Government of Meghalaya
Budget Speech

1980 81

By

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir

Deputy Chief Minister, Meghalaya

14th March, 1980

 

Mr. Speaker, Sir,

I rise to present the Annual Financial Statement for the year 1980-81

National Economy

The Indian economy was subjected to severe stress and strains virtually throughout  1979.Stagnation in industry, drought conditions in large areas of the country and unrelenting inflationary pressures dominated the economy. The difficulties have been aggravated  by the periodic rise in the prices of petroleum products which induced a cost-push inflation. During  the year, the wholesale price index rose by 21 percent, with the rate of increase accelerating as the year progressed. The shortage in industrial inputs like power, coal, cement, steel and diesel and several critical raw materials and spreading industrial unrest adversely affected industrial  production, which recorded a negative growth rate of 0.6 percent in the first four months  of the current financial year. There has been a setback in agricultural production during the year. Despite the better prospects of rabi crops, the foodgrains production during the current year is likely to fall short by 10 to 12 million tonnes compared to 130.5 million tonnes reached  in 1978-79

Meghalaya's Economy

The generally adverse conditions in the national economy were inevitably reflected  in that of our State also. The economy of Meghalaya still lacks adequate diversification and depends heavily on outside supplies. While the State is predominantly agricultural, it is yet to be self-sufficient in foodgrains. Over the recent years,  the foodgrain production in the State has steadily increased reaching a total of 1,50,000 tonnes during the 1978-79 agricultural year. During  the current year, agricultural production in the State has shown a decline as a result of unprecedented drought conditions in the summer of 1979 followed by unusual rains later. According to present indications, the foodgrain  production during the current year is unlikely to exceed 1,41,000 tonnes. While marked losses had been recorded in production of maize, millets as also cash crops, the production of potato has shown a sizable increase over the previous year which has caused marketing problems for the growers requiring the State agencies to step in to arrest the slumping prices. The inevitable setback in foodgrains following the drought had led the State to seek for increased allocations from the Centre's buffer stock of foodgrains. The monthly allotment of rice from the Centre had  accordingly increased to 7,000/8,000 tonnes  in latter half of 1979 as against 5,300 tonnes in the earlier part of the year. The wholesome impact of such increased allotment was, however, somewhat neutralised by the widespread inflation in the country and abroad and also the disquieting events in the State towards the end of 1979.

Prices started rising in March/April, 1979 and by July/August, 1979 the upward spiral had become quite pronounced. In the twelve months between January, 1979 and December, 1979 the open market retail price at Shillong had risen by  27.8 percent in the case of coarse rice, by 23.7 percent for mustard oil, 66.6 percent in respect of sugar and 31.3 percent as regards salt. This position holds broadly true in other parts of the State also. The generally unsatisfactory operation of rail and road transport had contributed  in no small measure to the difficult situation.

In view of these factors, the common man had been called upon to make sacrifices which he is ill-equipped to bear. He, however, looks forward to the future with renewed hope and determination after giving a massive mandate to Smti. Indira Gandhi to restore stability to the economic and political systems. Under the  dynamic leadership, the people of Meghalaya are confident that the Centre will take greater and more sympathetic interest in the affairs of the tribal people , so that they can develop and prosper , according to their genius.

Sixth Plan of Meghalaya

The approved outlay for the Sixth Five Year Plan of Meghalaya (1978-83)  has been fixed at Rs. 180 crores. In addition to this outlay, a sum of Rs. 11 crores has been allotted by the Planning Commission  to the State  for the central sector and centrally sponsored schemes transferred to the State sector. The revised Minimum Needs component of the Sixth Plan outlay is Rs. 38.05 

The size of the annual plan for 1980-81 was fixed at Rs. 36.50  crores including Rs. 7.01 crores for the revised  Minimum Needs programme during the official level discussions in the Planning Commission held in January, 1980 . The budget estimates have been prepared according to the sectoral outlays indicated by the Planning Commission on the basis of such discussions. Further discussions have been held with the Secretary, Planning Commission during this months for finalising the annual plan of the State. for 1980-81. According to the latest indications, the size of Meghalaya's Annual Plan for 1980-81 would be of the order of Rs. 38 crores showing an increase  in the outlays of some sectors like Power, Water Supply, etc. In view of the fact that the final discussions could be held only this month, it has not been possible to incorporate the modified outlays in respect of these sectors in the budget estimates presented before the House. The  Government would be coming to the House again by way of supplementary demands and supplementary appropriations for grants wherever necessary. In addition to the State Plan outlay , a sum of Rs. 2.29 crores has been allotted to Meghalaya for ongoing and the new schemes out of the N.E.C. Regional Plan.

