MR. SPEAKER, SIR,
I rise to present the Annual Financial Statement of Meghalaya for the year 1982-83 before this august House.
2. The national economic scene during the current year presents picture of optimism. After significant recovery in 1980-81, the Indian economy has been consistently on the road of further improvement during 1981-82 on all major fronts. The first two years of the Sixth Plan have brought about a qualitative change for the better in the country's economic situation. Both the agricultural and industrial sectors have registered marked improvement. Foodgrains production rose from about 110 million tonnes in 1979-80 (crop year) to 130 million tonnes in 1980-81 and is expected to reach 134 million tonnes this year. While industrial production fell by 1.4 percent in 1979-80 it rose by 4 percent in 1980-81 and is expected to go up about 8 percent during the current year. All the infrastructural sectors such as railways, power, coal, steel, etc., have recorded impressive rises. In order to take advantage of the favourable economic climate and to provide a secure base for further advances, the Prime Minister has declared that the year 1982 should be observed as the year of productivity. The rate of inflation has been moderated. Against an increase of 17 percent in 1979-80 and over 16 percent in 1980-81, the index of wholesale price had gone up only by 5.4 percent by the middle of January, 1982. This moderation in the wholesale price index was gradually getting reflected in the consumer price index. However, the difficult and uncertain external environment calling for increase in the domestic expenditure particularly on defence can result in a generalized inflationary situation unless strict and constant vigilance is maintained to curb non-plan expenditure and to raise productivity of existing investments.
3. The economy of Meghalaya is still to be adequately diversified and is heavily dependent on outside supplies. It has moved at a slow pace in recent years. In the current year, however, with prevalence of normal conditions, the trend in major sectors would suggest that the progress in the State's economy is quite encouraging. The output of cement at over 85,000 tonnes in 1981 was 58.66 percent higher than the figure in 1980. Generation of electricity also increased by 14 percent in 1981 totaling 405.4 million kilowatts as against 358.4 million kilowatts in 1980. Limestone production in 1981 went up by 28.7 percent reaching over 2,33,000 tonnes as against less than 1,81,000 tonnes in 1980. The production of coal in 1981 had crossed the half million mark which is 52.2 percent higher than the level in 1980. Agricultural production, however, received a setback during the current year due to drought condition at the time of the growing season of major crops. The foodgrains production for 1981-82 will fall short of the target of 1,72,000 tonnes and will not exceed the level of 1980-81. Potato has maintained a rising trend reaching 1,25,000 tonnes in the current year which is higher than the production of 1,21,000 tonnes in the preceding year. As regards the price level , the retail price in the State during 1980-81 rose by 9.32 percent in the urban areas and 9.68 percent in the rural areas. These rates of increase were, however, moderate when compared with 16 percent and 19 percent respectively in the previous year. As regards employment position, the number of job seekers in the live register of the Employment Exchanges is 10,262 at the end of 1981. This shows a slight increase over the figure in the corresponding period for the preceding year.
New 20 Point Programme
4. The State Government has wholeheartedly welcomed the new 20 - Point Programme announced by the Prime Minister on 14th January, 1982 which lays stress on economic development with social justice. The programme aims at increase in irrigation potential, strengthening and expansion of coverage of Integrated Rural Development and National Rural Employment programmes and acceleration of schemes for development of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. It also seeks to ensure availability of drinking water to problem villages, maximization of power generation, vigorous implementation of programmes of afforestation, substantial augmentation of primary health care facilities and control of leprosy, T.B. and blindness, acceleration of programme for welfare of women and children especially in tribal and hill areas, spread of universal elementary education, expansion of the public distribution system, encouragement to growth of handicraft, handlooms and small and village industries and so on. This programme, therefore, highlights certain high priority areas included in the Sixth Plan and emphasizes need for development of the weaker sections of the society. In Meghalaya where the population is overwhelmingly tribal, most of the developmental outlay may be regarded as aimed towards achievement of this programme. The outlay on specific points of the programme for 1982-83 also is a sizable part of the total annual plan outlay of Rs.51.20 crores. The State Government desire that the new 20 -Point Programme should be implemented successfully in the State and have constituted a Cabinet Sub-committee to regularly monitor the implementation of this programme and to provide direction and guidance to the administrative machinery and would appeal to all the Hon'ble Members to extend their willing and active co-operation in this task of improving the quality of life of our people.
