Government of Meghalaya
Budget Speech

1985 86

By

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang

Finance Minister, Meghalaya

26th March, 1985

 

MR. SPEAKER, SIR,

  I rise to present the annual Financial Statement for year 1985-86.

National Economic

 2. The performance of the Indian economy during 1984-85 proved to be better than expected. This may be attributed to the recovery of industrial production and the satisfactory performance on the agricultural front. Notwithstanding the drought and floods in some parts of the country, the foodgrains production in the country during 1984-85 targeted at 153.6 million tonnes was expected to be achieved comfortably. This achievement has been possible because of the increased utilisation of farm inputs, expansion of area under high yielding varieties and increase in production of commercial crops.

3. The performance of the industrial sector showed partial recovery from the recessive tendencies of previous  year. Despite the overall achievements, the unpredictable behaviour of prices continues to be a major concern. During the current financial year, the wholesale price index had recorded an increase of 5.7 percent up to September 1984 compared to 8.3 percent in the  same period of the previous year.

4.  The Hon'ble Members are well aware that recently the Union Budget was presented before the Parliament. This growth oriented and innovative budget promises a new era  of open policies under the dynamic leadership of our young Prime Minister. All members will join me in hoping that the Central Government will continue to give sympathetic considerations to the special problems of our State.

Meghalaya Economic Scene

5. The economic trends at the national level were reflected in Meghalaya also. According to "quick estimates" the State domestic product for 1984-85 was placed at  Rs.244.4 crores as compared to Rs.212.6 crores in 1983-84 at current prices, According an increase of 14.9 percent. Substantial contribution of this increase came from sectors such as forest, mining and quarrying, construction activities, trade, hotel and restaurant. The per capita annual income of  the State is estimated at Rs.1,658 as compared  to Rs.1,483 of the previous year.  The target  for the production of food grains during 1984-85 is 1,84,000 tonnes as against 1,63,000  tonnes in 1983-84. However, due to the unfavorable weather conditions, severe pest attacks and non-availability of adequate chemical fertilizers, there is likely to be a shortfall of 20 to 25 percent. Production of jute and mesta  is expected to appreciably increase from 64,400 bales in 1983-84 to 80,000 bales  in 1984-85 and of cotton from 5,130 bales in 1983-84 to 6,000 bales in 1984-85. In the current year the target for production of potato is 1,60,000 tonnes and that of oil seeds is 8,100 tonnes.

6. There was a shortfall in production of cement from 97,100 tonnes in 1983 to 95,980 tonnes in 1984 attributable to breakdowns of the machinery in the factory. Generation of electricity also feel from 414 million Kwhs in 1983 to 312 million Kwhs in 1984. Production of coal  however rose to 9.03 lakh tonnes of which .8.78 lakhs tonnes was contributed by Jaintia Hills  district alone, against 7.25 lakhs tonnes in the previous year. Nearly all items of consumer goods and primary products registered a price increase during the year.

Eighth Finance Commission

7. On the State Government's submission, the Eighth Finance Commission recommended transfer of Rs. 381.86 crores by devolution of Central taxes, duties and grants-in-aid to Meghalaya during 1984-89 compared to Rs.134.15 crores made by the Seventh Finance Commission for the previous quinquennium, showing an increase of  184.65 percent. The share of Central and duties is Rs.242.88 crores and grants-in-aid under Article 275 is Rs. 138.98  crores. The Commission accepted the request of the State Government for upgrading the standard of administration and for special problems of the State and an amount of  Rs.19.20 crores is earmarked for the five year period. The ceiling of expenditure on relief due to natural calamities was increased from Rs.7 lakhs to Rs.25 lakhs annually. The Commission also recommended rescheduling of the debt liability of central loans outstanding at the end of 1983-84 and writing off central loan amounting to Rs.2.90 crores during the five year period 1984-89.

8. The Central Government have decided that the recommendations of the Eighth Finance Commission in the final report would be implemented with effect from 1985-86 while 1984-85 will be covered by those in the interim report.

Seventh Plan of Meghalaya and  Annual Plan for 1985-86

9. The draft Seventh Five Year Plan of the State submitted to the Planning Commission envisaged an outlay of Rs.680.55 crores as against the approved Sixth Plan outlay and the  actual allocation of Rs.235 crores and Rs.264 crores respectively. The final size of the State's Seventh Plan is yet to be decided by the Planning Commission.

