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Op-Ed

NPF replies to charges against DAN govt by NPCC

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By EMN Updated: Feb 26, 2014 10:24 pm
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THE NPF is issuing this press release in response to the NPCC statement that was published in sections of the media on February, 18, 2014, with a set of questions targeted at the DAN Government. As is revealed in this rejoinder, the people will understand that the Congress is completely cut off from reality and is unaware of whatever is happening. The party has time and again resorted to its old habit of habitually lying and trying to mislead the people with loads of unjustified lies and false allegations. Hereunder is the response and the truths:-
What happened to the promise made during 2003 state assembly elections by the NPF and its coalition partners of bringing solution to the Naga political problem within three months if voted to power? After 11 years in power, the NPF-led DAN government is still searching for that elusive solution.
Truth: The NPF has never made such an unrealistic commitment at any point of time. In the past the Congress has time and again raised this issue which has been denied and clarified by the NPF and DAN on several occasions. Every citizen of the State understands that no leader, politician or political party can make such an impractical promise. Always harping on this issue repeatedly exposes the lack of vision and intellect on the part of the Congress leaders in Nagaland and the fact that they are unable to escape from being habitual lairs.
Why the Ho’ble Chief Minister choose to remain silent on the entire Mukalimi episode when he is always quick to voice his support on issues concerning outsiders?. Is the Chief Minister unhappy with a particular tribe for demanding punishment of criminals belonging to NSCN (I-M), who had the audaciously to outrage the modesty of a lady or whether the chief Minister wanted the confrontation and bloodbath to continue?

Truth:
The shameful assault and molestation of two women by the NSCN (IM) cadres occuredoccurred on 21st December, 2013.
NSCN (IM) reportedly assured the Sumi Hoho that the three culprits would be handed over by 26th December, 2013. Failure to hand over the accused led to the holding of a meeting of all Sumi frontal organizations wherein it was decided that 25 able bodied men from all Sumi villages should assemble at Zunheboto in order to flush out the NSCN (IM) cadres.
On 27th December 2013, Shri. Kaito, Home Minister, along with Shri. Pukhayi Assumi and Shri. Vikheho Swu, Parliamentary Secretaries held a meeting with Sumi Hoho at Zunheboto in order to try and defuse the tension. However, no conclusion could be arrived at the meeting because of stone pelting on meeting venue.
The State Police was asked to immediately send forces to the various locations in order to control the situation.
On 28th December, 2013 people armed with weapons assembled at Zunheboto after which a decision was taken to proceed to Mukalimi in order to flush out the Designated Camp of the NSCN (IM).
The State Government requisitioned the assistance of the Assam Rifles in order to control the situation. In the meantime, 3 Companies and 1 Platoon of IRB reached the Mukalimi/Ghatashi area. While the Assam Rifles cordoned off the camp, the Police were asked to act as a buffer between the Camp and the public.
On 29th December 2013, morning, a team consisting of Parliamentary Secretaries, ACS & Commissioner, DGP and Home Commissioner led by the Home Minister went to Ghatashi to assess the situation.
On 29th December, 2013 afternoon, a Cabinet meeting was held at the CM’s residential Office where the Hon’ble Cabinet was briefed on the situation. It was informed to the Cabinet that Ex-gratia of Rs. 50,000/- and Rs. 1,00,000/- respectively were paid to the injured and deceased. Further, relief materials like rice, dal, blankets, utensils were being arranged for Mukalimi villagers. The relief materials were distributed on 31st December, 2013 and 1st January, 2014.
On 30th December, a good will team from Western Sumi Hoho also reached Mukalimi to try and persuade the mob. However, while they were meeting with the Sumi Hoho, heavy firing started and the public entered and over ran the NSCN (IM) camp.
Cabinet under the Honorable Chief Minister met on 6th January 2014, Kohima and expressed regret over the unfortunate incident leading to loss of precious lives.
Cabinet under the Honorable Chief Minister met on 16th January 2014 and approved the Governor’s Repulbic Day Speech which stated that “ The Government is deeply concerned with the shameful incident of 21st December 2013 and the subsequent confrontation between the people and the UG faction at Mukalimi and deeply regret and mourn the loss of lives and injuries to several people in this incident”.
It is a misrepresentation of facts to say that the Honorable Chief Minister did not condole the loss of precious lives or condemn the act of the undergrounds in the entire episode. The fact of the matter is that the incident was mentioned with clarity and conviction in the Republic Day Address of 2014. The Republic Day Address and the Independence Day Speech, are considered as the highest and most important statements of the State Government. The Chief Minister is the head of the State Government and the views expressed in these statements are definitely expressions of his opinion which are also mandated by the entire Cabinet of the State Government. These statements are delivered by representatives of the Government in every administrative headquarter throughout every nook and corner of Nagaland.
This has been the consistent stand of the Honorable Chief Minister and the State Government from the day the incident took place. There are no two opinions about the incidents and the Republic Day Speech has used the term “shameful” in rejecting the crimes.
All these Government activities are under the direction, advice and supervision of the Honourable Chief Minister, the question of Chief Minister making a separate statement or apology to any particular group, community or organization does not arise.
What action is being taken by the NPF-led DAN government on the plight faced by the Rengmas of Assam, who have been displaced from their homes in which they have been settled for centuries?
Truth: Hereunder are the steps taken by the Government on the plight of Rengmas in Assam:-
On 17th June, Nagaland Chief Minister wrote to Union Home Minister of India on the issue of the plight of the Regmas and called upon the Government of India to intervene on the matter. stressing on the fact that the Prime Minister represents Assam in Parliament.
Nagaland Chief Minister also wrote to Assam Chief Minister on 17th June, 2013 calling upon the Assam CM to look into the suffering of the Regmas in Assam urging him to immediately intervene.
Again on 28th December, 2013 Nagaland Chief Minister wrote the Prime Minister of India calling for his immediate intervention on the issue of the Rengmas in Assam especially considering the fact that the PM represents Assam in Parliament.
Nagaland Chief Minister again wrote to Assam Chief Minister on the issue and called for immediate intervention and address the plight of the Regmas.
On 31st December, Nagaland Chief Minister led a ministerial delegation including Honorable Deputy Speaker, Er Levi Rengma to meet the Assam Chief Minister at Jorhat to impress upon the Assam CM to look into the plight of the Regmas in Assam and called for his immediate intervention.
The Government of Nagaland donated a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs for relief of the suffering people through the Nagaland Red Cross Society.
Relief materials including 200 bags of rice and 200 blankets were also distributed.
Nagaland Government will extend further assistance for reconstruction of their houses by the affected people.
In view of the humanitarian crisis and the inability of the children to attend any schools or educational institutions, the Government has already taken decision to sanction Rs. 50 lakhs for the school located at Zunpha, under the aegis of the Western Rengma Churches Council.
Why allow a charge sheeted criminal Imkong L.Imchen to continue as minister? Is Imkong L.Imchen so powerful that the DAN government is unable to take any action against him?