The State Government are keenly aware of the need for effective implementation of the various development programmes and proper utilisatin of plan funds. With a view to advising the government in the matter of socio-economic development of the State, the State Planning board has been reconstituted with Shri W.A. Sangma, as Chairman and Shri E. Iawphniaw as Deputy Chairman besides other non-official and official members . The District Planning Boards in respect of all the five districts have also been reconstituted by the Government appointing non-official members as Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Government have also set up District co-ordination Committees with a view to ensuring co-ordination in formulation and implementation of plan schemes in the districts. Despite difficulties like shortage of technical personnel and construction materials, drought  situation in some of the paddy-growing areas and disturbed conditions in some parts of the State leading to delay in execution of schemes during the vital working season, every endeavour is being made by the State Government to achieve the targets set for the year in various sectors  of development.

Agriculture

 The main objective of the agricultural development programme is to obtain self-sufficiency in foodgrain production by the end of the Sixth Plan and also to improve the economic  condition  of the farmers by increasing production of cash crops and horticultural crops. Owing to drought conditions in certain parts of the State, the output of  foodgrains during the current year is expected to be below the targeted level. The department is proposing a target of 1,70,000 tonnes of foodgrains for the year 1980-81 through larger coverage under high yielding varieties and improved varieties and encouraging  double cropping especially in irrigated areas. Steps have been taken to organise better marketing facilities for the agricultural produce of the farmers.

An outlay of Rs. 158.90 lakhs has been earmarked for agricultural production for 1980-81 as against an approved outlay of Rs. 137.00 lakhs during 1979-80. The proposed outlay for minor irrigation under agriculture department is the same as the allotment during the current year.

Soil Conservation

 Effective soil and water conservation measures are essential for proper agricultural development 

The Jhum Control Scheme continues to be one of the main schemes of the Soil Conservation department in order to check soil erosion. The modified package of practices for helping the shifting cultivators to take to permanent cultivation through provision of one hectare of irrigated land per family with other assistance with regard to availability of seeds, manure etc., will be continued during the next year. Cash crops with low volume-high income potential will also be taken up in suitable areas. The department has started nurseries of coffee and rubber. The Coffee and Rubber Boards have introduced subsidy for raising these crops. The department will render necessary technical   guidance to the farmers in the State in growing  these crops. Schemes to help individual farmers are also provided  under general soil conservation schemes, such as land development, erosion control and water conservation.

The department is conscious of the need for adequate raining and with this end in view, the Conservation Training Institute, Byrnihat, has  been expanded. Advantage has also been taken of the North Eastern Council schemes for  sending students for B.Sc. (Agri)  as well as various short-term training courses. During the current year, the North Eastern Council  has sanctioned a Central Coffee Nursery at Marngar in East Khasi Hills which will produce sufficient seedlings for 100 hectares of coffee plantation. Another centre is proposed to be taken up in Garo Hills

Animal Husbandry

The main objective of this department is to diversify the economy of small and marginal farmers by enabling them to take up animal  husbandry and dairy husbandry practices on scientific lines as also to increase supply of protective food such as milk, meat and eggs. The plan outlay proposed for Animal Husbandry during 1980-81 is Rs. 93.40 lakhs as against the current year's outlay of Rs. 87.00 lakhs. The department will continue the Indo-Danish project in Upper Shillong and cattle farm in Tura. Under the Intensified Cattle Development Projects 10 stockmen centres will be constructed . Due attention would also be given for development of sheep and goat, poultry, piggery and feed and fodder development. It is also proposed to expand veterinary services in view of the need for adequate extension facilities in  order to promote  scientific methods in the field of animal husbandry. During the next year, it is proposed to complete construction of the central dairy.

Fisheries

Despite considerable potential for development of fisheries, most of the available natural fishery resources of the State are yet to be fully developed in a scientific manner. The programme for 1980-81 of this department includes introduction of high-yielding and fast  growing species like Grass Carp and Silver Carp, Paddy-cum-fish culture and composite fish culture and reclamation of swamps and derelict fisheries besides conservation and legislative measures to avoid depletion of natural fisheries. The scheme  for propagating trout fisheries in the State has made some progress through near completion of the trout ponds and indenting of trout seeds.

Forestry

Forests play a crucial role in Meghalaya for checking soil erosion and for retaining the fertility of the soil.

