Saturday, 21 September 2019 - Imphal Times

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Shillong/Imphal, Sept. 21

September 21 of 1949 was the day that the then king of Manipur, Maharajah Bodhachandra was forced to sign the “Merger Agreement”. The Shillong Times in its report said that Manipur was annexed by India, but what is most unfortunate is that intellectuals of today’s Manipur seem to be afraid of stating that Manipur was annexed to the Dominion of India.  This was stated by RK Bobichand, Deputy Director Free Press School of Journalism, while talking as a resource person on the One Day open discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement and Question of Manipur National Identity organised by Shillong Manipuri students Union at the historic Red Land of Shillong in Meghalaya today.

‘Red Land’ is the place where Maharaj Bodhachandra and his team were kept under house arrest and forced to sign the Merger Agreement on this day of 1949.

Bobichand further said that the people of the state of Manipur had agreed that Manipur was annexed by the Indian Union and that annexation was resolved as “Illegal and Unconstitutional” by a public convention held at GM Hall Manipur in 1993. However, the intellectuals and some high profile politician of the state are afraid to say that Manipur was annexed to India, he added.

“While we know that Manipur was annexed, and remaining silence without highlighting that the erstwhile Asiatic Kingdom was annexed by the Indian, will do no good to the state”, Bobichand said and added that our intellectuals and other thinkers need to research and write the truth that Manipur was annexed and not merged. Only then the world will know the proper history of the state as the world forum need documents and facts written, he added.

Advocate L. Jadumani, Consultative Member UCM, who also attended as resource person while speaking on the occasion recalled on how the then Home Minister of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel responded when the emissary of the Dominion of India, Mr. Prakash messaged him that Maharaj Bodhachandra declined to sign the agreement.

It was on record, Jadumani said, and added that the then Home Minister of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel asked Mr Prakash if there were no Army. This means that the Dominion of India was prepared to even wage war to Manipur if the agreement was not signed by the Maharaja of Manipur.

Jadumani said that Mr. Prakash was that time not the Governor of Manipur as his tenure was already over but was sent as he used to have a close affiliation with Maharaj Bodhachandra.

That time after the signing of the Merger Agreement at Shillong Manipur was annexed to the Indian Union on October 15 of 1949. The then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and the Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, has announced the merger through media and made many promise to Manipur. Where are the promises now?, Jadumani questioned.

“The event that took place here in Redland, Shilong is a clear example of Manipur to have been annexed by the Indian Union” Jadumani said. 

He further said that there is nothing wrong to be with India but in one condition. If Manipur and India have to be together then Manipur should have its own identity that have been inherited before it became a part of India and the identity and status of Manipur should be respected by India. However, if we see the attitude of India it is well known that the erstwhile Kingdom was reduced to the status of Part C state governed by a Commissioner.

Ningthoujam Munich Singh President, Manipur Sahitya Parishad Meghalaya & Regional Director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, who also attended as resource persons highlighted the significance of organising the discussion programme at Red land Shillong.

The One Day open discussion programme held at Red Land Shillong was attended by various leaders of students’ bodies including Dhanakumar Ningthouja President  SUK ,Peter Laishram, President AMSU, Pangambam Nilakanta President, AAMSU,  Sazad Bhuiyamayum, Vice-President MSF, Salam Akash, President DESAM, Yumnam Rajesh, Ex-President AIMS and Chongtham Thagamba Meitei President  SMSU dais members.

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Imphal, Sept. 21

Time and again irregularities for the appointment of engaged contractual post or regularization of the contract staff have been happening in the Department of Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department and so far no enquiry or no action has been taken up by the Government authority even as the Chief Minister had time and again promises to root out corruption from the state.

After 18 contract staffs of the MHID had been regularised as Gazetted officers in the department by violating the government rules and regulation, the government is likely to regularized another contract staff who was appointed by violating the regulations for appointment of engaged staffs. Source said that the proposal for regularization of the said contract staff is going to be approved by the state cabinet.

