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Items filtered by date: Monday, 05 June 2017 - Imphal Times - A Daily Eveninger

State Assembly session adjourned sine die ; GST Bill passed; FM says consumer state will have quantum jump in revenue with the introduction of the legislation

Imphal, May 5: Part 2 of the first session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly adjourned sine die today. On the last day of the 2 day sitting, the house passed the Manipur Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill, 2017.
Even though both the opposition and the ruling have no difference to the passing of the GST Bill, hectic discussion was witnessed among the members of both the opposition and ruling. Apprehension on the impact of the Bill to the small time weavers and its feasibilities to the state of Manipur were the concerns of the Opposition Party.
Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, who is also in charge of Finance, clarifying doubts of the opposition bench, the GST Bill will give more advantage to consumer states like Manipur, where there are limited resources.
“Consumer state will have quantum jump in revenue with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax”, The Finance Minister said.
He further added that there is no need for any apprehension of small time handloom weavers as the introduction of the tax will have no impact to their business as GST can be imposed to only entrepreneur whose annual turnover is over rupees 10 lakhs.
Deliberating on how the GST will work, Yumanm Joykumar said that the Bill has been passed by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha after thorough discussion for the welfare of the people of the nation. He said the Bill is passed on the spirit of one nation on tax, so that there is no variation in prices of essential commodities.

Clarifying to doubts of some of the members, the Deputy Chief Minister, who is also incharge of Finance said that GST is not for increase of price of commodities but is to put uniformity to the prices of each commodity across the nation.
Earlier, treasury bench member, P Sharatchandra had stated that Center alone cannot fix the GST as it has to be decided by a Council consisting of Union Finance Minister as the Chairman and Finance Ministers of each state as members.
While elaborating on how the GST will benefit the state like Manipur, Yumnam Joykumar said that products which are supposed to be consumed by the state will be imposed State Goods Service Tax and the center will impose Central GST. If in case the goods transaction is between states then Integrated GST will be applied.
On the application of GST to Fermented fish (Ngari) favorite and most popular food item of Manipur, Joykumar said that as the raw material for making the fermented fish comes from outside the state there is no other option however, tax has been reduced to 5% from 12% after hectic argument on the interest of the Manipuri people.
On being asked about the benefit of the state with the GST, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who is also the leader of the house said that state revenue is expected to raise from Rs. 100 crores to 150 crores if GST come into force.
As of now 4500 entrepreneurs/ retailers have registered and more will do in the coming days, the Chief Minister added.    

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Celebrating Environment Day

The world over, “World Environment Day” is being observed today. And while the event is also being organized by various social organizations and Government departments in the state, a cold hard look at the turn of events over the years indicates more of lip service rather than effective implementation of suggestions and plans when it comes to taking up concrete and sustainable steps to reverse the ill effects arising out of damaging our natural environment. The theme adopted for this year- ‘Seven Billion Dreams; One Planet; Consume with Care’ perhaps encapsulates the growing concern being increasingly felt by one and all. Over the past few years, “Sustainable Development” has emerged as the latest development catchphrase. A wide range of non-governmental as well as governmental organizations have embraced it as the new paradigm of development. An in-depth analysis of the literatures and deliberations on the concept indicates, however, a lack of consistency in its interpretation or implementation. More important, while the inclusive nature of the concept gives it political strength, its current formulation by the mainstream of sustainable development thinking contains significant weaknesses. An inconsequent insight or awareness of the problems of poverty and environmental degradation, and confusion about the role of economic growth and about the concepts of sustainability and participation and the inherent relationship between these factors are some of the key issues which still needed to be addressed if any significant positive outcome is to be expected. The inefficiencies, inadequacies and contradictions in policy making demonstrated in the context of trade, agriculture, and forestry bears testimony to the fact that a more cohesive and sustained effort needs to be taken up. It is further suggested that if the concept of sustainable development is to have any significant impact, politically expedient indecisiveness will have to make way for clarity of purpose and vitality in implementation. But it is easier said than done. The existing political and social condition in the state calls for more pressing attention such as the improvement of law & order, improvement of economic conditions, not to mention the perennial struggle of sustaining self and family. While these pressing concerns may appear disconnected with the increasing negative impact being demonstrated more clearly with each passing day on the gradually degrading natural environment, the inherent relation between the environment and the social condition cannot be ignored. The interdependence of the two factors, as well as the importance of maintaining a proper balance between progress and environment should be highlighted. Progress at the cost of the environment will still drag us back to the stone age. No amount of man-made structures or infrastructures can replicate the unappreciated benefits provided by the natural environment.