5. It has been the endeavour of successive Governments from the very inception of Meghalaya to make our State economically more advanced. Programmes for accelerating economic development should go hand in hand with steps to ensure the healthy development of our social environment. Ours is a State where the vast majority of the people belong to Scheduled Tribes who are justly proud of their customs and practices and whose day-to-day life is very closely linked with the existing social structures. It is very essential that economic development proceeds in harmony with the values and customs which our society has always cherished. In the preparation of our development plans, Government have been constantly keeping in view the crucial importance of ensuring that the benefits of development go to the weaker sections and that the process of development does not, in any way, lead to dismantling of our basic values which have been built up over the centuries. We are fortunate that our State has been gifted with plentiful natural resources. These have to be utilised in such a way that the maximum benefits accrue to the people. Substantial investments are required to harness these resources in an optimum manner and to ensure that they enrich our State and society. A very important resource in any society, however, is its human resource. Investment in man is the highest form of investment. This is particularly relevant for a State like Meghalaya where meaningful socio-economic development calls for active participation of the tribal boys and girls in the developmental efforts. Government have been laying stress on man-power development in the State and we are glad that the North Eastern Council has decided to set up an Institute of Science and Technology in the region.
Annual Plan of Meghalaya for 1982 - 83
6. The size of the annual Plan of Meghalaya for 1982-83 has been fixed at Rs.51.20 crores. The State Government's proposals reflected the planning strategy for the Sixth Plan period, namely, stress on agricultural production, irrigation, afforestation, priority to rural development and extension of substantial benefits to the weaker sections of the society. The special needs of the State for development of border areas, control of shifting cultivation, construction of buildings in the district, sub divisional and administrative headquarters were also emphasised. Transport and communication sector has been given substantial outlay. In addition to the State Plan outlay, the North Eastern Council has allotted an amount of about Rs.3.92 crores for ongoing and new schemes located in Meghalaya.
7. Despite the overall constraints of financial resources and lack of adequate infrastructure, the State has been able to make progress in various sectors of the economy. Agricultural production has steadily improved. The coverage on minor irrigation is expected to increase to 28,900 hectares by the end of the current year from 10,000 hectares in 1973-74. About 33,000 hectares will be brought under high yielding varieties programme by the end of the year as compared to 7,500 in 1973-74. The total road length in the State increased to 4646 kms. in 1980-81 from 3091 at the end of the Fourth Plan. The programme in extension of social services and basic amenities is also satisfactory. Well over 350 problem villages have been covered under the rural water supply schemes. A total of 700 villages have benefited under the rural electrification programme. The number of hospital beds, primary health centres and sub-centres have also substantially increased. In the field of education, the emphasis is on the universalisation of primary education as soon as possible. Steps are also being continued for the rejuvenation of the economy of the border areas of the State.
The State Government are aware of the need for more effective implementation of the various developmental programmes. Each subdivision has been put in charge of a Minister for the purpose of overseeing the implementation of the plan schemes and a number of reviews have since been conducted. In addition to the State Planning board, the District Planning Boards as also official agencies continue to monitor progress in plan execution and to take appropriate action to overcome any bottleneck. Sincere and dedicated service by the official machinery is crucial for successful plan implementation. Above all, it is essential to recognise that in order to be meaningful, our developmental efforts should be the people's programme and the people of the State should be actively involved in the process.
Consequent upon the unique change-over of Chief Minister ship in May, 1981, the State Planning Board has been reconstituted with Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (former Chief Minister) as Chairman and Shri P. Sangma as Deputy Chairman. The Board has been strengthened by including of two more non-official members. The Board has been periodically reviewing the progress of implementation of the development programmes under various sectors and has given valuable suggestions and advice to the different departments of the Government. The District Planning Boards and the District Level Co-ordination Committees have been meeting frequently to discuss and review the implementation of the development programmes in the district.
On account of inadequate transport and communication facilities, supply of scarce materials like steel, bitumen, etc., has been periodically posing a problem of our State. The State Government have highlighted before the Government of India and also the North Eastern Council the need for evolving special arrangements so as to ensure that construction materials are received by us in time and in adequate quantities.
8. As in the preceding years, the Hon'ble Members have been given a copy of a supplement to the Budget Speech which brings out in detail a review of the implementation of the development schemes and programmes for 1982-83. I may, however, highlight some of the important aspects in this regard.
Agriculture and Allied Services
9. The twin objectives in the agricultural sector are to ensure that before long, the State achieves self-sufficiency in foodgrains production and that those engaged in agriculture are assured better incomes by encouraging them to take to cash crops and horticulture. Even though the foodgrains production for 1981-82 is likely to fall short of the target owing to unfavourable weather conditions, vigorous efforts will be made to achieve the target of 1.73 lakhs tonnes in 1982-83. Production of potato has shown a substantial increase in the current year. In order to promote horticultural development, the department has taken up a large number of demonstrations for control of citrus decline. Distribution of seedlings at subsidised rates has also been arranged. The department is motivating farmers to increase the use of fertilisers. Some types of fertilisers which are more economic are distributed at a substantially subsidised rate encouraging farmers to switch over to them instead of using costly fertilisers like ammonium sulphate and super phosphate. The plan outlay for agriculture including marketing and storage is Rs.206 lakhs for 1982-83 as against Rs.171 lakhs in the current year.