10. Pending finalisation of the Seventh Five Year Plan outlay for 1985-86, it has become imperative for the State Government to keep the plan outlay of 1985-86 at the level of 1984-85 for budgetary purposes. On the annual outlay for 1985-86 being finalised by the Planning Commission, the Government would come to this august House with suitable proposals.

11. The State Government  are aware of the need for  effective implementation of various development programmes and proper utilisation of plan funds. Periodic review at various levels are conducted with a view to overseeing the implementation of plan schemes. The State Government are also conscious of the problems regarding the pace of development and are taking steps to resolve them. Measures have been taken to ensure effective implementation of the 20-Point Programme in the State and are being periodically reviewed.

12. A pilot project for village development has been taken up in the State and 15 villages, one in each one in each sub-division have been selected. Schemes for all-round improvement of the socio-economic condition for these villages have been initiated and are under implementation. These villages, when developed, will serve as model villages for the purpose of demonstration. The scheme is being expanded to cover more villages in the Seventh Plan period.

13. A State Council of Science, Technology and Environment has been constituted by the State Government with the Chief Minister as Chairman. The Council includes State and Central Government officials as also non-officials representing a number of science and technology organisations. The functions of the Council include, amongst others, identification of areas in which science and technology can be utilised  for developmental purposes, for promotion  and popularisation of science and preservation and protection of environment. The State Government has also initiated a number of schemes on non-conventional and additional sources of energy, mid-get hydro-power stations and bio-gas plants.

14. During the year, the State Planning board and the District Planning Boards have been reconstituted and a new Chairman has been appointed for the State Planning Board. the State Government have also decided to set up Manpower Planning and Employment Generation Councils in each district of the State. The Councils will advise the Government on matters relating to manpower planning  and generation of additional employment.

Agriculture and allied Sectors

15. The objectives of the Agricultural Development Programmes are to obtain self-sufficiency in food-grain production in the State, enlarging the areas under various cash and horticultural crops and increasing their productivity thereby improving the economy of the farmers. The target of food-grain production for 1985-86 has been proposed at 1.93 lakh tonnes against the target of 1.84 lakh tonnes during 1984-85. To achieve this, the strategy is to raise the productivity level per unit area through extensive application of fertilisers, larger coverage of irrigated areas under high yielding and improved varieties of seeds with multiple cropping, strengthening of the extension machinery, intensification of plant  protection measures  including demonstration and training programmes, and adoption of improved production technique.

16. For development of Horticulture, the measures proposed to be taken are to assist  farmers for setting up model orchards, supply of plant materials at subsidised rates, citrus rejuvenation  and introduction of new crops. The area under cultivation of maize and other cash crops is also proposed to be extended.

17. Tea Cultivation in small holdings is proposed to be intensified to cover an additional area of about 150 hectares around the three experimental centres by distributing plant materials from them. It is also proposed to set up three mini processing units at these centres. As regards potato, the target for production for the year 1985-86 is proposed at 1.66 lakh tonnes against 1.60 lakhs tonnes of the current year with an additional coverage of 400 hectares. The MECOFED entrusted with the  procurement and distribution of fertilisers in the State will be assisted financially and 50 additional sale points are proposed to be opened. To encourage higher consumption of fertilisers, transport subsidy would be continued. For mushroom development, experiments on raising of local edible mushroom and encouraging people in getting interested in mushroom cultivation are proposed. Under minor irrigation and additional area of 4,000 hectares is likely to be covered by the end of 1984-85 making a cumulative total of 34,510 hectares. An additional coverage of 2,600 hectares in the next year is proposed. It is also proposed to improve  technical manpower through training and by grant of stipends.

Soil Conservation

18. Effective soil and water conservation measures are imperative for a proper agricultural development on a sustained basis. The rehabilitation programme of Jhumias continues to  be an important  programme. It consists of providing such families with developed land with irrigation facilities and of giving assistance for cash and horticultural crop plantation to augment their income. During 1985-86 developed land with irrigation facilities is proposed to be provided to 220 families. The watershed management scheme under which 5 sub-water-sheds were taken up during 1985-86, 350 hectares is proposed to be covered under this scheme.

