Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Security challenge in Manipur if drug menace not tackled seriously: CM Biren


Manipur will be faced with an insurmountable security challenge if the menace of drug trafficking is not tackled seriously, said Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh, in the house of state Assembly on Wednesday.
The second part of the budget session of the state legislative Assembly commenced on Tuesday with the chief minister, who is also in-charge of finance portfolio, presenting an estimated budget of Rs 35022 crore for the year 2023-24.
The house took the budget estimates for discussion. Leader of the opposition and former chief minister O Ibobi Singh, Congress members – K Meghachandra and Th Lokeshwor participated in today’s discussion.
The chief minister, while highlighting the seriousness of the drug trafficking menace in the state, said that the state will face an insurmountable security challenge if the problem of drug trafficking was not tackled with seriousness.
A total of Rs 14 crore has been provided to intensify the security concerning drugs and rehabilitation for the victims of drug abuse, he said.
The government has allotted Rs 12 crore to end drug menace which includes alternative livelihoods and Rs two crore for establishing drug de-addiction centres, he informed the house.
“The ‘war on drugs’ is not only about arrests and punishment. We had started a scheme for ‘Alternative Livelihoods’ for farmers of affected areas. We are working with the Ministry of DoNER to expand this project to all affected areas in the state,” he said.
In addition, the state government has taken up a complementary scheme from this year to focus not only on alternative livelihoods but also protection and rejuvenation of degraded areas.
For this year, an amount of Rs 12 crore has been provided in the budget, Singh said.
The chief minister told the house further that there were 6498 beneficiaries or business units identified for the financial support under the Start Up scheme.
Of these, 5041 beneficiaries were receiving the financial support under the scheme and 4719 units were running profitably.
Steps were also taken up to restrict outsiders from purchasing land in the valley areas of Manipur. Land can be purchased after the approval of the concerned municipality or gram sabha, he added.
On the other hand, state transport minister Khashim Vashum told the house that as per VAHAN data, there were 422753 vehicles in the state till January 2023.
Out of these, 110674 vehicles were older than 15 years, of which 6965 are diesel run vehicles and 103709 are petrol run vehicles. He also clarified that the scrapping of vehicles did not depend upon the age of the vehicle but upon the fitness of the vehicles.
Clarifying on the general discussion of the budget estimates, the chief minister said that the budget was people-friendly with focus on the welfare of the people.

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