A class – I Gazetted officer post of Agriculture Officer (Chemist) in Fruit Preservation Factory (MAGFRUIT) under the Department of Horticulture & Soil Conservation, Manipur was engaged on contractual basis for a period of 1  (one) year vide Directorate of Horticulture & Soil conservation, Manipur, proposal letter n. DH & SC-1/820/2018 date 22nd June,2018 . As per approval from the Finance Department (PIC) Vide order No. U.O. 355/2018-2019/FD (PIC) dated 20/02/2019, the Government had conveyed approval vide letter No. 9/2/2018-HSC dated 7th March, 2019 for engagement of the said contractual post. The contractual engagement to the post was done without any notification or advertisement in the newspapers / media which itself is a violation for any engagement to the post, was a result of nepotism.

When the state is facing acute shortage of Government employment with many eligible candidates looking restlessly for a job, such an attempt will be a great demotivation and encroachment of their rights to fair competition for gaining employment.

Earlier, 18 contractual staffs in the designation of Horticulture Assistant under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme “ Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)” was regularised earlier by a Cabinet decision as class II Gazetted officer in the cadre of Assistant Agriculture officer / Equivalent in the State Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department.

While the matter of the regularization of the A.A.O.s in the Department is still in the High Court of Manipur since 2017 registered as case No. WP(c) 208 (2017) Registration Date 21-03-2017.

Till date as many 31 hearings was postponed without a judgment/final hearing. So, it becomoes apprehensive on the part of unemployed Agri/Horti. Graduates, if such regularization should take place in the near future

It may be noted that the present Government is claiming high on transparency and good Governance while on the other hand, such a trend of regularization in the Department of Horticulture & Soil Conversation, Manipur is in vogue.

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Saturday, 21 September 2019 18:11

GSDP doubled under the present regime: CM

IT News
Imphal, Sept 21

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the growth rate of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has increased doubled from 4 percent in 2016-17 to 8 percent in 2018-19. This was stated by him during the press conference held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
Briefing the media persons, Chief Minister stated that the State owned Tax revenue has steeply increased from 587 crores in 2016-17 to above 1000 crores in 2018-19. Such result shows that with the advent of the present government there is economic growth in the State, he added. Such pace of development and growth would transform Manipur into an advanced state in near future. He opined that the government could achieve such result with the love, support and co-operation of the people of the State. Once a bandh, blockade stricken region has been completely transformed to a region of economic growth, he added.
Chief Minister maintained that the influx of foreign tourists has been drastically increased from 500-600 tourists per year in 2015-16 to above 1000 tourists per month these days.
During the press conference, Chief Minister said that the government is planning to legalise Cannabis solely for the medicinal and industrial purposes. The State Cabinet would discuss the matter in the next Cabinet meeting. He also mentioned that other states like Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have already legalised Cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Chief Minister announced that under the ‘Start-up Manipur’ scheme, a new program called ‘Stand-up Manipur’ would be introduced to provide soft loans to SC, ST, OBC, Minority entrepreneurs of the State. A Facilitation Cell for enabling SC/ST/OBC/Minority entrepreneurs to provide information and assist the entrepreneurs belonging to weaker sections for availing the projects under various schemes of Government of India, he added.
Expressing the historic step taken by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on corporation tax rate cuts, Chief Minister said that all domestic companies would be allowed to pay corporation tax at the rate of 22 percent which was earlier 30 percent. Any new domestic manufacturing company, incorporated on or after October 1, 2019, will be allowed to pay corporation tax at the rate of 15 percent, he added. He maintained that no tax on buyback of shares in case of listed companies which have already made a public announcement of buyback before 5th July 2019.  
Chief Minister also mentioned that there would be an expansion in the scope of CSR activities. The companies can now spend 2 percent of the money on State or Union government incubators, PSUs, state universities, IITs, public-funded entities, he added.
The press conference was attended by Principal Secretary (Finance) Rakesh Ranjan who is also Principal Secretary to CM, OSD to CM Sumant Singh and other officials.

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Imphal, Sept. 21

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh appealed the villagers of Makhan Khuman area of Senapati District to maintain calm and refrain from violence. 

