Budget Speech 2018-19








6th MARCH, 2018

Honble Speaker Sir and Honble Members of this August House.

I take this privilege and honor to present regular Budget for the Financial Year 2018-19 for discussion and subsequent approval of this August House. I also extend my warm greetings to the people of Sikkim as well as to the representatives from the press and media present here today.


Honble Speaker Sir, 

At the outset, I would thank the people of Sikkim for having stood by us since 1994, the faith and confidence reposed on our pro-people development oriented government. We have since been steadfast in pursuing our goals of comprehensive development, quality delivery of services and promoting peace and harmony among our Sikkimese society. Today, we have emerged as a Government that delivers on its promises establishing an enviable track record of development, which is solely because the people of Sikkim have shown an abiding faith in this Government, its policies and what it has stood for. Today the entire nation looks towards Sikkim as a model State for its most innovative and new programmes cutting across sectors. Other States in the country have started quoting Sikkim as an example. This is the result of our thinking, prudent action and honest purpose.  

Honble Speaker Sir 

Our Government’s goal is to provide ample opportunity to every Sikkimese youth to achieve their economic and social dreams. Therefore, this year’s budget is youth centric and employment oriented. Creating job opportunities and facilitating generation of employment has been at the core of our policy-making. During the last twenty-four years of our Government, we have taken a number of steps to boost employment generation in the State. One of such scheme is the Chief Minister’s Start up Scheme, CMSS, a yet another flagship initiative of the State Government, is not simply a youth centric scheme but in true sense a meaningful and focused career option providing golden opportunity for the unemployed Sikkimese youth to become start up entrepreneurs and become master of their own business enterprise instead of seeking jobs elsewhere. The scheme envisages providing financial assistance in the manner that is better applicable and simpler in adoption by unemployed sikkimese youth so as to ensure its success in a more meaningful way. The CMSS is a credit linked promoter’s contribution financial assistance scheme that aims to provide for front ended promoters financial contribution assistance component of 25% for the bank approved projects entailing total investment of up to Rs. 20 Lakh in any sector including Agriculture, Horticulture, Food Processing, Animal Husbandry, Handloom & Handicrafts, etc, by any local unemployed youth or school dropout in the age group of 18 to 40 years. In case of some conditional non-manufacturing sector projects, the admissible financial assistance under CMSS shall be 35%.

 This Scheme is quite distinct and more unemployed youth friendly vis-a-vis rest of the ongoing credit linked financial subsidy schemes for three reasons:

  • That, the CMSS provides for “front ended financial assistance” which could also be treated by the project lending financial institutions and Banks as Promoter’s.
  • The CMSS financial assistance could be dovetailed with any other ongoing Central Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme.
  • There is no distinction in the admissible project cost between Manufacturing Sector or Service Sector as any of the financially viable/bankable venture whether in manufacturing or service sector entailing total project cost up to Rs. 20 Lakh is admissible under this Scheme.

The State Government is looking forward for providing best possible professional and financial handholding to the unemployed Sikkimese youth who are desirous of setting up of start-up ventures in organic agriculture and other remunerative areas having vast potential with special reference to Tourism, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture and IT in Sikkim. We have made required financial provision to undertake this scheme. I am pleased to announce a total allocation of Rs. 79 crore for this scheme during this fiscal year.


Honble Speaker Sir,

Our Government is also committed for the welfare of farmers. We have effectively brought about paradigm shift in policy of Agriculture from inorganic to the organic farming. As an enterprise, agricultural system must help farmers produce more from the same land parcel at lesser cost and simultaneously realize higher prices for their produce. Our emphasis is also on generating productive and gainful on-farm and non-farm employment for the farmers and unemployed youths. However, Agriculture today is facing an immense pressure due to lack of man power. The younger generation of the era is shifting to other profession. Therefore, mission organic was our most viable solution to attract younger generation of Sikkimese into farming activities, making it more attractive and lucratic.


Honble Speaker Sir,

Sikkim is characterized by diversified agro-climatic condition, different soil types, and irregular physical features and is rich in biodiversity. Organic agriculture offers a wide range of economic, environmental, social, health and cultural benefits for developing the state. The Government is focusing on capacity building of rural youth in organic tourism, production of organic seed and organic manure production, packaging, processing, value addition and branding of various agricultural crops.

All central schemes under agriculture sector are being implemented in the state in close co-ordination between various departments. The organic Hybrids and HYV crops seeds are being distributed free of cost to the farmers in order to support the Organic Mission and these programmes shall be continued in the next fiscal year. In addition, we also distribute power tillers and various other improvised agricultural equipments and machineries to the Self Help Groups as well as Small and Marginal farmers.

Therefore, Hon’ble speaker sir, realizing the truth that integrating agriculture sector in the development process is fundamental for attaining inclusive growth, our government has accorded top priority to advancement of agriculture and horticulture sectors.

The predicted adverse impacts of climate change have visibly started to surface on the eastern Himalayan Region. Uneven weather condition is seen in the form of highly erratic rainfall pattern, uneven distribution, and prolonged dry spells during winter and thunderstorms with hailstorms. The most alarming impact of all these is drying up of water sources adversely affecting farming. The other forms of negative impacts of climate change on agriculture are the sudden outbreak of pests and diseases, emergence of new maladies on crops, etc.

However, despite all these odds, we have achieved the rare task of becoming the First Fully Organic Farming State in the country. We have achieved total organic certification of 76,169.604 hectare area as per national guidelines. Presently seven service providers are engaged for Internal Control System (ICS) management and six certification agencies engaged in organic certification that have provided employment to 436 local educated youths.

These achievements have made Sikkim the world leader in Organic Agriculture. The world looks upon us as the Organic Leader. The “One World Grand Prix Award 2017” was conferred upon us by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement, IFOAM, which is the worldwide umbrella organization for the organic agriculture movement representing close to 800 affiliates in 117 countries; and sponsored by Rapunzel.

