Government of Meghalaya
Budget Speech

1981 82

By

Shri Maham Singh

Finance Minister, Meghalaya

4th March, 1981

Mr. Speaker, Sir,    

With your permission, I present the Annual Financial Statement of Meghalaya for the year 1981-82 before this august House.

National Economy

      It may be mentioned that with the return to power of Shrimati Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister, the Planning Commission has been reconstituted. The major object of the revised Sixth Five Year Plan which has been finalised this year is to promote the economy of the country in a manner designed towards the ultimate realisation of an equitable, just and self-reliant social order. In keeping with this purpose, the economic programmes to advance the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes have been substantially enlarged.

      Under the dynamic leadership of Shrimati Indira Gandhi, the economy of the country has been gradually improving. With the dawn of the new year, the country has returned to the  right path of progress and all round development. It is also heartening to note that the Central Government have taken tangible steps for the accelerated development of the North-Eastern region of the country. The people of Meghalaya are confident that with the sympathy and understanding shown by the Centre, the standard of our economy will show significant improvement in the near future.

Though prices continued to rise, the rate of inflation during 1980-81 was milder, compared to that of 1979-80 when prices rolled on relentlessly with hardly any pause. Index of whole sale price increased by 13.2 percent during 1980-81 (upto January, 17) against an increase of 19.1 percent in the corresponding period of 1979-80. Foodgrains production which crashed to 114 million tonnes during the crop year 1979-80 made a substantial recovery and is expected to reach 132 million tonnes in the current crop season. Similarly, industrial production which registered a negative growth of 1.4 percent during  1979-80 also improved significantly during the  current year. Power generation is expected to increase by 6 percent over the preceding year. Coal production which stood at 106.9 million tonnes in 1979-80 is likely to go upto 115 million tonnes during 1980-81.

Meghalaya's Economy

The economic  situation prevailing in Meghalaya  during 1980 caused some anxiety, but on the whole it did not assume alarming proportions. Agricultural production during the crop year 1979-80 increase nominally by 0.5 percent. Production of foodgrains during 1979-80 came down to 1,41.000 tonnes from 1,50,000 tonnes in the preceding year, while other crops registered an increase of 7.1 percent . Despite the set-back in the  early stages  of operation due to shortage of  diesel, the available data suggest that production of foodgrains will make significant recovery. The revised  target of foodgrains production of 1,62,000 tonnes for 1980-81 is likely to be achieved. However, the production of jute, mesta and potato is expected to be somewhat lower.

The supply position of foodgrains and other essential commodities in the  State continues to remain unsatisfactory due to the situation prevailing in Assam, non-availability of railway wagons, transport bottlenecks and other reasons beyond the control of the State Government. Further, the Food Corporation of India  could  supply only 50  percent  of the Central pool  rice allotted to the State. The prices of essential commodities  during the year 1980-81  also remained high due to severe constraints in procurement from outside the State. However,  timely steps had been taken by the Government to check it to the extent possible. The index of retail prices in the Urban Areas registered an increase of 16 percent during the year.

The  Employment Exchange  statistics  show that the un-employment situation has shown declining trends. The number of job-seekers  on the live register in the Employment Exchanges has consistently been coming down from 10,564 in March, 1979 to 10,219 in March, 1980 and further down to 9,855 in November 1980.

Sixth Plan of Meghalaya

The National Development Council has recently approved the frame work of the revised Sixth Five Year Plan covering the period 1980-85. The approved outlay for the Sixth Five Year Plan for Meghalaya has been fixed at Rs.235 crores.

The revised outlay for the year 1980-81 is Rs.43.31 crores which includes Rs.765.56 lakhs under the Minimum Needs Programme.

The size of the annual plan for 1981-82 has been fixed at Rs.46.55 crores which also includes Rs.766.51  lakhs under the Minimum Needs Programme. In addition to the above an amount of Rs.286.94 lakhs has been allotted to Meghalaya for the schemes under the regional plan of the North Eastern Council for 1981-82.

Despite difficulties like shortage of technical personnel, building materials, etc., every effort is being made by the State Government to achieve the target of development under various sectors. 

State Planning Board

The State Planning Board under the chairmanship of Capt. W.A. Sangma, an able and experienced administrator, has made valuable contribution in the formation of the various developmental programmes by the Government. The Board periodically reviews the progress of the Plan expenditure under various sectors, identified the constraints, and gives valuable suggestions to the different departments of the Government. The District Planning Boards and the District Level Co-ordination Committees are playing  an important role in the developmental activities.

