Nagaland State Budget 2021 is "Contract-Oriented": TR Zeliang



Nagaland's Leader of Opposition T.R. Zeliang on Friday termed the State Budget 2021 as a “Contract-Oriented Budget” which is focused only on the "construction of infrastructure for various Government Departments".

Zeliang said this during the discussion hour on the budget speech presented by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio at the ongoing session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.

Zeliang pointed out that as per the Budget 2021-22, maximum profit will go to people at the helm of affairs, which is the People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government.

“There is no intention to bring in welfare-oriented policies and programs for the public of the State except construction related works. The Budget is hollow, bereft of innovation, and contains no plans and programs to ease the hardship of the common man during a time when the State economy has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Zeliang.

On the Indo-Naga Political Issue, Zeliang once again requested the Leader of the House, Neiphiu Rio to seek the opinion of his colleagues and decide on the proposal made by the Opposition bench to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee represented by all the Legislators, including the two MPs, if necessary to pursue and expedite the peace process.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that the Naga issue has always taken centre stage in all our deliberations, and “as stated in my budget speech, the issue remains at the top of our collective agenda”.

Rio said the House had a very positive discussion specially dedicated to the political issue on Feb 16, and thereafter, the House was able to unanimously adopt a 4-point resolution.

“The resolution committee includes honourable members across political affiliations and our unity has sent out the right message to our people and all sections of people who are concerned about the issue,” said Rio.

He further stated that the resolution reflects the desire and aspiration of the people and added that the word "honourable" means upholding the democratic rights of the people wherein the unique history and culture of the nagas are acknowledged whereas, an inclusive agreement should encompass all the nagas across so that solution is long-lasting and that mistake of history are not repeated.

Rio also called on all the negotiating parties for an early, honourable and inclusive solution and urged all stakeholders to constantly strive towards unity and oneness.

(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)