Pride and Frailty: What Meeteis are of

By- Jinine Lai
No doubt, the Meeteis, in comparison with theother NE India communities, stand well ahead. It is both of physical and intellectual display. Possessed script and owned knowledge bank of Puya written in that script is not happened to many communities of the world. The historical character that introduced the game of polo to the world is a precious legacy. Many sports men and women make power house of sports in the Indian sub-continent. The independent instinct that fought back the British colonial power inked the Anglo-Manipur War and NupiLan. The historical exercise of universal franchise which had installed the first people government in the whole of South East Asia, the movement of revolutionary Hijam Irabot, unique Meira Paibis, phenomenon Irom Sharmila, undaunted Pebam Chitaranjan and individuals who take part in the struggle against the injustice highlight elevating endeavors for democracy and human rights. Rich art and culture, women-market, Sumang Kumhei, a good few professionals and plenty of journalistic works, etc. are recommendable domain.
Yet more or less we are spiraling into, getting bogged down somewhere due to our own weaknesses not merely external forces.
Hypocrisy:Since late 80s during the college-student elections, the youths were active in violent and corrupt tone. They had to spend a huge amount of money for the activities on the election day and days prior to the event. They opened camps, offered tea parties, dinner, blue films and to pick up students. Such self-inflicted practices at the height of armed opposition movement have been continuing. Even guns are active and many armed groups involved to get their ones won. How far they are qualified to condemn the same principle of sick and unfairness of the bigger size?
Quality of the voluntary organizations is of the very obvious dismay among the student bodies and civil societies. The office maintenance, paper work, finance, executing programs and administration are at lowest bottom, very pathetic indeed.
The attitude of majority of the volunteers who are coming out assuming themselves to engage in social upliftment and to fight against the social injustices sounds radical, gender bias and less educated. They are very reactive, they make their harsh voice against the female morality and the alcoholic beverages. They often attack small drink-vendors run by low income families. They love to check private activities of men and women in rendezvous. They assault the individuals found suspicious of having sex and humiliate particularly female. They demand female to maintain dress code. Many of them act themselves as mediators in private affairs of others and enforced monetary charges as penalty upon the victims.The manner which policing moral of others does more harm than the reformation desired, and they proclaim themselves more patriotic.
On the other hand I know some men, women who have concern about social injustices, corruption, failed government;most of them are young, do drink, are educated and liberal. They do care for others and take part in work of women empowerment. They love Manipur,have local aspiration, and look forward to good society. Are they patriotic enough?
The saying that Meeteis are lion is not case anymore. Real courage was not seen at the height of fake encounters killings. Particularly male siblings have not displayed their true courage when their dear ones got tortured and killed so unfairly. They have not reacted to the perpetrators as supposed to. They usually succumbed to the challenge and compromise the condition with the perpetrators. In fact, least numbers of human rights workers have come out to respond to the daily killings.Polarization: What we generally perceive as an activist and as a public was how responses have to be made towards the social injustices, controversial merger, militarization, human rights violations, mis-governance, corruption, etc. I had been participating meetings and actions ever since Apunba Lup was formed in a Sangoi of the Thangjam Manorama’s neighbors after she was killed in the summer of 2004.  What I found among the civil societies and groups was disputes and distractions. More energy and time have been given to the group oriented-non issues than real issues of the collective endeavor. I had assumed the polarization that active was among less academic community with narrow window outlook whom I had been mingled with. Sooner I got closer to more scholar, intellectual circle of all ages young, middle, old; yet plenty of split and polarization churning individual ego have been seen.    Then the time of social media which yields me more English versed young people of all sexes. I was hopeful to see their neutrality, liberal and more importantly their concern about the existing issues and challenges of contemporary Manipur. Oh my god! They are not less imperative in displaying their Id- ego which gradually repelling themselves from building a synergic force. To work themselves together for a collective bigger cause is appearing a real challenge.
This split and polarization cannot be taken for granted with excuse of enjoying democracy since it does not help to mitigate the challenges and move the things forward to favorable direction.
Worst Blood: Militarization by Indian Government has caused multiple damages to Manipur- ranges from of the sovereignty to human rights. Having said that even though the activities of the Indian armed forces and imposition of AFSPA underlie implications towards the unfavorable atmosphere, the role, behavior and character of Manipur Police Commandos have been found at the worst and at the most condemnable too.
The attitude of the individual personnel of Police Commandos is far ugly and brute in comparison with regular Indian army, CRPF and sometimes even with those notorious Assam Rifles. The level of atrocities, abuse of power, and the manner in which dealing with civilians is much disheartening, so terrifying indeed. They speak same language, eat same food and they have grown up on the same soil and environment. They are the product of the same society which produced the victims of torture and fake encounter likewise.  Are they shaped by the precedent behavior of the colonial typical police, or influenced and encouraged by the exemplary actions of legendary IG Romen, Cammando Lokhon, Jotin, Mobi, etc. In fact, the most killings and tortures were occurring during the reign of Chief Minister OkramIbobi and DG Y. Joykumar. Ibobi encouraged the police morale so horribly that Joykumar also got rid of reluctance in checking the police excesses prevailed at the time. Thus sooner than later commandos personnel have not cared the damned formalities and words of their senior officers. Even some higher rank English educated officers hesitated to deal with such notorious commandos.
Very interestingly army, CRPF and even some Assam Rifles men who speak different language, don’t share similarity yet usually deal with the public in less tensed way. They ask questions in responsible manner and in less hostile way. If someone can speak Hindi in functional level there is of course tension free and can deal such road frisking or house raid somehow. Yes, Assam Rifles are found usually much dangerous particularly if they are coming for late night house raid or operation.
For pretty long years, as a student activist, journalist and human rights worker I have been observing general character among the majority of Meeteis.  I found rowdy and unrefined attitude among student activists, member of civil societies, local volunteers, even journalists. When they talked to or interrogated suspects of an incident the manner they did likewise. Although I did not know about the Nagas and Kukis well, recently I do know they are not different from the Meeteis’. Pangals are likewise. This is evident that mobocracy is one living example kicked by this same sick trait.
The nature of such, our common character connotes various challenges encountered by contemporary Manipur.Hardly have we counted it as a serious heavy concern. This has been a suicidal act upon ourselves. Mere the game of blaming towards the other, external forces, Government of India has not been productive so far. Lack of introspection, retrospection and not acknowledged our own weaknesses do not help us in anyway.
(The writer is an Asst. Professor, University of Suwon, S Korea)