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary

19. Programmes for cattle, dairy, piggery, poultry development and for their health cover including control of diseases continue to occupy a prominent place in the objectives of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department. Next year these programmes and schemes are proposed to be extended to cover more areas and to encourage the people to adopt improved and scientific animal husbandry practices with a view to increasing supply of protective food such as milk, meat and eggs. The existing cattle farms will continue to meet the requirements for breeding stock. Cross-breeding of cattle by means of artificial insemination would continue and further intensified for larger coverage. The Regional Pig Breeding Farm approved by the North Eastern Council will be taken up. For meeting the shortage of technical manpower, a number of students have been sponsored for studies in B.V.Sc. courses.

Forest

20. In Meghalaya, forests play a very important role in maintaining the ecological balance. Large scale afforestation scheme under the the Social Forestry Programme has been undertaken  to bring back forest cover to the denuded hills as far as possible. The target of covering 1,845 hectares under afforestation and planting of trees in non-conventional forestry land under the new 20-Point Programme has been fully achieved. For bringing the primary catchment areas  of the  major rivers of the State under tree plantation coverage, afforestation of the Kopili and the Umiam-Umtru Hydel  Project catchment areas has been initiated under the North Eastern Council sponsored scheme and during 1984 planting  season, 400 hectares of barren land in the Kopili catchment area has already been brought under this programme. Government has decided to create National Parks at the Nokrek Ridge and Balpakram area and these are being actively pursued with the Central Government.

21. Government is also having a dialogue with the Central Government for finding a permanent solution  to the problem of depredation by wild elephants causing heavy losses to crops and damages to property. The problem has assumed such a magnitude that it has become difficult for the State to make good the losses because of paucity of State resources and the Central Government have been approached for a solution.

Fisheries 

22. Despite considerable potential, development of fisheries is yet to pick up to the required extent. The schemes under this Department are aimed at obtaining large scale production of carp seeds, disseminating and popularizing pisciculture, protection and conservation of fisheries, imparting training to pisciculturists and generating income through paddy-cum-fish culture.

Community Development

23. Community Development Programmes continue to receive close attention of the Government in accelerating the overall development of the people in the rural areas for uplifting their economy. Apart from regular activities which include general community development and Special Nutrition Programmes, special schemes like Integrated Rural Development Programme  and National rural Employment Programme are being implemented by the District rural Development Agencies  through the Block agencies. In 1984-85, the rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme sponsored by the Government of India, has been taken up for implementation in the State by the District Rural Development Agencies.

Co-operation

24.  The Co-operative Movement in the State is gaining momentum. There has been some improvement in the issue of loans and recovery of over dues by Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank. Steps to identify organizational and operational difficulties faced by the reorganised Service Co-operative Societies have been initiated.

25. The Meghalaya, State Co-operative Marketing and Consumer's Federation, as an apex marketing body, has been nailing marketing of cash crops like cotton, jute, ginger and handling marketing of cash crops like cotton, jute, ginger and of minor forest products like tezpata, grass brooms, etc. To give a fillip to its  marketing activities, the Federation  proposes to undertake processing of agricultural produce. It completed construction of 20 marketing godowns and will soon complete another 6 godowns. The Federation also proposes to open retail outlets for distribution of consumer articles in the border and other areas of the State. More stress  is being proposed to be given to the development of co-operatives established by the weaker  sections of labour and handloom co-operatives  that provide subsidiary economic activities. The Meghalaya State Housing Financing co-operative Society has till September 1984, disbursed Housing loans of Rs.63.84 lakhs to 261 individuals mostly belonging to the economically weaker sections. In view of the importance of the sector, the Housing Co-operative structure is proposed to be strengthened organizationally and financially to play its role effectively.

Flood Control and Medium Irrigation

26.  The  Public Works Department has taken up schemes for flood control. An area of 6,547 hectares was benefited through implementation of flood embankment and protection works during the first four years  of the Sixth Plan with an expenditure of about Rs.100.17 lakhs. The rongai Valley Irrigation Project is still awaiting clearance from the Government of India. During 1985-86 it is proposed to cover 550 hectares.

