Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday said the expenditure incurred so far in holding cabinet meetings outside the state capital is over Rs 19.18 Lakhs.
The CM said Rs 19, 18, 221 was the expenditure, even as he said this is done to bring the administration closer to the people. Following his reply, the Rangsakona legislator Zenith M Sangma terms it as a waste of public money.
Zenith had asked the minister to state the fate of the ‘cabinet on the move programme’, the expenditure it incurred, and the logic behind the programme.
The Chief Minister informed that the programme was suspended in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and that two meetings have been held prior to the suspension in Tura and Jowai.
On being enquired how holding cabinet meetings in other parts of the State other than State Capital will bring the Administration or the Government closer to the people of the State.
Conrad responded saying the cabinet was able to connect at the grassroots level and understand what the problems really are and access it better.
“It is not about us going and disturbing or interfering or making things complicated for the officers. The fact that the Ministers are going and sitting with them in the Tura office and Jowai office gives them a sense of belonging and motivation that – yes – the Ministers and the Government is concerned that they have come to meet us and see us and we are able to focus on issues that are related more to Jowai and Tura,” he said.
He added that decisions can’t be made from Shillong and that this was in ‘the overall interest of the people- we are able to connect to them better and ensure that we give governance and better delivery in the governance that we do.”
To this, Zenith responded by saying the creation of new blocks, new districts, new civil sub-divisions are things which bring administration closer to the people and that holding of the cabinet on the move was a wasteful expenditure.