Government of Meghalaya

Budget Speech

1973 74

By

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh,

Finance Minister, Meghalaya

20th March, 1973

Mr. Speaker, Sir,

      The year which is drawing to a close has been the first year after the attainment of full Statehood of Meghalaya.

      The achievements made in the first year of our full Statehood marked the beginning of our march to the path of progress and all-round development of Meghalaya. We have settled down with confidence to the task of building up our economy and taking up programmes which would facilitate the State's onward march to prosperity  and the growth of a self-generating economy.

2.     As Honourable Members are aware, the nation is at present engaged in the task of formulating the Fifth Five-Year Plan which will be the blue print for the development of the nation during the five years' period. We have also formulated our approach to the next Plan. While agreeing to the national objective of increase in the rate of economic growth, elimination of poverty and provision of increasing employment opportunities by fulfillment of the "Minimum Needs" Programme, we have also emphasised the problem of regional imbalances and difficulties felt by the backward and backward States. We have stressed that one of the main objectives of the Plan should be to remove such imbalances and to bring  up the backward areas to the level of development of the rest of the country. It is hoped that this objectives will be fully kept into consideration by the Government of India while finalising the outlays for the State's Fifth Five-Year Plan.

National Economic Trends

3.     I would now like to mention briefly some of the broad trends in the Nation's  economy which have a bearing on the economy of our State. For the second year in succession, the Indian economy had to go through considerable strain during 1972-73. As the Honourable Members are aware, the year 1971-72 was one of the most difficult years which the country has faced since Independence mainly because of the influx of Bangladesh refugees and the War with Pakistan. When the economy was recovering from the impact of the difficulties of 1971, several factors led to the slowing down of the recovery. There has been inadequate rainfall in a considerably large part of the country as a result of which  the agricultural production received a severe set-back with serious implications for the country's food position. Despite the prospects of better rabi crops, the fall in foodgrains production is estimated at 4-5 millions tonnes and the total production would only be around 100 millions tonnes  during the year. There was marked improvement in the rate of industrial production from 4 percent to 7 percent but this was not sufficient to offset the decline in the foodgrains and the set-back in cash crops. As a result of these the growth of the National Income may not exceed 2 percent which is the same as in the preceding year. The rise in the whole-sale prices in 1972 has been 7.8 percent and is nearly double  that in 1971.  In December, 1972 the whole-sale price index was 13.7 percent higher than in December, 1971. The index for foodgrains was up by 17 percent and of industrial raw materials by 18 percent. In the first week of February 1973, the whole-sale price of cereals was 16.2 percent higher than the level a year ago. All these have posted considerably problems.

        We need  not however, take a pessimistic view of the country's inherent strength. As pointed out earlier, the rate of industrial growth has shown signs of recovery and the growth in textiles has been 27 percent. There has been marked evidence of recovery in transport equipment and chemicals, non-metallic minerals, rubber products and non-electrical machinery. Exports performance has been good in the first eight months. Given normal weather  condition,  there is every reason to hope that agricultural production should improve and the economy will look up. With sufficient increase in commodity production, an increase of 5 percent in the National  Income may become a reality.

Economic Trends in Meghalaya

 4.     There is, no doubt that the economic forces in the country will be having their impact in the State to a large extent. Available statistics suggest that  the overall performance of the State's  economy has been quite fair during the past year specially when considered against the background of its special problems, both inherent as well as those  created as a result of last year's  massive refugee influx. There has been a total improvement in the foodgrains production over the years in Meghalaya. The foodgrains  production has improved from 1.24  lakhs tonnes in 1970-71 to 1.36 lakhs tonnes in 1971-72 and is  likely  to approach the target of 1.65 lakhs tonnes during  1972-73. The production  of cement of the only major industrial unit, namely, the Cherrapunjee Cement Factory, has unfortunately shown as decline to 47,900 tonnes in 1972 from its production figures of 74,400 tonnes in 1971 due to various reasons. There has been a steady rise in the production of limestone and, for the first time, commercial production of Clay was reported and the quantity raised by the Cherra Cement Authorities  was 11,597 tonnes during 1972. Production of coal has also shown consistent sign of recovery.

        The improvement of the position in respect of certain sectors, as pointed out, could not, however, counter the powerful influence of the Country-wide  Economic Forces as  stated earlier and this is evident from the steep price rise  in most of the items which followed the pattern of the All-India Trend. The rise in whole-sale and retail prices in Meghalaya was much more than in the rest of the country and the North Eastern Region due to the difficulties of transport and communications in the State.

Employment Situation

5.     The problem of increasing unemployment in general and among the educated unemployed  persons in particular, has to be tackled with vigorous efforts. It is proposed to strengthen the machinery of the Employment Directorate. Besides the other measures contemplated are the appointment of a State Manpower-cum-Employment Officer who would be entrusted with the function of advising the Government  regarding the necessary measures to be taken for coping with the problem and for  ensuring follow-up action in regard to the implementation of the schemes and the Government decisions taken in this regard. The increased generation of employment opportunities is one of the important objectives of our Plan Schemes. Apart from the creation of more  employment opportunities through the developmental schemes and through the increase in the level of economy by accelerating  the growth in Agriculture, Veterinary, Transport and Communications and other  employment generating sectors the Special Employment Programmes  drawn up in the context of growing unemployment in the country are being implemented. Mention may be made of the Special Employment  Programme and the crash programme for employment which aim at creation of more employment opportunities by utilising the surplus man-power for the creation of permanent assets of developmental nature such as roads, bridge and minor irrigation works.