10. In the field of minor irrigation, a number of schemes have been taken up during the current year to cover approximately an additional area of 2900 hectares. New projects have been formulated for execution in 1982-83 covering an additional area of 3300 hectares. The next year's plan outlay for minor irrigation is Rs.125 lakhs showing an increase of 25 percent over the provision in the current year.
11. The importance of soil conservation is self-evident as soil is a crucial life-supporting system. The practice of jhumming has depleted this resource impoverishing the soil. As such, jhum control continues to the an important programme of the Soil Conservation Department. During 1982-83, it is proposed to provide land with irrigation for 585 families. 405 hectares of cash crop plantation like coffee and rubber will be taken up to benefit an equal number of families. Individual farmers will also be assisted for raising their own plantation. The Coffee Board has extended its subsidy scheme for raising coffee plantation to interested private individuals.
The department is also laying stress on conservation measures based on land capability taken up in selected watersheds and also various erosion control steps like terracing, bunding and gully plugging. The department has initiated identification of small watersheds or minicatchment in various areas. One project at present is also being investigated with N.E.C. assistance. The expanding activities of the department call for strengthening of infrastructure of trained personnel. Training programmes of the field level workers at the Conservation Training Institute, Byrnihat are being continued. With the help of the North Eastern Council, this institute may be expanded to train middle level and gazetted officers also.
12. Livestock occupies a vital position in the rural areas of Meghalaya. There is considerable potential for development of animal husbandry programmes which will augment production of food and also generate rural employment and income. The various animal husbandry schemes and extension of veterinary services in the interior will be continued next year. Education and training to meet the technical man-power requirement in this field constitutes an important programme of the Animal Husbandry Department.
13. Development of fisheries in the State is yet to make much headway. Most of the available natural fishery resources in the State and potential water areas are not under the control of the State Government. Fisheries Department, however, has taken up a number of schemes which would also encourage private individuals. A new scheme aiming at producing superior quality hatchlings is being introduced. The outlay in the sector for 1982-83 has been fixed at Rs.25 lakhs as against the current year's outlay of Rs.18 lakhs.
14. Forests form a major source of renewable natural resource in the State. The potential of forests for substantially augmenting the wealth and also the revenue resources of the State is still to be adequately realised. Only a very small part of the total areas of forests is under the direct control of the State Government. A number of forests are subjected to heavy and over felling and this would have an extremely adverse impact on the environment and on the future generations.
Our forest wealth should be judiciously exploited and Government are confident that this would be achieved with the active involvement of the District Councils and the people. Steps have been evolved to take up massive plantation programme under the Social Forestry scheme and it is proposed to take up 821 hectares of afforestation outside the reserved forests during 1982-83 under this programme. The mixture of species in such plantation will be so selected as to meet the needs of the people for their fuel, fodder and small timber. Fruit seedlings raised during 1981-82 under the "Tree for every child programme" will be distributed to the public during the next year.
During the year 1982-83, an area development programme will be taken up by the Forest Department to provide assistance to the people near the proposed Tura Ridge Biosphere Reserve.
15. The Community Development Department can be a key instrument for development of the rural areas in the State. In addition to management of various development blocks, the department also is implementing the Integrated Rural Development, the National Rural Employment and Nutrition programmes. These programmes emphasis the need for bringing up the most deserving sections of the rural population above the poverty line by taking up schemes for increasing agricultural production, reclamation of land, road construction, etc., which will directly benefit the target group. In order to implement the Integrated Rural Development and the National Rural Employment programmes, two District Rural Development Agencies have been created with their headquarters in Shillong and Tura. The total State Plan outlay in this sector for the next year is Rs.190 lakhs, showing a substantial increase over the current year's outlay of Rs.123 lakhs.
16. The co-operative movement which aims at drawing strength through group effort is eminently suited for our society. A number of steps have been taken in recent years to strengthen the administrative arrangements so that this movement effectively serves the purpose for which it has been launched. The primary agricultural co-operative societies managed by trained Secretaries have started showing improved results. Efforts are being made to post trained Secretaries in all the 180 reorganised societies. The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd., is intensifying its efforts to enlarge both short term and medium term rural credit. The Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and Consumer's Federation Ltd., has considerably increased its volume of operations. With the completion of 11 focal point centres and construction of central godowns at Phulbari and Gokulgiri, the Federation is expected to step up its activities soon under the different divisions covering consumer items. Nine custom hiring centres are also functioning and they are rendering valuable help to the people particularly in the border areas. The department has also taken steps for the increase of staff for adequately supervising the co-operatives in the State. Offices have been set up at Williamnagar and Nongstoin in order to help and guide co-operative societies located in these areas more effectively. The plan outlay for this sector is Rs.104 lakhs for 1982-83 , as against Rs.75 lakhs in the current year.
