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Food for thought — contract labour from Bangladesh

Staff Correspondent
Shillong, April 12: Meghalaya Chief Minister faced criticism on the floor of the Assembly for  his idea to provide work permit to Bangladeshi. He said on the floor of the Assembly that “Even now with less economic activities there is illegal immigration, but with economic development it will increase. We can’t stop but mechanisms should be put in place,” Conrad said while replying to the short duration discussion during the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Assembly on Thursday.
The chief minister also said that as per study, with the effects of climate change in Bangladesh around 50 million persons will be dislocated from that country and the worst affected states in the northeast will be Meghalaya and Tripura.
Trying to defend criticisms from the opposition against the proposal to issue work permits to Bangladeshi tiols, Conrad said that there should be a balance between economic development and illegal immigration.
“If process is too tight economic development will suffer and if the process is too loose illegal immigration will occur,” the chief minister told the House. 
He, however, said that there will be no compromise on the identity and land of the indigenous people of the state, while pointing to The Union Government Act East policy and Meghalaya contemplating with the Act South policy.
He also said that the work permit for Bangladeshi tiols came up for discussion with the Exterl Affairs Minister but no such proposals were made.
Conrad pointed out that pre-independence the north east had the highest per capita income in the country since the region used to trade with neighbouring countries but now physical boundaries has stopped all such activities.
“Now goods to Bangladesh can only be exported through Kolkata but not through Dawki or Dalu,” the chief minister pointed out.
 

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Ankur Kalita