       Due to the shifting  of the Assam Government capital, the economy of Shillong and the areas around is also likely to receive a temporary setback The State Government are aware of these problems and are undertaking various measures in this connection. A cash scheme for creation of additional employment opportunities through various schemes has been drawn up and submitted to the Government of India. The benefits under the proposed crash programme will be available to the educated unemployed persons of the State as well as to the tribal employees at present working under the Assam Government. The question of establishment of more Central offices in Shillong and absorption of people from Meghalaya into the jobs in the Central offices in Shillong has been stressed upon the Government of India.

Border Areas.

6.     The State Government are keenly aware of the suffering and distress prevailing in the border areas due to the suspension of the border trade. It is an acknowledged fact that the development programmes in the area have not  kept pace with the requirements. The economic condition in the border areas has shown deteriorating as a combined effect of all these factors. A crash scheme for marketing of border products was undertaken with a view  to facilitating the disposal of the border produces at reasonable prices both inside and outside the State. Test-relief measures were also undertaken in the areas with a view to relieving distress among the people. The programme  for development of border areas submitted to the Government of India  includes the  scheme for setting up of a Corporation  for marketing of border produces  as well as the schemes for improving communications and building up the necessary infrastructure decided the  Government of India's approval and sanction for financial assistance for the integrated programme for the development of border areas is still awaited, we have been making provisions for border areas development schemes in our Plan budget in spite of constraint of resources and paucity of allocations.

       The Honourable Members are also aware of the problem of shifting cultivation and the necessity of grouping of villages particularly in Garo Hills. We have been proposing to the Government of India the undertaking of a special programme for the purpose outside the State Plan. The undertaking of the programme has been accepted in principle by the Planning Commission and the Government of India and a pilot project will be undertaken during the next year with an outlay of Rs.11 lakhs which will be supplemented with such funds as may be found necessary.

Fourth Plan and the  Annual Plans

7.     When Meghalaya  was created as an Autonomous State, the outlay for the Fourth Plan was fixed at Rs.38 crores by taking out a share of the Assam Hill Plan outlay.  Now, that Meghalaya has become a full State, it has to get a share of the outlay of the General Plan of the Assam State also. At the time of allocation of the Plans to Meghalaya only the Hills Plan outlay was divided as between Meghalaya and the Hill Areas of the rest of Assam. It would be evident that the outlays for the Plan of Meghalaya drawn on the basis of Rs.38 crores were extremely inadequate and left  no scope  for expenditure for the State-Level schemes. In addition, the Shillong Municipal and the Cantonment areas have been transferred to the Meghalaya Government  with effect from 21st January 1972. As such, the responsibility of continuing the Developmental Schemes undertaken by the Government of Assam in these areas has devolved upon the Government of Meghalaya without  any corresponding increase in the Plan  outlay. The matter has been taken up with the Planning Commission which has proposed to arrange a discussion with the various Ministries and the Government of Assam. In the meantime, the  Government have requested  the Government of India for release of adhoc funds to meet the commitments which have devolved on the State in this regard.

Plan Priorities

8.     Since the growth of every sector is dependent upon good communication facilities, which are ill-developed in Meghalaya, the foremost priority is given to the building of roads for creating the infra-structure for development. A  very high priority has also been assigned to agriculture and other allied programmes in order to enable increased production of foodgrains. Great emphasis has also been laid on measures to promote diversified and more suitable pattern of agriculture and in this context the programme for controlling shifting cultivation has assumed new importance. The Plan has also laid emphasis on the creation of infrastructure to enable development and economic utilisation of the State's natural resources in the industrial field. With regard to Social Services, increased facilities for education health and medical care, water supply  housing and social welfare, have been provided. The District Councils have been given the importance they deserve to participate in the development of the State through assistance to implement  their own Plans with funds from the State Plan.
Progress in the Plan implementation 9.     As regards the progress in the implementation of the Fourth Plan, a comprehensive review has been attempted at some length in a supplement brought out separately. For the first Annual Plan of the State, that is, for the  year 1970-71 the State Plan provided for an outlay of Rs.7.25 crores. Against this the expenditure amounted to Rs.7.56 crores.  Due to severe limitations like lack of personnel and delayed beginning this high performance was made possible by taking up projects in other sectors notably roads. In the second year of the Plan i.e.,1971-72, the outlay fixed was Rs.7.95 crores. It may be remembered that during this year the State had to pass through severe stress and strain on account  of the disturbance in the then East Pakistan. The total expenditure recorded in that year was Rs.7.04 crores, which feel short of the target. For the year 1972-73 the outlay originally fixed was Rs.8.25 crores which included the amount of Rs.1.03 crores representing the State's share of resources mobilisation for financing the Annual Plan. There has been a short fall in resources due to non-availability of LIC Loans. The implementation of the Annual Plan is in progress and it is expected that the outlay expended would total to Rs.8.09 crores.
Annual Plan 1973-74 10     The Annual Plan for the coming year was scrutinized and considered in detail in the State Planning Advisory Council  and the State Planning board before it was submitted to the Government  of India. Against the State's proposal for Rs.13.69 crores for the next year, the Planning Commission has agreed to an outlay of Rs.12 cores for the State's Annual Plan. This marks an overall increase of about 45 percent over the current year's Plan. As stated earlier, the Government are also following up the question of additional requirement on account of additional schemes for Meghalaya. In addition, the outlay on Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored programmes to be executed by the State Government such as  Family Planning Schemes, Small Farmers, Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers Development projects,  accelerated water supply schemes, crash schemes and special schemes for employment are expected to continue with increased outlay.  
Advance Action

 11.     The Plan outlay for the next year, also includes a provision of Rs.50 lakhs for  advance action programme for the Fifth Plan. These programmes will be such as to facilitate the achievement of accepted goals and targets for the next five year plan.

