The eighth sitting of the Assembly’s budget session commenced with a question hour during which five starred questions were taken up.

In response to the first question raised by ZNP Member K.Liantlinga, House Leader and Finance Minister Lal Thanhawla gave year-wise statement of gross revenue earned from Mizoram State Lottery as well as expenditure incurred for judges during the last five years till date.

    To starred question 108 raised by Opposition Member, C.Ramhluna, Agriculture Minister H.Liansailova informed the House that 100 crore has been set aside for implementation of New Land Use Policy during the Annual Plan 2009-2010; the amount to be given to every family has, however, not been finalised.  Answering supplementary questions raised by Opposition Members in connection with the NLUP scheme the Minister said the Planning Commission as well as the Prime Minister himself appreciate the scheme and that Mizoram’s flagship programme is received well at the power corridors of the central government. He informed Members that an inter-ministerial team is coming to Mizoram during the first week of November to make field visit and to gather first hand knowledge about the scheme. Though a total amount of 2526.89 crores is proposed for this project which he said is expected to come from Prime Minister’s special package, a 100 crore is considered to be sufficient for the initial period and no department’s share in the budget has been sliced off for this. The Minister reiterated that beneficiaries will be chosen by the Implementing Board on the basis of base-line survey done  by line-departments.

    In answer to starred question 109 raised by ZNP party Leader Lalduhoma, Trade & Commerce Minister Lalrinliana Sailo informed the House that The Mizoram State Agriculture Produce Marketing (Development & Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 2009 has been put up for Cabinet’s approval. Answering a supplementary question on whether the state government can assure support price to farmers on ginger, turmeric and chillies, the Minister said government is planning to follow an open market system in which farmers will be free from government’s intervention in dealing with prospective buyers and in fixing prices of their produce to control price fluctuation. An extensive market survey will be required for which the department will make provision in the budget, he stated.

    To starred question 110, Agriculture Minister H.Liansailova informed Members that production of rice will fall this year due to late arrival of monsoon. As per assessment made in every district by DAOs, 59% of WRC potential areas had been affected which had improved to about 40% after July when monsoon set in. According to his statement, 28 families in Aizawl district, 696 in Champhai district, 389 in Lunglei district, 124 in Saiha district, 143 in Mamit district, 181 in Kolasib district, 33 in Lawngtlai district and 396 in Serchhip district could not till their lands this year because of draught.

    The situation he said had been reported to Union Agriculture Minister by Chief Minister and several meetings organised by central government to discuss relief measures for draught-hit areas were attended by state government officials. A relief scheme for farmers in case of another draught has been submitted  to the Ministry, he mentioned.

    Today’s session was presided over by Speaker R.Romawia and three ministers namely, H.Liansailova, H.Rohluna and Zodintluanga presented Demands for Grants under their respective departments for discussion and voting. The House continued its morning session with general discussion on these demands.


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