Meghalaya: Mukul trains guns at Govt over NEIGRIHMS issue, poor fiscal position


SHILLONG | Oct 29:

Meghalaya Leader of Opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma today said that the State Government should take cognizance of the things which are happening in NEIGRIHMS.

"The issues at NEIGRIHMS should be cleared once and for all. The Government should not be a silent spectator" Dr Mukul, who is also the former Chief Minister, said while talking to reporters here today.

On the statement of Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma that NEIGRIHMS is a Central institute, he said "This raises a question — Is the chief Minister shrugging off from his responsibilities? I pity him. If that is the case, God save Meghalaya," Dr Mukul said.

According to him, NEIGRIHMS should not be a subject of gossips or else people will start having doubts.

"NEIGRIHMS and other medical colleges in the Northeast needs to be taken properly. These institutes should not be subjected to this kind of situation where it becomes a subject matter of gossip and discussion," former Chief Minister said, adding, " It should also not be a ground created for them to start their old infighting and wash their own dirty linen".

Dr Mukul also insisted that the Government of the day will have to take cognizance of this issue and take up the matter with the Centre.


On Financial position of Meghalaya

Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister, Dr Mukul Sangma said that the NPP led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Government should not remain in denial on the poor fiscal position of the State.

"There is no point remaining in denial mode. The Government should instead take corrective measures to improve the financial position of the State," Dr Mukul said while speaking to reporters here today.

Mentioning that there was continuous sanctioning of projects during the previous Congress led Government, he however observed that now everything has come to a standstill adding that even the existing projects like the medical college in Tura or the Shillong International Centre for Performing Arts at Mawdiangdiang is not taking off.  He also said that there are other projects from the NLCPR, NEC which is not moving forward.

"On the other hand, illegal transportation of coal is still going on. Everyone knows about it. If this is the ground reality then how will the government get money," Leader of Opposition said even as mentioning that even the staffs of the district councils are not getting their salaries paid for months. Moreover, former Chief Minister said that another concern is the selective payment of bills for the contractors.


Mukul on entrepreneurship in Meghalaya

"If you want to see the details you can go through the record of the assembly. So now indirectly people who dared to become entrepreneurs and who dared to take this challenge as a viable sustainable alternative, are now discouraged. It is precisely because of the sudden dislocation of the fund flow," Leader of Opposition said.

"During our tenure, we held a number of entrepreneurship summits across the state where we tried to encourage young men and women to look for spaces outside the government. We have tried to encourage our young men and women with potentials who could contribute for the transformation that we expect to see," former Chief Minister said.

According to him, many had started becoming entrepreneurs and we tried to nurture them. "We have also built contractors where we pooled in youngsters to nurture them, create spaces for them so that they can grow. There was a time when you didn't have enough qualified contractors," he said.

"Unless the government understands the circumstances, you will have more pressure for government jobs," Leader of Opposition added.


Mukul on MRSSA 2016 and ILP

Leader of Opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma said that the State Government should go ahead with the implementation of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016.

Talking to reporters after his meeting with the members of the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organization (CoMSO) here today, Dr Mukul said that Government of the day needs to act immediately.

Informing that during the meeting, they deliberated on the need to incorporate certain clauses which can give more teeth to the law that has been already passed, he however said that what is more important was to implement the Act as mandated adding that the overall concerns of the people has been to a great extent covered by this law.

"Any further amendment for improvement or for the strengthening the law can always be looked at. The rules of the law can also be amended from time to time to address concerns. The law also talks about checking criminals and not just illegal immigrants," Dr Mukul who is the former Chief Minister of the State said.

Commenting on the all-party meeting to be convened by the State Government, he said that the government wants to engage with political parties on this issue. "We will put across our suggestions but will not deviate from what you see now because this is the culmination of an exhaustive exercise involving all the stakeholders keeping in mind all the other aspects," Leader of Opposition said.

To question on the demand to incorporate the provisions of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the existing Act, he said that the Act is not limited what ILP can achieve to address the issue of influx. "In fact, ILP has a very limited scope," former Chief Minister said. He also observed that any legislation formulated by the Government should be within the mandate of the legislature and can withstand judicial scrutiny. "We should that any law which is being legislated should not be beyond the jurisdiction of the state since it will not be able to withstand judicial scrutiny," Dr Mukul said.

Leader of Opposition further said that the Government should look to improve the rules to address the genuine concerns being raised.