Planning Machinery

12.      The Government have constituted the State Planning Advisory Council to advise Government on various matters regarding the Fifth Plan  and the annual plans. The Government have also set up a State Planning Board with the Chief Minister as the Chairman and the Planning Minister as the Deputy Chairman. The Government have also decided to set up the District Planning Boards and District Planning Officers are being appointed in the District.

Agriculture

13.     The board objective in the sphere of Agriculture is to increase the production of foodgrains so as to ultimately make the State self-sufficient in this regard. The approach and strategy, envisaged for increasing the agricultural production for the year 1973-74 is to increase the are under assured irrigating substantially and to popularise the adoption of scientific methods of cultivation. The total anticipated production under foodgrains during the year 1972-73 is 1,65,200 tonnes as  against the production of 1,37,230 tonnes during 1971-72. For the next year the target has been fixed at 1,88.000 tonnes. The other important programmes in the agricultural field include demonstration in cultivator's fields, training of personnel and progressive cultivators, land reclamation, conducting applied research and intensifying the programme for introduction of improved and high yielding varieties. Although emphasis has been given to the increase of area under cereals, due attention is being paid to the  development of cash crops like potato, jute, cotton, ginger, etc. The anticipated expenditure on agricultural programmes including minor irrigation under  plan schemes during the current year was Rs.90. lakhs as against the actual expenditure of Rs.66.68  lakhs during 1971-72. Out of the plan allocation of Rs.123 lakhs for 1973-74, the amount of Rs.41 lakhs has been provided  for minor irrigation and the rest earmarked for agricultural production, land reforms, research, education and training.

Research Activities 14.     To evolve suitable varieties of crops for different agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the State, research work has been taken up and two research stations have been established one in Shillong and another at Tura. This year it is proposed to establish another station at Jowai. The research stations will also carry out work on diseases and  pests and also in horticulture with special emphasis on the disease of "die-back" of citrus and infected orchards. Research on soil problems and soil analysis for proper use of fertilisers will also be carried out.
Small Farmers, Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers Development Agency Schemes

15.   The Small Farmers, Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers Development Agencies have made significant progress during the year under review. As indicated in my last speech, the main functions of the agencies are to identify the eligible participants, investigate their problems and formulate suitable programmes with a view to removing the imbalance in rural economy and providing larger employment opportunities. In Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills project, an expenditure of Rs.28 lakhs has been incurred and the target of expenditure of Rs.1 crores is expected to be reached in the coming year. This project has initiated a new methodology in the realm of co-operative movement by starting a multi-purpose Co-operative Society in Mawryngkneng Block with the expected membership of about ten thousand persons. This agriculture-based co-operative society will embrace all co-operative activities which are aimed at helping the Farmers and will entertain competent managerial and technical staff to implement ambitious development schemes. Presently, a potato cultivation schemes benefiting 3000 farmers with a total outlay of Rs.92 lakhs is under examination. Similarly  six more schemes are under examination for this co-operative  society. All these schemes are likely to benefit about ten thousand small farmers, marginal farmers and agricultural labourers bedsides others who would bet seasonal employment under the rural works programme. It is expected that this new  experiment, if successful, will usher in anew eras of  economic prosperity through co-operative movement. In the Garo Hills project, emphasis  has been placed on Community Irrigation Schemes. The Schemes are now already for  implementation and by the end of the financial year 1973-74, about Rs.60 lakhs will have been spent benefiting a population of about ten thousand small and marginal farmers.

    It is proposed to expand the are under Horticulture through supply of planting materials to growers at subsidised rates. Establishment of progeny orchards and training of gardeners are also being taken up. The anticipated expenditure during 1972-73 is Rs.4.20 lakhs while the proposed outlay for 1973-74 is Rs.6.85 lakhs.

Animal Husbandry 16.     The main schemes of Animal Husbandry Department aims at the strengthening the livestock and poultry farms to meet the requirement of breeding stocks and augmenting production of milk, meat and eggs which will help farmers to have subsidiary income. The programmes  also aim at educating the farmers in modern technology necessary for scientific production of livestock and dairy husbandry. The State of Meghalaya with its congenial climatic condition has immense potential for livestock development and dairy industry. During the Forth Plan Period there has been significant increase in the production of milk-the production of milk going up to above  20 lakh litres at the end of the year. 1971-72 as against 8 lakh litres at the end of 1968-69.  Similarly, egg production has registered an increase of 5  lakhs by the end of 1971-72. During my last speech I had  occasion to refer to the Indo-Danish Project at Upper Shillong  for re-organising the Upper Shillong Livestock Farm and imparting training to local farmers in the modern methods of management  and rearing of animals. It is expected that the Government of Denmark will provide over 120 cows and 12 pedigreed bulls through the Government of India.  An Intensive Cattle Development Project has been established in Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The Planning Commission  has approved in principle the establishment of one composite  Livestock Farm in  Garo Hills. One key village Block has been taken up at Laskein in Jaintia Hills and another  key village is also partly being established in Garo Hills.

