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Amended Residents Act to be tabled in next session

Govt examines provisions of 2016 Act

SHILLONG: The amendment to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act will be brought in the next Assembly session.
An official source said on Saturday that due to paucity of time, the amendment could not be brought in the just concluded budget session and added that works related to the amendment were on.
Though the budget session was scheduled for 10 working days, the duration was reduced to five days due to the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Next session is likely to be held either at the end of August or in September.
According to the official, the government will examine all angles while effecting amendment to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act.
The state government had earlier ruled out implementation of ILP and asserted that the Residents Act will be strengthened, which will be more effective than the ILP.
Since the Residents Act is mostly for tenants, the amendment will focus on the entry and exit of people who come to Meghalaya.
However, the state government will examine the Constitution of India to ensure that free movement of people is not affected while implementing the Residents Act, sources said.
According to sources, the question as to who is a permanent resident in Meghalaya will also be defined when the amendment is brought in the next session.
Earlier, the Confederation of Hynniewtrep Social Organisations (CoHSO) had met Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who had assured them that the political and law departments will ensure that amendments to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016, are effected to check influx.
CoSHO had asked the government to incorporate four provisions of ILP when the government finally amends the Residents Act.
The provisions are ‘no Indian citizen or foreigner should enter and settle without permission, anyone from outside the state who enters and settles illegally without permission will be penalised, stay of any outsider in the state should not exceed 179 days and lastly addition of a provision related to prevention of sale of indigenous tribal land to outsiders.
However, the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act at present prohibits sale of land to non-tribals.
There was fresh demand for ILP from the pressure groups following the Centre’s move to implement the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

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