Thursday, February 29, 2024

Govt clarifies house rent claim issue

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By Our Reporter

 Shillong: Reacting to the report, “RTI Findings-Chief Minister some Ministers claim house rent despite staying in own homes” (August 30), the State Government on Tuesday clarified that under the provisions of the Meghalaya Ministers Allowances and Privileges Rules, 1997, if a Minister does not occupy the residence provided by the Government, or if he is not provided with a Government accommodation, the private residence occupied by him/her would stand requisitioned and rent allowance as permissible under the rules would be provided to the concerned Minister.

“Therefore, any Minister would be legally entitled to house rent allowance, even when he stays in his own private residence,” the Government clarification said.

Our reporter replies: Those who have read the full report will know that the entitlement part was neverchallenged. It was the ethical part that was questioned considering that apart from house rent there are furnishings, repairs and other recurring expenditure involved which will be added to a private residence, using public money. In fine, a personal home will be renovated/repaired/furnished at public cost. The moot point here is whether the furnishings will be returned or the repairs etc be reclaimed once the ministers loses his job?

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