Power

27. The only on-going project in the Power Sector is the Umiam-Umtru Stage  IV Project with an installed capacity of 2x30 MW. There was considerable slippage in the implementation of this project due to delay inland acquisition for the Khri diversion works. It is expected that the land acquisition problem will be settled soon. During 1985-86, provision has been made for construction of the main tunnel system, the main dam and roads and buildings. The 132 KV. single transmission line from Nangalbibra to Tura has been completed and the sub-station at Ronagkhon is expected to be completed soon. The work on renovation and augmentation of the Shillong Electric  Supply System, will continue. The detailed project report  of the Leshka Hydel Project is expected to be ready soon. In the field of rural electrification till March 1984, 1,138 villages have been electrified constituting nearly 25 percent of the total villages in Meghalaya. It is expected that another 156 villages will be electrified in the current year. During the year 1985-86, it is proposed to electrify additional 197 villages.

Industries 

28. The activities of the Industries Department include promotional measures and these cover training programmes, assistance in procurement of scarce and controlled raw materials, provision of build-up accommodation in the industrial areas and at a few growth centres. It also provides land to industrial  units in the Industrial areas and grants-in-aid to trainees who have successfully completed the Departmental Training Courses. It continues to encourage the establishment of small, tiny and cottage industries to generate employment and increase production. The organizational structure at both the headquarters and the district levels are proposed to be strengthened. Steps have been taken to obtain qualified  technical personnel to man the district  industrial centres. Actions to set up two more District Industries Centres  at Nongstoin and Williamnagar have also been initiated. As all preliminary works regarding establishment of limestone and coal linkages have been established and land already identified and surveyed, it will be possible to start implementation of the Siju Cement Plant on receipt of the Central Government Investment decision.

29. The Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation, as a principal agency for the development of large and medium industries  had so far set up 10 projects with a total investment of Rs.211.62 lakhs creating employment for 865 persons paving the way for further industrial activities. During the year it initiated steps for setting up a Tantalum Capacitors Project, a starch manufacturing unit based on tapioca and a clay washery plant. the manpower training schemes with stipends for different disciplines in Engineering, Business Management,  Chartered Accountancy and other specialised courses will continue. The Corporation is continuing its efforts in locating local entrepreneurs for setting up industrial units. It will continue its other promotional activities like training programmes in various trades such as carpentry, steel fabrication, furniture making, paper making, leather work, tailoring, knitting and embroidery. The Khadi and Village Industries Board is rendering assistance to various village industries and 12 such schemes are in different stages of implementation.

Sericulture and Weaving

30. Sericulture and handloom play a pivotal role in uplifting the rural economy by providing  gainful employment to about 28 thousand persons mostly belonging to the weaker sections. rural based and employment oriented schemes taken up earlier have made an impact in boosting up production of cocoons. Strengthening of seed farms for increased production of superior silk-work seeds and adoption  of improved technology in rearing, reeling and spinning  will continue. New mulberry nursery, eri-silk farms, muga nursery and eri spinning centres are proposed to be set up. A cocoon processing centre for utilisation of  the cocoon and silk wastes is also proposed to be set up. Training of technical persons including establishment of a training institute for a certificate course  is proposed. Production  of quality handloom fabrics with emphasis on exclusive products through modernisation of handloom, establishment of production centres and providing technical knowhow to the weavers is proposed to be stepped up.

Mining and  Geology

31. In implementing its intensive programmes of mineral exploration, it is proposed to set up two district level offices with analytical laboratory to help speedy determination of the quality of minerals, with a view to supervise the mining activities and for collection of royalties on major  minerals. A new scheme, namely, a Remote Sensing Cell for geo-science is under consideration. A limestone quarry at Lumshnong and china clay quarry for the proposed clay washery at Darugiri are to be started soon.

Transport and Communication

 32. Road Communication  in our State is of vital importance for the people. The programme is therefore given top-most priority in the planning strategy and emphasis is given on establishing a net work of roads linking the agricultural belts, industrial and mining areas, and areas having substantial potential besides connecting the administrative headquarters. The State has achieved a total road length of 4,982 Kms including 1,806 Kms of surfaced road till March 1984 and expects to achieve a total road length of 5,107 kms by the end of March 1986. During the current year it is expected to achieve construction of  125 Kms of new road, improvement of 40 kms and 480 of Rms of bridges. The target for 1985-86 is construction of 110 kms of new roads, improvement of 45 kms of existing road and of 450 Kms. of bridges. The anticipated achievement of road length by the end of 1985-86 is of the order of 5,217.

33. The Meghalaya Transport Corporation operates services on 39 routes covering  a total length of 4,146 kms in 1984-85. Its buses are also operating as city  transport in Shillong for the benefit of school going children and office goers. The construction of the Central Workshop started earlier is now completed. Construction of station buildings at the District Headquarters is being taken up and that of the station building at Shillong is in good progress.