On October 1st, 2017, I was also honoured and named as the ‘Ambassador of the Organic Himalayas and the organic World’ by a reputed NGO. Being decorated with this distinction, I am proud to be representing the people of Sikkim to the national and world forum for our unique achievement.

 Honble Speaker Sir,

 This august house is well aware that for sustaining this organic movement, ‘The Sikkim Agriculture-Horticulture Input and Livestock Feed Regulatory Act’ was enacted in 2014. Our government is committed to enacting more such Acts that would sustain this movement for the well being of farmers and consumers. The new bill “The Agricultural and Horticultural Commodities Regulatory Bill 2018” aiming to restrict entry of enlisted non-organically produced fruits and vegetables into the State will be placed in the current session of Assembly. This step has been taken to provide better marketing opportunities to the farmers, wean back the present youths into farming and provide safe and healthy food to the consumers. To take advantage of the Organic Statehood, special drive has been launched for mass and evenly distributed production of fresh vegetables.

 I would like to inform this august house, that my Government is considering a “Kisan Pension Scheme” with the provision of pension for all the Organic farmers of the State. Farmers who are actively engaged in organic farming upon reaching the age of 50 years will be provided a monthly pension of Rs.1000/- per month. This benefit will be provided to one person in the family. Our State is perhaps the First state to come up with such innovative scheme for the benefit of the farming community in the country.

 Complete utilization of fully certified lands by bringing all fallow land including current fallow under cultivation through planned strategies are our present priorities in agriculture sector.

 The total vegetable requirement to feed the entire population of the State including tourists and floating population is 95,000 metric tonnes per annum. However, this requirement varies according to peak and lean tourist season. For sustaining vegetable production to feed the entire population, our government will continue to lay stress on vegetable production programme. The State Government has proposed to extend minimum price support for perishable items like vegetables, fruits and flowers to encourage our farmers.

 In recognition of our organic movement, the ICAR Centre at Tadong has been upgraded and made the Organic Farming Research Institute (NOFRI) to lead research work in organic farming for the whole country. To consolidate our position, we have established the Sikkim State Organic Certification Agency (SSOCA) who will in later years become a leading Certification Agency in the country. Already, this agency has started certification work in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar and within Sikkim. In honor of the farming community and to commemorate the achievement made in organic sector, 18th January is dedicated to the toiling farmers of the State and is being observed as “Sikkim Organic Day”.

 Besides above, our priorities will continue on development of floriculture, which is our core strength. The total number of flower growers in the State is more than 6000 with every family earning monthly income ranging from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1 lakh. Horticulture diversification in the form of bee keeping, mushroom farming, medicinal plants and bamboo plantation shall be continued during the current year. Today, I am happy to share that within the next 5 years, we will make Sikkim self-sufficient in food grain production also. Today we are self-sufficient to fulfill domestic demands of vegetables, fruits and flowers. At present, we are also exporting large cardamom, ginger, turmeric, tea and orange to the national and international markets. In the next few years, we will augment production of vegetables etc and should be able to export these items outside Sikkim and also outside the Country.

 Today, our main challenge is to change the mindset of our people and promote dignity of labour among them. Simultaneously, we are trying to diversify economic engagement into service sector and agriculture as lucratic and fashionable activities to attract new generation of Sikkimese. This will involve wide-ranging diversification including value addition, packaging and marketing, agro-based industries, export and tourism related activities.

 Water is a major input and its conservation is most critical for crop cultivation during Rabi season. We have been taking up a large number of projects in the form of construction of water harvesting structures of various capacities in farmers’ fields.

 Greenhouse technology is one of the most effective interventions for enhancing production as well as improving the quality of various farm produces. There are examples of many successful greenhouse horticulture clusters where cultivation of flowers like gerbera & cymbidium orchids and vegetables like tomato are cultivated.


Honble Speaker Sir,

To promote Co-operative movement in the State, we have registered various co-operative societies like Educated Unemployed Youth, Labour and women in every ward of Gram Panchayat Unit and Urban Local Bodies. Presently, there are 2828 such cooperative societies registered with the Government.

I would like to inform this august house that the State Government is partnering with all the existing MPCS in Sikkim for the exclusive marketing of organic produces within and outside the State.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Animal husbandry being the key component of organic farming, systematic interventions in different areas of Animal Production like, Animal Breeding, Feeding, Housing Management, Disease Control, Product Processing and Marketing are being addressed. I would also like to announce in this august house, that in addition to the existing schemes, the Government shall also start distribution of high bred buffalos for milk products as well as manure requirements in organic farming and to boost the production of dairy products in the state.

 Sikkim Milk Union Limited, the apex dairy federation, has increased the annual turnover and has been supplying quality milk and milk products to marketable places throughout the State including the army and armed force personnel stationed in Sikkim and neighboring districts of West Bengal. Due to conducive climate, we are popularizing trout culture in race ways among the farmers with financial and technical assistance.

 Further, State Irrigation Plan (SIP) for the period of 5 years from 2017-18 to 2021-22 have been approved by the State level Sanctioning Committee in which the department can take up surface minor irrigation and repair restoration and renovation of existing water bodies (RRR), in order to support the Sikkim Organic Mission.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Rural development being the priority sector, developmental strategies have been designed such as creation of quality rural infrastructure, provision of basic minimum services such as water supply and sanitation, rural connectivity, foot bridges and other amenities.

 We have fixed a target for conversion of 3,000 Kutcha houses to Pucca houses under Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Mission and another 1095 kutcha houses to pucca houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) to ensure that every one in Sikkim will have his own pucca house.

 I am also happy to announce that by the year 2019, all eligible habitations as per the 2001 Census in the State shall be connected by PMGSY roads.

 Government has a target to provide at least 40 litres or more per capita per day/ per person safe drinking water to rural households. Sikkim became the first and only Nirmal Rajya in the country by achieving 100% sanitation coverage in 2008 and 1st State to achieve Open Defecation Free status in the beginning of 2016. A lot of emphasis is being laid on the general cleanliness of the State as a whole. Our focus has now shifted towards sustainability of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status and strengthening the Solid Liquid Resource Management in the State. The Resource Recovery Centres at Melli Dara and Namthang are already in operation.