Truth:
This incident is under investigation and will be heard by the courts. Since the matter is subjudice, it is inappropriate to make comments on the case. However the truth is bound to emerge.
Why corruption has reached its zenith under the NPF-led DAN government? What has the Government done to curb its menace?

Truth:
The Congress has mastered the art of accusing the DAN Government of corruption for the past several years, however all its accusations have remained mere allegation as they have lacked factual authentications. Whatever allegation on corruption the Congress has come up with, the government has always replied in a satisfactory manner by furnishing all details of any subject matter. The Congress, despite making several allegations of corruption against the Government has failed to pin the Government even on one single occasion. The Congress should not make allegations merely for the sake of accusing the Government but as a responsible political party, it is duty bound to furnish justifications and authenticity whenever it wants to make allegation against anybody.
Why there has been no action to curb the menace of unabated taxation that has severely crippled the State economy?

Truth:
Ever since the formation of ACAUT under the aegis of the Naga Council Dimapur, issues have been raised regarding multiple taxation as well as illegal collection by various Agencies including Government Departments. The Government has taken up the matter seriously on illegal collections. The Cabinet has discussed the matter on several occasions. Further, the Cabinet has directed the Administration and the Police to deal with illegal activities strictly as per law. A Committee was subsequently set up under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Nagaland, with Director General of Police, Home Department, Finance Department and other related departments as members to review the prevailing system of illegal taxation, and eradicate all forms of unauthorized taxation and illegal collections. As per decision taken by the Committee, all Police Check gates along the highway were removed. Recommendations were also made for real time surveillance at inter-state Police Check Gates through CCTV.
Why the State deficit has ballooned to unmanageable level despite enough budgetary allocation from the centre for the past decade?

Truth:
The deficit is well within manageable limits and is being managed appropriately. Moreover, the government is in a position to make all clarifications on any financial matters in the upcoming assembly session. The Congress has always harped on the finances of the State for the past several years. however the fact of the matter is that the State Government has always maintained a healthy financial status. A clear indicator of this fact is that the government has never defaulted in payment of salaries and pensions, including bills for ongoing works even once in the past decade. We assure the people that the financial health of the State is stable and there is no cause for any alarm.
Why drives the State Government on a borrowing spree with high rate of Interest from different financial institutions? Why loans and advances are taken well above the permissible limit to land the state into a possible debt trap?