34. Fifty All India Omni-bus permits allotted to Meghalaya have been issued to suitable applicants.  Of the 400 All India Tourist Taxi Permits allotted to Meghalaya. 130 have been  issued to the applicants upto August 1984 and the remaining are being  advertised. In connection with the proposed air-field in Garo Hills, survey work has been completed and land acquisition proceedings are in progress.

35.  The State Government have moved the Government of India for improving postal and telecommunication facilities in the State more particularly in the rural areas. For this purpose the State Government have also extended  guarantee to the  Posts and Telegraphs Department for sharing of expenditure wherever necessary. The Government of India have also been moved to expand the telephone network in Shillong.

Tourism

36. Development of tourist infrastructure in the State will continue as in the previous years. Renovation work in Hotel Pinewood Ashok and other on-going schemes  are progressing satisfactorily. Improvement of some identified tourists spots in the State is being made . The commercial activities of the Directorate have been transferred to the Meghalaya  Tourism Development Corporation. Additional fund is being  transferred to the Corporation  to complete the remaining portion of the Shillong tourist Bungalow. The Meghalaya  Tourism Development Corporation is being assisted so that it can play a more effective role  in developing tourism as a potential revenue earning industry in the State. Construction  of a Drive-in-Restaurant, a Centrally assisted scheme will be taken up. 

Education

37. To meet the target of universalisation of elementary education, increased enrolment  is sought to be achieved by expansion of schooling facilities which include providing a second teacher in selected single teacher primary schools and replacement of thatched and temporary buildings by permanent ones in a phased manner. More non-formal education centres are proposed to be set up to enrol drop-out children for completion of studies up to M.E. level. Assistance to selected venture  middle and higher schools will be continued. In view of shortage of qualified science teachers special grants are proposed to be extended to additional aided Secondary School for entertainment of qualified teachers of science and mathematics and for procuring equipments. For promotion  of youth welfare activities, it has been decided to set up a Directorate of Sports. To provide basic infrastructure, assistance will continue for construction of a sports complex  at Shillong and to establish stadium or standard play grounds  at District and Sub-Divisional Headquarters. Mobile  library units are proposed to be provided in stages to the District libraries to reach the rural population and supplement the adult literacy programme as a follow-up measure.

Health and Family Welfare

38.  With a goal of achieving health for all by the year 2000 A.D., the Department has been geared up to provide health care facilities throughout the State. For achieving  this, the primary health care service being now catered from 29 primary health centres, 152 sub-centres and 52 dispensaries is proposed to be expanded. By the end of the current year, it is expected that the State will be covered  by 32 primary health centres, 217 sub-centres, 3 upgraded  health centres, 16 subsidiary health centres  and 36 dispensaries. The Ganesh Das and the R.P. Chest Hospitals at Shillong are still facing problem of accommodation inspite of the recent increase of beds. Construction of the T.B. centre at Lamin in Jaintia Hills and a temporary hospitalisation centre for leprosy patients at Umden are nearing completion. Construction of a 100 bedded hospital at  Tura is also in progress. The renovation and expansion of the Pasteur Institute, Shillong with financial assistance from the North Eastern Council is nearing completion. Production of vaccines in the Institute has increased considerably. The Department is also sponsoring MBBS and Pharmacists. Nurses training are also imparted at Shillong  and Tura. Construction of the Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Medical Sciences at Shillong is likely to be started soon.

Water Supply

39.  Safe drinking water supply is a basic human need.  The success of various programmes in the fields of health and social welfare depends primarily on availability of safe drinking water. This programme is an important segment of the 20 Point Programme. The Public Health Engineering Department has taken  up a number of rural and urban water supply schemes and till the end of March 1984, 1039 villages have been covered by these schemes and 430 more villages are likely to be covered in the current year. During 1985-86 a target to cover 460 villages under Rural Water Supply Schemes and 12 villages under the Border Areas Water Supply Scheme has been set. Construction of phase-I of the Greater Shillong  Water Supply Scheme and phase-II of the  Tura Water Supply scheme are in progress and expected to be completed during the coming year. The Department took up measures for ground water exploitation wherever found feasible. It is also proposed to take up schemes under the low cost sanitation programme in the major  towns and some villages. Construction  of the Phase-II of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme is proposed to be taken up next year.

