Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma

Flagging off several crucial issues during a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 11, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma sought financial assistance from the Centre to tide over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

“All states have financial issues during this time with debts and taxes. Therefore, we seek financial help and assistance from the Centre,” he said after a six-hour-long virtual interaction with the prime minister.

Maintaining that the “biggest challenge” for Meghalaya would be the people coming back from different parts of the country, Sangma said that the same policies will not work in the whole country.

“We must continue to follow guidelines like avoiding large gatherings. To keep the virus in check, inter-state movement should be minimized. We need to prepare economic planning structure and strengthen health infrastructure,” he said.

“Therefore, we are going to see a lot more relaxation and we are also going to see a lot of freedom and flexibility be given to the states to decide what are the economic activities that could start, which areas to be defined as containment zones or as red zones or as other zones. So, you will see a lot of flexibility being given to the states but I think a few things will remain general,” the chief minister said.

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Emphasizing that all states must be allowed to do their own planning so that strategies are more effective, Sangma said, “Micromanagement is important and states can take up their own decision to tackle the situation.”

He also informed that Meghalaya Economic Task Force is looking into boosting the state’s economy during this time.

“It is important to make economic zones regional for the benefit of all states. There are two approaches, one you open everything and another you continue with the lockdown,” Sangma said.

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