Government of Meghalaya
Budget Speech

1984 85

By

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang

Finance Minister, Meghalaya

21st March, 1984

 

MR. SPEAKER, SIR,    

  I rise to present the annual financial statement of Meghalaya d for the year  1984-85.

National Economic Scene

2. The performance of the national economy in 1983-84 has been quite satisfactory. The year saw a strong economic recovery led by the agricultural sector which showed recovered led by the agricultural sector which showed robust growth. Production of foodgrains may exceed  the target of 142 million tones which is well over the earlier peak level of 133 million tonnes in 1981-82. This achievement has been made possible due to concerted and timely efforts to provide critical farm inputs. Indian agriculture has now become more resilient and can better withstand  adverse weather conditions. The performance of the industrial sector has been somewhat mixed. While this sector as a whole is likely to show a higher growth than in the previous year, Indian industry continues to be plagued by under-utilisation of capacity. Generation of power is likely to increase by about 6 percent but is still inadequate to meet increasing industrial demand. The gross national product has achieved a better growth rate of 6 to 7 percent in 1983-84. Mainly on account of the success achieved in increasing production of crude oil from 10.5 million tones in 1980-81 to over 26 million tonnes in three years, the balance of payments position has improved very substantially and there was an increase in foreign exchange reserves. In view of this, the Government of India have decided to forgo part of the loan due from the International Monetary Fund. Despite such overall achievements, a major area of concern remains the behaviour of prices which came under pressure almost  throughout the year. The wholesale price index had increased by 9.7 percent upto the middle of January, 1984 compared to 5.2 percent in the same period of the previous year. The annual rate of inflation as measured by the wholesale price index has increased to 10.7 percent and the rate as measured by the consumer price index in December, 1983  was 12.5  percent. After the middle of January, 1984 there was a marginal decline in the wholesale price index but there has not been an immediate and adequate response to wholesale price trends at the retail level.

Meghalaya Economic Scene

3. The trends at the national level were broadly reflected in the State also. The "quick estimates" place the State domestic product of Meghalaya at Rs. 182.47 crores in 1982-83  at current prices recording  an increase of 8.3 percent over that in 1980-81. Forest, mining and  quarrying and construction activities have made substantial contributions for this  increase. The per capita income of the State is estimated at Rs.1,308 for 1982-83 as against Rs.1,236 in 1981-82. Agriculture has been making steady progress and the index of agricultural production (base triennium ending 1972-73 = 100) has moved to 142 in 1982-83 as compared to 132 in 1980-81. According to present estimates, the production of foodgrains during the current agricultural year is expected to be  around 164,000 tonnes as against 154,000 tonnes in  1982-83. The performance would have been better but for unusual rains in some parts of the State which adversely affected the paddy crop. Production of jute and mesta has shown an increase and was estimated at about 75,000 bales as against 63,800 bales in 1982-83. Cotton production has also recorded an improvement of about 10 percent in the current year. Production of potatoes in 1983-84 is estimated at 1,46,800  tonnes as against 1,42,200  tonnes in 1982-83. In industry and minerals, the current year has witnessed favourable trends. The manufacture of cement in 1983 had reached 97,190 tonnes as compared to 86,800  tonnes in 1982. Generation of electricity at about 410 million kilowatts has maintained the levels of the preceding two years. Production of limestone rose by over 20 percent reaching 1.88 lakh tonnes in 1983 as against 1.56 lakh tonnes in 1982. Coal production has totaled over 7 lakh tonnes upto November, 1983, as against 5.48 lakh tonnes in 1982. As regards prices, except in the case of a  few items, wholesale prices ruled at higher levels than in the previous year, both in the urban and rural areas in respect of essential commodities and primary produce. Commodities like pulses and sugar, however, recorded a lower  average price in 1983 compared to 1982. Prices of rice have tended to be steady  in the later part of 1983. The trends of wholesale prices were reflected on retail prices also and these prices in 1983 were higher than in 1982.

Eighth Finance Commission

4. As the hon'ble Members are aware, the Chairman  and Members of the Eighth Finance Commission held detailed discussions with the Chief Minister, Ministers and representatives of the State Government as also non-officials  and various organisations on 30th June and 1st July, 1983. During  these discussions, the State Government  have highlighted the need for special  attention to the small and back-ward States particularly in the north-eastern region, and requested the Commission to ensure that its recommendations sub serve effectively the nationally accepted policy of reduction of regional imbalances. In particular, we have brought out  the fact that the recommendations of the Seventh Commission had resulted in a number of States  getting a surplus on revenue account while tribal and hill States were left with a comfortable surplus during the five year period commencing from 1st April, 1984. The State Government have also pressed for adequate funds for upgradation of the standards of administration in the field of police, general administration, jail administration, administration of justice, construction of treasury buildings, assistance to civil defence and home guards organisations and modernisation of fire services and improvement of certain infrastructural facilities. The Commission has also been asked to make adequate funds available for assisting the District Councils which have a crucial role to play in preservation of the distinct identity of the tribal people. Besides, funds have also been sought to meet the cost of improvement of emoluments of the  State employees.

The Commission is still to submit its final report to the Union Government. It has, however, submitted an interim report suggesting that for the year 1984-85, the existing arrangements for sharing of divisible taxes may continue provisionally. In the interim report, Meghalaya has been  awarded a sum of Rs.40.27 crores as grant-in-aid  under Art. 275 (1) of the Constitution for 1984-85. The grant-in-aid recommended by the earlier Commission  for 1983-84 was  Rs.20.05 crores.

