TODAY -

Cong MLA proposes panel of lawmakers
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 16 2020: Congress MLA Kh Joykisan has expressed keen desire that a committee of legislators drawn from both ruling and Opposition parties be formed for effective coordination of the fight against COVID-19 and the concomitant delivery of essential commodities to the public.

Speaking to media persons at his Khoyathong residence today, Joykisan said that the global issue of COVID-19 is a humanitarian crisis and the war against the pandemic must be fought collectively without any distinction between ruling and Opposition parties.

In order to win the war against COVID-19, it is essential to set up a coordination committee comprising of 7/8 legislators which would assist the National Disaster Management Authority, Joykisan said.

He went on to claim that all the 60 MLAs including the Chief Minister have been working to provide essential commodities from their own money in addition to the relief materials provided by the Government.

This is something which the MLAs must do being people's representatives.

However, if the Chief Minister is thinking about entrusting all the COVID-19 related relief works to the Chief Secretary by marginalising the MLAs, it would be hard to achieve the desired result, said the Congress MLA.

Noting that the people have been supporting the extended lockdown, Joykisan remarked that the steps taken up by the Government to provide essential items to the public during the lockdown is far from satisfactory.

An order issued by the Chief Secretary on April 2 said that 5 Kgs of rice would be given to each individual and 25 Kgs to each household in a month, Joykisan pointed out and added that the particular order seemed to be exclusive for NFSA card holders.

The Government has released NFSA rice for the month of April but the quantity of rice was lesser than the usual quantity.

On being enquired, the Chief Minister and the DC concerned assured that the remaining quantity of rice would be released soon, Joykisan conveyed.

The order issued by the Chief Secretary on April 2 mentioned that one Kg of dal/pulse would be given to each household.

Although it has been 14/15 days since the order was issued, no pulse/dal has been distributed till date, he said.

Quoting the same order which says that distribution of essential commodities should be done by the department concerned without leaving any room for middlemen, the Congress MLA questioned the Chief Secretary's connotation of 'middlemen'.

MLAs are people's representatives and they have every right to know about any step taken up by the Government about providing essential/relief materials to public, Joykisan asserted.

Either the Chief Secretary is unaware of the powers granted to MLAs by the Constitution or he is too egoistic, he remarked.

Talking about MLA Local Area Development Fund (MLADF), Joykisan said that not a single rupee has been received from MLADF even though the Chief Minister announced that each MLA would be allowed to use Rs 25 lakh out of MLADF for COVID-19 related relief works.

People from hill areas and migrant workers staying in rented rooms/houses are now facing extreme misery due to scarcity/unavailability of essential commodities, Joykisan said.

Urging the Government to ensure that essential commodities are available adequately, the Congress MLA asked the Chief Secretary to come out with an official announcement to this end if it is ready to shoulder the same responsibility.

The Chief Minister's trust in the Chief Secretary that he would work more effectively regarding COVID-19 relief measures has serious lapses.

People's grievances and demands are first placed before MLAs.

It would be quite misplaced if the Chief Minister is thinking that the Chief Secretary understands people's plight better than MLAs, Joykisan said.

He added that Congress party would not remain silent if the Chief Secretary's official works and duties are not transparent.


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