Assam, Meghalaya to cut fiscal flab by targeting unproductive boards

While Meghalaya decided to dissolve its Housing Board, Assam will downsize its Agriculture Marketing Board

Published - July 11, 2024 08:47 am IST - GUWAHATI

File picture of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma speaking in the State Assembly, in Shillong

File picture of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma speaking in the State Assembly, in Shillong | Photo Credit: ANI

GUWAHATI: Assam and Meghalaya on Wednesday decided to cut their fiscal flab by downsizing or dissolving unproductive boards.

The decision to dissolve the Meghalaya State Housing Board (MSHB) and downsize the Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board (ASAMB) is aimed at streamlining State operations and improving administrative efficiency, the two State governments said.

After a Cabinet meeting in the State’s capital Shillong, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma indicated other non-functional or unproductive boards could be dealt with similarly. “The 18 employees of the board, who have been facing salary issues, will be offered a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) worth ₹7.42 crore,” he said.

Marcuise Marak, Meghalaya’s Minister for Housing said the decision to dissolve the MSHB was part of a broader effort to rationalise State operations. “The VRS package is designed to provide a dignified exit for the employees,” he said.

The Assam government, too, decided to offer VRS to 612 employees of the ailing ASAMB and a one-time settlement to its 147 contingency and fixed-pay staff.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the State Cabinet “accorded approval to a financial settlement scheme for the employees of ASAMB” to “rationalise manpower utilisation in the government service sector.”

The employees of ASAMB have been protesting periodically for salaries not paid for more than a year. A government spokesperson said the financial settlement will work out to ₹154 crore.

Child adoption leave

The Assam Cabinet also approved 180 days of child adoption leave for its women employees to take care of adopted children less than a year old.

The initiative aligns with Rule 43-B of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972, ensuring adopted children receive proper care and nourishment. It is designed to support women employees in balancing work and family responsibilities effectively, the spokesperson said.

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