Nature does not need us, but we need nature for our survival: Chief Minister

Imphal, June 5: Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh launched the ‘Segregation at Source’ campaign at the World Environment Day celebration, jointly by Directorate of Environment and Directorate of Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD) at Mahatma Gandhi Avenue, Imphal today.
Under this new initiative, Municipal Corporations/Councils will provide two dustbins to every households and shops to collect wet and dry waste materials. Wet garbage should be put in Green dustbins and dry waste materials in Blue dustbins.
Speaking on the celebration, organised under the theme, ‘Connecting   People to Nature’ as the chief guest, Shri N. Biren said, “Nature does not require us, but we need nature for our survival.” As such, people need to take a collective pledge to conserve nature for sustainable development and survival of human beings, he added.
The Chief Minister contended that he introduced the initiative of fighting pollution and protection of environment when he was the Minister of State for Forest and Environment way back in 2004. He carried on the campaign when he took over the charge of Chairman of Manipur Pollution Control Board as well, Shri Biren recalled.
The Chief Minister further said that under this noble initiative known as ‘Green Imphal’, he not only planted many saplings around Imphal city but also cleaned Nambul river.
Sharing his views on possible environment degradation and health hazards caused by polythene bags, the Chief Minister informed that deliberations are being made by the State Government to impose ban on the use of polythene bags in the State.
Stating that keeping Imphal city neat and tidy had already been included in the list of tasks to be completed within 100 days by the State Government, the Chief Minister sought co-operation from the public in this regard. Maintaining that deforestation is the main cause for frequent landslides in hill areas, the Chief Minister urged the public to plant more and more saplings instead of felling trees.
He also made his earnest appeal to the public not to dump waste materials into rivers.
The Chief Minister also informed the gathering that the State Government had begun organising seminars to have brainstorming sessions of experts and scholars to find a road map to bring economic development in the State.
MAHUD and Forest and Environment Minister Shri Th. Shyamkumar while speaking at the function as the president said that people should understand the warning signs given by the nature. He observed that people would bear the brunt of the nature’s fury if they keep on breaking the nature’s law.
PHED Minister Shri L. Dikho, Parliamentary Secretary (MAHUD) Shri N. Indrajit, MANIDCO and MANITRON Chairman and Hiyanglam AC MLA Dr. Y. Radheshyam, Additional Chief Secretary (Environment) Shri Sambhu Singh and Additional Chief Secretary (MAHUD) Dr. J. Suresh Babu also attended the function as guests of honour.
The Chief Minister flagged off a team of volunteers who would plant 1000 saplings at different parts of the State as part of environment protection campaign. He also administered oath of conserving nature to the gathering during the celebration.
Later, the dignitaries also released a film on Blooming Manipur which has been taking up the task of planting flowers and plants in different areas.
Earlier, Shri N. Biren and other dignitaries also planted flowers under Blooming Manipur’s initiative at Ima Keithel as part of the World Environment Day celebration.

