By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | JUNE 5
The Manipur Legislative Assembly today unanimously passed the Manipur Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2017 during the first session (Part-II) which concluded today.
The bill which was passed today, if once enforced is expected to yield revenue of Rs 100 to 200 crore annually said Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
Earlier the revenue collected from taxes was only about 100 crore he said before adding that resources can be improved with the bill.
He informed the House that altogether 4500 traders have registered with the finance department for GST and still counting.
Clarifying on queries raised by the Opposition bench with regard to tax on Ngari (local fermented fish), the Chief Minister said although GST council member from the state during the GST meeting has proposed zero tax on Ngari the council rather lower the tax rate to 5 percent.
Ngrai comes under the provision of dry fish a taxable item with 12 percent tax rate.
He assured that the council members will further put up their proposal to exempt local products like Ngari and handloom products during the next council meeting.
Deputy Chief Minister, Y Joykumar Singh who is also holding the portfolio of Finance, moved the GST, Bill on the floor of the House to be passed.
However, with the Opposition bench, who bombarded with queries, insisted that the clarification made by the Finance Minister was unsatisfactory the Chief Minister had to intervene.
In his clarification, the Finance Minister said that there was no question of passing the GST bill hastily as claimed by the Opposition.
He asserted that the debate on the bill has been going on for more than 10 years now and that experts have considered it to be the best tax system.
Joykumar further clarified that enforcing the GST will not inflate prices of commodities or increase tax rate.
Further clearing the confusion of the adverse effect of the bill in a small state like Manipur, he said under the GST every state has equal voting rights.
He explained that the bill will benefit the state more with it (bill) being aimed at giving benefit to consumers.
The Finance Minister maintained that every state in the country has always been under the burden of multiple taxes and under GST it will subsume that multiplicity.
Apparently frustrated by queries after queries, the Minister before further responding to queries of the Opposition lamented the failure of the Opposition bench to attain an exclusive awareness programme on GST organised by his department just recently.
The MLAs from opposition bench who participated in the discussion were P Brojendro, Surjakumar Okram, K Ranjit, Kh Joykishan, Y Surchandra, AK Mirabai, Th Lokeshwar and Md Abdul Nasir.
Two audit reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on the Accounts of Manipur Legal Services Authority, an Annual report and memorandum of action taken on the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, India for the year 2013-14, six regulations of Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Manipur and Mizoram regulations 2016 and a corrigendum of Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Manipur and Mizoram were laid on the table of the House.
The Speaker adjourned the House sine die after passing the bill.
IMPHAL | June 5
Governor Najma Heptulla inaugurated a Financial Literacy Week organised by Financial Inclusion and Development department, Reserve Bank of India, Imphal, today, at Imperial Hall, Classic Grande, Chingmeirong, to be observed till June 9.
Addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Heptulla expressed her happiness to be a part of the observance. On the other hand, the Governor expressed displeasures over the low turnout of women of the State who are very much involved in economic and financial activities and have the largest women’s market in the world.
Womenfolk of the State are active in economic activities and enjoy economic freedom unlike women in other parts of the country, she said, adding that outsiders attending the week long observation should visit the market to know the activities of the women of the State.
Recalling her past involvement in promoting women in opening of small savings account in post offices to make them economically independent, she invited the attention of the bank personnel to inculcate the habit of small savings for sound financial management among the dynamic and enterprising women of the State who earn a regular source of income for their families.
She also gave a word of caution about the modern technology being misused and that people in rural and urban areas should be made aware of the fraudulent activities that are prevalent now-a-days.
Further she continued that banks should come forward to develop entrepreneurial skill and provide finance for viable and sustainable micro, small and medium enterprises which create jobs and local employments. She also added that bank should extend necessary assistance for mobilising the untapped potentials of the State for job creation especially in areas of agro-based enterprises, tourism etc.
Tourism is also another field where financial support can be given to generate more opportunity for people to come to Manipur, she added. She invited attention of the RBI to take lead in ensuring to achieve the overall objective of a financially educated population in the State with people engaging in fruitful economic activities.
