On the third day of the ongoing Autumn session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Leader of Opposition, Dr. Mukul Sangma on Tuesday asked the state government to take up the issue related to the attempt by the Centre to change the guidelines of the Inter-State Border Areas Development Programme (ISBADP).
Raising a supplementary query in the Assembly, Sangma said the recent attempt to change the guidelines will dilute the role of the state government.
The former chief minister said there has to be coordination between the centre and the state rather centre trying to supersede in reaching out to the needs of the people.
“The chief minister should take up this issue. All the states should also take up this issue in the true spirit of the federal system,” he asserted.
In his reply, the Minister-in-charge of Border Area Development, Lahkmen Rymbui admitted that there has been a change in the guidelines and the same was already published in the website of the MHA.
“The state government after looking (at the changes made), has requested the government of India that status quo be maintained,” he said while assuring that the state government will follow up the matter.
The minister also assured the program will continue and the government is going to sanction necessary funds when the leader of the opposition wanted to know if the government intended to abandon the programs while reminding that the program was conceptualized based on the hardships faced by the people residing in the borders.
On the issue raised by Congress legislator from Nongpoh, Mayralborn Syiem with regards to the delay in notifying 23 border villages under his constituency, Rymbui assured that he would look into the matter.
Syiem had also requested the government to earmark enough funds to develop the border areas of the state citing that the illegal encroachment by Assam was due to lack of development.
With regards to the concern expressed by Congress legislator, Winnerson D Sangma on the failure of officers to provide information about the sanctioning of projects to elected representatives, the minister assured to issue necessary directions to the officers.
Earlier, Rymbui informed that the allotment of the fund under SCA (BADP) for BADO, Kalaichar, South West Garo Hills is Rs 217,32948 lakh and Rs 274,186 lakh for the year 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively, and for Dalu West Garo Hills is Rs 198,55627 lakh and Rs 228,45501 lakh for the year 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.
Further, an amount of Rs 190.00 lakh under BADP-additional fund 2018-19 has been allotted under Dalu Border Block.
The minister further informed that the allotment of the fund under ISBADP for BADO Kalaichar is Rs 2.84 lakh for the year 2018-19 and for the year 2019-20 is nil and for BADO, Dalu is Rs 9.84 lakh for the year 2018-19 and for the year 2019-20 is nil. EOM