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‘We have weathered many storms’
SHILLONG: The Ministers in the MUA-II have revealed challenges ahead for the Government as it completes two years in office.
While the Chief Minister Mukul Sangma was sworn in on March 5, 2013, other 11 cabinet ministers were inducted on March 12 that year.
The MUA II Government supported by 29 Congress legislators, two NCP members and 11 Independents over the past two years have seen many ups and downs.
While bringing out the positive and negative elements, Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh told The Shillong Times that the Government have overcome many storms and it is moving forward despite facing all challenges.
The Cabinet Minister, while stating that the biggest challenge for the State Government at the moment is funding, Lyngdoh said that sudden cancellation of JNNURM project has left the State in a disadvantageous position.
“Union Government has not given us any guideline for the new scheme under JNNURM which is being planned, she said, adding that the State Government got an indication that the JNNURM scheme may be taken away and therefore there was tremendous pressure on the department to complete the pending projects.
“It is like an umbilical cord which is being just cut away,” she said
The Minister also said that the Government in its two years of existence have been able to establish a social link with NGOs and civil societies which was missing all these years.
Stating that they stand united behind Mukul Sangma, she said that NGT ban on coal mining has been a down for the State Government but she is confident that the Government can pass off even this storm.
“NGT ban is a down for us as it affects the livelihood of the people, but we are confident that we can pass this storm”, she said
On the other hand, Deputy Chief Minister of the MUA II Government, Rowell Lyngdoh said that the Government is doing whatever it can for the development of Meghalaya.
“We are more focused on development but politically too we have to strengthen the party,” he said
According to Rowell, the Government has a lot of ideas for development but at the same time, the Government would have to listen to people on their needs and aspirations.
He feared that there may be financial problems this year since and Government is handicapped with finances besides less allocation from the finance commission. Besides NGT ban on coal mining will affect the State badly this year, he added.
Miles to go…, says Opp
SHILLONG: As the Congress led MUA II completes its two years in office , the Opposition members have slammed the Government for failing in all fronts.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, Nongthymmai MLA and Opposition member Jemino Mawthoh said that the Government is trying to mesmerize people with their various programmes, but he wanted to know where is the real development.
Stating that the Government has gone wrong somewhere, he feared about the future of the people of State as there is such a financial mess when State is not getting much funds from the Union Government.
According to Mawthoh, half of the population in Meghalaya is under BPL category and their various needs should have been addressed by the Government. He added that the Government cannot cry at the non availability of revenue due to NGT ban. The fact of the matter is that there should have been proper financial management on the part of the Government.
“Moreover, what is the stand of the Government on regulating mining scientifically,” he asked
While questioning lack of Government initiatives to provide jobs to the unemployed youths, Mawthoh expressed concern over the plight of youths as there is not much opportunities for them in Meghalaya and poverty is a major issue.
He said that the Government could have capitalized on the power sector of the state, but failed.
Another UDP leader Paul Lyngdoh termed the MUA II performance in two years as a big disappointment
“It has provided numbers, and quantity does not mean quality,” he said, adding the jumbo size ship has not been able to take the state where it is supposed to be taken.
He also alleged that the internal dissent has taken a toll on the governance and the direction of the Government.
NPP leader James Sangma also rued that MUA II has not come up with anything concrete in the last two years apart from visualizing grand dreams which are not practical on the ground.
“MUA II has failed miserably in its job towards financial management resulting in a mess in which we are today” he said.
Sangma added that the Government did not have any roadmap for development as it failed to deliver on all fronts.