PDF releases manifesto for 2018 Assembly polls

Shillong, Feb 9: The People’s Democratic Front (PDF) on Friday released its election manifesto and assured of coming up with a state mining policy by following the provision of the 6th Schedule to the Constitution of India.

The manifesto was released by PDF chairman, Pynshngaiñlang N. Syiem here.

Syiem told reporters that among other issues, the party’s focus would be to come up with a state mining policy in line with the provision of the 6th Schedule.

He said that the mining in the state need not follow the Central law, Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 because the President by notification can exempt Central acts in the state.

He also criticized the proposal to allow the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited (MMDC) to carry out coal mining on behalf of mine owners in the state as per provision of MMDR Act.

He recalled that after the NGT’s ban on coal mining in 2014, the state government had passed a resolution in Assembly urging the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the 6th Schedule to ensure Central laws related to coal mining are exempted in Meghalaya.

“There is a need for a joint coordination between state government and the autonomous district councils (ADCs) with regards to the mining policy where instead of following the MMDR, the provisions of the 6th Schedule should be adopted,” he said.

The PDF also seeks to resolve the long pending boundary dispute with Assam by taking into consideration the provision of the Sixth Schedule and North Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act.

“The state government needs to work hand in hand with the traditional heads for preparing documents,” he said while stressing the need to create maximum infrastructure in border areas.

On influx issue, Syiem said the party would strengthen the Sixth Schedule to deal with influx and illegal immigration issue the state.

On implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP), he said that the chief minister is adopting the entry/exit mechanism but the PDF will hold discussion and consider the best methods that can be adopted.

The PDF also said that it would also come up with various policies relating to power, education, sports, youth, tourism, skill development, agriculture, food processing, labour, organic, road, water and transport.

Syiem pointed out that Meghalaya till date is still adopting Assam regulations despite 46 years of statehood due to failures of various successive governments.

Besides seeking to empower the autonomous district councils and traditional heads, the party also said that it would take up with the Centre for transferring authority over land in 6th Schedule from Home Ministry to the Tribal Affairs.

The PDF also resolved to pursue the issue for inclusion of Khasi language in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution of India and also fight against corruption.

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