GANGTOK, March 24 - The curtailed budget session of the Sikkim Assembly concluded today, during which the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 was passed by the House.
Chief Minister PS Tamang stated that the budget for this year is people-centric in which maximum priority has been given to health, education, youth, and development of vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society.
Two Bills � the Sikkim Panchayat (Amendment) Bill and the Sikkim State University (Amendment) Bill � were unanimously passed by the House. The Panchayat Amendment Bill states that elections to local bodies, including rural/urban, will not be based on any political parties so that people will choose their best representatives. The Sikkim State University (Amendment) Bill provides more autonomy to the State.
During the discussion on the motion of thanks and the budget, the Chief Minister stated that there would be skilled youth development scheme aimed at skilled unemployed youths. Similarly, schemes for unskilled youths will be launched to empower them.
Under the Sikkim Policy 2020, the Government will provide up to Rs 20 lakh to all regional and local filmmakers who will shoot 75 per cent of their films within the State with 50 per cent local artists.
Old age pension will also be increased and provided every month from April onwards, while the widow pension will be provided instantly.
�Incentives will be provided to farmers and we will introduce schemes for the horticulture and agriculture sectors. For contractual works up to Rs 5 crore, women contractors need not pay TDR fees. For contractual works above Rs 5 crore, women contractors will have to pay only 50 per cent of the TDR amount.
Preference will be given to local people for hydropower projects up to 5 MW. There will be increase in funds under the Sikkim Garib Awas Yojana, providing for well-furnished homes for the poor which will also include a television.
International and national exposure and educational tours for principals, headmasters/mistresses and students to educate and improve level of education will also be undertaken.