Residents Act: Govt allays fears over harassment

SHILLONG: Home Minister James Sangma on Tuesday said that the Amended Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Bill (MRRSA) 2019 has taken into consideration the concerns of visitors who use Meghalaya as a transit route and allayed fears of their harassment.
“All that has been taken into consideration. The Bill was precisely amended to make sure that we have a robust system yet at the same time, we do not harass our guests who come to our state for sightseeing or other purposes”, he told reporters here.
Sangma said that modalities have been worked out and once they are in place, the Residents Act will then be implemented in full.
In view of growing concerns of unabated influx into the state, the state Cabinet recently approved the amendment of the Act and decided to issue an ordinance.
The amended Bill will be regularised in the next Assembly session.
The Act is meant for people who intend to visit the state as tourists, labourers and business and who would be required to comply with certain guidelines under the new Act.
On the other hand, central government employees, state government and local authorities are exempted from the purview of the Act.
Sixth Schedule
On amendments to the Sixth Schedule, Sangma said dialogue was on with the Parliamentary Standing Committee and also with the stakeholders.
“It is an ongoing process and eventually we hope that the matter will be considered and there will be certain changes to the amendment Bill”, he said.
It may be mentioned that the state government has set up a panel to make suggestions on the amendment of the Sixth Schedule.
On the other hand, the government in October last had prepared its replies to 15 questions which were sent by the Ministry of Home Affairs pertaining to the proposed amendments.

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