The Assembly met at 9.00 A.M. on the 20th March, 1973 in the Assembly Chamber with the Speaker on the Chair.
Prof. R. S. Lyngdoh, Speaker in the Chair, Five Minister, Two Ministers of the State and Fifty-Two Members.
(To which oral replies were given)
MR. SPEAKER :- Let us take Starred Question No.5.
Number of vacancies of Posts of B. D. Os.
SHRI NIMOSH SANGMA asked : -
*5. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to State —
The number of vacancies of posts Block Development Officers in the different District of Meghalaya during 1972?
When does Government propose to fill up the vacant posts?
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Community Development) replied : -
(a) - Seven (7) post of Block Development Officers are lying vacant in the District of Garo Hills only.
(b) - Very shortly.
MR. SPEAKER :- Any Supplementary question?
SHRI NIMOSH SANGMA (Dalu S.T.) :- 5 (b), may we know what action the Government has taken to fill up the vacant posts?
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the moment we put the Senior Extension Officer, to hold in-charge of these vacant posts. The Government is yet to decide a policy to deal with this matter. Since no more Officers belonging to A.C. S., Class II Cadre are available to fill up the vacant post of B.D.Os., the Government will shortly take a decision on this matter after due consideration.
SHRI NIMOSH SANGMA :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the posts will be made permanent?
SHRI W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, the entire question of manning these Blocks by suitable Officers to under the consideration of the Government and till final decision is made by the Government in this regard, it is too early at this stage to give definite reply as to whether these posts will be made permanent or not?
MR. SPEAKER :- Let us pass on the Starred Question No.6. (Not put, Member being absent).
(To which answers were laid on the Table)
SHRI RANINDRA RABHA asked :
|7. Will the Minister-in-charge of Revenue be pleased to state —|
|(a)||Whether Government propose to demarcate the Assam-Meghalaya Boundary?|
|(b)||If not, why not?|
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Revenue) replied :
|7.||(a) -The matter is under examination.|
|(b) -Does not arise.|
SHRI P. SANGMA asked :
8. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to state—
Whether it is a fact that Government propose to fill up the vacant posts B. D. Os. by promoting 43 per cent of the senior most Extension Officers and by appointing 60 per cent from amongst the intending Sub-Inspector of Schools as is done in Assam?
If so, what steps Government have taken so far?
Whether any Sub-Inspector of Schools in Garo Hills applied for these posts?
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Revenue) replied :
(a) - No, there is no such proposal.
(b) - Does not arise.
(c) - Yes, one application was received. The application could no be considered in view of (a) above.
SHRI PLEANDER G. MOMIN asked :
9. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to state—
Whether it is a fact that quite a good number of posts B.D.O. are still lying vacant in Garo Hills District for the last several years?
If so, the reason for not filling up those posts?
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Revenue) replied :
|9.||(a) - Seven (7) posts of Block Development Officers are lying vacant in Garo Hills with effect from the date shown against each as follows -|
|(1)||Rongram Development Block 11.01.1972.|
|(2)||Zikzak Development Block 18.11.1972.|
|(3)||Dalu Development Block 01.12.1972.|
|(4)||Selsella Development Block 19.08.1972.|
|(5)||Dambukaga Development Block 11.04.1971.|
|(6)||Chokpot Development Block 05.05.1972.|
|(7)||Dadenggiri Development Block 21.07.1972.|
(b) - According to the existing practice 80 per cent of posts of Block Development Officers are filled up by Officers belonging to A.C. S. Blocks. In view of the acute shortage of A.C. S. Class II Officers the vacant posts in Garo Hills could not be filled up? It has been decided as a temporary measure to appointment deserving Extension Officers to these posts.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 9 (a), may we know the number of Development Blocks in Garo Hills District having B.D.Os. at present?
SHRI EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, only 4 (four) Development Blocks have got B.D.Os.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, but the total number of Development Blocks is 11.
MR. SPEAKER :- Unstarred Question No.10.
SHRI MANINDRA RABHA asked :
|10. Will the Minister-in-charge of Information and Public Relations be pleased to state—|
|(a)||Whether there was any publication of news magazine or bulletin by the State Information and Public Relations Department by the District Information departments in Khasi and Garo language?|
|(b)||If yes, whether these are made available to the M.L.As, M.D.Cs for their information and guidance?|
|(c)||Whether the District Information Public Relations Officer, Tura has been provided with vehicle?|
|(d)||If not, why not?|
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State, Public Relations) replied :
|10.||(a) - Yes, Sir.|
|(b) - Yes, Sir.|
|(c) - Yes, Sir,|
|(d) - Does not arise.|
SHRI MANINDRA RABHA (Tikrikilla) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 10 (b) though the reply is 'yes' but copies of such bulletin and magazine are not received by us.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I put a supplementary question 10 (b). Though the reply is 'yes' but some of the M.L.As were excluded.
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State, Public Relations) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, no M.L.As are excluded. I would like to say that those pamphlets and letters etc., issued by the Department may have gone astray in transit.
SHRI SIBANDRA NARAYAN KOCH (Mendipathar) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the Minister-in-charge sand that M.L.As are being supplied with such bulletins etc., issued by the Public Relation Department out Sir, I have not received anything.
MR. SPEAKER :- When the Minister said the no M.L.A. has been excluded by the Office, it may be that these is something wrong in between. So I only tell the Minister that in future they must check up in the Post and Telegraph Department.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we want to have a definite information of the bulletins sent to M.L.As.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as stated by the Minister of State, as a rule and as a matter of fact all the M.L.As and M.D.Cs. should get copies but since the hon. Members complained that they have not received a copy of those bulletins, the Government will look into the matter as early as possible.
SHRI MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the bulletins come regularly?
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State, Public Relations) :- Yes, regularly in the same that some of them are quarterly and some of them monthly.
MR. SPEAKER :- Let us on to Unstarred Question No.11.
SHRI ENOWELL POHSHNA asked :
|11. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -|
|(a) The cost of Calendar of Meghalaya for the year 1973?|
|(b) The name of the firm printing the same?|
|(c) Whether M. L. As. are supplied with the Calendar?|
|(d) If so, when?|
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State, Public Relations) replies :
|11.||(a) - Rupees 35,700.|
|(b) - The Prasad Process Press, Madras.|
|(c) - Yes, Sir.|
|(d) - During the mouth of February and early March.|
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 11 (b) may we know why printing has to be sent up to Madras?
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State, Public Relations) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we wanted the best result and we selected the best Printing Press.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether this is the cheapest rate?
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State, Public Relations) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not the cheapest.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- May we understand, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that it is the highest.
MR. SPEAKER :- You have no right to cross examine the Minister.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- I just want to get the information, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
MR. SPEAKER :- We know very well that in making decision the result is not the highest or the lowest but the most dependable.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 11 (c) how many copies of the calendar were supplied to the M.L.A.s?
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State, Public Relations) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Department was instructed to issue 5 copies of the Calendar to each M.L.A.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, why in the reply the word 'February' and early 'March' cannot be be substituted by March?
MR. SPEAKER :- This across examination.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we just want to get the correct answer.
MR. SPEAKER :- When I came to know that some of the M.L.As. did get copies of the calendar, I would request the Department concerned to send the same to you. This is a secondary stage and let us pass on to unstarred Question No.12.
SHRI FRANCIS K. MAWLOT asked :
12. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to State—
(a) The number of Sister-tutors in the Civil Hospital, Shillong?
(b) The date of appointment of the same and their scale of pay?
SHRI SANDFORD K. MARAK (Health Minister) replied :
(a) - There is no Sister-tutors in the Civil Hospital, Shillong at present.
(b) - Date of appointment does not arise in view of (a) above. The scale of pay of a Sister-tutor is Rs. 200 to Rs. 500.
SHRI SAMENDRA SANGMA asked : -
13. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to state—
The purpose of the Crash Programme Scheme?
The date on which the Crash Programme Schemes were implemented in Garo Hills and in order district of the State during the year 1972-73?
|(c)||Whether it is a fact that the Crash Programme Scheme could not be implemented in time during the year 1972-73?|
|(d)||Whether Government proposed to take up such Crash Programme Scheme during each financial year in the State in good time?|
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Community Development, etc.) replied :
(a) - The basic objective of the Crash Scheme for Rural Employment is the direct generation of employment in all the Districts of the country through execution of the projects which are essentially labour intensive and the production of assets of a during nature in consonance with local development plan.
(b) - The Project under Crash Schemes for Rural Employment have been implemented after these are accorded sanction as indicated below :-
|Garo Hills :||6 (six) blocks have been accorded sanction in November, 1972 and 5 (five) in January, 1973.|
|Khasi Hills :||4 (four) blocks have been accorded financial sanction November, 1972 2 (two) in December, 1972, 3 (three) in January, 1973 and 1 (one) in February, 1973.|
|Jaintia Hills :||3 (three) blocks have been accorded financial sanction in January, 1973.|
|(e) - The schemes are implemented in time except in some blocks.|
|(d) - Yes, subject to Government of India, continuing the schemes.|
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 13 (b) may we know from the Minister-in-charge whether the work in Jaintia Hills has been started?
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, they all have been started.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is not the reply.
MR. SPEAKER :- It seems that the Minister has not checked up.
SHRI EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, Community Development) :- Yes Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not checked up.
MR. SPEAKER :- In other words you require notice.
The question are over
MR. SPEAKER :- Now, item 2 of the list of business. Mr. S.D. Khongwir to call the attention of the Chief Minister, but of course the Minister of State for P.W.D. will make a statement, to news item published in the Young India, dated the 8th February, 1973, under the caption "Tragedy of expertise in Crinoline Falls".
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly to a news-item published in the Young India dated 8th February, 1973 under the caption "Tragedy of expertise in Crinoline Falls:. I would like to request the Minister to kindly make a statement.
SHRI GROHONSING MARAK (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Shillong Municipal Board at an emergent meeting of the members held on 9th March, 1971 under the Chairmanship of Shri P.R. Kyndiah adopted resolution requesting the Government to undertake the work of tapping the Crinoline Falls for augmenting supply of water to the Lachumiere area in the Shillong Town and sanction a loan of Rs.1,90,000. The scheme is expected to yield 1,15,000 gallons per day (approximately) in the dry season as per the statement of the Chairman, Shillong Municipal Board.
The above resolution was moved by the Municipal Councilor, Shri K Chatterjee, Editor of Young India and adopted by the Municipal Board. Accordingly a detailed estimate was drawn up after joint inspection with the officers of Shillong Municipal Board and the estimate was duly approve by the Chairman, Shillong Municipal Board on 13th March, 1974.