Medium Irrigation and Flood Control
17. The Rongai Valley Irrigation Project is still awaiting clearance from the Central Water Commission, and it is expected that considerable work will be done in the next year as soon as clearance is received. Provision has also been kept for the Shella Irrigation Project.
As regards flood control projects, there are 21 ongoing schemes of which 7 are expected to be completed this year. About 15 KM embankment will be constructed during the current year and 11 KM next year. The provision for flood control and irrigation through Public Works Department for 1982-83 is Rs.55 lakhs.
18. Meghalaya has enormous potential for generation of electricity and this can be a major source of revenue for the State. The earlier agreement for supply of power to the Assam State Electricity Board has come to an end on 31st December, 1981 and negotiations are going on with Assam regarding the tariff to be charged for sale of power supplied by Meghalaya. The State Government are anxious that the Meghalaya State Electricity Board should be in a position to contribute a reasonable rate of return on the investments made therein. The Umiam-Umtrew Stage IV Project is under implementation. Land for Upper Khri diversion is yet to be settled and negotiations are in progress with the Syiem of Nongkhlaw and his Durbar Hima for taking over land. Extension of 132 KV line from Nangalbibra to Tura is progressing well and will be completed next year. Another 132 KV Line from Umiam - Umtrew Stage IV to Kyrdemkulai is also under execution. Considerable progress has been made in the scheme for rural electrification. Till the end of 1980-81, 700 villages have been covered under the scheme and the target for the current year is to electrify 200 villages. The investigation of Myntdu (Leishka) Hydro electric Project will be completed next year. The Umiam - Umtrew Stage V Project is also under investigation. A thermal power project in Garo Hills to be financed through the North Eastern Council has already been approved and the State Government's proposal for executing the same through the Meghalaya State Electricity Board is under consideration.
Industries and Minerals
19. The abundant natural resources in the State offer tremendous scope for industrialisation. The State Government are keen on taking up those projects where the local people can be more actively involved.
The watch assembly unit has started functioning with 9 trained technicians and 50 operators. The unit has already assembled 15,000 watches. This project is expected to employ 150 people and is imparting necessary skills to the local boys and girls. An electronic battery unit is also likely to be set up soon. The bamboo chipping project promoted jointly by Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation and tribal technologists has gone into production. The Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Limited has not yet completed the second phase of the expansion project but is being assisted to fulfill this task early.
The department is also continuing its various schemes and is giving special attention for man-power development through training.
20. In the field of sericulture and weaving, need based and employment-oriented schemes have been taken up through provision of the necessary infrastructure like training, input facilities, etc. The newly established seed farms have been organised for seed production and one muga reeling unit is being set up. Eight trainees were deputed to a survey course at Titabar during the current year. The Intensive Handloom Development Project is making satisfactory progress. Thirty -five handloom weavers' co-operative societies have been identified for the purpose of necessary assistance. Four more handloom demonstration-cum- production centres are being set up. The next year's outlay for sericulture and weaving is Rs.39 lakhs.
21. The approved State Plan outlay for mineral development in the State for 1982-83 is Rs.26 lakhs. The State Mineral Development Corporation is being assisted to look after the coal mining industry. The North Eastern Council has made available Rs.3 lakhs for continuing Bupung coal investigation and Rs.2 lakhs for extension of the Lumshnong limestone detailed investigations for chemical grade lime.
Transport and Communication
22. The backlog in development in the State has been substantially due to lack of adequate infrastructure. Development of communications is thus crucial for successful implementation of various schemes. Substantial outlays have been earmarked for construction of a good road communication system so as to open up the interior areas of the State, connect them with the administrative headquarters and ensure more effective implementation of the development plans. During the current year, the department had taken up new construction of 200 KM and improvement and black topping of 70 KM. During the next year, the plan outlay for roads is Rs.840 lakhs and the target for new construction of roads is 220 KM. The State is likely to achieve a road density of 23 KM per 100 square kilometres. This is still short of the all-India average and as such, investment on roads will continue to receive priority in the succeeding years also. Thirty-five schemes of roads in the border areas have been taken up for construction during the year and these are making good progress. There are 20 projects under the North Eastern Council which are executed by the State Public Works Department and three more will be included next year. Nine estimates for strategic roads in Meghalaya have also been sanctioned and are under execution. Apart from the road net-work, there is also need for construction of rope-ways in the State particularly in areas where major projects are likely to be located. The proposals for having rope-ways from Ishamati to Byrnihat and also in Baghmara-Siju-Dudhnai sector have been forwarded to the North Eastern Council. The State Government have also stressed the need for having a road-cum-rail bridge over the Brahmaputra in Jogighopa which would connect the western part of the State with places outside the North - East. An airfield in Garo Hills near Tura is likely to be constructed, after locating a suitable site. The State Government have been taking up the question of providing adequate postal and tele-communication facilities with the Government of India.