 The State government has given utmost priority to rural employment. Over 69,000 (87.6%) rural households have been provided employment in 2017-18. The State Government were conferred with the “Best performing State Award on Transparency and Accountability”, “Best Performing State Award on Sustainable Livelihood through Convergence”, “Best Performing State Award on Geo-MGNREGA Initiatives”, “Best Performing District Award on Effective Implementation of MGNREGA to Maniram Phalidara GPU”. MGNREGA Best Performing Gram Panchayat Award for Mellidara Paiyong Gram Panchayat & e-Puraskar for the best performing State for e-Governance, Category I are some of the appreciations of our vision by the Government of India.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 The Government has always strived to provide enhanced mobility for the rural as well as the urban population of the state through Sikkim Nationalized Transport. There has been increase in the number of routes services of the Sikkim Nationalized Transport with the corresponding increase in number of fleets.

 In order to cater to the needs of the increased volume of passengers, Depot Up-gradation has been initiated wherein workshop equipments were upgraded for reducing the down time of the commercial vehicles and minimum amenities like waiting hall with TV, wash room, etc are provided at depots like Rangpo, Gangtok and Jalipool for passengers.

 The State Government is in the process of establishment of Institute of Driving Training and Research at Pakyong duly partnering with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Govt. of India.

 In Sikkim, we have tried to address the many challenges to the earth’s health, such as global warming and depleting natural resources, in our own way. We have innovative and environment-friendly development programs that keep in mind our fragile Himalayan ecosystem. For example, we placed a ban on the use of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials in 1997. Smoking in public places is also outlawed since 1997 and in 1998, we stopped the grazing of animals in reserve forest areas. In 1999, we launched the Smriti Ban program and in 2001, we banned the killing of wildlife and felling of trees. In 2005, we introduced compulsory environmental education in schools and launched the Green Mission in Sikkim in 2006. We constituted the Glacier and Climate Change Commission in 2007 and in 2009, we have launched the program called Ten Minutes to Earth. This is a mass afforestation program during which citizens spend 10 minutes on 25th of June of each year for planting tree saplings. We banned the bursting of fire crackers in 2014 and the burning of agricultural wastes in 2015. The use of diclofenac has also been banned since 2015. We have also commenced a study on the carbon neutrality of the State with a view to put in place a system which can constantly monitor our actions in respect of carbon neutrality.

 Under the Sikkim Forest Trees (Amity and Reverence) Rules 2017, we have yet another unique and culturally absorbing initiative based on the age-old tradition of ‘Mith’ or ‘Mitini’ in Sikkimese society, which is a bond to forge fraternal relationship between two persons. The same concept is being extended to enter into this bond with trees in forests. Any woman without brother or without sister can enter into mitini bond with trees. So is the case with any man without his own biological brother. I appeal to all Sikkimese people to come forward and adopt a tree as Mith or Mitini, as this will be a noble act towards environment conservation.

 The Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project (SBFP) is being implemented in the State from the year 2010-11. In order to promote the ex-situ conservation of biodiversity and to inculcate public awareness, a Butterfly Park at Rangrang, North Sikkim has been established.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 By all accounts, Climate Change has emerged as one of the most challenging global issues. Let us consider the following:

  • In Bangladesh, 20 million people will have to move out due to climate reasons by 2030, unable to cultivate or survive on their flooded land.
  • The president of the Kiribati Island, also in the Pacific, bought land over 3,000 kilometres away in Fiji to reinstate his people
  • Atmospheric pollution from all causes is responsible for 5.5 million premature deaths globally every year worldwide
  • If no corrective measures is undertaken, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by end of 2050
  • Plastic waste is the cause for the death of more than one million seabirds and more than 1 lakh marine mammals each year. These toxic particles are transferred to humans when we eat fish and seafood.
  • It is estimated that 30 million birds will disappear over the next 20 years due to the exploitation of oil sands which by pollution and fragmentation of their habitat, prevent their nesting
  • The extinction of bees is one of the most alarming markers, a global tragedy that threatens human societies and ecosystems. Bees are the prime controllers of pollination on which farmers depend. 100 crops that produce 90% of the world’s diet, 71 crops depend on the work of the bees i.e. 87.5% crops depend on bees.
  • Since 2008, every year on average nearly 22.5 million people are already fleeing from disasters related to climate or weather conditions i.e. equivalent of 62, 000 people every day.

In view of the manifested adverse impacts of Climate Change on the livelihood practices of people across the continents, it is time for every one to come together and work collectively for our common goal. In Sikkim, we are upgrading our facilities to strengthen the State Knowledge Cell on Climate Change to determine impact on alpine ecosystems, glacier dynamics and high altitude lakes so that necessary remedial measures could be proposed to address the issues related to the vulnerability of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood phenomenon.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Health sector has always been our priority providing free health services to the citizens. I am very happy to inform this august house, that 1000 bedded Multi Specialty Hospital Phase-I is nearing completion at Sokethang to be operational from October, 2018. This hospital will have the latest diagnostic equipments like upgraded MRI machine, Digital X-Ray, 128 slice C.T. Scan facilities. The new hospital will also have advanced Tertiary Cancer Care Centre (TCCC) with latest modern equipments. In the process of strengthening district hospital the Government has also initiated construction of new district hospital at Mangan at a total cost of Rs. 20 crore.

 Our district hospitals at Singtam, Mangan and Namchi will have type-III Trauma Centre and upcoming Sokethang hospital will have type –II Trauma Centre to meet an emergency situation like road accidents etc. In the coming financial year 2018-19, we will be completing Tuberculosis hospitals at Gyalshing and Mangan and Blood Bank at Mangan.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 To meet the requirement of this upgraded health infrastructure at Sokethang, district headquarters and all PHCs/PHSCs, the Government has revised the Cadre of Sikkim Government Doctors from existing strength of 305 to 625 and the process of completing the recruitment of Nurses, Para-Medical staff etc have been initiated. This will ensure sufficient availability of Public Health doctors as well as Clinical Specialists to combat various diseases.