Housing

40. The objective of the housing policy is reduction in the number of families without residential accommodation with a special emphasis on providing accommodation to the  rural population and to the economically weaker sections. In the Sixth Plan, construction of 651 houses is likely to be completed. During 1984-85, construction of houses for the economically weaker sections in rural and urban areas under 4 programmes has been started. Housing loans for the economically weaker sections has also been disbursed. During 1985-86, various rural and urban housing schemes including loans for low and middle income groups will continue. It is also proposed to set up a Housing Board and to strengthen the Directorate for a major thrust on evolving low cost designs and taking up pilot and demonstration projects of such designs under the rental and hire purchase scheme through introduction of new techniques, concepts and substitutes.

Town and Country Planning

41. The Town and Country Planning Department is preparing and implementing  developmental, plans for towns, growth centres and villages for their orderly growth and expansion. Developmental plans for the two district headquarters and three sub divisional headquarters have been p prepared. For enforcement of these plans, suitable legislative measures are being considered. Under the environmental improvement of slums, the target of the Sixth Plan of covering  20,000 persons is likely to be exceeded. The target for 1984-85 to cover 6000 persons is also expected to be achieved. For 1985-86, 8000 persons are proposed to be Covered under this programme. The Centrally Sponsored  Scheme of integrated development of small and medium towns extended to Tura earlier is likely to be completed during 1985-86. Under environmental  planning of rural areas, work in six areas have been initiated and will be intensified in the next year. All developmental projects and schemes are prepared keeping in view the need to preserve the ecological balance. The Planning  Cell has been entrusted with the tasks of suggesting measures for protecting environment, checking its  deterioration, implementation of schemes for protection and conservation. This cell is proposed to be strengthened in 1985-86. A State Level Environmental  Planning Board to prepare policy framework and guidelines for protection and conservation of environment is proposed to be set up.

Social Welfare

42. In the 3 training centres for women in need of care and protection being run by the Social Welfare Department at Shillong, Jowai and Tura, women are being trained in  different  trades like tailoring, knitting and embroidery. Scholarships are also given to physically handicapped students studying in schools inside and out. side the State. Grants-in-aid  are given to Voluntary Organisations engaged in welfare activities connected with destitute women and children. Eighteen voluntary organisations running orphanages are also given assistance. The scheme of old age pension to destitute persons at the rate of Rs.60/-  per month is also being implemented and so far 1330 persons have benefited. Vocational training like tailoring, carpentry, etc., are imparted to physically and mentally handicapped persons. The Special Nutrition Programme in urban areas is operated through Voluntary Women Welfare Organisations. Eleven Integrated Child Development Services Projects are being implemented. Grants-in-aid are also given to physically handicapped for purchase of artificial limbs and appliances. All these services are proposed to be continued for the year 1985-86

Labour

43. There were no closures, lock-outs, retrenchment or major industrial disputes during the year. Of the few complaints received, many have been settled amicably and so the State enjoyed a peaceful industrial relation during  the whole year. The Employees State Insurance  Scheme which provides medical care to the workers and their families have been implemented in  Shillong. At present, a total of 170 workers and their families are covered under the Scheme. It is proposed to implement the scheme in two new centres at Cherrapunjee and Byrnihat in the year 1985-86.

Border Areas Development

44. Government are anxious to rehabilitate the economy of the people of border areas by accelerating the pace of development. Special programmes have been taken up for the border areas to supplement the development efforts of various departments. The main thrust of the border areas development programmes are in the fields of roads and communications, agriculture including horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, soil conservation, sericulture and weaving and in improvement of marketing facilities. The students belonging to border areas are also financially assisted in the form of stipends and scholarships.

Revenue

45. The Join Official Committee  agreed to by the Chief Minister of Assam and Meghalaya during their meeting on the 26th May 1983, to suggest and identify the areas of difference  in the inter-State boundary, had submitted their reports  to their respective Governments. The Government are taking steps to consult different political parties and local chiefs on this issue and it is hoped that a final decision for amicable solution to the problem between the two neighboring states will be arrived at. As regards the international border with Bangladesh, the joint relay work for reconstruction and repairs of the missing and damaged boundary pillars are being done in consultation with the Government of Bangladesh. As recommended by the Land Reforms Commission, a Land Tenure Research Cell  has been established to implement the recommendation of the Commission to the extent possible.

