MISSION SIKKIM – A REVOLUTION OF UNIVERSAL RIGHTS
A NEW MANIFESTO FOR A NEW SIKKIM
Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) was born just some months ago. It is contesting elections to the Sikkim Assembly for the first time, to usher in Mission Mode a Revolution of Universal Rights that will give a new direction to the social, economic, and political life of the people of Sikkim.
This new direction has two components – Plan and People.
A New Manifesto For A New Sikkim is the Plan. And the People are the Candidates who have been carefully selected by HSP to represent the people of Sikkim and execute this Manifesto.
In this Manifesto, HSP has unveiled a new model of development that combines the Ecology and Ethos of Sikkim with her Economy; the disastrous results of the present unplanned and vote-bank-oriented politics need to be swept away with a determination to build a New Sikkim, a Fresh Sikkim, a Prosperous Sikkim, a Self-Reliant Sikkim, a Happy Sikkim, and above all, a Sikkim for All Sikkimese.
To roll out this plan, HSP has nominated candidates who have been judiciously drawn from a pool of mature, experienced, young and energetic fresh faces with a track record of selfless public service. Young women have formed an important segment of candidates.
HSP calls upon the people of Sikkim to discard the old and cliched caste-communal-crony politics of existing ruling and opposition political parties in the state assembly, who are nothing but two sides of the same coin and embrace new, modern and futuristic politics for the next generation – a politics that is just, equitable, democratic and participative.
The situation today calls for urgent reforms in law, policies and institutions. This involves, first of all, restoration or undoing the damages inflicted by the current ruling establishment: ensuring ecology-oriented development of Sikkim, proper operation of the rule of law in Sikkim, non-interference with anti-corruption institutions, integrity and fairness of administrative structures and, last but not least, ensuring vigorous energy of the media in reporting events with freedom, accuracy and responsibility. But undoing the damage is not about a simple rollback. We require reconstruction and substantial measures to ensure that similar damage cannot be done in the future. We must reignite the spirit of resolve to secure Universal Right-Based economic and social justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity and carry out programmes in that direction.
HSP recognises the agriculture-based economy of Sikkim and has plans to ensure that ecological agroforestry/hill agriculture-based models thrive in the state so that both farmers’ prosperity and ecology are evenly balanced.
HSP is pro-enterprise, pro-planned & sustainable development and pro-opportunity for all people. It wants enterprises to grow and prosper in Sikkim but also wants development, opportunity, growth and prosperity to positively impact the lives of all 2 citizens of the state. The last person should be able to participate in the building of a New Sikkim and benefit from it.
HSP promises that it shall ensure Sikkim shuns the present culture of crony capitalism where development of the state benefits only a few clusters of people huddled around the centre of power and moves to a new model of development that benefits everyone and is firm and uncompromising on inter-generational justice. The young must be the epicentre of this new politics. A modern Sikkim can be built only if the voice of the future emerges from the sagacity of the past – modernity deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of Sikkim – a modernity that is of Sikkimese origin and sensibility and not borrowed from other places.
HSP offers a real political alternative to the people of Sikkim and brings in new politics of conviction and public service. People of Sikkim have given spontaneous and whole-hearted support to HSP’s brand of clean politics to create a New Sikkim and HSP is deeply grateful to the people.
A New Manifesto For A New Sikkim covers all issues that touch the daily life of people and create a Universal Right-Based system which is interwoven with the development of the State:
- Right to Universal Basic Income
- Right to Universal Secure Employment
- Right to Universal Rural Employment Guarantee
- Right to Universal Pension
- Right to Universal Guaranteed Income for Farmers
- Right to Universal Freedom from Poverty
- Right to Universal Access to Sufficient Water, 24X7 Electricity & Good Roads
- Right to Universal Access to Good Public Transport
- Right to Universal Access to Good Public Healthcare
- Right to Universal Access to Good Public Education
- Right to Universal Access to Sports
- Right to Universal Ease of Doing Business
- Right to Universal Gender & Social Justice
- Right to Environment
- Right to Constitutional Safeguards & Democratic Representation
HSP sees the forthcoming Assembly election as an opportunity to retrieve and, indeed, reclaim from manipulation and subversion, the legacy of Sikkim and the economic and ecological rights of the people of Sikkim.