23. There is a growing demand for more efficient transport services in the State. The number of vehicles of Meghalaya Transport Corporation has considerably increased. Forty-two bus chassis have been purchased and 8 buses have already been placed on the road so far. A central workshop in Shillong will be constructed with sufficient equipment and machineries to provide for better maintenance and repair of vehicles of the Corporation. The Corporation will also set up regional workshops at Tura, Jowai, Nongstoin and Williamnagar.
24. The efforts of the Department of Tourism are aimed at development of the tourist infrastructure. Apart from revitalisation of Pinewood Hotel through a management agreement with the Indian Tourism Development Corporation and provision of tourist facilities at Umiam, the department has also taken up construction of a tourist's bungalow at Tura. The activities of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation will also be stepped up in the coming year.
Social and Community Services
25. The success of the programme for man-power development depends to a large extent on the pattern of education. Technical education receives high priority in our developmental strategy. It is proposed to introduce new courses in the Shillong Polytechnic such as electronics and tele-communication engineering, hotel management and catering technology. A separate wing for women will also be opened in Shillong Polytechnic to impart instruction in secretarial practice and stenography, civil engineering, draughtsmanship and architectural assistantship. Technical education at the higher level can be developed only through proper strengthening of the science education programme at the school level. This programme initiated under the UNICEF assistance is being expanded to cover more primary and middle schools involving the in-service training of teachers, supply of science kits and science textbooks and teachers' guides in Khasi and Garo languages. Needy schools are assisted in procuring science equipments and to entertain science graduate teachers on deficit pay scales. The department is also operating an incentive scheme for Science and Mathematics teachers. The quality of education depends to a great extent on the quality of the teaching staff. A programme for training of teachers has been taken up by the department. A workshop of the Principals and the teachers educators of the Elementary Teachers' Training Institute has been held to develop learning materials for out-of-school children and for development of syllabus frames and instructional materials. In order to clear the backlog of untrained teachers at secondary level, B.Ed. courses are being started in the two Government colleges. The department is also according importance to the programme of adult education and non-formal education. The rates of scholarships for different courses in the colleges to students belonging to the Scheduled Tribes and the Scheduled Castes have been increased with effect from July, 1981. A State Editor has been appointed to finalise the District Gazetteer of Khasi Hills. The Gazetteer for Garo Hills is expected to be taken up soon followed by that of Jaintia Hills
26. The strategy for fighting diseases in the State is based primarily on preventive services. Curative services also receive attention. Substantial augmentation of universal primary health care facilities and control of leprosy/T.B. and blindness is an important item of the new 20-point Programme. Besides, India is committed to attain the goal of health for all by the year 2000 A.D. Primary health care approach is of great relevance in fulfilling this commitment and in our State, emphasis is being laid on expansion of primary health care in the rural areas where it is needed most. The construction of three new primary health centres is in progress and construction of another two new centres will also be taken up. Of the 30 new sub-centres taken up in the previous years, it is expected that 25 sub-centres will start functioning during the current financial year.
The construction and expansion of the Civil Hospitals at Tura and Shillong and also the Pasteur Institute, Shillong, are in progress. The department is also continuing various schemes started in the previous years, such as T.B. and V.D. clinics, mobile units, homeopathic dispensaries, drug control, food control, health education, school health services and training programme of nurses. In order to meet the shortage of pharmacists, nominees from the State are deputed for studying Pharmacy courses outside on stipends. Training in various fields of medicine continues to receive considerable attention from the department. The engineering unit of the department has started construction work at a number of places, as a result of which the construction activities in rural areas have substantially improved.
27. Since the inception of Meghalaya, the Public Health Engineering Department has taken up a number of rural and urban water supply schemes. 223 rural water supply schemes and three supply schemes covering 443 villages and three urban towns with a population of 1,82,244 i.e. , covering approximately 18 percent of the total population of Meghalaya as per 1971 census have been completed. During the International Water Supply and Sanitation Decade Programme (1981-1991), the Public Health Engineering Department has fixed its target to cover all the villages (as identified during 1971 census) with safe and potable water supply. The new Jowai Phase -1 water supply scheme was completed and commissioned in the month of August, 1980. The department is also giving attention for early completion of the Jowai Phase-II, Tura Phase II and Umkhen Phase - II water supply schemes. As regards the Greater Shillong water supply scheme, the progress was somewhat slow in view of the fact that the loan from the Life Insurance Corporation has not been finalised so far
28. Meghalaya's urban population has grown at a rate much faster than the quantum of civic amenities available at present. The reasons for this phenomenon, which is indeed a country-wide one, one, are many. Planned and guided urbanisation is a necessary component of the infrastructure for economic development of towns. In order to achieve this, Government are taking steps to constitute a State Advisory Council on Town and Country Planning. The Town and Country Planning Department has extended its activities to suburban and rural areas especially those fast-growing villages beyond the urban fringe which may be improved so as to absorb potential immigrants to the towns. A new scheme for environmental planning is being introduced in order to improve the environment of selected villages. The department is also giving loans to help people to construct their houses. It also acquires land, develops them, sub-divides them into suitable plots for allotment to the economically weaker sections.