46. The State was affected by flash floods during the year. Immediate steps for providing relief  were taken up to the affected people. Necessary measures have also been taken to provide assistance for rehabilitation and restoration of damages for which financial assistance from the Central Government has been sought for.

Information and Public Relations

47. Information and Public Relations  play an important role in educating the people and involving them in close collaboration with the official agencies in implementation of the development programmes of the State. The offices in all the District Headquarters and in the Sub-Divisional Headquarters at Baghmara and Nongpoh have been opened and two more offices are being opened in the Mairang and Amlarem Sub-Divisions. For providing information regarding development programmes in the rural areas, Rural Integrated Information Centres have been set up and more such centres are proposed to be set up in 1985-86. Next year the Department proposes to open two sub-divisional offices, to create an Exhibition wing in the Directorate and to set up photographic cells in the District offices.

Food and Civil Supplies

48. Supply position of foodgrains and other essential commodities in the State is, at present, satisfactory. But  as the bulk of requirements is imported from outside the State, the selling prices are governed by the prices at the procuring centres. The number of fair price shops opened in the State, has gone up to 2263 at the end of December 1984 as against 2046  at the end of December 1983. The Meghalaya Scheduled Articles (Display and Marketing of Prices) Order, 1975 is being enforced to help consumers.

Police and Home Guards

49. The law and order situation in the State is normal . The peaceful situation has been made possible on account of the cooperation of the public in general and effective steps taken by the Government. Constant vigil is maintained to keep the peace. The problem of infiltration of foreign nationals has been receiving due attention of the State and the Centre. Border Check Posts have been set up and special squads for checking and detecting infiltrators have been constituted in each District. 612 registered Village Defence Parties have also been organised to help the authorities in checking infiltration and detection or border crimes. So far, 561 Urban, 968 rural Home Guards and 708 Border Wing Home Guards are now deployed in the Indo-Bangladesh Border under the Border Security Force to check infiltration and smuggling.

Election

50. Polling to the Lok Sabha General  Election in the State was held on 28th December, 1984 and it passed off peacefully. the peaceful conduct of the election was possible due to the cooperation of the Political Parties contesting candidates and the electorates.

Statistics

51. The Directorate of Economics and Statistics is continuing with the work relating  to compilation of agricultural statistics, price statistics, economic census, census of Government employees, analysis of crop cutting experiments, etc. During the current year some trials were carried out on cultivation of jhum paddy to bring out the special factors of jhum practices to enable design suitable harvest survey of jhum crops. Similar trials are being taken in respect  of ginger and other cash crops of the State. An economic survey of the "Biate" community of Saipung in Jaintia Hills to bring out the basic economic characteristics of this community was undertaken. It is proposed to install a micro computer in the Directorate to facilitate quick  and accurate data processing.

52. Before I come to the Budget estimates for the next year, I would like to give a brief account of the actuals for 1983-84 based on the figures furnished by the Accountant General and the revised estimates for 1984-85.

Actuals for 1983-84

53. The year 1983-84 opened with a negative cash balance of Rs.917.22 lakhs. There was a total receipt of Rs.73,830.47 lakhs and a total expenditure of Rs.74,054.13 lakhs under all accounts resulting in a deficit of Rs.223.66 lakhs. This has increased the opening negative cash balance of Rs.971.22 lakhs to Rs.1,194.88 lakhs at the close of the year. The State Government, however, held  Rs.115 lakhs in the Government of India Treasury bills as on 31st March 1984. Taking this into account, the year virtually closed with a deficit of Rs.1,079.88 lakhs.

Revised estimates for 1984-85

54. According to the revised estimates for 1984-85, receipts on all accounts including Rs.115 lakhs from sale of treasury bills come to Rs.66,164.51 lakhs and expenditure of Rs.66,446.25 lakhs resulting in a deficit of Rs.281.74 lakhs. This is likely to increase the deficit  to Rs.1,476.62 lakhs at the close of the year. I would like to mention here that  in a joint review of the resource position of the State by the officials of the State Government, Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance held in December  1984, a resource gap of Rs.14.82 crores was worked out.

Budget estimates, 1985-86

55.  The year 1985-86 is estimated to open with negative cash balance of Rs.1,476.62 lakhs. The receipt on revenue account and expenditure from revenue have been estimated at Rs.17,927.94 lakhs and Rs.13,810.63 lakhs respectively. There will, thus be a surplus of Rs.4,117.31 lakhs on revenue account.

