Meghalaya is one of the states where most of the land belongs to the local communities, clans and individuals. On the other hand, government jobs are saturated, while the educated youth will not venture into production or manufacturing units. Under such constrains, Meghalaya cabinet has approved a proposal to provide government jobs to people who donate land for various developmental projects.
Chief Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma clarified that his cabinet has approved the policy to ensure that ‘generous people’ who provide land to the government would be reciprocated with government jobs in Grade-III and Grade-IV posts. He made this statement on August 3, 2017. He also added that in the case of individual land owners, a member of their family would be absorbed in the government while in the case of community land, traditional institutions will select and recommend the names of people who deserve to be appointed.
The three members Pay Panel headed by former Chief Secretary Peter James Bazeley, through a report submitted to the Chief Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma, on August 2, 2017 recommended a pay hike by 25.6 percent to state government employees and pensioners. If the recommendations of the Fifth Meghalaya Pay Commission are implemented in toto, the state government will be incurring an extra-burden of over Rs 100 crore monthly in paying the salaries of over 11 lakh government employees which includes teachers of deficit schools and colleges besides 23,000 pensioners.
As the monsoon sets in, the cost of all essential commodities, particularly the perishable vegetables will always touch sky high prices, mainly due to the flood in Assam and parts of Meghalaya. There is no solution whatsoever to relieve the general masses which are forced to pay higher during the season in Meghalaya. Secondly, since the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), expected only to be streamlined only by mid September, all consumers are paying tax on taxes in the name of the new tax regime.
In Meghalaya, the farming community is the most neglected sector for which neither special welfare nor security schemes are provided as is done in other states. Above that due to poor connectivity of road communication to the rural areas, most of the produces are left to perish in the field itself, as the cost of transportation is higher than the products.
The vernacular journalist turned local film maker - Command Shangpliang is all set to grab the attention of the Government regarding the hardship and threat that young girls face in the state capital of Meghalaya and has suggested the legalization of the flesh trade through his local film entitled ‘9lad’ that is Kyndialad (Police Bazaar), the commercial hotspot of the state. The film is also to mark the seventh anniversary of Meghalaya Film Makers Association.
It may be recalled that the night life of Meghalaya is almost nil, there were many attempts made by various organization, encouraging the stakeholders to keep their respective stalls open longer, however, the inability of the district administration to provide security has resulted in the shopkeepers being unwilling to run businesses later into the night in the sleepy and cold Shillong.
Along with the rest of the nation, Meghalaya on July 30, 2017 scripted history, as thousands of the local citizens this side including political leaders took to streets, symbolically extending their support for demand of ‘Gorkhaland ‘ and solidarity against the alleged atrocities meted out by the Mamta Banerjee led West Bengal government in Darjeeling through a Global Gorkhaland Unity March.
Darjeeling is not the only district demanding statehood; there are many others, some have attained statehood, while other are still struggling. However, in the case of Gorkhaland demand, they have also seen the worst bloodshed in the past, however, now have taken the most peaceful movement, if the alleged atrocities by West Bengal government are not there.
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