On this auspicious and historic occasion of the 71st Independence Day, I convey my greetings to all of you who have gathered here today and to all the people of Mizoram. Let us take this national festival to refine ourselves and pledge deeper dedication to the nation and make this festival of freedom a festival of inspiration and development to newer heights.

Today, we pay our respectful homage to the Martyrs of the Freedom Struggle. I would like us to remember today all the great men and women of our Freedom Movement, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and all other great leaders. They inspire and illuminate our march to a better tomorrow.

We have taken many important measures to make the work of the government transparent and honest. In the last one year the government has strived for social and economic progress.  I would like to mention just some of the achievements and progress of the Government of Mizoram during the last one year.

1.       Maintaining peace and tranquility, securing the safety of the citizens has always remained our top priority. I take pride in the fact that there has been no major outbreak of law and order problem in the state during the past year. I express my profound gratitude to all those involved in maintaining our status as one of the most peaceful states of India. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Mizoram is assessed as one of the front runner states in the country in implementation of CCTNS Project .Online Data Entry in CCTNS Systems is regularly done in 21 out of 40 Police Stations in all 8 districts of Mizoram. The remaining Police Stations are entering data in offline mode due to erratic connectivity. Aizawl City Surveillance Project is now operational and third phase covering of important junctions of Aizawl City with 186 Cameras has been installed. Two new Districts Jails at Chhiahtlang, Serchhip District and Sabual, Mamit District has been opened on 15.9.2016 and 23.9.2016.

2.      An overview performance of New Land Use Policy (NLUP) has indicated impressive success – increased income for the beneficiaries and contribution for economic growth of Mizoram.  Some critics of NLUP make unfounded allegations that NLUP is a failure.  I would like to inform those critics that till end of 2015-16, we have completed 1st and 2nd Phase of NLUP. Implementation of 3rd and 4thPhase is expected to be completed by March 2018.  It is wrong to expect fruits of the project before completion.  I would also like to remind the critics of NLUP that several long gestation crops like, orange, arecanut, rubber and others need 7 to 8 years to yield results for sustenance of the beneficiaries.  On the other hand, short gestation trades have demonstrated extremely encouraging results in almost all the sectors. 

As per Economic Survey Report, 2015-16 of the Govt. of Mizoram, production of rice has gone up by 31.54% in spite of reduction of jhum area by about 40%.Under Soil and Water Conservation Department there is phenomenal increase in production of broom grass by more than 22 times. As a result, the income from broom grass has gone up from 1199.97 quintals worth Rs. 37 lakhs in 2009-10 to 26,449.13 quintals worth Rs. 6,600 lakhs in 2015-16. Under Sericulture, the production of seedlings was below 5% of the demand when NLUP was started.  It has not only achieved self-sufficiency in production of seedlings, the production of cocoon has gone up from 76.10 MT in 2011-12 to 375.20 MT in 2016-17. It means that production of cocoon has increased almost 5 times. In spite of several complaints against AH & Vety Department, the various remedial measures taken by the Department had produced good results.  Due to outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease in the 2nd year of implementation of NLUP, substantial number of dairy cows died. However, as a result of successful remedial measures, milk production has increased from 13,639.19 tonnes in 2012-13 to 21,997.11 tonnes by 2015-16, indicating an increase by 61.28%.  Similarly, meat production has increased from 12,076 tonnes in 2012-13 to 13,591.6 tonnes in 2015-16, which is an increase by 12.55%. Auto-rickshaw is an example of roaring success in the micro-enterprise trade.

When NLUP was started, production of input supply was less than 5% in almost all the sectors.  By end of 2015-16, most of the sectors have achieved self-sufficiency in quality input supply, which is a highly commendable achievement.Critics of NLUP have tried their best to tarnish the project design and implementation of NLUP specially in respect of baseline survey, compact area coverage, selection of NLUP beneficiaries, and impact of NLUP. The issues raised by the critics of NLUP have been examined in detail. It has been seen that implementation and management of such a major project, though not completely free from some minor defects here and there, have attracted appreciation of several expert agencies including experts of University of Minnesota, the UN Agencies and others. In fact, NLUP design is the forerunner of several new programmes of the Prime Minister, including financial inclusion, environmental protection, doubling of farmers’ income and others.

