ITANAGAR- The Ninth session of the Seventh Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly began here today with the ceremonial Governor’s address on the floor of the house. The 7 day long budget session starting today will commence till March 17 next.
Addressing the members of the house including state Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, ministers and Deputy Speaker Tesam Pongte, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig. (Dr.) B. D. Mishra (Retd.) stated that the State government has displayed exemplary financial prudence and ensured timely clearance of all committed liabilities.
Calling upon the members to have pan Arunachal view and vision and continue to lead by example and ensure equitable, non-discriminatory, sustainable and consistent development across the state, the Governor emphasised that the budget be guided by six pillars of development – investing in health sector, investment in human capital, atmanirbhar arunachal Pradesh, synergy and convergence, governance reforms and prudent financial management and environment protection and climate resilient infrastructure.
He said that the focus area of the government has been ‘Government Process Re-engineering’ for administrative efficiency and transparency, adding 100 percent implementation of e-Office in civil secretariat has been a major achievement this year, besides making the assembly as one of the pioneers in this field.
The Governor, while emphasizing on harnessing the rich potential of Information Technology and Digital Transformation as the best way for making the government process citizen friendly, called upon the legislators to usher in IT for improving the interface with the citizens for eliminating the scope for misuse of discretion, delays and corruption.
He said that taking the reform initiative forward, the state government has also signed MoU with Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, North-East Space Application Centre, Shillong and National Institute of Smart Governance, Hyderabad for improving capacity of governance in Arunachal Pradesh.
Highlighting on the development initiatives of the government under various sectors, the Governor stated that the ‘Atma Nirbhar Krishi and Bagwani Yojana’ has been a great success. “It not only provided much needed investment boost in the Agriculture but facilitated flow of credit to the agriculture sector. Providing ‘front-end’ subsidy to the farmers instead of normal practice of granting ‘back-end subsidy’ has been a bold step by our government placing tremendous faith on our hardworking farmers”, he said and sought personal indulgence from the legislators towards making this scheme successful.
The Governor also stressed on developing entrepreneurship amongst youths, adding under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Swavalmban Yojana, the flagship scheme of the Government on self-employment, has been effectively instrumental in job creation and creation of valuable assets across different sectors in various districts. This scheme has provided assistance to 401 entrepreneurs converting them from job seekers to job providers.
Terming ‘hydropower’ as our key strength, the Governor informed that the works on 600 MW Kameng project has been completed, while works on Subansiri Lower project is going on at full speed, besides the two units with 500 MW capacity are expected to be commissioned this year. He added that the government has been working with Central Public Sector Units (CPSUs) to develop this sector. Many such slow moving projects are now offered to the CPSUs to develop.
Government has taken up Golden Jubilee Border Village Illumination Programme, under which ‘stand-alone’ off grid micro-hydels shall be commissioned in the remote areas close to international borders. In its first phase, 17 projects with an estimated cost of Rs.50 Cr have been already approved, benefitting 128 border villages, he said, adding that Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has started construction of a 132 KV Double Circuit Transmission line from Chapakhowa in Assam to Roing in our state. Another Double Circuit 220 kV Transmission Line from Kathalguri to Namsai is being taken up.
“During last 6-7 years, we have seen construction of many roads and bridges ushering in a revolution in surface communication network. Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) we have completed construction of 11,498 Km of road and 96 Long Span Bridges providing all weather road to 1,273 habitations till date. The State Government is also committed to complete the two vital long pending road projects i.e., Tali road in Kra Daadi district and Miao-Vijoynagar road in Changlang district within 2022. The execution of Itanagar–Banderdewa 4 lane highway package and such other projects indicate our improved road making capacity”, the Governor stated.
Informing that the State has planned to achieve the target of providing household connections to all the habitations under Jal Jeevan Mission by 2023, a year ahead of the national target, he said that a total of 65,121 households were covered in the last financial year. The present coverage is 52% and by the end of March 2022, we shall take this to 70%. The State is also supplementing its effort through ‘Arunachal Jal Sankalp’ in providing drinking water to our habitations in addition to those taken up under JJM besides commissioning of state of art integrated water and tourism projects in Jia in Lower Dibang Valley and Chongkham in Namsai district.