Other Development Programmes

17.      With a view to popularizing balanced feeding of Livestock and poultry, a Feed Mill with grinding and mixing capacity of 3 tonnes feed per hour has been established at Nayabunglow. The Fodder Demonstration Farm at Upper Shillong tried cattle fodder suitable for high altitudes. As regards sheep development, the topography of the State appears suitable but the heavy  rainfall has always been a limiting factor. A Sheep and Goat Farm is being established n in Jaintia District and Mawnai Sheep Unit has taken  up extension work. The Poultry  Farm Complex  at Nayabunglow has registered  commendable progress in poultry development;  the poultry farms at Tura and Jowai, however need further strengthening  to meet the growing  need of  the farmers. Non-availability of pedigreed black pigs  coupled with the prevalence of swine fever have posed problem for the piggery development programme. The State has acquired 16 foreign pedigreed black pigs through the help of the Government of India and they have also been approached  for vaccines for the diseases.

       During the current year the Government have reserved 15 seats in various Veterinary Colleges for B.V.Sc and A.H. Course.

Dairy Development

18.  The Chilling Plan  established at Nayabunglow is processing about 4000 litres of milk daily, and the Town Milk Supply Schemes at Shillong is handling about 1200 litres of milk per day. the Dairy Extension Scheme at Jowai  is trying to educate our farmers in the processing of dairy  products. The Cremetry and Ghee Making Centre has been established in Garo Hills, which would encourage local farmers to take up breeding of cattle and marketing of ghee cream and butter.

Fisheries

19.    The people of Meghalaya have to depend entirely on neighboring areas for supply of fish, both fresh and dry. The main aim of fishery development is to utilise available resources for production of protein food for the growing  population. There is a provision of Rs.20 lakhs for fishery development during the Fourth Five-Year Plan and a sum of Rs.8 lakhs has been provided for 1973-74 for taking up different schemes. The target of fish production is 400 tonnes for Meghalaya during 1973-74.

Weights and Measures

20.   The use of Metric Weights and Measures has been made compulsory in all transactions in the State. the State Government have taken steps for proper introduction and enforcement of the Metric System. A programme for planned publicity for educating the people  has been taken up. The response in general seems to be quite encouraging.

Co-operation

21.   This year has witnessed a steady progress in the co-operative movement of the State with the Government taking vigorous steps to streamline the growth of the cooperative societies in the rural as well as urban areas. There has been appreciable increase in the quantum of loans issued to the cultivators by the Apex Bank through the Service Co-operative Societies. The Assam Hills Development Corporation  has distributed a larger quantity of fertilizer and bone-meal. For ensuring suitable storage facilities, special  emphasis has been placed on the construction  of godowns. Over and above the annual programme for the current year  for construction of 21 godowns  of 150 metric tonnes capacity and 10 godowns of 350 metric tonnes capacity, the National Co-operative Development Corporation is being moved for assistance for the construction of godowns of 100 metric tonnes capacity  each. The 37 percent of the total loan amounting to Rs.4.20 lakhs will be borne by the State Government  as subsidy, the rest granted as loan by the Corporation. A' State Ware-Housing Corporation is also proposed to be set up for providing  better, and more modern type of storage facilities.

Credit Facilities

22. Steps to re-organise the Consumer Co-operatives are also  being undertaken in order to identify the viable units and also to implement the consumer's programme in close collaboration  with the National Co-operative consumer's  Federation. the performance of the urban banks in Shillong is extending  credit has been encouraging. The Meghalaya  Co-operative Apex Bank is also examining the question of opening branches in the rural areas. It is proposed to  convert the Assam Hills  Co-operative Development Corporation into the State Apex Marketing Society.

Joint Survey

23.   One of the most important steps taken in this sector during the current year is the joint survey of the credit structure in the State conducted  by the Reserve Bank of India, the Apex Bank and the Co-operative Department. The main aim is to re-organise the societies on firm and sound lines with a view to making them viable units. As the Hon'ble Members are aware, the Co-operative  Sector, has a tremendous role to play in the economic development of the State  and it is hoped that the recommendation of the joint survey will go a long way in making it possible to implement the co-operative programme on better lines. The approved outlay for 1973-74 for the sector is Rs.37.00 lakhs.

Community Development

24.   We have a total of 24 blocks in the State out of which 7 blocks are in Stage II  and 17 blocks in Post-Stage II. An amount of Rs.21.00 lakhs has been provided under the State Plan  and Rs.29.24 lakhs in the normal budget for implementing C.D. Programmes. The Tribal Development programme is superimposed in all these C.D. Blocks, 12 of them operating in T.D. Stage II and another 12 in T.D. Stage III. An  amount of Rs.36.00 lakhs has been provided for the activities of Tribal Development Blocks.

      The Applied Nutrition Programme for meeting problem of malnutrition in the villages, about which I made mention during last year, has been in operation in 5 blocks in the State and will be continued in 1973-74. Two of the operative ANP blocks, Viz. Resubelpara and Mylliem will complete their period of operation by the end of 1972-73 and the Government of India have been requested to allot two additional blocks during 1973-74. The expenditure to be incurred  under this programme  will be Rs.1.70 lakhs under Central  Assistance and Rs.1.25 lakhs out of C.D. Budget. The Special  Nutrition Programme, which was started for providing supplementary nutrition to the younger group of children belonging to the weaker section of the community and nursing mothers, will be continued during 1973-74.