The Government of Meghalaya has sanctioned a loan or Rs.50,000 as a part of the first instalment of the loan of Rs.1,90,000 to the Shillong Municipal Board during the year 1972 and Shillong Municipal Board has deposited Rs.50,000 with the Public Health Executive Engineer, Shillong with the request to the Government to release the balance amount or Rs.1,40,000 direct to Public Health Engineering Department.
The work was commended in June, 1972. The intake and the gravity main was completed and connected upto the Municipal main below the Brightwell bungalow as per the sanctioned estimate. It is observed daily more than 1,15,000 gallons per day was being supplied through the Municipal mains. On 13th March 1973 the water supplied from Crinoline Fall was observed at 1,72,000 gallons per day. The construction work on the scheme is still under progress due to failure on the part of the Shillong Municipal Board to deposit the second instalment of Rs.1,40,000 with the Public Health Engineering Department.
The distribution system of Shillong was controlled by the Shillong Municipal Board and the Public Health Engineering Department has no control over the said system. It is upto the Shillong Municipal Board utilise this extra quantity of water of approximately 1,15,0 gallon during dry season in the best interests of the prayers especially in scarcity area. This probably could not be done effectively due to the defective and outmoded distribution system existing in Shillong.
In a meeting held on 14th March, 1973 in the room of the Chief Minister of Meghalaya the members of the Shillong Municipal Board have suggested that the entire water of Crinoline Falls should be diverted to Barabazar. Accordingly the Public Health Engineering Department has drawn up a scheme for diversion with a booster pump and the same is under the consideration of the State Government
The report of the Engineering Correspondent of Young India on 8th February 1973 characterizing the scheme as failure was totally false and malicious and appears to have been published with certain ulterior motives defaming the Public Health Engineering Department.
MR. SPEAKER :- Now, we will pass on to item No.3. But before I call upon the Finance Minister to present the budget and make the budget speech, may office will distribute the budget speech to all the hon. Members.
SHRI B. B. LYNGDOH (Finance Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the year which is drawing to a close has been the first year after the attainment of full Statehood of Meghalaya.
The achievements made in the first year of our full Statehood marked the beginning of our march to the path of progress and all round development of Meghalaya. We have settled down with confidence to the task of building up our economy and taking up programmes which would facilitate the State's onward march to prosperity and the growth of a self generating economy.
2. As hon. members are aware the nation is at present engaged in the task of formulating the Fifth Five Year Plan which will be the blue print for the development of the nation during the five years' period. We have also formulated our approach to the next Plan. While agreeing to the national objective of increase in the rate of economic growth, elimination of poverty and provision on increasing employment opportunity by fulfillment of the "Minimum Needs" Programme, we have also emphasised the problem of regional imbalances and difficulties left by the backward areas and backward States. We have stressed that one of the main objectives of the Plan should be to remove such imbalances and to bring up the backward areas to the level of development of the rest of the country. It is hoped that this objective will be fully kept into consideration by the Government of India while finalising the outlays for the State's Fifth Five Year Plan.
3. I would now like to mentioned briefly some of the broad trends in the Nation's economy which have bearing on the economy of our State. For the second year in succession in Indian economy had to go through considerable strain during 1971-72 was one of the most difficult years which the country has faced since Independence mainly because of the influx of Bangladesh refugees and War with Pakistan. When the economy was recovering frOm the impact difficulties of 1971, several factors led to the slowing down of the recovery. There has been inadequate rainfall in a considerably large para of the country as a result of which the agricultural production received a severe set-back with serious implications for the country's' food position. Despite the prospects of better rabi crops, the fall in foodgrains production is estimated at 4-5 millions tonnes and the total production would only be around 100 million tonnes during the year. There was marked improvement in the rate of industrial production from 4 per cent to 7 per cent but this was not sufficient to offset the decline in the foodgrains and the set-back in cash crops. As a result of these, these growth of the National Income may not exceed 2 per cent which is the same as in the preceding year. The rise in the wholesale process in 1972 has been 7.8 percent and is nearly double that in 1971. In December 1972, the wholesale price index was 13.7 percent higher than in December, 1971. The index for foodgrains was up by 17 per cent and of industrial raw materials by 18 percent. In the first week of February, 1973, wholesale price of cereals was 16.2 per cent higher than the level a year ago. All these have posted considerable problems.
We need not, however, take a pessimistic view of country's inherent strength. As pointed out earlier, the rate of industrial growth has shown sings of recovery and the growth in textiles has been 27 percent. There has been marked evidence of recovery in transport equipment and chemicals, non-metallic minerals, rubber products and non-electrical machinery. Exports performance has been good in the first eight months. Given normal weather conduction there is every reason to hope that agricultural production should improve and the economy will look up. With sufficient increase in commodity production, an increase of 5 percent in the National Income may become a reality.
4. There is, no doubt that economic forces in the country will be having their impact in the State to a large extent. Available statistics suggest that the overall performance of the State's economy has been quite fair during the past year specially when considered against the background of its special problems, both inherent as well as those created as a result of last year's massive refugee influx. There has been a total improvement in the foodgrains production over the years in Meghalaya. The foodgrains production has improved from 1.24 lakhs tonnes in 1970-71 to 1.36 lakhs tonnes in 1971-72 and is likely to approach the target 1.65 lakhs tonnes during 1972-73. The production of cement of the only major industrial unit, namely, the Cherrapunjee Cement Factory has unfortunately shown a decline to 47,900 tonnes in 1972 from its production figures of 74,400 tonnes in 1971 due to various reasons. There has been a steady rise in the production of limestone and, for the first time commercial production of Clay was reported and the quantity raised by the Cherra Cement Authorities was 11,597 tonnes during 1972. Production of coal has also shown consistent sign of recovery.
The improvement of the position in respect of certain sectors, as pointed out, could not, however, counter the power the powerful influence of the Country-wide Economic Forces as stated earlier and this is evident from the steep price rise in most of the items which followed the pattern of the All India Trend. The rise in whole-sale and retail prices in Meghalaya was much more than in the rest of the country and the North Eastern Region due to the difficulties to transport and communications in the State.
5. The problem of increasing unemployment in general and among the educated unemployed persons in particular has to be tackled with vigorous efforts. It is proposed to strengthen the machinery of the Employment Directorate. Besides, the other measures contemplated are the appointment of a State Manpower-cum-Employment Officer who would be entrusted with the function of advising the Government regarding the necessary measures to be taken for coping with the problem and for schemes and the Government decisions taken in this regard. The increased generation of employment opportunities is one of the important objectives of our Plan Schemes. Apart from the creation of more employment opportunities through the developmental schemes and through the increase in the level of economy by accelerating the growth in Agriculture, Veterinary, Transport and Communications and other employment generating sectors, the Special Employment Programmes drawn up in the context of growing unemployment in the country are being implemented. Mention may be made of the Special Employment Programme and the crash programme for employment which aim at creation of more employment opportunities by utilising the surplus man-power for the creation of permanent by assets of developmental nature such as roads, bridges and minor irrigation work.
Due to the shifting of the Assam Government capital, the economy of Shillong and the areas around is also likely to receive a temporary setback. The State Government are aware of these problems and are undertaking various measures in this connection. A crash schemes for creation of additional employment opportunities through various schemes has been drawn up and submitted to the Government of India. The benefits under the proposed crash programme will be available to the educated unemployed persons of the State as well as to the tribal employees at present working under the Assam Government. The question of establishment of more Central offices in Shillong and absorption of people from Meghalaya into the jobs in the Central offices in Shillong has been stressed upon the Government of India.
6. The State Government are keenly aware of the suffering and distress prevailing in the border areas due to the suspension of border trade. It is an acknowledged fact that the development programmes in the area have not kept pace with the requirements. The economic condition in the border areas has shown deterioration as a combined effect of all these factors. A crash scheme for marketing of border produces was undertaken with a view to facilitating the disposal of the border produces at reasonable prices both inside and outside the State. Test relief measures were also undertaken in the areas with a view to relieving distress among the people. The programme for development of border areas submitted to the Government of India includes the scheme for setting up of a Corporation for marketing of border produces as well as the schemes for improving communications and building up the necessary infra-structure decided in the light of the special conditions in border areas. Through the Government of India's approval and sanction for financial assistance for the integrated programme for the development of border areas is still awaited, we have been marking provisions for border areas development schemes in our Plan Budget in spite of constraint of resources and paucity of allocations.
The hon. Members are also aware of the problem of shifting cultivation and the necessity of grouping of villages particularly in Garo Hills. We have been proposing to the Government of India the undertaking of a special programme for the purpose outside the State Plan. The undertaking of the programme has been accepted in principle by the Planning Commission and the Government of India and a pilot project will be undertaken during the next year with an outlay of Rs.11 lakhs which will be supplemented with such funds as may be found necessary.
7. When Meghalaya was created as an Autonomous State, the outlay for the Forth Plan was fixed at Rs.38 cross by taking out at share of the Assam Hills plan outlay. Now, that Meghalaya has become a full State, it has to get a share of the outlay of the General Plan of the Assam only the Hills Plan State also. At the time of allocation of the Plan to Meghalaya only the Hills Plan outlay was divided as between Meghalaya and the Hill Areas of the rest of Assam. It would be evident that the outlay for the Plan of Meghalaya drawn on the basis of Rs.38 crores were extremely inadequate and left no scope for expenditure for the State-level schemes. In addition, the Shillong Municipal and the Cantonment areas have been transferred. to the Meghalaya Government with effect from 21st January 1972. As such, the responsibility of continuing the Developmental schemes undertaken by the Government of Assam in these areas has devolved upon the Government of Meghalaya without any corresponding increaser in the Plan outlay. The matter has been taken up with the Planning Commission which has proposed to arrange a discussion with the various Ministers and the Government of Assam. In the meantime, the Government have requested the Government of India for release of ad-hoc funds to meet the commitments which have developed on the State in this regard.
8. Since the growth of every sector is dependent upon good communication facilities, which are ill-developed in Meghalaya, the foremost priority is given to the building of roads for crating the infra-structure for development. A very high priority also been assigned to agriculture and other allied programmes in order to enable increased production of foodgrains. Great emphasis has also been laid on measures to promote diversified and more suitable Patten of agriculture and in this context the programme for controlling shifting cultivation has assumed new importance. The Plan has also laid emphasis on the creation of infra structure to enable development and economic utilisation of the State's natural resources in the industrial field. With regard to Social Services, increased facilities for education, health and medical care, water supply, housing and social welfare, have been provided. The District Councils have been given importance they deserve to participate in the development of the State through assistance to implement their own Plan with funds from the State Plan.
