LIST OF GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS
by His Excellency, the Governor of Manipur, Shri Ved Prakash Marwah
to the 8th Manipur Legislative Assembly on 12.03.2002.
Honíble Speaker and Honíble Members,
I am happy to welcome you all to this inaugural session of the 8th
Manipur legislative Assembly. A new Government has been installed after
the just concluded elections. I take this opportunity to congratulate
the people of Manipur and all the newly elected Members of this august
House. In the prevailing circumstances, the people of Manipur have cast
a heavy responsibility on the Members. I am confident that this House
will protect and safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur and
join hands to maintain peace and harmony among our people.
2. I am sad to say that our people have suffered for too long. The
canker of insurgency is eating into the very vitals of our society.
There is almost no section of society which is left untouched by this
malaise. It will, therefore, be the endeavor of my Govt. to strictly
maintain law and order in the State and simultaneously take effective
steps to bring about a dialogue with the various insurgent outfits. I
hope, and my optimism may not be misplaced, the various insurgent
outfits will take cognizance of the suffering of our people and respond
favorably to the appeal for a negotiated settlement.
3. My Government is determined to provide clean, transparent and
effective governance with the active involvement and participation of
the people at the grass-root level. To achieve this objective, it is
proposed to hold elections to the local bodies including the Panchayats
and the District Councils at the earliest. Adequate powers will also be
delegated to the local bodies. All pending corruption cases, including
those referred to the CBI, will be followed up for speedy disposal.
4. My Government is committed to take special care of minorities.
Setting up of a Minorities Commission will, therefore, be considered to
safeguard the interests of the minorities in the State. The
implementation of programmes for social and economic upliftment of
women are proposed to be expedited. The Government will continue to
fund NGOs, who are actively engaged in the welfare and training of
Minorities with Central assistance. The Govt. also proposes to take up
construction of hostels for OBC boys and girls provide pre-matric and
post matric scholarship and stipend for free coaching to help the OBC
students in the competitive examinations.
5 There has been a sustained demand from the people of some Assembly
Constituencies in Thoubal district which are part of the Outer Manipur
Parliamentary Constituency for inclusion in the Inner Manipur
Parliamentary constituency. My Government proposes to take up the
matter appropriately with the Election Commission.
6. This august House is aware of the serious financial difficulties
being faced by the State Government. Due to several factors including
uncontrolled growth of non-Plan expenditure without any corresponding
increase in the revenues, the situation has reached a point wherein it
has not been possible even to pay the salaries and allowances of the
State Government employees regularly. This has also had an adverse
impact on implementation of development and welfare programmes. Growing
public resentment is manifested in the form of frequent agitations,
bandhs and disruption of traffic along the National and State Highways.
The increasing unemployment, particularly among the educated unemployed
youth, has further aggravated the insurgency scenario in the State. In
due course, this House should carefully debate in depth this core issue
and resolve to cooperate with the Government for implementing steps
which have already been initiated in consultation with the Ministry of
Finance, Government of India for right Ėsizing the Government and
reducing non-plan expenditure. The initiatives taken for identifying
areas and means for mobilization of additional resources need to be
carried forward with a sense of urgency. The steps being taken for
effective recovery of outstanding public debts need to be further
strengthened. My Govt. will endeavor to achieve greater financial
discipline so that additional resources are mobilized for the rapid
development of the State. The report of the study entrusted to the
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi is expected
to be received shortly. My Government will give serious consideration
to the early implementation of the recommendations and to present a
White Paper on the financial position of the State.
7. My Government recognizes the gravity of the situation created by
growing unemployment. It is informed that almost four lakh youths are
on the live registers of the Employment Exchanges. This is a staggering
figure considering that the total population of the state as per the
2001 Census stood at 23, 88,634.The burgeoning number of unemployed
youth are not only a source of frequent agitations but also a ready
fodder for the various insurgent groups. It is, therefore, proposed to
set up a High Level Committee to review the utility of the ongoing
Central and State Govt. schemes and, if necessary, propose new schemes
for creation of employment opportunities. Simultaneously, assistance of
the Central Govt. will be sought for holding recruitment rallies at
Imphal and the outlying district headquarters for recruitment of boys
and girls from Manipur into army and the Central Para-military forces.
We will make sustained efforts for constituting and raising the Manipur
Regiment in the Army.