At a press conference held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today, Chief Minister appealed both sides to resolve the dispute through dialogue. Chief Minister maintained that the government has already held talks with one group and will hold meeting with another side soon to resolve the situation. He said that a Ministerial team would be sent to the affected area, if required. He maintained that prohibitory order under section 144 of CrPC has been imposed to control the situation and to maintain peace in the area.  

Mention may be made that some miscreants torched several houses at Makhan Khuman Village in Senapati district over land dispute last Tuesday. 

The press conference was attended by Principal Secretary to CM Rakesh Ranjan, OSD to CM  Sumant Singh and other officials.

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Imphal, Sep 21,

Sewa Saptah, a  programme celebrating the 69th Birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded today. The celebration was observed from Sept. 14 to 20. Showcasing of Art Exhibition, highlighting of the development works under Modi regime was the highlights of the programme.

The programme was held at Wangjing Wanngkhei Laikol. The closing programme was attended by Wangjing Tentha Constituency, MLA, P.Brojen, District President, L.Deven, Former BJP Manipur Pradesh Vice-President. Th.Jadumani, Leaders of 6 BJP Thoubal District  Mandal and Members of the BJP party.

On the occasion, speakers highlighted successful projects and schemes taken up under the first 100 days of 2nd term NDA Government. They take oath to keep clean, save water and avoid the use of plastic.

MLA said that the sacrifice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government had done the works which was not done earlier. He added that we should be proud and should feel lucky of having him as a leader of our country. 

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Saturday, 21 September 2019 18:06

Revisiting Sept. 21 (1948 & 1949)

The Manipuri people have every reason to remember ‘September 21’ for two historic occasions. This day of 1948 is important because a pioneer leader who was supposed to change the fate of the erstwhile nation had gone underground and secondly, it was on this day of 1949 that Maharaja Bodhachandra signed the Merger Agreement with the Union of India at Shillong.
If one revisit and dissect the incidents of September 21, 1948, at which Hijam Irabot was compelled to go underground, it would be easily understand that it was a matter of intellectual deficiency among the people of those time who had been following the leadership of Hijam Irabot that compelled him to go underground. Everyone knows that it was the incident that happened at Pungdongbam on that day where a policeman was killed in an alleged confrontation with the supporters of Hijam Irabot that gave chance to the then government of Manipur to issue warrant of arrest to him. But as per historical record the police team actually used force to stop the supporters of Hijam Irabot who came to attend a meeting organised at MDU Hall to oppose the India Government proposal for formation of Purbachal state by merging Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Cachar and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam  with Silchar as its capital.
Then, Irabot was already elected as representative of the Manipur State Assembly, but was organizing a protest meet against the India government proposal for formation of new state call Purbachal. Irabot had a dream for the future of Manipur. He wanted an Independent Manipur within the Independent India. The mainstream politician today interpreted the idea of Irabot’s Manipur in their own perspective but those who had been following the ideology of the great leader felt that Irabot wanted Manipur to be an Independent Nation. The debate can continue, but one thing that everyone understands is that Irabot wanted a Manipur an Independent nation. This is being stated as he was against the idea of merging few states and districts of North Eastern region to form a new state call ‘Purbachal Pradesh’.  
So, if the people and those close associates of Irabot, instead of asking him to go underground, stood by his side and continue the movement things could have been change.
A year later, that is 1949, on this day, Maharaj Bodhachandra was invited by the representative of the Indian Union and was force to sign the controversial Merger Agreement under duress. As per revelation of late Mayengbam Ananda Mohon, who companied the  Maharajah, the constitutional Head of Manipur of the Independent state of Manipur which have its owned Constitution and already have a constituent Assembly of elected representatives by conducting adult franchise, reported cried the whole night. Bodhachandra was forced to sign the Merger agreement.
The signing of the merger agreement has been declared as ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ after a series of consultation and public meeting by the people of the state in 1993. Well, if Maharaj Bodhachandra sacrificed even at the cost of his life by not signing the Merger Agreement then Manipur today would have been a different one.
Things that wanted to draw the attention of the people of the state is that 1949 was the time when Hijam Irabot was in underground. Police were hunting for him but he was busy mobilizing for a movement by building good relation with the Myanmar Communist Party.
If Hijam Irabot wanted to stay inside India and if his movement was just against the formation of the Purbachal formation, then Irabot could have ended his armed struggle and come out. But he continue his struggle and was even prepared for a mass armed struggle. That may be the reason for his return to the  Manipur. But unfortunately, the pioneer leader died on September 26, 1951  at Tungo in Burma , now Myanmar.
Why Hijam Irabot continued his struggle even after India had recognized Manipur and merged it to the Indian Union. If want look back to what he had stated, he always wanted Manipur to be Independent and as the merger means the shattering of the Independence of Manipur, Irabot definitely would have wanted to continue the armed struggle against the merger with the Indian Union.
And the unfortunate part is that most of the close associate of Hijam Irabot turn out to be bourgeois and joined the mainstream India.

