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Municipal polls to be apolitical in Sikkim

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020 11:00 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020 05:30 [IST]

Municipal polls to be apolitical in Sikkim

SE Report
GANGTOK: Two new bills, six amendment bills and one appropriation bill were tabled and passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Monday.
An IPR release informs that Chief Minister P.S.Golay introduced the Sikkim Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill states that the State government felt it expedient to amend the Sikkim Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2010 in view of the decision of Government of India to allow additional borrowing to the State up to 2% of GSDP in the current year 2020-21 to offset fiscal hardship caused on the resources of the State government due to the serious negative effect of Covid-19.
The bill was taken into consideration and passed by the House, the IPR release mentions.
The Sikkim Municipalities (Amendment) Bill 2020, tabled by Urban Development minister Arun Upreti was also passed by the Assembly.
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill states that it has been considered expedient to amend the Sikkim Municipalities Act 2007, inter alia, to provide for deferment of the municipality election in the event of certain unprecedented exigencies like the ongoing Covid -19 pandemic situation and also to provide for provision to make municipalities elections apolitical. It is felt necessary to bring amendment in Section 12 and insertion of new section 14A in the Sikkim Municipalities Act 2007.
Education minister Kunga Nima Lepcha introduced the Khangchendzonga Buddhist University, Sikkim Bill 2020 which was also endorsed by the House. He informed that proposed university will be affiliated with the University Grants Commission (UGC) once it is established and functioning.
Lepcha also introduced the Board of Open Schooling & Skill Education, Sikkim, Bill 2020 which was passed by the Assembly.
The Sikkim Essential Services Maintenance (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the Sikkim Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020 were also passed by the Assembly.
Transport minister Sanjit Kharel placed the Sikkim Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill 2020 which was passed by the Assembly.
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill states that in order to facilitate the general public of Sikkim, the State government has deemed it expedient to bring about an amendment in the Sikkim Motor Vehicles Taxation Act 1982, by giving a rebate of 20% on payment of a one-time tax consisting a single/lump sum amount payable of the existing annual tax for five years at a time for all categories of vehicles.
This amendment of providing an incentive of 20% rebate would encourage the public to pay the one-time tax for five years at a time. This would spare the public from the trouble of coming to the Regional Transport Office every year and would reduce the footfall in the Regional Transport Offices. The amendment also provides flexible option of paying the tax for one or more quarterly periods, or annually or one-time tax @ 5 times of the annual tax either directly at the Regional Transport Office or through online payment via electronic medium, the IPR release mentions.
Likewise, the Sikkim Forests, Water Courses and Road Reserve (Preservation and Protection) (Amendment) Bill, 2020was passed by the Assembly.
As per the amendment bill, it is proposed to remove bamboos from the definition of trees in order to exempt bamboos cultivated on private and other non-forest areas from the requirement of permit for felling or transit under the said Act, which will encourage bamboo plantation by farmers or cultivators resulting in the enhancement of their income from fields.
Further, the Central government has amended the relevant section 2 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 by omitting the word “bamboos” from the definition of “trees” and there is also a direction from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India to all the North East States to carry out necessary amendment(s) in the State Forest Act accordingly.
During the financial business, the Chief Minister, also the minister-in-charge of Finance department presented the First Supplementary Demands for Grants for the Financial Year 2020-21.
The first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2020-21 includes 34 grants, with a gross additional expenditure of Rs. 45123.63 lakh comprising of Rs. 25422.02 lakh on revenue account and Rs 19701.61 lakh on capital account.
The first Supplementary Demands for Grants 2020-21 was voted and passed by the House.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi