The Civil Society Women’s Organization (CSWO), an NGO of Meghalaya, has strongly opposed the Cabinet’s decision to enhance the price limit for purchase of official vehicles and instead suggested politicians and VIPs to consider using public transport.
The CSWO expressed shock especially at a time when the State is reeling under financial crisis.
In a statement issued here on Thursday, CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing said, by using public transport they would notice potholes, bad roads, and no roads in rural areas and do away with VIP status.
“Elected public servants and government servants cannot abuse their position at their whims and fancies but they are guided by rules and procedures,” she said.
Kharshiing termed the decision a “sheer abuse of power” which cannot be accepted.
“This is not individual funds of the cabinet, but public money. Such decision only gives room to corruption and capitalist policies. It is always seen that politicians approach the public before elections with a promise to bring in change, but here they sit and take decision not for the problems face by the people but for themselves,” the CSWO president said.
The CSWO also sought to know from the state government and guardians of the state including bureaucrats who are in-charge of Finance about the “Meghalaya Ministers Allowances and Privileges Act 1972.”
“The Finance department and the Chief Secretary should not allow such decisions by the cabinet wherein decisions are made amounting to extravagant splurging of public funds,” she said.
Questioning the decision to enhance the price limit, Kharshiing pointed out failures of the the state government to pay the salary of SSA teachers, victim Compensation scheme, not improving mobility services for police in remote areas where they need more vehicles.
“Many a time, victims of Rape were made to travel together with the perpetrator in the same vehicle as both need to be taken for medical examination. The government should sit to tighten the extravagant spending of public funds and seek for more accountability and transparency,” the CSWO leader added.