The Fourth sitting of Mizoram State Legislative Assembly Budget Session commenced with a Question Hour during which four starred questions were taken up.

    In connection with starred question 34 raised by Opposition member B.Lalthlengliana, several members demanded to know if Agriculture Minister is aware of the fact that balance fund of the erstwhile Mizoram Intodelhna Project had been distributed from New Land Use Policy Apex Board to Congress party workers through various blocks and units.

    While expressing a strong disapproval towards the incident, House Leader Lal Thanhawla assured Members that government will see to it that such disgraceful incident is not repeated.

    In response to the first question raised by Opposition Member Dr.R.Lalthangliana regarding implementation of Central Sixth Pay Commission Recommendation, House Leader and Finance Minister Lal Thanhawla informed the House that Cabinet’s decision is being awaited and the state government is keen to implement 6th Pay Commission Recommendation as soon as possible.

    Lalrinliana Sailo, ruling Member and Trade & Commerce minister answered the second question and said 2 MOUs and 3 Protocol of Mutual Cooperation were signed with Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce during Trade & Investment Conclave held at Berawtlang on 22.7.2009. Following these agreements, MAMCO is working on export of turmeric and ginger in association with NITOL-NILOY Group Bangladesh, MIFCO is sending Trade Delegation Team to Bangladesh and 9 Bamboo Chips industry have been set up in various parts of Mizoram.

    Answering starred question 33, Lalsawta, Education Minister informed the House that 8 Nos. of vehicles have been purchased under SSA from pre-project fund and 23 private vehicles are on hire under the project.

    Question hour was follwed by general discussion of Budget. In his concluding speech, Lal Thanhawla expressed satisfaction in 25% increase in the Annual Plan Budget and said it was a remarkable achievement. While NLUP, a flagship programme of his government is aimed at achieveing sustainable economy for the rural poor, several improvements had to be incorporated in the policy to ensure its sucess and though ready to be launched, prior to Christmas may not be the right time, he said. Lal Thanhawla also mentioned progress and headways made in the power sector. With rise in power demand from 65MW to 100MW during peak load, power source needs to be increased and government has signed MOU with NEPC who have already opened office at Lawngtlai for 450MW Kaladan power project. The government is also working for renewal of Tuirial Hydel project and Tuivai project; minor projects will also be taken up under PPP mode, he mentioned.

    Reforms in education system is another priority sector where government is busily engaged. Presently, the Education Reforms Commission is covering the length and breadth of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla said. Though government is keen to provide better health care scheme to the people and concerned department is working on the modalities, the previous Health Care Scheme with its many flaws had to be abandoned, he said.

    While the government is ready to implement Central 6th Pay for its regular employees, the welfare of MR workers are not overlooked and it is recommended that their wages be increased at the following rates:
Skilled Labour I     -     Rs.183 per day to Rs.235
Skilled labour II    -     Rs.143 per day to Rs.184
Semi-skilled    -    Rs.115 per day to Rs.148
Unskilled        -    Rs.103 per day to Rs.132

    Lal Thanhawla thanked all Members for their active participation in the discussion. He appealed to all to give support and cooperation to the government in its endeavour to uphold justice and to establish good governance.
    The House was adjourned after the morning session.