9. As regard the progress in the implementation of the Fourth Plan, a comprehensive review has been attempted at some length in a supplement brought out separately. For the first Annual Plan of the State, that is, for the year 1970-71 the State Plan provided for an outlay of Rs.7.25 crores. Against this the expenditure amounted to Rs.7.56 crores. Due to severe limitations like lack of personnel and delayed beginning this high performance was made possible by taking up projects in other sectors notably road. In the second year of the Plan, i.e., 1971-72, the outlay fixed was Rs.7.95 crores. It may be remembered that during this year the State has passed through server stress and strain on account of the disturbance in the then East Pakistan. The total expenditure recorded in that was Rs.7.04 crores, which fell short of the target. For the year 1972-73 the outlay originally fixed was Rs.8.25 crores which included the amount of Rs.1.03 crores representing the State's share of resources mobilisation for financing the Annual Plan. There has been a short fall in recourses foe to non-availability of LIC loans. The implementation of the Annual Plan is in progress and it is expected that the outlay expended would total to Rs.8.09 crores.
10. The Annual Plan for the coming year was scrutinised and considered in detail in the State Planning Advisory Council and the State Planning Board before it was submitted to the Government of India. Against the State's proposal for Rs.13.69 crores for the next year, the Planning Commission has agreed to an outlay of Rs.12 crores for the State", Annual Plan. This Marks an overall increase of about 45 percent over the current year's Plan. As stated earlier, the Government are also following up the question of additional requirement on account of additional schemes for Meghalaya. In addition, the outlay on Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored programmes to be executed by the State Government as such as Family Planning Schemes. Small Farmers, Marginal Farmers and agricultural Labourers Development projects, accelerate water supply schemes, crash schemes, and special schemes for employment are expected to continue with increase outlay.
11. The Plan outlay for the next year, also, includes a provision of Rs.50 lakh for advance action programme for the Fifth Plan. These programmes will be such as to facilitate the achievement of accepted goals and targets for the next five year plan.
12. The Government have constituted the State Planning Advisory Council to advice Government on various matters regarding the Firth Plan and the annual plans. The Government have also set up a State Planning Board with the Chief Minister as the Chairman and the Planning Minister as the Deputy Chairman. The Government have also decided to set up the District Planning Boards and District Planning Officers are being appointed in the Districts.
13. The board objective in the sphere of Agriculture is to increase the production of foodgrains so as ultimately make the State self-sufficient in this regard. The approach and strategy envisaged for increasing the agricultural production for the year 1973-74 is to increase the area under assured irrigation substantially and to popularise the adoption of scientific methods of cultivation. The total anticipated production under foodgrains during the year 1972-73 is 1,65,200 tonnes as against the production of 1,37,230 tonnes during 1971-72. For the next year the target has been fixed at 1,88,000 tonnes. The other important programmes in the agriculture field include demonstration in cultivators' fields, training of personnel and progressive cultivators, land reclamation, conducting applied research and intensifying, the programme for introduction of improved and high yielding verities. Although emphasis has been given to the increase of area under cereals, due attention is being paid to the development of cash crops like potato, jute, cotton, ginger, etc. The anticipated expenditure on agriculture programmes including minor irrigation under plan schemes during the current year was Rs.90 lakhs an against the actual expenditure of Rs.66.38 lakhs during 1971-72. Out of the plan allocation of Rs.123 lakhs for 1973-74 the amount of Rs.41 lakhs has been provided for minor irrigation and the rest earmarked for agricultural production, land reforms, research, education and training.
14. To evolve suitable verities of crops for different agro-climatic condition prevailing in the State, research work has been taken up and two research stations have been established one in Shillong and another at Tura. This year it is proposed to established another station at Jowai. The research stations will also carry out work on diseases and pets and also in horticulture with special emphasis on the disease of "die-back" of citrus and infected orchards. Research on soil problems and soil analysis for proper use of fertilisers will also be carried out.
15. The Small Farmers, Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labours Development Agencies have made significant progress during the year under review. As indicated in my last speech, the main functions of the agencies are to identify the eligible participants, investigate their problems and formulate suitable programme with a view to removing the imbalance in rural economy and providing larger employment opportunities. In Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills project, an expenditure of Rs.28 lakhs has been incurred and the target of expenditure of Rs.1 crore is expected to be reached in the coming year. This project has initiated a new methodology in the realm of co-operative movement by starting multi-purpose. Co-operative Society in Mawryngkneng Block with the expected membership of about 10,000 persons. This agriculture based Co-operative Society will embrace all co-operative activities which are aimed at helping the Farmer, and will entertain competent managerial and technical staff to implement ambitious development Schemes. Presently, a potato cultivation schemes benefiting 3000 farmers with a total outlay of Rs.92 lakhs is under examination. Similarly, six more schemes are under examination for this Co-operative Society. All these schemes are likely to benefit about ten thousand small farmers, marginal farmers and agricultural labours besides other who would get seasonal employment under the rural works programme. It is expected that this new experiment, if successful, will usher in a new era of economic prosperity through co-operative movement. In the Garo Hills project, emphasis has been placed on Community Irrigation Schemes. The scheme are now ready for implementation and by the end of the financial year 1973-74, about Rs.60 lakhs will have been spent benefiting a population of about ten thousand small and marginal farmers.
It is proposed to expend the area und the Horticulture through supply of planting materials to growers at subsidies rates. Establishment of progeny orchards and training of gardeners are also being taken up. The anticipated expenditure during 1972-73 is Rs.4.20 lakhs while the proposed outlay for 1973-74 is Rs.6.85 lakhs.
16. The main schemes of Animal Husbandry Department aims at the strengthening the livestock and poultry farms to meet the requirement of breeding stocks and augmenting production of milk, meat and eggs which will help farmers to have subsidiary income. The programmes also aim at educating the farmers in modern technology necessary for scientific production of livestock and dairy husbandry. The State of Meghalaya with its congenial climatic condition has immense potential for livestock development and dairy industry. During the Fourth Plan Period there has been significant increase in the production of milk-the production of milk going up to above 20 lakhs litres at the end of the year 1971-72 as against 8 lakhs litres at the end of 1968-69. Similarly, egg production has registered an increase of 5 lakhs by the end of 1971-72. During by last speech I had occasion to refer to the Indo-Danish Project at Upper Shillong for reorganisation the Upper Shillong Livestock Farm and imparting training to local farmers in the modern methods of management and rearing of animals. It is excepted that the Government of Denmark will provide over 120 cows and 12 pedigreed bulls through the Government of India. As Intensive Cattle Development Project has been established in Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The Planning Commission has approved in principle the establishment of one Composite Livestock Farm in Garo Hills. One key village Block has been taken up at Laskein in Jaintia Hills and another key village is also party being established in Garo Hills.
17. With a view to popularizing balanced feeding of livestock and poultry, a Feed Mill with grinding and mixing capacity of 3 tonnes feed per hour has been established at Naya bungalow. The Fodder Demonstration Farm at Upper Shillong tried cattle fodder suitable for high high altitudes. As regards sheep development, the topography of the State appears suitable but the heavy rainfall has always been a liming factor. A Sheep and Goat Farm is being established in Jaintia District and Mawnai Sheep Unit has taken u extension work. The Poultry Farm Complex at Naya bungalow has registered commendable progress in poultry development; the poultry farms at Tura and Jowai, however, need further strengthening to meet the growing need of the farmers. Non-availability of pedigreed black pigs coupled with the prevalence of swine fever have posed problem for the piggery development programme. The State has acquired 16 foreign pedigreed black pigs through the help of the Government of India and they have also been approached for vaccines for the diseases.
During the current year the Government have reserved 25 seats in various Veterinary Colleges for B.V. Sc. and A.H. Course.
18. The Chilling Plant established at Naya bungalow is processing about 4000 litres of milk daily, and the Town Milk Supply Scheme at Shillong is handling about 1200 litres of milk per day. The Dairy Extension Scheme at Jowai is trying to educate our farmers the processing of dairy product. The Creamery and Ghee Making Centre has been established in Garo Hills, which would encourage local farmers to take up breeding of cattle and marketing of ghee, cream and butter.
19. The people of Meghalaya have to depend entirely on neighboring areas for supply of fish, both fresh and dry . The main aim of fishery development is to utilise available resources for production of protein food for the growing population. There is a provision of Rs.20 lakhs for fishery development during the Fourth Five-Year Plan and a sum of Rs. 8 lakhs has been provided for 1973-74 for taking up different schemes. The target of fish production is 400 tonnes for Meghalaya during 1973-74.
20. The use of Metric Weights and Measures has been made compulsory in all transactions in the State. the State Government have taken steps for proper introduction and enforcement of the Metric System. A programme for planned publicity for educating the people has been taken up. The response in general seems to be quite encouraging.
21. This year has witnessed a steady progress in the co-operative movement of the State with the government taking vigorous steps to streamline the growth of the cooperative societies in the rural as well as urban areas. There has been appreciable increase in the quantum of loans issued to the cultivators by the Apex Bank through the Service Co-operative Societies. The Assam Hills Development Corporation has distributed a larger quantity of fertilizer and bone-meal. For ensuring suitable storage facilities, special emphasis has been placed on the construction of godowns. Over and above the annual programme for the current year for construction of 21 godowns of 150 metric tonnes capacity and 10 godowns of 350 metric tonnes capacity, the National Co-operative Development Corporation is being moved for assistance for the construction of godowns of 100 metric tonnes capacity each. The 37½ percent of the total loan amounting to Rs.4.20 lakhs will be borne by the State Government as subsidy, the rest granted as loan by the Corporation. A' State Ware-Housing Corporation is also proposed to be set up for providing better, and more modern type of storage facilities.
22. Steps to re-organise the Consumer Co-operatives are also being undertaken in order to identify the viable units and also to implement the consumer's programme in close collaboration with the National Co-operative consumer's Federation. The performance of the urban banks in Shillong is extending credit has been encouraging. The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank is also examining the question of opening branches in the rural areas. It is proposed to convert the Assam Hills Co-operative Development Corporation into the State Apex Marketing Society.
23. One of the most important steps taken in this sector during the current year is the joint survey of the credit structure in the State conducted by the Reserve Bank of India, the Apex Bank and the Co-operative Department. The main aim is to re-organise the societies on firm and sound lines with a view to making them viable units. As the Hon'ble Members are aware, the Co-operative Sector, has a tremendous role to play in the economic development of the State and it is hoped that the recommendation of the joint survey will go a long way in making it possible to implement the co-operative programme on better lines. The approved outlay for 1973-74 for the sector is Rs.37.00 lakhs.
24. We have a total of 24 blocks in the State out of which 7 blocks are in Stage II and 17 blocks in Post-Stage II. An amount of Rs.21.00 lakhs has been provided under the State Plan and Rs.29.24 lakhs in the normal budget for implementing C.D. Programmes. The Tribal Development programme is superimposed in all these C.D. Blocks, 12 of them operating in T.D. Stage II and another 12 in T.D. Stage III. An amount of Rs.36.00 lakhs has been provided for the activities of Tribal Development Blocks.
