Congress fears issues related to financial mismanagement in MeECL if not rectified may led to privatisation

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At the time when there is a move to privatise the distribution company of the different electricity corporation across the country by the Govt of India. Employees of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) decided to join the nationwide protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Centre’s move for privatization of electricity distribution companies (Discoms) across the country.

The opposition Congress has expressed fear that the state government’s failure to rectify the issues related to financial mismanagement may lead to complete privatization of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).

“It is high time this government should rectify all this and save the MeECL as ultimately what will happen when everything is out of control, the MeECL will completely be privatized, which is a very dangerous trend,” Congress spokesman and Rangsakona legislator, Zenith Sangma told reporters on Wednesday.

This also came ahead of the MeECL employees under the banner of the Coordination Committee of Registered MeECL (Employees) Associations and Unions (CCORMAU) joining the nationwide protest against the Centre’s move for privatization of electricity distribution companies (Discoms) across the country.

“It is also high time for the government to really pull up its sock and without wasting any time rectify all these things for the benefit of the employees of the MeECL and also people of the entire state as power is a very important sector,” he said.

Sangma said it is very unfortunate that the state government could not fill up the post of director of finance in the MeECL, which has been lying vacant for the past three years since 2017.

“There is malafide intention (behind this) as any good officer who can deliver upto the expectations are being sidelined and somebody else whom they can dictate are being brought,” he alleged.

He said the MeECL employees had also indicated their displeasure and resentment against the delay to release their salary, pension benefits and lots of other issues.

Stating that this totally reflects on the poor management in the MeECL, Sangma said he has repeatedly mentioned about the frequent change in the leadership of the MeECL by appointing junior rank officers as its chairman-cum-managing director (CMD).

“Earlier, an officer of the rank of joint secretary was appointed as CMD. We have brought this issue to the notice of the government inside and outside the House but in spite of assurance being given by the chief minister, yet no prompt action has been taken. Instead, the previous CMD was replaced by another junior officer at the rank of additional secretary,” he said.

“The present CMD of MeECL (Arun Kembhavi) is holding eight different posts as he is also the additional secretary of mining & geology, director of corporate affairs, commissioner of taxes, director of mineral resources, registrar of society, superintendent of the stamp, inspector general of registration… Now tell me, can it be possible for one person to hold this many posts and give justice to the people of the state?” Sangma asked.

Having said this, the Congress leader further alleged that many such officers are working under tremendous pressure from the political bosses.

“These people who are in the helm of affairs, they are selecting such officers whom they can make to work at their behest and that too under tremendous pressure as if anything goes wrong, the responsibility will be vested with officers only,” he said

According to him, this is happening not only in the MeECL but at the district administration and different departments of the government.