Sikkim: Reform Call terms Bills passed in the Assembly 'irresponsible acts’
Reform Call at a press meeting

Gangtok: The Ganesh Rai-led faction, Reform Call, has raised concerns about the amendment of the Sikkim Public Demands Recovery Bill and the introduction of the Sikkim Public Service Delivery (Right to Service) Bill.

Reform Call asserted, “The government doesn’t have legal knowledge. These Bills that were passed prove so.” It has termed the new Bill, and the amendment of an existing Bill passed in the latest Legislative Assembly session as ‘irresponsible acts’.

Speaking about the amendment of the Sikkim Public Demands Recovery Bill, Reform Call spokesperson Mahesh Rai stated, “The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha  (SKM) government has amended the Bill only to target people of the previous government. They are forgetting that the same act will affect loan defaulters from the SKM as well. The law is merely a threat to loan defaulters from the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) regime and also a trap for SKM supporters. The act is irresponsible from the perspective of not listening to the side of the loan defaulters. They have vested immense powers to the District Magistrate with no consideration for arbitration.”

Asked if the statement given is to somehow safeguard Reform Call leader Ganesh Rai, who was part of the SDF previously, Mahesh Rai stated, “If they (Ganesh Rai and Prashant Babu Chettri) are found to be loan defaulters, the law should take its course. Even if they have defaulted, they are accountable to the state exchequer. If they have taken money from the State Bank of Sikkim and not returned it, they should be punished. The law shouldn’t be targeted towards former SDF supporters, as it is in the present scenario.”

The new Sikkim Public Service Bill passed by the government takes the reference to Bill’s Section 4 read with sub-sections 1 and 2, which mentions, “Subject to legal, technical and financial feasibility to obtain public services.”

Mahesh Rai challenged, “If public services are not legally, technically, and financially feasible, will the government services to the people? It means that the services will be provided only if the three feasibility requirements are met. If not, the government has no obligation towards their responsibility of public services.”

Reform Call also raised concerns over the vehicle distribution carried out by Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay, questioning, “Who are these well-wishers that are providing these vehicles, if it is not from the consolidated fund of the government? They may be aiding people currently, but such favours also raise concerns over whether these well-wishers will be seeking other favours from the government in future. They could be favoured for contractual work or other benefits from the government that seems to have forgotten the code of conduct which prohibits favours or gifts above Rs 5000 to be received by ministers. How can the CM give such a statement in the Assembly?”

Reform Call said this will put the CM in trouble in days to come.

Highlighting the “Moto Rakam (big money)” reference of CM’s Economic Advisor, Mahendra P Lama a few months ago, Reform Call stated, “Moto Rakam mentioned by Lama seems to be the Rs 1589 crore loan taken by the government in these 3 years. The government has formed the Economic Revival Committee which needs to make a tangible report public. Where will the loan amount be spent or has been spent so far in the state, the government should come out with a white paper? People must ask whether this money is spent within the boundary of the state or beyond.”

Reform Call reiterated that it will be floating a political party by the end of 2022.

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