Imphal Review of Arts and Politics


Commandos Rewarded for Rescue, No Service Extension for Nurses, and State Budget in News

The CM has said there will be no extension of the services of nurses engaged during the Covid-19 pandemic, while an reward has been announced for the Manipur police commandos who rescued Meitei labourers from Kuki militants after a gunfight, and in the Assembly session Rs. 3999 crore grants were passed and 8 bills introduced.


Commando Rescue Labourers

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren rewarded Rs. 10 lakh to a team of Imphal East district commando at his office for rescuing three abducted individuals from the hands of suspected Kuki militants. The three persons were rescued from a spot in Kangpokpi district where the commando team had a gun battle with the suspected militants.

Reports said the commando team started the search just after the Police received information that three construction workers had been kidnapped by some armed miscreants suspected to be Kuki militants.

The three rescued labourers are Yumnam Sushilkumar aka Nanao, 30, of Thoubal Athokpam Makha Leikai (caretaker) and Laishram Devachandra Singh, 50, of Khangabok Mamang Leikai (head mason) and Ngangbam Gunadhar, 55, of Kanglasiphai. They have been engaged in the construction of a bridge at Laikhong near Nongpok Keithelmanbi under Thoubal Dam police station in Thoubal district, reports added.

“The state government will never compromise against any enemy or terrorist and will be a friend for the public,” he said. The government is on the hunt for the suspected militants and they will be booked immediately, Biren said.

Contractual Healthcare Workers

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren has said the state government does not have any plan to extend the daily wages service engagement of the health workers who were engaged on contract basis for combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, in reply to a question raised by MLA Ak Mirabai during the 12th Session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly regarding the demands and agitation taken up by the COVID-19 contractual health workers said that those contractual staff will be given special consideration and the first priority in any recruitment process taken up by the Health department in the future.

According to the chief minister, the state government had recruited a total of 659 health workers including 86 medical officers, 306 staff nurses and 264 multitasking staff on contract basis for three months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disqualification Demanded

As part of the series of sit-in-protest demanding disqualification of 12 parliamentary secretaries, Kshetrigao Block Congress Committee under the initiative of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) held a sit-in protest at Rahmania ABA ground, Kshetrigao in Imphal East.

Reports said the silent protest was held in demand for disqualification of 12 ruling MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the BJP government, former MLA Amin Shah of Kshetrigao Assembly constituency said while speaking to the media.

The High Court of Manipur had announced that the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012 and the Manipur Parliamentary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018 are both invalid and unconstitutional.

Concerning the court case of Surjakumar Okram, DD Thaisi and others as petitioners versus 12 MLAs and others as respondents, the judgment and order of the Division Bench of the High Court on September 21, 2020 pronounced that both mentioned acts are invalid and unconstitutional.

82 RCC Men Die in Mishap

At least three staff of 82 RCC (Road Construction Company) died after the vehicle they were travelling in reportedly fell into a gorge in between Tarao Lamkhai and Sinam village along the Imphal-Moreh road.

Reports said the deceased have been identified as Rajib Sahariah, J Devendra Reddy and Rakesh Kumar (driver). They were headed for 25 BRTF Headquarters from Chamol village to attend a lecture in a Tata 407.

As they did not arrive at the Headquarters, officials of 82 RCC submitted a report to the police at around 5 pm of the same day and started tracing the ‘missing’ staff with the help of Tengnoupal police and Assam Rifles. The bodies of the three RCC staff and the wreckage were found on February 12 morning by the search team.

Rs. 3999.23 Cr Grants Passed

The Manipur Legislative Assembly passed grants for seven demands amounting to Rs. 39,992,327,000.

The grants for seven demands were passed on the eighth day of the ongoing budget session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Reports said the demands include grants of Rs. 2345,79,50,000 for Police,  Rs. 760,98,66,000 for Public Works Department, Rs. 5,99,67,000 for Vigilance and Anti-corruption Department, Rs. 30,65,96,000 for Fire Protection and Control, Rs. 33,43,37,000 for Jails, Rs. 47,97,20,000 for Home Guards, Rs. 774,38,91,000 for Minorities and Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes Department.