 In the coming financial year, seeing the vast potential in the Medical, Pharmacy, Nursing profession in the public and private sector, our Government has taken a decision to start a Medical & Nursing College at Sokethang. Similarly, the State Government has decided to start its own Government Pharmacy College from June 2018 session at Sazong, Rumtek. Once our children are enrolled into this College, more and more Sikkimese would be eligible for job in the pharmacy units established in Sikkim and will make significant contribution to ease unemployment problem in the State.

 Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) are also priority area for the State Government and for which fifty bedded Ayurvedic hospital is under construction at an cost of Rs. 10.50 crore at Kyonsha Gyalshing and this facility will be completed during the financial year 2018-19. Our Government is also setting up Sowa Rigpa (Amji College) at National Institute of Tibetology, Deorali at a cost of Rs. 10.50 crore. This project shall be completed soon and will greatly help in promotion of Tibetan/Traditional Medicines in the State.

 Various health camps are organized and total of 25,673 people have undergone free and comprehensive medical checkup. This innovative CATCH programme is now adopted at the central level and named as National Communicable Disease (NCD) screening.

 The State Government is particularly concerned about the vulnerable section of the society and has launched Mukhya Mantri Jeevan Raksha Kosh (MMJRK) where referral services are provided for tertiary medical care facility for the needy patients of Sikkim with financial implication of upto Rs. 3 lakh.

 The Government has decided to eliminate Tuberculosis by 2022 over a period of five years. For this State Government is making a comprehensive strategy and this will be achieved through active participation of all public representatives, Panchayats, Officials and NGOs. A budget provision of Rs.20 (Twenty) lakh has been kept in the budget to supplement the ongoing Revised National Tuberculosis Programme (RNTCP) in the state.

 I am glad to announce that provision under the existing Mukhya Mantri Sishu Suraksha Yojana will be further strengthened in the coming year, where provision has been kept in the Budget 2018-19.

 Cervical Cancer is second most common cancer in the women and it is with pride to announce that Sikkim Government is the first State in the Country to provide HPV vaccination to all eligible girl child between the age of 9 to 14 years as per WHO norms. For this scheme state level and district level training and awareness has already started and first dose of vaccine will be provided by April 2018 and second dose will be provided by October 2018. This campaign will be the first ever injectable vaccine campaign ever launched in the country. During the campaign approximately 31000 numbers of adolescent girls between 9 years plus to less than 14 years of age group of all Government Schools, Government aided and Private Schools and out of school girls of eligible age will be covered. Co-ordination and support from various departments like HRDD, ICDS, RMDD, UDHD, as well as from NGOs and Media etc. will be required for the success of this ambitious public health initiative. In the subsequent years this will be part of a routine immunization programme of the State Government.

 With the entire State becoming organic, quality of food and drugs is major concern for the state Government. Hence Drug Testing laboratory is being constructed at Chuwatar at a cost of Rs.880 lakh.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Ever since the Sikkim Democratic Front Party has come to run people’s government, we have been consistently ensuring benefits and welfare schemes to the Army personnel from Sikkim with their family members and next of kin. The benefits are in the form of cash grant to the Gallantry Awards and Ex-gratia Grant/Compensation to the Battle Casualties of the personnel. In order to recognize the contribution of our soldiers and their bravery and gallantry and to motivate others to serve in the Army, We have enhanced cash award to Rs. 1 Crore for the Param Vir Chakra, Rs. 50 lakh each for the Ashok Chakra ad Mahavir Chakra and annuity of Rs. 1 lakh,Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 70,000 are provided to them w.e.f 15.01.18. Similarly, Cash Awards have been enhanced for the Gallantry Awards namely, Vir Chakra to ` 20 lakh, Kirti Chakra to Rs. 15 lakh and Saurya Chakra to Rs. 10 lakh. Further, Cash Grants for the Sena Medal, Param Vishist Sewa Medal, Ati Vishist Sewa Medal, Vishist Sewa Medal, Mentioned-in-Dispatches, Sarvottam Yudh Sewa Medal, Uttam Yudha Sewa Medal & Yudh Sewa Medal have also been enhanced substantially.

 My Government has enhanced Ex-Gratia Grant to Rs. 25 lakh for the Battle Casualty(Fatal) and Rs. 5 lakh for the Battle Casualty (Non-Fatal). The state has enhanced the grant for “Veer Naris” (Wives of Late Soldiers) to Rs. 2 lakh.

 Similarly, financial assistance amounting Rs. 6,000/- p.m each is provided to the World War-II Veterans and the Widows of World War-II Veterans. My Government has also been providing Welfare Grants of Rs. 1,500/- as Spectacle Allowance; Rs. 3,000/- as Financial Assistance, Rs. 2,000/- as Death relief; Rs. 500/- p.m as Orphan Rearing Allowance; Rs. 10,000/- as Medical Referral Grant (one time); Rs. 3,000/- p.a as Paying Guest/Hotelier allowance.

 The Cash Grant for the Gallantry Award and the Ex-Gratia Grant to the Battle Casualties are the highest amongst all the States in the country.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 The State Government takes pride in the fact that we have been able to provide comprehensive security cover for the State in terms of ensuring environmental, human and defence security. Our Police forces have always displayed a high degree of alertness, vigil and have been swift in successfully averting any untoward situation.

 The State Government has approved Construction of Police Memorial at Aritar, Forensic Science Lab at Jalipool, Police Station buildings at Kaluk and Namchi, Composite buildings for Fire Station at Rhenock and Chungthang.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Our Government has also established Skill Development Training Centre at Shram Bhawan, Sokeythang for skill up-gradation of registered workers and their family members.