Earlier, T Hauzel, chief manager, RBI, welcoming the gathering said that the main aim of observing the week is to spread awareness of the need for financial literacy specially among the financially excluded masses and that the week will be observed under 4 (Four) themes – Know your Customer, Exercising Credit Discipline, Grievance Redressal and Going Digital in line with the prevailing Economic Environment. Awareness will be given through posters in bank branches, ATMs and websites of banks, he added.
A booklet on Financial Awareness Messages(FAME) was also released by the Governor as part of the inaugural function. Representatives of NABARD, RBI and officials of various banks also attended the inaugural function. A video on financial literacy was also screened.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Jun 5
“North East Area Development Programme (NEADP) will be launched soon for the first time after India’s independence to bring development for the entire North Eastern region”, said DoNER minister, Dr Jitendra Singh during business meet cum exhibition for the entrepreneurs of Manipur here today.
The programme was organised by North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi), Imphal branch today at Sangai Hall, Hotel Imphal, North AOC, Imphal.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister N Biren said benefit oriented mindset will not bring development in the state. People have to involve themselves to bring development for Manipur.
Biren said “entrepreneur development is the key to successful enterprises, which will contribute towards economic development of the region”. Though the state has many talented entrepreneurs due to lack of marketing skills and financial support many state resources are being wasted, he added.
As handloom products and handicrafts of the state are famous all over the country, training programme is not needed only financial support is required for them. Government will take necessary steps to uplift those products into a higher level which would help to earn the state economy, Biren added.
Biren thanked Dr Jitendra Singh for the announcement of the exclusive North East Area Development Programme. He appreciated the proactive manner in which the Ministry of DoNER was engaging itself with the State Government Officers for a wide range of projects.
Elaborating on the new scheme, Dr Jitendra Singh said the hilly areas of Manipur, Tripura and Assam have a distinct geo-physical entity and are lagging in socio-economic development. As a result of peculiar topography there is a wide gap between the hill and valley districts in terms of infrastructure, quality of roads, health and education etc., he added.
As far as government of state is concerned, Dr Jitendra Singh observed that hill areas are less developed compared to the plain areas. Not only this, he cited figures to state that out of 80 districts of Northeast, 3 districts of hilly areas, which ranked lowest in the composite district infrastructure index, belong to Manipur and these are Tamenglong, Chandel and Churachandpur.
The programme aims at giving focused attention to the lesser developed hilly areas and will be initiated on a pilot basis in the hilly districts of Manipur.
JK Sinha, joint secretary, DoNER, BP Muktieh, CMD, NEDFi, commerce and industry minister, Th Bishwajit also attend the function.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 5
Lousembam Suraj of Khurai Angom Leikai , who is among the seven accused persons in the Phaknung gang rape accused has been deemed an adult. He underwent an ossification test as ordered by the Juvenile Justice Board, Imphal East. The result of the test ranged from 18 to 20 years.
Another alleged rapist was also declared an adult before and is being tried in the court. Among the seven accused persons, two has been proved as adults and the rest as minors. It can be pointed out that the JJB had not approved the ossification test prayed for by the investigating police team for another two alleged minors.
In a related development a sit-in-protest was held today at Yumjao Lairembi Community hall against the Phaknung gang rape case. It was organised by Core Committee against the Phaknung Gang Rape.
Convener of the core committee, N Jeevanmala said that they would strongly protest any effort to falsely claim the accused are juveniles by the Juvenile Justice Board, Imphal East to only one of the accused against the demand for all the accused for age determination.
The protest also demands for submitting charge-sheet without further delay, speedy trial, rehabilitation of the victims in terms of psycho-social care and speedy support as per the law, she continued.
Sobita Mangsatabam, one of the members of the core committee said that the process of delivering justice of the Phaknung gang rape case of April 14 should be speeded up and urged the state government to look into the growing incidents of crime against women in the state.
During the sit-in protest, slogans like ‘we want justice’, ‘rapists sing ossification test taogadabani’, ‘nupibu hanthana yengba yaroi’, ‘fast track court athuba matamda mathou tougadabani’ were seen.