Even though performance under few sectors have problems due to some constraints, we have seen many encouraging results in other sectors as well.  The performance have been validated by external neutral 3rd Party Evaluation Agencies like NABCONS, under the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, Mizoram University and others. While the national economy (GDP) was growing at 7.6% during 2015-16, the economy of Mizoram grew at 9.18%. Similarly, the per capita income at current prices has increased by 11.27% against national average per capita growth rate of 7.4%. Mizoram has exceeded national average in both GDP and per capita income.  NLUP was one of the most important contributory factors in both the cases. For validation of performance assessment, one of the most comprehensive evaluations of NLUP is going on. Against national average of 5% to 7% test checking for evaluation purposes, NLUP has initiated assessment for more than 75% of all the beneficiaries. Preliminary findings indicated highly satisfactory report.  The details will be announced in due time. 

In order to fulfill the commitments made during the election campaign for Assembly in 2013, the State Government has announced extension of NLUP for another period of 5 years after expiry of the original 5-year period.

Through partnership with the UN Agencies like UNIDO,FAO,UNDP and ILO several forward measures have been initiated. The reports of these various UN Agencies are under process. We are confident that NLUP will achieve its objectives in terms of realization of inclusive development objectives, including increased sustainable livelihood opportunities in various fields with multiplier effects.  Looking at the need for livelihood support, the Government has now decided to allot more funds for NLUP for upliftment of the poor families. As long as poverty is a hindrance to the basic needs of various families, NLUP shall continue.

3.       The New Economic Development Policy (NEDP)-Comprehensive Growth Strategy for Mizoram is being implemented vigorously by the State Government. Allocation of fund is based on preparation of viable projects/programmes which will strengthen the economy.  Rs. 250 crores and NLUP convergence of 27 crores was allocated for 2016 and 2017 and Rs. 750 crores is allocated for 2017-2018. Important component of the NEDP includes Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (EDS), construction of Agriculture and Horticulture link roads,  improvement of infrastructure in city, towns and villages, improvement of referral hospital and district hospitals; improvement of roads, water supply, power supply and urban infrastructure at service level; improvement of internet connectivity in city and towns; construction of critical development roads and tourism development; construction of important infrastructure such as New Market Building, Zodin Multi Level Car Parking, Mizoram State Convention Centre etc. and policy agenda such as Public Financial Management Reform, Public Administration Reform, Land Reform,  Developing Skills Development Policy and Power Sector Reform. The State Government has also implemented Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Scheme under NEDP.

The growth of Mizoram economy reflected a stable and continuous rate by hovering at around 9 percent average annual growth rate during the financial years 2011-2012 to 2015-2016. The State has achieved a phenomenal success by attaining Per Capita Income above the national  average of Rs. 93293. Moreover, Mizoram has achieved High Growth State and it is included among the growth driver in India. The study of NITI Aayog indicated that Mizoram along with three other states-Gujarat, Jharkhand and Tripura are fastest growing states in India during 2013-2016 with more than 8% growth on the average annually.

5.       The government is aware that increased development and productivity in  agriculture and its allied sectors tend to contribute substantially to an overall economic development of the state. A provision is made to construct 416 Kms. of Agriculture Link Roads and 95 Kms. of existing Link Roads are being upgraded to make them all weather roads. The work under the project are completed up to about 50%. The total fund release till date is Rs.2107.50 lakhs. Onion Cultivation was taken up under NEDP covering an area of 114.13 hectares with a production of 468.07 quintals. A total of 773 Kms. long Potential Area Connectivity (PAC) have been created. Under RKVY 87,611 Kms. Link Roads have been constructed under National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) since its inception. Central Instrumentation Laboratory at KVK, Lengpui was inaugurated on January, 2017. This Laboratory is constructed to strengthen agriculture research and equip agriculture scientists with sophisticated and advanced equipments and instruments for their research works.

Under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), Animal Feed Plant is newly installed at Ramrikawn, Tanhril with a project cost of RS.551.08 lakhs with the capacity of 8 metric tonnes/hour. For production of clean and healthy meat, new Rural Slaughter House is constructed with an estimate cost of Rs.387.24 lakhs at Brigade Field, Bawngkawn. The Project on Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Development in Mizoram was signed between Government of Mizoram and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 26th October, 2016. To Produce Quality Silk, Intensive Sericulture Development Project (ISDP) under NERTP covering 600 beneficiaries for Lunglei District with a project cost of Rs. 32.49 crores is in full swing. With the launching of a new scheme called  ‘Neel Kranti Mission Plan’ or Blue Revolution which focus on integrated development of the full potential of fisheries in the country, several activities are taken up like construction of 10 Ha of new ponds and renovation of 50 Ha of existing damaged ponds, establishment of 4 new Hatchery and 1 unit of Fish Feed Mill  and upgradation of Ice Plant at Bawngkawn.