8 Bills Introduced in Assembly

The state government introduced eight bills on the floor of the House during day eight of the session. The bills are 1) The Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland (Amendment) Bill, 2021; 2) The Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Third Amendment)Bill, 2021; 3) The Manipur Industrial Single Window Clearance Bill, 2021; 4) The Manipur Public Services Delivery Guarantee Bill, 2021; 5)The Manipur Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2021; 6) The Manipur Oil Palm (Regulation of Production and Processing) Bill, 2021; 7) The Manipur Legislature (Removal of Disqualifications) (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2021; 8) The Court Fees (Manipur Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The House also passed grants for six demands amounting to Rs. 7057,03,47,000. The grants include Rs. 82,16,82,000 for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution; Rs. 377,60,72,000 for Agriculture; Rs. 236,49,59,000 for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, including Dairy Farming; Rs. 5088,73,71,000 for Community and Rural Development; Rs. 809,28,27,000 for Planning and Rs. 383,74,36,000 for Tourism.

Petroleum Products VAT Review

Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar, also in-charge of Finance, has assured the House that the state will consider suggestions to review Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products. This was in reply to queries raised by opposition MLA, Surjakumar Okram during question hour in the ongoing budget session of the House.

Reports quoting the deputy chief minister said the existing VAT levied on petroleum products in the state is comparatively similar to other North Eastern States. The revisions in VAT on petroleum products like petrol and diesel since 2017 have been taken up thrice on October 4, 2018, October 22, 2019 and May 6, 2020.

Covid-19 Vaccination Drive

While the total number of COVID-19 positive cases reached 29,166 with 373 deaths and 28,737 recovered with recovery rate 98.52% as of February 12, a total of 19,266 persons have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Manipur, of which 3,322 persons were vaccinated on February 12.

The total number of healthcare workers vaccinated till date is 16,761 including the directors of RIMS, JNIMS, Family Welfare Services, State Mission Director and Director of Health Services, the Chief Medical Officers, District Family Welfare Officers, District Immunisation Officers, Chairman cum Managing Directors of SHIJA Hospital and Babina Diagnostics.

700 L Country Liquor Seized

In a massive drive against sale and production of liquor in the state, Manipur Police seized 700 litres of distilled indigenous country (DIC) liquor and arrested four persons from different areas of Imphal West district on February 11.

Reports said a team of Imphal Police Station found about 400 litres of DIC from the possession of three individuals at Old Lambulane area. The liquors were detected as a part of the drive conducted at different areas of the district.

In another case, a team of Lamshang police arrested Laitonjam Naobi, 25, of Awang Sekmai along with 300 litres of DIC liquor from Lamshang Bazar, Imphal West.

Meitei Mayek on Notes

Manipur Rajya Sabha MP, Sanajaoba Leishemba has urged the Centre to put Meetei/Meitei Mayek (Manipuri script) on Indian currency notes.

Reports said addressing Parliament during ‘zero hour’, Sanajaoba said the Manipuri language-Meetei/Meiteilon along with other languages like Konkani and Nepali was included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution on August 20, 1992. Accordingly, Konkani and the other languages except Manipuri have been depicted on the currency notes.

Stating that the Manipuri script-Meetei/Meitei Mayek is being taught at Master’s level at present, Sanajaoba said Manipuri language written in Meetei/Meitei Mayek should be represented/depicted on the Indian currency notes.

Ranjan for Imphal-Moreh Rail

Lok Sabha MP, Dr. RK Ranjan proposed a railway line connecting Imphal and Moreh town during the Budget session apart from asking the Centre to assist the state in conserving the Manipuri ponies.

Reports said Dr. Ranjan complimented Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2021-22 amid the pandemic saying it “contains hope for rejuvenating our national economy” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) seems to be the guiding principle of the Budget.

He said more than 13,000 kilometres of roads under Bharatmala Pariyojana and additional 11,000 kilometres of National Highway corridors have been projected with an enhanced outlay of Rs. 1,18,101 lakh crore for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. There should also be some specific yojana included in the Budget for improving connectivity in the North-East considering its typical geo-topographical situation.

Then, reminding the Centre of the request he made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier, Dr Ranjan stressed the need for conserving Manipur’s ponies.

Talking about the grim fate the ponies are facing, he said their number is dwindling and there are less than 500 at present. The Manipuri pony is associated with the origin of the modern polo game. For saving and conserving the exotic Manipuri ponies, a viable project is necessary. The State Government has very little resources to have a sustainable project for saving the ponies, he said, asking the Finance Minister to extend financial assistance for a durable and viable project to protect the ponies.

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is expected to grow at a rate of 14.4 percent in the next fiscal year. Positive reforms in direct tax administration, higher spending on healthcare, defense, education, food subsidy, MGNREGA, direct benefit transfer under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana to women, are all great initiatives and they will help India achieve its cherished goal of becoming a USD 5 Trillion economy, Dr Ranjan added.

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