SUBJECT : Import of vegetables from outside Sikkim will be completely banned from March 31, 2018, announced Chief Minister Pawan Chamling

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling addressing the Panchayat Sammelan.

Gangtok, November 22, 2017: Import of vegetables from outside Sikkim will be completely banned from March 31, 2018, announced Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Wednesday.

Making the announcement during the State-level Panchayat Sammelan here at Manan Kendra, the Chief Minister said: “There will be a complete ban on import of vegetables from outside the State from March 31, 2018. We have to increase our organic cultivation and make it our priority mission.”

With agriculture predominantly based on rural Sikkim, the Chief Minister directed the panchayats to spread organic farming in their villages and also announced that no government benefits or grants would be given to a beneficiary whose agriculture land is left fallow.

“Panchayats as ambassadors of organic farming should urge the people in the villages to take up organic farming, duly enlightening the people on the ill-effects of use of fertilizers and benefits of organic farming as a life saving and earth saving agriculture. They should guarantee that no agricultural land is left fallow and this should be a pre-requisite for availing government benefits/grants,” said the Chief Minister.

He also called for exploring new agricultural initiatives like vertical gardens.

The sammelan was attended by the newly elected ward and zilla panchayats. They were asked by the Chief Minister to work in cooperation for achieving the flagship missions of the State government.

The missions for 2020 were self-sufficiency in food grains, poverty-free State and self-sufficiency in dairy, poultry and meat, and also 100% literate State by 2018.

Chamling also handed out more responsibilities on the panchayats asking them to ensure that the libraries in the gram Prasashan Kendras are well-equipped with books and publications of the State government departments.

“The goal of every panchayat should be to attain self-sufficiency in terms of funds, with minimal burden on the people. As the most empowered rural representatives of the country, they should work towards making the people self-reliant and self-sufficient. Only then can the slogan ‘Jantaraj Ma Jantai Raja’ hold true meaning.”

The Chief Minister urged the panchayats to supervise and monitor schemes so that quality is not compromised along with timely completion. Any kind of irregularities should be reported to Chief Minister’s Office for further action, he said.

Chamling said the panchayats should ensure that he people in the villages do not fall easy prey to divisive forces who are indulging in politics of caste, creed, community and religion. The onus therefore, lies on the panchayats to curb this menace by educating the people with fact that our government is based on the principle of secularism and in more than two decades of governance, we have ensured that his principle is followed and implemented in letter and spirit, he said.

Chamling said the district panchayat standing committee will have members from ex-panchayats, retired government officials, and active and former party functionaries.

Earlier, State Rural Development minister S.B. Subedi said the Sammelan was organized to introduce the newly elected panchayats about their duties and responsibilities towards the society.

Rural Development secretary D.R. Nepal presented a brief report on Panchayati Raj.

A short video documentary on Panchayati Raj Institution prepared by IPR department was also screened on the occasion.

Source: Sikkim Express