29. The Information and Public Relations Department has opened offices in all the district headquarters as also in the sub divisional headquarters at Baghmara and Nongpoh. At the State level, an Information Centre equipped with reference books has also been set up. This department has an important role to play in involving people in purposeful collaboration with the official agencies in the implementation of developmental plans.
30. The Directorate of Employment and Craftsmen Training is implementing schemes of employment market information, vocational guidance and employment counseling, craftsmen training programme and apprenticeship training programme.
31. The Social Welfare Department is assisting voluntary organisations for maintenance of creches, craft centres for women and other schemes. Scholarships to physically handicapped students and supply of prosthetic aids for purchase of artificial limbs and appliances will also be continued. The scheme for giving vocational training has been implemented through the department of Industries under which 15 trainees have been deputed for training in carpentry and handicrafts. The Special Nutrition Programme in the rural areas and the Integrated Child Development Services Project in selected Blocks will also be continued during the next year. It is likely that Nongstoin Block will be covered under the latter project.
Border Area Development
32. The main aspects of the border areas development programme relate to development of communication network in the border areas for diversification of the channels of trade for the border produce, augmentation of agricultural production, improvement of the existing horticultural crops, promotion of animal husbandry, supply of essential articles on subsidised basis, improvement of marketing facilities in close association with the MECOFED, establishment and maintenance of agro-custom hiring centres and also promotion of sericulture and weaving and small industries in these areas. These programmes aim at rehabilitation of the economic condition of the people of the border areas and supplement the normal activities of the various departments in the area. Special financial assistance is also being extended to students from border areas. A number of water supply schemes have also been taken up in the border areas.
33. The State Government are committed to ensure that the administration comes closer to the people and have decided to upgrade the six existing administrative units into subdivisions. Construction of administrative and residential buildings is receiving greater attention both in Shillong and in the interior. A sizeable part of the current year's plan allocation for public works is utilised for construction of office buildings and residential quarters at the headquarters of new districts and subdivisions. The outlay for public works in the next year's plan is Rs.125 lakhs. It is also proposed to take up construction of a new Assembly Hostel in Shillong. The Government Press in Shillong is being modernised.
34. A sum of Rs.30 lakhs has been provided in the current year's plan for assisting the District Councils for implementation of their own development schemes and also for construction of essential buildings. A sum of Rs.1 lakh has also been earmarked during the current year as financial assistance to District Councils for maintenance of certain roads, etc. The District Councils have been extended financial assistance of Rs.2.30 lakhs during the current year for enforcing the scheme to regulate trading by non-tribals. It has been possible to complete the repoll in one polling station in 28 - Myriaw-Rambrai Constituency of the Khasi Hills District Council on account of the efforts made by the Chief Minister and his colleagues.
35. In order to augment the revenues of the Shillong Municipality, revision of toll rates on certain categories of vehicles entering Shillong has been agreed to. The Shillong Municipality has also framed bye-laws which have been approved for levying parking fees in certain areas and during prescribed hours.
36. The Revenue Department has undertaken cadastral survey work in some villages in Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills. Detailed survey work of Jowai town is expected to be completed soon. Resurvey operations in Shillong town are also in progress. The department is implementing an enforcement scheme to investigate and identify different land holdings in the State so as to ensure enforcement of the various land laws. The department is also pursuing the question of settlement of inter-State boundary with Assam. In the international border with Bangladesh, the boundary was re-laid and missing pillars reconstructed in the Takarghat-Borsora area and also in the Jinjiram area. The question of extending the Indian Registration Act throughout Meghalaya is under consideration.
37. Promotion of a strong consumer protection movement and expansion of the public distribution system are major parts of the new 20-Point Programme. It has been the constant endeavour of the State Government to ensure availability at reasonable prices of selected commodities to consumers, particularly those who belong to the vulnerable sections. Constant vigilance has been maintained to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities and the position has been has been satisfactory and prices have been kept at reasonable levels. A number of steps are being taken to revamp and strengthen the infrastructure for public distribution system so as to cover all parts of the State particularly the inaccessible areas. The department has also been making frequent checks on the stock and prices of commodities in various markets of the State and various committees have been constituted to maintain a watch over the functioning of the public distribution system and the open market. The department has recently started a monitoring cell in order to strengthen the intelligence, early warning and demand supply management information system so as to take prompt action to deal with any situation of shortage or abnormal price rise.
