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Forest and Environment minister, Th. Biswajit presenting the state budget 2022-2023 on behalf of the finance minister, CM, N. Biren

Manipur Budget 2022-2023 Presented; BJP Youth Wing Attack Congress Bhavan; CCpur Medical College to Start; Nagas Take Out Solidarity Walk; IRB Recruitment Result after Assembly Session

 State Budget 2022-23 Presented

Manipur Power Minister Thongam Biswajit on July 25 presented the full budget estimates for the financial year 2022-23 during the first sitting of the second session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

As Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, who is in-charge of Finance took leave from the house on July 25, the Power Minister, on behalf of the Manipur Government presented the budget and proposed a total expenditure of Rs 34,930 crore out of the consolidated fund of the state for the financial year 2022-23.

Biswajit said that despite the recent increase in commodity prices and sudden spike in COVID-19 infection, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2022-23 is estimated at Rs 42,301 crore against GSDP of Rs 37,760 crore for 2021-22.

According to the budget estimates, the total revenue expenditure for the year 2022-23 is estimated at Rs 17,914 crore and capital outlay is estimated at Rs 9,272 crore. While the total receipts are estimated at Rs 33,700 crore, the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 24,447 crores and capital receipts at Rs 9,252 crores. Interestingly, the state’s own tax and non-tax receipts are Rs 2,400 crore and Rs 400 crore respectively.

The Minister also highlighted that the fiscal deficit during the year is estimated at Rs 2,748 crore, which is 6.5 per cent of the GSDP. During 2022-23, the total outstanding debt as a percentage of GSDP is projected at 37.92 per cent, he said while presenting the budget estimates.

BJP Inviting War with Congress, MLA Ranjit

Uncalled-for and repeated attacks by state Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president at state Congress party could be taken as inviting war against a political party, Congress MLA Kangujam Ranjit said during the second session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on July 29.

Ranjit said the attack at the main gate of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) office located at BT Road in Imphal on July 28, led by state BJYM president condemning the remark of Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on the President of India Murmur Droupadi as “Rashtrapatni”, shows lack of discipline which is should be avoided by a political party.

In a democratic country, every citizen has the right to conduct democratic form of agitation but kicking the gate of a political party office and threatening security personnel with abusive words should be avoided, the MLA said. If the major political party can exercise any form of power, then it could be taken as an invitation to war, Ranjit warned.

MLA Ranjit said the BJYM, led by its state president, also conducted a similar act in front of the MPCC office on January 6, condemning the agitation carried out by farmers regarding ‘farm law’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab.

Meanwhile, the City Police station has registered an FIR on the same day in connection with the complaint report submitted to City Police by MPCC leaders. In the FIR, the accused persons are named as Manipur president, BJYM, Manoharmayum Barish Sharma; Robarth Oinam; Suraj Waikhom; Tomthin Moirangcha; Bimol Moirangcha; Dexter Gurumayum, and their associates and other unknowns. The FIR was registered against rioting, unlawful assembly, criminal trespass, Criminal Intimidation with common intention, reports said.

Nagas Take Out Solidarity Walk, Congregates at Senapati

Hundreds of Nagas walked across borders and congregated at Senapati public ground on July 29 to unite under the theme ‘One People, One Destiny’. The Naga Solidarity Walk organised by the Global Naga Forum (GNF) for an enactment of a journey towards Naga unity, cutting across artificial barriers and boundaries was started from July 28.

Addressing the fellow Nagas, GNF co-convenor Prof Rosemary Dzuvichu described the Naga Solidarity Walk as a community celebration, reports said.

“The Walk is a celebration of our beautiful and bountiful homeland which has given birth to and nurtured generations of free, brave, and generous people and who in turn have produced the colourful and vibrant festivals and rich cultures that Nagas are known for in many parts of the world,” said Prof Dzuvichu.

She further stated that the Naga Solidarity Walk is a unity walk for all Nagas, a Walk for a better future together as one people in an undivided ancestral homeland.

