Shillong, March 6 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, whose coalition government completed one year on Wednesday, chose to review the functioning of the administration instead of celebrating the anniversary.
“The programmes and functions today are not a celebration but another day in governance. Completing one year in office is important for us — to look back and analyse what we have done and not been able to do and decide how to move forward,” Sangma told journalists after releasing report card of the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government.
Remarking that there are many challenges ahead, the Chief Minister said, “We faced lots of challenges, but have given our 100 per cent as a team. Officials as well as all the partners of the MDA have worked meticulously to take the state forward. There are challenges, but I can assure you that we are up to them and we will work towards our goals. In the next one year, we will do our best to ensure that we fulfil the other promises and move forward in other sectors to take our state ahead.”
Noting that unemployment rate in Meghalaya is below the national average, he said: “Job creation is one of the main priorities. We hope all the actions taken in the last one year will continue and we will be able to create more jobs for the youth.”
He said entrepreneurship was the way forward to tackle unemployment and the government had launched several projects.
Every project is aimed at economic development, which will lead to job creation, he said. “We know in the coming years, the country and Meghalaya will see a huge inflow of youth to the job market,” the Chief Minister said.
On other challenges, he pointed to the education and health sectors. “These challenges have been there for many years. We, as the government, are working towards improving those aspects.”
On the ban on coal mining by the National Green Tribunal, Sangma said, “The government is trying to strike a balance between ecology and economy. While the livelihood of people should not suffer, environment must not suffer either.”
Terming the mining tragedy at Khloo Ryngksan village in the East Jaiatia Hills district as unfortunate, Sangma said the government has set up district committees, headed by Deputy Commissioner, to monitor illegal mining.
On the vexed boundary dispute with Assam, Sangma said: “The government is aware and concerned of the boundary dispute. We must ensure safety of people in border areas. They should be safe and grow like any other part of the state.”
Sangma said talks between the two state governments were on. Discussions are happening at both official and non-official levels. “This is not an easy issue, is a little complicated. It will take time,” he explained.