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NSCN (K) cadre killed

Imphal, June 5: A self-styled major of NSCN (K) was killed in an encounter with central security force at Gaijialon village, under Khoupum Police Station in Tamenglong district at around 2.20 am this morning. The deceased has been identified as Thaolung Thaimei. An M-16 rifle and 11 rounds along with a mobile handset were recovered from his possession.

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Save Loktak to save Manipur, says MLA Radhakishore

Imphal, June 5: Oinam MLA L Radhakishore has said that Manipuri civilization owes its growth to Loktak lake which supplied its abundant resources but if the present threat to its existence aggravates any further leading to its extinction then our culture, tradition and everything will disappear.
He made the statement while speaking as the chief guest at the World Environment Day celebration held at Yangoi Ningthou community hall at Loktak Khongban in Toubul in Bishnupur district today. The event was jointly organised by Toubul Youth Development Association, Global Science Club, Khoijuman and Centre for Conservation of Nature and Cultivation of Sciences.  
The environmental balance throughout the world has been thrown haywire due to pollution and other man-made factors. That is why climatic changes have become erratic and survival of humans is getting harder and harder. The world is witnessing extreme weathers everywhere and usual pattern of rainfall has been disturbed, Radhakishore stated.  
In our own state, due to disruption caused to environment cycle, we have seen that many local fishes, birds and animals have become extinct. Loktak Lake is provider of many of our essential needs and as such symbolizes our mother. If our mother is no more what will happen to her children, asked Radhakishore. Save Loktak to save Manipur, he said. Turning his attention to the school children in attendance, the MLA addressed them as pillars of the future and reminded that the hills provide us energy and air while the lakes provide food and other materials. He concluded, thus we must treat them as our parents.    
Radhakishore emphasized the need for intensive plantation drives in the hills, rural and urban areas as per the forest percentage recommended by the international bodies. He said the Pollution Control Board, for which is the chairman, is undertaking a week-long tree plantation drive.
Project director of LDA, Bhagaton and Adhakshya of BPC Zilla Parishad were the president and guest of honour respectively.
Loktak Development Authority conducted a tree plantation drive at Toubul in Bishnupur district.

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Cycle rally

Imphal, June 5: A cycle rally hosted in connection with World Environment Day was flagged off today morning by MAHUD minister Th Shyamkumar from Secured Building Complex near 2nd MR Gate. Around 50 cyclists  took part in the cycle rally which wind up at Yangoi Ningthou Community Hall, Loktak Khongban in Toubul, Bishnupur district.

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One-Day Legal Awareness Programme Held

Thoubal, June 5: Kairembikhok Students Union and Club (KSUC) in association with the Legal Aid Clinic Thoubal, on Monday organized a one day legal awareness programme Under the Manipur State Legal Service Authority (MSLSA) and District Legal Service Authority,Thoubal at Kairembikhok Mayai Leikai community hall,Thoubal.
Huidrom Doren Singh Nominee Pradhan Wangbal GP, Ak.Pramoleima Member District Legal Service Authority, Thoubal, Laishram Bimol Singh Nominee Member Ward.no.7 Wangbal GP graced the program as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.
O.Thoibi PLV,Thoubal delivered the welcome and Keynote address. Thoubal District Bar Association Member Md Zakhir Hussain (Advocate) and Advocate Kh Arunjoy Singh attended as the resource person. Topics like violence against women, Right to Education, how to get legal help free of cost and awareness of human rights and Food Security Act and PDS, crime against women and domestic violence were deliberated by the resource person.
The programme was participated by club members, women and students of Kairembikhok area.

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Environment Day at Kakching

Imphal, June 5: Celebrating the World environment day, a painting competition for the school going children was held today at Angaan Ching Park in Kakching District. Under the initiative of noted environment activist Ksh. Surjit Singh several saplings has been planted as a part of the celebration. Mr. Surjit had started planting of sapling since the last one year at different places.
The painting competition organized at Agaan Ching Eco Park was participated by over 200 students from various schools. Dc Kakching, SP Kakching, SDO Kakching, RFO Kakching, DFO Kakching, OC Kakching PS, Manager  also attended the programme.

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