The activities of the forest Department include raising of plantation to compensate the yield taken out of the forests and to improve the growing stock. During the current financial year, the department has raised 1,075 hectares of new plantation of economic species in replacement of poorly stocked areas and uneconomic forests. It is proposed to raise the coverage to 1,180 hectares during the next year. 
During the current year, the department has initiated a new scheme for increase of forest areas under its direct control especially in places where protective  forest cover is essential for maintenance of the water regime of our major water-ways. The department proposes to extended help to various owners for raising plantation under social forestry scheme under which  it is expected to create 935 hectares of new plantations during  the next planting season. The  progress of the scheme will depend greatly on people's co-operation in making land available.

The department is also continuing its assistance to the District Councils to raise plantations in areas under their control. Necessary fund is being made available for raising 565 hectares of plantation in District Council forest areas. In order to regulate export of timber, some control measures have been introduced  during the year through construction of check-gates on the main roads.

Community Development

The Community Development block have a very significant role in the Government's endeavour to involve people  at the grass roots level in the development programmes. The State Government's proposal for six additional Blocks has been agreed to by the Government of India and for the next year, the outlay for Community Development has been substantially increased partly to meet the expenditure on the new Blocks. Apart from their regular activities including Rural Works Programme, Applied and Special Nutrition Programmes and assistance to voluntary organisation,  the community development Blocks have recently been called upon  to shoulder the work relating to integrated rural  development. This programme is an attempt to identify the poorer sections of the community and to make a concerted effort  to generate additional income for them and to improve their standard of living. The Blocks are  of particular importance for installing enthusiasm among the people to participate effectively in such programmes. The community development movement has a special relevance to Meghalaya, as this is based in the faith and capacity of rural people to help themselves in a democratic manner and to bring about social justice.

Co-operation

The Co-operation department has completed re-organisation of 180 co-operative societies as envisaged under the Master Plan of the Reserve Bank of India. These re-organised societies will also take up distribution of essential commodities  and agricultural inputs besides their main function of extending agricultural credit. The societies are also being assisted in a phased manner to undertake marketing of surplus produce. Full-time paid and trained Secretaries  have been posted in these societies for proper management . The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd. has started issuing  medium term and long term loans under the provisions of the Meghalaya Credit Operatic and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1976. In the sphere of marketing , the Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers' Federation Ltd.. has undertaken market intervention to assist the producers to obtain remunerative prices for their produce.  The Federation is also implementing the scheme for establishment of agro-custom hiring centres in the border areas. It has also established a Jute Grading and Baling Plant at Phulbari in Garo Hills. The consumer net-work is also being strengthened in order to make available  essential commodities at reasonable prices to the common people and for this purpose, the consumer wing of the Federation ins being strengthened both organisationally and financially.

Food Control and Minor Irrigation through P.W.D.

The Public Works Department is continuing its programme for construction of embankment and protection of villages and towns under the Flood Control Programme. The irrigation project  of Rongai Valley and the project of Shella  river are awaiting technical sanction and it is expected that the execution work in respect of the former project will commence soon.

Power

The Kyrdemkulai Project has been successfully completed by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. The Board has taken up the Umiam -Umtru Stage. IV Hydro Project with Upper Khri Diversion. As regards the Transmission Projects, the Shillong-Nangalbibra 132 K.V. Transmission Line has also been taken up by the Board. In the field of rural electrification. Substantial outlays have been proposed for the next year to electrify 185 villages out of the continuing and newly sanctioned schemes.

Mineral Development

Investigation of coal in Mawlong Borsora and Bupung and investigation of limestone  in Nongkhlieh are some of the important activities already taken up which will continue during  the next year. The limestone investigation  in a small block of the Siju deposit has already been completed. A reserve of about 18 million tonnes of limestone has now been brought to "Proved" category by this investigation which will be sufficient for setting up a  Cement/Clinker Plant with a daily production of 900 tonnes. The Analytical Laboratory of the Directorate  of Mineral Resources is being strengthened by induction of more staff and equipment.

Industries

The first phase of expansion project of Mawmluh-Cherra  Cements Limited has been completed and the second phase of expansion is expected to be completed soon. The Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation has applied for Letter of Intent to the Government of India for setting up of two more cement factories in the State, and the Letter of Intent for the  Jaintia Hills cement factory has since been received. The watch assembly unit at Shillong Industrial. Estate which is being done in collaboration with H.M.T.  Bangalore has made substantial progress. In order to utilise the bamboo reserve of the State a subsidiary company of the M.I.D.C. has been incorporated and this unit is proposed to be located in Garo Hills. The M.I.D.C. has also continued its activities for development of industrial areas in the State and also for man-power training, investigation and feasibility studies and execution of the incentive schemes of the Government.

