I inaugurated the newly-constructed vegetable market- cum- parking with allied facilities at Singtam Bazaar today and dedicated it to the people of the locality.

While addressing the gathering, I threw light on the injustice meted out to the members of the Business Community during the time of the Chogyal and under the Bhandari regime due to which they were left out from being included in the Sikkim Subject register. It is only after the formation of our Government that their rights and privileges were granted and secured. In fact, we have ensured that they enjoy rights at par with the Bhutia, Lepcha and Nerpali communities in the urban areas. Many policies have also been framed for the welfare of Residential Certificate (RC) and Trade Licence(TL) holders, such as:-
– Set up 26th April 1975 as cut off year for issue of RC.
– RC holders can sell and purchase land in bazaar areas.
– Representation in urban local bodies.
– Free education and health facilities.
– 5% seat reservation in higher education.
– The Business Community are provided with government grants and benefits in urban areas at par with the rural people.
– Ground rent has been reduced by 50%.

I urged the gathering to realize that our Government has always believed in inclusive development of all the communities of the State including the Business Community. They must appreciate the fact that in the last 25 years, we have treated them with respect and honour that they deserve; and given them a congenial atmosphere to carry on their trade and business. No one from the Community has been subjected to any kind of harassment or extortion as done in the days prior to the SDF Government. Therefore, as an integral part of our Sikkimese society, I called upon them to give their support and contribution in making Sikkim better in all spheres.

Regarding the ‘bandh’ called by the opposition party, I appealed to the public not to support it, as it is detrimental to the prevailing peace and tranquillity in the State. This kind of disturbance is also against the Supreme Court ruling that states that any party or organisation violating the fundamental right of citizens and causing national loss by calling strikes/ ‘bandhs’ is unconstitutional and illegal.

I made following announcements:
1. Government Enlistment and start-up scheme will be provided to RC and TL holders.
2. Regularisation of unauthorised occupied sites of five years and above.
3. Housing flats for the people of bazaar areas who do not have houses of their own.
4. Construction of smart parking areas in all the bazaars of the State.
5. Construction of flyover bridge near Singtam Senior Secondary School.
6. Construction of car parking area at Goshkhan Dara.

Earlier in the morning, I inaugurated the Shiloh Christian Church of Sikkim and Deputy Regional Transport Office at Singtam.