Hon\'ble Speaker and distinguished Members of the Legislative Assembly,
1. It gives me great pleasure to address you at the commencement of the seventh session of the Sixth Legislative Assembly of Mizoram. I take this opportunity to convey my greetings and good wishes to all of you and to the people of Mizoram.
2. I would like to reiterate before this august Assembly my Government\'s commitment to provide efficient, responsive, fair and just administration at all levels of governance. Maintaining peace and tranquility, and securing the safety of the citizens has always remained a top priority of my Government. A comprehensive package to strengthen our police force has been undertaken under the Modernisation of Police Force Scheme. The Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network System is being undertaken to empower the police force with information technology to detect and fight crimes nationwide on a real time basis. The Government has also set up the Economic Offences Wing and the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit to meet the emerging challenges.
3. My Government has been mandated to bring about revolutionary changes towards economic self-sufficiency, growth and poverty alleviation through the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), which has officially been launched throughout the State on 14th January, 2011. ! am confident that we will attain inclusive and sustainable growth in a few years\' time, empowering the poor andthe disadvantaged and lift them up the economic ladder in the process.
4. Agriculture occupies a very important place in the economy of Mizoram, with roughly 60% of the total workers engaged in agricultural activities. My Government has undertaken a number of measures for the welfare of the farmers. We are also providing our farmers necessary supports through capacity building and training, provision of quality seeds and saplings, demonstrations, research in agricultural crop science and refinement of existing technology for higher crop production. Horticulture Department is assisting farmers to adopt more profitable and sustainable system of permanent farming under the New Land Use Policy. A Multi-purpose Packing House has been constructed and commissioned at Horticulture Centre, Chite. Two wineries have been established at Champhai and Hnahlan to provide the much needed boost to the grape growers, and these could substantially contribute to our economic growth by generating higher income for the farmers while earning the Government substantial revenue.
5. My Government has been working on the development of livestock sector through adoption of improved breeding, feeding, management, healthcare, processing and marketing system. Construction of Dry Rendering Plant and Lairage at Modern Slaughter House, Construction of Rural Animal Slaughter House at Mualpui, strengthening of Fodder Farm at Thenzawl, and setting up of Liquid Nitrogen Plant at Lunglei are some of the activities being taken up. My Government has also provided fish seeds and fish feed to the farmers at highly subsidized rates, and fish farmers are also given training to boost the production.
6. We have brought about substantial increase in the production of cash crops like Rubber, Coffee and Broom. A well regulated marketing system will be developed to protect the interest of the farmers as well as the State Government. We are undertaking a number of projects to provide the required infrastructure support to sericulture sector as well.
7. My Government recognises the need to boost cooperative movement for the socio-economic development of the State. It is encouraging to note that the major State Level Societies like Mizoram Cooperative Apex Bank, MIZOFED Ltd., PIGFED Ltd., MULCO Ltd., ZOFISFED Ltd. and MAHCO Ltd. are in healthy states and contribute substantially towards the economic development of the State.
8. Micro Enterprise and Handloom sector will form integral components of the New Land Use Policy, especially in urban areas. Several steps are also being taken for the growth of Bamboo Sector Development and scientific and commercial Tea Plantation. A new Industrial Policy called \"The Industrial Policy, 2010\" has been drafted to meet the emerging needs in the Industries Sector. A new Directorate of Geology and Mineral Resources was established on 1st September, 2010.
9. My Government accords high priority to bring about quality education at all levels. A Group of Experts constituted to scrutinise and make recommendation to the Government on implementation of the Education Reforms Commission Report has submitted its report to the Government on 28th February, 2011. We are now in the process of implementing their recommendations. To cope with the new requirements under the new Constitutional Mandate, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has appropriately been re-oriented. My Government has brought about an unprecedented infrastructural development in Secondary Education by successfully implementing Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). A new system of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) has been introduced.