IMPHAL | June 5
“As the State has huge potential on agriculture, there is the need to concentrate on primary sector” said deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, addressing the valedictory function of two-day State Level Seminar on Development Priority of Manipur at Jubilee Hall, (RIMS) here today.
The deputy Chief Minister said, as of now it will be very difficult to develop secondary sector for many reasons. Therefore, it is time to concentrate on primary as well as in tertiary sectors.
Proper irrigation system should be put in place and composite concepts such as integrated farming, double cropping and cash crop cultivation are also needed to be implemented in large scale to increase productivity and income generation as well, he pointed out.
Observing that power consumption and its generation will be the major parameter of development, Joykumar said, power generation potentials in the State need to be reviewed. Solar power generation in large scale should be introduced so that power availability can be maintained, he said.
Further he elaborated skilled human resource and enough infrastructures are also the basics ingredients of development in the State. On revenue resource, he said, tax collection in the State is more or less behind comparing with other States in the Country.
However, after rolling out Goods & Services Tax (GST) in the country on July 1 this year, tax collection will become more efficient at all levels. Keeping in view that the uniform tax regime will also help the State tremendously in all the Sectors, he said, the State legislature has adopted the Bill today.
Government is actively considering the technicalities of exporting local liquor outside the State, he added.
MAHUD minister, Th Shyamkumar Singh while speaking at the function said there is the need to encourage resource mobilisation in the State. All forms of corruption and corrupt practices should be avoided so that State tax resources will increase considerably.
He maintained that the government is trying to increase revenue resources and tax collection from forest products as many as double-triple times in the near future. Such seminar will help to develop different sectors in the State even in the remote areas, he added.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 5
“Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) will be implemented sincerely and with full transparency and the state government will not let anyone to misuse the scheme,” said Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
He was delivering the chief guest’s speech during the launching programme of the PMUY held today at City Convention Centre, Imphal.
The launching function was attended by Minister of State (DoNER) Jitendra Singh, deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh, CAF&PD minister Karam Shyam, Inner Manipur MP Thokchom Meinya, Outer Manipur MP Thangso Baite, Rajya Sabha MP MC Mary Kom, Rajya Sabha MP Ksh Bhabananda Singh and CAF&PD commissioner K Radhakumar, IOCL executive director Dipankar Ray, Oil Industry Manipur state level coordinator S.I. Singh and Pankaj Das of BPCL as presidium members.
The scheme which was launched on May 1, 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh for the first time will provide deposit free LPG connections to women from family below poverty line.
The Chief Minister said that the current government under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the government for the people and its ideology is to uplift the poor.
A big positive change has brought in the state after the formation of the BJP led government and has launched many scheme of the Prime Minister which was not available to the public during the previous government, he added.
“Cooking with firewood cause respiratory problem, efforts in searching fire wood and also deforestation as trees are cut down to be used as firewood. So PMUY was launched to lessen all the sufferings and environmental problem,” said the Chief Minister.
Within a short period of time application forms of the scheme will reach to the needy people of the scheme through respective MLAs, DCs and IOC officials, continued the Chief Minister.
Speaking on the function CAF&PD minister Karam Shyam said that around 1,50,000 to 1,70,000 families below poverty line can get the benefits of the scheme.
He added that Manipur is the second state after Assam in the entire North East where the scheme had been launched and assured there would be no political interference at all.
There are many schemes which have been launched in the state but not aware by the public, so he requested the MLAs to give mass awareness to the public regarding those schemes, he added.
Till today the Prime Minister has launched 105 schemes but many schemes have not been launched in the state so he appealed to the ministers of the state to bring those schemes and make it available in the state.
Later the dignitaries distributed free LPG connections to 20 selected women as a part of launching the scheme.
IMPHAL | June 5
Chief Minister N Biren Singh launched the ‘Segregation at Source’ campaign at the World Environment Day celebration, jointly organised by Directorate of Environment and Directorate of Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD) at Mahatma Gandhi Avenue, here today.