Sixth Plan and Annual Plan for 1984-85

5. The Sixth plan outlay of Meghalaya was originally fixed at Rs.235 crores in 1980. The actual allocation for the five year period of the Sixth Plan, however, has amounted to Rs.263.88 crores.

For the annual plan of 1984-85, the last year of the Sixth Plan, the outlay approved for the State is Rs.65 crores representing an increase of more than 15 percent over the current year's outlay of Rs.56.32 crores. The annual plan fro the next year lays priority on development of  communications, drinking water supply, power, watershed management programmes, development of areas on the international border adjoining Bangladesh and for rural and social services. The integrated rural development and national rural employment programmes have been accorded high priority. The plan also emphasizes generation of employment and economic rejuvenation of the rural areas of the State through ongoing and some new schemes. The State Government are keenly aware of the need for effective implementation of various development  programmes and proper utilisation of plan funds. Monitoring cells have been set up in a number of departments and reviews at various levels are conducted regularly to watch the implementation of plan schemes. Government area also conscious of the problems retarding the pace of development and are taking steps to tide over the difficulties. 

6. A number of measures have been taken to ensure smooth and time-bound implementation of the programme for achieving the various targets set at the State level for fulfilling the objectives of the 20 Point  Programme. A Cabinet  sub-committee constituted for regular monitoring of the implementation of the programmes and for providing direction and guidance to the administrative machinery has held a number of review meetings. Implementation of the new  20-Point Programme is also reviewed at various official levels regularly. The performance of the State during 1982-83 in many cases was fairly satisfactory. In those sectors where it fell  below expectation, remedial measures have been taken for better results in future. The outlays for the 20- Point Programme are included in the overall State  plan outlay where a sizeable part accounts for this programmes.

7. A pilot programme for village development has been launched in the current year and fifteen villages, one in each subdivision, have been selected. This has been done keeping in view the need for integrating the development efforts in the villages, since the life of the peasant is not cut into segments in the way official activities tend to be. It also seeks to promote active involvement of all sections of the people in the process of development. A socio-economic survey of the selected villages has been conducted with a view to locating gaps so as to  provide the required inputs for their all-round development. Schemes and programmes for development of these villages are under preparation on the basis of this survey. These are expected to serve as models for the purpose of demonstration when this scheme is extended to other  villages in the near future.

8. The State has potential for harnessing renewable energy sources. A programme for micro-power generation with the help of photovoltaic conversion, micro-hydel, wind and solar energy and bio-gas utilisation has been included in the next year's plan. Power generated through these micro-hydel stations is intended to be used for various economic activities in the rural areas such as rice pounding, grinding and oil processing, apart from domestic use. The scope for using these units for running small ropeways along mountain slopes will also  be explored. There small pumps based on solar energy for lifting water have been installed in the current year under the N.E.C. plan as pilot schemes

9. Besides, the State plan outlay of Rs.65 crores, an amount of Rs.7.05 crores has also been provided for the next year for the regional schemes as also schemes of economic importance of a pilot nature in Meghalaya under the N.E.C.  programmes. These include schemes for pilot project for water harvesting, pilot demonstration for rejuvenating citrus orchards, model schemes for watershed management in selected areas and aerial sowing of seed for afforestation and jhum fire control.

10. The Meghalaya State Planning board, has been reconstituted in 1983. The Chief Executive Members of the District Councils continue to be members of the State Planning Board, apart from some other non-official and official members.

      The State Planning Board has set up six units for different development sectors, each under the Chairmanship of a non-official member which have been charged  with the responsibility for examining new schemes, reviewing the progress of implementation as also for undertaking spot verification and site inspection of the schemes.

11. As in the previous years, hon'ble Members have been furnished with a copy of the supplement to the budget speech which contains a detailed review of the implementation of the development schemes so far and programmes for 1984-85. I would, however, like to bring out some of the important features in this regard.

Agriculture and allied sectors

12. In the agricultural sector, the objectives are to increase foodgrains production for obtaining  self-sufficiency in the near future and to enlarge the area and production of various cash crops and horticultural crops in order to improve the economy of the peasantry. The strategy for achieving these objectives is through larger coverage under high-yielding and improved varieties of seeds, more extensive application of fertilisers and pesticides, strengthening of the extension machinery, enlarging the area under irrigation and multiple cropping in irrigated areas. Supply of planting materials at subsidised rates, demonstrations of improved  methods of cultivation, maintenance of Government nurseries and orchards, citrus rejuvenation and introduction of new crops including study of local fruits and greater stress on nut crops and tuber crops are the measures taken for giving a fillip to horticulture. The target of foodgrains production for the next year is 1.84 lakh tonnes. As regards potato, the target for production for 1984-85 has been fixed at 1.60 lakh tonnes as against the anticipated achievement of about 1.47 lakh tonnes during 1983-84. In order to make fertilisers easily available to the farmers and in time, a large number of sales points have been opened. In addition to the existing 529 sales points, 30 more will be opened at various sub-centres during the year. the Meghalaya Co-operative  Marketing and Consumers' Federation Limited has been given  the sole authority to lift the quota of fertilisers for the State for distribution through a chain of wholesalers and retailers. For ensuring uniformity in the price level, provision for transport subsidy to all wholesale centres will continue. A number of sub-centres to meet the requirement of major agricultural implements have been established  in various parts of the State. Plant protection task forces have also been constituted in all the districts in order to take timely measures to combat pest attacks.

