The United Democratic Party (UDP) has recommended that the state government form an expert committee before it takes a final decision on outsourcing the operation of distribution circles within the state.
The government is pushing to lease several distribution circles of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MeECL) to the Rural Electrification Corporation Power Distribution Company Ltd.
In a letter to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma today, former Deputy CM, ex-MLA and UDP chief adviser, Bindo Lanong, said that this suggestion is “for the safety and interest of the government and the state”.
Technocrats and experts from Meghalaya with prior experience could provide worthwhile guidance to the government and increase the state-owned utilities revenues, instead of giving it away to an outside firm, Lanong said.
He added that party leaders and concerned community leaders have had consultations and felt that leasing out part of MeECL reflects the failure of Sangma’s government and is a risk to the state.
The danger for the state with such a deal, according to Lanong, is that the company’s rights and privileges will take precedence over those of the state during the period of the lease, whether it is for 10 years or 30.
Despite largely coming out against the deal, the veteran politician concluded on a conciliatory note by assuring that the UDP will extend full cooperation and support to the government in protecting the interest of the state and people.