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Roy calls for 18 member Cabinet

SHILLONG: Former Chief Minister Donkupar Roy on Sunday advocated the need to increase the number of ministers in Meghalaya from the present 12 to 18 which according to him will help the State government to do away with the appointment of parliamentary secretaries.
The controversies related to the parliamentary secretaries had compelled the State government to recently amend the existing Act in this regard to do away with a clause which equated the rank and status of the parliamentary secretaries to those of ministers of state.
The existing Meghalaya Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2005 had equated the rank and status to that of a minister of state.
According to Roy, considering the coalition government which is a trend, the State government should move the Centre to further amend the 91st amendment of the Constitution to increase the number of ministers to 18.
As per the 91st amendment of the Constitution, small states like Meghalaya can have only 12 ministers. Roy also called for complete repeal of Meghalaya Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2005.
He pointed out that the State government had not brought out any Act for the appointment of chairman of State Planning Board and other members and hence no Act is required for the appointment of parliamentary secretaries.
“I am against appointment of parliamentary secretaries as they do not even get any files to go through and hence this defeats the very purpose of their appointments,” Roy added.

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