56. Outside revenue account the total estimated receipts and expenditure are Rs.52,337.18 lakhs and Rs.56,459.38 lakhs respectively resulting in a deficit of Rs.4,122.20 lakhs. Thus, there will be a nominal overall deficit of Rs.4.89 lakhs. An uncovered gap of Rs.1,481.51 lakhs has been indicated in the budget estimates.

57. In view of the abolition of Central Excise duty on electricity, the Governor of Meghalaya promulgated an  ordinance namely, "The Meghalaya Electricity Duty (Amendment) Ordinance, 1984" on the 5th of December 1984. It is proposed to replace the Ordinance by a permanent legislation which has been introduced in this august House for consideration. It is expected that this legislation will compensate the loss due to abolition of Central Excise Duty besides generating some additional resources.

58. As I have already indicated to the Honourable Members, the final shape of our Annual Plan is still  to be decided. We shall consider various measures to deal with the uncovered gap in  due course. Meanwhile efforts will be made for better collection of taxes, other revenues and recovery of loans and advances.

59. Honourable Members are aware that considerable progress has been made in our State both in social and economic fields after the creation of the State of Meghalaya. Substantial investments  in all spheres have been made for upliftment of the economic condition of our people, particularly members of the Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes. But much more remains to be done  for all-round development of our State which can be achieved only with full cooperation of the Honourable Members. I am confident that all of us will rise to the  occasion and effectively discharge our onerous responsibilities.

60. With these words, I commend the budget for 1985-86 for consideration and acceptance of this august House. As according to the Assembly calendar, it will not be possible to complete the detail discussions on the budget proposals in this session, I propose to move the House for voting and advance Grant and for sanctioning advance Appropriation to enable the Government to defray expenses for the first three months of the financial year.

JAI HIND.


ANNEXURE 

THE FINANCIAL POSITION FOR THE YEAR 1985-86 WITH CORRESPONDING POSITION IN THE PREVIOUS YEARS.      

 

Rupees in Lakhs
Heads Actuals Actuals Budget Revised Budgets
1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1984-85 1985-86
1 2 3 4 5 6
Opening Balance (-)14,59.67 (-)9,71.22 (-)1,14.44 (-)11,94.88 (-)14,76.62
Revenue Receipt 96,79.34 1,24,12.64 1,42,68.14 1,43,94.04 1,79.27.94
Capital Receipt under the Consolidated Fund 40,66.02 23,11.07 45,05.07 42,95.07 42,06.58
Capital Receipt under the Contingency Fund 1,47.90 1,78.80 1,75.06 13,84.05 2,00.00
Capital Receipt under the Public Account 4,40,73.48 5,89,27.96 4,59,76.36 4,60,91.35 4,79,30.60
TOTAL RECEIPT 5,79,66.74 7,38.30.47 6,49,24.63 6,61,64.51 7,02,65.12
GRAND TOTAL 5,65,07.07 7,28,59.25 6,48,10.19 6,49,69.63 6,87,88.50
Revenue Expenditure 85,02.62 99,56.33 1,10,66.14 1,12,28.79 1,38,10.63
Capital Expenditure under Consolidated Fund.    39,68.81 47,84.79 77,64.62 72,42.06 81,03.73
Capital Expenditure under the Contingency Fund 1,47.90 1,78.80 1,75.06 13,84.05 2,00.00
Capital Expenditure under Public Account 4,48,58.96 5,91,34.21 4,58,56.36 4,65,91.35 4,81,55.60
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 5,74,78.29 7,40,54.13 6,48,62.18 6,64,46.25 7,02,70.01
Closing Balance (-)9,71.22 (-)11,94.88 (-)51.99 (-)14,76.62 (-)14,81.51
GRAND TOTAL 5,65,07.07 7,28,59.25 6,48,10.19 6,49,69.63 6,87,88.50
NET RESULT :-
(a) On Revenue Account (+)11,76.72 (+)24,56.31 (+)32,02.00 (+)31,65.25 (+)41,17.31
(b) Outside Revenue Account (-)6,88.27 (-)26,79.97 (-)31,39.55 (-)34,46.99 (-)41,22.20
(c) All Accounts   excluding the opening and closing   Balances.  (+)4,88.45 (-)2,23.66 (+)62.45 (-)2,81.74 (-)4.89

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