Truth:
All loans availed by the State Government are with prior consent of Ministry of Finance, Government of India as required under Article 293(3) of the Constitution of India. The borrowing limit for each year is initially fixed by the Ministry of Finance as per the norms recommended by the 13thFinance Commission. Subsequently, the permitted loan amount is incorporated into the Scheme of Financing of State’s Annual Plan by the Planning Commission of India.
The loans taken by the State Government are not only within the permissible limits, but are also constantly monitored by the Ministry of Finance, who give consent after assessing the actual requirement from time to time.
The question of taking loans at high interest rates does not arise as the loans are taken from Central Financial Institutions only, who charge interest rates uniformly throughout the country as per RBI norms. Further, since the loans are contained within the permissible limit prescribed by the Finance Commission, the question of debt trap does not arise.
What prevents the state government from submitting the Utilisation certificates for 2012-13 which has affected the state allocation from the centre during the current financial year 2013-14?

Truth:
Nothing prevents the State Government from submitting Utilization Certificate for any of the CSS/NFC/NLCPR/Central Flagship programme etc. Although it is admitted that there is always some delays in its Utilizations as well as in submitting of UC, which is also happening in all the States, the Nagaland Government and its agencies have always managed to submit UCs for all the above category of projects/schemes, ensuring further releases of subsequent instalments of funds. The NPCC allegation is only a vague and generalised accusation without substance.
Why the state government failed to bring out “works Programme” for 2013-14? Was it a gift to the people in commemorating the 50th anniversary of statehood?

Truth:
During the current year 2013-14, the State Government had decided not to lay the Works Programme along with the Budget since the State Plan Outlay fixed at Rs. 2000 crore had included the components of NEC schemes and NLCPR amounting to Rs. 301.79 crore. Almost all NE States have raised objections against this decision, because this creates ambiguity in the Plan process, since such projects can be finalized only with prior approval of NEC DoNER Ministry.
Further, while finalising the State Plan Outlay, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India had given the assurance that a review of the State Plan allocation will take place sometime around September-October. Subsequently, the Planning Commission indicated that the contemplated ‘review’ might take place in January’2014. However, the assured review had not taken place till now. Since the State Government was waiting for the review, it had not laid the Works Programme till now.
However, it needs to be clarified that Works Programme is not a statutory budget document, and there is no mandatory requirement for it to be laid on the table of the Assembly. In fact neither the Central Government nor most States in the country ever laid works programme in the House.
Why is the NPF-led DAN government scared of holding local elections to municipal and town councils for the past four years on one pretext or the other? Is it a ploy to keep appointing NPF party workers as Chief Advisers and Advisers without any accountability and reduce the relevancy of these local bodies to a mere tax collecting agency without any visible development on the ground?

Truth:
The NPF led DAN Government is not afraid of holding elections to municipal and town councils. However, in view of the strong opposition by Naga tribal bodies and civil societies to the provision of 33% women reservation which was incorporated in the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 though an amendment made in 2006 on the basis of directive of the Guwahati High Court, the State Government and the State Selection Commission have not been able to hold the Municipal/ Town Council elections for quite some time now, as everybody is aware. It may also be stated here that sensing the mood of the public, the State Assembly has adopted a resolution in March, 2012 for taking the following actions:
Reference of the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 for review to Select Committee of the House.
Reference of Part IX-A of the Constitution of India to the Select Committee to scrutinize Parliamentary Laws to see whether they are suitable for application to Nagaland.
Suspension of statutory processes towards conduct of Elections to Municipal and Town Councils.
What prompted the State Government to downgrade 129 GHS out of 147 newly upgraded GHS?

Truth:
There was policy a decision to upgrade 147 Government Middle Schools to Government High Schools in Nagaland under RMSA. However, due to some delay in obtaining sanction from the Government of India and the consequential delay in the process of recruitment and placement of required teachers and staff, the actual implementation of the up gradation has been delayed in most of the schools. Hence, it is not correct to say that the State Government has again downgraded 129 of the 147 upgraded Government High Schools.
Why are the newly created/ upgraded administrative headquarters not fully functional after gaining enough political mileage during the 2013 assembly election?

Truth:
The factual position is that it takes time to create the required infrastructures, to make any new administrative headquarters, to become fully functional. But unless the Government takes a clear decision and notify a new administrative centre, then works on infrastructure building cannot be initiated in advance, without first knowing whether it would be declared administrative centre or not. Secondly, there are long prescribed procedures involved in recruitment and training of administrative officers to run the newly created administrative headquarters. It is policy of DAN government to create more administrative centres to bring administration to the grass roots and at the door steps of the people, but at the same time to follow all prescribe procedures in recruitment and training of administrative officers, and also to create the proper infrastructure before posting administrative officers, so that they can function smoothly, and not compromise the prestige and honour of civil administration.
(Issued by NPF Press & Media Bureau )

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By EMN Updated: Feb 26, 2014 10:24:19 pm