Saturday, January 17, 2015

Development will be the one and only agenda: CM

All other issues which hinder growth to be left aside, Chamling informs meeting with Panchayats and urban body reps

GANGTOK, 17 Jan [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling addressed the state-level meeting of panchayats and representatives of urban local bodies here at Manan Kendra today. The meeting, which saw a huge turnout of public representatives and senior government officers, focused primarily on the role of panchayats in spearheading the implementation of ongoing programmes and policies of the Government at the grass root level. “Development will be the one and only agenda of the Government. All other issues which hinder growth will be left aside,” stated the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister reiterated the role of the panchayats as partners of development and laid down clear directives. He maintained that despite of social, religious, cultural and economic diversity of the Sikkimese society, the factors that unite the society are social equilibrium and the one-point agenda of development and progress of all sections.
He urged the panchayats to recognise this factor and work for the benefit of the rural population.
He added that global issues like HIV and AIDS and drug abuse, war & terrorism, racism, sexism, environment degradation, water scarcity, food shortage, chemical fertilizers, corruption and poor governance, abuse of human rights, global warming, and lack of skilled/ capacitated workers pose serious challenges to the Sikkemese society as well, and call for sincere effort from all sections to resolve. He urged the panchayats to unite over these challenges and work towards their mitigation.
The Chief Minister, in a slew of directives to the panchayats, called for timely disbursement and monitoring of benefits like pensions, food grains and essential commodities, benefits emanating out of Food Security Act, rural housing schemes, construction of toilets in every school, safe drinking water, uninterrupted power supply, quality roads and bridges, and all Government infrastructure.
He added that the Government will continue to lay emphasis on ongoing schemes before starting new projects.
Speaking on the Organic Mission, the Chief Minister maintained that the certification process will be completed this year. He however added that bigger challenge lay in giving continuity to the Mission. In this regard, he called on every member of the society to take ownership and contribute in their capacities towards the sustenance of the Mission.
The Chief Minister urged the panchayats and urban local bodies to ensure that all Government benefits, trade rights, enlistments etc are availed by people possessing valid Sikkim Subjects or Certificate of Identification or trade licences, or old resident certificates, or residential houses in Bazar areas. He directed the panchayats to be vigilant about instances of misuse of these documents and report such cases immediately.
The Chief Minister stated that the State has a huge demand for skilled workers and announced the Government’s decision to send deserving youth for skill building trainings in the country and abroad in the near future. In this regard, he directed the panchayats to prepare a list of prospective beneficiaries.
Speaking on the latest row over teacher transfers, he maintained that it is the Government’s prerogative to take decisions for the benefit of the people of Sikkim, adding that the Government was only fulfilling the huge demand of teachers in many rural schools in the state.
Also on the day, a music album titled ‘Jivan Amrit’ highlighting the benefits of Organic Farming was also launched by the Chief Minister.
Earlier, the meeting was addressed by Minister for Rural Management & Development Department SB Subedi. He urged the panchayats to maintain vigil of public works being carried out in the rural areas, and to safeguard government infrastructure.
Secretary RM&DD DR Nepal, while delivering his welcome address, gave a brief outline of the activities of Panchayati Raj in the State. He also urged the panchayats to ensure efficiency and accountability and to make optimum utilization of human and material resources at their disposal.
The meeting concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Director Panchayati Raj RM&DD HB Gurung.

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