6.       During 2016-2017, 68.00 Kms. of formation cutting and 218.00 Kms. of Black-topping have been completed . There are 57 nos. of roads under construction with a total length of 1640.00 Kms. amounting to Rs.3736.22 crores. During 2016-2017 three nos. of Bridges have been completed viz. suspension bridge over R. Chhimtuipui at Darzokai, Pre-stressed Concrete Bridge over R. Tlawng on Bairabi Zamuang road and High level Pre-stressed Concrete Bridge over R. Tut. 8 (eight) nos. of permanent bridges amounting to 63.35 crores for replacement of temporary bridge are being taken up under CRF and NABARD Scheme. During 2016-2017,145 nos. of buildings are being taken up with estimated cost of Rs.523.40 crores and out of which 37 nos. have been completed and 108 buildings are in progress.

Under World Bank Projects improvement and upgradation of Chhumkhum-Chawngte Road, Champhai-Zokhawthar Road, Tlabung-Kawrpuichhuah Road are being taken up. Under Asian Development Bank, improvement and upgradation of

Serchhip-Thenzawl-Buarpui Road is also in Progress. Mizoram PWD is maintaining 11 Nos. of National Highways with a total length of 1465.938 Kms. The Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project with the project cost of Rs. 1011.52 crores is in progress and is expected to be completed in 2018. Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yajona (PMGSY), 1758.30 Kms. of formation cutting and 736.61 Kms of Blacktopping have been completed. There are 25 Nos. of ongoing projects. Recently 56 Nos. of Roads with total amount of Rs. 553.40 crores have been sanctioned, the works are being tendered. 10 number of Helipads are being constructed under NLCPR out of which 8 number of Helipads have been completed. The total cost of 10 helipads is Rs. 258.20 lakhs.

7.       The Government is keenly aware that electricity is an essential ingredient of economic development. Ongoing Hydel Projects viz. 5MW Tlawva SHP, 4MW Kawlbem SHP, 100kW Turiza MHP and 100kW Tuichang MHP are in progress and are expected to be completed in 2018-2019 financial year. 60MW Tuirial HEP executed by NEEPCO is in full swing and expected to be completed within this year. DPR for 24MW Tuirini HEP to be taken up under state sector is completed. The project will cost Rs.465 crores and is expected to be completed in 4 ½ years.NEEPCO is now pursuing the statutory clearance of 210MW Tuivai HEP and construction work will be started soon.

Under NEDP, augmentation of 33/11kV Sub Stations within Aizawl City by installing higher capacity transformer is going on and expected to be completed within this financial year. Setting up of Mega Solar Park at Vankal Mini-Grid SPV Plant for remote villages at Vathuampui and Sailam and Grid connected rooftop SPV Plant at 132kV Sub-station Melriat, Khawiva and Sihhmui are planned to be taken under NEDP. Implementation of Distribution system improvement in urban areas under R-APDRP is in progress in 9(nine) towns at a cost of Rs.35.12 crores for Part-A and Rs.240.41 crores for Part B projects. Under Rural Electricity Distribution Backbone (REDB), Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd (REC) has sanctioned Rs.77.03 crores to cover all eight districts for augmentation of 12 Nos. existing 33/11kV Sub-Stations, construction of 6 Nos. 33/11kV Sub-Stations, construction of 189 Kms. 33kV line and construction of 6 Nos. new 33kV Bays.

8.       The Public Health Engineering Department has covered 35 nos. of Habitations by providing safe drinking water under National Rural Drinking Programme (NRDWP) during 2016-2017 out of the allocated fund of Rs. 2448.75 lakhs released by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Govt. of India. Implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is one of the most important programmes undertaken by PHE Department. During 2016-2017, Individual Household Latrine (IHHLS) of 2085 nos. have been constructed. Also 6 nos. of Community Sanitary Complexes and 5 nos. of solid waste management sites were constructed during 2016-2017.Aizawl District, Champhai District and Kolasib District have been declared as  ‘Open Defecation Free(ODF) District. Serchhip District has also been recently declared as ODF and verification process is going on.Under NABARD improvement  and replacement of Diesel Pump site  for Tuikum and Booster Pump House under Greater Serchhip Water Supply Scheme have been completed during 2016-2017. Ngopa Water Supply Scheme is also expected to be completed during 2017. Under NLCPR Greater Saitual WSS, Bilkhawthir WSS, W. Phaileng WSS, Sairang WSS and Aibawk WSS have been completed during 2016-17. Greater Lawngtlai WSS and Khawbung WSS are also expected to be completed during 2017-18.