 I would like to inform that the government has also decided to implement the Maternity Benefit Act, 1965 for the benefit of working women in the unorganized sectors of the State. Further, our government is in the process of notifying the State Labour Policies. The State Government is also in the process of constructing Transit Accommodation/Labour Shed-cum-night shelter for the registered workers at the worksite.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 The State Government has adopted the “Sarva Dharma Sambhava (All religions are Equal)” approach to promotion of religion and religious tourism in the state. Monasteries, temples churches, mosques, are present in abundance in the State which is testimony to the religious tolerance and secular polices of our Government. Religious and communal harmony is the hallmark of Sikkim making it the most peaceful State in the Country.

 Tourism in Sikkim started picking up only after 1994 and now it has become mainstay of our economy. In 23 years of our Government, the tourists’ arrival in the State has increased from a mere 99,000 in 1994 to more than 14 lakhs in 2017, which speaks volume about the success story of tourism sector in the State.

 The State Government has recently launched the online permits system for ease of having permits to visit remote areas of Sikkim especially for the international visitors. The Fairs and Festivals are being organized in a grand manner to showcase Sikkim’s unique cultural and traditional ethos. On the inaugural day of Red Panda Winter Carnival held in January, 2018, the State declared Padma Bhushan A.R Rahman as the Brand Ambassador of Sikkim.

 Under Adventure Tourism Sector Institutes like Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Eco-tourism (IHCAE) and the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) are producing trained professionals in the respective fields. The State Government is also conducting skill development courses for the various tourism stakeholders on a regular basis particularly in the fields of Home Stay, Tourist Guides and Paragliding.

 The State Government has created many landmark tourism infrastructures and facilities across the State, some of new ones are Ropeway at Tsomgo Lake, Nature Interpretation Centre at Yangang etc. In addition to these, a large number of tourist destinations and circuit development projects are in progress under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

 The pilot projects like Ropeway facility for Skywalk at Bhaleydhunga is being constructed using the French technology of POMA Galaski. It is expected that Namchi ropeway will be commissioned shortly. The other projects like Passenger Ropeway from Gyalzing to Sangacholing, Phur-cha-Chu Hot Spring, Peace Centre and Helipad at Temi.

 The State Government has been promoting tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals by giving higher impetus to Rural Tourism so that the multiplier benefits of tourism reaches directly to the rural communities and contribute gainfully in rural income generation. Out of 736 Home Stay sanctioned earlier, more than 90% have been completed and made operational.

 The Pakyong Airport will be made operational shortly and with the commissioning of this Airport, the long awaited dreams of the people of Sikkim will come true. The State Government has already signed the MoU with the Ministry of Civil Aviation under Regional Connectivity Scheme called RCS - UDAN. This Airport will certainly help in boosting the tourist footfall in the State especially the high-end tourists.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 The Government has made significant interventions to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Sikkim. The State government has instituted the State Civilian Awards from 2012. The Awards comprises of Sikkim Ratna (Category A), Sikkim Sewa Ratna (Category B) and Sikkim Sewa Samman (Category C).

 The Government has launched Appreciation Pension Scheme for National Awardees of Sahitya Gyan Pith, Saraswati Samman Award, Lalit Kala/Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar .

 The government also provides annual Grants-in-Aids to different autonomous institutions including religious institutions. The government is also providing Samajik Sewa Bhatta to traditional folk healers.

 Further, the government provides annual subsidy grants to various religious institutions besides the government also provided uniforms and exercise copies to all students studying in Monastic School, Sanskrit Pasthshala and Traditional Art School.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 As a landlocked State, road networks are vital for the economic growth of the State. Connectivity through roads has made crucial contributions to economic development and growth of the State including bringing important social benefits. Though there are many obstacles and challenges, the State Government has left no stone unturned in maintaining road worthiness in all seasons to ensure safe passage of commuters and goods.

 We have undertaken improvement of the pavements and strengthening works of the roads in two phases. In the first phase, a length of 382.89 kilometres is being taken up. The project is targeted to be completed by the end of March 2018. In the second phase a length of 208.44 kilometres is proposed to be taken up. I am pleased to record that we have constructed more than 2977 kilometres new roads since we took over the Government in 1994.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 It gives me immense pleasure to inform this August House that, Sikkim today is one of the major hydro power producers in the country. The power importing State has achieved the distinction of being a power exporting surplus State.

 The State has started earning revenue from free share of power from IPPs like 110 MW Chuzachen HEP, 96 MW Jorethang Loop HEP, 96 MW Dikchu HEP and 97 MW Tashiding HEP. During the financial year 2016-17 we have earned revenue of Rs. 169 Crore from sale of power, which is a quantum jump from meagre revenue of Rs. 3.87 Crore in the year 1994.

 It is heartening to know that with the recent commissioning of 1200 MW Teesta Stage III Hydro Electric Project, the installed generation capacity of the State has reached 2206.70 MW which was around 30 MW prior to 1994.

 The State Government has also initiated implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes like Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) and Deen Dayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY).


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Our Government has been consistent in giving top most priority to the development of human resources and to equip our children to face the challenges of increasingly globalized and competitive world. The Government has taken necessary steps to provide the requisite infrastructure and qualified teaching manpower in all our schools and colleges with special emphasis on improvement of quality of teaching Institutions. Simultaneously, it is being ensured that all the ongoing construction projects specially the addition of infrastructure in various Secondary, Senior Secondary schools and colleges are completed as soon as possible.

 It is with great pride, I inform this August House that Sikkim has become the first State in the entire Country to have partnered with United Nation Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) MGIEP (Mahatma Gandhi Institution of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development) for embedding Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in our Primary Text Books. This is in line with our demonstrated commitment towards organic farming and preparing responsible citizens of tomorrow.

