Conrad Kongkal Sangma, chief minister of the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, mooted the idea of issuing work permits to Bangladeshi nationals to address the challenge of infiltration. Sangma mentioned this possibility to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj when the latter along with State Home Minister James Sangma and Tourism Minister Metbah Lyngdoh called on her.
Explaining to reporters at Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, on Wednesday the idea of issuance of work permits to Bangladeshis, Meghalaya chief minister said that in his meeting with Swaraj, they discussed the new “Act South” policy under which Meghalaya can reap huge economic dividends.
Simultaneously, he described “illegal immigration” as the biggest challenge.
“We discussed the mechanisms to get maximum economic benefits and at the same time protect the people and the land,” Sangma told reporters.
Sangma added that the idea of issuing work permits to Bangladeshis came up during a discussion on developing a system similar to the USA, UK, and Dubai and other countries where people from India can go and work but are not enfranchised and cannot be granted citizenship of that particular country.
According to Sangma, the idea of issuing work permits is worthy of an assessment through further detailed discussions on the matter with the other chief ministers of the Northeast Indian states.
The chief minister made it clear that he has not given a proposal in this regard. The matter would be thoroughly discussed and based upon the pros and cons, a decision will be taken.