Under this new initiative, Municipal Corporations will provide two dustbins to every households and shops to collect wet and dry waste materials. Wet garbage should be put in green dustbins and dry waste materials in blue dustbins.
Speaking on the celebration, organised under the theme, ‘Connecting People to Nature’ as the chief guest, N Biren said, “Nature does not require us, but we need nature for our survival.” As such, people need to take a collective pledge to conserve nature for sustainable development and survival of human beings, he added.
The Chief Minister contended that he introduced the initiative of fighting pollution and protection of environment when he was the minister of State for Forest and Environment way back in 2004. He carried on the campaign when he took over the charge of chairman of Manipur Pollution Control Board as well, Biren recalled.
The Chief Minister further said that under this noble initiative known as ‘Green Imphal’, he not only planted many saplings around Imphal city but also cleaned Nambul river.
Sharing his views on possible environment degradation and health hazards caused by polythene bags, the Chief Minister informed that deliberations are being made by the State government to impose ban on the use of polythene bags in the State.
Stating that keeping Imphal city neat and tidy had already been included in the list of tasks to be completed within 100 days by the State government, the Chief Minister sought co-operation from the public in this regard.
Maintaining that deforestation is the main cause for frequent landslides in hill areas, the Chief Minister urged the public to plant more and more saplings instead of felling trees.
He also made his earnest appeal to the public not to dump waste materials into rivers.
MAHUD and Forest and Environment minister, Th Shyamkumar while speaking at the function as the president said that people should understand the warning signs given by the nature. He observed that people would bear the brunt of the nature’s fury if they keep on breaking the nature’s law.
PHED minister LDikho, Parliamentary Secretary (MAHUD) NIndrajit, MANIDCO and MANITRON chairman and Hiyanglam AC MLA Dr Y Radheshyam, additional chief secretary (Environment) Sambhu Singh and additional chief secretary (MAHUD) J Suresh Babu also attended the function as guests of honour.
As part of the observation, the Chief Minister flagged off a team of volunteers who would plant 1000 saplings at different parts of the State as part of environment protection campaign. He also administered oath of conserving nature to the gathering during the celebration.
Later, the dignitaries also released a film on Blooming Manipur which has been taking up the task of planting flowers and plants in different areas.
Earlier, Biren and other dignitaries planted flowers under Blooming Manipur’s initiative at Ima Keithel as part of the World Environment Day celebration.
IMPHAL | June 5
Former editor of Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) today appeared before the Special Judge, NIA Manipur, Giaphulshillu Golmei, in connection with special trail on Paraolon ambush which killed 18 army personnel.
During the appearance the editor, Dhiren A Sadokpam, 45, son of Ranabir Singh of Bishnupur, Prosecution Witness 10, deposed before the Judge and his statement was recorded. Dhiren was the editor of the English newspaper in the year 2015.
He submitted before the court that after the attack on June 4, 2015, the daily newspaper received an email on June 9, 2015. The email was signed by the representatives of three organisations namely NSCN (K), KYKL and KCP (N).
The statement said that the three organizations welcomed back the cadres who successfully carried out the attack, he added.
He further submitted that after checking the authenticity of the email by way of finding out to how many news organizations received the same, the news was published on June 10 along with the attached photographed.
He continued that on second week of June the NIA representatives requested a copy of the email along with the photograph purportedly sent to the media.
Complying with the request handed over the same to the NIA by issuance of a production cum seizure memo which was duly signed by me, he said.
IMPHAL | June 5
The government of Manipur in an order dated June 3 has posted Mercina Panmei, MCS, as the director of Manipur Infrastructure Development Agency in place of Anna Arambam.
IMPHAL | June 5
Indian Medical Association State branch is all set for one hour pen down strike tomorrow from, 8 am to 9 am to address their grievances. The state branch is also sending representatives to take part in the ‘Challo Dilli’ rally.
A release said medical profession is facing its toughest time now. More than 10,000 doctors from all over India will be converging at Rajghat, New Delhi at 8 am tomorrow.