8. My Govt. is committed to prepare a rational policy of the transfer
and posting of Govt. employees. This will ensure that adequate number
of teachers, doctors and Para-medical personnel etc. are available in
the outlying districts for teaching and providing better healthcare
respectively in the rural and Hill areas. My Govt. will strive to
provide stable tenures to Officers and staff while addressing their
9. My Govt. will pay special attention to the improvement of
educational standard in the State. To achieve this objective, the
School Education Department will expedite utilization of funds released
from the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources for extension of class
rooms for 172 High Schools, 43 Higher Secondary Schools and 205 Primary
Schools. Utilization of funds received under the 11th Finance
Commission Award will be expedited and gainfully utilized for
construction of buildings for Junior High Schools. Alternative and
Innovative Education and the Education Guarantee Scheme, being
implemented in all districts to achieve the target of free and
compulsory education for children in the age group of 6-11 years by
2007AD and for the children in the age group of 11-14 years by 2010 AD
will be given the required impetus. My Govt. also proposes to derive
maximum benefit from the centrally sponsored Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
which now covers the entire State.
10. Higher and Technical Education will also receive due attention of
my Govt. The ongoing programme for improvement of infrastructure for
the Manipur University and its affiliated colleges will be carried
forward and additional resources mobilized from the Non-Lapsable
Central Pool of Resources. The Union Ministry of Human Resource
Development and the newly created Department of Development of North
East Region have assured that adequate funds will be provided both for
development of infrastructure for Manipur University and the Govt.
College of Technology. Members are aware that the state Government had
taken the initiative to set up the Govt. College of Technology at
Takyelpat to meet the growing need for trained engineering manpower.
However, the infrastructure is extremely inadequate and there is a
crying and urgent need for its up gradation and strengthening. The
National Building Construction Corporation, a Central Public Sector
Undertaking, has been requested to prepare the estimates and the
detailed project report.
11. Steps have been initiated for modernizing the existing four ITIs
and establishment of five new ITIs in Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal,
Chandel and Tamenglong districts with 100% Central assistance for which
1100.8 lakhs have been earmarked under the Prime Ministerís Package for
North Eastern States. My Govt. proposes to expedite implementation and
utilization of funds being received under the PMís Package.
12. My Govt. also proposes to review the functioning of the Targeted
Public Distribution System and make it more transparent and people
friendly. In pursuance of the directions of the Honíble Supreme Court
of India, it will be ensured that the benefits under the Targeted
Public Distribution System, Antyodaya Anna Yojana and the Annapurna
Yojana reach the identified beneficiaries. 25,000 families in the nine
districts have already been identified under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana
and rice received from the Central Govt. at a highly subsidized rate of
Rs. 3/- per KG is being made available @25 KGs per month per family to
the poorest of the poor from amongst the BPL families. Similarly, with
funds received from the Union Ministry of Rural Development, rice is
being distributed @ 10 KGs per month free of cost to identified poor
persons who are eligible to receive old-age pension but have not yet
been covered by the National Old-age Pension scheme.
13. My Govt. recognizes and congratulates the young sports persons who
have brought glory to the State both during the 5th National Games held
at Imphal in 1999 and the recently concluded 6th National Games hosted
by Punjab. Besides awarding cash incentives to the medallists,
appointments in the Police Department have been given to some of them.
It is happy to note that the infrastructure created during the 5th
National Games is being gainfully utilized and the Stateís sports
persons continue to make a mark in the National and International
Meets. My Govt. is committed to encouraging sports persons in the years
14. Manipur has a wide spectrum and rich variety of its own
multifarious forms of arts and culture. The classical and stylist
Ras-Lila and Lai-Haraoba are well known for their graceful dance forms.
Yaoshang, Kang Chingba, Kut and Lui-Ngai-ni are some of the important
festivals of Manipur. Indigenous games like Khong-Kangjei, Kang,
Yubi-Lakpi, Mukna, Hiyang-Tannaba, Thang-Ta etc. offer exotic
experience to both the domestic and foreign tourists. Most people
outside the State are pleasantly surprised to know that the game of
Polo, known as Sagol-Kangjei, originated in Manipur. My Govt. is
committed to promoting the rich heritage of the State in the field of
arts and culture.
15. The growing menace of HIV and AIDS in the State is a matter of
serious concern to all of us. Up to the end of January, 2001, as many
as 11,271 HIV positive cases were detected in the State. Under the AIDS
Control programme being implemented with Central assistance by the
Manipur AIDS Control Society, 100% screening has been introduced in all
the Blood Banks in Manipur. AIDS education has been introduced in the
schools curriculum from class VI to X. The AIDS Control Society has
also set up 17 Targeted Intervention Projects in the six high
prevalence districts of the State. A time has come to evaluate the
success of the ongoing AIDS control programme and to take new
initiatives to eliminate this scourge of mankind. My Govt. is committed
to providing total healthcare and will take special steps for
re-vitalizing the primary healthcare system in the rural areas.
External aid will also be tapped for upgrading the secondary healthcare
system in the State.
