The Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Member’s Pension) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which seeks to reduce the qualifying years of two years and six months for an MLA to be eligible to receive a pension, was tabled on the first day of the Assembly’s autumn session held on Friday.
Stating the object and reasons after introducing the Bill, Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Parliamentary Affairs Prestone Tynsong said that the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly has proposed to reduce the qualifying years of 2 years and 6 months as contained in proviso to section 3 (l) of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Member’s Pension) Act, 1977.
He said that the existing provision in section 3 of the said Act puts a cap of 2 years and 6 months for an MLA to be eligible to receive a pension. In view of this law, members who have served as an MLA for less than this period were not eligible to receive a pension.
Tynsong also said there are few persons who were members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly who have fallen short of 2 years and 6 months as required in section proviso to section 3 (l) of the said Act and thus ineligible to receive a pension.
“To enable these persons to be eligible to receive a pension, the instant amendment is being placed. Therefore the proposal to amend section 3 of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Member’s Pension) Act, 1977 by inserting a new proviso and by giving it retrospective effect is being proposed in the amendment. Hence, this Bill,” he said.
In the financial memorandum, Assembly’s Commissioner & Secretary Andrew Simons said that the additional expenditures will be involved from the consolidated fund of the State while implementing this amendment provision.
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Meghalaya Assembly Autumn Session
The autumn session of the eleventh Meghalaya Legislative Assembly began on Friday.
There will be five working days of which three days have been allotted for government business and two days for private members’ business.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the Assembly session will be conducted as per the calendar approved by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).
His statement came after the opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) had demanded the extension of the duration of the Assembly’s autumn session citing that having a session for only five working days is too short.
Sangma said, “This is exactly the same number of days as in the past. We have not decreased the session.”
“As has been the practice in Meghalaya, the session has been decided more or less by the BAC. The BAC has got members from the opposition on it and they have jointly decided (on the calendar). Individual members could have concerns but there are rules and procedures that are followed and as per rules and procedures, BAC decides on the number of days and as per BAC decision this is going forward.”
The chief minister informed that the government will table the amendments of the Meghalaya Goods and Services Tax, 2017, Meghalaya Medical Council and National Law University for consideration of the Assembly.