Forest

25.   The optimum utilisation of the forest resources, which forms one of the most important renewable natural assets of the State, is very essential both for earning revenue as well as generating employment avenues in the rural sector. There has been an increase of 16 percent in the revenue earnings of the Sate from this sector. Further measures for proper management of forests with the co-operation of the District Councils are being studied. Under the Plan scheme due stress has been given to the raising of the plantations of economic species like  Teak, Sal, etc., as well as medicinal plants like Ipecac. For exploiting forest produces in the interior, expansion of communications has been taken up and about 9 km. of new roads were constructed during last year.  In order to protect rate plant and animals, preliminary steps have been taken to create a Small Zoo in Lady Hydari Park a Deer Park in the Umiam Lake area and an Orchid Sanctuary near Jowai. In the existing Botanical Garden, some improvement work has been taken up. For manning various  posts of technical nature in the department, a scheme for training of staff in the institutions at Dehradun and Gauhati has been taken up and number of persons have been recruited for deputation for training.

Health

26.   The important schemes that have been taken up by the Health Department during 1972-73 are mentioned below :-

(i) Extension of Jowai Civil Hospital by another 36 beds;

(ii) Survey work of the site for construction of 100-bedded Hospital at Tura in Garo Hills.

      Proposal for construction of a 10-bedded Hospital at Bhoilymbong is under active consideration of the Government. There are proposals for construction of 2 Primary Health  Centres in Garo Hills and 1 in Khasi Hills. The Primary Health Centres at Cherrapunjee, Mawkyrwat, Mawsynram, Chokpot and Songsak are under Construction.

      The Hon'ble Members are aware of the acute shortage of doctors particularly in the rural areas. Over and above the other measures taken to tackle this problem, the State  Government have reserved seats in the medical colleges  of Assam and Manipur  and scholarships have been created. Steps are being taken to establish a Pharmacists Training School at Tura  to meet the shortage of Pharmacists. The Government of India have  given sanction  for establishment of District T.B. Centre in Tura. Six Survey, Education  and Treatment Centres for Leprosy have been  established in the State and eight more are proposed to be set up this year.

     Besides the programme in the State Plan, the Health Department has also been implementing some National Schemes like  Family Planning, Malaria Eradication programmes, etc.

Education

27.   In the field of general education emphasis is being laid on the improvement at all levels of education an d also on expansion.  The State Government have already constituted a commission to go into the problems of education at the Elementary and Secondary levels and to determine the type of education to be imparted. The Commission is expected to submit its recommendations in due course. Steps are being taken to introduce the scheme for teaching Science in some selected Middle and Primary Schools and work of translating books into Khasi and Garo languages is progressing. At present, the Board of Secondary  Education, Assam, conducts the Examination at the end of higher Secondary  Stage but the State Government propose to introduce  a bill in the current Session of the Assembly for the establishment of the Meghalaya Board of  School  Education to regulate, supervise and develop schools in Meghalaya. With a view to providing incentive at suitable levels, merit scholarships as well as merit-cum-means scholarships have been introduced in the current year. Two Advisory Boards for Regional Text Book committees in Garo and Khasi  language  have been constituted and the formation of a Text Book  Committee at State level is also under consideration. The Hon'ble Members will be glad to know that with the adoption of the necessary resolution by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly under Article 250 of the Constitution, the bill for the establishment of the Indira Gandhi University will be introduced and passed by Parliament during its current session.

Technical Education

28.   In the sphere of technical education, much remains to be done. The survey work as well as preparation of plans and estimates for construction of a Junior Technical School at Jowai have been taken up. Our proposal for  introduction of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Courses in the Shillong Polytechnic, about  which I made a mention in my last speech, is still pending  with the Government of India.

Sports and Social Welfare

 29.   The State Sports Council has already been se up. The State Social Welfare  Board of Meghalaya has also started functioning.

Assistance to District Councils

30.   The Government have continued to assist the District  Councils financially for their schemes for rural waster supply rural communications and construction of buildings. There is a provision of Rs.40 lakhs during the year 1973-74 for the above schemes.

Municipal Administration

31.   The Municipal Administration Department has been extending assistance, both the the shape of grant and loan to the Shillong Municipal Board as well as Garo Hills Town Committee. During 1972-73, the State Government extended as grant of Rs.2 lakhs to the Municipal Board to tide over its financial difficulties. The Board has also approached the State Government for a loan of Rs.1.90 lakhs  for Water Supply Schemes which is under active consideration. For the next financial year  a sum of Rs.2.00 lakhs has been  provided as  loan and a sum of Rs.1.01 lakhs has been provided as grant.

Communication 

32.   Improvement of communication facilities, which in the context of the geographical conditions in Meghalaya  mean roads-will continue to be one of the most important and vital needs of the economy. The target during the Fourth Plan  is to have a total length of 3759 km. road net work in the State. As substantial part of the roads in Meghalaya  are earthen roads, the target for surfaced roads at the end of the Fourth Plan is 1066 km. against 731 km. of surfaced roads at the end of 1969. One  of the most important work during the year is the completion of preliminary construction work of the Shillong-Tura Road, about 314 km. in length, running East to West centrally across the State and  connecting the headquarters of Garo Hills and Khasi Hills Widening work and construction of a few bridges, however still remain to be completed and the work is in progress  The road also requires considerable improvement to bring it to  the  standard of a trunk road. With regard to Border Roads running parallel to Indo-Bangladesh Border, there are still four missing links, of 130 km. in length, which are yet to be taken up. Proposal has been submitted to the Government of India  for financing the same. Construction of Chibinang Bridge in Garo Hills is likely to be completed during next year.

