Each MLA can utilise MLA scheme upto Rs 25 lakh to deal with COVID-19

Shillong, Mar 30: The state government has decided to allow all 60 MLAs to utilize up to Rs 25 lakh to help mitigate the crisis arising out of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters on Monday that the state government has decided to ensure that all 60 MLAs are involved in fighting against the present crisis.

“We have decided that each MLA will be allowed to utilize upto Rs 25 lakh from the MLA scheme for the year 2020-2021,” Tynsong said.

He said the government would like to leave it to the wisdom of the respective MLAs on how they would utilize the amount be it in cash or in kind to help the people. “This will help us a lot in fighting this crisis that we are facing,” the deputy chief minister said.

Stating that ensuring there is sufficient supply of essential commodities is priority agenda of the government, Tynsong said shortage of essential commodities like rice (that may arise) due to panic buying was discussed during a meeting held today.

“We have reviewed the situation and very soon we will put a mechanism in place. The government has already decided that if need be, it will step in to procure rice directly from the FCI but of course that situation has not arise yet,” he said.

He further informed that a meeting chaired by the chief secretary MS Rao with the stockiest has assured that the stock in the state is still okay and that there is no need to worry as supply will continue to flow to each and every village in the entire state.

Again urging the citizens not to panic, the deputy chief minister said that the government is also working to streamline the distribution system.

“Now, we have put a regulation in place to ensure everybody get their share and take back to their respective villages and districts,” he said adding that clear instruction has been given to everybody not to take advantage of the situation by indulging in overpricing of essential commodities.

Tynsong also informed that the chief minister has constituted a team of ministers to visit and review the situation in all the eleven districts of the state.

The deputy chief minister is tasked with the responsibility to visit four districts in Khasi Hills region, minister in-charge food & civil supplies James K Sangma to visit five districts in Garo Hills and home minister Lahkmen Rymbui to visit two districts of Jaintia Hills.

“The visit to each and every district is on. The purpose of our visit is to encourage the officers at the district level, district administration and also to meet and interact with rangbah shnongs, NGOs and response was so good,” he said.

The deputy chief minister also lauded the role played by the village headmen to ensure people comply with the lockdown by staying at home.