13. In the field of minor irrigation, a number of schemes  have been taken to cover approximately an area of 5,000 hectares in the current year to augment the coverage  of 29,000 hectares created till the end of 1982-83. The target of 1984-85 is to cover an additional area of 4,000 hectares. The department is taking  steps to complete ongoing projects for 1984-85 and also to take up a few new projects. The next year's plan outlay for minor irrigation is Rs.159 lakhs showing  an increase of Rs.34 lakhs over the provision in the current year.

14. As soil is a crucial life-supporting system the importance of soil conservation cannot be over-emphasised. The objective of the Soil Conservation department  is to take up programmes of development which aim at utilisation of natural resources in consonance with conservation principles and practices.

      Jhumming continues to be a major problem in the State affecting its ecology and environment. The department has been following an integrated approach in tackling this problem. This includes provision of terraces, timely supply of seeds and arrangement for irrigation. During the next year, it is proposed to provide to jhummia families 20 hectares of irrigated land for permanent food  crop cultivation and 122 hectares for cash-crop plantation such as coffee, rubber, black pepper and horticultural crops. Watershed management programmes based on watershed approach has received  special attention. It aims at integration of various soil and water conservation measures taken  up on sum or micro-watershed basis so as to effect maximum utilisation and conservation of land, water and vegetative resources. During 1984-85 it is proposed to take up at least one sub-watershed for each district. This will provide permanent cultivable land of about 500 hectares besides 95 hectares under horticultural and cash crop plantation. An afforestation programme to cover  1,050 hectares will also be implemented. The expanding activities of the department have made it necessary to strengthen the infrastructure of trained personnel. Various training programmes are being continued. The programme of expansion of the existing training institute at Byrnihat is progressing with financial assistance from the N.E.C.

15. The main objective of the Animal Husbandry department  is to diversify the economy of small and marginal farmers by assisting 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 outlay under this sector for the next year is Rs.115 lakhs as against the current year's outlay of Rs.96 lakhs. The existing cattle farms will continue to meet the requirement for breeding stock. The two intensive cattle development projects at Shillong and Tura will take up artificial insemination in potential milk shed and other areas in order to achieve the target of 18,000 cattle to be inseminated during 1984-85. Poultry development continues to receive attention and duckery a farm will be established in Garo Hills. It is also proposed to strengthen  the existing pig farms. Effective measures are being taken to check diseases. A revised project estimate for the centrally sponsored dairy project is being prepared by the National Dairy Development Board.

16. Despite considerable potential for development of fisheries, the programmes for fishery development are yet to pick up the required momentum. In additional to the continuing schemes, a new scheme of hatcheries is being included for implementation during the next year. The scheme of paddy-cum-fish culture will be intensified. An outlay of Rs.35 lakhs has been earmarked under this sector for 1984-85.

17. Forests play a very important role in maintaining the eco-system. Large scale and indiscriminate deforestation is posing a serious problem to the State. The social forestry scheme which seeks to meet the local needs of the villagers can assist in effective conservation of forests. The programme for large scale afforestation of barren hills is continuing. Afforestation of the catchment areas of Kopili hydel project is being undertaken. The target for afforestation for the State fixed under the 20-Point Programme has been fully achieved. The area development  programme in villages surrounding the proposed Tura ridge forest reserve is being implemented and a sum of Rs.20 lakhs has been earmarked for this programme in 1984-85. Management plans for two wild life  sanctuaries created in the State have been submitted  to the Government  of India and these have been accepted for financing on a 50:50 basis for non-recurring work needed for improvement.  The out lay for the Forests sector next year is Rs.142 lakhs as against the provision of Rs.110 lakhs  for 1983-84

Rural Development

18. The Community Development movement has a strong appeal to Meghalaya, as this is based on the tradition and capacity of the people in the rural areas to help themselves in a democratic manner and to bring about social justice. Apart from the general community development programme and special nutrition  programme, the Community Development department is also implementing the integrated rural development agencies. In addition, the rural landless guarantee programme and small and marginal farmers programme are also being introduced in Meghalaya. At present, there are two district rural development agencies and the proposal to establish three more has been approved so that each administrative district can be served by one agency. The total State plan outlay in this sector for the next year is Rs.281 lakhs.

Border Area and Backward area Development

19. The rehabilitation of the economy of the border areas which was seriously disrupted on account of partition has been given great emphasis in the developmental efforts of Meghalaya. Sizeable sums have been earmarked for taking up special programmes in these areas which will supplement the normal activities of various departments. Development of road communications and improvement of marketing facilities for the disposal of border produce form the main thrust of this programme. Development of horticulture, animal husbandry and sericulture and weaving are some of the other components. In order to subsidies  the transport cost of essential commodities to the people in the border areas, a transport subsidy scheme is being operated. MECOFED is implementing  vigorously the  scheme of agro-custom hiring  centres in these areas. The proposal for establishment of a Border Area Development Corporation is under process.

During the next year, it is proposed to implement a scheme for development  of specially backward areas. A details survey of villages to identify such areas in the  State  on the  basis of certain accepted indicators will be conducted and a sum of Rs.15 lakhs has been set apart for the purpose.