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Mr. Pakinrichapbo (Advocate)
Samziuram Village, Peren Nagaland

Northeast Live News Anchor Mr. Wasbir Hussian in its Northeast Tonight edition hosted a live discussion titled “Way to Naga Peace” on 18.09.19, the panellists includes tall figures from Nagaland and Assam. Among the many questions the Anchor Hussian posed to the panellists, one particular question which Nagas should not just let it go without further deliberation was, “are you optimistic of an early solution to the Naga problems?” One of the panellists, Mr. Sushanta Talukdar, a senior journalist, also shared that the Central Government should not rush to the process fixing time limit but try to bring all groups together for amiable solution.
I had to come out with this small piece, as I am not optimistic at all about the early solution to the Naga problems. Some of the reasons why I cannot be optimistic of an early solution to Naga problems are as follows:
Territorial Integration
As an outsider, one does not have access to the plans of the NSCN-IM and NNPGs negotiators to bring territorial integration of all Naga contiguous areas under single administrative roof. However, more than twenty years of negotiation and statements issued by the NSCN-IM show that it continue to hold GoI responsible for the unification of all the Naga territories. Yet, after the breakdown of first negotiation with the Federal Govt. of Nagaland (1966-67)—for more consult “Why repeat the 1960s” by Benito Z Swu in Nagaland post dated 03.05.19—later rejection of Suisa Proposal by AZ Phizo lead NNC, GoI made its position clear that territorial integration is out of the picture. Its latest position on Naga territorial integration was displayed when Mr. R. N. Ravi, interlocutor turned Governor of Nagaland, informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in the Rajya Sabha (while sharing the 213th report on the security situation in the North-eastern States) that the Nagas had now reached a common understanding with the government that “boundaries of the States will not be touched” and “some special arrangements would be made for the Nagas, wherever they are.” (The Hindu dated 19.07.18, Details of Naga Agreement emerged). Of course NSCN-IM still maintained that “No integration, no solution”. The question is will GoI changed its policy within three months?
It’s difficult to fathom what comes next, unless territorial integration is achieved, NSCN-IM hold on the Naga tribes may not remain as it is of now, and only time and future will be the judge of it. Not to forget the mainland journalists and Manipur based media houses love to tag NSCN-IM as a Naga Government in exile. As such without territorial integration it is likely to remain as a Government in exile.
Honestly speaking Naga flag is really beautiful, more beautiful than the Indian National flag or the German National Flag. Thanks to our fine Rengma ladies and Gentleman who had beautifully woven and designed it. The larger question is? What purpose does the flag serves when Nagas are still placed under different administrative roof, where inter-tribe relations continuous to remain sour. We must remind ourselves that regionalism has bypassed Naga nationalism, most common Nagas feeling no belongingness with fellow common Nagas. What’s more, underground and over-ground decisions makers and general population are more focus on building tribe influences, and list can go on. Nagas have waved the Naga National Flag for more than 70 years, but can’t the people think how to wave off the diseases caused by our extreme love of our village, clan, range and tribe system. For many prosperous nations, their national flag had united the citizens cutting across ethnicity, language and cultures, but for us, village thinking, clan thinking, range thinking and tribe thinking had put the people in such a mess that the people still make unity call at this final hour. Ambedkar in its attack on evils of Hindu Caste system brilliantly pointed out that, “You cannot build anything on the foundation of caste.” Nagas attempted to build sovereign Naga Nation on the foundation of village and tribe, the current situations is the result of it. Moreover, studying the 14 Naga tribes living under single administrative roofs of the State of Nagaland, some tribes wanted separate administration on account of bad governance, etc. Such outcome within Nagaland is a subject for serious in-depth research and study instead of brushing it off.
For several decades, Naga nationalists could not carry out democratic debate due to the customs and habits of a primitive tribal man, a person will quickly label his disagreeing opponents as traitor leading to violent clashes. For a typical Naga man, raising his hand has become his second nature. But now, one witness massive changes in the behaviour of the Naga Nationalists of all ranks in different factions. Before dwelling on Naga Constitution, let me remind that GoI acted against the 16- Point Agreement on several occasion, for example in 1972, Nagaland was quietly and unilaterally transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs from the ministry of External Affairs (P-42, The Naga Imbroglio- a personal perspective by Charles Chasie). The Central Government curtailed the Nagaland State Government to carry out oil and natural gas exploration citing it as the “exclusive domain” of the centre, despite State Government claim of 371A giving power to the State. People may say Naga peace talks and statehood is different matter, but the people are the same. Will GoI feel safe to grant more power or autonomy to see the Indian legal structure getting destroyed at midnight after recognizing the Naga Constitution?
In such reality, if Nagas still dream of a nation, first step to save the idea of Naga Nation is to achieve territorial integration, leaving other matters to be settled later on.