The Applied Nutrition Programme for meeting problem of malnutrition in the villages, about which I made mention during last year, has been in operation in 5 blocks in the State and will be continued in 1973-74. Two of the operative ANP blocks, Viz. Resubelpara and Mylliem will complete their period of operation by the end of 1972-73 and the Government of India have been requested to allot two additional blocks during 1973-74. The expenditure to be incurred under this programme will be Rs.1.70 lakhs under Central Assistance and Rs.1.25 lakhs out of C.D. Budget. The Special Nutrition Programme, which was started for providing supplementary nutrition to the younger group of children belonging to the weaker section of the community and nursing mothers, will be continued during 1973-74.
25. The optimum utilisation of the forest resources, which forms one of the most important renewable natural assets of the State, is very essential both for earning revenue as well as generating employment avenues in the rural sector. There has been an increase of 16 percent in the revenue earnings of the Sate from this sector. Further measures for proper management of forests with the co-operation of the District Councils are being studied. Under the Plan scheme due stress has been given to the raising of the plantations of economic species like Teak, Sal, etc., as well as medicinal plants like Ipecac. For exploiting forest produces in the interior, expansion of communications has been taken up and about 9 km. of new roads were constructed during last year. In order to protect rare plant and animals, preliminary steps have been taken to create a Small Zoo in Lady Hydari Park a Deer Park in the Umiam Lake area and an Orchid Sanctuary near Jowai. In the existing Botanical Garden, some improvement work has been taken up. For manning various posts of technical nature in the department, a scheme for training of staff in the institutions at Dehardun and Gauhati has been taken up and number of persons have been recruited for deputation for training.
26. The important schemes that have been taken up by the Health Department during 1972-73 are mentioned below :-
(i) Extension of Jowai Civil Hospital by another 26 beds;
(ii) Survey work of the site for construction of 100-bedded Hospital at Tura in Garo Hills.
Proposal for construction of a 10-bedded Hospital at Bhoilymbong is under active consideration of the Government. There are proposals for construction of 2 Primary Health Centres in Garo Hills and 1 in Khasi Hills. The Primary Health Centres at Cherrapunjee, Mawkyrwat, Mawsynram, Chokpot and Songsak are under Construction.
The Hon'ble Members are aware of the acute shortage of doctors particularly in the rural areas. Over and above the other measures taken to tackle this problem, the State Government have reserved seats in the medical colleges of Assam and Manipur and scholarships have been created. Steps are being taken to establish a Pharmacists Training School at Tura to meet the shortage of Pharmacists. The Government of India have given sanction for establishment of District T.B. Centre in Tura. Six Survey, Education and Treatment Centres for Leprosy have been established in the State and eight more are proposed to be set up this year.
Besides the programme in the State Plan, the Health Department has also been implementing some National Schemes like Family Planning, Malaria Eradication programmes, etc.
27. In the field of general education emphasis is being laid on the improvement at all levels of education and also on expansion. The State Government have already constituted a commission to go into the problems of education at the Elementary and Secondary levels and to determine the type of education to be imparted. The Commission is expected to submit its recommendations in due course. Steps are being taken to introduce the scheme for teaching Science in some selected Middle and Primary Schools and work of translating books into Khasi and Garo languages is progressing. At present, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, conducts the Examination at the end of higher Secondary Stage but the State Government propose to introduce a bill in the current Session of the Assembly for the establishment of the Meghalaya Board of School Education to regulate, supervise and develop schools in Meghalaya. With a view to providing incentive at suitable levels, merit scholarships as well as merit-cum-means scholarships have been introduced in the current year. Two Advisory Boards for Regional Text Book committees in Garo and Khasi language have been constituted and the formation of a Text Book Committee at State level is also under consideration. The Hon'ble Members will be glad to know that with the adoption of the necessary resolution by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly under Article 250 of the Constitution, the bill for the establishment of the Indira Gandhi University will be introduced and passed by Parliament during its current session.
28. In the sphere of technical education, much remains to be done. The survey work as well as preparation of plans and estimates for construction of a Junior Technical School at Jowai have been taken up. Our proposal for introduction of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Courses in the Shillong Polytechnic, about which I made a mention in my last speech, is still pending with the Government of India.
29. The State Sports Council has already been se up. The State Social Welfare Board of Meghalaya has also started functioning.
30. The Government have continued to assist the District Councils financially for their schemes for rural waster supply rural communications and construction of buildings. There is a provision of Rs.25 lakhs during the year 1973-74 for the above schemes.
31. The Municipal Administration Department has been extending assistance, both in the shape of grant and loan to the Shillong Municipal Board as well as Garo Hills Town Committee. During 1972-73, the State Government extended as grant of Rs.2 lakhs to the Municipal Board to tide over its financial difficulties. The Board has also approached the State Government for a loan of Rs.1.90 lakhs for Water Supply Schemes which is under active consideration. For the next financial year a sum of Rs.2.00 lakhs has been provided as loan and a sum of Rs.1.01 lakhs has been provided as grant.
32. Improvement of communication facilities, which in the context of the geographical conditions in Meghalaya mean roads-will continue to be one of the most important and vital needs of the economy. The target during the Fourth Plan is to have a total length of 3759 km. road net work in the State. As substantial part of the roads in Meghalaya are earthen roads, the target for surfaced roads at the end of the Fourth Plan is 1066 km. against 731 km. of surfaced roads at the end of 1969. One of the most important work during the year is the completion of preliminary construction work of the Shillong-Tura Road, about 314 km. in length, running East to West centrally across the State and connecting the headquarters of Garo Hills and Khasi Hills Widening work and construction of a few bridges, however still remain to be completed and the work is in progress. The road also requires considerable improvement to bring it to the standard of a trunk road. With regard to Border Roads running parallel to Indo-Bangladesh Border, there are still four missing links, of 130 km. in length, which are yet to be taken up. Proposal has been submitted to the Government of India for financing the same. construction of Chibinang Bridge in Garo Hills is likely to be completed during next year.
33. The Department has taken up 38 Water Supply Schemes since 1969-70 out of which 25 have already been completed. The Government of India have also approved another 33 Rural Water Supply Schemes with a total estimated cost of Rs.116.62 lakhs under the Accelerated Programme for implementation during the current year (1972-73) and 1973-74 . The execution of these schemes has been taken up by the Department concerned. The Greater Shillong Waster Supply Scheme costing Rs.336.70 lakhs in the first phase has received the technical approval from the Government of India. In drawing up the programme for rural water supply, the Department has given high priority to the villages having no water source within a radius of one mile and mountainous areas where acute scarcity of water prevails.
34. Under Housing the Government is advancing loans under easy terms of payment for construction of residential building of Low Income as well as Middle Income groups. A new Rental Housing Schemes for Tura has been drawn up. Besides this, there are schemes for providing loans under village housing projects for providing residential accommodation to be taken up during the remaining period of the Fourth Plan as well as Fifth Plan.
35. During 1972-73, a few Schemes, viz., Improvement of Barabazar and construction of residential quarters for Harijans at Shillong and Improvement of markets at Tura and Jowai were taken up. The Government also propose to take up Slum Clearance and Urban Development schemes. In the various towns in the State to improve the environmental conditions during the next year as well as during the next plan period.
36. The supply position , on the whole, remained fairly satisfactory during the year. We are receiving the allotment of Rice, Wheat, Sugar from the Government of India directly. The Government of India have implemented a scheme for distribution of sugar at a uniform subsidised price by the distribution of sugar at a uniform subsidised price by the Food Corporation of India with effect from 1st January 1973, The F.C.I. has agreed to open godowns at selected places of the State to streamline the distribution. For enabling the border people to purchase essential foodstuffs at prices prevailing in the district headquarters, the Transports subsidy Scheme is being continued. A new scheme, for distribution of mill cloth through the co-operative societies has been initiated during the current year.
37. Meghalaya commands vast potential for development of Tourism and the Government propose to promote the development of tourist traffic in the region. During 1972-73, preparation of Master Plan for the land taken over from A.S.E.B. at Barapani has been taken up. Improvement works at Thadlaskein Lake are progressing besides those already undertaken at Tura Peak in Garo Hills.
38. Realising the need of the people, the Government has purchased a number of vehicles for use in some of the most important routes of the State. Some more vehicle will be placed on the road in the coming year and the service is expected to improve considerably. The Government have decided in principle to take over the functions of the Assam and Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation in regard to Gauhati-Shillong route. An officer is being appointed to work out a phased Programme and various details in the regard.
39. Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation has participated in a joint venture called Komorrah Limestone Mining Company Limited for the supply of limestone's to Bangladesh. It will also participate in another joint venture for the manufacture of essential oils and chemicals with a leading firm. Steps are being taken to ensure efficient working of Cherra Cements Factory. Scheme for re-starting the Meter Factory is also under examination. The Meghalaya Industrial Development corporation has also applied for an industrial license to set up an integrated clinker and cement project in Garo Hills and a feasibility report on the project is under preparation. The Industrial Development Bank of India, at the request of the Government of Meghalaya, has requested a Consultancy Firm to prepare project report in respect of Calcium Carbide, Calcium Carbonate and Hydrated Lime. Steps have been taken for implementation of the recommendations of Small Industries Service Institute to set up industrial estates in Shillong and Mendipathar; an industrial estate is also likely to be established at Byrnihat.
In addition to the incentives made available by the Central Government, the State Government have announced a Package Scheme of incentives for encouraging entrepreneurs. The scheme covers incentives like refund of sales tax, exemption from payment of royalty charges, subsidy on power tariff, Government guarantee on loans raised by the Industrial units and meeting the cost of feasibility and project reports. As in previous years the schemes for Small Scale Industries will be continued and steps taken for training local candidates in specialised institutions outside the State.
40. Meghalaya, with her suitable climatic condition holds out immense possibilities for the development of Sericulture and Handloom Weaving. Need based and employment oriented schemes drawn up by the Department are making satisfactory headway within an overall plan allocation of Rs.9 lakhs during 1972-73. It is proposed to establish a number of Eri Concentration Centres and Collective Mulberry Gardens in Selected areas to provide common facilities of land, fencing manure and saplings etc.
41. The 132 KM. Shillong-Cherrapunjee line has been completed. The minor works on commissioning of the Sub-station at Cherrapunjee are likely to be completed within the current year after which the line will be charged at 132 KV. The Assam State Electricity Board will be able to electrify about 33 villages by the end of the current year as against the target of 38. An amount of Rs.40 lakhs has been proposed for rural electrification in the annual plan for 1973-74.
