MPP meet moots 10th Schedule amendment
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 30: The 11th general conference of the Manipur People's Party, the State's oldest regional party has resolved to press for amendment of the Anti-Defection Law, request the Government to seek more funds from the Centre for economic upliftment and safeguard the territorial integrity of the State.

The meeting presided by party president O Joy and held at the MDU hall today discussed the Anti Defection Law of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution and decided that suitable amendments are needed to check defection of the elected representatives.

The amendment should be made so that MPs and MLAs can be disqualified when they defect.

The amendment is necessitated as a situation has arisen where the law seems to encourage defection; the meeting agreed and unanimously resolved to press the Centre to effect the amendment.

On the economic front, the MPP conference maintained that the funds to be sanctioned under the 11th Finance Commission will have a negative impact on the Non Plan money.

It resolved to press the State Government to seek more Central funds for improving the economic condition of the State.

The conference further resolved to protect the State territory and the press the authority concerned to ensure the same.

It also vouched for the amendment of Article 3 of the Indian Constitution.

Speaking during the conference, Joy said Manipur is currently facing acute financial crisis.

The State debt during 2001-02 is estimated to be around Rs 1500 crs.

The State debt during 2000-01 was Rs 1354.80 crs while it was Rs 1211.92 crs during 1999-2000, he informed.

Regarding the State Budget, the MLA said the opening deficit for the current fiscal is Rs 442.30 crs while the opening deficit for 2002-2003 is expected to be around Rs 571 crs.

Taking a dig at the Congress led SPF Government, he said the Government has already incurred an expenditure of Rs 128.72 crs which is not related to payment of salaries in just 26 days.

This shows the Government's failure to properly manage the funds and there is lack of transparency.

In view of the situation, the general belief is that the Government will not be able to pay salaries for not more than 10 months during the current year.

If the financial condition is to be improved, the Government should step up resource mobilization drive while at the same time obtaining additional assistance from the Centre.

Joy expressed surprise at the Congress' admittance of 11 MLAs to its fold recently.

Asserting that SPF Government is not a coalition Govt, he said the Congress taking the portfolios of Chief Minister, Speaker, Home and Finance is not the general norm for a coalition Government.

However, as the other MLAs had joined the party just for getting Ministerial berths, they could not oppose the dictates of the Congress.