SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Cabinet on Monday took a slew of measures to ease restrictions after the 21-day lockdown to combat COVID-19 ends.
The Cabinet stated that construction works (road construction) and other allied developmental programmes sanctioned by the government in the last financial year will be allowed to restart from April 15.
The Cabinet also decided to allow the reopening of weekly markets in rural areas from April 15, provided that strict COVID-19 protocols as prescribed by the Health department are adhered to.
“Private transportation will be allowed to resume from April 15,” Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong informed reporters.
The Deputy Chief Minister also stated that all government offices will resume functioning with full staff strength from April 15.
However, schools and educational institutions will remain closed till April 30.
Tynsong also informed that farmers in rural areas will be allowed to resume sowing activities with immediate effect.
“Strict protocols to be maintained as prescribed from time to time by the health department,” he added.
Also MGNREGA activities will be allowed to resume in respective villages in the State.
The Deputy Chief Minister informed that wages and the material components to the tune of Rs 534.6573 crore has been sanctioned and released to the respective Block Development Offices for payment of wages and clearing the materials bills.
Meanwhile, the government also decided to extend financial assistance to all wage earners, daily labourers and petty traders (unregistered daily wage earners) who are out of work during the COVID-19 lockdown, under the Chief Minister’s Relief Against Wage Loss scheme for daily wage earners at the rate of Rs 700 per week.
The financial assistance will be transferred directly to the eligible beneficiary’s account.
Tynsong however said that beneficiaries already registered under Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW), job card holders under MGNREGA, muster roll workers of government departments, casual and contractual wage workers in government and semi government departments and registered farmers under ‘PM-KISAN’ are not entitled to receive benefits under the scheme.
Moreover, the Cabinet today also discussed about the fate of citizens from Meghalaya both students and working citizens, numbering about 2192 individuals in total, who are staying at different parts of the country.
“Most of them had expressed their desire to come back to the State. Taking into account the safety of people in the State and the safety of the stranded citizens themselves, the Cabinet after a thorough discussion has decided to request the stranded citizens to refrain from travelling back home until the end of April 2020,” Tynsong said.