From A Correspondent
Shillong, Dec 13: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Wednesday slammed the Centre for alleged irregular release of funds to the North-eastern States in general and Meghalaya in particular.
Referring to the plight of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers of the State who are protesting against non-payment of salary for the last eight months, Sangma told the House, “The SSA teachers are being made to suffer due to the insensitivity of the Government of India.”
Sangma was replying to a special motion moved by opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) MLA from West Shillong Paul Lyngdoh in the Assembly.
The Chief Minister also said that the State government will take on the Centre to ensure that the teachers get their rightful dues.
“We will resolve the issue at our level. We will fight with the Government of India to get the funds released regularly,” Sangma assured the members.
The Chief Minister also was peeved at the blame the State government receives due to the “inefficiency” of the Government of India.
According to him, there is a tendency on the part of the Central government to withdraw the schemes or funding and slowly shift the burden on the States.
“There are also many ways of blocking funds into the States as sometimes they use machineries to inconvenience some of the States,” Sangma said.
The Chief Minister said the Northeastern States time and again had made it clear to the Centre that the region is beset with historical and geographical problems.
Acknowledging that the intertiol borders that the region shares with other countries are sensitive, Sangma said the Centre has failed to understand the problems faced the people of the Northeast.
“These are borders of conflicts and not of prosperity,” the Chief Minister asserted.
He also said the State government is committed to take care of workers who are out of ambit of the government’s direct assistance.
Sangma explained that various categories of teachers (deficit and ad-hoc) will not directly benefit from the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations, but added that the government was aware of the issue and that it was on the job to take care of other categories of teachers.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that the government was concerned about the vulnerable groups like single mothers, physically challenged and the old and infirm.
Sangma pointed out that the State government has rolled schemes under the Chief Minister’s Social Assistance Scheme for the infirm, disabled, widows and single mothers.
The Chief Minister informed the House that 30,284 single mothers and 53,573 infirm are getting benefits from the scheme.