Agriculture

The main objective of the agricultural programme is to attain self-sufficiency in food production in the near future, and to extend the cultivation of cash and horticultural crops for increasing the income of the farmers. The revised target of foodgrains production for 1980-81 is likely to be achieved as mentioned earlier. A target of 1,72,000 tonnes of foodgrains production for 1981-82 is proposed to be achieved  through larger coverage under high yielding and improved varieties of crops, application of fertilizers and pesticides, and also by double cropping in the irrigated areas. Demonstrations to show the  effect of fertilizers on cereal crops for higher production conducted during the current  year will be continued  in the next year also.

During the current year, improved and high yielding variety seeds  have been distributed to the farmers at 50 percent subsidised  cost. The same programme will continue during 1981-82.

The approved plan outlay for 1981-82 is Rs.171 lakhs.

To meet the shortage of agricultural graduates, stipends have been granted to students to assist them in prosecuting their studies in various agricultural colleges in the country. During the current year, more than 100 students are receiving stipends. The programme will be continued.

A number of new minor irrigation projects were taken up during 1980-81 with a coverage of about 3,400 hectares. New schemes area also proposed to be taken up during 1981-82 with an additional coverage of about 3,000 hectares.

For minor irrigation, the proposed outlay in 1981-82 is Rs.1 crore as against the allocation of Rs.85 lakhs in the current year. The implementation of the Meghalaya Agricultural Produce Act, 1980 and the establishment of regulated markets in the State will help the farmers to dispose of their produce at economic prices.

Soil Conservations

Jhum cultivation continues to be a major problem of the State. It is expected that the government's long range programme of replacing shifting cultivation by  permanent  cultivation with the necessary inputs  along with the programme of encouraging cultivation of cash crops of low volume and high value would ultimately meet the desired object of eradicating this wasteful method. During 1981-82, it is proposed to provide irrigated land to 350 families at one hectare per family. It is also proposed  to take up cash crop cultivation in about 375 hectares which will benefit 375 families. The two coffee nurseries set up in East Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills in the current year are expected to provide the necessary seedlings in 1981-82. Necessary technical help and guidance to all  the farmers engaged in these cash crop plantations would continue. The Soil Conservation  Training Institute at Byrnihat is going to be expanded from the year 1981-82. To augment  the existing  nurseries. The approved plan outlay for 1981-82 is Rs.150 lakhs.

Animal Husbandry

The agro-climatic condition of Meghalaya is highly conducive to livestock rearing and promotion of this occupation can play a prominent  part in improving the economy of the rural population. Besides supplementing the income of the farmers, the much needed protective foods like eggs, meat and milk will be available in greater abundance.

The proposed plan outlay for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development programme for 1981-82 is Rs.96 lakhs and Rs.16 lakhs respectively. Under the intensified cattle development project, ten more stock-men centres are proposed to be established. The programme of rearing of poultry, piggery and sheep is proposed to be further intensified. The Veterinary services to provide extension facilities to the people will be expanded. A Marketing Cell will be started during the next year.

Fisheries 

With a view to exploiting the topographical and water resources of the State, more fish farms are proposed  to be established. The rearing of high yielding and fast growing  species like grass carp and silver carp will be increased to have wider coverage The scheme for enriching the fish fauna at high altitude stream by the introduction of trout culture will be vigorously implemented in the year 1981-82. As against the current year's revised allocation of Rs.16.60 lakhs the approved plan outlay for 1981-82 is Rs.18 lakhs.

Forestry

Meghalaya offers enormous scope for development of forests. It is necessary to have an integrated programme for developing forestry to meet both the social and commercial needs. Forests properly planned and developed on scientific lines will help the growth of small and large scale industries besides meeting the fuel, fodder and other domestic needs of the people. They also play an important role in checking soil erosion and preserving the richness and fertility of the soil.

Compared to the geographical area of the whole State, the area under Government  Reserved Forest is very small as most of the forests in the State fall within the jurisdiction  of the District Councils. Due to indiscriminate felling of trees, serious  damage has been caused to the valuable forest wealth of the State. To remedy the situation, the State Government have embarked upon a programme of  the Government Reserved Forests. During the current year, an area of  about 749 hectares of barren land  has been converted into mixed forest plantation and in the next financial year, it is proposed to raise another 968 hectares  of plantation. The achievement of the target of social forestry programme in the State would depend to a large extent on the co-operation of the people. The State Government have also taken steps to regulate the movement of timber outside the State with the Co-operation of the District Councils by imposing certain restrictions. Efforts would be made in the next decade to bring at least 10 percent of the area of the State under forest cover. The State Reserved Forests are being operated  scientifically and during the next financial  year, it is proposed to bring a substantial area under valuable forest plantation. An experimental programme of planting fruit trees by school children is being taken up.  Government will continue grants-in-aid to District Councils and it is also proposed to monitor the programme taken up with such grants-in-aid. The approved plan outlay for 1981-82 in this sector is Rs.85 lakhs.