 In order to ensure that children in every part of the State are not deprived of the latest opportunity in higher education, we have set up a Vocational College in Dentam in West Sikkim and Arts College at Mangshila in North Sikkim. An exclusive Women College shall also be started at Khamdong, East Sikkim from the next academic session. From this session, we have decided to impart free education to our children enrolled at Centre for Computers & Communication Technology (CCCT) at Chisopani Nandugaon and the Advanced Technical Training Centre at Bardang by waiving all the fees payable to the Institutes. The Sikkimese students holding Certificate of Identification and who are undergoing training at these two centres are now exempted from paying the regular fees. This is done with the sole purpose of supporting children from weak socio-economic background and help them overcome financial constraints.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 The State government’s commitment towards organic farming has been well appreciated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister as well as other dignitaries. I am happy to inform this August House that for the first time and under our initiative, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has prepared text book on Organic Farming which shall be distributed very shortly in our schools to be taught from Class VI onwards. We are also taking steps to introduce Organic Farming as a vocational subject under National Skill Development Corporation framework. In addition, Organic Farming has already been started as a formal activity in 32 Senior Secondary schools under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and many schools are growing organic vegetables in their premises.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Sports play a crucial role in the overall development of youth. It also plays a vital role in nation building and personality development. Emphasis is being given on “Broad Basing of Sports” in grass root level and promoting “Excellence in Sports”.

 The State has produced great sportspersons at International level with Padmashree and Arjuna Awardees. Many of our sport persons are also members of the Indian Football Team and are also representing reputed clubs in the country.

 Twenty members’ State contingents participated in the first Khelo India School games at New Delhi from 31st January to 8th February 2018 under various sports disciplines and 100 Youths from our State participated in the National Youth Festival 2018.

 The 5th North East Youth Festival from 28th to 30th October, 2017 was held at Gangtok with the aim to provide an opportunity to the youth of the North Eastern region to come together, interact with each other and to showcase cultural heritage.

 Our Government has established the Sports Academy, one at Gangtok and other at Namchi for providing quality sports and the results have been encouraging over the years. We have launched a large number of cash incentives ranging from Rs. 1,000 upto Rs. 1 crore under different categories to the meritorious sports persons to motivate youth of Sikkim to excel in sports and for their overall development.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 The Government has ensured social equity, justice and fairplay to all sections of the society. Women empowerment has been at the core of our social agenda. Special care is taken for children in providing them nutrition, health care and quality education. There is 50% reservation available for women in Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies. Similarly, 33% job reservation has been provided to women in the Government employment. The government has created necessary legal frame work to guarantee legal rights to women and their safeguard by establishing Sikkim State Commission for Women, Sikkim Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Social Welfare Board.

 Our Government is providing Subsistence Allowance of Rs. 1,000 per month to 2,939 beneficiaries. The Government is running a Special School for the Hearing Impaired, Special School for the Visually Impaired and also supporting the Spastic Society of Sikkim for rehabilitation and education of children who are suffering. A Composite and Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centre shall be established in South District at Namchi to cater to all needs of comprehensive rehabilitation and medical assistance to persons with disabilities.

 The Government has given special focus to the elderly citizens providing good quality of life. I would like to inform this august house that 21,998 beneficiaries are being provided old age pension with the financial outlay of Rs. 31.20 Crore per annum. The rate of pension ranges from Rs. 1,000, to Rs. 2,000 per month depending upon their age. In addition, construction of Jyestha Nagarik Sewa Samman Kendra at Namchi (Old Age Home), South Sikkim has been sanctioned by our government. The Government will also establish one Old Age Home each in other Districts subsequently.

 The Government has ensured Social justice and protection to all the communities in the State including SCs, STs, Central OBCs and State OBCs. Scholarships to poor students belonging to these categories are being provided at pre-Matric and Post Matric Scholarship. At present 10,521 students are availing various scholarships under the scheme.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 It gives me immense pleasure to inform that Sikkim is one of the Malnutrition Free State. Our Government has taken special care for children under the age of 6 years. Health and nutritional services are being provided by establishing 1290 Anganwadi Centers across the State. At present about 10,200 children are availing these services.

 The government is implementing the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) with an aim to provide a protective environment for children in need of care and protection, children in conflict with laws and other vulnerable children under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 In the area of women’s welfare, the Government has initiated Widow Remarriage Scheme, the State Resource Centre for Women and Family Counselling Centre. The government is providing Pension and financial assistance to 468 unmarried women and 1,720 widows respectively. The government has come up with an innovative Proud Mother Scheme in 2017-18 to arrest the declining fertility rate of the State by awarding Rs. 7,000/- at the birth of first child and Rs. 10,000 at the birth of second child.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Globally, climate change phenomenon is causing scarcity of water everywhere and Sikkim is no exception. The policy of the State Government is to provide quality and enough drinking water to all the population. Besides providing safe drinking water, it is also essential to make adequate provision for sewerage systems in all towns for proper waste water management.

 To mitigate and address these issues, the State Government has recently launched Sikkim Comprehensive Water Resources Plan (SCWRP). Under this programme, the administrative department concerned has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India Water Foundation, a civil society based in New Delhi to support the Department in the field of technology, branding, skill development and funding from various agencies.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 I would like to announce to this august house, that in consideration of the demands of the State Government employees and pensioners, our government had constituted the Pay Committee in November 2016 for revision of pay & allowances of the State Govt. employees as well pension of retired Govt. employees. In anticipation of the submission of its Report by the extended date of 31st March 2018, I have considered it necessary to make required budgetary provision to meet the cost of revised pay & allowances and pension in 2018-19 which I am sure, will fulfill the aspirations of the State Government employees as well as pensioners for revision of their pay & allowances, pension and other pensionery benefits to a great extent.

 Hon’ble Speaker Sir, the State is prone to natural disaster due to its fragile land profile and unpredictable weather conditions. The fund earmarked for State Disaster Response Fund is meant for temporary restoration works only and not for mitigation of disasters. Taking this into account, the State Government has established the Sikkim State Disaster Mitigation Fund as per the provisions of The Disaster Management Act, 2005 with initial provision of ` 1 Crore for meeting expenditure on account of Mitigation of Disaster.

 Growing trend of urbanization puts pressure on public exchequer for provision of housing, sanitation, transportation, safe drinking water supply, health, education etc. Sustainable Development Goals call for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

 The State Government has envisioned converting every urban towns and bazaars across the State as models of excellence. A well planned three phase strategy has been adopted while envisioning the urban Sikkim of the future. The Government has also adopted a Concept Note on Micro Cities- a granular intervention in the development of Rural Marketing Centres and Class III Bazars.