Co-operation

20. The principles of co-operation are of special relevance to a tribal State like ours where the emphasis is on community participation and drawing strength through group effort. The co-operative movement, however, is still to rise to its full potential in Meghalaya. Co-operatives  are active particularly  in the field of agricultural  credit and marketing of agricultural and farm produce. The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank  Limited continues to receive liberal assistance and a scheme for blocking of over dues and rehabilitation of weak central bank is under implementation. Most of the reorganised co-operative societies have been posted with full time paid and trained secretaries. The Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers' Federation Limited is taking up a larger programme for marketing of agricultural and forest produce through effective market intervention. The primary co-operative societies are being motivated and durable working linkage will be established with the Federation. The MECOFED also continues its efforts to become an effective agency for wholesale and retail distribution of consumer articles. Steps  have been taken to ensure expeditious completion of all  the godowns taken for construction. The Meghalaya  State Housing Financing  Co-operative Society Limited has made available housing  loan  facilities to 195 persons. During 1984-85, the society plans to undertake a more ambitious loaning programme. The Trade Centre scheme will be given a new orientation so as to make it more useful to the local youth for providing self-employment in trade and business.

Flood Control and Medium Irrigation

21.  The Public Works department has been executing protection work to safeguard paddy fields as well as river banks  and villages for floods in the plains areas. An area of 850 hectares will be benefited through implementation of the  schemes under execution till now. During the next year it is proposed to cover and additional area of 700 hectares. In respect of medium irrigation, the Rongai Valley irrigation project is still awaiting clearance from the Government of India.

Power

22. The State is rich in hydel and thermal resources and has enormous potential for generation of electric power. The Umiam-Umtru Stage IV hydro electric project with installed  capacity of 2X30 MW with Upper Khri diversion is under implementation. The progress in execution of the scheme has been somewhat slow due to delay in acquisition of land and other reasons. It is expected that this will now gain momentum. The work relating to 132 KV single circuit  transmission line from Nangalbibra to Tura and associated sub-stations is progressing well  and will be completed next year. The 132 KV  system has been introduced in Garo Hills area after charging the line from Shillong to Nangalbibra and a sub-station at Nangalbibra. The detailed project report of Leishka hydro electric project will be ready next year. For renovation and augmentation of the Shillong power supply system, sizeable sums have been earmarked for the next year. In the field of rural electrification, a total of 997 villages  have been electrified by the end of March, 1983. During the current year 195 more villages are expected to be covered.

Industries and Minerals

23. At the instance of the State Government, the Government of India have agreed to declare the East and West Khasi Hills districts as "Special Region Districts" during the current year. As such, all the five districts in Meghalaya are now eligible for the subsidy scheme of the Government of India. The Industries department is taking steps to enlarge and strengthen the entrepreneurial base in the State so that it can take effective advantage of the various concessions. The Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation Limited has been the principal agency for the development of large and medium industries. The Corporation has built  up operational readiness to implement a mini cement project and a clay washery unit. These two projects can create direct employment to 135 persons besides paving the way for further down-stream projects. During the year,  it initiated action to implement 200 T.P.D. Lime project in Jaintia Hills, financed by the North Eastern Council to cater to the demand of paper projects in the region. Survey of three separate locations for various operations connected with the Siju clinker project is being undertaken. The coal linkage for the project has been established and the work relating to experimental mining for limestone to determine the limestone parameters has been entrusted to a consultant. An electronic unit for the manufacture of tantalum capacitors has been set up in collaboration with the Electronic Corporation of India Limited. Arrangements for supply of machinery and technology for this unit have been finalised with FIRADEX of France. The man-power training scheme where stipends are awarded to students undertaking technical and professional studies in recognised  institutions is being continued. In the field of small industries, the department is operating the scheme for capital subsidy and transport subsidy. The district industries centres are taking off gradually and the response to the new self-employment programme has been encouraging. Two more district industries centres, one at Nongstoin and the other at Williamnagar, are expected and the other at Williamnagar, are expected  to be established next year. A number of training schemes are being operated by the department in trades such as carpentry, blacksmithy, knitting, tailoring and embroidery. The Khadi and Village Industries Board is  rendering assistance to various village industries. The Master Craftsman centre to train persons under an able craftsman is continuing with a view to develop an organised base for development of handicrafts. 

24. Sericulture and handloom weaving have a vital role to play in our  State for uplifting the rural economy through provision of gainful employment to about 27,000 persons. The sericulture  programmes include strengthening of seed farms, improvement of silkworm seeds, extension work providing  the required infrastructural facilities to the rearers and training of technical personnel. The eri seed grainage at Nongpoh is being strengthened for improving the quality of seeds for supply to the entire north-eastern region. As regards handloom weaving, local artisans are being trained in the weaving training centres and weaving accessories are being supplied to selected weavers. The intensive handloom project in Garo Hills is making satisfactory progress. Documentation of traditional tribal designs is proposed for production of quality cloth.

25. The Directorate of Mineral Resources is engaged in the exploration of various mineral deposits in the State so as to ascertain the feasibility of setting up mineral based industries. Exploration is being conducted for coal in the Bapung coal field, for limestone deposits in Lumshnong area and for clay, glass sands and low grade sillimanite deposits in the various areas of the State. The Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation  Limited is being strengthened so that it can take up mining schemes for the various projects such as mini cement plant and paper grade lime plant in Jaintia Hills and the clay washery unit in East Garo Hills  District.

