Nagaland chief minister, Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu on Friday informed the house that the state government has decided to initiate the process of dialogue and consultation with the stakeholders on elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in order to arrive at a broad based consensus on the issue.
Winding up the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the assembly, here Friday Dr. Liezietsu said the state government and those organizations opposed to ULB polls were of the same opinion (to protect Article 371-A) . He said the government’s stand was that since the case which was pending before the Supreme Court the ruling could have adverse effect on Article 371-A.
He said it was so because the women’s reservation was mandatory under Article 243-T of Part IX-A of the Constitution and in the State Municipal Act.
He further called upon the legislators to keep close contact with the public in order to hold the confidence of the people. Dr. Liezietsu was of the opinion that the recent incident was a result of lack of close rapport with the people.
According to DIPR, the chief minister said it was inappropriate to interpret the recent violent incidents in the state as being due to a result of accumulated anger by unemployed youths, while drawing attention on remarks by some members to that effect.
Border fencing: On Indo-Myanmar border fencing issue, Dr. Liezietsu said his government would ensure that the traditional rights of the Nagas were protected and to allow free movement within their own ancestral land.
He further informed the house that with the collective effort and support of the Centre, they were able influence the Myanmar government to stop the construction of fencing. He also cautioned that such attempts to divide the Nagas would have adverse effect on the peace and security in the border areas.
7th RoP: On implementation of the 7th Central Revision of Pay (RoP), the chief minister said the government after careful consideration and discussion with CANSSEA, decided to implement the RoP from April 2018. However, he said CANSSEA was yet to accept the offer. Recalling the that 6th RoP was brought into effect from April 2010, with one month’s pay bonus, Dr. Liezietsu said the next RoP was due only in 2020 since revisions were made after every 10 years. However, he said the government decided to advance it by two years, and to start implementing it from 2018.
Employment issue: Dr. Liezietsu while appreciating the introduction of Personal Information Management System (PIMS) by the state government, said though PIMS was introduced in 2016, the process was yet to be completed in most of the departments.
CM also reminded that the government had banned all contract and adhoc appointments without following due procedure since June 6, 2016. He however assured to look into any irregularities brought to the notice of the government of those who were not following proper procedures.
Responding to the issues highlighted by other members on youth and employment, Dr. Liezietsu said it was in consonance with the priorities of the government and as envisioned in the Nagaland Vision 2030 that the state government would intensify its efforts in expanding opportunities for gainful employment for the youth.
On the issue for rightsizing of government work force, CM said he would ask the ‘Manpower Rationalization Committee’ headed by the chief secretary to recommend corrective measures for managing the manpower in a better manner particularly in the major departments like Police and Education.
Naga solution most urgent: Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu said the state government had been pressing to the Centre that solution to the Naga issue has become more urgent than ever.
According to DIPR, Dr. Shürhozelie pointed out that the Naga issue has been recognized as unique by Government of India, and that the state government was also playing the role of the facilitator. However, he said that alone would be insufficient since the government needed to be more aggressive in its approach and adding “the government must have hard talks with all the factions”.
He also acknowledged the bold decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to solve the Naga political problem.
In his concluding statement, chief minister Dr. Shürhozelie called upon “all to work hard and be more aggressive to solve our Naga political problem.” He also appealed to all 60 legislators to come together and to have the same opinion to bring the people together and solve the problem.
Earlier, the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address was moved by MLAs-- Merentoshi Jamir, Neiba Kronu, Neiphrezo, parliamentary secretary for Home Guard & Civil Defence E.E. Pangteang, Advisor Geology & Mining Naiba Konyak and Minister for Roads & Bridges Y. Vikheho Swu.
Joining the debate, Swu while sharing his concern on the issue of ULB election and subsequent reactions, said the unresolved and unsettled issue will come back to Naga public domain sooner or later and therefore need to share opinion on the matter. In this matter he said it was not his intention to point fingers or blame any individual, organisation or tribe, however he questioned the Naga public saying “was there no better way to express resentment or grievances other than breaking people houses, burning down government buildings and properties?”
He lamented that the agitators were not following Naga culture the way their treat their own people by forcing out infants, children, aged people and leaving them to the mercy of the chilling winter.
Swu said the government’s good intention to protect Article 371(A) was misunderstood, saying the issue of women reservation in itself was something that could not be swept under the carpet. He further urged the government to continue to make all possible efforts to see that the educated youth do not go wasted, just because they do not get government employment.
Swu also felt that the government should identify NGOs that are capable of generating employment to Naga youth and continue to assist them in every possible way.
On Vision 2030 document, he said the document indicated possible ways to meet challenges in the state. One aspect was to skill the youths to enable them to meet the emerging job markets in India. He also spoke on other issues like finance, border fencing, roads, development etc.
During the debate, Merentoshi Jamir called on the members to give more emphasis on the youths of the state. He lamented that the state with immense natural resources remained untapped due to lack of transportation facilities. He further added the government should not be a source of employment but a source of generating employment. He suggested on earmarking certain amount of funds in all departments to help and encourage youths in developing their potentials.
Also participating in the debate, MLA Neiba Kronu spoke on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Nagaland and suggested the government to invite investor and funding agencies, for which an investor friendly environment was needed in the State. He recommended that Nagaland Investment Board be setup with a permanent office for clearance and facilitation of investors. On the education sector, he said during the period of 2015-16, Rs. 997.29 crores were spent on salaries alone, whereas only Rs. 580 crores were allotted for the entire planned budget. He urged the government to constitute a committee headed by the chief minister to revamp the education system, failing which he said the system would go out of control.
On the unemployment, Kronu also suggested for “soft loan” to be made available to the youth to start up their business. Special assistance mechanisms like CM Corpus Fund, Special Development Fund etc. are not enough since nowadays entrepreneurs needed bigger investments than what they get through those schemes, Kronu added.
Parliamentary secretary for Home Guard & Civil Defence, E.E. Pangteang pointed out that roads being the basic needs of the people, the government should continue to accelerate the construction of roads throughout the state and give more importance to those areas where road connectivity was poor.
He further suggested regular inspection of schools, at least twice a year to keep check on quality education, proxy and bogus teachers. He also appealed to the MLAs to play a part in assisting the Education department in their own constituencies.
Neiphrezo Keditsu, MLA spoke on the need to give more emphasis on public sector undertaking, by setting time bound and targeted realistic project so as to generate employment and revenue in the state.
On Article 371 (A), the MLA pointed called upon the members to protect the rights and privileges, saying it solely depended on the elected members.
Advisor, Geology & Mining, Naiba Konyak while referring to the January and February ULB polls issue said as the elected members, their decisions and resolutions should be respected. He added that issues related to Article 371 (A) should be resolved through negotiation and not violence.
Konyak, speaking on the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan pointed out that water supply on the water deficient areas should also be enhanced to supplement the Mission’s success.