Amidst a lot of protests demanding the immediate release of pending salaries of the Employees of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, the Council Secretary Rikse R Marak said, “After I took over, a major challenge we were facing was of salary disbursement which was coming to about approximately to 4 cr per month. I have taken charge that is 22 months back and we have disbursed salary for 11 months.”
She also elaborated on the inherent backlog that the district council is facing. “When I joined it was about 16 months backlog so after I joined out of 22 months I was able to disburse 11 months backlog, so 27-28 months backlog is there and the cumulative backlog is increasing almost every month. “
Stating that there is a confusion between the Government grants and the own fund, she said, “Many people think that when the Government releases a certain amount of money than it should go for salary but let me clarify that there are three heads in GHADC, the first Personal Leisure Account, the second PLA and the third PLA.”
Elaborating further she said, “ The first PLA handles the own funds, own collection and states share loyalty second PLA and the third PLA handles the government grant portions. So we are supposed to arrange salary from the first PLA and in the second and the third PLA whatever we get are to be used for the development purpose and it is written very clearly in the release order that this money which comes from the Government as Government grant a and various funds are not met to be utilized for salary. “
Even she maintained that fund available under first PLA is not at all sufficient to meet the growing demand as she informed that there is a confusion among the masses among the employees also they say 18 cr is coming under government grant why can’t we channelize it as a salary. So that is another hurdle we are facing in GHADC.
As the Non-Gazetted Employees Association demanded the salary should be released under the revised salary structure, we have also seen there is a demand for the removal of Rikse R Marak as secretary of GHADC. She said, “
Asked about the demand of NGEA for her removal, she said, “This office many people say has been mismanaged for many years, I have been there only for two years, there is no demand for removal of any of the people who were party to this mismanagement, misgovernance.”
“ I am in the process of curbing the expenditure, introducing the reforms, plugging the loopholes, don’t you think it is ironical that there is a move to remove me, “ she said.
“Those people who are rational can think logically should know what the politics behind the demand for my removal is,” she added.
Determined to take up any challenge coming on her way, the secretary said, “Many people did not take up this challenge because they said it will be detrimental to their career, basically I am an army officers daughter so I took the challenge head-on because I say if everybody looks for a plush posting, everybody looks for comfort then what’s the point for our serving.”
She even pointed out, “ That why I am not at all affected by their demand for my removal because my conscience is clear and I am very happy about my achievements in about two years as secretary to the executive council. I am very satisfied and even if I am removed because of their allegations which are false and fabricated.”
“I am not responsible for their non-disbursal of their salary of 32 months as they are claiming, I am not at all. Any rational minded individual will know. So how do you justify my removal what are their demands for my removal, what is their justification for my removal, non-payment of salary I am not responsible for that,” she added.
Meanwhile, the secretary to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), Rikse R Marak has lashed out at the Non-Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA) after the association accused her of allowing Council employees of doing contract work with the intention to withdraw funds before the upcoming holiday season. She called the allegation baseless and fabricated.