Amid scathing attack from several quarters, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma defended the decision of the State Government to declare December 28 and 29 as mandatory working days.

He was of the view that a number of departments, including finance, are working on holidays including Saturday. Sangma said the decision was taken to complete the entire exercise for implementation of the new pay structure.

While asserting that declaring or swapping holidays are based on exigency, the Sangma said his government had apprised all concerned well in advance that the two days will not be declared holidays but will be compensatory working days.

“We are only requesting everyone to optimally utilize time for work,” he said, even as he added that the gigantic exercise of pay fixation requires the drawing and disposal officer to complete the exercise.

Sangma said by the New Year, most of the drawing and disposal officers would be busy with pre-election exercise including training and there would be dislocation of the exercise. “By declaring December 28 and 29 as working days, the government is only optimally utilising the time,” he said.

Asked if the government will consider reverting back its decision by declaring the two days holidays next year, the Chief Minister only said that this year the decision was taken to complete the whole exercise for implementation of the new pay structure.

“Since in the preceding years we have been generous so why can’t the government be generous even in the future,” the Chief Minister said.

Earlier, the National People’s Party (NPP) had attacked Chief Minister Mukul Sangma for declaring December 28 and 29 as mandatory working days and termed the decision as ‘insensitive’.

An NPP press statement released on Thursday said, “We condemn the insensitive decision of the Mukul Sangma-led Government. Christmas and New Year is a time that everyone in Meghalaya cherishes and spends time with family and loved ones. Everyone comes together to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ.”

The party had also demanded that the Chief Minister revoke the order.


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