The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Tuesday demanded the state government to take corrective actions against wasteful expenditure on non-performing bodies..
Addressing media persons, HYC general secretary Roykupar Synrem said an RTI filed by the HYC revealed that the government had spent over Rs 4.42 crore on the Meghalaya Economic Development Council (MEDC) and Meghalaya Resource and Employment Generation Council (MREGC) without making any contribution towards the state during the last five years.
He said, “We demand the Chief Minister of the State to take corrective actions to minimize the unnecessary expenses on these types of Committees, Commissions, Councils etc which does not provide any productive contributions to the Government or the state as a whole.”
He said payment of any types of remuneration should be given only after taking into consideration of the contribution made by these bodies and the practice of providing facilities like house rent, electricity bills, conveyance, furnishing of house etc should be stopped forthwith as these bodies are not permanent and does not even have their permanent offices.
Engagement of staff to various appointees should also be kept in abeyance till such time the Government comes up with a concrete policy on the working of these bodies.
“The organization will write to the Chief Minister in the coming days with demands and suggestions and if the Chief Minister or the Government does not take necessary steps, then we will be forced to take recourse to legal remedies to take actions against the Government for wastage of public money,” Synrem said
Synrem said the NPP led Government of Meghalaya during 2018 to 2023 has constituted the Meghalaya Economic Development Council (MEDC) with a Chairman along with Co-Chairmen and Vice –Chairmen, who are affiliated or office bearers of the political parties in power.
Some of the important functions of MEDC are to advise the State Government on issues relating to or touching upon the industrial and economic policies; identify sectors where overall economic and industrial growth can be created and accelerated; suggest ways for attracting investments, local and foreign, in the State.
However, as per RTI replies received from the Planning Department it is shocking to learn that the expenses towards the staffs and other perks and facilities provided to 4 appointees (who had made claims till date) under the Council is Rs 1,55,02,266 but the Council did not sit even for a single Meeting or provided any advice, suggestions or carry out any of its functions as mandated upon it during this period of Five Years.
“The Chairman, Co-chairman and Vice-Chairman have only drawn the funds from the State’s coffers without any productive contribution towards the State and the people in general,” Synrem said.
Another body constituted by the Government during 2018 till 2023 is known as Meghalaya Resource and Employment Generation Council (MREGC) with the objectives to identify skills in demand from Growth of Economic activities in the State both in technical and non-technical spheres and to assess investments/requirements for developing such skills among the people; to assess prospects for generation of employment in the State in the relevant sectors and identify activities which may have high employment potential besides others functions.
“However, inspite of spending Rs 2,87,18,941 during the period, the Council did not sit for any meetings or provided any advice, suggestions or carried out any of the functions as mandated upon it but the Chairman, Co-Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and other non-official political appointee members have only unashamedly fleeced the State’s funds,” the HYC leader stated.
“An amount of Rs 4,42,21,207 is being spent on these two Councils constituted by the Government without any contribution or positive results but has only made us poorer as the State,” he said.
He added, “These two Councils are only under the Planning Department, Government of Meghalaya which we have information for now but there are some more under the different Departments which are yet to get specific information but we are sure they are also unproductive and have only fleeced us the people in the last five years.”