10. My Government is deeply committed to promote sports and the welfare of the youth. Artificial turf has been laid at Assam Rifles Lammual. Laying of Astro turf at Thenzawl Hockey Playground is expected to be completed before the coming monsoon. A record number of 75 sportspersons from Mizoram had represented the State in the recently concluded 34th National Games at Jharkhand during 12th - 26th February, 2011, and I am proud of the Mizoram Team for bagging 6 (six) medals in the Games.
11. The Mizoram Shops and Establishment Rules, 2011 is being prepared to safeguard the interest of employees of private shops and establishments. For the first time in Mizoram, 1% cess has been collected from Contractors as per the provision of the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996. The Mizoram Youth Commission is continuing earnestly in providing career counselling and guidance to the youth. The Mizoram Youth Policy is being prepared, and \'Mizoram State Youth Livelihood Action Plan\' will be developed soon.
12. My Government is alert to the need to undertake Disaster Risk Management initiatives. Under the Government of India - United Nations Development Programme, District Emergency Operations Centres have been constructed in all the eight District Headquarters, and Disaster Risk Reduction Programme has been initiated. Fire and Emergency Services has been strengthened. Utmost efforts have been given to generate mass awareness on methods for preventing outbreak of fire.
13. My Government continues to provide affordable means of transportation to the general masses. Steps are being taken to improve our transportation facilities and infrastructures at various places. A State Level Task Force on National Railway Project in Mizoram has been instituted. Upgradation of Lengpui Airport has been undertaken. The recently installed Instrument Landing System Cat-I is expected to be commissioned shortly.
14. All possible options are being explored to increase our power generation. The commissioning of Serlui \'B\' SHP has increased our generating capacity by 12.0 MW. Electrification of 33 villages have been completed, and 7572 BPL households were given free service connection under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY). Construction of new sub-stations, and improvement and augmentation of existing ones will be carried out to strengthen the transmission and distribution system.
15. Roads and buildings are basic infrastructures for growth and development. The stretch of National Highway between Silchar and Aizaw! will be upgraded to 4-lane, and that between Aizawl and Lawngtlai to 2-lane under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme of the North East. Construction of 100 kms of Double Lane Highway between Lawngtlai and Myanmar border under Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project has commenced. Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), 220 kms of all-weather road will be constructed to connect 45 villages by the end of this year.
16. All possible channels are being explored to provide adequate supply of water to all, and a number of projects are being taken up through different programmes at various levels. 86% of the on-going Greater Aizawl Water Supply Scheme Phase-ll has been completed, and Water Supply Schemes for various towns and villages are also being undertaken under various schemes.
17. In order to streamline land revenue administration, House Site Cadastral Survey and planning are being conducted in real earnest. 319.95 hectares covering 4643 plots have been surveyed, and as many as 840 plots have been planned for house sites.
18. The Mizoram (Revision of Pay) Rules, 2010 for State Government employees has been implemented, and the State Government employees are given Revised Pay effective from 1.1.2006 with actual monetary benefits from 1.1.2009 with the implementation of these Rules. Revised Pay structure for Judicial Service and Revised Pay for Teaching and Academic cadres in Universities and Colleges has also been implemented. The New Defined Contributory Pension Scheme, 2010 has been implemented.
19. We have achieved 22.9% growth in collection of taxes during 2010-2011. VATSoft, a new VAT Management Information System (MIS) software tailored to meet the specific needs of tax administration in Mizoram has been developed under the National e-Governance Project, and e-payment, e-registration, e-retum and electronic issue of forms will soon be possible with this software.
20. Ensuring food security, availability of essential commodities and protection of the rights of the consumers are among the prime concerns of my Government. We have ensured uninterrupted distribution of rice through the Public Distribution System in spite of many hurdles. The Mizoram State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission is being strengthened, and the Mizoram Consumer Protection Rules, 2010 has also been notified. My Government is also taking up a number of measures for the welfare of persons with disabilities and other weaker sections of the society.
