Nagaland budget session begins

Governor Nikhil Kumar arriving at Assembly Hall to address the 9th session of the state assembly. Speaker Kiyaneilie is also seen leading the Governor. (DIPR Photo)
Kohima, March 22 : The weeklong assembly session of the 11th Nagaland Legislative Assembly commenced here today with Governor Nikhil Kumar addressing the August House, highlighting the achievements and activities of the government. The session saw the governor assuring that the government will not rest on its laurels, but will continue to work with greater dedication to create a vibrant Nagaland, a land of peace, progress and prosperity. MLA Neiba Kronu moved motion of thanks on the Governor’s Address and was ‘seconded’ by MLA Dr. Neikiesalie Nicky Kire.
Nagaland Legislative Assembly speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie informed the house that amendment, if any, to the Governor’s Address can be submitted till 12:00 noon on March 23 while discussion on motion of thanks on the Governor’s Address is scheduled for March 24 and 25. Peseyie also made obituary reference to the passing away of former legislators Late Huska Sumi, Late R.C. Chiten Jamir and Late Khukivi Awomi.
The speaker paid glowing tributes to the leaders who passed away during the intersession. The house observed 2-minutes silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls.  He informed that the secretary of NLA would convey the profound sympathy expressed by the House to the family members of the deceased. The speaker adjourned the House until March 24.

Unemployment rising in Nagaland –Guv
Governor Nikhil Kumar has said that with the growth of population and rising education levels in Nagaland, unemployment especially among the educated youth is also rising. “So far the government has been the principal employer,” the governor said in his address at the budget session of 11th Nagaland Legislative Assembly here today.
The ratio of government employees to the population in Nagaland is among the highest in the country, stretching the government’s capacity to provide employment to the limit.  For this, he said, the government has given priority to the building of capacity of youth, to enable them to engage in self-employment and to find employment in the private sector.
After declaring the ‘year of capacity building and skill development’ for two consecutive years, the current year is being declared as the ‘Year of Entrepreneur’, the governor said. The government strongly believes that the emergence of potential entrepreneurs within and outside the state would translate into creation of income. “This would also lead to creation of employment avenues that can absorb the continuous flow of educated and qualified youth, thereby acting as an engine of growth for the state’s economy,” Kumar said.
On the issue of women empowerment, Kumar said that the department of Women Development has taken up a number of projects including the Rural Women Livelihood Project, Textile Weaving and Promotion Project and setting up a ‘Centre for Women Development’ at Mokokchung through a partnership with Watsu Mundang.
On the department of Housing, the governor informed that more Nagaland Houses are being constructed at Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi to meet the growing demand for transit facilities in the major cities of the country.
On the Rural Development Nikhil Kumar said that a total of three lakh thirty three thousand job cards have been issued during the current year, while employment equivalent to 112 lakh man-days generated. He also informed that the Government of India has raised the unskilled wage from `100/- per days to `118/- per day for the state of Nagaland from the beginning of this year.

Viewing power as the most critical input for all economic activities, the governor said that it is the endeavor of the government to plan adequate generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. He informed the house that the government has taken initiative to develop 140 MW Dikhu Power Project and 150 MW Tizu-Zungki Power Project. Kumar also announced that 23 villages of the state are to be awarded with Nirmal Gram Purashkar for achieving 100% sanitation.

Guv appeals people to observe Earth Day

Governor of Nagaland Nikhil Kumar today said that Global Warming and the effects of Climate Change are beginning to be felt in the state of Nagaland too.
Kumar appealed to every Naga citizen to join “Earth Hour” on March 26 by switching off all lights for one hour at 8:30 PM on March 26. “Let us send out a strong message to the world that we, too , care for mother earth,” Kumar said. Nagaland has been observing the “Earth Hour “with the rest of the world for the last two years.

“With our high dependence on natural resources and our fragile ecosystem, our state is highly vulnerable to these risks,” Kumar said in his address at the budget session of Nagaland Legislative Assembly here today.

Stressing on the need to brace up for Climate Change, he said, “We also have to contribute to the mitigation effort of the country and the world by shifting to a low carbon development strategy.”
For this, he said, the state government has initiated a consultative process to prepare a State Action Plan on Climate Change, with the Forest and environment department as the nodal department.

The action plan, which will be ready in a few months, will address eight major sectors namely, energy, urban planning, water resources, livelihood, forestry, agriculture, health and climate chance studies.
Another significant initiative is the Forest department’s innovative arrangement with the communities in Mokokchung district. The communities, for cultivation of bamboo, are using the government’s purchased land, the governor said.

In addition, to monitor the implementation of various “afforestation” programs, the department is introducing GPOs based monitoring from the current year.

In the age of Climate Change and Global Warming, he said, soil and water conservation department has to play a vital role in conserving our natural resources, such as land, water and vegetation, the Governor said.