Transport and Communication

26. As the State totally depends on road transport, substantial outlays are being earmarked for development of road network in the State. The State achieved a total road length of 4,876 Kms. including 1,766 Kms, of surfaced road by the end of March, 1983. During the current year, it is expected that 160 Kms. of new road construction and 58 Kms. of improvement of the existing roads will be achieved. This will mean that Meghalaya will have a road density of 22.45 Kms., per 100 sq. Kms., which is well below the all-India density. As such, investment on road construction will continue to receive priority  in the  Seventh Plan also. By the next year, it is proposed to achieve a total road length of 5,201 Kms. including 1,831 Kms. of surfaced roads. The emphasis in this sector is to complete the spillover schemes taken up during the Fifth Plan as also the  ongoing schemes started during the Sixth Plan. A few new schemes will also be implemented.

27. In the field of road transport, the Meghalaya Transport Corporation is covering 37 routes with a total road length of 3,877 Kms. the frequency of bus service between Shillong-Gauhati and Shillong-Jowai has been increased. Some of the buses of the Corporation are being utilised as city buses. The construction of a regional workshop and central workshop is making good progress. The Corporation is also taking steps to effect economy  in expenditure and to increase its revenues.

      A survey has been  conducted for a ropeway in Garo Hills to be financed by the N.E.C.  The matter is being followed up so that the actual construction work starts soon. A daily air service between Shillong and Calcutta  has commenced and steps are being taken to construct an airfield at Beljak valley near Tura. The State Government have taken up with the Centre the need for improvement of postal and tele-communication facilities and are pressing for installation  of micro-wave telephone exchange at Tura and Williamnagar.

28. Tourism infrastructure in the State  to meet the requirements of tourists is under  development. The construction of the tourists, bungalow at Tura is nearing completion. Three luxury coaches have been purchased for improving transport facilities for tourists. The Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation is being strengthened and it is proposed to hand over the commercial activities of the department to the Corporation.

Social and Community Services

29. In accordance with the national policy, Government have been laying great stress on expansion and improvement  of primary and middle school education so as to achieve  the objective of universalisation of elementary education before long. The term  of management and control of the primary education Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills  districts assumed by the Governor has been extended for a further period. This has resulted in a general improvement in the standard of primary education in these districts as also regular payment of salaries to the teachers. The Governor has recently assumed the management and control of primary education in Khasi Hills also. The problem of school drop-outs is being effectively tackled and non-formal education programmes are being implemented. Under this programme about 600 centres are functioning covering approximately 7,700 students to assist them to complete primary or middle school stage. Under the UNICEF assistance programme, revised syllabus is being introduced in some selected primary schools as a pilot project. The programme of H.S.L.C. Examination of the Meghalaya Board of School Education is being synchronized  with the university examination programme. Some primary and middle schools are being covered under the UNICEF and NCERT sponsored Science Education Programme. The model text books prepared by NCERT have been translated  into Garo and Khasi  languages. In-service training of teachers in different subjects is being conducted  at all levels of school education. Science and Mathematics teachers are being supplied with guide book and supplementary reading materials prepared by the NCERT. The State Council for Educational Research and Training has completed school mapping of some blocks to identify the location of schools. The instructional and administrative building of the Shillong Polytechnic is nearing completion. The service of part-time teachers are being utilised in Shillong  Polytechnic so as to meet the shortage of qualified teaching staff.

      In the field of sports, the construction of the sports complex in Shillong is progressing well. A scheme to hold  youth parliament competitions in schools and colleges has been recently introduced in the State so as to encourage young boys and girls to articulate their opinions in a democratic manner and to promote among them  tolerance for various points of  view. A separate Directorate of Sports is being established.

30. The Health department has given priority to preventive and primitive services and has emphasised the primary health care approach for achieving the goal of health for all by the year 2,000 A.D.  It is expected that by the end of the current financial year, the State will be covered by  152 sub-centres, 29 primary health centres and 7 subsidiary health centres. The programme for the next year includes setting up of 95 sub-centres, 3 primary health centres, 11 subsidiary health centres and 3 upgraded  primary  health centres. The village health guide scheme is showing encouraging results. The three  Civil  Hospitals in the State are being  maintained with increased bed strength. The construction work in the Civil Hospital at Tura has been geared up. The scheme for renovation and expansion of the Pasteur Institute in Shillong is nearing completion. An orthopedic wing has been opened in the Shillong  Civil Hospital to assist the handicapped. It is expected that Government of India will soon start work on the  Regional Institute of Medical Science at Shillong which will provide facilities for specialised treatment in the north-east.

31.  Safe drinking water is a basic human need. The success of various programmes in the field of health and social welfare depends primarily on the availability of safe  drinking  water. This programme is an important segment of the 20 Point Programme  of the Prime Minister. The Public Health Engineering department has taken up a number of rural and urban water supply schemes and upto the end of March, 1983 has covered 785 problem villages. The target for 1983-84 is to cover 415 villages and efforts are being made to achieve this target. The coverage proposed for the next year is 483 villages. The department has also launched an ambitious programme to explore the ground water potential by sinking hand tube and deep tube wells. The UNICEF  has gifted two drilling rigs to the State. As regards urban water supply, Jowai Phase I and II, Tura Phase I and Mawlai schemes have been completed. The work relating to the Greater Shillong Water Supply Phase I and Tura Phase II is in progress. A consultancy firm has been engaged to prepare detailed design and estimates for the Shillong sewerage scheme.

