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By Our Reporter | Shillong, Sept 24, 2018: 

The Opposition Congress on Monday asked the NPP-led MDA Government to seek more financial assistance from the Centre to ensure overall development while keeping in mind the complex milieu in the state.

“Before implementing any scheme, the central government should first understand the complex milieu in the respective states because there are many centrally sponsored schemes which have failed to reach the grass root levels,” Congress MLA and East Shillong legislator, Ampareen Lyngdoh told the house on the second day of the Autumn session of the 10th Meghalaya Legislative Assembly today.

While supporting the special motion moved by Opposition Chief Whip, PT Sawkmie, Lyngdoh raised the issue pertaining to the financial assistance and deficit in the state claiming that there is not even a single state in India that are happy with the funding pattern adopted by the Centre.

There are many centrally sponsored schemes, which are meant to ease the financial burdens of the people, but are not being implemented in accordance with the requirements and complexities of the states, she said adding “There are many of these schemes are confusing and doesn’t serve their purposes,” she added.

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Referring to the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (also known as Modi Power Scheme), the Congress legislator said that this scheme has yielded no results. “It is difficult for the people especially the rural folks to understand and to get access to this scheme and coupled with difficulty in the metering, this power scheme is also very expensive,” she said.

She also stated that operational problems continue to exist as there are still many households even in the urban areas which does not get access to power.

Meanwhile, Mawsynram legislator HM Shangpliang has raised issues pertaining to a non-functional Meghalaya Social Audit Council stating that due to the absence of a chairman, the council has remained closed adding that there is a need to appoint and fill the vacancy as the regular audits are imperative.

“We need to know the road-map of the government but unfortunately, the MDA government has not been able to come out with the Common Minimum Programme,” he said.

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Furthermore, Shangpliang stated that in the developmental front, there is a need for the government to work hand in hand with the bureaucracy adding that development has to be reviewed and worked out by both ministers and bureaucrats.

“But it is sad to say that there are some districts, civil sub divisions that don’t have full-fledged deputy commissioners and sub division officers,” he pointed out while referring to the recently inaugurated Civil Sub Division in Ranikor as a perfect example. The civil sub division is being manned by a single officer, he added.

He stated that government agencies are plagued by lack of man-power. “How can you expect one officer to look after the entire division. Work should be allotted accordingly, so as to ensure that development percolates down to the grass root level,” he said.

He also pointed out that there are many vacancies in high-ranking posts of many government departments, of which, the government should look into ways to award promotions to the deserving officers and fill the vacant posts from the higher to lower levels.

Also supporting the special motion, Umroi MLA George Lyngdoh raised the “Ease of doing business” rankings whereby he pointed out that in the last report, Meghalaya was ranked last in the list thereby projecting the state as an ‘unfavourable destination’ to invest.

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“Problems like these arise when the Government of India tries to find one size for all the states of India,” he said.

He also raised issues relating to water supply, health care services, problems faced by the SSA teachers and block resource persons due to delay in payment of salaries, welfare of the ASHA workers besides others.

Earlier, the East Shillong legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh took a dig at the government over the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the state stating that the GST has become a phobia.

“Huge promises were made but what we see is that this has become a deterrent to self employment; small businesses, which also comes under its ambit, are affected. How can you expect the residents, youths to get into profitable businesses, if you are levying huge taxes on them?”she questioned.

On the rise in the price of petrol and petroleum products, Lyngdoh questioned the role of the government stating that considering the financial status of the state, some assistance from the centre should come to Meghalaya. The rise in the price of LPG cylinder has become a source of torment for the residents of the state adding that there needs to be immediate measures to address this problem.

The others who raised points in support to the special motion moved by Opposition Chief Whip, PT Sawkmie include Nongpoh MLA, Mayralborn Syiem, Independent MLA SK Sunn, Rajabala MLA Azad Raman and Chokpot MLA Lazarus M Sangma.

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