Accordingly, we place before the people of Sikkim specific plans and measures for recovery, reconstruction and reorientation of Sikkim and promise to implement each and every one of them within specific time frames. To each Sikkimese, Hamro Sikkim Party promises
Sikkim Ko Aatma, Sikkimey Ko Haath Ma !!
Dr. Bina Basnett
1. REVOLUTION OF RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
1.1 Sikkimey Samman Yojna (SSY): Within 25 days of taking oath, HSP firmly commits to launch Sikkim Universal Basic Income Scheme (Sikkimey Samman Yojna) for every Sikkimese.
1.2 Entitlements & Payments Under SSY: Under SSY, Rs.18,000 per annum or Rs.1,500 per month shall be paid to every Sikkimese man, woman, child, student & youth who reside in Sikkim. For a family of 5, this will be Rs.90,000 per annum or Rs.7,500 per month. This amount shall be progressively increased, based on cost of living index. Payments under SSY shall commence within 90 days of launch; preceded by existing database validation and creation of new database. Transfers shall be made on first day of every month through bank accounts. Small and specific categories like State & Central Govt. upper grade serving & retired staff & officers (drawing salary/pension above Rs.25,000 pm), current & former MPs, MLAs, high earning professionals etc. shall be excluded from the scheme but low earning government permanent employees and all ad-hoc employees/scheme workers shall get full benefit of SSY. With this one major step, poverty will be eradicated from Sikkim.
2. REVOLUTION OF RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL SECURED EMPLOYMENT
Although the present SDF Government has been in power for 25 years, it has paid only lip service to generating financially stable and secure employment for the people of Sikkim. The Government, faced with the rising anger of people, has resorted to gimmickry and duped the youth by announcing one job per family but giving appointment letters of jobs that are “purely temporary and do not confer any right of regular employment”. The Government colludes with private enterprises in keeping salaries low and jobs insecure; workers have no rights and are trapped in fear of the hire-and-fire policy. The ongoing saga at Alembic Pharma is one of many such examples.
In 2015-16, the rate of unemployment in Sikkim was 8.9%, which is 240% higher than the national average of 3.7% (Usual Principal & Subsidiary Status Approach) and 18.1%, which is 362% higher than the national average of 5% (Usual Principal Status Approach) The monthly time-series data on unemployment of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy shows that the unemployment rate in Sikkim during January 2019 was 11.9%, which is 167% higher than the national figure of 7.1%. This situation will be corrected by HSP on war-footing.
2.1 Mission: Unemployment Free Sikkim – Regularising Existing Jobs: Within 6 months, all persons holding temporary, contract, daily wage, guest, Anganwadi, ASHA, MDM, or One Family One Job Scheme jobs, will be assured of work till retirement age & equal pay or legal minimum wage. For this, HSP shall make a new law.
2.2 Mission: Unemployment Free Sikkim – Creating New Jobs: Within 6 months, all qualified & unemployed will get jobs because all vacant positions shall be filled in Education, Health & other Essential Public Services.
2.3 Employment Commission: Unemployment in Sikkim is a problem created by a lack of vision and political will; unemployment can be solved if policy and implementation are focused on the issue. Within 1 year, unemployment shall be eradicated from Sikkim through the creation of an Employment Commission that will ascertain the number & type of jobs required. Recommendations of the Commission shall be implemented by Govt. and newly formed District-level job creation centers that employ local people to identify employment opportunities.
2.4 Creating Employment Based on Local Resources: Local resource bases, as well as skills of local youth, shall be leveraged to support value-addition in agro productions, small-scale industries, and start-ups.
2.5 Supporting Entrepreneurship Not Just Self-Employment: Adequate public sector funds shall be earmarked for loans to entrepreneurial youth and the government shall be the guarantor for these loans. Entrepreneurship in the possible sectors by youth with government hand holding and similar support shall be provided.