Reports further quoted Prof Dzuvichu as saying, “It is a walk for lasting peace and shared prosperity, without exceptions, throughout the Naga homeland, which, even today, lies divided in two countries and four states in India and a province in Myanmar. This we know is a gross violation of our human and indigenous peoples’ rights.”

The congregation also witnessed a theme song on the Naga Solidarity Walk by Padma Shri Guru Rewben Mashangva. The theme song was composed by Dr Visier Sanyu, president of the Overseas Nagas Association and adviser to GNF, reports added.

CCpur Medical College to Start

Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr. Sapam Ranjan has assured the Manipur Legislative Assembly on July 28 that the academic session of the medical college in Churachandpur is expected to start this year.

Minister Ranjan informed the House in reply to a question raised by Congress MLA Surjaumar Okram on the fourth day of the ongoing second session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly. Ranjan said that the academic session of the medical college in Manipur will commence once the Letter of Permission (LOP) is given by National Medical Commission (NMC).

2,536 Arrested in Drug-Related Cases Since 2017

At least 2,536 persons have been arrested in drug-related cases in Manipur since 2017 till date. Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren informed the second session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on July 29 that a total of 2,536 persons have been arrested in relation to drug cases; 1,743 cases have been registered; 2,158 persons have been taken into judicial remand; 1,029 cases are pending; 14 accused have been convicted; and 17 final report cases and 697 cases have been charge-sheeted.

The information has been given by the Leader of the House, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren in response to a starred question raised by Opposition MLA Thokchom Lokeshwar July 29. CM Biren also said that in the effort to avoid loopholes during confiscation of drugs and related cases, the government has been providing training to the concerned police personnel by a team of technical experts from outside the state.

Meanwhile, Manipur government has seized 193.9 kg of Heroin Powder; Brown Sugar-2690.6 Kg; Opium 1626.5 Kg and 225 ltrs; WY Tablet-1,00,85,472 No and 542.3 Kg, Spasmo Proxivon (SP)-11,08,320 Tablets and 22.6 Kg; Ganja-7785.4 Kg; Meta Amphetamine – 20 kg;  Nitrosun (N-10)-38,133 tablets; Cough Syrup 86,477 bottles; ICE drug-16 kg; Ephedrine/Pseudo-Ephedrine-49,998 tablets since 2017.

Ketamine powder/Injection-15,587 bottles and 2.2 kg; Alphawin Tablet -30,800 tablet; Simplex C+ 17,806 tablet; Ammonium Chloride – 3.3 kg and 5 bottles; Tramadol/Tramazac Capsules- 1,24,803 Capsules; Crystal Meth-49.3 kg; Marijuana-106.8 kg; Opium and Lime (mix)-20 kg; Morphinated Solution-857.7 litres; Residue of Brown Sugar – 90 kg; Poppy Seeds 13 kg; Opium Alkaloid-461.8 kg and 136 litres; Remnants of Opium-26.9 kg and Poppy Straws-3,250 kg were also seized, CM Biren further informed the House.

Chief Minister further said that with some loopholes, some were released on bail. However, under PIT ND and PS Act, 1988 which is similar to NSA, 11 persons, including one Myanmarese, were jailed for one year.

RK Ranjan for Reintroducing Ethnic Foods

Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Education Dr. RK Ranjan on July 26 mooted reintroduction of ethnic food products of Manipur in a vibrant manner to give a new experience to the consumers, especially to the younger generation and tourists to make the product familiar.

Minister Ranjan was delivering his speech during the SAVNidgi Mahotsav (celebration of Atma Nirbhar street vendors) at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen in Imphal East. It was organised by the Manipur Urban Development Agency (MUDA), reports said.

