Gangtok: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday promised government jobs for all unemployed youth within 100 days, if voted to power.
Releasing its manifesto ahead of Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the main opposition party in the state said, “Regular government jobs will be given to all unemployed youth of Sikkim within 100 days of forming the SKM government. Those who cannot be given government jobs will be provided with Rs 10,000 as monthly unemployment stipend till they get into government service.”
SKM chief PS Golay said that the party has consulted with “economists and financial experts” on how to arrange the funds. “A law will be passed by the cabinet and in the Legislative Assembly for providing government jobs to all unemployed persons and also unemployment stipend,” he added.
On the proposed Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme by ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), and a similar bid by the Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) labelled as Sikkim Samman Yojana, Golay said that the state, at the moment is not financial capable of implementing such a scheme. Hence, promising such a plan would be a plain lie.
However, he added, “Our manifesto contains the spirit of UBI for the people of Sikkim. Our programmes ensure that income is reached to each household in Sikkim without implementing UBI,”
Asked about how funds would be managed for such programmes, Golay said the SKM has made all preparations on getting the funds. We are confident on this and we will reveal our preparations to the public after forming the government, he said.
Regarding the influx issue in the state, the SKM president said, “A Local Protection Act would be framed by the SKM government to stop influx and to secure the interests of the Sikkimese youth.
Golay added that the ruling SDF party failed to bring the Local Protection Act despite being in government for past 25 years. He maintained that the SKM party is totally committed for protection of Article 371F, old laws, political rights of the Bhutia-Lepcha communities and revenue order No. 1.
The manifesto mentions that SKM delegations led by Golay had repeatedly gone to Delhi after 2014 and submitted memorandums to Central government for Limboo-Tamang seats reservation in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. However, due to the unclear stand, double standard and incorrect documents by the SDF government were not reserved, said SKM.
“The SKM has managed to form good relations with the Centre who has assured to give early Limboo-Tamang seats once the SKM government is formed,” said Golay.
Golay also promised income tax exemption to the old business community and said that the SKM will consult with the old business community and set up a cut-off year to get income tax exemption.
After coming to power, the SKM party will remove all inconsistencies over the tribal status demand of the 11 left-out communities of Sikkim and deliver the ST status to them, said the SKM president. He also promised special provisions for protection of the Sherpa community lands and to work for restoration of the lost Nepali seats in the Assembly.
The manifesto further proposes many lucrative initiatives for the youth, students and economically weaker sections among others.
Highlights from SKM’s election manifesto 2019:
* Government jobs to all unemployed youth within 100 days of forming the government.
* Those hired under ‘One Family, One Job’ scheme as casual government workers will be regularised within 100 days.
* Rs 5 lakh to female head of each family to be deposited in a period of 5 years.
* Dzongu will be kept free from external intervention. The bio-diversity, culture and tradition of Dzongu will be protected and developmental measures would be undertaken.
* Regularisation of ad hoc teachers who have worked for more than five years, after giving one-time relaxation in NCTE criteria.
* Pucca houses for all families living in kutcha houses. The government will give grant of Rs 15 lakh to each family, plus a colour TV and furniture.
* Loan waiver of up to Rs 5 Lank taken by farmers and unemployed youth and original documents of mortgaged asset will be returned to them.
* SKM will restore the previous posts and salaries of all the government employees who were regularised with a demotion and lower pay.
* Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB) will not be allowed to be implemented in Sikkim.
* Law will be made mandating 90% local employment in the power projects, pharma factories and other companies operating in Sikkim.
* Private companies in Sikkim will be required to deposit salaries of its employees with the state government for distribution by the latter.
* All Saturdays to be declared as government holidays in government establishments and private educational institutions.
* Soreng and Pakyong subdivisions to be upgraded as districts.
* Special project for addressing drinking water shortage in Namchi.
* Rs 300 daily wage for MGNREGA workers.
* No registration fee for mutation of ancestral properties.
* Haat Bazaars to be held on different days of a week in the bazaar areas of Sikkim.
* The HRD department will be bifurcated to form separate secretariats of primary education and higher education. A State Education Board will be established.
* The Rural Management and Development department will be bifurcated into two divisions.
* Laptops will be given to students annually.
* Minimum support prices for the farmers which will also give a rate of Rs 50,000 per maund for large cardamom, Rs 5,000 per maund for ginger and Rs. 3,000-Rs. 5,000 per hundred pieces of oranges grown in Sikkim.
* National-level football and cricket grounds in Sikkim.
* Well performing sportspersons in national level tournaments to be provided with monthly stipends.
* National players to be given opportunity to serve in Sikkim government in appropriate posts.