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Saturday, 21 September 2019 18:04

Rifles Ex-Servicemen Rally

IT News
Imphal, Sept. 21

A mega Assam Rifles Ex-servicemen Rally for ex-servicemen of Manipur was conducted under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) at Khuman Lampak Stadium yesterday. The rally elicited participation by more than 1000 ex-servicemen from all the districts of the State including World War-II veterans, Veer Naris, widows and their dependents.
The aim of the rally, organised under the theme ‘We Connect - We Care’, was to connect with the veterans, strengthen bonds with them and also acknowledge their contribution made for the country during the prime of their lives. The occasion was graced by Lieutenant General Sukhdeep Sangwan, SM**, DG Assam Rifles as the Chief Guest. Brig DS Shishodia, Deputy IGAR (South), Brig Amit Kabthiyal, SM and other Assam Rifles officials were also in attendance.
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant General Sukhdeep Sangwan, SM**, DG Assam Rifles at the outset welcomed the august gathering and encouraged all the stakeholders to render maximum support to the veterans who have dedicated the prime of their lives to protect the nation.
Addressing the ex servicemen during the rally, DG Assam Rifles highlighted the contribution of Assam Rifles and various achievements of the oldest paramilitary force. The DG further highlighted about the year 2019 dedicated as ‘Year of NOK’ and various new initiatives under the theme of ‘We Connect-We Care’ undertaken by the Assam Rifles for the welfare of its veterans. The DG lauded the contribution of the veterans and the serving soldiers of Manipur who have immensely contributed as Assam Rifles soldiers for the security and prosperity of India.
The DG enlightened the veterans about various beneficiary schemes including the recruitment rallies, sports quota for recruitment  in Assam Rifles, reservation in various educational institutes/hostels and extension of Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) to Assam Rifles veterans. The DG informed all veterans about conception of an Ex-servicemen (ESM) Cell at every Unit level, adoption of Veer Naris and disabled veterans and outreach programme as part of which the Assam Rifles is identifying its Veer Naris and veterans Pan - India. The DG also used the platform to thank all the media persons, State Government and civil officials for their cooperation and attendance at the event.    
As part of the event, a felicitation ceremony was organised in which the DG Assam Rifles felicitated Veer Naris, World War II veterans and other ex-servicemen. An Open Adalat was also conducted by the representatives of HQ DGAR, Shillong to provide a platform for registration of grievances and their immediate redressal. Online as well as on the spot solutions of various problems and grievances were rendered to the ex-servicemen during the rally.
As part of the rally, a medical cum dental camp was also organised. 10 doctors from Assam Rifles along with 16 specialist doctors from RIMS, Imphal, 12 specialist doctors from Shija Hospital, Imphal and over 10 specialist doctors from the State Government Medical Department provided consultation and free medicines to the veterans and their dependants. The needy veterans were also distributed various medical aids like wheel chairs, spectacles, walking sticks and hearing aids at the venue.
A number of stalls were also setup during the rally to provide facilities including CSD, banking, Aadhar and PAN card registration etc to the veterans and their dependants.
The event was followed by lunch for all participants. The band of Assam Rifles, which was in attendance certainly brought back the memories of old times. The ex-servicemen expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the DG Assam Rifles for organising the event.