Public Health Engineering

33.    The Department has taken up 38 Water Supply Schemes since 1969-70 out of which  25 have already been completed. The Government of India have also approved another 33 Rural Water Supply Schemes with a total estimated cost of Rs.116.62 lakhs under the Accelerated Programme for implementation  during the current  year (1972-73) and 1973-74. The execution of these schemes  has been taken up by the Department concerned. The Greater  Shillong Waster Supply Scheme costing Rs.336.70  lakhs in the first phase has received the technical approval from the Government of India. In drawing up the programme for rural water supply, the Department has given high priority to the villages having  no water source within a radius of  one  mile and mountainous areas  where acute scarcity of water prevails.

Housing

43.    Under Housing the Government is advancing loans under easy terms  of payment  for construction of residential building of Low Income as well as Middle Income groups. A new Rental Housing Schemes  for Tura has been drawn up. Besides this, there are schemes for providing loans under village housing projects for providing residential accommodation-to be taken up during the remaining period of the Fourth Plan as well as Fifth Plan.

Urban Development

35.   During 1972-73, a few Schemes, viz., Improvement of Barabazar and construction of residential quarters for Harijans at Shillong and Improvement of markets at Tura and Jowai were taken up. The Government also propose  to take up Slum Clearance and Urban Development schemes in the various towns in the State to improve the environmental conditions during the next year as well as during  the next plan period.

Supply

36.   The supply position , on the whole, remained fairly satisfactory during the year. We are receiving the allotment of Rice, Wheat, Sugar from the Government of India  directly. The Government of India have implemented a scheme for distribution of sugar at a uniform subsidised price by the distribution of sugar at a uniform subsidised price by the Food Corporation of India with effect from 1st January 1973, The F.C.I. has agreed to open godowns  at selected places of the State to streamline the distribution. For enabling the border people to purchase essential foodstuffs at prices prevailing in the district headquarters, the Transports subsidy Scheme is being continued. A new scheme, for distribution of mill cloth through the co-operative societies has been initiated during the current year.

Tourism

37.   Meghalaya commands vast potential for development of Tourism and the Government propose to promote the development of tourist traffic in the region. During 1972-73, preparation of  Master Plan for the land taken over from A.S.E.B. at Barapani has been taken up. Improvement works at Thadlaskein Lake are progressing besides those  already undertaken at Tura Peak in Garo Hills.

Transport 

38.   Realising the need of the people, the Government has purchased a number of vehicles for use in some of the most important routes of the State. Some more vehicle will be placed on the road in the coming year and the service is expected to improve considerably. The Government have  decided in principle to take over the functions of the Assam and Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation in regard to Gauhati-Shillong route. An officer is being appointed to work out a phased Programme and various details in the regard.

Industries

39.   Meghalaya  Industrial Development Corporation has participated in a joint venture called Komorrah Limestone Mining Company Limited  for the supply of limestone's to Bangladesh. It will also participate in another joint venture for the manufacture of essential oils and chemicals with a leading firm. Steps are being taken  to ensure efficient working of Cherra Cements Factory. Scheme for re-starting the Meter Factory is also under examination. The Meghalaya Industrial Development corporation has also applied for an  industrial license to set up an integrated clinker and cement  project in Garo Hills and a feasibility report on the project is under preparation. The Industrial Development Bank of India, at the request  of the Government of Meghalaya, has requested a Consultancy Firm to prepare project report in respect of Calcium Carbide, Calcium Carbonate and Hydrated Lime. Steps have been taken for implementation of the recommendations of Small Industries Service Institute to set up industrial estates in Shillong and Mendipathar; an industrial estate is also likely to be established at Byrnihat.

      In addition to the incentives made available by the Central Government, the State Government have announced a Package Scheme of incentives for encouraging entrepreneurs. The scheme covers incentives like refund  of sales tax, exemption from payment of royalty charges, subsidy on power tariff,  Government guarantee on loans  raised by the Industrial units and meeting the cost of feasibility and project reports. As in previous years the schemes for Small Scale Industries  will be continued and steps taken for training local candidates in specialised institutions outside the State.

Sericulture and Weaving

40.   Meghalaya, with her suitable climatic condition holds out immense possibilities for the development of Sericulture  and Handloom Weaving. Need based and employment oriented schemes drawn up by the  Department are making satisfactory headway within an overall plan allocation of Rs.9 lakhs during 1972-73. It is proposed to establish a number of Eri Concentration Centres and Collective Mulberry Gardens in Selected areas to provide common facilities of land, fencing manure and saplings.

Power Development and Rural Electrification

41.   The 132 KM. Shillong-Cherrapunjee line has been completed. The minor works on commissioning of the Sub-station at Cherrapunjee are likely to be completed within the current year after which the line will be charged at 132 KV. The Assam State Electricity Board will be able to electrify about 33 villages by the end of the current year as against the target of 38. An amount of Rs.40 lakhs has been proposed  for rural electrification in the annual plan for 1973-74.