38. During the year, the Directorate of Economics and Statistics has taken up the preparation of the State report on economic census. The quick estimates of economic census, 1980 were released early during the year. The field work of the National Sample Survey 35th Round was completed in June, 1981. The 36th Round of the National Sample Survey on the disabled for 6 months was completed in December, 1981 and the 37th Round on debt and investment has started from January, 1982. A socio-economic survey of the Biate Community in Jaintia Hills will be taken up. The Directorate had also conducted an evaluation study on primary health service. A study for evaluation of control on shifting cultivation is being designed.
Police and Home Guards
39. The morale of the police force in the State has been satisfactory. It has been decided to raise a second Meghalaya Police Battalion. In view of the urgency and importance of checking unauthorised infiltration of people from across the international border, additional police posts in the border have been sanctioned. A special squad will be set up in all the district headquarters to deal with the problem relating to detection and deportation of foreign nationals. Governments are aware that the existing housing facilities available to the police personnel are not adequate. Special attention is being given to improve the position in this regard. The State plan outlay for police housing for the next year is Rs.40 lakhs as against Rs.25 lakhs in the current year. In addition, the State Government are also taking advantage of the Central scheme amounting to Rs.181 lakhs for police housing for the period 1979-1984 besides the scheme for Rs.100 lakhs for construction of the headquarter of the first Meghalaya Police Battalion.
Law and order in the State has been generally satisfactory during the current year. The services of Home Guards are being utilised for assisting the police in maintenance of law and order. A number of training courses were conducted by the Civil Defence and Home Guards Department. Six companies of the Border Wing Home Guards have been deployed in the Meghalaya Bangladesh border.
40. Land is being acquired for setting up jail complex at Jowai, Williamnagar and Tura. The construction of a jail at Jowai is in progress and at Tura, it is expected that work will start soon. Steps are being taken to arrange land for the purpose of setting up jails in the new subdivisions. Government are also conscious of the need for a reformative approach in the case of juvenile delinquents. A separate institution has been set up for this purpose.
The officials of the Jail Department are also sent to training courses to expose them to modern methods of jail administration. Steps have been initiated to meet the educational needs of the offenders and arrangements are being made to impart adult education to selected prisoners.
41. At the instance of the State Government, the North Eastern Judicial Officers' Training Institute has been set up which is being financed through the North Eastern Council.
42. The scheme of photographed identity cards has been implemented in 50- Selsella and 60- Mahendraganj assembly constituencies. Intensive revision of electoral rolls of all the assembly constituencies excepting these two are going on at present as ordered by the Election Commission of India. After the intensive revision is completed, the photographed identity card scheme will be implemented in some more assembly constituencies during this year.
Pay Revision Cell
43. The State Government are keen to provide facilities to the Government employees, to safeguard their legitimate interests and also to increase their productivity. On the basis of the formula recommended by the Pay Commission, further installments of dearness allowance have been released to the Government employees. The medical allowance has also been increased to Rs.50 per month. The Official Committee to consider anomalies in pay revision has examined a large number of representations received from different departments. In a number of cases, the Committee's recommendations have been considered by the Government and orders have been issued.
44. I would now like to give a brief account of the actuals for 1980-81 and revised estimates for 1981-82 before I present the estimates for 1982-83.
Actuals, 1980 - 81
45. The year 1980-81 opened with a negative cash balance of Rs.345.61 lakhs. There was a total receipt of Rs.53,026.55 lakhs and an expenditure of Rs.53,320.37 lakhs under all accounts resulting in a deficit of Rs.293.82 lakhs. Thus the negative cash balance increased from Rs.345.61 lakhs to Rs.639.43 lakhs. However, on the 31st March, 1981 there was an amount of Rs.569.75 lakhs invested in Government of India treasury bills. In other words, the year 1980-81 virtually closed with a negative balance of Rs.69.68 lakhs only.
Revised Estimates, 1981 - 82
46. According to the revised estimates for 1981-82, receipt and expenditure under all accounts are Rs.51,949.45 lakhs and Rs.51,289.52 lakhs respectively. The receipts, however, include Rs.569.75 lakhs being encashment of the treasury bills and Rs.575 lakhs being the assumed additional central assistance for the annual Plan for the year 1981-82. Thus, there is likely to be a surplus of Rs.659.93 lakhs which will not only wipe out the entire negative cash balance of Rs.639.43 lakhs but leave a nominal cash balance of Rs.20.50 lakhs at the close of the year.
Budget Estimates, 1982 - 83
47. The year 1982-83 has been estimated to open with a cash balance of Rs.20.50 lakhs. The receipts on revenue account and the expenditure from revenue have been estimated at Rs.10.281.75 lakhs and Rs.8,151.38 lakhs respectively. There will, thus, be a surplus of Rs.2,130.37 lakhs on revenue account.