Stating that terminology of many indigenous food products such as ‘Hentak’ are on the verge of extinction as the food item is rarely known to the younger generation, he stressed the need to reintroduce those food items in the form of mela or fair to make those products familiar to the youths. Coming to SVANidhi, the Minister explained that the programme was launched in 2020 to provide financial assistance through loans with zero interest to street vendors who were reeling for livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports added.

IRB Recruitment Result after Assembly Session

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on July 26 informed the House that the long-awaited result of the recruitment of 10th and 11th Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), which was conducted in November 2019, will be declared after the end of the ongoing Second Session of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Chief Minister informed the House in response to the observation made by opposition MLA, Keisham Meghachandra, during general discussion on Budget Estimates, 2022-23.

Chief Minister Biren further said the present government had made a proposal to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to provide Highway protection force for the national highways of Manipur. However, Rajnath said that if the government gave the approval for Highway Protection Force for national highways of Manipur, then other states of the country may demand the same and due to this reason, the recruitment rally of 10th and 11th IRB was conducted and the result will be declared, Chief Minister informed the House.

HC Directs CBI to Probe into 2004 Fake Encounter Case

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice MV Muralidaran directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate a fake encounter that happened in the year 2004.

The HC directed the state police to handover all the records to the CBI so that the CBI should commence investigation upon receipt of the records pertaining (to FIR No. 9(3)2004 registered at Patsoi Police Station). The court also asked the investigation agency to complete the investigation within six months from the date of receipt of the records.

“All measures shall be taken by the CBI to ascertain the whereabouts of the persons concerned and the Union of India, though not a party, is directed to extend full cooperation to the CBI”, the HC stated.

The victim has been identified as one Khundrakpam Ajitkumar Singh aka Naoba Singh, 20, of Karong Mamang Leikai, Langjing in Imphal West. He was killed on the intervening night of March 14 and 15 of 2004.

One More Arrested in Moijing Drug Case

One more person who is involved in manufacturing of brown sugar at a laboratory, which was busted at Moijing Mina Bazaar on June 14, was arrested and remanded in police custody by Thoubal district police on July 25.

Reports said the arrested person has been identified as one Thiyam Sanjit aka RK, 58, son of late Thiyam Liklai from Thoubal Kiyam Litanpok Leikai. Thiyam Sanjit had been remanded into police custody for further investigation.

The arrest was made in continuation of the investigation of the case FIR no. 104(6)2022 Thoubal Police station under section 21(c) NDPS, added 29 NDPS Act related to the busting of a brown sugar factory at Moijing Mina Bazaar on June 14. The police had already arrested one Thoubalmayum Ahamadi Bibi, 48, along with eight other individuals and seized a large quantity of brown sugar as well.

Assembly Passes Five Demands for Excess Grants

The 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on July 26 passed a total amount of Rs 187,02,69,000 for Excess Grants of five departments for the year 2017-18. The demands included Rs 11,70,72,000 for State Legislature; Rs. 139,98,47,000 for Finance; Rs 27,63,84,000 for Labour and Employment; Rs 5,57,08,000 for Textiles, Commerce and Industries and Rs. 2,21,58,000 for sericulture.

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren also introduced the Manipur Appropriation (No. 3) Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 11 of 2022) and The Manipur Appropriation (No. 5) Bill, 2022 (Bill No. 13 of 2022) in the house.

MLA Ranjit Points Out Flaws in Governor’s Address

Manipur Opposition MLA Kangujam Ranjit, while giving his observation regarding the Governor’s address on the first day of the second session of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly, stated that it could have been taken as a good achievement for the present government if some important points, including missing number of cases registered related to arrest of insurgents, number of cases chargesheeted and others were included.

The MLA said the House on his observation of the ‘discussion of motion of thanks on Governor’s address moved by Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Sapam Ranjan which was seconded by Education Minister Thounaojam Bashanta Kumar, reports said.