32. The Town and Country Planning department is preparing and implementing development plans for towns, growth centres  and villages in the State so as to provide an appropriate framework for orderly growth of our settlements. The plans for Shillong, Nongpoh, Williamnagar and Mairang have been prepared. The centrally sponsored scheme of integrated development of small and medium towns is being implemented  in Shillong. It is proposed to cover Tura and Jowai also under this programme. Schemes for providing infrastructure and  services like roads, footpaths, sanitation, etc. in the fringe areas, semi-urban areas and rural centres in close proximity to the towns are also being undertaken. During the next year, it is proposed to intensify activities on the environmental improvement of slum areas.

      At present, greater attention is being paid for protection and conservation of environment and it is important that in consonance with the national policy, development projects and schemes are implemented in such a manner as to be in harmony with the environment.  It is essential to motivate the  members of the public and to bring about greater awareness among them regarding  the need for ecology and conservation of environment. It is proposed to establish a planning cell which will be  entrusted with the task of suggesting measures  for protecting the environment, for checking its degradation and to identify immediate problems. The Pollution Board will be activated.

      An amount of Rs.33 lakhs has been sanctioned to the Shillong Municipality for garbage clearance, replacement of leaking pipes, augmenting water supply and public sanitation. Tura Municipality is also being financially assisted for carrying on its activities.

33. The Directorate of Housing is implementing schemes for rural housing, various housing loans and rental housing. While there is a substantial demand for the middle income group housing scheme, the number of applications for the low income group scheme is showing a decline. In order to attract more applicants under this scheme, the loan ceiling has been raised to Rs.16,000. It has also been  provided that loan assistance up to Rs.10,000 can be made available for improvement of old houses. It is expected that the response for the scheme will be more encouraging in future. A State Housing Board is being set up soon.

34. In the field of social welfare, the integrated child development scheme is making good progress and 11 such projects are now functioning. The important components of this scheme are special nutrition programme for children  below 6 years of age and expectant and nursing mothers, health and nutrition education, immunization  of pregnant women and children, supply of safe drinking water to project areas and non-formal pre-school education. During the current year 31,465 children and 7,215 mothers will be covered under the special nutrition programme  in the project areas. The coverage rate of immunization  in the project areas will be more than 75 percent of the total  number of expectant mothers and children of different age groups. Special attention is also being given for supply of drinking water to the villages in the project areas. Programme of literacy for adult women and assistance to voluntary organisations are being continued. The old age pension scheme is being implemented and more than 1,300 persons have benefited under this programme. The Meghalaya State Social Welfare Advisory Board is also being assisted for taking up welfare work. In order to reduce drudgery among women and consumption of firewood, steps are being taken to introduce more efficient stoves.

35. The developmental schemes and programmes in the State require the services of technical personnel at various levels. The Industrial Training Institutes are imparting training in various trades and during the last five years, more than 230 trainees have passed out from such institutes. General and and vocational guidance has been imparted to over 2,400 persons during the year. The number of job-seekers in the live register of the Employment Exchanges as in September, 1983 was 10,466 many of whom were matriculates or general degree holders.  

36. Information and Public Relations offices have been set up in all the district headquarters as also in Baghmara and Nongpoh. At the State level, and information centre has been established. A temporary recording studio of All India  Radio has been set up at Jowai to ease the problems faced by artists hailing from Jaintia Hills. In order to involve the people more effectively in the developmental activities, 39 rural integrated information centres have been organised in various parts of the State. During the next year, community  viewing sets will be procured and supplied to these centres.

General Services

37. The approved plan outlay for public works for the next year is Rs.255 lakhs which includes a provision of Rs.25 lakhs for the new Secretariat Complex. Most of the sub divisional headquarters in the State are still to be provided with basic infrastructure in the form of administrative and residential buildings. Substantial outlays have been earmarked to meet this need. The progress of utilisation of the Seventh Finance Commission award for administrative buildings has picked up considerably during the current year and the provision is expected to be spent in full residential accommodation for Government servants both in Shillong and in the interior has been augmented. The branch press at Tura has started functioning and the modernisation of the Government Press  at Shillong will be taken up soon. An expert has visited the press and has submitted his report containing recommendations for such modernisation. During the next year, a sum of Rs.9 lakhs has been earmarked for construction of a multi-stories building at Shillong to be carried out in a phased manner. Besides, a provision of Rs.5 lakhs has been made for construction of staff quarters for the employees working in the branch press at Tura.

District Councils

38.  The District Councils are being assisted for implementation of their development schemes and for construction of buildings. The term of the Commission of Inquiry on Autonomous District Administration has been extended upto  31st July, 1984. Another commission was appointed to enquire and report about dislocation in the management of primary education in Khasi Hills District Council which has submitted its report. Government have taken action as per its  recommendations. Elections to reconstitute all the three  District Councils in the State were conducted successfully.

Elections

39., The electoral rolls of all the 60 constituencies in the State forming segments of I-Shillong and 2-Tura Parliamentary Constituencies  have been revised with 1st January, 1984 as the qualifying date.

Judicial Administration

40. A scheme for legal aid has been formulated by the State Legal Aid Board and two district  legal aid committees have been established for its effective  implementation. Three legal aid camps were organised during the year where a number of pending cases were settled. This scheme seeks to promote awareness among the people, particularly in the rural areas, regarding their legal rights. A number of judicial officers have been trained at the North Eastern Judicial Officers' Training Institute.