16. My Govt. is committed to special initiatives for the economic
revival of the State. In this context, my Govt. will endeavor to
maximize External and Central assistance for major projects. One of the
thrust areas will be to expedite the extension of the railway line from
Jiribam to Imphal. In view of the shortage of resources for funding the
State Plan, a renewed thrust will be given to mobilize External
Assistance, both bilateral and multilateral. The Kangchup Water Supply
scheme and certain other Water Supply schemes have already been
implemented successfully with French assistance. It is noteworthy that
the Kangchup Water Supply scheme meets as much as 40% of drinking water
supply requirement of Imphal City. Efforts are on to mobilize French
assistance for the Irilbung Water Supply scheme. Foundation stone has
been recently laid for the Imphal Sewerage Project (Phase-I) at
Lamphelpat. An agreement has also been signed with French Companies at
Paris recently for setting up of a Solid Waste Management Plant at
17. My Govt. proposes to ensure speedy and effective implementation of
Japanese funded Sericulture Project. After detailed deliberations with
the Ministry of Textiles and the Central Silk Board, the project has
been revised and procedures streamlined. I am hopeful that the revised
Project will be implemented in right earnest, provide employment to a
large number of people in the rural areas and improve their living
standards. Further efforts for tapping Japanese assistance for other
projects will be continued with renewed vigour.
18. My Govt. will accord appropriate priority to speed up improvement
and up gradation of all National Highways. My Govt. will also renew
efforts for extension of the proposed Super Highway from Silchar to
Moreh via Imphal. This Super Highway has the potential to be the
precursor of the proposed Trans Asian Highway linking India with other
South East Asian countries.
19. My Govt. also proposes to connect the district headquarters by a
State Highway standard Ring road. The BRO has already initiated survey
and investigation for connecting Senapati to Phaibung. This road is
being funded from the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources.
Implementation of other ongoing projects like the Thoubal and Khuga
Multipurpose Projects, Dolaithabi Barage Project and NEC funded
projects will be expedited. Special efforts will be mounted for
obtaining Central Government clearance to implementation of the 90 MW
Loktak Down Stream and the 1500 MW Tipaimukh Hydro Electric Projects.
Funds being received under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes will be
gainfully utilized and additional funds mobilized.
20. My Govt. proposes to take up intensive plantation of agricultural
and horticultural crops such as tea, coffee and spices with assistance
from the Commodity Boards. These schemes will provide gainful
employment to a large number of people in the rural areas and also lead
to their economic upliftment. Private sector investments will also be
mobilized in these sectors. Further, efforts will be made to encourage
the cooperative movement and strengthen the Apex Cooperative Bank.
21. The conservation and management of the Loktak Lake is central to
the social, economic and environmental well being of the State besides
being the natural reservoir for the Loktak HEP. Unfortunately, due to
the unchecked felling of trees in the catchment areas, large scale
siltation has taken place thus reducing the holding capacity of the
lake and leading to inundation of several thousand acres of cultivable
paddy fields on the periphery. The Planning Commission has been
approached for assisting the State Govt. to prepare a detailed project
report for the conservation and management of the Loktak Lake.
Professional consultant has also been identified for preparation of the
detailed project report. My Govt. proposes to mobilize funding for the
proposed project for conservation and development of the Loktak Lake
soon after the detailed project report is submitted by the
22. My Govt. also proposes to carry forward the initiatives taken for
introduction and wide spread use of Information Technology in all
spheres, particularly in the Govt. We propose to establish a Software
Technology park which will offer the computer professional
opportunities for development and export of software for earning
valuable foreign exchange. We also propose to work closely with the
Ministry of Information Technology for setting up Community Information
Centers at all block headquarters to provide Internet connectivity.
Similarly, with a view to promoting tourism, which has the potential to
provide employment to a large number of people, my Govt. proposes to
pursue the proposals to relax restrictions on the entry of foreigners
into Manipur. The Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India will be
requested to expedite setting up of the infrastructure for boosting
border trade with Myanmar through Moreh.
23. Before concluding, I must place on record the gratitude of the
people of Manipur and my Govt. for the assistance amounting to Rs.1.60
crores released by the Planning Commission from the Non-Lapsable
Central Pool of Resources for restoration of Manipur Assembly building,
Chief Ministerís Secretariat and the Speakerís Bunglow. But for this
timely assistance, it would have been extremely difficult for resource
starved Manipur to meet these additional liabilities and to hold this
first session of the 8th Manipur Legislative Assembly.
24. Honíble Members, I have in brief presented to you the policy
perspectives and programmes that my Govt. proposes to implement and
highlighted some of the development activities undertaken in the recent
past. While concluding, I would like to once again emphasize that my
Govt. is fully committed to protect the territorial integrity of
Manipur, maintain peace and social harmony among our people and bring
about fiscal discipline. I am confident that my Government will receive
the unstinted support and co-operation of all the Honíble Members of
this august House and the people of Manipur in its efforts aimed at
solving the multifarious problems confronting our State. I now, with
all my best wishes leave you to your deliberations.