The Shillong Times – Established 1945
I would like to refer to a news item ” State job policy must : Pressure groups” ( ST November 14, 2022) which reported about the demands of the KSU, HYC and FKJGP for job reservations in the private sector as is being done by Karnataka, Haryana, etc. Apart from this demand, I would like to request these pressure groups to also focus their attention on a very common trend of recruitment of staff on contractual basis and paying them slave wages by various government departments even for posts that need not be contractual in nature. For example, the PHE department recently advertised for the posts of Water Analysts for a renumeration of Rs. 15000 only per month and Laboratory Multi-Tasking Assistants for a renumeration of Rs.12000 only. The above posts should not be contractual in nature because the services of the appointees would ALWAYS be required to check on the water quality. Besides, aren’t the renumerations of Rs.15000 and Rs.12000 for technical personnel equivalent to slave wages?. (Regular posts of this category are equivalent to the posts of UDA and LDA respectively. It is learnt that LDAs working in heads of departments, Government of Meghalaya draw a starting basic pay of Rs.26,500 and their total emoluments come to around Rs. 40,000). This being the state of affairs in various other departments, one is forced to conclude that this Government is out to exploit desperate young unemployed people who for the lack of opportunities are forced to work for a pittance.
Shillong – 2
During last four months or so I have noticed over publicity in the media about Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, how he has been moving in lightning speed in the state to either inaugurate some projects or in distributing livestock and cheques to Self Help Groups, Producers Groups and Village Organisations established by the Community and Rural Development Blocks or by some outreach NGOs under the so-called PRIME programme, FOCUS Programme, Community Investment Fund, YESS Meghalaya, IVCS programme or Rural Backyard Piggery Scheme PROGRESS or under some fancy Mission to some specially selected beneficiary groups selected by potential NPP candidates or by his political cronies.
All these exercises are nothing short of populist propaganda which were done with a clear-cut view of furthering the chances of the ruling NPP in winning the ensuing elections which is barely three months away. He and his deputies carried out these exercises with lightning speed to ensure that all these so-called sops or freebies are completed just before announcement of the General Elections in the state by the Election Commission of India this coming December-January. These freebies’ distribution spree are nothing short of political baits and fraught with dangers because they are given from the public exchequer meant for specially designed central schemes and from loans borrowed from FIs which the government has to repay with interests. The results are damning indeed for the state which is already overburdened by huge loans yet this NPP led government uses the public funds for open populist propaganda.
Yes, the ruling NPP finds funds for freebies’ distributions but has no funds to pay salaries of teachers and various other committed liabilities. These irresponsible steps taken by the Chief Minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, is dangerous for the state and will further push the state into bankruptcy just to win the ensuing elections. We cannot comprehend how the other coalition partners in the MDA have allowed this blatant arbitrary misuse of public money by the leading ruling party? From where will the expenses for these huge political baits’ be redeemed with costs if not from the people of the state including the beneficiaries of the so called fancy programmes/schemes/ Missions by way of taxes, fees, cesses and what not? This is nothing but a ploy to misuse and waste public funds for organising the mega events of distributing piglets and cheques of Rs.10,000, Rs. 5000 or Rs. 50,000 to whoever they have specially selected and favoured. All these exercises undertook by the CM will kill the spirit of hard work and innovations of farmers and make them dependent on government doles and largesse instead of self- dependent entrepreneurs or farm producers for food and financial security.
I am writing this letter to express my opinion on the final routine examination of MPPS (Meghalaya Police Public School) Golf Links Shillong. The exams will begin on November 16 and will be held both in the morning and afternoon every day. As a parent I feel that it is stressful for the children because they will hardly have time to study. Initially they were given a routine with one subject a day, but the school Principal has changed the routine for reasons best known to her. During the meeting with parents she was preaching about how to raise children; how to nurture them etc., but can she please at least set an example from her end and understand that children also are having a tough time during exams. Not every child is a genius hence they need some time to prepare. Even the Board exams provide some gap between each subject so that the students can prepare properly and do their best. So can the Principal please give a day’s gap or at least one subject a day so that the students will not be stressed.
Name withheld on request
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The Shillong Times – Established 1945