TODAY -

House passes seven demands for Rs 701 crores
Health Minister responds 'poorly' to Opposition's questions

Source: Hueiyen News Service / NNN

Imphal, July 07 2015 : Manipur Legislative Assembly passed six demands for a total budget of Rs 701,38,71,000 on Tuesday.

Also, the Health Minister had a bad day as he failed to give satisfactory responses to the queries from the Opposition MLAs in the House.

The demands and their respective budgets are Rs 494,39,36,000 for Medical, Health and Family Welfare Services; Rs 93,92,66,000 for Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development; Rs 21,48,70,000 for Co-operation; Rs 54,12,01,000 for Administration of Justice; Rs 5,36,78,000 for Stationery and Printing; Rs 3,99,01,000 for Science and Technology; and Rs 28,10,19,000 for Information Technology.

Policy cuts were brought up by Opposition MLAs L Ibomcha, Dr I Ibohalbi, Th Shyamkumar and K Shyam during the discussion of the above demands.

The cuts included Discrepancy in the Manipur Health Services Rules, inability to fill up vacant posts, giving freehand to Government doctors in private practice, Improper functioning of PHCs and PHSCs, faulty drainage system of Imphal city, failure to appoint CEO of the State Co-operative Bank, among others.

MLA L Ibomcha said that since the Government fails to stop Government hospital doctors from practising in private hospitals, it would be better to officially permit them to carry on it.

Tripura has permitted two hours of duty daily in private hospitals to its Government servants and the duration is six hours on Sundays, he added.

He also suggested deducting salary from those 'lazy and unprofessional doctors' who are not willing to go to their posting places in the hill districts hills and giving the deducted amount to those dutiful doctors as increment.

Dr I Ibohalbi said, "The Manipur Health Services Rules must be modified as there are many faults in it.

"No doctors can be seen in Government hospitals properly.

On insistence, they would call the patients to the private hospitals instead, thereby troubling the patients who are poor and who are from remote places.

It is a common occurrence that patients are usually referred to private hospitals from Government hospitals and such activities should be checked," he demanded.

Th Shyamkumar raised the similar problem and questioned the Health Minister why almost all the machines are defunct in Government hospitals.

Responding to the above questions, Health Minister Phungzathang Tonsing clarified that the Health Department has improved drastically in the last few years and assured that the Government will try to find out why patients are referred from Government hospitals to private clinics.

Extremely unsatisfied with the minister's answer, the Opposition MLAS threw in a volley of questions to him.

Phungzathang could not answer all correctly and properly thereby showing his confusion and nervousness which was quite evident to the members of the House.

Also, on asking about the much-delayed inauguration of Andro PHC which was supposed to be opened way back in 2009, Phungzathang hurriedly replied that he will inaugurate the centre by this month.

This invited strange looks from all the members of the House to him.

On the other hand, House leader and Chief Minister Ibobi said, "Proper tax collections will be a possibility now as the Government has constituted a Property Tax Board to collect various taxes from in and around Imphal city" .

He also added that the Government's plan to provide proper space to street vendors has been disturbed by the incident of finding human skulls from Tombisana High School and this hampered the construction work of the market shed.


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