Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma along with Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh called on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi and sought for assistance from Government of India for funding different projects under “Special Central Assistance”.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma briefed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the progress of works for Water Supply Scheme in Tura, Nongstoin and Greater Shillong, construction of new assembly building, upgradation of health infrastructure and setting up of residential schools.
The Meghalaya Government has requested for additional sanction of around Rs 200 crores for ongoing projects in the State.
Informing on the progress of ongoing construction of the new assembly building in Shillong, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh drew the attention of the Union Finance Minister on the need to complete the building by 2022.
“The work is in progress and we are confident that it will be completed as per scheduled. The State Government has already invested an amount of Rs 100 crore from its own resources and is in urgent need for an additional 150 crore for making the project operational by 2022,” the Chief Minister said.
He also drew the attention of the Union Finance Minister to intervene and issue advisory to all banks to make SHG portfolio a part of their key performance indicators.
“During COVID-19 pandemic, SHGs in Meghalaya have played a major role in ensuing cash flow at the grassroot level and ensured access to finance to the low income groups. Hence, SHGs have a major role to play in terms of taking financial services to the last mile populations. Since, Meghalaya has low penetration of bank branches in the rural areas and as such the SHG network can help bridge the gap in providing the basic financial services,” the Chief Minister said.
On Tuesday, he also called on several other ministers including Union DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda, amongst others.
The Chief Minister and Speaker also called on Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and briefed him of the ongoing construction of National Institute of Technology (NIT), at Sohra, which has been halted due to paucity of funds.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma requested the Union Education Minister to release additional funds to complete the building. It may be mentioned that NIT, Sohra requires an additional 258 cr to be completed.
He also called on Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda and apprised him of the ongoing projects in Meghalaya.
It may be mentioned that the tribal affairs ministry has sanctioned different development projects for Meghalaya including the prestigious Tribal Research Institute, which is coming up in West Garo Hills.