Community Development

The Community Development movement is well suited for a State like ours, where the traditional way of life of the people is democratic. This movement is of special significance  for creating  enthusiasm among the rural people to participate in the developmental activities. The State is now covered by 30 Community Development blocks including the six which have been created this year. The addition of  six new blocks in the State will be of real benefit to the people. The Integrated Rural Development Programme is being continued and extended and the method of implementation will be improved.

The approved Plan outlay for 1981-82 is Rs.70 lakhs under Community Development Programme. Under the Integrated Rural Development Programme, the next year's  approved outlay is Rs.53 lakhs against the current year's revised allocation of Rs.36.60 lakhs.

Co-operation

The programme of linking the reorganised primary co-operative societies with the Meghalaya State Co-operative & Marketing Federation Limited will be continued and intensified. Some more items of essential commodities  and consumer goods under the Public Distribution System will be taken up and the marketing of the produce and distribution of agricultural inputs will continue to the channelised on a wider scale covering larger areas. To enable them to cope with the growing volume of activities and to function more effectively, 159 societies out of the 180 reorganised societies, have been provided with full time secretaries. The co-operative handloom weaving societies, have been reorganised and their functioning is being improved. Steps for reorganisation of Industrial  Co-operatives have been initiated. The Meghalaya State Marketing and Consumers' Federation will continue marketing-intervention to protect  farmers from the distress sale of their produce. A few more agro-custom centres are  proposed to be established in the Border areas. The Meghalaya State Housing and Financing Co-operative Societies Limited is issuing housing loans to the members of the primary housing co-operative societies and assist in the construction of shops in identified  growth centres in the coming year. The State Co-operative Union has held seminars, workshops, etc, to motivate and facilitate spread of education in co-operative principles among the  people. To ensure that the co-operative societies function more effectively, the supervisory staff of the department is being strengthened.

As against  the current year's revised allocation of Rs.66.15 lakhs the approved plan outlay for 1981-82 under Co-operation including Storage and Warehousing is Rs.78 lakhs.

Flood Control & Irrigation through P.W.D.

The Public Works Department is continuing the scheme of construction of embankment under the Flood Control  programme to protect the villages and towns exposed to floods. Under the Irrigation programme, the work on the Ryngai Valley Project and Shella Irrigation Project is expected to be taken up as soon as they are cleared by the Central agency. The approved plan outlay for 1981-82 under Flood Control & Irrigation through P.W.D. is Rs.40 lakhs.

Power

 The Meghalaya State Electricity Board has started work on the Umiam-Umtrew Stage-IV Hydel Project. The 132 KV Line on the Shillong-Nangalbibra section along with the associated sub-station is expected to be completed soon. The work on the 132 KV Nangalbibra-Tura Line is also making good progress and is expected to be completed by March, 1983. The Board  proposes to electrify another 200 villages next year under rural Electrification Programme. Investigation of the following hydro-electric projects are proposed to be taken up in 1981-82.

(1) Myntdu (Leska) in Jaintia Hills

(2) Kynshi in West Khasi Hills

(3) Umiam-Umtrew Stage -V in East Khasi Hills

As against the current year's revised allocation of Rs.859 lakhs, the approved Plan outlay for 1981-82 is  Rs.900 lakhs

Mineral Resources

 Government have decided  to set up a separate Mineral Development  Corporation. In 1981-82 various geological investigations including chemical analysis will be taken up.

The approved outlay for 1981-82 is Rs.20 lakhs.

Industries

 The approved outlay  for Industries for 1981-82 is Rs.129 lakhs.

The second phase of the  expansion, project of the Mawmluh-Cherra Cement Limited is expected to be completed by the next year. The civil construction for the proposed Watch Assembly Unit at Shillong  is in progress. The Bamboo Chipping Project in Garo Hills is likely to be commissioned by the next financial year. 

The Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation continues to help in the establishment of industries in the State by providing margin money and  other facilities, particularly to local entrepreneurs.

For the development  of small Industries, the State Government have set up a District  Industries Centre. Two more such centres are proposed to be set up. The Meghalaya Handicraft Development Corporation has taken up training  of local artisans under the Master Craftsman Training Scheme and four such  training centres have since been opened. Efforts are being made to increase the number of these training centres and to arrange marketing of products  of the artisans.