2.6 Not Just Skilling Sikkim, Employing Sikkim: Action shall be taken to ensure that those who enroll in government skill development schemes get a 100% guarantee of jobs that are assured and long-term.
2.7 Conducting Jobs Creation Audit: Action shall be taken to ensure that State initiatives for skill generation and industrial policies have explicit job creation targets and the public shall be proactively informed on the status of job creation in all these programs and policies.
2.8 Providing Special Support for Historically Disadvantaged Communities and Areas: Action shall be taken to provide special employment drives in disadvantaged areas and communities as a policy and program prerogative and targets shall be set and the public shall be proactively informed on the status of these drives, policies, and programs.
3. REVOLUTION OF RIGHT TO RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTE
Sikkim’s performance in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) MGNREGA under the SDF Govt. has been woeful. In 2018-19, average days of employment provided per household were only 52.5 days, when there is legal requirement and financial sanction from Central Govt. to provide upto 100 days of work. Sikkim is largely rural and yet SDF has systematically neglected rural income and security. The data speaks for itself: While the Total Number of Job Cards issued as on March 30, 2019 is 82,000 and Total Number of Workers as on March 30, 2019 is 1,34,000, the Total Number of Active Job Cards as on March 30, 2019 has dropped to 76,000, and the Total Number of Active Workers as on March 30, 2019 has also dropped to 98,000. This shows that the scheme is not working in Sikkim as people are opting out and the state is performing far poorly than neighbouring states. On other parameters also, the SDF Govt. has underperformed, doing grave injustice to rural workers, who represent the poorest of the poor. Some of the glaring examples as cited in the Minutes of Meeting of the Performance Review Committee of Ministry of Rural Development are: (1) The overall Person Days (PD) generated in North & South District as on September 2018 is ≤ 88.5% (State Average PD generated) against projected PD for the State; (2) 4571 works are incomplete as on 31st March 2018; (3) No River Rejuvenation work was taken up by the State according to Niti Ayog guidelines; (4) There is a backlog of payment of delay compensation for the last five years. Even the compensation approved has not been paid till date; and Total of social audit conducted by the State is only 141 and no Ombudsman has been appointed in any of the Districts. It is clear that rural employment guarantee is a non-serious issue for the SDF Govt. and all its high decibel promotion about poverty eradication in Sikkim is only empty talk. With the proposals and plans committed by HSP, rural employment and income will receive a major fillip.
3.1 Sikkim Grameen Rozgar Guarantee Yojna: Within 25 days of taking the oath, HSP firmly commits to launching Sikkim Universal Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Sikkim Grameen Rozgar Guarantee Yojna) (SGRGY) for every Sikkimese rural household, to boost rural employment guarantee programs. With this one major step, poverty will be eradicated from rural Sikkim.
3.2 Entitlements & Payments: Under SGRGY, every rural household shall be entitled to additional 50 days of work per annum, over and above the 100 days of work guaranteed under MGNREGS. Wages for SGRGY shall be paid at minimum wage rates prevalent in Sikkim, i.e. Rs.300/- per day, and not the low amount paid under MGNREGA. The number of days under SGRG shall be progressively increased. Work & Payments under SGRGY shall commence within 180 days of launch; preceded by existing database validation and creation of a new database along with the State’s own website for SGRGY. There will be no delays in payment under SGRGY and wage payment transfers shall be made within 15 days of preparation of the muster roll.
3.3 Ensuring Fullest Extent of MGNREGA: HSP shall ensure that MGNREGA is implemented to the fullest extent and 100 days of work per annum is provided without fail to all rural households.
4. REVOLUTION OF RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL PENSION
4.1 Mission: A Sikkim That Respects Elders: Within 25 days of taking the oath, HSP firmly commits to launching the Sikkim Universal Pension Scheme (SUPS) for every Sikkimese.
