By Arun Pratap Singh
DEHRADUN, 12 Feb: BJP member Vinod Kandari, today, moved the Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s address to the State Assembly, which was supported by BJP member Balwant Singh Bhauryal. Congress members had boycotted the Post Lunch sitting of the House and it was left to independent member Preetam Singh Panwar to criticise the Governor’s address and oppose the Motion of Thanks.
Introducing the motion, Kandari praised the Governor’s address to the House. He said that that the address captured the vision of the government, besides listing the achievements of the government. He stated that the address presented a vision for development and welfare of the state. He praised the digitisation of the revenue records and availability of online Treasury services.
He also praised the reduction of GST on local produce made from local materials like Ringal, etc., to 5 percent and claimed that it would promote local products. He further claimed that the government had a definite vision in each sector and towards all round development of the state.
He thanked the government for bringing in the Atal Ayushman Uttarakhand Health Scheme for those who were left out of the Centre’s Ayushman scheme due to ineligibility. He reminded that while over 5 lakh families were being covered under the Centre’s Ayushman Scheme, the remaining 18 lakh families would be covered under Atal Ayushman Uttarakhand Health Scheme. This was a very important step to enable the poor to get treated without paying in empaneled hospitals.
Supporting the Motion of Thanks, Balwant Singh Bhauryal praised the All Weather Road projects for Char Dham sites and said that this would help the state raise its revenue by improving connectivity. He also stated that that the government was committed to improving road connectivity to all villages of the state and work was rapidly in progress towards this objective.
Praising the Atal Ayushman Scheme, he said that the people of the state would greatly benefit and would be able to get quality treatment on hospitals without having to worry about money. Bhauryal praised the government’s commitment towards raising farmers’ incomes and for taking steps towards this objective through various schemes including 2 percent interest loans for farmers. To improve communication connectivity in the state, balloon technology was being used now in remote areas to improve signal transmission. He praised the Centre and the state governments for rationalising the GST rates and regime. Praising the government for being able to bring investment of over Rs 1.24 lakh crores through the investors’ meet held in October, last, he pointed out that even small scale units were being promoted by the government in a big way through arrangement of subsidies. He said that the government had shown that it had zero tolerance towards corruption in the state and this was praiseworthy.
Others who praised the Government in support of the Motion of Thanks included Dhan Singh Negi, Ritu Khanduri, Manoj Koli, Suresh Rathore, Deshraj Karnwal and Bharat Singh Chaudhary.
Independent member Preetam Singh Panwar was the only one to oppose the Motion of Thanks and criticise the governor’s address. He claimed that there was nothing new in the Governor’s address regarding welfare of the people. He criticised the governor’s address also for not mentioning the Gairsain issue. He added that there was nothing for the benefit of state agitationists who had suffered for the state and had contributed significantly towards the creation of Uttarakhand as a separate state. But they were being ignored. BJP member Surendra Singh Jeena mentioned several issues in the Governor’s address and pointed out these were new achievements, new schemes and projects. He was refuting the charge made by Panwar that there was nothing new in the address. The debate will continue tomorrow.
Private bills of Kunwar Pranav Singh were also introduced. Irrigation Minister Satpal Maharaj assured Singh that funds for the embankment projects he mentioned would soon be arranged and released to enable construction of an embankment on the Ganga to protect the villages in his constituency Laksar. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant also introduced a bill for grant of 10 percent reservations to the poor from general category of population. The government had earlier issued a notification on this issue to implement the reservation in jobs.