GANGTOK, July 31 - The third day of the Budget Session of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly began with the Question Hour today.
Minister in charge of Tourism and Civil Aviation BS Pant, while replying to a question raised by MLA Sunita Gajmer regarding funds received by the State under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, revealed that in 2015-16, the approved amount stood at Rs 98.04 crore. The amount released so far is Rs 78.44 crore and the expenditure till date is Rs 75.95 crore, he added.
The minister further added that funds approved for the Swadesh Darshan scheme in 2016-17 stood at Rs 95.32 crore and the amount released so far is Rs 73.21 crore with the expenditure till date amounting to Rs 36.96 crore. The funds received under this scheme have been utilised and are being used for many projects and at many locations, the minister added.
As per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the amounts cannot be used in other activities and the funds received under this scheme from the year 2014 have not been used for any other works.
Meanwhile, Minister in Charge of Health Care, Human Services and Family Welfare Department Dr MK Sharma, in reply to a question raised by MLA Aditya Golay Tamang, stated that the initial number of beds planned for the hospital at Sochaygang stood at 575, adding that the initial estimated project cost was Rs 400 crore.