| Chief minister Mukul Sangma and cabinet ministers during a meeting at the secretariat in Shillong on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Shillong, Oct. 3: The Mukul Sangma cabinet today agreed to provide more teeth to the Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order (MMPO) Act.
Although the details of the amendments to the act will be known after they are placed before the state Assembly, deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh, who also holds the law portfolio, said new sections have been inserted into it.
“We are including two more Sections — 6 (b) and 6 (c) — to the existing 6 (a) of the MMPO Act, and the proposals have been approved by the cabinet,” Lyngdoh said after the cabinet meeting.
In the ongoing agitation by pressure groups to demand the implementation of the inner-line permit (ILP), some of the persons who were apprehended for being involved in cases of arson were booked under the act.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma said the proposed amendments to the act would help in effectively enforcing the law.
“It is felt that the MMPO needs to be given more teeth, and the proposal was examined by the different departments,” he added.
The cabinet also approved amendments to be made to the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2013.
At the same time, the government approved the Poison Amendment Bill, 2013 to regulate the sale and storage of acid.
This has been done in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling where states and Union territories were directed to frame rules on the sale and storage of various forms of acid products.
“Sellers will be required to determine their stock and declare them within 15 days after the notification has been put. The sellers will also have to declare their stocks every three months and they have to maintain a log book to keep a record on the people buying acid from them,” Sangma said.
Educational institutions and laboratories will also have to comply with the rules.
Moreover, the cabinet approved revision of the export fees on different forest produce, which would increase revenue generation.
Forest minister Prestone Tynsong said the rates have been revised after nearly 15 years.
With the old rates, the revenue generation was around Rs 6 crore annually.