4.2 Entitlements & Payments: Under SUPS, Rs.42,000 per annum or Rs.3,500 per month shall be paid to every Sikkimese man & woman between 59 to 70 years and Rs.1,02,000 per annum or Rs.8,500 per month shall be paid to every Sikkimese man & woman above 70 years. This amount shall be in addition to the entitlement under SSY and shall be progressively increased, based on the cost of living index. Payments under SUPS shall commence within 90 days of launch; preceded by existing database validation and creation of the new database. Transfers shall be made on the first day of every month through bank accounts. Small and specific categories like State & Central Govt. upper-grade staff & officers (drawing pension above Rs.25,000 pm), current & former MPs, MLAs, high earning professionals, etc. shall be excluded from the scheme but government employees receiving pension below Rs.25,000/- pm and all retired ad-hoc employees/scheme workers shall get the full benefit of SUPS. With this one major step, the Elders of Sikkim shall be made financially secure and given the respect that society is duty bound to give them.
4.3 Door Step Healthcare: Additionally, free healthcare of high standard shall be delivered at the doorstep of every Sikkimese man and woman above 70 years of age.
5. REVOLUTION OF RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL GUARANTEED INCOME FOR FARMERS
5.1 Freedom from Indebtedness: Within 10 days of taking the Oath, HSP firmly commits to granting a one-time comprehensive loan waiver for all farmers for all crop loans from all lending sources. To ensure that farmers do not fall into debt traps in the future, Sikkim Farmers’ Disaster and Distress Relief Commission shall be set up and Credit Guarantee Fund shall be created.
5.2 Income Assurance: Income Within 6 months, assurance of at least Rs. 18000/- per month per farm household shall be achieved through a combination of measures like SSY, Remunerative MSP, SUPS, etc.
5.3 Guaranteed Remunerative MSP: Within 6 months, Remunerative MSP for all crops and agricultural produce (including vegetables, fruits, spices, non-cultivated food, forest produce, milk, and eggs) shall be declared at minimum Comprehensive Cost of Cultivation (C2)+50% profit and all farmers shall be guaranteed sale/offtake at such Remunerative MSP.
5.4 Government Procurement at Remunerative MSP: To achieve the guarantee of sale/offtake at Remunerative MSP, farm-gate purchase and marketing by Govt. of all agri-produce at Remunerative MSP shall be commenced within 6 months. An Rs. 200 Crore Fund for MSP Operations and Market Intervention shall be created for achieving Guaranteed Remunerative MSP. Agriculture shall be used as a pathway to address malnutrition by promoting local procurement and distribution of cereals, pulses, vegetables, and eggs through PDS.
5.5 Regulated Market: Regulated Within 12 months, the Agricultural Market shall be set up in each district and connect Sikkim to e-NAM for wider marketing of agri-produce of Sikkim.
5.6 Sikkim Kisan Card: Within 6 months, all farmers shall be issued Sikkim Kisan Card as a comprehensive identity document for access to all schemes for credit, compensation, and benefit. A door-to-door survey to register all farmers for the issue of the Sikkim Kisan Card shall be done.
5.7 SAFE Act & Commissions: Within 6 months, Sikkim Agroeconomy, Farmers & Ecological Agriculture Act (SAFE Act) shall be legislated under which Sikkim Farmers’ Disaster and Distress Relief Commission and Sikkim Agroeconomy Agroecology & Farmers’ Guaranteed Income Commission shall be set up. Sikkim Licensed Cultivators’ Act shall also be made for tenant/lessee farmer support.
5.8 Brand Sikkim: Complete branding, packaging, and marketing plan shall be created, and selected agro produce of Sikkim shall be made into premium products and sold at premium prices so that farmers get maximum financial benefit.
5.9 Agro-Ecology Mission: Shall be launched for rapidly rolling out agro-forestry models of sustainable hill-agriculture & mass promotion of climate resilient ecological agriculture. Revival of Seed Diversity and Conservation of resources like Water, Soil, and other natural resources shall be promoted.
5.10 Women Farmers, Tenant Farmers & FPOs: Women Farmers’ rights & entitlements shall be upheld and land rights shall be granted. All benefits meant for farmers shall be extended to tenant farmers, sharecroppers, landless cultivators, and livestock-rearers.FPOs and other collectives shall be promoted.
