Meghalaya: Divided by party, united by common cause – Unemployment

Meghalaya: Divided by party, united by common cause – Unemployment
16-03-2018.

By Our Reporter, TNT News | Shillong, March 20, 2018:

The legislators of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Tuesday dwelled at large on the problem of unemployment in the state and suggested various steps to curb this problem collectively irrespective of political affiliation.

Members from the treasury as well as the opposition bench shared their thoughts and concerns on the motion moved by Mawlai MLA of the Congress PT Sawkmie and independent legislator SK Sunn on the problem of unemployment in the state and the need to find out solution for removing this problem, on the third day of the on-going budget session here today.

Moving the motion, Sawkmie said the time has come to convert the 'blame' game into 'brain' game even as he asserted that the employable and educated youth of the state have to be accommodated into various sectors other than government departments while maintaining that government jobs in the state has reached a saturation point.

 While calling upon the government to create more job opportunity in the Home (police) department considering the fact that this department can create more battalions to absorb the youth, Sawkmie

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Meanwhile, independent legislator from Mawphlang Syntar Klas Sunn informed the house that as per the data he received from the Employment Exchange Office in Shillong, the number of unemployed educated youth in the state is alarming.

He said that in the 6 districts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the number of registered unemployed youth is 35,000 while in the 5 districts of Garo Hills, there are 3,500 unemployed youth. "What concerns me the most is the fact that amongst these 40,000 unemployed youth in the state, many of them are graduate professionals and engineers. If opportunity is not created, a situation may arise which we will all have to be careful," he said.

Echoing similar concerns, East Shillong legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh said that the issue of unemployment and under employment has to be studied and "We need to put in all efforts right from the line department like the education department to find remedial system to address this problem."

Furthermore, she underlined on the need to review and audit all skill programmes supported by the government of India which are not in tandem with the skills available in the state, to audit the entire sea of youth going to the lucrative professions like hospitality, to come up to with an agency to help the youth who have returned to the state after undergoing training in other states, to avail the facilities in the state, to audit all coaching centres in the state and to locate them in areas where there is a huge chunk of helpless youth.

"Let us join hands irrespective of political affiliations because we need to solve this problem together," she added.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma made a clarion call to create more jobs in the state saying it's more important than ever because of the vitiated environment in the country where youths of the region are no longer safe.

Similarly, Congress MLA from Umroi George Lyngdoh informed the house that there are contractors/firms who are equally responsible for rendering the youth of the state unemployed. Substantiating his statement, Lyngdoh said that instead of facilitating jobs for the local people of Meghalaya, the said contractors are hiring cheap labour from outside the state.

Requesting the government to take action against such erring contractors and firms. He also took a dig at central departments' offices which are based in the state stating these central government offices have become a breathing space for people from outside the state with total disregard to the Sixth Schedule.

On the same note, Congress legislator from Nongthymmai, Charles Pyngrope while referring to Meghalaya as God's own dwelling place said that the state is so blessed and "All we have to do is discover our potentials," while refering to the tourism sector as an employment and revenue generation sector even as he maintained the government needs to take steps to make Meghalaya a centre of tourism industry in the country.

Furthermore, the former speaker also referred to agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, apiculture as areas which needs to be developed considering the fact that they can provide employment opportunities to the youth.

Meanwhile, lone KHNAM legislator Adelbert Nongrum  said that even after 46 years of statehood, if the solution to curb unemployment is not found than they have failed as legislators.

"It is high time to remove the differences and take the matter seriously. We need to work with our hearts and not just our brains. I appeal the government to take keen and serious interest in tackling this problem," Nongrum said.

Similarly, Independent legislator Lambor Malngiang from the treasury bench highlighted that the youth have voted for them with a lot of expectation to see a change, especially when it comes to providing employment and it is only pertinent to find solution to the problem.

Requesting the government to look into the industrial sector, Malngiang read out the data he has received on the number of locals employed in various factories located in Byrnihat and Umiam whereby he informed the house that out of the 2800 vacancies, only 100-150 locals were absorbed into these factories.

"The government have to verify all these aspects and to look into the problem to ensure that the youth are accommodated into different factories," said the independent MLA.

Similarly, Hill State People Democratic Party (HSPDP) legislator from Mawkyrwat, Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar also joined the discussion and stated that this problem cannot be solved by the government alone. It requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders both at the public and private sector.

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