 During the year 2017-18, a lot of urban developmental activities were undertaken. Feasibility Study Report for Urban Transport Ropeway Project for Gangtok City is almost ready. It is a matter of pride for us that both Gangtok and Namchi has been selected in the list of 100 Smart Cities in the Country. With support from all, we can together make Gangtok and Namchi, world class cities.

 The Cadastral Survey of the State was last conducted in the year 1978-79. The State Government has initiated the process of resurvey during the last financial year 2017-18, with a pilot project undertaken in Yangtam Block under Pakyong Sub-Division in East District. The resurvey of entire State with 417 Revenue Blocks has been targeted. During the current year 2018-19, we propose to complete Pakyong, Rongli and Rangpo Sub-Division with total of 53 Revenue Blocks.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 Kisan Bazaar at Gangtok and Namchi will be made operational from April, 2018 to provide impetus to the State Organic Mission Policy. We have decided to construct Kisan Bazaars both at Gyalshing and Mangan. Organic Marketing outlets will be constructed in other smaller towns.

 The state also made a huge leap in solid waste management sector. Gangtok was awarded with the “Cleanest Capital in the North East Award” by the Union Government on 4th May, 2017. A total of 515 houses, both enhancement and new construction, has been sanctioned under Beneficiary Led Construction of houses under PMAY (Urban).

 The State Government has implemented The National Food Security Act 2013 with effect from January 2016 undertaking all mandatory activities. All the 27 food godowns have been provided with the requisite hardware, connectivity and manpower. Point of Sale (POS) devices have been installed in 109 Fair Price Shops (FPS) out of 1421 FPS. The remaining 1312 Fair Price Shops are to be automated in the coming financial year 2018-19.

 There are a total of 16,500 families under Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) who are entitled to 35 kg of rice @ Rs. 3/- per month and 3,24,081 individuals under priority household (PHH) who are entitled to 5 kg of rice per head @ Rs. 3/- per kg/ month. Left out beneficiaries including Welfare Institutions run by NGOs, Monastic Schools and Destitute Homes are covered under Other Priority Household (OPHH) category as OPHH (general) and OPHH (Special). At present they are being provided with 9.5 kg of rice per individual @ of Rs. 11/- per kg/month from the Tide Over Allocation.

 Construction of Food Godowns at Namchi, Namthang, Bermiok, Kaluk, Uttarey, Soreng, Kongri, Hee Gaon, Darap, 13th Mile, Talkharka and Lachen have also been sanctioned under different schemes.


 Honble Speaker Sir,

 I shall now dwell on the budgetary profile for the financial year 2018-19. In this Budget, a gross expenditure of Rs. 7132.59 crore has been projected. After taking into account recoveries amounting to Rs. 81.50 crore, the net outgo of expenditure comes to Rs.7051.09 crore. The fiscal deficit remains in adherence to the fiscal management targets set in the Sikkim Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2010, i.e. not more than 3 % of GSDP. The contribution from total tax Revenue is of the order of ` 770.31 crore and in the case of Non- Tax revenue, Rs. 481.92 crore.

 The total gross expenditure includes allocations amounting to Rs. 57.72 crore under the dispensation of the North Eastern Council, Rs. 141.48 crore under Non- Lapsable Pool of Central Resources, and Rs. 1570.36 crore under Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

 I shall now present the highlights of the Budget for the year 2018-19 with a summarized account of the receipts and disbursements incorporated in the budget.






AMOUNT (in crore)




Tax Revenue




Non Tax Revenue



Non Tax Revenue



Grant in Aid



Gross Borrowings



Recoveries of Loans and Advances



Net Public Accounts



Total Receipts






Revenue Expenditure



Capital Expenditure





Total Expenditure





Honble Speaker Sir,

In order to maintain transparency in the administration, the State Government had prepared a White Paper on Financial Position of the State as on 31st March 1995 and 31st March, 2013 respectively, which were laid on the table of this august House. The State’s own tax collection also improved through effective measures for collection of taxes and widening the area of tax base.

 The new form of indirect tax introduced as biggest economic reform in history of the independent India, was promulgated in the State of Sikkim with the enactment of the Sikkim Goods & Services Tax Act, 2017 and its enforcement from 1st July, 2017. The objective of transformational Goods and Services Tax (GST), is to create a common Indian market, improve tax compliance and governance and boost investment and growth. The transition from earlier system to GST was smooth in the State as the Government has undertaken sufficient ground works for making the stakeholders and general public aware of the change.

 With 42.30% as on 31st December 2017, the Credit-Deposit Ratio of the banks in Sikkim has been improving. During the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting, the Commercial Banks were persuaded for advancement of credit facilities to the young entrepreneurs and to provide educational loans to the local students for higher education. I call upon them to play a more pro-active role in Sikkim and extend all-out support to our people to undertake financially-viable projects and schemes.


Honble Speaker Sir,

 Gyan Mandir: The State Government, as part of long term investment, has decided to establish a world-class Library, the Gyan Mandir in Gangtok at the estimated cost of Rs. 200 crore, spread over 2.36 acres of land. As a world class knowledge centre, this centre will meet wide-ranging objectives including: promoting international and intercultural understanding; expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet; provide resources for educators, and general audiences and build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between different stakeholders. As initial allocation, I am pleased to set aside a sum of Rs. 7 crore over and above the Rs. 20 crore made during the last financial year, 2017-18.

 Folk Healing Center: A unique centre originally proposed as a folk healing centre would be upscaled to develop it into a Folk History Centre of Sikkim showcasing the complete folk history and tradition of Sikkim. The Centre would preserve and showcase the rich folk history and tradition of Sikkim with emphasis on folk music, folk literature, traditional food, and folk healing system. The Centre would be a heritage showcasing the lifestyles, practices and identity of all sections of the Sikkimese society providing a comprehensive idea of the evolution of folk history of Sikkim. During the next fiscal, I am pleased to allocate an additional Rs. 7 crore for this centre.

