On Trading License


Apropos the letter, ‘Trade license conundrum’ by one M S Chettri (ST Sep 9, 2019) exposes the writer as hollow, irresponsible and asinine. It is obvious that Mr Chettri has not skimmed through, let alone perused, the various provisions of the Khasi Hills District (Trading by non-tribals) Regulation, 1954 and the rules made and subsequently amended therein. Section 3A of the Regulation unequivocally mandates the Council to ensure compliance from non-tribal traders to submit a satisfactory police verification report, professional tax clearance certificate, NOC from the local Dorbar, among  others. While the Department officials have been tasked with the responsibility of fast tracking the process of renewal, the co-operation of the trading community is imperative because a substantial number of applicants have not attached the relevant documents. In fact, the Department is seized of the fact that up to date payment of professional tax by traders has been largely breached for years together, but we have been considerate enough to insist on compliance for the last three fiscal years alone. We are proactively engaging ourselves in the exercise of giving the Council the much desirable refurbishment of its image and enhancement of its performance level. We solicit the unstinted advocacy of every right-thinking Meghalayan, both tribals and non-tribals, in realising the above goals.

Yours etc.,

Paul Lyngdoh,

E.M., Trade etc,



Article 370!


Confounded as I was, things became even worse confounded when I read of Union Home Minister, Amit Shah’s statement in the front page of The Shillong Times (September 9, 2019) differentiating Articles 370 & 371.

It is true that all provisions of the Article were temporary in nature with a special provision that the President (of India) might issue an order to end its operation. The title itself (Article 370) of the Constitution of India says: “Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir” (italics mine). But, the ‘temporary’ provision does not mean that the Article is capable of being abrogated unilaterally.

       Yours etc.,

Morning Star Sumer

 Shillong – 2

Drug problem in Meghalaya


The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Monday deliberated at length on the menace of drugs in the State. In fact, as many as 9 members took part in the debate which was piloted by Congress MLA, Process T. Sawkmie. They have all expressed great concern at the prevalence of drugs and drug addiction in the state. They feared that Meghalaya may become like Punjab if the supply and consumption of drugs leading to addiction is not contained immediately. They also expressed fear that the future of the youth of Meghalaya will be ruined forever if drastic steps are not taken in time. The drugs menace in Meghalaya is not imaginary but is very real. As per official records available the number of those affected by drugs addiction in the state has reached nearly 6000 and still many more are in the risk groups to be affected by the evil of drugs. In spite of strict action by the police against drug addicts and those involved in the sale and supply of drugs yet people who are engaged in sale and consumption of drugs is on the rise

What is urgently required today is that the society at large should co-operate unitedly to combat drugs at all levels. As drugs supply come from outside the state it is very important to block and cut off the supply chain by adopting various mechanisms and strategies. We need to reach out to those affected by drugs and cure them through various means including counselling and de-addiction strategies. Large scale awareness programmes will also go a long way in helping people get rid of drugs. The government should adopt multi-pronged approach to deal with the problem. A holistic drugs policy will also help to a great extent to deal with the drugs menace. We hope that the Government of Meghalaya and the people at large will rise to the occasion to fight this menace head on before things go out of control. Debates in the Assembly should result in concrete steps on the ground.

Yours etc.,

Philip Marwein,


Slowdown in auto sector


The recent crisis of slowdown in auto sector needs an immediate overhaul with a strong action plan by the Government. The recently elected NDA government is now posed with an immediate challenge to look into the slow down issue affecting the auto sector. The same wasn’t anticipated prior to elections as the situation was normal earlier. The NDA Government should make increased efforts to bring in necessary industry reliefs  should not merely look at assurances that the matter will settle down. There is a high demand to re-look at GST provisions and Finance Ministry should be actively involved in bringing down GST rates in the auto industry. Both the Finance Ministry and Ministry of Transport and Highways should engage actively and quickly expedite necessary process to bring down GST rates to enable auto sector to come out unscathed from the crisis.

Yours etc.,

Varun Dambal

Bangalore – 72


Assurances from HM


Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that the Central Government is not going to touch Article 371, which is the special constitutional provisions for the north-eastern states is indeed welcome and it really expels the gripping apprehensions in many people’s minds over this hot issue. He said, “There is a vast difference between Article 370 and Article 371. Article 370 was clearly temporary in nature while Article 371 is about special provisions in the northeast. I had clarified in the Parliament, and I assure everyone in the presence of the Chief Ministers of the region that the Centre will never touch or dilute Article 371.”

Following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, people of north-eastern states were highly apprehensive of the Centre’s move to abrogate Article 371 and with the Home Minister’s statement, this fear is gone. But he regretted that after the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K, there have been attempts to misinform and misguide the people in the Northeast that the Centre would also scrap Article 371.

In his first remark on the just concluded process of updating the National Register of Citizens in Assam, Amit Shah said, “A phase of updating the NRC has come to an end within the stipulated time frame. Many people are raising various questions, but I want to make it clear that not a single infiltrator would be allowed to live in Assam by the Government of India. I want to say this much only on the NRC today.”

Thus, the Centre is very adamant on sending away all infiltrators in Assam by the strength of the NRC. But the minister was of the opinion that North-eastern states have registered a drastic fall in terrorism and unlawful activities. He said, “We are still open to welcome all those remaining misguided youth who are willing to lay down arms.”

Unlike elsewhere in India, North-Eastern region is yet to arrive at the major developmental path and once insurgency and other internal problems are over in this region, state and central governments must focus their attention on the development of this region.

Yours etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Via email

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