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Govt mulls to amend Benami Act

SHILLONG: The state government is contemplating to amend the existing Benami Act as one of the mechanisms to check influx.
The proposed amendment is also to ensure that the business activities are not carried out by persons other than those who are legally allowed.
The existing Meghalaya Benami Transaction Prohibition Act was passed in 1980.
“Benami Act will further be amended so that the state government can notify the enforcing authorities who will be responsible for taking action against the violators of the Act,”  Deputy Chief Minister in-charge law Rowell Lyngdoh recently said.
According to Lyngdoh, since the punishment for violation as per the present Act is less, the government wanted to amend the existing Act to give its more teeth.
Lyngdoh is heading the committee to examine the Benami Act as well as a Residential Bill.
The committee was formed as part of “comprehensive mechanism” to combat and regulate influx into Meghalaya.
According to Lyngdoh, as far as the proposed Residential Bill is concerned, the Chief Minister favoured an all-party discussion for a consensus.
Earlier, the state government had constituted three committees, one led by Rowell Lyngdoh, another by Chief Secretary Barkos Warjri to examine the  Meghalaya Land Transfer and Regulation Act and the third committee led by Special DG  SK Jain for identifying locations for setting up of  entry and exit points in the state.
While the committee headed by Chief Secretary did not suggest any further amendment to the Land Transfer Act as it already has inherent mechanism to protect the indigenous people, the committee headed by Jain had suggested several entry and exit points in parts of the state.
Pro-ILP groups, which had demanded for the implementation of a “comprehensive mechanism” to combat influx, have urged the government to speed up the process.

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