Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong
Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong | PC: EastMojo image

Shillong: Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong on Monday said the leader of Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR) Angela Rangad was making “false allegations” after she accused the government of not being transparent regarding the financial assistance to daily wage earners.

According to Tynsong, the government provided financial assistance of Rs 2,100 to those who lost their livelihood during the lockdown in the first wave.

He informed that the state government received 2,33,194 applications last year. To ensure that there was no duplicity, the government entrusted NIC to screen the applications.

The people who could not apply for this assistance were working as casual labourers in different departments, those covered under PMKISAN, Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (BOCWWB) or those having a job card holder, MGNREGA, and were excluded from this financial assistance.

Out of the 2,33,194 application, 1,81,491 were found to be eligible for government assistance. So far, 1,45,161 have received the assistance. The other transfers are in process. The delay was due to incorrect details provided by the applicants, he added.

Tynsong said that the statement made by Kong Angela Rangad was “misleading, unfounded and not acceptable.”

“We are here to accept submission and suggestions made by citizens and govt is open 24/7 for such submissions and suggestions,” Tynsong added.

Tynsong added that another form of financial assistance was given to active registered labourers in Meghalaya. Till March 2020, there were 25,794 beneficiaries, and Rs 5,000 was transferred to their bank accounts.

“I wanted to clarify that in her (Angela Rangad) statement, she said that govt is hiding about the payments to the workers. Only active registered workers are entitled to get these benefits. The rules and guidelines under this Act specify that one needs to renew annually so that they can avail the different benefits of this scheme,” said Tynsong.

TUR has time and again raised concerns about the government’s transparency on COVID-19 expenses.

In 2020, the TUR demanded the government to make the detailed expenditure public. In its letter to the Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, TUR demanded that the government should proactively, within a week under section 4 of the RTI Act and the Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act put the information in the public domain. This was seen after the state government had announced investing Rs 399 crore for the COVID-19 pandemic.

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