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TURA: The over 1600 employees of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) will not receive their salaries of the last five months and will instead be paid three dearness allowance arrears on Wednesday with the state government refusing to come to the aid of the NPP-led executive committee running the autonomous body.
Efforts made by the Garo Hills Progressive Alliance executive committee to seek its share of revenue of the major and minor minerals from the state government came to naught after it was pointed out by the government that there was no fund of the council available after the last Congress-led EC had taken in advance Rs 16 crore.
That money, which could have cleared dues of the employees for four pending months, was withdrawn by the previous EC just before elections. The said money was used to clear contractors and suppliers bills.
A majority of the beneficiaries of the payment were those having affiliation to the last Congress-led EC, it is alleged.
Speaking to newsmen, the chief executive member (CEM) Denang T Sangma informed that a sum of Rs. 3.33 crore is required just to clear the salaries of 1600 employees in a month. That includes the additional 200 last minute political appointments made by the outgoing Congress EC before elections took place, this year.
"We had hoped to get the money from the minerals share but it was found that the amount had already been taken out in advance by the last EC," the CEM said.
"With no fund forthcoming from the state we have decided to utilize whatever amount is available with us. Till Monday we have been able to raise over one crore seven lakh rupees from our accumulated revenue and the auction of the weekly markets in Garo Hills," he said.
That money will be released to pay for the three arrears of the council staff, it was announced.
Governor to address special GHADC session: For the first time in recent history the Governor of the state will address a special session of the GHADC in January, it was revealed by CEM Denang T Sangma.
Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan has been specially invited by the Garo Hills Progressive Alliance Executive Committee to address the special session in Tura.