 Statue of Lord Parshuram: The 54 feet high bronze metal statue of Lord Parshuram will be casted in lost wax process and placed over 15-16 feet high pedestal as a centre of pilgrimage at Tumin Barang. To undertake this project, I am pleased to allocate an additional Rs. 5 crore during this fiscal year.

 Asta-Chiranjivi Dham: Another project of religious significance is being undertaken at Nagi Namthang which will be completed for the cause of propagation of dharma. I am earmarking an additional Rs. 5 crore for this project during 2018-19.

 Ethnic Cultural Centre: An ethnic cultural centre would be developed at Buriakhop, West Sikkim showcasing the socio-cultural diversity of the people of Sikkim. During this fiscal, I am allocating an additional Rs. 7 crore for this project.

 Magarjung Centre: A historically significant site at Magarjung is being developed as a cultural centre for the Magar community of Sikkim. Specific to the Magar community, this centre would be developed as a repository of their culture, tradition and life style and showcase their history of how the Magar community has been one of the indigenous tribes of the Sikkim State since time immemorial. I allocate an additional Rs. 2 crore for development of the centre.

 Gaushala at Rhenock and Buriakhop: Two Gaushalayas one each at Rhenock and Buriakhop are being developed as the protective shelters for cows in India. Goshalas focus on treating cows well, both because of their religious significance consequent cultural sensitivity towards their welfare. I allocate an additional Rs. 3 crore for the upcoming centres in Sikkim.

 Lepcha Primitive Study Centre: A Centre to showcase culture, tradition and life style of the primitive Lepcha Community is being developed in Dzongu for which I would allocate additional sum of Rs. 3 crore during 2018-19.

 Tamang & Sherpa Study Centre: Study Centres for both the communities of Tamang and Sherpa would be established in the State. As one of the indigenous communities of Sikkim, these two communities have rich culture and tradition which will be preserved and promoted through research works and other intellectual engagement.

 Bhujel Study Centre: Similar Study Centres for Bhujel community shall be established in the State. This will help in the preservation and promotion of culture and tradition of the community for the future.

 Scheduled Caste Study Centre: Study Centre with similar objective shall also be set up in the State for the SC communities living in Sikkim.


Honble Speaker Sir,

As evident from above, our Government is different and functions on the principle of out-of-box thinking which are innovative, most imaginative with long-term perspective. The idea behind undertaking such unique projects is to conserve our culture and institutionalize it, integrate and provide new development dynamic in the context of contemporary world to benefit the people of Sikkim. This is making of peoples’ faith and belief system as much productive and contributory to the overall economic well being of the people. It will be made a medium for socio economic development while preserving the age-old traditions.

All these centres will boost pilgrimage tourism as well and tourists will encounter a new vista of experimentation highlighting people’s faiths and belief. As of today, we receive large number of tourists which are 3 times more than our state’s population. Sikkim probably is the only State in India which receives as much visiting tourists on annual basis.


Honble Speaker Sir,

Sikkim is the only State in India to guarantee basic minimum needs to all citizens. We have ensured housing for all and Sikkim is soon going to be the first kutcha house free state of India. We have provided drinking water, electricity and roads in all parts of the State. Education is free upto the University level and health services is free in the State. In fact, we have genuinely followed the principles of sustainable development and today we have realized almost all the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Goals like No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Education, Gender Equality etc, have been already fulfilled in Sikkim.

Development indicators have improved by many folds over the decades. Many a times we are not aware of the positive changes that have come about due to our commitment and hard work. Let us look at these comparative statements as follows. The Per Capita Income of Rs. 8,888/- in 1994-95 and gone upto Rs. 2,57,182/- in 2016-17 whose percentage increase is 2,793.59%. The Gross State Domestic Product of Rs. 440.34 crore in 1994-95 has increased to Rs. 23,139.00 crore in 2018-19 with the percentage increase of 5155%.

Investment under Pension payment of Rs. 3.04 crore in 1994-95 has gone up to Rs. 641.46 crore in 2018-19 with the percentage increase of 21,001%. The State Own Revenue of Rs. 44.72 crore in 1994-95 has enhanced to Rs. 1252.24 crore in 2017-18 with the percentage increase of 2700%. The Daily Labour wage of Rs. 20/- per day in 1994-95 is now increased to minimum of Rs. 300 per day with the percentage increase of 1400%. The annual salary payment of Rs. 78.05 crore in 1994-95 has gone up to Rs. 1960.83 crore in 2018-19 with percentage increase of 2,412%.


Honble Speaker Sir,

As one living in this globalized world, we must adapt and reposition ourselves to overcome modern day challenges. And undoubtedly, the major challenge is sustaining finite natural resources to provide for the needs of the present generation and also the future generation of world population. This is the major worry confronting the policy makers, scientists and researchers that the resources we have at our disposal at present must continue to meet human needs in the future without undermining the natural eco-system services upon which the economy and our society depends.

In Sikkim, we have for long realized this essential truth and working judiciously to balance modernization and also preserve our tradition, culture and lifestyle. The idea has been managing growth and usher in general well being while at the same time doing enough to meet the future needs through good environmental stewardship. Therefore, over the decades we have been able to bring about human development, social development, economic development and environmental development by inducing deep harmony between economic growth and environmental protection.

In the future, we need to be more discerning to try to further promote a just society through prudent management of our natural and human resources, provide livelihood through economic diversification and continue to provide to the people good governance which is accountable, is transparent, is responsive, is equitable and inclusive, is effective and efficient, is participatory and that which promotes peace, harmony and universal brotherhood and managing growth and development without compromising the integrity of the earth’s eco-system to serve the interest of the present generation and the many more generations to come.


Honble Speaker Sir,

With these words, I commend the Budget for the year 2018-19 to the House for its consideration and approval.

Thank you,

Jai Hind.










 6th MARCH, 2018