42. The Department of Geology and Mining has taken up survey projects having long-term impact on the economy of the State. Mention may be made of the detailed geological surveys of the Komorrah limestone deposits on an emergency footing and completion of its report in a record time. Based on this report Komorrah Limestone Mining Company joint sector venture with MIDC participation is expected to start supply of limestone to Chatak Cement Factory in Bangladesh shortly. Semi-mechanised from of mining has been planed for these quarries and it is expected to serve as a model for convincing the people about the advantage of a scientific and systematic method of mining. Test drilling for coal in Garo Hills has been conducted to enable evolution of a pilot scheme for mining in the district. the Siju limestone is also being systematically tested by a field crew regarding its quality. Both these are to feed the proposed Clinker Plant, project report of which is under preparation. In the coming year, the investigation programme include limestone, coal, various clays and other minerals with a bias towards detailed exploration. Apart from acquiring more machinery and equipment, an efficient chemical laboratory is also being proposed for testing the samples collected during surveys.
43. The Government have taken steps to streamline the Publicity Department and an outlay of Rs.7.56 lakhs has been proposed for the purpose. The special schemes to be taken up this year include publication of bulletins in regional languages, publication of Meghalaya Chronicle, printing of Publicity literature and posters for distribution upto village level, rural broadcasting publicity through cultural media, films and other Audio Visual Publicity. It is also proposed to make colour film on the life and culture of the people of Meghalaya.
44. In order to enable the entire civil population to realise the importance of civil defence and to have a preliminary knowledge of preventive measures in case of emergency, the school and college authorities in the State have been requested to introduce Civil Defence as one of the subjects.
45. There is a proposal to establish a district Jail at Jowai in the coming year. The buildings of Tura District Jail are in a dilapidated condition and require renovation. I may mention here in this connection that a special Jail has been constructed by the Nagaland Government at Mawlai for trial of their security prisoners. Some expenditure, in this connection, will be initially borne by the State Government but the entire expenditure will be reimbursed by the Nagaland Government.
46. The Hon'ble Members are aware of the evil effects of the large scale illicit distillation. Informed and representative public opinion has been associated in detailed discussions held in this regard for streamlining the procedure and evolving a uniform policy for the Excise Administration. in the State. The suggestions and recommendation received in this regard are under active consideration of the Government. Government effort is aimed at putting an end to illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. In this context, the Government have decided to grant licenses to the out stills in the areas of Syiems and other Chiefs in the State and to invest them with some powers regarding detection of excise offences.
47. Shifting cultivation has been the main problem of the State which hinders development of settled agriculture Steps have therefore been taken to encourage the farmers practicing shifting cultivation to take up settled cultivation. Reclamation of valley bottom lands as well as terracing on slopes have been given its due importance and 38 percent of the plan budget of the Department has been used for this work in the current year. The follow-up programme of supplying seeds, manures and other inputs at concessional rates has also been taken up to enable the farmers to continue permanent cultivation. To prevent large scale denudation of the forests by shifting cultivation, the Department has taken up schemes for afforestation of barren hills. During 1972-73, about 300 hectares of afforestation has been done and the target for the next year is 600 hectares. A different wing for proper survey of land according to land-use- pattern has also been proposed in the next year.
During 1973-74 special pilot project for the control of Shifting cultivation and rehabilitation of these practicing jhum will be taken up on a pilot basis in Garo Hills District.
An amount of Rs.11 lakhs has been provided to make beginning in this regard in the budget for 1973-74. The project is proposed to be taken up on a catchments area basis with facilities for preparation of land for permanent cultivation. Irrigation, where it is possible, horticulture on slope and afforestation of catchments areas in higher slopes for preservation of water sources, etc., will be taken up. Infra-structure, such as roads will be included in the scheme for Pilot Project and an integrated approach of development will be taken so that the shifting cultivators within the area will be rehabilitated in areas with facilities for permanent cultivation.
48. Various steps have been initiated to strengthen and streamline the State Police Administration. With a view to advising the State regarding re-organising and strengthening of Fire Service, Fire Adviser from the Government of India has visited the State. Several officers and men have been sent for specialised raining in Central Detective Training School, Finger Print Training School and for Anti Extremists courses run by the Government of India. The Law and Order situation has generally been normal except Indo-Bangladesh border which have been brought to the notice of the Central Government. The inter-State boundary between Assam and Meghalaya continued to be peaceful but for the few incidents in Mawtamur area and on the Jaintia Hills-Mikir Hills border.
A Public Service Commission has been set up for the State. The Government have also constituted the Meghalaya Secretariat Service. The recruitment policy of the Government aims at striking a balance between the requirement for meeting the increasing demand for employment of educated unemployed persons of the State and the absorption of tribal employees of Meghalaya origin who will be affected by the shifting of Assam Government capital from Shillong.
49. As has been the practice, the final estimates for the next year relating to the Districts were circulated to the various District Councils. The suggestions made by the Members of the District Councils during discussions on the District Budgets will be given due consideration by Government. In this connection, I would like to inform the Honourable Members that it has always been the policy of the State Government to give maximum possible consideration to the comments of the District Councils. In spite of our keen desire to do so, we may not be able to implements the suggestions made by the Members of the District Councils in full due to the financial constraints and paucity of resources. Their suggestions are, however, valuable from the point of view of offering guide-lines for evolution of Government policy in regard to the Plan Schemes and Non-developmental Sectors from the long germ point of view.
50. The State Government have always been sympathetic to the just and reasonable demands of the employees in regard to the improvement of their terms and conditions of service. The State Government decided to grant interim relief to the employees of Meghalaya on the basis of the recommendations of the Pay Commission set up by the Assam Government. The State Government would also sympathetically consider grant of necessary benefits in the light of the final recommendations of the Commissions. The Scheme for House Rent Allowance which was initiated in 1970-71 is being continued.
51. Mr. Speaker, Sir, now I present the Budget Estimates for 1973-74. The revised estimates for 1972-73 now show a gap of Rs.186.02 lakhs as against the amount of Rs.732.42 lakhs shown in the Budget Estimates. This is mainly due to non-payment of an amount of Rs.4.13crores as principal and interest to the Government of India. As stated in my Budget Speech last year, the question of writing of the liability was taken up with the Government of India and the matter is still under correspondence.
52. The Budget estimates for 1973-74 show considerable increase both under revenue and capital expenditure as compared to the provisions in the Budget for 1972-73. The repayment liability for the principal and interest on account of the debt liability of composite State of Assam has been carried over to the next year pending the receipt of a final decision from the Government of India. The amount so carried over is Rs.5.55 crores, towards payment of both principal and interest. This amount represents the liabilities as provisionally assessed by the Accountant General for 1970-71 to 1973-74. The salient features of the Budget Estimates of 1973-74 are as follows :-
Amount in lakhs of rupees
A Receipts in the Consolidated Fun
|(i) Statutory grant under Finance Commission Award.||
|(ii) State's share of Central taxes and duties under the finance commission Award.||
|(iii) Central assistance outside the Finance commission Award for non-plan expenditure.|
|(iv) Grants from Ministry of Transport for construction and maintenance of border roads, etc.||
(v) Central assistance for Plan expenditure
|(a) Grants ..........................||
|(vi) Central assistance for Centrally Sponsored Schemes.|
|(vii) States receipts ....................||161.20|
|(viii) Market loan||110.00|
|(ix) Loan from Life Insurance Corporation of India||45.00|
|(x) Temporary Ways and Means Advances from Reserve Bank of India||60.00|
|Total - A||2384.08|
|B - Receipts under the Contingency Fund||50.00|
|C. Receipts in the Public Account||2944.80|
|.D. Opening cash balance................................||(-)186.02|
|Total - Resources (A+B+C)||5192.86|
|(In lakhs of rupees)|
|1. Gross revenue expenditure||1074.97||1535.04||2610.01|
|Deduct - recoveries||5.50||154.07||159.57|
|Net revenue expenditure||1069.47||1380.97||2450.44|
|2.. Gross capital expenditure||452.35||510.37||962.72|
|Net Capital expenditure||446.30||506.38||952.68|
|Total - Gross||1527.32||2045.41||3572.73|
|B. Expenditure under the Contingency Fund||....||.....||50.00|
|C. Expenditure in the Public Account||2907.48|
|D. Closing cash Balance||(-)1167.74|
|Total - (A+B+C+D)||5192.86|
The Budget Estimates for 1973-74 show an overall deficit of Rs.11.68 crores. Apart from the amount of Rs.5.55 crores which represents the debt repayment liability of the State to the Government of India, this also includes the non-plan gap of Rs.186.02 lakhs estimated to be carried over from 1972-73. The increase is accounted for due to the expanding and the necessary for strengthening the administrative machinery and taking up other measures.
53. The levies on various taxes, etc., imposed for meeting the expenditure incurred by the Central Government for evacuees from Bangladesh are being discontinued by introduction of a Repealing Bill. With a view to raising resources for meting the deficit and to fulfill the developmental needs of the State, I propose to continue these levies with necessary modifications by the introduction of suitable legislative measures. The State Government have also constituted a Taxation Committee with a view to suggesting measures for nationalisation of the taxation structure and increasing yield from various taxes.
54. While we are fully prepared to do our best in regard to the raising of additional resources, yet it will have to be acknowledged that the requirement of the situation cannot be met fully unless the Government of India comes to our aid. As the Honourable Members are aware, the Sixth Finance Commission has started functioning. The State Government have placed its requirements before the Commission. This is the first occasion when the Commission will be looking into the requirements of the State. The Government would like to impress that in view of the special factors and problems of the State, Meghalaya deserves special treatment in this regard.
The Budget for 1973-74 reflects the desire of the Government to do its best towards the realisation of the cherished goals of elimination of poverty, ignorance, disease and ensuring of economic growth with social justice. I do admit that we have to function within the limitations imposed by paucity of resources, shortage of technical personnel and agricultural and industrial backwardness of the State. But I do hope that with the ushering in of the next Five-Year Plan, and larger devolution of finances under the Sixth Finance Commission's Award, there will be a larger expansion of the budgetary resources of the State which would enable a quicker progress towards our objectives. I can upon all of you to extend your co-operation and put your best effort towards building up of a happy and prosperous Meghalaya.
With these words, I place the Budget for 1973-74 for the consideration and acceptance of the House.