6. REVOLUTION OF RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL FREEDOM FROM POVERTY
6.1 Mission: Poverty Free Sikkim: Within 2 years, poverty shall be eradicated from Sikkim forever and systematic changes shall be made so that poverty can never raise its ugly head in Sikkim. This will be achieved through a slew of measures like Sikkimey Samman Yojna, Universal Secured Employment, Sikkim Grameen Rozgar Guarantee Yojna, Sikkim Universal Pension Scheme, and Guaranteed Remunerative MSP to farmers.
7. RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO SUFFICIENT WATER, 24 X 7 ELECTRICITY & GOOD ROADS & BRIDGES
7.1 Water Supply: Within 12 months, every urban and rural household shall be assured of sufficient drinking water supply by intensive and comprehensive planning to ensure the revival of sources of water, conservation of such sources, and proper storage and pipeline facilities.
7.2 24 X 7 Electricity: Within 12 months, every urban and rural household shall be assured of round-the-clock electricity supply and power shortage and load-shedding shall become history. Meeting the internal requirements of Sikkim shall be given priority over the export of electricity. Rates of electricity shall be reviewed and made affordable & consumer friendly.
7.3 Good Roads & Bridges: Within 12 months, the existing road & bridge network of Sikkim shall be upgraded to the highest standards. All roads & bridges shall be repaired, black-topped & beautified & shall thereafter be regularly maintained. Guard rails shall be installed & proper bus bays & passenger shelters shall be created. Requirement of new roads & bridges shall be carefully studied, planned, and implemented within strict timelines.
8. RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO GOOD PUBLIC TRANSPORT
8.1 Revamping SNT: Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT) is very poorly run and is in financial ruin. Within 12 months, operations of SNT shall be revamped and it shall be made efficient & profitable. SNT operations shall be extended to villages and remote areas so that people can have access to reliable and affordable public transport.
8.2 Operational Costs of Private Taxis: Over the years, a number of onerous obligations have been imposed on private taxis, thereby making their operation and maintenance very expensive for owners. As a result, passenger charges have also increased. Within 3 months, HSP shall review all operational costs of taxis and rationalize them so that both owners and passengers benefit.
9. RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO GOOD PUBLIC HEALTHCARE
9.1 Revamping Public Healthcare System: Within 12 months, free & accessible primary, preventive & promotive healthcare for all through the public health delivery system shall be rolled out, the objective being that all Sikkimese must have access to the best healthcare nearest to their residence. The emphasis shall not be on health insurance but on health assurance and Govt. shall be the primary resource for all healthcare needs of citizens. All existing dispensaries & PHCs shall be upgraded with the latest diagnostic equipment, facilities, and infrastructure. Large-scale recruitment of trained medical personnel shall take place and proper doctors shall be posted at all locations – the emphasis shall be on creating a strong public health cadre.
9.2 Creation of Hospitals: Within 3 years, super-specialty hospitals with the highest standards & comprehensive modern facilities shall be opened in all districts.
10. RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO GOOD PUBLIC EDUCATION
10.1 Revamping Public Education System: Within 12 months, the primary and secondary education system will be overhauled to impart high-quality effective education & skills to sustain universal functional literacy & numeracy. It will be ensured that the curriculum of education imparted is all-round and leads to children of Sikkim being able to compete nationally. It will be ensured that government schools are properly staffed & funded & every school is RTE compliant. RTE shall be expanded to age 16 & great emphasis shall be laid on early childhood education. The shortage of teachers shall be eradicated by filling regular vacancies and ensuring that teachers are properly trained to meet the requirements of the curriculum. There will not be any transfer of teachers during the academic session, unless absolutely necessary.
10.2 Well Endowed & Autonomous Higher Educational Institutions: Additional funds shall be allocated for special programs to revive & support state universities & affiliated colleges. Funds shall be provided for a ten-fold increase in fellowships for all social & economically deprived students.
11. RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO SPORTS
HSP shall ensure that the Right to Sports in Sikkim is implemented in the fullest & most meaningful manner. Developments taking place around the country on the question of the Right to Sports have been closely examined by the Research Cell of Hamro Sikkim Party & all positive elements, like the questions raised in a recent PIL before the Hon’ble Supreme Court & the Andhra Pradesh Sports Policy, shall be adopted in Sikkim’s sports policy. It is a matter of shame that the ruling SDF Govt. has been oblivious of the need for sports among the youth & has treated sports with low priority; astonishingly, the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs which interfaces with a largely digital young audience has no website, though all other departments have dedicated websites!!
11.1 Right to Sports & Sporting Recreation: Within 3 months, every resident of Sikkim shall be granted the Right to Sports & Sporting Recreation, through legislation. Key features and objectives of the legislation shall be: (1) Physical education along with recreational, competitive & high-performance sports are complementary & shall be developed simultaneously in Sikkim; (2) Sikkim shall embrace competitive, recreational & community sports at all levels; (3) Sport is an integral part of Sikkim’s culture & economy, deserving the same level of recognition, respect & encouragement given to other social & economic programs; (4) Sport is a powerful unifying force that serves to promote healthy competition, goodwill, tolerance, good physical intellectual & moral qualities; (5) Sports strengthens discipline and fosters a healthy lifestyle & keep youth away from tobacco, alcoholism, drugs & antisocial activities; and (6) Sports culture shall be developed as a long-term project by investing in knowledge, physical infrastructure & technical expertise.
11.2 Sports Authority of Sikkim: Within 6 months, the Sports Authority of Sikkim (SAS) shall be set up. Under SAS, District Sports Authorities shall be set up.
11.3 Sikkim Sports Policy: Within 6 months, Sikkim Sports Policy shall be announced which will aim to develop a sports culture in Sikkim that promotes participation & excellence in sports for all citizens of Sikkim & enables all citizens to pursue sport to the extent of their abilities & interests, including performing at the highest competitive levels. The aim shall also be to ensure better quality & accessibility to sports experience for all citizens so that sports delivers benefits to all for promoting health & well-being, contributes to socio-economic outcomes & creates happiness in life.
11.4 Sports Development Centers: Within 2 years, Sports Development Centers (SDCs) shall be created in each Assembly constituency at an estimated cost of 1 crore each. Subsequently, SDCs shall be created at the Gram Panchayat level in a phased manner. In active collaboration with the National Playing Field Association of India (NPFAI), in every Gram Panchayat, a playfield shall be developed.
11.5 Village Sports Volunteers: Within 6 months, in every village one Village Sports Volunteer (VSV) shall be appointed who will organize sports & games for the community & also impart basic training in sports & games.
11.6 District Stadium: Within 3 years, each district shall have a fully equipped sports stadium with infrastructure for maximal utilization by the community. The focus shall be on community engagement & self-sustenance of sports. State & National Level Sports Competition & events shall be held at the stadia.
11.7 Sports Schools as Cradle for Nurturing Talent: In order to develop grass root talent in competitive sports & to groom talented boys & girls to excel in all levels of competition, with proper academic training, Sports schools shall be created in each district within 2 years. These schools shall impart specialized training from an early age, provide the best facilities & training to children, provide national/international exposure to children, prepare for Inter-Sports School competitions to bring the best talent & have a special package to bring rural talent including children from specially challenged groups.
11.8 Sports Events: An effective competitive calendar shall be created as per age groups, training needs & sports requirements in coordination with various Associations/Federations. Also, sports events/leagues shall be state-sponsored & shall be started at the amateur level for all age groups to provide every citizen an opportunity to play & perform at individual/team levels on regular basis. Trophies for the best district, an assembly constituency, school, college, etc. for sports participation & performance shall be instituted. Recreational competitions for multiple sports will be initiated at the village/locality level.
11.9 Physical Literacy & Sports Development Based Curriculum: Sports, Education & Health Departments shall collaboratively develop Physical Literacy & Sports Development based curriculum, which will be made a mandatory part of the Education System in Schools & Higher Education Institutions.