Training of local artisans and entrepreneurs to equip them better for self-employment or for earning better wages in various  trades will continue. The Government are keen that  the development of small, tiny and village industries  is accelerated in order to create more employment opportunities in the rural areas. The Government will also take steps to revitalise the existing traditional industries and thereby raise their productivity.

Sericulture & Weaving

 Sericulture and Handloom Weaving are two important cottage industries  in our State which provide at present part-time employment to over 18,000 people. These people  are mostly in rural areas and therefore, these industries play a vital role in generating additional income to the weaker sections. In 1981-82, the proposed outlay for Sericulture and Weaving is Rs.36 lakhs under the State Plan and Rs.5.40 lakhs under the border Areas Programme. Necessary steps have been initiated to increase the mulberry plantation by about 70 hectares, eri by about 100 hectares and muga by about 100 hectares in 1981-82. In the field of weaving , it is proposed to  establish in 1981-82 three more new Handloom Demonstration-cum-Production Centres of which one  will be under the Border Areas Development  programme.  One Handloom Production Centre is also proposed to be started next year and will  be attached  to the existing Weaving Training Centre. Assistance to the reorganised handloom co-operative societies is being continued. Government will continue to train up more persons and build up necessary infrastructure for meeting the progressive needs in this sector.

Roads

In Meghalaya, a good road communication  system is indispensable for efficient and  timely execution of development programmes, getting favourable return from them as also for bringing the administration closer to the people. It has, therefore, been given very high priority. Emphasis has been given to the construction of roads linking mining, industrial and agricultural belts with the marketing centres and other roads connecting the interior with the administrative centres.

The State Government have been impressing upon the Centre the need for  declaring some of the major roads of the State as National Highways and Hon'ble Members will be glad to know that the Centre has recently declared Paikan-Dalu road (NH 51) as a National Highway.

As against the current year's revised allocation of Rs.690 lakhs the approved plan outlay for 1981-82 for Roads is Rs.780 lakhs.

Although substantial investment in this sector has been made in the past few years, yet, by the end of March, 1982 the State will have a  road density of only 22 kms. per 100 sq. km.  against the national road density of 41 kms. per 100 sq. km.

Road Transport

The building up of a larger and better road transport  system is an important pre-requisite for the social, agricultural and industrial advancement of the people of Meghalaya. The marketing of our produce and the procurement of essential commodities from outside, making them available to the interior places depend solely on the smooth running of the transport system within the State. With a view to improving the service and overall performance of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation, efforts are being made to in crease the fleet of vehicles, to provide better amenities to the traveling public and to improve the efficiency of the Corporation. Accordingly an outlay of Rs. 175 lakhs has been provided for 1981-82 against the current year's revised outlay of Rs.90 lakhs. In view of the rise in the prices of spare parts, tyres, tubes and chassis as also the P.O.L. it has become necessary to raise the fare and the freight. The Corporation also proposes to take up improvement of station buildings at Tura, Shillong, Jowai and Nongpoh and to establish a Central Workshop in Shillong in the coming  year.

Tourism

Shillong Umiam Lake and a few selected tourist spots in Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills will be developed as places of interest and attraction for the tourists. During 1981-82, it is proposed to spend Rs.40 lakhs for the development of tourism as against a provision of Rs.17 lakhs during 1980-81.

Education

One of the major constraints in the effective implementation of developmental programmes is the shortage of local technical personnel. Several measures both long-term and short-term to overcome this problem have been initiated. Higher priority has been given to the programme of strengthening of science education at all levels. Science and Mathematics are proposed to be made compulsory in all the secondary schools in the State. To encourage teaching and studies in Science and Mathematics, some incentives to teachers and students are proposed to be introduced. It is also proposed to publish Science and Mathematics text books in local languages.

It has been decided to introduce science education in all the colleges up to Pre-University level where science has not been introduced and to introduce Science upto Degree level where there is Science only upto Pre-University level.

Preparatory steps have been taken for starting electrical and mechanical engineering courses in the Shillong Polytechnic.

 The State Council for Educational Research and Training has undertaken research and survey and has conducted training in various fields. To clear the backlog of untrained teachers at secondary level, B.Ed. courses are being started in Government colleges at Tura and Jowai Commencing from the academic year 1981.

A public school on the pattern of the Pine Mount School, Shillong will be started at  Tura from March, 1981 with classes from K.G. I to Class IV with boarding facilities for about 30 children.

Government propose to continue to assist the Meghalaya Board of School Education to enable it to start construction of its own buildings at Tura.

As against the current year's revised allocation of Rs.199 lakhs, the approved plan outlay for 1981-82 under Education including Arts and Culture is Rs.219. lakhs.