Small industries are of special significance in the new development strategy of promoting maximum avenues for self-employment. The department  has laid stress on the training aspects in various traders. The Shillong Industrial  Estate is functioning well with all the sheds  occupied. The Meghalaya Handicraft Development Corporation is taking up schemes for identifying artisans and for assisting them and to set up an organised commercial base.

Sericulture and Weaving

Sericulture and handloom weaving provide mainly  part-time employment to over 15,000  people at present, mostly in the rural sector. These play a crucial role in generating additional income to the weaker sections of the society. The  proposed outlay for sericulture and weaving for 1980-81 is Rs. 35 lakhs for State Plan schemes  and Rs. 5 lakhs for border areas. The department has started some nurseries during the current year and have taken steps to extend about 60 hectares of individual plantations of eri silkworm food plans covering about 350 families in selected pockets. Additional farms have been started to meet the increased requirement  of seeds. In the field of weaving, steps have been taken to modernise 800 looms in the current year in two concentrated areas of Garo Hills . The reorganisation of 30 existing Handloom co-operative societies was also taken up in the current year. These activities will continue during the next year.

Roads

Development of communications has been given topmost priority in the planning strategy of Meghalaya and emphasis has been laid on achievement of a well laid network of roads linking the agricultural belts, industrial and mining areas and areas having substantial development potential besides linking up the interior with administrative  headquarters. In view of the past neglect, the position with regard to  roads in Meghalaya is much less than the All India average as the State has achieved a road density of 18 K.M.  per 100 Sq.K.M. against  the national road density of 32 K.M. per 100 Sq. K.M.

Substantial investments have been made in the road sector during the last few years. The Sixth  Plan proposals have given emphasis for completion of ongoing schemes. During the current year the department expects to achieve 160 K.M. of new construction of roads , 112 K.M.  for improvement and black-topping and 370 K.M. of major and minor bridges.

Transport

The Meghalaya Transport Corporation  is taking  steps to improve its performance  on the existing routes by offering better and timely services. At present, the Corporation  is operating on 28 routes covering 2,893 K.M. It is also acquiring land to the extent of over 10 acres for establishment of a Central Workshop in Happy Valley. The Corporation has expanded its fleet by addition of 25 buses and 7 trucks. Construction of station buildings at Tura and Jowai are also being taken up.

Two weigh bridges, one at Mawiong and the other at Chisengpara on Tura-Rongram road are being  installed and land for the purpose has already been acquired.

Tourism

The activity of this department is aimed at creation of the necessary infra-structure for attracting more tourists. During  the current financial year, a number of schemes have been taken up and the Tourist Bungalow at Thadlaskein has been formally inaugurated.  During the next year, steps  will be taken for improvement of the Tourists' Bungalows in various Centres of the State, for purchase of another mini bus and participation in  Publicity and Tourists Festivals organised at national level

Education

The shortage of technical personnel in the State can be solved only if effective measures are taken for imparting Science education even at the primary and middle stages to the boys and girls of Meghalaya. The Education Department is taking steps to reorganise and improve the system of imparting science education in Meghalaya through  the implementation of the UNICEF assisted Science Education Programme. The programme aims at development of scientific aptitude among the children right from the school stage to enable them to adopt  to the fast changing living conditions and economic needs of the society and this is sought to be achieved through the introduction of new Science text books which would generate interest for Science among the children. A number of primary schools have already been covered and many more will be taken up in 1980-81 till the stage of universalisation is reached.

The State Council  for Educational Research and Training, besides imparting training to school teachers, has undertaken research and analysis to detect the deficiencies  in the system such as high percentage of untrained and under qualified school teachers, exorbitant wastage of  education especially at the primary level, etc. It has taken steps for imparting in-service  training  to teachers in important subjects like Mathematics, English, History and Geography and has organised free coaching classes in 8 centres in Mathematics and Science for the tribal students. It was in constant touch with the national agencies to find solutions to the various problems. The Council has also got UNICEF assisted projects for improvement of education in the State especially at the primary level and is also planning to provide free coaching  classes to the private H.S.L.C. students who are deprived  of guidance because of poverty.

The department is taking steps to consolidate and improve the facilities provided in the Government , colleges and is also continuing assistance to non-Government colleges. A survey unit for collegiate education in the State has been set up recently.

Steps have also been taken to strengthen the administrative set up of the Technical Education wing. At present, the functioning of Polytechnics has been hampered owing to non-availability of qualified teachers. 

The State Government are also pursuing vigorously the Adult Education Programme in line with the priority given  to this at the national level. During the next financial year, it is proposed to cover 36,000 illiterate adults in 1,200 centres with an outlay of Rs. 8 lakhs.