11.10 Reservations for Sports Persons: To encourage sportspersons, reservations shall be put in place for admissions in academic institutions & all categories of jobs in Government Departments, local bodies, public sector undertakings, and Government institutions.
12. RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
HSP understands and appreciates that trade, business, and industry are major economic forces of Sikkim, creating large-scale employment and impacting the social structure of Sikkim. Hence, HSP is pro-enterprise and will do everything in its power for nurturing and supporting trade, business, and industry and ensuring ease of doing business.
12.1 Trade Committees & Chambers of Commerce: Within 2 months, HSP shall coordinate the formation of trade committees for different types of trades with mass participation of traders, businessmen, and industrialists so that stakeholders can join in deciding what is necessary for facilitating growth & encoragement of trade, business and industry & removal of present obstructions and hindrances. With particular reference to trade licenses, HSP shall promote long-term licenses delivered at the door-step of business, without any red-tape. Existing chambers of commerce shall be revived so that regular meetings and proactive decision making is done.
12.2 GST: Within 3 months, HSP shall review all existing bottlenecks and fear-factor that prevail with regard to GST and with the help of external experts, shall ensure that the GST regime does not act as an obstacle to trade, particularly for small traders who are outside the GST net.
12.3 Corruption-Free Business Environment: HSP shall actively create a corruption-free environment for enterprises & businesses to thrive.
12.4 Start-ups & Employment Potential: HSP shall promote start-ups with innovative ideas & making Sikkim the first choice of all green industries. Industries that create employment shall be promoted & employment potential shall be made the bench-mark for state support & subsidies.
12.5 Special Focus on Sustainable Tourism: Within 6 months, a holistic sustainable tourism policy shall be rolled out that provides lion’s share of the economic benefits of tourism to local communities & generates local employment. The Tourism Policy shall create & implement an international & national plan for marketing the potential of sustainable & high-value tourism & make Sikkim a destination for international & national events of culture & creativity so that there is a regular inflow of revenue to the sector. HSP shall facilitate social & economic security to all segments of the population already engaged in the tourism industry through proper licensing, regulation & promotion of income.
13. RIGHT TO UNIVERSAL GENDER & SOCIAL JUSTICE
13.1 Women Empowered Sikkim: Within 12 months, HSP shall facilitate women’s participation in public life & politics, through legislation, by amending laws to provide for at least one-third representation of women in state assembly & panchayats & providing at least one-third representation of women in judiciary & police.
13.2 Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Law & Equal Opportunity Commission: Within 12 months, HSP shall implement laws that comprehensively prevent discrimination against all vulnerable groups and also create an Equal Opportunities Commission in this regard. Statutory backing shall be created for Tribal Sub-Plan & Special Component Plan.
14. RIGHT TO ENVIRONMENT
14.1 Primacy of Environment: HSP recognizes communities as trustees, custodians & shareholders of their natural resources. Hence, HSP guarantees that all policy, plans, projects & their implementation shall be with due consultation with communities and in consideration of ecological parameters & no development shall be done which destroys ecology & environment. Battle against climate change shall be given top priority.
14.2 Independent Environment Commission: Within 6 months, an independent & empowered Environment Commission shall be set up which shall lay down environmental standards & regulations & ensure their compliance.
15. RIGHT TO CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS & DEMOCRATIC REPRESENATION
15.1 Safeguarding Article 371f: HSP pledges to leave no stone unturned to safeguard the protections ensured under Article 371f of the Constitution of India.
15.2 Support for Democratic Aspirations: HSP recognizes and respects the democratic aspirations of the various ethnic groups in Sikkim. Hence, HSP shall actively support all efforts for realizing such aspirations for reservation of seats and protection of culture and heritage of each ethnic group in Sikkim.
Note: This Manifesto is work-in-progress and HSP invites citizens of Sikkim to share their ideas so that any other aspiration of people that may have been inadvertently omitted here is added to the agenda and implemented by HSP when it comes to power. For any feedback write to us at [email protected]