Monday, August 18, 2014


“Hope to make Sikkim the first economically independent state of the country”
GANGTOK, 14 Aug: In his message to the people of Sikkim on the occasion of the 68th Independence Day, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has announced that he hopes to make Sikkim the first economically independent state of the country by the year 2020 and transform Sikkim into the intellectual capital of the country. He has also announced policy decisions which secure opportunities more exclusively for locals.
Congratulating the people of Sikkim for their consistency and hard work in achieving the present level of development and progress, the CM has said that both the outcomes at the centre and the state during the recently held 9th State Assembly and the 16th Lok Sabha election have been historical for two different reasons.
“In the centre, the period of fractured mandate as witnessed in the last decade or so has been left behind. Here too the Sikkim Democratic Front party has been bestowed by the Sikkimese people with a clear majority to run the government in the State for the fifth consecutive term”, he states.
He goes on to recall the achievements, plans and policy decisions of the state government. On the announcements, he shares that the state government has decided to upgrade the under-construction 575-bedded multispeciality Hospital into a 1,000-bedded facility.
Local protection, which expectedly features prominently in the address, with the CM highlighting that policy decisions have been taken to make opportunities available exclusively to Sikkim Subjects. While Trade Licences already issued will be renewed on usual terms and can be passed on descendants, for issue of fresh licence, Sikkim Subject Certificate/ Certificate of Identification shall be mandatory, he informed, adding that this will also extend to issue of fresh taxi and truck permits, enlistment of contractors, and excise permits.
Also announced are a well-equipped TB Hospital, a Golf Course, a Race Course, a Snake Park and a Theme Park along with construction of sports complexes and regular hosting of sporting events.
Interestingly, a Scholars’ Residence is planned for Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
Further stating that the development of skywalk in Bhaleydunga will soon see the light of the day since all clearances from the Government of India, including the clearances from the Ministry of Environment & Forests has come through, the CM informs that the project will start shortly.
“It is one of the topmost priority projects of the State Government with a worthwhile vision to propel Sikkim tourism ahead of major competing destinations and a landmark eco-tourism product with a high selling proposition,” he adds.
Mr Chamling has appealed to the people of Sikkim to contribute and work hard towards making Sikkim a model state of the country.
“My aim is to develop Sikkim’s economy through nature friendly, green industries such as eco-tourism, floriculture, organic farming, hydro power generation, eco-friendly pharmaceuticals and the likes,” he has stated.
However, the CM also remarks that of late, there is indication of growing “political extremism, intolerance, disturbance and criminal activities” fanned and promoted by certain group of people in the name of politics and political propaganda.
“This does not augur well for our future. We must guard against this tendency collectively and commit ourselves to safeguarding peace and security prevalent in the State,” he adds.
Speaking on the organic mission of the state, Mr. Chamling says that Sikkim is the first state in the country to come up with organic farming practices and is the “innovator and path finder” in this context. Therefore, he says, that there is no model for the state to follow and no example to emulate.
Here he has cautioned people against “the mounted propaganda and misinformation and irresponsible campaign unleashed by certain section of vested interest group against organic mission”.
“Let us not try to dig up negativity and not try to stall this process. We are open to any suggestions or advice to further improve our methodology,” he adds.
[turn to pg2 for excerpts from the Chief Minister’s Independence Day message]

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