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2 Bills to be tabled in Assembly today

State Govt move to check influx

SHILLONG: The State Cabinet on Thursday approved two Bills to be tabled in Assembly on Friday  to ensure safety of the residents of Meghalaya and to check influx which has been the core demands of the pressure groups in the state.
The Cabinet has approved the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Bill, 2016 and Meghalaya (Benami Transactions Prohibition) Amendment Bill  2016.
It was on March 15 that the pressure groups, who were demanding a comprehensive mechanism to check influx, after giving up ILP issue, met the state government to table the Bills to protect the indigenous people from influx.
While the new Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Bill, 2016 aims at addressing the concerns of the people of the state on the threat of large scale influx and infiltration, the second  Meghalaya (Benami Transactions Prohibition) Amendment Bill  2016 focuses on taking stringent steps to prohibit carrying out proxy  business activities.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, the Chief Minister said that the cabinet nod to two important Bills is part of the ruling party to take all measures and responsibility in respect of fulfilling promises that have been made to the people of the state especially in terms of addressing the issue of influx.
On the Meghalaya (Benami Transactions Prohibition) Amendment Bill, the Deputy Chief Minister in charge Law  Rowell Lyngdoh said that in the past after several meetings with the members of the civil society, it was suggested that a committee should be constituted to examine the Benami Transaction Act, 1980 aimed at amending section 4 of the Act to ensure better enforcement of the Act.
According to Lyngdoh, the committee can receive a complaint or take suo moto action if there are any aberrations of the Benami Transaction Prohibition Act.
Lyngdoh said that the committee can refer the complaints to the police stations for further probe and  verification.
Another amended section was for imposition of penalty for the violation of the Act.
The amendment was aimed at ensuring that the business activities are not carried out by persons other than those who are legally allowed.
The old Meghalaya Benami Transaction Prohibition Act was passed in 1980.
Since the punishment for violation as per the old  Act was less, the government amended the Act to give its more teeth.
Earlier, the state government had constituted three committees, one led by  Lyngdoh  to amend the Meghalaya Benami Transaction Prohibition Act 1980 , another by former 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.

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