Health

The main  thrust of the Health Department  is to provide preventive services against diseases. At the same time, curative services are also receiving adequate attention. The department is also encouraging promising young men and women of the State to take to medical education through arrangement of seats in different medical colleges in the country. The establishment of another regional medical college at Shillong proposed through the North Eastern council has not yet materialised but in the meantime, the Indian Medical Council has recognised the Civil Hospital, Shillong for imparting  housemanship training to the medical graduates. This will help the government to cope with the shortage of specialists in the Government Hospitals.

The expansion and improvement of the Pasteur Institute which is financed by the North Eastern Council is in progress. The department is conscious of the paramount  need to improve health care services in the rural areas and has embarked on a scheme for setting up additional Primary Health Centres. The department also  will take over  for improvement and maintenance of 44 sub-centres form the Community Development department. A mobile unit in Khasi Hills will continue to be maintained during the next financial year.

Besides the centre at Shillong, establishment of Homeopathic dispensaries at Tura and Jowai have been sanctioned and will be commissioned soon. An engineering wing has been sanctioned  for the department and it is expected  that from the next financial year, the department itself would  take over buildings from  the Public Health Engineering department and embark on new construction activities. Sub divisional hospitals at Baghmara, Mairang, Amlarem and Nongpoh would be set up and also the  mobile health services would be augmented . Despite efforts to improve medical facilities  in the rural areas, these are still lagging behind in the matter of medical relief and care. The department has been geared up to meet the  challenge, as the progress and progress and prosperity of the State depend not only on its natural resources but even more importantly, on the vitality of its people and it is necessary to have adequate investment in human resources.

Water Supply

The Public Health Engineering department of the State has taken up a number of  rural water supply schemes, out of which 108 schemes have been completed upto last year covering 190 villages. The Sixth Plan outlay for the department  is Rs. 33 crores of which an amount of Rs. 19.75 crores is earmarked for rural water supply schemes. The execution of schemes for waster supply  in rural areas thus continues to be an essential part of the departments programme. As regards urban water supply schemes, the department has taken up Umkhen Phase I and II and Crinoline Falls Water Supply Scheme increasing the supply of filtered water to Shillong town by 4 lakhs gallons per day. The new Jowai Waster Supply scheme is nearing completion and is currently under trial runs before commissioning. The department is also giving attention for early completion  of the Greater Shillong Waster Supply scheme costing Rs. 23.90 crores.

Municipal Administration

During the current financial year, a Municipality has been constituted at Tura by the Government taking recourse to the provisions of the Meghalaya Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Act, 1978. The department  is assisting the Shillong Municipality for improving water supply within the municipal area, roads and drainage system in the town, service conditions of the Harijan mazdoors employed by the Board and also to meet other obligatory expenditure. Government have agreed to the imposition of tolls by the Shillong Municipality on certain categories of vehicles entering the Municipal area in order to augment the Municipal Board's own revenues.

Social  Welfare

 The Policy of the State Government in respect of Social Welfare schemes is to involve  voluntary organisations  in implementing  its programme and to strengthen them by giving them grants as well as through organisation of short  training programmes at the State and district level. A number  of Schemes for child welfare were implemented by the department  in connection with the celebration of the International Year of the Child, 1979. The department has taken up schemes for care of destitute widows infirm women as also for construction and expansion of working women's hostels. The Meghalaya State Social Welfare Advisory Board is being assisted by the department in respect of its functioning and maintenance. The department is also running  a special nutrition programme in the urban areas  and project areas under the Integrated Child Development Service Scheme.

Border Areas Development

A number of schemes have been taken up in the border areas of the State for implementation by different development departments  with an approved plan outlay of Rs. 700 lakhs for the Sixth Plan period. The anticipated expenditure for the current year  is over Rs. 150 lakhs as against an approved outlay of Rs. 140 lakhs. A sum of Rs. 160  lakhs is proposed for the next year's plan. The main programme of the department is to augment agricultural production in the border areas, improve  marketing facilities  and also to promote animal husbandry and sericulture and weaving. The department is also operating transport subsidy schemes  by subsidising the transport cost of essential  commodities. As one of the main problems faced by the people in the border areas relates to marketing of their produce, the department has geared up the operation of the marketing scheme with the close involvement of the Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and consumer's  Federation Ltd., which purchases border produce and also makes available free transport facilities through border trucks.

Information & Public Relations

The Information and Public Relations services have assumed considerable importance with the increase in developmental activities, in order to effectively involve the people in purposeful collaboration with the State agencies for implementation of the various programmes. The department has taken steps to strengthen its offices in all the district headquarters and also to set up offices in the new sub divisional headquarters. The department also played an important role during the recent disturbances in Shillong by giving timely publicity to the measures adopted by the Government for maintenance  and enforcement of law and order. Production of a documentary film  on the "Life and Culture" of the People of Meghalaya" is in progress.