21. My Government is committed to provide quality healthcare to all. We have brought about significant improvement in the implementation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Several steps have been taken to develop AYUSH in Mizoram. Construction of Regional Cancer Centre Building at Zemabawk has been completed and inaugurated. Civil Hospital, Aizawl becomes the only Government Hospital in North Eastern Region and the third in India so far to be awarded the prestigious ISO Certificate by I MAX -Gurgaon (Government of India Undertaking).
22. We have been awarded the prestigious Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra (IVPM) Award for the year 2010 which carries cash award of Rs. 5.0 lakhs for outstanding works in increasing forest and tree cover. 1600 hectare of Forest Area and 5900 hectare of Non-Forest Area Bamboo Plantation have been achieved under the National Bamboo Mission during 2010 - 2011. Aizawl Zoo has created a record for the first ever successful captive breeding of the highly endangered and rare bird locally called Vavu (Hume\'s Bartailed Pheasant).
23. The Composite Land Custom Station building at Zokhawthar is being amplified by developing requisite export - import infrastructures. A project for improvement of Rih - Kalemyo road via Tiddim and Falam within Myanmar is being proposed. A Border Trade Centre is proposed to be established at Kawrpuichhuah, and construction of approach road to this is being taken up.
24. A number of social infrastructure development schemes are being taken up at various District and Sub-Divisional Headquarters. Under Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY), urban families living below poverty lines are provided gainful employment opportunities, skill development and credit linkage to uplift their living conditions. The first election to the Aizawl Municipal Council was conducted successfully. Tjis event has ushered in a new era of devolution of power as envisioned in the Constitution of India.
25. Development of rural areas and poverty alleviation are on top of the agenda of my Government. 13 projects under Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP)/Hariyali are due for completion this year, and 33 more projects will be ompleted next year. 21 Village Haats are being constructed under Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) to create better marketing facilities for Self-Help Groups and rural artisans. Under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) 116.45 lakhs mandays have been generated. 1448 rural households living below poverty line have been provided financial assistance under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) for construction and upgradation of houses. Border Area Development Programme has successfully been implemented and Backward Region Grant Fund has effectively been utilised to redress regional imbalances in development.
26. A strong and independent judiciary is pre-requisite to a vibrant and healthy democracy. A number of steps are being taken to strengthen the judiciary. Four Family t Buildings at Mamit and Serchhip are being taken up, and land has been acquired at Kolasib for construction of Judicial Officer Quarters. Steps have also been taken for acquisition of land at Champhai and Lawngtlai for construction of Judicial Officer Quarters and Court Buildings.
27. My Government is alert to the special needs of the Autonomous District Council Areas. Grant-in-aid of Rs. 15,388 lakhs has been allocated to the three Autonomous District Councils, and this fund has been utilised for achieving all round development and good self-governance by the three District Councils
28. The Mizoram Heritage Conservation Bill is being framed and will be placed before you for legislation soon. Our unique culture has gained international recognition when Cheraw Troupe from Mizoram performed at the grand opening of the 19th Commonwealth Games, 2010 at Delhi on 3rd October, 2010.
29. Important measures have been taken to make Mizoram a preferred Tourist destination. Tourism Development Board has been constituted to frame better policy and guidelines for development and promotion of tourism. 22 Tourist Lodges have been constructed at different locations, and Tourist Destination projects at Reiek, Berawtlang and Champhai are progressing smoothly and are expected to be completed during 2011-2012.
30. Due attention has also been given to personnel and administrative reforms to bring about good and efficient governance. The widespread practice of engagement of proxy substitutes by different categories of Government servants has been weeded out. Manpower assessment for rationalisation and right sizing of Government employees has been carried out, and various capacity building and training programmes have been conducted.
31. Hon\'ble Members, I have presented a summary of my Government\'s achievements, policies and programmes. These are not exhaustive, and present the brief highlights only. I believe more details will be spelt out in the course of your deliberations in the present Session, and I hope that all of you will be actively participating in the deliberations dispassionately to build a better future for Mizoram.
I convey my best wishes to all of you once again, and I wish your deliberations every success.
Ka lawm e!