Shillong, May 20: Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, on Wednesday,commenced its re-assembled Budget Session for the year 2020-21, amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Safety precautions, including undergoing thermal screening, wearing masks and sanitising hands were made compulsory before entering the assembly.
The Meghalaya State Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020 and amendments to Meghalaya Labour Laws and Meghalaya Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2020 were introduced on the first day of the re-assembled budget session.
Congress MLA M Syiem, raised the issue of stranded persons arriving from red zones in other parts of the country during the zero-hour notice.
Syiem raised concerns over reports that people weren’t following social distancing norms properly and that it would be better to quarantine returnees in institutional quarantine centres. He also suggested increasing the quarantine period from 14 days to 28 days.
The Congress MLA also said that the state government should provide financial support to community quarantine centres set up in villages, to cater to returnees who are unable to self-quarantine efficiently at home.
Responding to the zero-hour notice, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed that all active community set up quarantine centres will be provided with Rs 5,000 as financial assistance, from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
He also said that all persons returning to the state will now be made to undergo two tests. The first test will be conducted through Rapid Test Kits and then through PCR tests. He revealed that all the returnees will be kept in quarantine centres till their results are out, and they will be allowed to go home only if their result is negative.
The Chief Minister also mentioned that the state government is seeking permission to use aircrafts to bring back stranded individuals.
Sangma said that 7050 persons have returned to the state till date, adding that the government is trying to bring back all stranded citizens within two weeks.