During 2010-2011, the department has covered more than 13,000 hectares of land with soil conservation treatment and management of natural resources.
‘Perceived neglect caused statehood demand’
Our Correspondent
Kohima | March 22

Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar has acknowledged that the demand for a separate state consisting of the districts of Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire was apparently caused by a perceived feeling of neglect and lack of development in these areas over the past five decades and assured that the government will address their genuine grievances with sincerity and seriousness.
Referring to the memorandum submitted by the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization (ENPO) to the Government of India demanding a separate state (Frontier Nagaland), he assured that the government is aware of the feelings and genuine grievances expressed in the memorandum and that it has already taken a series of initiatives to address these grievances “because of our conviction that mere development is not enough, unless it is also equitable and inclusive”.
Elaborating further, he said the Department of Underdeveloped Areas (DUDA) was created in 2003, to formulate policies and implement programmes for the development of the underdeveloped areas of the state and likewise the government has also taken several measur es for development of the less developed areas, he reminded. He cited the examples of reservation of 25% of the posts for the people of eastern Nagaland besides earlier measures like creation of three new districts and upgradation of numerous administrative headquarters to prove his point.
Under the normal State Plan, an amount of Rs.24 crore is being earmarked during the current year for infrastructural development in the backward areas whereas under the central programme of Border Area Development Programme, an amount of Rs.25 crore is being allocated during the current year which will be used for establishment of model villages, road connectivity, education, agriculture and allied sector, health infrastructure and social sector exclusively for the seven border blocks – Phomching, Chen, Tobu, Noklak, Thonoknyu, Pungro and Meluri.
Further, he reminded that under the state government’s initiative, the DoNER Ministry had sanctioned several projects last year under the Special Infrastructure Development Fund, worth Rs.64.87 crore for the constructin of suspension bridges, construction and upgradation of roads and construction of schools, hostels and cultural halls in the four districts of Eastern Nagaland, namely Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire, the implementation of which are all in good progress.
GoI committed to a lasting solution: Nikhil Kumar

Kohima, March 22 (MExN):
Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar, while lauding the efforts of the underground groups to cease all forms of hostilities and to work towards unity and reconciliation and strengthening the ongoing peace process, has reaffirmed that the state government will leave no stone unturned to maintain peace and tranquility in the state.
In his address on the commencing day of the budget session today, the Governor however lamented that a disturbing trend of factional hostilities has emerged on the northern and eastern borders of the state which, he said, is threatening to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
On behalf of the state government, he made a fervent appeal to all the underground factions to desist from all forms of hostile acts and utterances which could fritter away the hard-earned relative peace prevailing in the state while also assuring that the Government of India, on its part, is committed to bringing about a lasting solution to the Naga political problem.
Expressing happiness with the reconciliation and unity efforts, he lauded the efforts of the government and its agencies, the tribal Hohos, the churches, the civil societies and the NGOs, particularly the Forum for Naga Reconciliation. Through their efforts, he said, the state witnessed the most peaceful year in recent memory where factional clashes and civilian casualties came down drastically.
This has helped in creating an atmosphere of peace in the state, he said and asserted that the government has extended all support to the ongoing peace process with full commitment to facilitate an early and honourable settlement to the long drawn Naga political problem.
Further, he conveyed the government’s appreciation of the role played by the security forces, paramilitary forces and the state police in maintaining law and order and in ushering in a climate of relative peace and calm in the state. Unlawful activities and crime have been dealt with firmly, as a result of which crime has come down significantly, he said adding, however, the presence of banned militant groups from outside the state and their activities continue to pose a challenge to our security agencies, especially in and around Dimapur.
Meanwhile, he has also conveyed the government's appreciation over the performance of the 15 IR Mahila Battalion and the state’s police force as a whole.
‘Bury differences for people’s sake’

Kohima, March 22  (MExN):
Governor Nikhil Kumar today made an appeal to the elected members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly to rise above petty considerations and narrow interests and to rededicate themselves to the service of the people and in shaping the destiny of the state.
Addressing the members of the Ninth Session of the 11th Nagaland Legislative Assembly this morning, the Governor called for unity of purpose, perseverance and the will to reach new heights while exhorting that as elected leaders, the members have the responsibility to provide effective leadership that is able to channelize peoples’ energies in productive pursuits and inspire confidence.
Asserting that the path to progress and prosperity, however arduous, is not impossible to achieve if one were to rise above petty considerations and narrow interests, he made a fervent appeal to the elected members to give their best to shape the destiny of the state, assuring that the government will not rest on its laurels but will continue to work with greater dedication to create a vibrant Nagaland – a land of peace, progress and prosperity.
Pointing out that the state is endowed with precious mineral wealth, rich in flora and fauna, fertile in soil and possessing a favourable land-to-man ratio and above all a young and gritty resource, he said these ingredients can be leveraged for rapid progress and prosperity.
Further, he conveyed the government’s appreciation and gratitude to the various tribal Hohos, the churches, the NGOs, the representatives of the civil societies and the people of Nagaland for their cooperation and support to the government in meeting many challenges the state faces.
After the Governor’s address, Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie made obituary references to the passing away of three former members including former Minister and MLA, Huska Sumi, former Deputy Chief Minister and MLA, R.C Chiten Jamir and former Minister and MLA, Khukivi Awomi.
This was followed by the moving of motion of thanks on the Governor’s Address by MLA Neiba Kronu and seconded by MLA Dr. Neikiesalie Nicky Kire.
Discussion and debate on the Governor’s Address will be taken up on Thursday.