9.       Education is one of the important parameters of growth and development and the Government is committed towards development of human resources. Priority has been given to reduce illiteracy rate in the state. Total Literacy Drive were taken up through Adult Education in the three districts of Lunglei, Lawngtlai and Mamit. Sainik School at Chhingchhip was inaugurated on 17th May, 2017. Entrance test was conducted successfully and 60  (sixty) new students have been admitted to Class-VI from the current academic year. The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) has given its approval for conducting regular classes in B.ED in Special Education in the field of Visual Impairment (VI) and Hearing Impairment (HI) at SCERT. Recognition and approval to conduct B.ED Course at DIET, Aizawl and Lunglei has been given by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE). The construction of new polytechnics under Skill Development Initiatives “Sub Missions  on Polytechnic” Scheme at Champhai and Kolasib are completed. In the meantime construction of new Polytechnics under the same Scheme at Lawngtlai, Mamit and Siaha are under ongoing construction. Govt. Hrangbana College and Govt. Zirtiri Residential Science College are approved for upgradation to Model Degree College for funding @ Rs. 400 lakhs by the Project Approval Board of RUSA, MHRD. Under RUSA Infrastructure grant component, 21-Govt. Colleges in the state are approved for RUSA funding @ Rs. 200 lakhs.

10.     For the first of its kind in North East India, 50 bedded integrated  AYUSH Hospital at Thenzawl was inaugurated on 27th Oct., 2016. AYUSH has now 20 OPDs functioning at different levels of the health tier system (DHs, CHCs & PHCs). Construction of AYUSH OPD buildings at Haulawng, Hnahthial, Thingsulthliah and Tlabung have been completed. The State has now a well functioning state Drugs Testing Laboratory for quality control of ASU&H Drugs at Zemabawk under the AYUSH Department. Under National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) Sazaikawn UPHC and Chawlhhmun UPHC were completed and have been inaugurated.  The Government has been making effort to establish a Medical College “Mizoram Institute of Medical Education & Research” (MIMER) by upgrading the existing  infrastructure of State Referral Hospital, Falkawn with an approved cost of Rs.189.00 crores along with a funding pattern of 90:10. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (Cancer Research Section), Govt. of India has conveyed an Administrative Approval of Rs.44.27 crores with a funding pattern of 90:10 for upgradation of the existing Mizoram State Cancer Institute, Zemabawk, Aizawl. 200 bedded Hostel for Mizoram College of Nursing, Falkawn was inaugurated on 2nd June, 2017. Upgradation of District Hospital Siaha and Lawngtlai Hospital are also underway. Joint Task Force to formulate important policy action plan and workout strategies for the ‘Joint Operation on Contraband Cigarettes and other Illegal Tobacco Products’ was constituted on 19th September, 2016. Mizoram State Aids Control Society has been implementing programmes for prevention as well as for providing Care and Support for those already infected with the virus. Currently, the State has 37 HIV testing centres which includes 28 HIV testing centres and 9 mobile testing services.

11.     Rural Development and Rural Poverty Alleviation is another priority of the government. Under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) the daily wages for unskilled manual works in Mizoram has been enhanced to Rs. 194 per day from the existing rate or Rs.188. Mizoram received the Gold Medal for being amongst the 12 best states in implementation of Indira Awaaz Yojana (IAY)/Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) which provides financial assistance for construction and upgradation of houses to rural household living below the Poverty Line. Mizoram has also been awarded Outstanding Performance (in the category of NE States) for excellence in implementation of the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) as well as standing 2nd in the country next to Andra Pradesh. This Scheme is implemented in two RD Blocks -Aibawk Cluster and Thingsulthliah Cluster.

Under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP), the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Border Management has released Rs. 4611.66 lakhs for taking up of 572 nos. of various kind of works. Under Non-Lapsable Pool Resources (NLCPR) several projects like construction of Mini Sports Complex at E. Lungdar, Construction of Multi-Shopping Complex at Saitual and Khawbung and construction of Market Building at Vairengte are in full swing.       

