The Non Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA) of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) has written to the Governor of the state stating their intentions of boycotting the upcoming elections of the ADC on April 9 if the royalty share of Rs 55 crores as well the pending salaries of over 28 months was not cleared until the elections.
“We submitted a memo to the Governor apprising him of the various problems of the employees and sought his intervention in the non release of Rs 55 crores due to the GHADC as royalty share due from the state due to which salaries of the GHADC employees. We also requested him to utilize the Rs 18.2 crores sanctioned by the central government to the same effect,” said Johnny Arengh, the president of the NGEA.
The NGEA further objected to the deputy CM, Prestone Tynsong’s statement of the Rs 15 crores that he said would be recovered from the royalty share owed to the GHADC.
“We doubt the seriousness of the government in clearing our salaries as they are able to recover and spend an amount of Rs 15 crores from the royalty. If they can release the royalty for the purpose of elections, they should be able to do the same for the legal share of royalty owed to us,” added joint secretary, Flaming Marak.
They further added that more than 25 families lost their loved ones due to lack of funds for medical expenses due to non payment of salaries. The matter is still pending with the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (MHRC).
“We will boycott the upcoming elections to the GHADC as well as abstain from our duties if the government fails to pay the Rs 55 crore royalty and clear our salaries,” they added.
Further the NGEA demanded removal of the GHADC secretary over allegations of the officer harassing the employees for raising the issue of salary non payment and the diversion of funds meant for salaries as such.
“We are very serious about our decision and hope the government understands,” they added.