Statistics

The Statistics organisation of the State has taken up compilation of the State's statistical abstract and also held discussions with Central Statistical Organisation and the Labour  Bureau in compilation of the consumer price index and on the scope  for a fresh family budget survey by the Government of  India to ensure availability of better consumer price index for the State. During the year, the Directorate of Statistics had conducted a quick survey of the family budgets of the State Government's employees on behalf of the Meghalaya  Pay  Commission. The directorate also completed the study of urban land  values and survey of mortality rates  of Government employees. The directorate has been in constant touch with the Central Statistical Organisation and the Census authorities for conducting the next economic census along with the house list operations of the general census next year. It is likely to be associated in many stages in the socio-economic surveys to be conducted next year on behalf of the Backward Classes Commission and in connection with the integrated rural development in the State. The programmes for the next year include consolidation of the existing schemes as well as adoption of new schemes established on the recommendations of the recent All-India Statistical Conference, such as special sample surveys of consumer expenditure and studies on labour co-efficient.

Administrative & Residential Buildings 

Selection of sites for construction of buildings for the headquarters of Mairang and the Amlarem Subdivisions is expected to be finalised soon and the actual construction work will  be finalised soon and the actual construction work will be started next year. A major portion of the current year's  outlay has been on construction of office buildings and residential quarters at the new district and sub divisional  headquarters as also in meeting the land acquisition cost. Attention is also being given for construction and completion of Circuit Houses in some of the district headquarters.

A number of schemes has been prepared in respect of police housing, construction  of Police battalion headquarters, new jails and administrative buildings to take advantage of the Finance Commission's  allocation  of Rs. 4.86 crores of Meghalaya outside the State Plan, for upgradation of the standard of administration over a five year period.

Elections 

The General Elections to the Lok Sabha were successfully completed from the Tura Parliamentary  Constituency in January, 1980. Elections were not held for the Shillong Parliamentary  seat of Lok Sabha in the absence of any contesting  candidate. The Election Commission and the Government  of India are seized of the need to have accurate electoral rolls in the State which will not include the name of any ineligible person  and, at the same time, ensure that all eligible citizens of India are enrolled. The State Government would render all assistance to the Election Commission and the State election machinery in the performance of this task and are confident that all the political parties and public leaders will also extend their co-operation in this regard.

Pay Commission

The Meghalaya Pay Commission had submitted its report  to the Government in two parts. The State Government have carefully considered their recommendations and have accepted them with improvements in some cases, even though acceptance of the recommendations involves substantial additional financial expenditure for the State. The State Government trust  that the additional benefits will go a long  way to assist the State Government employees as also the employees of  aided educational institutions to meet the increasing cost of living and are confident that the employees, on their part, would put in their best efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of public service

Food & Civil Supplies

The supply position of foodgrains and other essential commodities  during the year has not been entirely satisfactory owing to non-availability of wagons, poor harvest and civil disturbances  which affected the smooth inflow of essential commodities. The State Government  have however, made efforts to conserve a minimum stock of essential commodities for at least a month. The difficulties in getting railway wagons had posed a serious problem for the State and during a part of the year, foodgrains had to be brought by road from broad gauge terminal in Assam. Sugar  became  scarce and very costly  recently and the State Government have taken steps to arrange for adequate quantity of sugar for the consumers at prices which are comparatively low. The  present agitation in Assam has seriously disrupted supply of petroleum  products, as also kerosene to the State. Shortage of petroleum products has also adversely affected the movement of trucks. Cement was scarce during certain months in the current year but the position has improved somewhat at present. During the year, prices of some of the essential commodities increased substantially. In order to check hoarding and profiteering, the Supply Department is strictly enforcing the Meghalaya Scheduled Articles (Display and Marking of Prices) Order, 1975. The local officers have been requested to direct their nominees to import additional essential commodities and to keep sufficient stocks. A Production-cum-Distribution scheme in the State has been introduced with effect from July,1979.

Law & Order

 There was deterioration in the law and order situation in and around Shillong town from October to December, 1979. The law and order situation in the rest of the State was mostly peaceful. The State Government are determined to ensure that complete normalcy is restored in Shillong at the earliest and are confident that in this endeavour, the active co-operation of all sections of the society and public leaders would be forthcoming in abundant measure so that our  State can once again regain its well-earned reputation of a haven  of communal harmony

The State Government have also taken a number of steps to cope with the problem of infiltration of foreigners particularly from Bangladesh and Nepal.

