Guwahati, Friday, May 20, 2011
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Meghalya framing policies to check entry
 SHILLONG, May 19 – Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today said that the government is in the process of framing policies to effectively check entry of illegal migrants into Meghalaya.

After a meeting with social organisations who submitted a memorandum to him, Sangma said, a committee is on its job to introduce a “three-tier identity card” for the people of the State and also work permits for migrant labourers.

Once the ID card and work permit systems are implemented, the state would be able to better monitor the issue of influx, Sangma added.

Under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Regulation Act, 1979, work permit for a migrant labourer would be issued for a period of 179 days and can be renewed subsequently. Local employers must obtain the permit for its employees under the Act.

Implementation of the work permit is to be overseen by the labour department in association with the Deputy Commissioners, Block Development Officers and police department.

All these agencies would verify the antecedents and Indian citizenship of the migrant labourers before they are allowed to work in the state.

However, lack of manpower in the labour department has posed hurdles for the smooth implementation of the work permit. The labour department, meanwhile, has sought Rs three crore from the finance department for appointment of additional staffs and purchase of vehicles to effectively implement the work permit system.

The social organisations, meanwhile, met the Chief Minister after the 2011 provisional Census report showed Meghalaya registering the highest decadal growth in the country. The Census report showed Meghalaya registering a decadal growth rate of 27.82 per cent. The national average of the country is 17.64 per cent.

Many of the social organisations have expressed concern that the “abnormal decadal growth rate” is due to influx. However, it is difficult to pin-point the exact reason unless the full census data, due to be released next year, is studied in detail.

Sangma also said, a committee was working to amend the State Land Transfer Act with suitable provisions to protect the interest of the local indigenous tribes of the state. He said the amended bill is likely to be placed before the next session of the Assembly for approval.

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