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Imphal, Sept. 21

We are taking a revolutionary step whether it be in the interest of the consumers of the country or the Food Department. This was stated by Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan during the inauguration ceremony of the Food Storage Depot at Old Cachar Road, Bishnupur today.

The Food Storage Depot has a storage capacity of 4600 MT, the foundation stone of which was also laid by Paswan in 2015.

Karam Shyam,  CAF & PD Minister of Manipur; Ravikant, IAS, Secretary(F&PD), Government of India,  Ministry of Food, CAF&PD; D.V.Prasad,IAS, Chairman & Managing Director, Food Corporation of India; Anurag Gupta, Executive Director, FCI, North East Zone shared the dais with the Union Minister at the function.

Appreciating the Manipur Government for doing a great job, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan

thanked the FCI officials for their work and team effort in bringing a full-fledged regional office of FCI here in Imphal by January 2020.Highlighting that 2 godowns have been inaugurated by the Prime Minister, he said that the Government will further try to open FCI godowns in almost all the districts of the North East.

He also said that he had discussed in detail NFSA issues, drought related problems and other related matters with the General Managers, ED & Secretaries of the North Eastern  States yesterday.

Paswan also mentioned that post machines have been implemented in 14 states of the country  in connection with the one nation one card scheme. While Tripura and Imphal have completed almost 100% and 86% targets respectively, Assam and Mizoram have comparatively achieved lesser targets, he added.

He also pointed  out  that the people of Manipur should try to get the benefits of Prime Minister’s Ayushman Yojana that gives 5 lakhs financial assistance per family in a year.

Giving clarification on the issue of black marketing of  essential commodities, Minister Karam Shyam   said that NFSA rice allocation is provided to the public every month through NFSA fair price  agents after getting certification from local organizations and elected members’ nominees. The process has been carried out transparently in collaboration with the DCs , DSOs  and local representatives and rice given on a second term basis only after proper certification, he assured.

Minister Shyam   also informed that the total monthly  rice allocation under NFSA for the state is 13, 380.740 metric tonnes out of which around 5,79,870 is reserved for the households. The number of beneficiaries is around 24,32,702 while the total number of fair price shop agents is 2,324, he also added.

He also stated that the land has already been furnished for constructing 6 more new godowns in Manipur.

It is really very unfortunate that for the first time in the history of Manipur, the price of rice per kg shoots up to more than Rs.50, he also said. He also assured that the current problem will be minimized  if we  get the 10,000 metric tonnes of rice from the Ministry that is supposed to be allocated in times of natural calamities.

Minister Shyam also clarified that the policy is now changed regarding allocation of SK oil . It has to be distributed per quarter to only those beneficiaries without proper electricity and gas.

In his vote of thanks, Anurag Gupta announced that construction of new godown at Churachandpur is in the pipeline and also mentioned that additional food grains are available under the open sales scheme in times of drought.

The Ministry of CAF& PD  has advised the state Governments to accelerate the process of computerization of PDS operations and integrate the software of FCI and State Governments at the earliest  to ensure end to end computerization of the process of procurement, storage and distribution of food grains and bring all round development to the North Eastern states.

It may be mentioned that FCI has implemented depot online system in most of its owned depots in the North East Zone. In 2019, more than 17,000 MT has been created in 3 locations of Manipur viz. Thoubal, Imphal East and Bishnupur.

Food Secretaries of the North Eastern States, related officials and staff of FCI Manipur and Food & Civil Supplies Department attended the function amongst others.

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