Various  measures have been taken to assist police personnel particularly in the lower formations through extension of a number of benefits. Police  Housing schemes continue to receive adequate attention. Government are  anxious that the functioning of the State Police Force should be modernised and streamlined so that it serves as an effective instrument to safeguard the vital interests of the society.

Civil Defence & Home Guards

 The Home guards  acquitted themselves well when called upon to assist the police in maintenance of law and order in Shillong town from October, 1979  onwards. Two Platoons of Women Home guards were also deployed during this period. The Department is laying emphasis on  training of Civil Defence and Home guards  volunteers and 26 persons had been  deputed for training outside the State during the current  year. During the next year, it is proposed to deploy more Border Wing Home guards on the Indo-Bangladesh border and also to make the village defence  parties more effective by training them in drills, discipline and in handling lathis and rifles.

District Councils

The District Councils were assisted as usual for implementation of their own plan schemes for rural water supply, communications, self-help schemes, etc., and also for construction of buildings. During the current year, a plan outlay of Rs. 17 lakhs was provided in the State Plan Budget, out of which a sum of Rs. 15 lakhs was earmarked for financing the District Council's own Plan Schemes and Rs. 2 lakhs for construction of District Councils buildings. The next year's plan outlay for District Council is fixed at Rs. 20.40 lakhs.

Personnel Matters

Government are taking necessary measures to improve the efficiency and working system through imparting adequate training to the Government employees. The District Selection Committees  have been recently reconstituted. State Government are also continuing their assistance to Meghalayan scheduled tribe candidates who secure admission to the All-India Services Pre-Examination Training Centre in Shillong.

Revenue Affairs

The major schemes in the approved plan programme  operated by the Revenue Department consist of the establishment of a Survey School at Tura , survey and preparation of records of rights and enforcement of the provisions  of Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971. The department has set up a cell for conversion of land records to the metric system and another for processing the recommendations of the Meghalaya Land Reforms Commission. The department also arranged for relief to people affected by the drought conditions and explained in detail the difficulties of the cultivators to the Central Study Team which visited Meghalaya in July,1979.

The State Government have also been in touch with the Government of Assam in order to finalise proper demarcation in certain areas on the Assam-Meghalaya boundary which are regarded as " areas of difference". It is hoped that further progress would be made in this direction when a popularly elected Government is installed in Assam.

Actuals 1978-79

 The year 1978-79 opened with a negative cash balance of Rs. 625.01 lakhs but the State Government had held Rs. 781.75 lakhs in the Government of India Treasury bills on the 1st April, 1978.  There was a total receipt of Rs. 32,634.02 lakhs and total expenditure of Rs. 32,165.39 lakhs in that year under all accounts resulting in a surplus of Rs. 468.63 lakhs. Thus the negative cash balance of Rs. 625.01 lakhs was reduced to Rs.156.38 lakhs at the end of the year. On the other hand, the State Government's holding in the Treasury bills also increased to Rs.860.00 lakhs. In other words, the year 1978-79 virtually closed with a surplus of Rs. 703.62 lakhs.

Revised Estimates for 1979-80

The revised estimates of receipt and expenditure on all accounts for the current year are Rs. 33.964.09 lakhs and Rs.33,527.43 lakhs respectively resulting in a surplus of Rs. 436.66 lakhs. This will not only wipe out the entire negative cash balance of Rs.156.32 lakhs at the beginning of the year, but an amount of Rs.280.28 lakhs is expected to remain at the close of the year.

Budget Estimates 1980-81

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.6,635.66 lakhs and the estimated expenditure on revenue account at Rs. 5,650.57 lakhs. There will thus, be a surplus of Rs. 985.09 lakhs on revenue account.

The estimated receipt and expenditure out side the revenue account are estimated at Rs. 28,099.19 lakhs and Rs. 29,441.25 lakhs respectively leaving a deficit of Rs.1,342.06 lakhs. Thus, together with the revenue surplus of Rs. 985.09 lakhs, there will be an overall deficit of Rs. 356.97 lakhs. This will be partially wiped out by the estimated opening balance of Rs. 280.28 lakhs leaving an uncovered deficit of Rs.76.69 lakhs.

Mobilisation of Additional Resources

With a view to reduce the uncovered deficit and also to fulfill our target of additional resource mobilisation committee to the Government of India and the Planning Commission, I propose to introduce the following measures. :-

(1) To increase court fee on certain categories of applications and petitions.

(2) To increase the rate of Stamp duty.

(3) To increase Sales Tax from 6 percent to 7 percent on "other goods" as indicated in item 3 of Schedule II of the Meghalaya Sales Tax Act.