Terming the devolution of powers to Panchayati Raj bodies in 29 subjects as a ‘significant step’, in the history of grassroot democracy in the State, the Governor further informed that the state government has dedicated 2021 as the ‘Year of Education in Arunachal Pradesh to transform the education sector by launching “Mission Shiksha” with an all-encompassing strategy to improve the standard of education in the next two years.
Speaking on the health sector, the Governor said that the Government has taken up series of initiatives for strengthening the Health Infrastructure in the state. In order to bridge the Infrastructure Gaps in the Secondary Health Sector, infrastructures in 18 district hospital buildings have been upgraded by allocating Rs. 450 Crores. This huge boost to the infrastructural requirements of the Health Sector will go a long way in addressing the pressing concerns relating to health in our districts.
“The state govt has also announced a ‘future ready’ initiative in its efforts to strengthen health systems and healthcare delivery called the “Medicine from the Sky” program. This will be the first initiative of its kind in Asia where drones will be used in health care supply chains to deliver vaccines and medicines to distant places”, the Governor said adding “We have signed a collaboration agreement with the World Economic Forum reflecting the vision of our Government to leverage and use the emerging technology in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, disaster response and forestry”.
Other businesses of the day included-
Laying of Papers: Chief Minister Pema Khandu laid two reports – The 15th Annual Report of Arunachal Pradesh Information Commission for the year 2020 -21” and the 32nd Annual Report of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) for year 2019-20’.
Assent to Bills: The Legislative Assembly Secretary Kago Habung reported the house on the Governor’s assent to two bills namely – the Industrial Disputes ( Arunachal Pradesh Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act No. 11 of 2021) and the Arunachal Pradesh (Re-Organisation of Districts) Amendment Act, 2021 (Act No. 12 of 2021). He also laid on the table a copy of Governor’s address delivered in the house on the day.
Panel of Chairmen: On the day, the Deputy Speaker Tesam Pongte announced the names of four legislators – Ninong Ering, Dasanglu Pul, Hayeng Mangfi and Kento Rina as panel of chairmen for the current session.
Bills Introduced: The first day of the budget session saw introduction of twelve bills on various sectors on the floor of the house. Eight out of the twelve bills are related to University amendment bills as moved by Education Minister Taba Tedir. The bills included the Indira Gandhi Technological and Medical Sciences University (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The AP University of Studies (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Venkateshwara Open University (Amendment ) bill, 2022, the Himalayan University, Itanagar ( Arunachal Pradesh) (Amendment), bill 2022, the Apex Professional University (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the North East Frontier Technical University (NEFTU), Arunachal Pradesh (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Arunodaya university AP (Amendment), Bill, 2022.
While two bills on Arunachal Pradesh (Obsolete and Redundant Regulations) Repeal Bill 2022 and the Arunachal Pradesh (Re-organisation of districts) (Amendment) Bill 2022 were moved by chief minister Pema Khandu, DCM Chowna Mein introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Arunachal Pradesh Good and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022 on the floor of the house.
The house also unanimously adopted a motion on the 7th report of the Business Advisory Committee moved by Bamang Felix, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs by voice vote.
Private Member Resolution:
Later, Ninong Ering, MLA Pasighat West moved a Private Members’ Resolution to introduce a bill on granting one day leave to working women and school and college going girls during the first day of their menstrual period. He justified by taking examples of Indian states like Kerala and Bihar and other countries like Italy and South Korea that has similar provisions. He reasoned that menstrual cramps are similar to having a heart attack and hence, giving a special leave is but a way of women empowerment. The resolution was however withdrawn with Minister Alo Libang saying that although this is a concerning issues, views from Women Commission and other women based NGOs need to be taken before accepting it. Libang also informed the house of various welfare schemes and initiatives being taken up for women community of the state.
Lokam Tassar, JummumEte Deori, Nyato Rigia, Dasanglu Pul, Tana Hali Tara, Nyamar Karbak and Karikho Kri participated in the Private Members Resolution.
Later the Deputy Speaker adjourned the house till 10 am of Monday next.