TODAY -

This is no time to politicize the pandemic :: NDPP (Nagaland Govt)

May 20th 2020



The NDPP is constrained to issue this press statement in view of the statement of the opposition NPF that had appeared in local and regional dailies. It is indeed most unfortunate that the principal opposition party of the state has once again taken undue advantage of the prevailing situation of the global pandemic of COVID-19 to make personalised attacks on the Hon’ble Chief Minister.

It is also extremely disheartening that the opposition NPF has also dragged in the local media houses by accusing them of having “failed to cover and report allegations and misinterpretation of the meeting”. Such callous and immature behaviour is unbecoming of the oldest regional party who are supposed to be playing the role of a “responsible” opposition party!

Though the NDPP as a party is against resorting to paper wars during these uncertain and trying times; the accusations raised by the opposition needs to be addressed so as to clear the confusion in the minds of the people if any.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister as the head of the state does have the responsibility of informing the people on the activities of the government including the current COVID-19 pandemic. At times like these, it is not possible to gather people and organisations often enough to highlight what the state is experiencing and going through.

Therefore, as responsible leaders, the Hon’ble Chief Minister and the Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister along with their colleagues had taken the opportunity on the official visits to the districts to not only inform the leaders of the various Civil and Tribal organisations on the governments plans and programs in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to highlight other current issues being faced by the government today.

In fact, the PDA Government has always had the utmost respect for the tribal hohos and civil societies, therefore our leaders have made it mandatory to have an inclusive approach and took the opportunity to fully brief the civil societies on the overall scenario of the State in a transparent and inclusive manner.

It is the bounden duty of the government of the day to keep the people of the state informed on the latest developments in the state, and who better than the head of state to highlight these to the people? Has the opposition NPF already forgotten how a government is run in the span of just two years?

Such belligerent, malicious and un-confounded statements made to mislead and confuse the people at a time when a pandemic has taken mankind by surprise with even the most advanced countries in the world grappling with the threat, is most unfair and irresponsible of the Opposition NPF.

The NPF have levelled various allegations against the Hon’ble Chief Minister and the PDA Government, amongst them the increase in the Cess on Fuel implemented by the government of Nagaland. However, let it be reminded that the decision made us the first State in the country to come up with this novel idea, and the PDA leadership should in fact be commended on this decision since it led to the Nation adopting a similar move days after Nagaland introduced this concept.

Being a revenue deficit state, solely dependent on the government of India for funding, it is only through such initiatives that we can increase the states own resources. It needs to be pointed out that one of the reasons why the cess is called “Covid Cess”, unlike other States who have increased their taxes on petroleum products, is mainly to ensure transparency.

This is because the revenues realised from this cess will be used solely for COVID and heath related expenditure. Many have disapproved and cast aspersions on this move by the Government, however, the advantages of such a decision will be realised once those revenues are utilised for development of heath and heath related activities in the state.

With the constrains of the financial position of the State and the economic condition of the country, it is imperative that we understand the realities of our lack of revenue and dependent status and move towards undertaking measures aimed at self-sufficiency and a locally sustainable economy. The pandemic has taught us that we need to move out of the salary economy, focus on the agriculture and allied sector and work to eat.

In this context, the NDPP welcomes the decision of the State Government in instituting a Strategic Committee for Economic Affairs. This committee will chalk new measures, strategies and game-plans for economic activities and it will also engage a pool of economic experts from various sectors to guide and advise the government on new approaches. The State Government is also undertaking several austerity measures aimed at saving the State exchequer from wasteful expenditure.

It is also unfortunate that certain individuals have taken to social media to spread hatred, slander and evil thoughts which are much against the tradition and culture of the Naga people. While we respect that freedom of speech, expression and opinion, it is paramount to keep in mind that these freedoms come with responsibility. Such utterances are highly condemnable and well and truly unbecoming which needs to be seriously pondered by all sections.

The NDPP once again reiterate our stand that this is no time to politicize the pandemic or finger point; but this is the time to put our heads together and work out ways and means to combat the pandemic and ensure the safety of our stranded Naga brethren as well as the entire citizenry. We have limited facilities, but we are making the best of the little that we have.

Our officers and front lines workers are tirelessly performing their duties and we should not belittle their tremendous efforts by casting aspersions on their endeavours. As our brethren return home from the other parts of the country, it is the clarion call of the NDPP that we uphold each and every one of them in our prayers during their travels and stay at the designated quarantine centres. Let us also continue to help our medical and frontline helpers by staying safe.

( Issued by NDPP Media & Communication Committee )
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by NDPP Media & Communication Committee who can be contacted at ndpppress(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on 21 May 2020

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