EDITORIAL | What to expect during Meghalaya Budget Session 2021



The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly is all set to witness a stormy Budget Session 2021 from March 5 onwards.

As always, heated discussions over issues relating to coal mining, power crisis, Inner Line Permit, Meghalaya Residents’ Safety and Security Act (MRSSA), and a host of other issues will make headlines.

The latest issue that's got the people of Meghalaya talking is the power crisis with load shedding being imposed across the State owing to the decision of the National Thermal Power Corporation of India (NTPC) to invoke the Letter of Credit (LC).

Invoking the Letter of Credit restricts Short Term Open Access (STOA) through the North Eastern Regional Load Despatch Centre (NERLDC) and results in the disruption of power.

It was not long when the Meghalaya Government withdrew the load shedding notice after receiving complaints from several quarters. However, the recent development in the power sector forced the State to resort to load shedding again.

It is one such issue that has been talked about frequently. Complaints of power theft and non-payment of electricity dues are some of the associated topics linked to the power crisis in the state.

Illegal coal mining is also another issue that will rock the Assembly session given the recent mining tragedy at Lad Rymbai in East Jaintia Hills, where six miners lost their lives.


Illegal mining and transportation of coal have always been at the top of the list at every session. In the last session, the Opposition had raised questions on illegal coal mining, alleging gross mishandling and corruption in the entire process of transporting stocked coal from the depots.

Illegal mining and transportation of coal is an open secret in Meghalaya and the Barak Valley of Assam.

No matter how much one denies the prevalence of this illegal practice, the ground reality says otherwise.

Another issue the Opposition Congress would likely raise is the current status of the Inner Liner Permit (ILP).

It has been more than a year now that the Assembly passed a resolution to urge the Centre to implement the ILP in Meghalaya.

However, the same is still lying on the shelves of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Of course, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured of giving a patient hearing to all pro-ILP groups in the state during his proposed two-day visit to Shillong later this month, according to Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.

But we can only wait and watch as it is unlikely for Shah to succumb to pressure.

Unpaid salaries of teachers and GHADC employees will also likely be discussed at the house, and members of the Opposition are preparing to bombard the ruling with questions on fund deficit.

Other topics that might come up during the discussions are the inclusion of the Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule, the progress of the construction of the Dwar Ksuid bridge (bypass) in Ri Bhoi, the implementation of central and state-sponsored schemes, education, health and others.


Also Read: Meghalaya Minister James Sangma apprises Union on current power issue in state