Health

Although the State Government  are keen to provide proper medical facilities to the people  of the State, it has not been possible to achieve fully  this objective owning to the dearth of doctors and other trained personnel. To combat this deficiency, vigorous efforts have been made to depute students to various medical institutions specialised courses. With the approval of the Indian Medical Council, housemanship training has been started  from the beginning of this year at the Civil Hospital, Shillong initially in Medicine, Surgery, E.N.T. and Ophthalmology.

The provision of additional beds in the Hospitals at Shillong  and Tura, expansion and improvement of the Pasteur Institute at Shillong which is financed by the North-Eastern Council and the construction of three more primary health centres at Raingdo, Sohsniang and Mawhati are expected to be completed during 1981-82. The primary health centre at Nongtalang has been commissioned. Construction of two more primary health centres with 20 new sub-centres, and 4 new sub divisional Hospitals at Baghmara, Mairang,  Amlarem and Nongpoh are proposed to be taken up during the next year. Homeopathic dispensaries have been  established at Tura and Jowai, in addition to the one at Shillong. The Engineering Wing under the Health department will be strengthened in order to expedite construction of new buildings and to ensure proper maintenance of the existing ones.

As against the current years, revised allocation of Rs.170.77 lakhs the approved plan outlay for 1981-82 for Health is Rs.185 lakhs.

Water Supply

The period 1981-1991 has been declared as the International Water Supply and Sanitation decade. The aim of the Government is to supply to all the towns and villages in the State within this period with safe and potable drinking water. The Sixth Plan outlay under this sector is Rs.45.39 crores of which Rs.21.10 crores has been earmarked for rural water supply schemes. In the Sixth Plan, it is proposed that 2,927 villages will be provided with drinking water and during 1981-82, schemes for 400 villages are proposed to be taken up. The new Jowai Phase-I Water Supply Scheme has been completed and commissioned. Efforts are being made for early completion of the Greater Shillong, Tura Phase-II and Umkhen Phase-II Water Supply Schemes.

The approved plan outlay for 1981-82 under Water Supply including Sewerage is Rs.750 lakhs.

Municipal Administration

 At present, we have two Municipal Boards in the State at Shillong and at Tura. Town Committees have also been constituted by the respective District Councils at Jowai and Baghmara. The Municipalities and Town Committees which provide civic amenities to the public have not always been able to meet their full financial requirements out of their own resources. It is expected that they  will try their best to find out ways and means of raising funds for maintaining and improving  their services.

Social Welfare

Programmes of training, rehabilitation and employment of persons afflicted by physical and mental ailments will be considerably expanded during 1981-82. The department will arrange vocational training to the physically handicapped persons for self-employment. Government have been implementing most of the social welfare schemes with the help of voluntary organisations. Financial assistance will continue to be given to these organisations in their social welfare activities.

The approved plan outlay for 1981-82 under Social Welfare including Nutrition Programme is Rs.30 lakhs.

Border Areas

The programme to revive the economy of the people inhabiting the areas bordering Bangladesh who were adversely affected due to partition has been expanded and intensified. The approved  outlay in the Sixth Plan for Border Area Development is of the order of Rs.10 crores. As against an outlay of Rs.160 lakhs for the current year, an amount of Rs.179 lakhs has been provided for 1981-82 under this sector.

The main thrust of the programme is to provide a net-work of link roads to facilitate transportation of the agricultural produce of the border areas for better marketing. 

The programme for supplementing in the border areas, schemes relating to animal husbandry, sericulture and weaving , fisheries, etc., will be continued. It is also proposed to introduce a new scheme, viz. "Range Management of Rearing Cattle" in  certain identified areas in the border with a view to augmenting the cattle population and also for producing good stock of  hybrid cattle.

The scheme of providing transport subsidy for carriage of essential commodities to the border areas and the transport facilities provided for carriage of border produce for better marketing will continue. It is also proposed to open more agro-custom centres through the agency of the Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and Consumer's Federation.

Since the time the Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing  and Consumers' Federation Limited started marketing -intervention, the producers of the border areas have been getting remunerative prices. The Federation will continue this programme  whenever felt necessary.

Information and Public Relations

The Information and Public Relations Organisation will widen its sphere of activity so as to inform the people as to the various developmental activities of the Government. The department will also give due publicity in connection with the new methods of scientific cultivation, health care, employment, trade and commerce. With the above objective in view, it is proposed to intensify its activities by opening one more office in the sub divisional headquarter at Amlarem in the coming year.

The department will continue to educate the people through its various media of publicity like hand bills, exhibitions, film shows, etc., and keep them informed of the latest developments. A documentary film "Meghalaya" has been produced in the current year in collaboration with the Films Division of the Government of India.