Excise

41. In order to check the evil of illicit distillation of liquor the enforcement staff of Excise department  has been strengthened. The Excise Rules have been amended for streamlining  excise administration.

Pay Revision Cell

42. As a measure for affording better relief to the State Government employees, Government have substituted the formula for dearness allowance recommended by the Meghalaya Pay Commission by a new formula similar to that of the Central Government, with effect from 1st October, 1983. This has been extended  also to employees of aided schools and colleges including primary schools under the District Councils to whom  the revised scales of pay of 1979 have been extended. The formula also benefits the State Government  pensioners including family pension holders.

Revenue

43. The cadastral survey scheme is continuing with the assistance of the District Councils. The Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya met at Shillong in May, 1983 to discuss the boundary disputes between the two States and decided to constitute a joint official committee to go into details of the problem and identify areas of difference with a view to bringing about an amicable solution. The joint committee has since submitted its report and the Chief Ministers are expected to meet soon for taking further decisions. As regards the international border with Bangladesh, the joint  relay work of the missing pillars and the work relating to reconstruction and repair of missing and damaged pillars are in progress. A joint field inspection by the Special Director of Land Records and Surveys, Meghalaya  and his Bangladeshi counterpart was held in December, 1983.

Civil Supplies

44. As in the rest of India, the increase in price level in Meghalaya has been disquieting. The general increase in price level has adversely affected the poorer sections and to mitigate their hardship, the public distribution system has been streamlined and a number of additional fair price shops have been opened so as to supply essential commodities at reasonable rates. The scheme of transport subsidy for supply of rice to the people in the border areas is continuing. Supply position of foodgrains and other essential commodities is at present satisfactory .The Meghalaya Scheduled Articles (Display and Marketing of Prices) Order, 1975 is being strictly enforced.

Police and Home Guards

45.  Law and order situation in the State for the year 1983-84 has  remained  under control on account of the strict vigilance and timely action taken by the Government against anti-social elements and the sense of responsibility and goodwill demonstrated by the people. The morale of the Police force remains high and Government are continuing to extend various amenities to policemen.  The plan outlay for police housing has shown a steep increase in recent years. The Sixth Plan outlay fixed originally for Police housing was Rs.1 crore but the actual expenditure for the three years ending on 31st March, 1983 amounted to over Rs.90 lakhs and the likely expenditure for the current year is Rs.1.50 crores and the outlay approved for the next year is Rs.2 crores. This is in addition to the amount made available on the basis of the recommendations of the Seventh Finance Commission. The number of housing units for policemen has shown a sizeable increase but in view of the rapid expansion of the force, more needs to be done. The police outposts at Barapani and Pynursla were upgraded as full-fledged police stations. The centrally sponsored schemes for modernisation of the State Police force is being implemented, the wireless network has been expanded and the vehicle strength of the police force has been  substantially augmented.

       During the year, more than 400 Civil Defence volunteers have been trained in warden service, first-aid services, fire service etc., in the three Civil Defence towns at Shillong, Tura and Jowai. Besides, a large number of rural Home Guard Volunteers have also been imparted training. Six companies of the border Wing Home Guards have been deployed in the Indo-Bangladesh border under the B.S.F. for checking illegal infiltration. A number of Home Guards have also been engaged for guarding vital installations and sensitive organisations.

       With a view to tackling the problem of infiltration of foreigners into the State, border patrolling has been intensified.  A number of watch-posts, patrol posts and check gates and passport check posts are functioning in the State. Village defence parties are also into service to assist the official agencies in  detecting infiltration and in checking border crimes. A check gate has been established at Byrnihat as also a special squad for checking and detecting infiltrators. I would  appeal to all citizens in the State to extend their co-operation and support to the Government in the discharge  of this onerous responsibility.

Jail Administration

 46. The construction work of the jails at Tura, Williamnagar and Jowai  is in progress. It is also proposed to convert gradually the existing custodial type of jails into institutions with functional utility in order to reform and rehabilitate the inmates.

Statistics

47. The Directorate of Economics and Statistics is carrying on its activities relating  to the continuing schemes, such as agricultural statistics, prices statistics, economic census, census of  State Government employees, analysis of the results of crop cutting experiments, etc. The field work of the N.S.S. 38th Round on Consumer  Expenditure and Employment and Unemployment was completed in 1983. A socio-economic study of the Biate community has been started. The Directorate has designed the form for recording base line information of the model villages and statistical staff were engaged in collecting the information. For the next year it is proposed to develop a suitable methodology for regular survey of the ginger crop.

48. Before I mention about the Budget estimates for the next year, I would like to give a brief account of the actuals for 1982-83 and the revised estimates for 1983-84.

Actuals for 1982-83

49. The year 1982-83 opened with a negative cash balance of Rs.633.97 lakhs. There  was a total receipt of Rs.57,966.74 lakhs and a total  expenditure of Rs.57,478.29 lakhs under all accounts resulting in a surplus of Rs.488.45 lakhs. Thus, the negative opening cash balance of Rs.633.97 lakhs was reduced to Rs.145.52 lakhs at the close of the year. The State Government however helped Rs.400 lakhs in the Government of India treasury bills. Taking that into account, the year virtually closed with a cash balance of Rs.254.48 lakhs.