(4) To impose a tax of 7 percent on cooked foods under Meghalaya Sales Tax Act. 

(5) To impose a tax of 7 percent on Bread.

(6) To increase Sales Tax on tea from 6 percent to 7 percent under the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) Act.

(7) To increase Excise Duty on India made foreign liquor from Rs. 24 to Rs. 30 per L.P.L.

(8) To increase electricity duty from 3 paise  to 4 paise per unit of electric energy sold or consumed.

These measures are expected to yield additional revenue to the extent of Rs. 30 lakhs during the year. They yield will further increase when there is a settlement on the question of payment of electricity duty by the Assam State Electricity Board in respect of power supplied to it by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board.

I do not, however, propose to take any measure to cover the remaining gap at this stage. But the receipt and expenditure will be constantly reviewed during the course of the year and appropriate steps will be taken to cover this gap also.

Meghalaya has made substantial progress in the social and economic fields after attainment of statehood, but a lot more remains to be done. It is necessary to continue our efforts to build up an adequate infra-structure in the State which will accelerate the pace of economic development. It is important that the benefits of progress percolate to the weaker sections of the society, most of whom live in the rural areas, through encouraging them to take to scientific methods of cultivation and other remunerative occupations like small and cottage industries. The State owes a special obligation to the poorest sections of the society which are in need of much greater attention, if their quality of life has to be improved. It is important that the process of development should be carried on in such a manner as to actively involve the people of the State particularly the members of Scheduled Tribes in the various plans and programmes. This would be possible only if we lay stress on encouraging our youth to take to technical education in increasing numbers. It is also essential  that we create and maintain an environment which will be conducive for quicker and more meaningful development of the State. I am sure that the Government would receive the co-operation of the Hon'ble Members of the House in achieving the common tasks before us.

With these words, Sir, I present the Budget for 1980-81 for consideration and acceptance of the House. As according to the Assembly Calendar, it would not be possible to complete detailed discussions on the Budget proposals before the end of the financial year, I propose to move the House, in the first instance, for voting Advance  Grants and for sanctioning Advance Appropriations to enable the Government to defray its expenses for part of the next financial year.

KHUBLEI

MITELLA

JAI HIND

ANNEXURE 

The financial position for the year 1980-81 with corresponding position in the previous years

Rupees in Lakhs

Heads

Actuals

Actuals

Budget

Revised

Budgets

1977-78

1978-79

1979-80

1979-80

1980-81


1

2

3

4

5

6


Opening Balance

(-)210.62

(-)625.01

90.92

(-)156.38

280.28

Revenue Receipt

48,10.68

55,01.37

58,72.52

58,06.86

66,35.66

Capital receipt under the Consolidated Fund

2,58.46

3,58.66

9,43.99

7,28.98

7,40.88

Capital receipt under the Contingency Fund

6,50.00

75.00

1,00.00

80.11

43.36

Capital receipt under the Public Account

2,24,14.35

2,66,98.99

2,34,06.34

2,73,48.14

2,73,14.95


Total-Receipt

2,81,33.49

3,26,34.02

3,03,22.85

3,39.64.09

3,47,34.85


GRAND TOTAL

2,79,22.87

3,20.09.01

3,04,13.77

3,38.07.71

3,50,15.13


Revenue Expenditure

37,92.29

40,40.05

47,54.21

47,70.25

56,50.57

Capital expenditure under Consolidated Fund.   

12,58.04

14,89.21

23,74.09

22,31.93

22,78.94

Capital expenditure under the Contingency Fund

6,93.18

0.18

1,00.00

80.11

43.36

Capital expenditure under Public Account

2,28,04.37

2,66,35.95

2,33,63.34

2,64,45.14

2,71,18.95


Total- Expenditure

2,85,47.88

3,21,65.39

3,05,91.64

3,35,27.43

3,50,91.82


Closing Balance

(-)6,25.01

(-)1,56.38

(-)1,77.87

2,80.28

(-)76.69


GRAND TOTAL

2,79,22.87

3,20,09.01

3,04,13.77

3,38,07.71

3,50,15.13


NET RESULT :-

(a) On Revenue Account

(+)10,18.39

(+)14,61.32

(+)11,18.31

(+)10,36.61

(+)9,85.09

(b) Outside Revenue Account

(-)14,32.78

(-)9,92.69

(-)13,87.10

(-)5,99.95

(-)13,42.06

(c) All Accounts  excluding the opening and closing balances.

(-)4,14.39

(+)4,68.63

(-)2,68.79

(+)4,36.66

(-)3,56,97


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