Shillong: Amid the uproar over non-payment of salaries of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) employees, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Saturday informed that they (state government) would provide financial support to the Council.

The Council has not been functioning for the past three months since the employees have been on strike demanding payment of their salaries, which is due for three years.

Sangma informed that a meeting was held with the Chief Executive Member (CEM), deputy CEM, senior officials from the Garo Hills district council, members from the state finance department, legal department and others to discuss the prevailing situation in GHADC.

He said that the government understands the situation and that they are preparing letters for financial support. “I know there is a lot of discussion and pressure. Members are mentioning that the state govt must clear the salaries of the Council. I hope all understand that the Council is an autonomous body and its working and financials are independent,” said Sangma.

He added that the GHADC’s financials are not linked directly with the state government, so the Council will have to resolve these issues, and the state government is there to support them.

“What is important is that the employees, the Executive Committee (EC) and the Council work together. There is a new EC, so it is a good opportunity to change things and find a solution,” said Sangma.

“I would urge and appeal to the employees of the Garo Hills Council to be positive in the entire situation. The new EC is working hard to find a solution to this, but if the support is not there and the staff doesn’t join hands, then how will the files and paperwork move,” he added.

According to reports, employee salaries were cleared on several occasions in the last two years. The Non – Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA) of the Garo Hills council had even demanded a revised pay scale which was promised by the former EC.

They mentioned that the outgoing EC, led by the NPP, had assured employees of the Council that they would receive the 5th pay scale. Currently, the GHADC is led by NPP and supported by BJP and a few independent parties, with Benedic R Marak as the CEM.

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