Geology and Mining

42.   The Department of Geology and Mining has taken up survey projects having long-term impact  on the economy of the State. Mention may be made of the detailed geological surveys of the Komorrah limestone deposits on an emergency footing and completion of its report in a record time. Based  on this report Komorrah Limestone Mining Company joint sector venture with MIDC  participation is expected to  start supply of limestone to Chatak Cement Factory in Bangladesh shortly. Semi-mechanised from of mining has  been planed  for these quarries and it is  expected to serve as a model for convincing the people about the advantage of a scientific and systematic method of mining. Test drilling for coal in Garo Hills has been conducted  to enable evolution of a pilot scheme for mining in the district. The Siju limestone is also being systematically tested by a field crew regarding its quality. Both these are to feed the proposed Clinker Plant, project report of which  is under preparation. In the coming year, the investigation programme  include limestone, coal, various clays and other minerals with a bias towards detailed exploration. Apart from acquiring more machinery and equipment, an efficient chemical laboratory is also being proposed for testing the samples collected during surveys.

Publicity

43.   The Government have taken steps to streamline the Publicity Department and an outlay of Rs.7.56 lakhs has been proposed for the purpose. The special schemes to be taken up this year include  publication of bulletins in regional languages, publication of Meghalaya  Chronicle, printing of  Publicity literature and posters for distribution upto village level, rural broadcasting publicity through  cultural media, films and other Audio Visual Publicity. It is also proposed to make colour film on the life and culture of the people of Meghalaya.

Civil Defence

44.    In order to enable the entire civil population to realise the importance of civil defence and to have a preliminary  knowledge of preventive measures in case of emergency, the school and college authorities in the State have been requested to introduce Civil Defence as one of the subjects.

Prison

45.    There is a proposal to establish a district Jail at Jowai  in the coming year. The buildings of Tura District Jail are in a dilapidated condition and require renovation. I may mention here in this connection that a special Jail has been constructed by the Nagaland Government at Mawlai for trial of their security prisoners. Some expenditure, in this connection, will be initially borne by the State Government but the entire expenditure will be reimbursed by the Nagaland Government.

Excise

46.   The Hon'ble Members are aware of the evil effects of the large scale illicit distillation. Informed and representative public opinion has been associated in detailed discussions held in this regard for  streamlining the procedure and evolving a uniform policy for the Excise Administration. in the State. The suggestions and recommendation received in this regard are under active consideration of the Government. Government  effort is aimed at putting an end to illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. In this context, the Government have decided to grant licenses to the out stills in the areas of Syiems and other Chiefs in the State and to invest them with some powers regarding detection of excise offences.

Soil Conservation

47.   Shifting cultivation has been the main problem of the State which hinders development of settled agriculture Steps have therefore been taken to encourage the farmers practicing shifting cultivation to take up settled cultivation. Reclamation of valley bottom lands as well as terracing on slopes have been given its due importance and 38 percent of the Plan budget of the Department has been used for this work in the current year. The follow-up programme of supplying seeds, manures and other inputs at concessional rates  has also been taken up to enable the farmers to continue permanent cultivation. To  prevent large scale denudation of the forests by shifting cultivation, the Department has  taken up schemes for afforestation of barren hills. During 1972-73, about 300  hectares of afforestation has been done and the target for the next year is 600 hectares. A different wing for proper survey of land according to land-use- pattern has also been proposed in the next year.

        During 1973-74 special pilot project for the control of Shifting cultivation and rehabilitation of these practicing jhum will be taken up on a pilot basis in Garo Hills District.

Special Pilot Project for the Control of Shifting Cultivation.

       An amount of Rs.11 lakhs has been provided to make beginning in this regard in the budget for 1973-74. The project  is proposed to be taken up on a catchments area  basis with facilities for preparation of land for permanent cultivation. Irrigation, where it is possible, horticulture on slope and afforestation of catchments areas in higher slopes for preservation of water sources, etc., will be taken up. Infra-structure, such as roads will be included in the scheme  for Pilot Project and an integrated approach of development will be taken so that the shifting cultivators within the area will be rehabilitated in areas with facilities for permanent cultivation.

Police and Services

48.   Various steps have been  initiated to strengthen and streamline the State Police Administration. With a view to advising the State regarding re-organising and strengthening of Fire Service, Fire Adviser from the  Government of India has visited the State. Several officers and men have been sent for specialised raining in Central Detective Training School, Finger Print Training School and for Anti Extremists courses run by the Government of India. The  Law and Order situation has generally been normal except Indo-Bangladesh border which have been brought to the notice of the Central Government. The inter-State boundary between Assam and Meghalaya continued to be peaceful but for the few incidents in Mawtamur area and on the Jaintia Hills-Mikir Hills border.

       A Public Service Commission has been set up for the State. The Government have also constituted the Meghalaya Secretariat Service. The recruitment policy of the Government aims at striking a balance between the requirement for meeting  the increasing demand for employment of educated unemployed persons of the State and the absorption of tribal employees  of Meghalaya origin who will  be affected by the shifting of Assam Government capital from Shillong.

Comments of the District Councils

49.   As has been the practice, the final estimates for the next year relating to the Districts were circulated  to the various District Councils. The suggestions made by the Members of the District Councils during discussions on the District Budgets will be given due consideration by Government. In this connection, I would like to inform the Honourable Members that it has always been the policy of the State Government  to give maximum possible consideration to the comments of the District Councils. In spite of our keen desire  to do so, we may not be able to implements the suggestions made by the Members  of the District Councils in full due to the financial constraints and paucity of  resources. Their suggestions are, however, valuable from the point of view of offering guide-lines for evolution of Government policy in regard to the Plan Schemes and Non-developmental Sectors from the long germ point of view.

Improvement in the conditions of service of Government employees.

