assurance given by the Government to follow up the suggestions, Opposition leader Zeliang withdrew the cut motions.
Thereafter, the demands were passed by voice vote.
Subsequently, the House also passed the Nagaland Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2020, moved by Rio, who also holds the Finance portfolio, authorizing the Peoples’ Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government to withdraw Rs 21068.85 crore from and out of the consolidated fund of the State of Nagaland for the financial year ending March 31, 2021. (Page News Service)