BJP celebrate Pema-led govt’s first anniversary

NAMSAI, Jan 23: A sea of people turned up at the mini stadium here on Tuesday to join the one year celebration of the Pema Khandu-led BJP government in the state.
Thousands of BJP leaders and workers welcomed Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju, BJP National General Secretary (Organization) Ram Lal, and others. State BJP President Tapir Gao and party workers from across the state also congregated here to be a part of the celebration.
Speaking on the occasion, BJP National General Secretary (Organization) Ram Lal declared that the Centre is committed to develop Arunachal Pradesh.
“Arunachal is the only state which got two smart city projects, in Itanagar and Pasighat. Our government will improve road, rail and air connectivity in Arunachal in the years to come. We are also committed to secure the international borders to give a sense of security to the people of the state,” said Ram Lal.
The CM in his address warned that he would not tolerate corrupt practices, be it by ministers, MLAs, government officials or party workers.
“Corruption is the only stumbling block, which if tackled sincerely, Arunachal Pradesh, with its resources, can outgrow many states in the country,” he said.
Reiterating that he has recommended a CBI inquiry into the infamous PDS scam that rocked the power corridors of the state few years ago, Khandu said it was just the beginning of his crusade against corruption.
“Till I am in office, I will not tolerate corruption in any form and I will not think twice to take stern action against anyone from ministers, MLAs, officers and contractors to a common man,” he warned, and informed that a Special Investigating Cell (SIC) has been instituted to inquire into the alleged irregularities in the regularization of teachers recently.
The chief minister also reiterated that his government will not compromise on law and order, no matter the issue. In a message, clearly meant for bandh-enforcers, he said bandh calls on petty issues and wishful demands will be dealt with sternly.
He called upon the people to cooperate with the government in its fight against corruption and bandh culture.
“Without the support and cooperation of the common masses no government will be strong enough with deal with such situations. Therefore, I appeal for your active cooperation and support,” Pema said, and thanked the people for defying several bandh calls, particularly in the state capital, in recent times.
He emphasized on his oft-repeated mantra, ‘Team Arunachal’, and asserted that without team-work no job can be done.
He thanked all his cabinet colleagues, legislators, officers, BJP karyakartas and the people for contributing their bit in strengthening ‘Team Arunachal’ and working together for the development of the state.
“All achievements and progress made in the last one year, I contribute to our team work,” he said.
DCM Chowna Mein in his speech said that in the last one year, the Pema Khandu-led government “demonstrated firm resolve to bring about a transformational change in the socioeconomic development of Arunachal Pradesh.”
He said that the state government is inspired by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a transparent and corruption-free government which is accountable to the people.
“The first and foremost agenda of the government is to reform the way the government runs,” he said, and added that several milestones have been achieved in a span of just one year in this direction.
“A major overhaul and change in the functioning of the finance department, expenditure and cash management has been well managed and for the first time in several years, we ended the last financial year without resorting to overdraft which had become the norm in the Congress regime,” he said.
Mein said the Planning and Finance departments have been merged into a single entity – the Department of Finance, Planning & Investment – to enable more judicious planning of resources. While extensive computerization has been introduced, the use of the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) has become the norm for centrally-sponsored schemes, which has helped in tracking expenditure at the last level, he said.
Mein also informed that the State Development Council has been abolished and lump sum budgetary allocations have been made to the departments.
“For the first time, SADA schemes were notified on public domain – that too as early as in July – so that we get the whole working season to execute works transparently,” he said.
The DCM highlighted the composite sanction methodology which was adopted in giving SADA clearances last year, based on the block estimates given by the departments, with the concurrence of planning, budgetary support, and expenditure authorization.
“It was done to simplify things so that departments could start work at the earliest, rather than bring each file to the Planning and then the Finance department, and to do away with March-end hustle,” he said.
The DCM also said that budget preparation exercise has been made participatory by consulting various stakeholders, including CBOs, and opened to public, “and even the budgetary allocations are available for all to see on websites and the Facebook page of the department to ensure transparency.”
He added that major governance reforms were brought in to ensure transparency and corruption-free governance in the state.
Some of these reforms, he said, are introduction of Aadhaar-based DBT model in scholarships and stipends; e-Marketplace for online procurement of goods and services; introduction of the Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board and joining the e-National Agricultural Market; introduction of paperless transactions and e-Office; and making the offices of the divisional commissioners (east and west) functional, “thereby starting an era of decentralization of powers and bringing governance to the doors of the people.”
Kiren Rijiju in his address said such meetings would help to analyze the performance of the government and improve governance.
“Arunachal is the fastest growing state in the whole NE region,” he said, and announced that the Centre is committed to develop the state.
Chief Secretary Satya Gopal and BJP President Tapir Gao also spoke.
Several cabinet ministers presented reports highlighting the achievements of their respective departments. A short video on the achievements of the year-old BJP government was also screened. (With inputs from CMO and DCM Media Cell)