MR. SPEAKER :- I would like to inform the hon. members of the House that all budget documents will be disturbed to them from the Table's Office that means room the Secretary's Office afterwards. Now, we will pass on to item No.4 of today's List of Business. But before I call upon Mr. Kurbah to continue his speech which he could not complete yesterday, may I remind the House that I have already read the proceedings of the last two days and in the course of the debate on the Governor's Address, I have found that some Members have used certain words, which are not relevant to the context. So, I have ordered substitution of the words "head-hunters" and "head-choppers" by word "child-lifters". Now, I ask Mr. Kurbah to continue. He will have only 5 minutes more.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while continuing my speech on the Governor's Address, I would like to say something on the same subject of agriculture. I would like to suggest some measures with regard to development to cultivation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday I spoke something on communications. With regard to communications, I would like to lay more stress on road construction and land compensation. I have seen everywhere and also in my constituency particularly that the road construction is not progressing whatsoever. So many rods where proposed to be constructed, but in actual practices, nothing has been done particularly in my constituency. With regard to land compensation like road diversion of Mawngap market road, many people have come to me again and again. Last year they have asked me to request the Government to pay heed to them for the land compensation and one person came to me with the petition, which was addressed to the Government.
MR. SPEAKER :- Mr. Kurbah, you cannot read the petitions here inside the House, unless and until I have given you permission to do so. The petition should be forwarded to the Department concerned.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH :- So my humble request to the Government is to pay more heed to land compensation to the land owners who have given their lands for construction of the roads.
Another point which I would like to speak is with regard to medical facilities. In the Governor's Address, it was stated that Government proposes to continue the various schemes relating to improvement of medical facilities in the State. It is proposed to set up a pharmacists, training school. The programme proposed to for the next year includes setting up of more primary health centres. As I have seen ......... (Interruptions) ...............
MR. SPEAKER :- You can go into these details during the budget discussion.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH :- Yes, Sir, only a few points. I would respect the Government to construct more primary health centres, as it is started here. In the past, Government proposed to construct these centres, but nothing has been done from the side of the Government.
With regard to education, I would like to get a clarification from the Government whether the construction of the Basic Training School at Sohiong has been completed or not. If it is completed, when it will start functioning. Another point I would like to bring to the notice of the House is with regard to generating electricity, I mean, electrification. I would propose that a line of electric wiring should be drawn from Sohiong through Umsaw upto Nongbsab.
MR. SPEAKER :- There also you come again to the details. You see while participating on Governor's Address, you have to say whether you agree to this policy or not. If you agree, then it is better to congratulate the Governor. If you differ with the Government in matter of details, you can take part in the budget discussion later on.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to electrification, I see that there is a failure on the part of the Government to ensure regular supply or electricity, e.g., the electricity which goes to Marbisu, Mawngap and upto Sohiong ; Sometimes even twice in a week, there is no electricity. So in this case, I would request the Government to see that electricity should be supplied regularly with the correct voltage.
MR. SPEAKER :- Mr. Kurbah again you are going into the details. Please spare something for the Budget Discussion as now you time is over. You were given 7 minutes to speak today and 12 minutes yesterday.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, today I got only 5 minutes and yesterday I got 10 minutes only.
MR. SPEAKER :- I have checked out the time in my Chamber.
Shri EDWARD KURBAH :- Now, Sir, with regard to water supply, I have not seen that the Government has given due consideration on the matter of water supply in the rural areas. So many schemes were taken up in the past but I have not seen that these water supply scheme are taken into consideration by the Government, through you, Sir, to pay more heed to the water supply.
MR. SPEAKER :- Mr. Kurbah, if you want to point out the defects in the working of the Department, you should point out in the Budget Discussion. Now your time is up, please sit down.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH : - Thank you, Sir.
MR. SPEAKER : - Now, Mr. Hopingstone, you will get 20 minutes.
SHRI HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH (Pariong S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while taking part in the Motion of thanks, many of the hon. Members have spoken either in-favour or against the Motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member form Mylliem Constituency. After hearing the Budget speech of the Finance Minister, I have not many points to say on the Governor's Address because the Budget speech of Finance Minister has given me some more clarifications. But Sir, I want only to make a few observations on the Governor's Address which was placed before the august House. The Address of the Governor is an old type of thing which has been presented to this House before. In the last tow paragraph the old song has been sang in the Assembly which we utterly hear all these things. The Government still remembers what has been done in Bangladesh and what has happened there. Of course it is a matter of pride for our people and our Jawans who fought for the freedom of the Neighbouring Bangladesh people, But Sir, in supporting that and while making observation on the important aspect of the matter, I mean the Governor's Address made on the floor of the House, I will straightway come to item No.5 of page of 3 of the Governor's Address, I mean page 2. Mr. Speaker, Sir, here a few lines have been stated at page 2 of item 4. If is a matter of satisfaction that an untoward incident has happened on the Meghalaya borders during the entire period of 1972-73. Nothing has happened and the Government is fully satisfied with what has happened. It seems that the Government is satisfied by looking from the top of the State and they are fully satisfied that nothing has happened with regard to the internal and external conditions of the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government is remaining silent on what has happened on this or that side of our State. We remember that there was an instance at Dawki our people have been killed (Mr. Head Manar was killed) looted and have been harassed by the Bangladesh nationals. We do not forget the people will not forget what has happened to the people of Lapalang village last year. The Government is fully satisfied that nothing has happened along the borders of the State. The Government has forgotten totally those people who have suffered and they have forgotten totally those people who have lost their lives on the border of Mikir Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts, three persons were taken into custody in Mikir Hills and in the jail one man from Smit died in Nowgong Jail but the Government forgets with has happened there.
Another instance, Sir, at Mawtamur, three persons were this year and three last year, one of them died in jail. But the Government is fully satisfied that nothing has happened in the State and the Government did not even explain or express a word of feeling of what has happened to our people. What I am saying is on the policy of the Government on matter of recent occurrence and of present condition of our people. The Government is fully satisfiied.with what has happened. Just yesterday, Sir, and as expressed by one of the hon. Members the other day in the House, that during the spraying of the holi water of other communities our people have been instated and the Government did not know anything? I fact the Chief Minister have seen it.
Another thing, Sir, I am sorry that in my western areas of this District Khasi Hills, everyday everywhere there is gambling, drinking and killing. Every day people are killed and murdered, yet the Government is happy and the do not express a word on the death of poor people while on the other hand they are making condolence to big people who died elsewhere. Of course, we always associated and shared the sympathy for them, but the Government is silent about the killing of our people.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will come to another item, that is, the attempt of the Government to settle the boundaries of the State with the Government of Assam. At page 3 of the Governor's Address it is stated by and large the conditions of the State boundary with Assam is peaceful. As I have already said the Government is always looking from the top and I do not know from what source they got this information that the boundary position along the border with Assam is peaceful.
Sir, just the other day, the Deputy Commissioner went up to Mawtamur and Mawlien villages where he saw on the other said that the Assam Government have mobilised with the battalion of Armed Police and tried to put their own boundary after they have failed to settle the boundary dispute with the Nagaland Government. Now, they have come to our State Boundary of Khasi Hills District. They have stationed the armed police personnel of the Assam Police Battalion almost all along the border. What they have done. They have ousted our people, they have threatened our people and some of or people are being summoned to court of Kamrup District. Even the bridges linking our border with Kamrup have been destroyed and about three miles from Iew Mawroh (Jirang) upto Ranikudam no vehicle is allowed to enter; more than three gates have been created across the road. But the Government said that there is an incident and the border situation is peaceful. But, Sir, even the trees of the villages forest have been cut by the Kamrup contractors. The other day the Inspector General of Police has ordered that the Police should help the villagers and protect them in their day to day cultivation in the surrounding villages. The Meghalaya Police were asked to station at Mawtamur village and the villagers voluntarily have constructed the sheds for then, but, Sir, after two or three days, police were ordered to shift to Patharkhmah for reasons best know to the Government. The contractors from Kamrup are extracting timbers from the villages forest ; lakhs and lakhs of rupees went up by snatching away timbers. About 9,000 cft. of Sal timbers were snatched away last month and this week about 1,50,000 cft. has been carried by the Kamrup contractors, and these contractors used to go and loiter in the compound of the Ministers only one knows, that is why there is no protection to the security of lifer and property of the people. The Government said that the border with Kamrup is peaceful. But what is the policy of the Government in looking after the interest of the people. That is my question. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for your information, I would state briefly what happened to this border. In fact this part of the Sohiong Lyngdohship which is one one of the Khasi States before the commencement of the Constitution. Mr. Speaker, Sir, is happened in 1875-76 that the notification was issued by the then Government to tag this area for the administrative convenience of Kamrup Administration. And because of the agitation of the people of the area, the Government did not complete the demarcation line. Actually 82 sq. miles were transferred and some parts were converted into reserved forests and reserved forest is being administered by the Kamrup authorities.
I would like to pose a question whether this area is still under dispute or not. I say that it is still under dispute because according to the the Independence Act, 1947, Section 7, all the agreements, instrument, and practices usages, etc., with the Crown Representatives of the Indian States lapsed and subsequently the Instrument of Accession of the Khasi State, 1948, Section 4 1948 says that the areas which have been snatched away by the British Government are allowed to be retuned to the respective Khasi States. And according to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, paragraph 20, it is stated that the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District Councils comprises the Khasi States prior to the commencement of the Constitution and the U.K. J. Hills District excluding the Shillong Municipality, cantonment. Therefore, the dispute is there because the villages Mawtamur and Mawtyngkong are being administered by the Sohiong Lyngdohship and the District Councils and also according to the election laws the people there are the voters of this State. Day and night the people have no rest, they cannot carry on their cultivation because they are afraid and doubtful whether they will be kicked out by the Kamrup authority. There is tension in the Khasi Border area as the Kamrup authority had cut down the bridges which link the villages of Khasi Hills. They is also tension in the border Mikir Hills Jaintia Hills and also with the Khyrim area in Khasi Hills. But the Government, said that earnest efforts are being made to settle the question relating to the boundary between the Mikir Hills and Jaintia Hills border by mutual consultation with Assam. But I am very sorry to remained the Minister though the Minister concerned is not here that when I went to Borato the Home of the Minister in-charge of Land Revenue last month, I found that the slope of Borato is being called the camp of the Pnar refugees who came from Block I and II of Mikir Hills. Sir, the slope of Borato is being called the. Pnar Refugee Camp. Sir, the Government should stand very firmly and no to lose an inch of land. (At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the chair).
Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, I now come to another item. At page 1, item 3 regarding the approach of the Government, towards the Fifth Five Year Plan. It is said in this paragraph that "Apart from aiming at elimination of poverty and fulfillment of a "Minimum Needs Programme", the State's fifth Plan would aim at grater employment generation and bringing the level of per capita income in the State to the national average." Sir, this is a new idea which has been brought in this House and which will be followed by this Government. So, it is a new strategy which has been adopted by the Government. So it is the policy of the Government to bring about economy to the people, and to bring them to the level of per capita income to the level of national average and for the people to have equal share of the income of the State. That is what has been stated. But Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, I would inform the Government, through you, - I will not say that it is only an election canvassing-that when I go about the country, I find specially in Jowai Subdivision, that the Minister frightened the people who are not in the party of the Government. They will be given no help even if they will not support the Government and the wives and children of the husband who happened to be in Government services, will be transferred to will be kicked out of job, which they are holding now. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a matter of grave concern to find that just because they belong to the opposition party they were not even given equal share in the developmental activities and also in the field of holding their profession. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may tell you that in the field of education the Government have spoiled everything, for instance, during the tours of the Minister, they inspect some schools and if they find any reason in a particular school they will establish parallel school against the schools which have been already recognised especially if they find that such school was established by the people who are not from the ruling party and they will de-recognise it. Now Government says they are to eradicate illiteracy and sickness ; I do not like, Sir, to elaborate at this stage, I may discuss this point again at some other time during the budget discussion and cut motion. In the field of developments, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government have been partial enough. I have found Sir, during my tour in the the interior, our people in the nook and corner of the State are in a wretched condition. The other day I came from Kynrut and just passing by the village I saw people two three of them are sleeping in sickness. I came from Umsong, I found 4 to 5 people are sick and they are lying in the verandah and then while I am coming from the Lyngngam are last week, I found people are dying of starvation. (Bell rang). But Mr. Speaker, Sir, our Government now said that the policy of the Government is to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and sickness but where in the progress. I may tell you, Sir, just after we got our full-fledged State we do not see that doctors were appointed in the vacant dispensary not to speak of establishment of dispensary. In my constituency in the rural area a dispensary has been built since the last Third Five Year Plan i.e., during the Government of Assam. But Sir, after the 4th, Plans has elapsed nothing has so far been done to complete or even to start remaining construction. There we find Sir, the partial treatment of the Government.
Again, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to mention about raising of economic condition through communications. As the Government has stated here we have seen and we have heard the Government is spending crores and crores of rupees to develop the communications system in the State. Recently the Government is subject to overdraft of Rs.9,00,00,000, but now they have blamed the Account General for giving a wrong information or a wrong account. I have also seen in the western area which covers 8 to 9 constituencies of the State.
MR. SPEAKER :- What do you mean by Western areas?
SHRI HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the western areas of Khasi Hills District right from Sohiong upto Nongsharm and the whole border area is being given charge under the one Executive Engineer of the Nongstoin Subdivision. The money which has been spent in the Subdivision amounted to crores and crores of rupees in the name of new roads but if you go there you will find no new road is ever constructed. Only for widening of the Shillong-Nongstoin road huge amount of money has been paid to contractors by getting measurement and payment three or four times for the same works. In this policy to eliminate poverty in the State or we will go towards bankruptcy?
MR. SPEAKER :- Your time is up. Would you like to discuss more during the budget discussion?
SHRI HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH :- Yes, Sir.
MR. SPEAKER :- In order to enable the hon.. Members to collect the budget document and also in order to enable the Chief Minister to prepare for the reply, let us have a recess for half an hour and the House will reassemble at 11.30 A.M. The House then stands adjourned for tea break.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Now let us come to item No.5 of today's list of business. May I request the Hon'ble Chief Minister to reply?
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, in the first instance I would like to convey my heart-left thanks to the hon. members who have taken interest in the debate on the Governor's Address. As it was know to all the hon. Members, the Governor's Address broadly indicates the policy of the Government and also makes a brief review of the important events. If also deals with, in a brief way, the law and order situation of the State during the year under review and also broadly indicates the plan programme for the development of the State and the people. In view of this, it was expected that the hon. Members while participating in the discussion on the Governor's Address, will confine their observations as to whether, in the first instance, they agree to the policies broadly indicated in the Governor's Address itself. But as usual, the hon. Member have chosen to go into the details rather than with the policy statement of the Government. Well, Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, it was observed by one of the hon. Members from Mendipathar that the Governor's Address did not contain any policy statement. It is unfortunate that he could not go through the Governor's Address carefully. Unfortunately, he is not here the hon. Members go through the Governor's Address carefully they will find as many as 11 policy statements.
Number one relates to the Government's decision to grant concession and cash grants to the various receptions of the various awards belonging to the Armed Forces as a token of recognition of the velour in the battle field.
Numbers two relates to the objective of the economic development and eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease and the removal of the imbalance between different areas and greater attention to more backward areas in the State.
Number three relates to the creation of two more Civil Districts, four more Civil Sub-divisions and few more administrative units.
Number four relates to the nationalization of the system of Excise Administration.
Number five relates to the recruitment.
Number six relates to the setting up of a machinery under the State-man-power officer for exploring further revenues for employment and for arranging proper training and ensuring further follow-up action in this regard.
Number seven relates to Plan schemes in various sectors of development and entrustment of the specified plan schemes in various sectors of development to the authorities of the District Councils.
Number eight relates to giving priority to the development of agriculture.
Number nine relates to the policy decision of the Government to take over the functions at present being performed by the Assam Meghalaya State Road Transport Organisation by the State Government of Meghalaya.
Number ten relates to setting up of Board of a School Education.
Number eleven relates to land reform and for that purpose appointment of a Commission.
We would have expected the hon. Members to deal with the policy statement and to express whether they fall in the line with the Government or not. If not, to give reasons for rejecting a particular policy so that the Government would have the opportunity to reconsider whether we should pursue that policy or we should re-examine that policy or we should, taking the House into confidence, go ahead and examine as to how this policy, which has the approval of the House, can be properly implemented. Excepting a few hon. Members, nobody came forward with a definite attitude with regard to the acceptance or otherwise of the various policy statements in the Governor's Address.
Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, let us deal with the various policies. I take it for granted the Government policy to grand concession and to give cash grand to the recipient of various awards belonging to the Armed Forces as a token of recognition of their velour in the battle field has been accepted by the House and nobody has objected to it. Then No.2 relates to the objective of economic development can eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease and removal of imbalance among different areas and grater attention to more backward areas in the State. Apart from certain observations for making specific mention of more backward areas as for locating the backward pockets, I have not heard anything from hon. Members objecting to this policy of the Government.
I think everyone of us in this House would like poverty to disappear form the State; not only from the State, but from the country as a whole. I am sure nobody will have the slightest objection to remove or eradicate illiteracy. So also with disease. It is indeed a very task for all of us. With regard to this policy the most important policy which is not only the policy of this House and of this particular state but this is a national policy which we are subscribing while we have agreed to this policy of eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease, I would say much expect that in the course of the debate on the Governor's Address, a course proposal can be put forward as to how to achieve these objectives. Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, one primary thing that is very essential in the service is to have clear about it. What are the objectives of the service for the society in the country as a whole? I take it for granted that we have all agreed to our programme for removing poverty, illiteracy and disease. If it is the clear objective of this House and of the country as a whole, we must see what is to be done next. We should also appreciate the situation and the circumstances prevailing in the State in implementing these programmes which are in conformity with the national policy. Let us put our heads together to achieve this objectives, i.e., eradicate poverty, illiteracy and disease and see whether the local conditions are favourable of whether the local conditions stand in the way or not. We must see what are the measures and what are the schemes to be taken up for achieving these objectives. After appreciating the situation, we have to chalk out these programme.
Let us take first about poverty, how to remove poverty. Naturally we will come to the conclusion that the per capita income of every individual should be raised. They must also be provided with the minimum needs. The Governor has mentioned about it. But how to achieve this, how to make everybody achieve their minimum needs and that are the programmes that we should take up. Naturally we have got to increase food production. We have also to increase the employment opportunities. We have to devise ways and means for increasing the per capita income. These are the programme which will have to be taken up to remove poverty. But we have got to examine whether in the present circumstances, in the present conditions prevailing in Meghalaya, it would be easy to go ahead with these programmes. I am not going to discuss in detail about this. But I would like to give some indication. When we talk about increasing food-stuff ; we must be able to examine whether with the present system of cultivation it is really possible for us to provide irrigation or whether in the present system of cultivation with the present land tenure system it is possible for us to assist the cultivators to develop their land, to develop their agriculture and to help them to earn more. These are some of the details. Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, I do not want to go into all that, but there is already an indication. The policy has been stated by the Governor in his address and I expect the hon. Members in first instance to examine whether they can agree to the policy or not. If they have agreed, then they can give us a concrete proposal as to how we should proceed.
Let us talk about eradication of illiteracy and consider whether in the present condition prevailing in the State it will be really possible for us to draw up an ambition programme or there are certain other conditions which stand in the way. I have had the occasion in the past to say that illiteracy can be eliminated from the State when we will be in a position to provide every village with universal primary education. But whether in the present position, with large number of villages within the State of Meghalaya it will be possible for us to do that? If I am correct, we have a population of a little more than one million and that in Garo Hills alone, the population is about 4 lakhs having 4500 villages ; and there are some villages which consist of only 3 or 4 families. So will it be practicable to establishment primary schools with a view to eliminating illiteracy in such villages? Will it be desirable to establish a school with only 2 to 6 students? So also the question of removal of disease. What are the programmes that we should take up? We know that every villages should be provide with clean drinking water. There are a number of water-borne diseases and we and by taking various preventive measures, we can prevent a number of dieses that may affect that villagers. Further, with regard to water supply, I would like to ask question-will it be possible for us to provide good drinking water and have a water supply scheme for a village which consists of only above three families? Will it be available for establish a health centre for a small villages consisting of there families only?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is fully aware of these basic problems which must be tacked first and solved. We fully realise that these enemies should be removed from out State and it is our earnest desire of remove these great enemies from the State. It is our duty to see how to overcome these obstacles. But there is no use utilising this forum simply to express doubts about it. Once we are determined, we should be able to draw up programme by which we shall be able to overcome difficulties. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would, therefore, take this opportunity to request the hon. Members of the House to have only one objective, that is, eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease. Let us put our heads together and you will have enough opportunity to give your advice to the Government through various means. You can send concrete proposals as responsible Members representing the people. You can utilise some other forums as well in addition to this forum in the House. I believe you will have occasion shortly to participate in the general discussion on the Budget and I would expect Hon. Members to come forward with concrete suggestions. They can have the privilege to point out the defects and the shortcomings in the implementation of mud on the Government. We should be realistic and once we agree to a certain policy, we must put our heads together.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I take it for granted that the policy of the Government to establish two more civil districts, four more civil subdivisions and a few more administrative units has been approved by the hon. members because I noticed that some hon. Members were too eager and impatient to come forward with the suggestion that the two Subdivisions should be straightaway converted into civil districts. Once we agree in principle, let us not come to such a hasty decision. The entire State district-wise will have to be taken into consideration. In fact, when we go for implementing this, there will be need for changing the jurisdiction of the present set-up. Let us not, therefore, rush with any kind of hurried decision.
