SHILLONG, Feb10: The members of the Synjuk ki Nongsynshar Shnong Ka Bri u Hynniewtrep (SNSBH) a conglomerate of headmen’s body of Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills today evening walked out of the meeting with Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma. The Rangbah Shnongs (headmen) were apparently unhappy over the failure of Dr Sangma to assure the delegation that the amendment to Rule 20 (B) of Meghalaya Service and Conduct Rules should be scrapped.
Sangma had invited the SNSBH for talks to discuss various issues concerning the empowerment of traditiol institutions. Emerging out of the meeting, SNSBH secretary RL Blah said that for so many years government employees have been holding offices in the traditiol institutions and no one ever interfered with such practices.
“We are not clear what the reason behind the amendment is,” Blah told the waiting media persons. Meanwhile, Dr Sangma said that the idea of the government to amend the service rules was only to ensure it knows who are the people (government employees) who are holding such posts. “It was meant to strengthen and create camaraderie,” the Chief Minister told the media. He also said that the government has not indicated that it bars anybody from holding such offices.
It may be mentioned that on February 5, the Meghalaya Government approved an amendment of its service rules that set aside church workers and leaders of clan-based organizations from being forced to furnish information to the government. The Cabinet had earlier amended the Meghalaya Services (Conduct) (Amendment) Rules, 2015 which directed all government servants to furnish information to the government if they were holding any office in community-based organization, association, traditiol body or society.
Dr Sangma had said that this was done after the Personnel department was tasked to re-examine the rules and come up with an amendment so that it was articulated in such a way that there was no scope for misinterpretation on the government’s intent. Further, the government today also informed that the KHADC’s Village Administration Bill (VAB) has been returned by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the state government with 12 clarifications. According to Dr Sangma the KHADC had assented the VAB without complying with the amendments which were required to be done.
“If the amendments were done the KHADC’s, VAB would have been assented to as was done in the case of the JHADC’s bill,” Dr Sangma said.
The Chief Minister alleged that the clauses that were required to be attended to were flagged off during deliberations between the state government officials and the authorities of the district council.
“These were not attended to. Were they doing it for blaming the government?” Dr Sangma asked.