MLA Ranjit further said that he placed his observation by taking the advantage as per Rules of Procedure Conduct of Business, Rule number 24 that the governor’s address can be amended before the House passed the motion. He said that in the governor’s address placed on March 24, it was not clearly mentioned how many FIRs have been registered in connection with the arrest of insurgents and how many of the cases have been chargesheeted during the reign of the present government.

During the address, it was mentioned that for the year 2021, 234 extremists were arrested, 15 killed, 14 arrested under NSA, 20 undergrounds surrendered, 167 weapons, 3,115 ammunition, 27 lathode bombs and 360 detonators were seized. However, no information regarding the number of FIRs filed against insurgents or the number of justices delivered or the numbers of chargesheets filed were not in the governor’s address, MLA Ranjit pointed out. He further said that the government has been fighting to solve the insurgency problem in the state but that the governor’s address did not include a single word on the government’s effort to solve the insurgency.

Placing his opinion regarding the present government’s ‘War on Drugs’, Ranjit said being a representative of the public he suggested that all the 60 MLAs should be declared as warriors in order to strengthen the ‘War on Drugs’ campaign.

MLA Ranjit also said that despite the fight of the government against drugs, news related to seizures of drugs continues to be flashed even in social media. The Governor’s address did not mention what measures could be taken to control the frequent raising of drug related issues in Manipur, he stated.

12 LTT Cadres Surrender

As many as 12 cadres including its chairman, deputy chairman and the army chief of Liberation Tigers of Tribals (LTT) laid down arms and surrendered themselves before the government on Juy 27.

Reports said the surrendered weapons include one M16 Rifle, two AK56 rifles, one .22(point 22) rifle, one double barrel gun, one carbine, two 9mm pistols, one lathode gun, one Chinese hand grenade and one handheld walkie-talkie set.

Addressing the surrender and homecoming ceremony held at 1st Manipur Rifles Banquet Hall in Imphal on July 27, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren announced that the present state government is committed towards ending insurgency-related issues in the state within the next three-four years.

At the event, Biren appreciated the cadres on their voluntary homecoming to the mainstream, expressing that the cadres now have faith in the Indian Constitution and the governance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports added.

20 Non-Manipuris Killed By Militants Since 2017

At least 20 non-Manipuris have been killed in attacks by militants in Manipur since 2017, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren disclosed on July 27 in the House of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

CM Biren informed the House in reply to a question by Congress MLA, Surjakumar Okram during the third sitting of the ongoing monsoon session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Congress MLA Surjakumar sought information of the number of non-Manipuris killed during the said period and questioned the steps taken by the government to stop such incidents as the state is pushing to boost the tourism industry.

As informed by the Chief Minister Biren, the highest count for the period from 2017 to July 25, 2022 was in 2021 with the killing of as many as eight non-Manipuris. One non-local was killed each in 2017, 2018 and 2019 while three were killed in 2020. He added that six non-Manipuris were murdered this year when counted till July 25.

Notably, the numbers have evidently fallen as the chief minister pointed out that as many as 40 non-Manipuris were killed during 2011 to 2016. He said that six non-locals were killed in 2011, one killed in 2012, 14 murdered in 2013, 13 killed in 2014, two killed in 2015 and four murdered in 2016, reports added.

MHRC Suggests Commission for Settling Insurgency Issues

The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has suggested the state government for constituting a peace and reconciliation commission in order to address insurgencies issue and ensure lasting peace in the state.

The MHRC has asked Chief Secretary, DGP and Special Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur to furnish, update and inform the commission about the initiative taken up by the state government on or before August 8 in connection with the issue of political talks or political settlement of insurgencies in the state.

The MHRC stated that the Peace and Reconciliation Commission shall have a clear mandate to facilitate free and fair involvement of all the stakeholders, including insurgents and women representatives, who have been in the forefront of peace and human rights of citizens of Manipur. It should be empowered in such a way that it may arrive at its own independent mandates and decisions in a transparent and effective manner. Therefore, an essential feature for an effective Committee to function independently is to allocate its due Budget accordingly.

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