Meghalaya Budget Session comes to an end with passing of Budget for 2021-22 and Bills including discussion on health, power, migrant workers and education

Meghalaya Assembly passes Budget 2021-21

March 19, 2021 (MNP): The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly today passed a Deficit Budget of Rs. 1, 570 crore for the financial year ending March 31, 2022 on the last day of the Budget Session. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who holds the  Finance portfolio, moved the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. III) Bill, 2021, to authorize payment and appropriation of certain sums from the consolidated fund of Meghalaya for the financial year 2021-2022. The Bill enables the state Government to the amount of Rs. 176, 03, 34, 000 from the Consolidated Fund of Meghalaya towards defraying several charges.

Power disconnection for non-payment of Bills

          Meghalaya Power Minister, James P.K. Sangma informed the House that the MeECL will start disconnecting the electricity connection of the industrial units operating in the State, once the period of the One Time Settlement scheme ends on March 31, 2021.

Replying to the question raised by Congress legislator, George B. Lyngdoh on the last day of the Assembly budget session, Sangma said that the disconnection of the electricity connection of the industrial units who failed to pay their outstanding dues will be done as per Section 52 of the Electricity Act, 2003. According to him, 30 percent of the pending electricity bills will be waive off to all the industrial units who come forward to avail the OTS scheme.

The work for augmentation of the Mawlai Sub-Station has been kept in abeyance due to observations from the Union Ministry of DoNER that the Meghalaya Government has not followed the due procedure of competitive bidding and transparency in awarding the work. The power minister said all works and supply orders have been cancelled. However, the process of re-tendering has already been initiated,  Sangma said in reply to a question by Opposition member Zenith Sangma of the Congress.

High Level Committee yet to submit report of relocation of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong

On the other hand, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told the Assembly that the High Level Committee set up to decide on relocation of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong will soon submit its report to the State Government.

Replying to the question raised by Congress legislator, Mohendro Rapsang on the final day of the budget session, Tynsong who is also the chairman of the committee informed that the HLC will soon be meeting before it submits its report on the matter. Replying on the supplementary question of Rapsang, Deputy Chief Minister told that there are many reasons which has led to the delay for the HLC to complete its task.

Migrant workers to register with the state Government

          Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong told the Assembly today that the migrant workers   are not required to obtain the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from any of the Autonomous District Councils for obtaining of the labour license from the state government.

Replying to the Zero Hour notice moved by Congress legislator, Process T. Sawkmie on the final budget session, Tynsong who is also incharge of Labour department said that the migrant workers will   have to register themselves with the state government under the Meghalaya Registration, Identification, Safety and Security of Migrant Workers Act, 2020 and the rules frame.

Policy for Meghalaya will be implemented with National Education Policy, 2020 as its guiding principles

            Commenting on the present scenario on the implementation of the Right to Education in the State, Education Minister Lakhmen Rymbui told the House that for laying down the curriculum and evaluation procedure, the academic authority is in its final stages of bringing out the first State Curriculum Framework.

Answering to a question by legislator Adelbert Nongrum, the minister said a Task Force constituted for this has carried out numerous rounds of consultations.
          The Directorate of Educational Research and Training has developed the Meghalaya Learning Enrichment for Academic Development Platform as mandated under the Right to Education Act, 2009 for in service teacher training.

It is a six months’ professional development course for teachers to be offered through online and offline mode. A web portal too is in a trial stage for the same, the education minister informed.

The Education Policy for Meghalaya will be implemented with the National Education Policy, 2020 as its guiding principles are almost identical, the education minister said. The broad goals of the education policy ensure equitable access from primary to tertiary, technical and vocational education and training and promote lifelong learning.

No negligence on part of Sohra Community Health Centre in connection with the still birth of baby

The Meghalaya Health Minister AL Hek told the House today that as per hospital records, that there was no negligence on part of the Sohra Community Health Centre in connection with the still birth of a baby recently. The health centre has been providing excellent health care services, he said.

Replying to a call attention motion by Opposition member Mayralborn Syiem in this regard, the health minister said for the past three years there has been no maternal death in the Sohra CHC, he added.

          The Health and Family Welfare Department has been giving extra emphasis on reduction of  Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate, especially during the Covid-29 period, the health minister said.

However, the minister said that the underlying cause of high maternal and child deaths in Meghalaya can be attributed to not only the clinical management or public health management, but, more so, the underlying and often unaddressed socio-economic and gender discrimination. This makes it all the more important to create awareness on this issue and initiate discussions from all sections of society, and the government is going just that, the health minister said. MMP

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