Revised estimates for 1983-84

50. According to the revised estimates for 1983-84, receipts under all accounts including Rs.400 lakhs from the sale of Treasury bills come to Rs.59,883.26 lakhs and expenditure under all accounts come to Rs.59,852.18 lakhs resulting in surplus of Rs.31.08 lakhs. The anticipated surplus of Rs.31.08 lakhs during the year is likely to reduce the opening negative cash balance of Rs.145.52 lakhs to Rs.114.44 lakhs at the close of the year.

Budget estimates  for 1984-85

51. The year 1984-85 has been estimated to open with a negative cash balance of Rs.114.44 lakhs. The receipts on revenue account and expenditure from revenue have been estimated at Rs.14,268.14 lakhs and Rs.11,066.14 lakhs respectively. There, will, thus be a surplus of Rs.3,202.00 lakhs on revenue account.

      Outside the revenue account, the total estimated receipts and expenditure are Rs.50,656.49 lakhs and Rs.53,796.04 lakhs respectively resulting in a deficit of Rs.3,139.55 lakhs. Thus, the over-all surplus during the year is estimated to be of the order of Rs.62.45 lakhs. This will enable the State Government to reduce the negative opening cash balance of Rs.114.44 lakhs to Rs.51.99 lakhs at the close of the year.

52. I do not propose to bring any taxation measure to wipe off this small deficit. Efforts will be made to cover this deficit by better collection of the arrear dues of taxes, revenues and loans and advances.

53. It is over twelve years since the people of these hills were afforded the  opportunity to develop and prosper according to their genius when they embarked on the exciting adventure of shaping their own destiny. The attainment  of statehood marking the fulfillment of political aspirations  of the people can, however, be meaningful only if it ushers in the era of economic and social advancement. The last few years have witnessed Meghalaya making impressive  progress in various fields. The infrastructural sector has become stronger, agricultural and allied activities have registered notable growth, social services have become more extensive and administration has been brought closer to the people. The State's financial base is now wider than before. Despite these achievements we have to go a long way before we redeem our pledge that every citizen in the State should  enjoy a high quality of life. We have to ensure that the benefits of progress percolate to the poorest sections of the society, particularly in the rural areas, to whom we owe a special obligation. It is also essential that development proceeds in harmony with our environment and we cherish and preserve the best values and traditions of our society which have been build up over centuries. Our tribal boys and girls should be actively involved in the development programmes and sustained efforts are needed to build up an adequate reservoir of local technical  manpower. While assuring a fair and just deal to all sections, we are committed to preserve and promote the distinct identity of the indigenous scheduled tribes. Government is an instrument which should not only articulate the aspirations and needs of the people, but also translate them into reality.

      The task ahead is challenging and I appeal to all the hon'ble Members to extend their co-operation to the official machinery so that we effectively realise the common objectives, to which all of us are committed.

54. I now commend the Budget Estimates for consideration and approval of the House. Pending detailed discussions on the Budget proposals, I propose to move the House, in the first instance, for sanctioning advance appropriations to enable the Government to defray expenses for part of the next financial year.

JAI HIND.


ANNEXURE

THE FINANCIAL POSITION FOR THE YEAR 1984-85 WITH CORRESPONDING 
POSITION IN THE PREVIOUS YEARS.

Rupees in Lakhs
Heads Actuals Actuals Budget Revised Budgets
1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1983-84 1984-85
1 2 3 4 5 6
Opening Balance (-)6,04.43 (-)6,33.97 (-)3.48 (-)1,45.52 (-)1.14.44
Revenue Receipt 82,36.04 96,79.34 1,23,15.27 1,30,38.70 1,42,68.14
Capital Receipt under the Consolidated Fund 52,61.52 40,66.02 37,32.85 25,83.65 45,05.07
Capital Receipt under the Contingency Fund 1,22.05 1,47.90 1,75.00 1,71.49 1,75.06
Capital Receipt under the Public Account 3,42,93.46 4,40.73.48 3,74.06.11 4,40,89.42 4,59,76.36
TOTAL RECEIPT 4,79,13.97 5,79.66.74 5,36,29.23 5,97,37.74 6,49,24.63
GRAND TOTAL 4,73,09.54 5,73,32.77 5,36,25.75 5,97,37.74 6,48,10.19
Revenue Expenditure 74,28.13 85,02.62 99,37.26 1,00,72.28 1,10,66.14
Capital Expenditure under Consolidated Fund.    62,28.77 39,68.81 62,73.32 50,16.19 74,64.62
Capital Expenditure under the Contingency Fund 1,22.05 1,47.90 1,75.00 1,71.49 1,75.06
Capital Expenditure under Public Account 3,41,64.56 4,48,58.96 3,37,26.69 5,98,52.18 6,48,62.18
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 4,79,43.51 5,74,78.29 5,37,26.69 5,98,52.18 6,48,62.18
Closing Balance (-)6,33.97 (-)1,45.52 (-)1,00.94 (-)1,14.44 (-)51.99
GRAND TOTAL 4,73,09.54 5,73,32.77 5,36,25.75 5,97,37.74 6,48,10.19
NET RESULT :-
(a) On Revenue Account (+)8,08.81 (+)11,76.72 (+)23,78.01 (+)29,66.42 (+)32,02.00
(b) Outside Revenue Account (-)8,38.35 (-)6,88.27 (-)24,75.47 (-)29,35.34 (-)31,39.55
(c) All Accounts   excluding the opening and closing   Balances.  (-)29.54 (+)4,88.45 (-)97.46 (+)31.08 (+)62.45

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