12.     The Government has taken up urban development on various fronts, such as (i) Urban Governance, (ii) Urban infrastructures, (iii) Urban Planning, (iv) Urban Sanitation, (v) Urban Transportation & Mobility, and (vi) Urban Poverty Alleviation. These issues facing urbanization have been addressed in various means and forms. This includes support of the Government of India under Central Schemes and Missions. The Government has also taken up various State Sector projects under the Annual Plans and for counterpart funding of Central Sector Schemes. We have now entered a new urban era, with the announcement of 5 key Central Sector Mission namely Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Housing For All (Urban) and Smart Cities Mission. The State Government has successfully competed in the Smart City Competition conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The state will receive Rs.500 crores for the implementation of Aizawl Smart City Proposal. The government has also taken initiatives under NEDP for creation of various urban infrastructures needed in Aizawl such as construction of Modular Gallery at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium etc. Under ADB-assisted NERCCDIP, a total cost project of Rs.698.17 crores is being invested for various infrastructures in 3 Tranches for water supply, sewerage and solid waste management. Aizawl City is expected to achieve 24X7 Water Supply, Proper treatment of sewerage and scientific management of municipal solid wastes.

Besides these, SIPMIU has also procured 54 Nos. of garbage vehicles for the management and disposal of solid waste in Aizawl City.

13.     State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) has been finalized and 3 Climate Change Projects from departments – Agriculture, Ud&PA, EF&CC have been submitted to MoEFCC, Govt. of India. Out of these, Agriculture department’s project, ‘Sustainable agriculture development through expansion, enhancement & modelling ’ has been approved and it will cover 4 districts. The cost of the project is Rs 10 crores. EF&CC department has been executing two CSS for wildlife management viz Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat (IDWH) covering 10 Protected Areas. On Green Mizoram Day, 2017, 74,454 nos. of seedlings have been planted.

14.     Lengpui Airport Commissioned on 12th December, 1998 is now well connected with important cities in the country. There is a direct flight between Delhi and Mumbai besides Guwahati & Kolkata. Air India, Jet Airways and Spice Jet are presently operating scheduled operations and Indigo, Deccan Chartered Zoom Air and IIC Technologies (Air Charter) had submitted proposals to introduce their respective service to Lengpui Airport in the coming months. The need to have an airport in the southern portion of Mizoram is felt for a long time . A preliminary survey was conducted at New Latawh hillock located between Siaha & Lawngtlai with a positive result. Hence, preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) is under process. Construction of state own’s helipad is almost completed at Mualpui near Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

15.     The Government has received allocation of subsidies food stuff to the tune of 5478.93 MT monthly from Government of India under the programme of Food Security for distribution to beneficiaries viz. AAY and PHH. FCS&CA Department has undertaken procurement of 70000.00 qtls. per month from Local Purchase for distribution to beneficiary of Non-NFSA. Advanced stocking of rice has been made for the period from May, 2017 to September 2017 in the selected 46 (forty six) supply centres covering 207 villages which are inaccessible during rainy season. Currently, digitization of all District Offices, Supply Go-downs, Depots and Ration Cards had already been completed .As per IOCL Guidelines, adopted in the recent year. Refill Booking System (Online Refill) is partially introduced within the State w.e.f 19.6.2017 especially in Aizawl City and District Capitals.

16.     Civil works for construction of new Aizawl District Court building at New secretariat Complex, Aizawl is underway with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 23.60 crores. Project for construction of High Court Building at New Secretariat Complex at an estimated cost of Rs.4624.12 lakhs has been approved by the Ministry of DoNER under NLCPR. Contractor has been selected and work order has also been issued and work has started. Construction of Judicial Quarters at Kolasib with an estimated expenditure of Rs.502.73 lakhs has been completed. Action for establishment of Lokayukta is being taken up actively. Temporary office accommodation was finalized to be set up at Bawngkawn, Aizawl. Site for permanent office building is allotted by GAD at New Secretariat Complex, Khatla.

17.     Natural disasters are very frequent and bring immense loss to lives and property. So, in order to tackle these types of situations Disaster Management & Rehabilitation Department has made proper preparations by training 802 State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel in pre-hospital treatment, collapsed building structure, water rescue, alpine rescue and urban search and rescue. More than 1500 volunteers have been trained on Basic First Aid, Search and Incident Management at the  Community  Level. 208 YMA Volunteers and 55 Youth Adventure Club Members were trained on more intensive and comprehensive Disaster Response Course by National Disaster Response Forces. Mock Drills were conducted at Serchhip Town, Siaha Town, Kolasib Town and Gilead Special School. Rapid visual Survey (RVS) were conducted at Aizawl, Kolasib, Mamit and Serchhip District. A number of unsafe buildings has been detected and recommendations to concerned authorities were furnished.