The approved plan outlay for the next year for Information and Public Relations remains at Rs.3 lakhs.

Statistics

Statistical data and information provide valuable guidelines in the formulation of polices, planning of developmental programmes and are also useful for evaluation of achievements. During the current year, the Directorate of Statistics has undertaken standard analysis of the results of the crop-cutting experiments on paddy, jute and potato. For the first time an index of agricultural production, area and yield for the State was also constructed and sent to the appropriate authorities for their technical comments. During the year, compilation of the State's  fist Statistical Abstract has been completed. Compilation of the District Statistical Abstract of Garo Hills for 1978 has been completed and is being released.

The Directorate has completed the table on the first economic census according to the programme of the Government of India.

The approved plan outlay for Statistics for 1981-82 is Rs.6 lakhs.

Administrative & Residential Buildings

The State Government propose to construct a satellite township around Shillong to ease the congestion in the town and for this purpose and amount of Rs.1 crore has been earmarked for acquisition of land, etc., in 1981-82. construction of office buildings and residential quarters at the headquarters of the new districts and subdivisions will continue. A major portion of the current year's plan allocation of Rs.53.50 lakhs will be spent for the above purpose as also for the construction of Circuit Houses. A major  portion of the land required for the Mairang Sub divisional Headquarter Complex has been acquired and the construction of the office buildings and residential quarters at Mairang are expected to commence in the next financial year. The approved plan outlay for the next year under this sector is Rs.49 lakhs.

Election

Bye-Elections are due to be held for Shillong Parliamentary Constituency and Assembly Constituencies of Selsella  and Mahendraganj. As  per the directions of  Election rolls is being taken up in these constituencies.

Pay Commissions

 As the Hon'ble Members are aware, the recommendations of the Meghalaya Pay Commission, 1979  have been implemented with certain modifications. the State Government have set up an official committee to go into the question of anomalies arising out of the said report. Government have also granted three installments of Dearness a of Dearness Allowance on the basis of the formula recommended by the Commission.

Food Civil Supplies

In spite of the situation in Assam, difficulties in getting railway wagons in time, shortage of petroleum products and other circumstances beyond the control of the State Government, the State Government have been able to mitigate scarcity of commodities, more particularly the essential commodities in the State. At present, the supply of petroleum products has improved and the flow of essential commodities is expected to return to normal levels before long.

Civil  Defence & Home Guards

The State Government attach great importance to training of people particularly in the rural areas in Civil Defence and Home Guards, so that they may cultivate a greater sense of discipline which is essential in day-to-day life and more so at the time of natural calamities. So far, 493 Urban Home Guard Volunteers have been trained in the District Training Centres at  Shillong, Jowai and Tura and 11 persons deputed for higher training outside the State. Home Guards have now been deployed to guard the Meghalaya Secretariat buildings and other important public  buildings and offices in the State. Five companies and one platoon of the Border Wing Home Guards have been deployed in the Indo-Bangladesh border under the border Security Force. The Organisation would continue to expand its activities. 

District Councils

In May, 1980 , a Conference of the Chief Executive Members and Executive Members of the District Councils was called by the Chief Minister for better co-ordination between the  Government and the District  Councils. In pursuance to the recommendations of the meeting a number of steps have been taken by the State Government. In  1981-82, an amount of Rs.30 lakhs  has been earmarked  for the  development works undertaken by the District Councils under the Plan provision of the State and Rs.1.30 lakhs under non-Plan.

Land Reforms

The approved outlay for 1981-82 is Rs.30 lakhs as against the revised allocation of Rs.29.50 lakhs during 1980-81. The main scheme under the land reforms programme is cadastral survey and preparation of record of rights in the State. With the passage of the Meghalaya Land Survey and Records Preparation Act, 1980, the State Government have started the survey operation in selected areas in the East and West Garo Hills Districts and Jaintia Hills District. The entire operation is likely to be completed in about fifteen years.

Environmental Pollution

The State Government are aware of the hazard of industrial pollution with their concomitant adverse effects on the inhabitants of both urban and rural areas

Before issuing any licence for setting up any industry, Government will always take into consideration the problem of pollution of air and water.

The policy of preventing  pollution of water and air will also apply in case of setting up of complexes both under the public and private sectors. Government expect that the above measures  together with  the policy of industrial  dispersal and afforestation will go a long way in combating this menace which is being debated seriously all over the world. The State Government are determined to take steps so that the ecological balance is not disturbed by large scale mining and forest operation.

Judicial Administration

In order to enable the officers to dispose of court case in time, two more posts of Judicial Magistrate for Shillong have been created. The State Government are considering the introduction of a scheme of free legal aid to the poor.

