Meghalaya Cabinet meeting

Shillong: Meghalaya Cabinet on Tuesday passed the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Rules, 2021. This enables the state excise department to tap the revenue potential of online and physical gaming and regulate gaming in the state.

The Act was published in the Official Gazette on March 26, 2021. The government expects that it will bring sizeable revenue. Health Minister James Sangma said this is an area that is very promising, especially looking at other states like Sikkim and Goa that have done extremely well in terms of revenue collection. 

Sangma said given the flow of tourists in Meghalaya, they expect that this to be successful. 

Sangma also informed that the cost per license is Rs 2 crore annually. 

There will be a certain percentage of the gross gaming revenue that will also be paid to the government.

Other agendas were also discussed in the Cabinet like the proposed list of Holidays for 2022-2023. The Cabinet has approved the proposal for the introduction of E-Court Fees Rules in Meghalaya to raise the level of e-payment of Court Fees and to enable the purchaser to generate the E-Court Fee Certificate online.

The Cabinet also passed a draft proposal for amendment in the Meghalaya Compulsory Registration Marriage Act, 2012. This Act provides for compulsory registration of marriages in the state. The Act makes it mandatory for married men and women to furnish a marriage certificate issued under the Act for all official purposes.

The Cabinet also passed the amendment to the Meghalaya Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme 2005 regarding the formation of the Natural Resource Management Committee (NRMC) at the Village Employment Council (VEC) Level. A proposal was made for a separate sub-committee to be formed and created at the VEC level that will specifically look after natural resource management and all related matters at the VEC level as an added support.

The NRMC has been one of the focal points under the MGNREGA and the ministry of rural development has placed emphasis on the need to increase expenditure on natural resource management and related activities through MGNREGA. The Cabinet minister informed that to date the performance is still not satisfactory, and the state has not crossed the 60% expenditure in any financial year. Out of the 262 permissible works under MGNREGA, there are 181 works related to the NRM. This implies that almost 70% of the permissible works are NRM-related, however, the focus of the VECs has always been on rural connectivity roads footpaths etc

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