Outside the revenue account, the total estimated receipts and expenditure are Rs.44,275.63 lakhs and Rs.46,457.09 lakhs respectively resulting in a deficit of Rs.2,181.46 lakhs. This together with the revenue surplus of Rs.2,130.37 lakhs, will result in an overall deficit of Rs.51.09 lakhs. The opening cash balance of Rs.20.50 lakhs will be fully absorbed and there is a deficit of Rs.30.59 lakhs. The gap will widen further on account of the commitment of the State Government to sanction dearness allowance to the employees as per the formula recommended by the Pay Commission.
Mobilisation of Additional Resources
48. Hon'ble Members are aware that on account of the narrow resource base, the State's own financial contribution to the plan efforts has not been very substantial. This fact is also recognised by the National Development Council. Despite the fact that Meghalaya is regarded as one of the Special Category States for the purpose of Central assistance, we should put in our best efforts to generate as much internal resources as possible. Keeping this aspect in view and also to reduce the gap indicated earlier, I propose to raise the rate of State taxation in respect of unconverted timber and cement as follows :-
(1) The purchase tax on unconverted timber is being raised from 30 percent to 50 percent. This is conceived not only as a step for earning revenue but also as a conservation measure to protect our environment by discouraging over exploitation of our forest resources.
(2) The Meghalaya Finance Sales Tax on cement is being increased from 10 percent to 12 percent. This will raise the price of cement only marginally and will not adversely affect the poorer sections.
These two measures will yield and additional revenue of Rs. 19 lakhs per annum.
The State Government will also be introducing State lotteries and the income from this source will be utilised for purposes such as promotion of sports and games in the State.
Government are concerned at the mounting arrears of various public dues. A vigorous drive is being launched to collect such arrears. I would request the active cooperation of the Hon'ble Members in this field by educating the people about the need for timely repayment of such dues. More effective enforcement measures are also being taken to plug leakage in revenue.
49. It is over a decade that Meghalaya has been functioning as a State. Considerable progress has been made during this period in the social and economic fields, but we are still to redeem our pledge that every citizen in the State should enjoy a high quality of life. While assuring a fair and just deal to all sections, we are committed to preserve and promote the distinct identity of the Scheduled Tribes in the State. Substantial investments are being made in our economy since the formation of Meghalaya as a separate State, even though they fall short of our requirements to make up the enormous backlog in development. The people of the State are entitled to expect full value in respect of such outlays and this is possible if the workforce whether engaged in agriculture, industry, infrastructural sectors or social and general services increases its productivity. It can be achieved by dedicated and honest service, modernising the methods of work and outlook consistent with the maintenance of the best traditions in our society and above all, a sense of pride in doing one's own job. While the official machinery has to carry out its task, the Hon'ble Members also have a valuable role to play in imparting the right kind of motivation to the people. I am confident that all of us will rise to the occasion and effectively discharge our onerous responsibilities.
50. With these words, I commend the budget for 1982-83 for consideration and acceptance of the House. According to the Assembly Calendar, detailed discussions on the budget proposals cannot be completed before the end of the current financial year. I, therefore, propose to move the House, in the first instance, for voting advance grants and for sanctioning advance appropriation to enable the Government to defray expenses for part of the next financial year.
The financial position for the year 1982 - 83 with
in the previous years
Rupees in Lakhs
|Capital Receipt under the Consolidated Fund||3,94.22||6,71.44||8,69.97||34,84.80||39,22.39|
|Capital Receipt under the Contingency Fund||1,10.03||1,51.63||1,50.00||2,10.20||2,05.00|
|Capital Receipt under the Public Account||3,39,52.49||4,32,10.41||3,72,96.94||3,97,12.34||4,01,48.24|
|Capital Expenditure under Consolidated Fund.||18,23.62||42,11.83||32,34.96||53,99.99||61,68.85|
|Capital Expenditure under the Contingency Fund||1,10.03||1,24.95||1,50.00||1,93.58||2,05.00|
|Capital Expenditure under the Public Account||3,41,57.53||4,30,01.21||3,68,41.94||3,90,83.31||4,00.83.24|
|NET RESULT :-|
|(a) On Revenue Account||(+)14,45.21||(+)30,10.69||(+)20,23.86||(+)19,29.47||(+)21,30.37|
|(b) Outside Revenue Account||(-)16,34.44||(-)33,04.51||(-)19,90.99||(-)12,69.54||(-)21,81.46|
|(c) All Accounts excluding the opening and closing Balance||(-)1,89.23||(-)2,93.82||(+)1,13.87||(+)6,59.93||(-)51.09|
Notes :- (+) Indicates surplus and (-) indicates deficit.