Home (Police)

 There is acute shortage of residential accommodation for the police force in the entire country. With a view to provide a larger number of subordinate police staff with residential accommodation, construction of family  quarters  and barracks has been undertaken under the  Police Housing scheme in the State Plan. To supplement the efforts under the Plan, Government of India will also provide a  grant of Rs.181 lakhs to Meghalaya during the Five Year Period 1979-80 to 1983-84 to complete a specified number of quarters and barracks, under the award of the Seventh Finance Commission. For construction of the headquarter of the first Meghalaya Police Battalion, the Government of India will similarly make a grant of  Rs.100 lakhs. The department has entrusted part of the construction relating to Police Housing to the Meghalaya Government Construction Corporation.

Law & Order

Hon'ble  Members are aware that as compared to the preceding year, the year, the year 1980-81  has been one of peace and tranquility. To a large extent this was made possible due to the strict vigilance and timely action by the Government against anti-social elements. Government wish to place on record their sincere  appreciation to the people of Meghalaya for their full co-operation in curbing the illegal acts of a few misguided elements.

The State Government are determined to ensure that the rights regarding freedom of life and property of the people as guaranteed under the Constitution of India are fully protected and communal harmony is effectively maintained. Government acknowledge the helpful role played by the Hon'ble Members of this  august House in this regard. The Government are also grateful to all the Members of the House for their constructive  attitude in our unflinching endeavour to ensure that the population structure of  the State is not  disturbed to the detriment of the local inhabitants. The progress  of our State depends on an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Government are confident that the whole-hearted co-operation of the Hon'ble Members of this House and the people of the State will always be forthcoming in the endeavour to maintain communal harmony.

Actuals 1979-80

The year opened with a negative cash balance of Rs.156.38 lakhs, but the State Government had held Rs.860.00 lakhs in the Government of India  Treasury Bills on the 1st April, 1979. There was a total receipt of Rs.40,496.92 lakhs and a total expenditure of Rs.40,686.14 lakhs in that year under all accounts resulting  in a deficit of Rs.189.22 lakhs. Thus the negative cash balance of Rs.156.38 lakhs was increased to Rs.345.60 lakhs at the end of the year. On the other hand, the State Government's holding in the Treasury bills also increased to Rs.1,173.75 lakhs. In effect, the year 1979-80 virtually closed with a surplus of Rs.828.15 lakhs.

Revised Estimates 1980-81

 The revised estimates of receipt and expenditure on all accounts for the current year are Rs.43,409.41 lakhs and Rs.43,243.91 lakhs respectively resulting in a surplus of Rs.165.50 lakhs. This will reduce the opening negative cash balance of Rs.345.60 lakhs to Rs.180.10 lakhs at the end of the year.

Budget Estimates 1981-82

I would like to give a broad picture of the budget estimates for the next year. The receipts on revenue account are estimated at Rs.8,414.94 lakhs and the estimated expenditure on revenue account at Rs.6,391.08 lakhs. An estimated surplus of Rs.2,023.86 lakhs on revenue account is anticipated.

The receipt and expenditure outside the revenue account are estimated at Rs.38,316.91 lakhs and Rs.40,226.90 lakhs respectively  leaving a deficit of Rs. 1,909.99 lakhs. Together with the estimated revenue surplus of Rs.2,023.86 lakhs, an overall surplus of Rs.113.87 lakhs is anticipated which would be completely wiped out by the estimated negative opening  balance of Rs.180.10 lakhs, leaving a deficit of Rs.66.23 lakhs.

Mobilisation of Additional Resources

With a view to reducing the deficit and also to fulfill our target of additional resource mobilisation committed to the Government of India and the Planning Commission, the State Government propose to introduce the following measures :-

1. To increase  purchase tax on timber other than converted timber from 15 percent to 30 percent.

2. To increase royalty on minor minerals (sand and gravel) by 50 percent over the existing rate.

3. To increase sales tax on cement from 7 percent  to10 percent.

4. To increase entertainment tax at the following rate :-

Where the rate of admission is :- 

(i) Rupee one or less-from 35 percent to 50 percent.

(ii) exceeding Rupee one but not exceeding Rupees two-from 70 percent to 80 percent.

(iii) exceeding Rupees two-from 80 percent to 100 percent.

5. To increase Excise Duty on  Country Spirit in East and West Garo Hills districts  from 50 paise to 70 paise per bottle of 750 m.l.

6. To increase the license fee of the following:-

(a) Foreign liquor shops in the State from the existing rate of Rs.400 each to Rs.800 each.