50.   The State Government have always been sympathetic to the just and reasonable demands of the employees in regard to the improvement  of their terms and conditions of service. The State Government decided to grant interim relief to the employees of Meghalaya on the basis of the  recommendations of the Pay Commission set up by the Assam Government. The State Government would also sympathetically consider grant of necessary benefits in the light of  the final recommendations of the Commissions. The Scheme  for House Rent Allowance which was initiated in 1970-71 is being continued.

Financial estimated for 1973-74

51.   Mr. Speaker, Sir,  now I present the Budget Estimates for 1973-74. The revised estimates for 1972-73 now show a gap of Rs.186.02 lakhs as against the amount of Rs.732.42 lakhs  shown in the Budget Estimates. This is mainly due to non-payment of an amount of  Rs.4.13 crores as principal and interest to the Government  of India. As  stated in my Budget Speech last year, the question of writing of the liability was taken up with the Government of India and the matter is still under correspondence.

Budget for 1973-74

52.   The Budget estimates for 1973-74 show considerable increase both under revenue and capital expenditure as compared to the provisions in the Budget for 1972-73. The repayment liability for the principal and interest on account of the debt liability of composite State of Assam has been carried over to the next year pending the receipt of a final decision from the Government  of India. The amount so carried over is Rs.5.55 crores, towards payment of both principal and interest. This amount represents the liabilities as provisionally assessed by the Accountant General for 1970-71 to 1973-74. The salient features of the Budget Estimates of 1973-74 are as follows :- 

RECEIPTS

Items

 Amount in lakhs of rupees

A Receipts in the Consolidated Fun
(i) Statutory grant under Finance Commission Award.

292.00

(ii) State's share of Central taxes and duties under the finance commission Award.

207.47

(iii) Central assistance outside the Finance commission Award for non-plan expenditure.

        Grants .............................................................. 23.01
        Loans...............................................................
(iv) Grants from Ministry of Transport for construction and maintenance of border roads, etc.

139.63

(v) Central assistance for Plan expenditure

      (a) Grants ..........................

904.50

      (b) Loans...........................

100.50

(vi) Central assistance for Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
 (a)  Grants 338.27
(b) Loans 2.50
(vii) States receipts .................... 161.20
(viii) Market loan 110.00
(ix) Loan from Life Insurance Corporation of India 45.00
(x) Temporary Ways and Means Advances from  Reserve Bank of India 60.00
                                                                  Total - A 2384.08
B - Receipts under the Contingency Fund 50.00
C. Receipts  in the Public Account 2944.80
.D. Opening cash balance................................ (-)186.02
                                          Total - Resources (A+B+C) 5192.86

EXPENDITURE

( In lakhs of rupees)

Item

Plan

Non-Plan

Total

A. Expenditure.
1. Gross revenue expenditure 1074.97 1535.04 2610.01
Deduct - recoveries 5.50 154.07 159.57
Net revenue expenditure 1069.47 1380.97 2450.44
2.. Gross capital expenditure 452.35 510.37 962.72
Deduct Recoveries 6.05 3.99 10.04
Net Capital expenditure 446.30 506.38 952.68
Total  - Gross 1527.32 2045.41 3572.73
             Net 1515.77 1887.35 3403.12
B. Expenditure under the Contingency Fund .... ..... 50.00
C. Expenditure in the Public Account 2907.48
D. Closing cash Balance (-)1167.74
Total - (A+B+C+D) 5192.86

     The Budget Estimates for 1973-74 show an overall deficit of Rs.11.68 crores. Apart from  the  amount of Rs.5.55 crores which represents the debt repayment  liability of the State to the Government of India, this also includes the non-plan gap of Rs.186.02 lakhs estimated to be carried over from 1972-73. The increase is accounted for due to the expanding and the necessary for strengthening the administrative machinery and taking up other measures.

Central levies

53.   The levies  on various taxes, etc., imposed for meeting the expenditure incurred by the Central Government for evacuees from Bangladesh are being discontinued by introduction  of a Repealing Bill. With a view to raising resources for meting the deficit and to fulfill the developmental needs of the State, I propose  to continue these levies with necessary modifications by the introduction of suitable legislative measures. The State Government have also constituted a Taxation Committee  with a view to suggesting measures for Nationalisation of the taxation structure and increasing yield from various taxes.

Sixth Finance Commission

54.   While we are fully prepared to do our best in regard to the raising of additional resources, yet it will have to be acknowledged that the requirement of the situation cannot be met fully unless the Government  of India comes to our aid. As the Honourable Members are aware, the Sixth Finance Commission has started functioning. The State Government have placed its requirements before the Commission. This is the first occasion when the Commission will be looking into the requirements of the State. The Government would like to impress  that in view of the special factors and problems of the State, Meghalaya deserves special treatment in this regard.

       The Budget for 1973-74 reflects the desire of the Government to do its best towards the realisation of the cherished  goals of elimination of poverty, ignorance, disease and  ensuring of economic growth with social justice. I do admit that we have to function within the limitations imposed  by paucity of resources, shortage of technical personnel  and agricultural and industrial backwardness of the State. But I do hope that with the ushering in of the  next Five-Year Plan, and larger devolution of finances under the Sixth Finance Commission's Award, there will be a larger expansion of the budgetary resources of the State which would enable a quicker progress towards our objectives. I can upon all of you to extend your  co-operation and put your best effort towards building up of a happy and prosperous Meghalaya.

          With these words, I place the Budget for 1973-74  for the consideration and acceptance of the House.

JAI HIND.