Disaster Management Plans at different levels from the community to the State Levels and Hazard Risk Vulnerability Assessment of Aizawl District, Siaha District and Lawngtlai District were prepared. Geo-Technical Investigation of Hunthar Land subsidence has been conducted by Geologists from Geological Survey of India, Shillong and detailed Project Report (DPR) was submitted to the National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India for approval.

18.     NEC has accorded administrative and financial approval at an estimated cost of Rs.1024.42 lakhs for construction of Youth Recreation Centre cum Amalgamated office Complex for Sports & Youth Services Department at New Secretariat Complex and construction works has started. There are also various ongoing works and projects under NEC such as Sports Centre at Phulpui Multi Sport Centre at Muallungthu , Indoor Stadium at Electric Veng, Aizawl, Sports Infrastructure Development of Hachhek Area in Mizoram, Multipurpose  Sports  Centre for Northern Region of Mizoram at Darlawn, Multipurpose Sports Complex at Aizawl West Joint YMA Field, Vaivakawn,  Multipurpose Hall at Sihphir, Mizoram. H. Lalrinfeli, an Olympian Women Hockey player represented India at Rio Olympic Games, she also won Gold Medal with the Indian team in Women Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament in November, 2016 at Singapore. Jeremy Lalrinnunga won Gold Medal at Common Wealth Youth Weightlifting Championship and Silver Medal at 2016, IWF World Youth Weightlifting Championship at Penang, Malaysia  and won Silver again in Asian Youth Weightlifting Championship at Tokyo on 11th November, 2016. I congratulate Aizawl Football Club for winning the 2016-2017 I- League title.

19.     Sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, 12 members of Mizoram Folk Dance troupe participated in the VII International Folklore Contest- Festival ‘Flower of the Sun’ from 30th June to 6th July, 2017 held in Lithuania. Our talented troupe representing India won the 3rd Prize. Mizo Typical Village (Zokhua) at Falkawn was reconstructed with the fund received from 13th Finance Commission.

20.     ICT Department has received Skoch Award in Smart Governance for the year 2016 and received Skoch Platinum Award for E-District Project and Content Management System(CMS). The department also received Skoch Award in Inventory Management System which is implemented in Secretariat. Mizoram State Wide Area Network (SWAN) has connected 42 Point of Presence (PoPs) across the state and has been the backbone for connecting various e-governance initiatives. Mizoram has 136 Common Service Centre e-service delivery outlet across the state. The government has set up 300 RIKs in rural areas of Mizoram for facilitating e-Service delivery. E-Office in Government of Mizoram was inaugurated on 15th November, 2016 and UD&PA Department was the first to use it. ‘Improvement of Internet Connectivity in the Capital City & District Headquarters’ and ‘Improvement in ease of doing business and improvement in public service delivery through ICT’ will be implemented under NEDP.

21.     At present 8,59,283 people have been enrolled in the Biometric Enrollment (BME) for Generation of Aadhaar on 8.7.2017, which is 73.50% of the projected population of Mizoram. Digitization of Analog Cable TV Network in Mizoram is carried out in Mizoram in two Phases-Phase III, which covers 23 towns and phase IV which covers all rural areas.

22.     With a view to encourage participation from private sector in the tourism industry, privatization or outsourcing of management of various tourist facilities has been carried out and so far 12 tourist facilities have been let out to interested individuals for a tenure of 10-15 years. During 2016-2017 Lodges at Amobyu (New Maubawk), Saikao (Serkawr), Zyhno (Zawngling), Phura, New Laty (New Latawh), No-Aotla (Niawhtlang) and Chakhei (Chakhang) were inaugurated. Sanction amounting to Rs.9907.00 lakhs under Swadesh Dharshan Scheme for Development of Eco Adventure Mamit-Aizawl was received and work has started.

23.     The government has enforced the Mizoram Goods & Services Tax Act 2017 in Mizoram with effect from 1st July, 2017. It is expected that the GST will help in getting more revenue in the coming years.

I take this opportunity to felicitate all the NGO’s, Churches, the General Public and the Media for their immense support and for reposing their faith in the Government. I am grateful to the parade contingents, the students and all the people who have gathered here today.

To protect the environment of communal harmony in the state, we must rise above personal or political interests and build consensus on issues of vital importance. We will not let the dream of our freedom fighters go to waste, but convert their dreams to reality. I know that if we join hands and work together, we can face any challenge.