(b) Bonded Warehouses in the State from the existing rate of Rs.1,000 each to Rs.2,000 each.

(c) Canteen license in the State from the existing rate of Rs.200 each to Rs.400 each.

7. To increase the availability fee at the following rate :-

(a) Whisky, Brandy, Gin, Rum- from the existing rate of Rs.3 to Rs.5 per case of 12 bottles of 750 m.l. and 600 m.l.

(b) Beer, Cider, Perry, Ale and other fermented liquor from the existing rate of Rs.1 to Rs.3 per case  of 12 bottles.

These measures are expected to yield additional revenue to the extent of Rs.36 lakhs during the year.

In the absence of depots of major manufacturing companies in the  State  itself, consumers in Meghalaya have to shoulder extra burden in the from of inter-state sales tax for purchases made within the State. In view of this, a number of commodities like motor tyres, tubes, etc., are being purchased from outside the  State. It is, therefore, proposed to reduce the rate of sales tax in respect  of items (1) to (9) and (10) (a) to (16) of the schedule attached to the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax)  Act to 7 percent. It is expected that this step will help in the increase of sales within Meghalaya and thus lead to an increase in the revenue of the State.

It is, however, not proposed to take any measure to cover the remaining gap at this stage. We shall, however, constantly review the receipt and expenditure during the course of the year and take appropriate steps to cover the remaining gap also.

During the last few years, Meghalaya has made impressive strides in the field of social and economic development and has taken its rightful place in this great country of ours. India has been fortunate that its destinies have been presided over by eminent and farsighted statesmen whose wise and understanding leadership, has earned a position of honour and respect for the country in the comity of nations. It contribution in championing the cause of economic and political freedom of the les developed countries of the world is most significant. The  nation however, cannot be strong if any part of  it remains weak. We have a great responsibility to see that the country grows in strength and dignity. We can achieve this goal by sheer hard work for the all-round progress of our State. In this noble task, let every one of us join hands and march shoulder to shoulder to build up a united, prosperous and progressive Meghalaya.

With these words, Sir, I present the Budget for 1981-82 for consideration and acceptance of the House.

Thank you, Sir.


ANNEXURE

THE FINANCIAL POSITION FOR THE YEAR 1981-82 WITH CORRESPONDING 
POSITION IN THE PREVIOUS YEARS.

Rupees in Lakhs
Heads Actuals Actuals Budget Revised Budgets
1978-79 1979-80 1980-81 1980-81 1981-82
1 2 3 4 5 6
Opening Balance (-)6,25.01 (-)1,56.38 2,80.28 (-)3,45.60 (-)1,80.10
Revenue Receipt 55,01.37 60,40.18 66,35.66 70,51.86 84,14.94
Capital Receipt under the Consolidated Fund 3,58.66 3,94.22 7,40.88 9,59.74 8,69.97
Capital Receipt under the Contingency Fund 75.00 1,10.03 43.36 80.11 1,50.00
Capital Receipt under the Public Account 2,66,98.99 3,39,52.49 2,73,14.95 3,53,17.70 3,72,96.94
TOTAL RECEIPT 3,26,34.02 4,04,96.92 3,47,34.85 4,34,09.41 4,67,31.85
GRAND TOTAL 3,20,09.01 4,03,40.54 3,50,15.13 4,30,63.81 4,65,51.75
Revenue Expenditure 40,40.05 45,94.97 56,50.57 58,51.75 63,91.08
Capital Expenditure under Consolidated Fund.    14,89.21 18,23.61 22,78.94 27,61.10 32,34.96
Capital Expenditure under the Contingency Fund .18......... 1,10.03 43.36 80.11 1,50.00
Capital Expenditure under Public Account 2,66,35.95 3,41,57.53 2,71,18.95 3,45,50.95 3,68,41.94
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 3,21,65.39 4,06,86.14 3,50,91.82 4,32,43.91 4,66,17.98
Closing Balance (-)1,56.38 (-)3,45.60 (-)76.69 (-)1,80.10 (-)66.23
GRAND TOTAL 3,20,09.01 4,03,40.54 3,50,15.13 4,30,63.81 4,65,51.75
NET RESULT :-
(a) On Revenue Account (+)14,61.32 (+)14,45.21 (+)9,85.09 (+)12,00.11 (+)20,23.86
(b) Outside Revenue Account (-)9,92.69 (-)16,34.43 (-)13,42.06 (-)10,34.61 (-)19,09.99
(c) Net excluding the opening  Balance  (+)4,68.63 (-)1,89.22 (-)3,56.97 (+)1,65.50 (+)1,13.87

 Notes :-  (+) Indicates surplus and (-) indicates deficit.