Economy unpredictable with COVID: Conrad Sangma

Newmai News Network
Shillong, Nov 7: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Saturday said it is not possible for anybody to predict when the economy will stabilize due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is difficult to say as there are many factors involved and COVID itself is an issue which we are still struggling with. We have been able to some extent to contain it in our state but yet it still finds a way through and is still affecting people and lots of states are seeing a second wave coming in,” Sangma told reporters.
“Therefore, it is not possible for anybody to predict when the economy will stabilize and return to normalcy but we can only hope that by making sure that we are very strict in our individual behaviours we will work to ensure safety is maintained and see that the economy also stabilizes,” he stated.
Sangma said the GST collection for the state has jumped to Rs 90 crore compared to last year’s at Rs 60 crore during the same period. “It is a positive indication. It will really take sometimes and nobody can really predict but slowly we are seeing some positive indication,” he added.
Meanwhile, making it clear that the state government had nothing to do with the difference that cropped up between the industries and the transporters, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said on Saturday the government has done its part to revise the rates for heavy and medium goods vehicles, which has not been changed since 2002.
 “The state government has taken the decision to revise the rates after almost 18 years,” Sangma told reporters and added that the MDA government felt that the old rates had to be reviewed.
“It is this government that took this stand and in the last three-six months, we have finally taken the decision to revise the rates. After the revision of the rates, there is a difference between industries and the transporters, so it is not much to do with the government’s decision,” he said.
Sangma’s statement came in the wake of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) which comprised of the Jaintia Hills Truck Owners Association (JHTOA), Jaintia Hills Clinkers & Cement Association (JHCCA) and Meghalaya Truckers Union (MTU) re-staging their indefinite strike.
The JAC members displayed placards along the travelling route of the Chief Minister on national highway while he was en-route to East Jaintia Hills for an official function.
According to the JAC, the cement factories under the All Jaintia Cement Manufactures Association (AJCMA) have failed to implement new rates despite giving assurances made in a meeting convened by the East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner on Friday.
Cement and clinker loaded trucks were stopped and asked to go back to the cement factories by the JAC at Tahkhniang under Tuber Kmaishnong Village
Asked on the matter, the Chief Minister however said the issue between the industries and the transporters need to be worked out and assured that the government will do whatever it can to resolve the differences.