Congress MLA Charles Pyngrope on Friday drew the attention of the Assembly to end the VIP culture.
Moving a cut motion on the expenditure of over Rs 1.80 crore for payment to contractual staff engaged for services to VIP and other high officials, Pyngrope said many rooms in the Meghalaya Houses lie vacant for months but for the common man they are always unavailable.
He said the support for catering to VIPs and high officials should be abolished.
Citing the example of the Meghalaya House in Kolkata, the Nongthymmai MLA said a ministerial room is bigger than a three-room apartment.
“Our small state with limited resources cannot afford such luxury,” he added as he underlined the need for increasing the number of rooms in these state guest houses in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Guwahati.
“Are we VIPs when we are admitted in ICU? We get the same treatment in the same bed like general population and it’s the general population who is the VIP and we are servants,” said Pyngrope.
Echoing similar views, Congress MLA from Mawlai PT Sawkmie said the contractual staff in Meghalaya Houses and the ground staff at the Guwahati airport who facilitate the movement of VIPs do not get salaries on time.
“They face a lot of problems as they don’t receive salary for months though they are putting their best effort,” he said.
Replying to the motion, Minister in charge General Administration department Comingone Ymbon said maintenance of the Meghalaya House is a big challenge.
According to Ymbon, Meghalaya Houses often coordinate with the Centre and various other agencies and recruitment of contract workers was to meet the growing demand. On unavailability of rooms, the minister said some VIP rooms are kept reserved for emergency visits.