Expert panel mooted to discuss job quota policy

Ampareen Lyngdoh. (St file photo)

SHILLONG, May 31: The Committee on Reservation Roster has stressed on the need for the constitution of a specialised committee, comprising experts from diverse fields such as law, economics, survey and statistics, after observing that it is not competent enough to deal with the divergent opinions of its members on the reservation policy.
The committee, headed by Law Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh as chairperson, was constituted recently with members drawn from all political parties.
After a meeting of the committee on Wednesday, Lyngdoh told reporters the members were in agreement that a specialised committee – one that has experts from the fields of law, economics, survey and statistics – is needed. She said the existing committee is not authorised to solicit the participation of such people.
“Some parties asked the government to immediately notify this committee while some said we have to go back first, so it is still very obscure but I hope the positive vibe that I got in today’s meeting will result in the interest of the people of the state,” she said.
Lyngdoh said all political parties have their own opinions on the reservation policy.
“Some asked for status quo, some asked for a review but all of those presentations were made verbally,” she said.
Stating that one cannot make a verbal presentation before a committee and expect it to understand what one means by that, the Minister said, “You may come with a drop-down menu and say you want these done but you also have to give a justification.”
“Each political party will be responded to individually and we can have a common discussion again. The next meeting is in three weeks from now,” Lyngdoh said.
She disclosed that the panel has directed all political parties to come up with a justification of their verbal suggestions within 15 days and the same will be submitted to the government for a review. She said the members were asked to go back to their respective political parties with the discussions with the hope that the same will yield some positive results.
Stressing on unanimity, Lyngdoh said, “The fact that there were divergent views on the reservation policy goes on to say that we are possibly not competent to really discuss all these matters.”
She said the committee requested the members of all political parties to prepare their suggestions, omission, cancellation and deletions with substantial legal footing.
“…we need to also make sure that we clear the legal scrutiny as the state political parties are mandated to review with the condition that there would be no obstruction or scrutiny that will result negatively for the government,” she said.
Stating that the committee is mandated only to open a debate among political parties on the reservation policy, she said, “We have initiated (it) and these minutes are going to be pending because all political parties presented (their views) verbally without a justification.”
She reiterated that the parties will have to make their suggestions in writing and justify the same. She disclosed that the committee requested VPP president Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit to consider calling off his hunger strike as they had cordial discussions.