From the discussions I also came to the conclusion that the policy relating to the rationalisation of the system of Excise administration within the State has been agreed to by the hon. Members.
Now, with regard to the recruitment policy, there has, of course, been a divided opinion. This subject matter has been discussed a number of times in the past. Broadly speaking, it has been made known to this august Hose about the Government's policy. The Government's has been reservation percentage for the absorption of the Meghalayans serving in the Directorate and the Secretariat of the Government of Assam while filling up the vacancies in our Directorates and the Secretariat. Taking into consideration we need for providing employment to the unemployed educated people, we have reserve certain percentage for different categories and we have fixed different percentage. If I remember aright, for the typists, for which we need trained personnel, we have fixed a quota upto 80 per cent to be brought from and the remaining 20 per cent to be filled in by direct recruitment. In a similar way, for the Lower Division Assistants and Grade IV staff we have fixed a certain percentage of the posts in Meghalaya to be filled in by bringing incumbents from Assam and the rest to be filled up by direct recruitment. Now in regard to the question of direct recruitment, the Government adopted a policy taking into consideration the need of giving adequate representation to different tribes in the State. The Government polity is reserve 40 per cent of the vacancies for the Garos and 40 per cent for the Khasis and Jaintias combined, for Scheduled tribes in Meghalaya 5 per cent and for the other 15 per cent. In the Secretariat - I have got the figures now-60 per cent of the L.D.A. posted under the Government of Meghalaya are to be filled up by tribal employees from Assam and 40 per cent by the direct recruits. In the Directorates 70 per cent from the Government of Assam and 30 per cent by direct recruitment. Grade IV employees - 80 per cent from Assam and 20 per cent by direct recruitment. There has been an argument that, in the first instance, all the tribal employees serving under the Government of Assam should be taken first and that only future vacancies should be filled up by direct recruitment. Here I must make it very clear that this suggestion is not acceptable to the Government. While trying our best to absorb our tribal employees serving under Government of Assam who will have to shift down to Gauhati, you must also take into account the fact that our educated people also get chance. I have not been able to collect the final figures as they are still being processed. However, I can give the information to the House as far as the number of tribal employees in the Secretariat of the Government of Assam is concerned. At present, we still have 239 tribal employees in Assam Secretariat including 94 ladies. As we have already indicated in the Governor's Address, we are taking advance action for our administrative set-up and according to our present recruitment, we can accommodate as against 239 only 102 more. Now, as against this, even if we accommodate 2/3 (two third) of our recruitment 26 ladies would be left out as far as the Secretariat is concerned. It will, therefore, be seen by the hon. Members that in spite of our best efforts we shall not able to accommodate 137 persons. In this connection, I must be grateful to the hon. Members from Mawlai for a very good suggestion, and I think he has also realised that in spite of our best efforts it will not be possible to accommodate all of them. He has suggested that special buses should be provided so that these buses can carry all the tribal employees from Shillong to Gauhati and then bring them back after office hours.
(Voice : What about T. A.)
I accept this in principle and details can be worked out in consultation with the Government of Assam because it is their primary responsibility to see that such facilities are provided.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just for the information of the Chief Minister I also said that these should be provided at subsidised rates (laughter).
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said earlier, it has not been possible for us to absorb all that tribal employees not serving under the Government of Assam, both in the Secretariat and the Directorates and also that it would not be possible for us give immediate employment to the educated unemployed. The Government has made a policy decision to set up a suitable machinery under a State Man-Power Officer for exploring further avenues of employment, arranging for proper training and for ensuring further avenues of employment, arranging for proper training and for ensuring follow-up action in this regard. I do not think any hon. Member is objecting to this. The hon. Member - I am sorry Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not seem to remember the constituency, only his the name ...... (Voice – Nongtalang) from Nongtalang had the occasion to remark that the Government is proposing a number of machineries (laughter) - Machine-minded (laughter) and that when number of machineries are set up there may be accidents (laughter). I would request the hon. Member to understand in the true sense of the term that when you make up a particular programme, there should be machinery to implement it. I would have expected the suggestion o\to be in the other way. In fact, I would have been very happy if it was pointed out as to how we are going to take up this present programme, if we did not have the machinery to implement it.
SHRI ENOWELL POHSHNA :- If you can give me time, Sir (laughter).
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I think the hon. Member has found the House to be boring and so he has made this objection as a joke. So, I take it that he has not made this observation seriously and I am sure that he will bear in mind that for all the programmes we must have machinery to implement them. Of course, I may also agree that there may be accidents or clashes unless there is a proper co-ordination, and for that purpose there is a proper machinery (laughter). Of course, this machinery may not function effectively. There may be a chance of clash. Therefore, while we are all for setting up effective and proper machinery for implementation of various programmes, we must also see that there is a proper co-ordination. Number 7 policy statement was with regard to entrusting of the Plan Scheme in various selected sectors of development to the Autonomous District Councils. I also take it for granted that this policy which was started earlier and which is to be continued has been also agreed to and certain observation was made about the relationship between the State and the District Council and also with regard to the release of fund against the schemes to be approved by the Government. If there be any anomaly or if further improvement in necessary the Government will see to that because this is the approved policy of the House as a whole.
Now as regards the development of agriculture, there was a complaint against the policy of giving priority without giving some sort of indication with regard to achievement of this particular department and whether they agreed that this department should receive the priority. I think the hon. Members have been fortunate to know fully the details of information about this from the portion of the speech. I also take it for granted that the policy statement of the Government to take over the function at present being performed by the Assam-Meghalaya State Transport Corporation by the Government of Meghalaya has been approved because nobody objected to that. It has been approved also that this should be done in a phased manner since nobody has any serious objection to it. Now I would request the hon. Members that this programme be accepted by the House as a whole and also think how to implement this. Let us begin with the past experience and consider as to what type of transport organisation should be set up. You can some forward with a concrete proposal. Such undertaking should have three objectives- No.1 to provide better and more reliable transport to the people ; No.2 to provide employment to our people, No.3 to earn revenue for the State. So keeping these there objectives in view, I would request the hon. Members to agree to this policy or programme and come forward with concrete proposal and suggestions based on experience on transport undertaking on this particular road, the Shillong-Gauhati Road and such similar undertakings elsewhere in the country. I also take it for granted that the Government decision to have a Board of School Education has been agreed to through some observations have been made about the system of education and about the need for more schools because nobody has objected to the policy of the Government to have a Board of School Education and hope the hon. Members will have the opportunity to discuss in fuller details when the Bill is introduced or when demand for grant for education is placed before the House. I do not know the views of the hon. Members about the very important problem of the land reforms in the State of Meghalaya with a view to helping the agriculturists and cultivators of the State to take advantage of the various Schemes of different financial intuitions to improve their agriculture. As the hon. Members are aware most of the land in the State have been carefully surveyed and operations are being undertaken for preparation of land records, which are necessary to ensure ever agriculturist of his land and to enable him to work to increase agriculture production of land records, which are necessary to ensure every agriculturist of his land and to enable him to work to increase agricultural production. In accordance with the consensus of the meeting the Government proposed to set up a Commission with a view to settle land problems and make necessary recommendations with regard to the lands in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills Districts. Now, hon. friend from Mawlai was doubtful whether there was a consensus. You see when there is a consensus there must be a follow-up action. Now what was the consensus? The consensus was the need of going into the question of the land tenure system prevailing specially in Khasi Hills. It was also agreed that we should all realise that something must be done in this regard. It will be desirable that, before we give a concrete proposal as to how to tackle the problem, we must first study the problems in depth and also assure the public and for that purpose, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my friends say that we have got no machinery (laughter). But this Commission will be the machinery set up by the Government to go into the details of land tenure system of the State.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- On a point of clarification, may I point out that having been as one of the Members present on the 11th September, 1972 and if the Chief Minister would kindly look into the proceedings of the meeting in the last sentence which tells us that the decision taken at the meeting was to meet again after the meeting with the Syiems. But there was no consensus for setting up of a Commission but to meet again the meeting with the Syiems and no meeting was there. This meeting did not at all sit again even after meeting with the Syiems.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Now I will read out the relevant portion which was raised by Mr. S.D. Khongwir, hon. member from Mawlai in the meeting which I presided over. He said "that the people in Mawlai faced the same problem. He stated that there are more than 200 areas under homesteads and the people purchase the land from the landlord but the sale deeds of these lands are not recognised by the financial institutions and in matters of land transactions the parties have to go to the landlord for a patta after the sale deed to obtain rights of occupancy only. He said the Government should tackle this problem urgently and he agreed in principle with the broad approach to land reforms".
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am afraid the Chief Minister missed the point I have raised. If he reads the proceedings of that meeting in the last sentence where normally a decision was made that the meeting would sit again after meeting with the Syiems. I have not brought a copy of the proceedings here where there was a decision of that meeting on the 11th September, 1972 . (At this stage the Deputy Speaker vacated the Chair for the Speaker).
The decision was that the Commission so to meet the Syiems and after meeting the Syiems, it did not meet again. Reading of irrelevant portions of other speeches will not help us. Please read the last line of the decision.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I will just give further information. As it was agreed that this must be further discussed, the discussion took place. I have also read the proceedings of the second meeting which I want to make clear.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. Sir, I would like to request the Chief Minister to let us know whether these proceeding have been confirmed or not.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, after the meeting of the conference, copies of the proceedings have been sent to the Members who attended. When we did not have any objection of incorrect recording, we take it for granted that it is correct.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR :- But, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, normally the proceedings used to be confirmed in the next meeting because in the proceedings, it was decided to have a next meeting.
MR. SPEAKER :- May I draw the attention of both Mr. Khongwir and Prof. Majaw that confirmation of the minutes of any association or organisation is usually done in that manner. But the functioning of the Government is quite different. When the Government ask for suggestions and when no Member has really raised any point that his speech was wrongly recorded or something of the sort, then the Government take it for granted that Members have agreed.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- For the information of the hon. Members, that was my uncorrected speech. After taking the consensus as far as they need for further discussion, the Chief Minister said that there should be a second meeting to be fixed after meeting with the administrative heads, etc. ......... and accordingly the meeting was held again.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- I am afraid Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government leaves out the very last sentence which is the decision of meeting ; his decision is there.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- From the discussions and from the view-points put forward by the other Members who were present I must make it very clear that there was a consensus, which means that there is complete unanimity.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- May I again Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, state that on matters raised by Mr. Khongwir in the subsequent meetings with the Syiems, several members pointed out in the meeting of 11th September, 1972 that these recordings were not accurate.
SHRI BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH (Finance Minister) :- I was present in the meeting. It was only Mr. Gilbert Shullai, C.E.M., who said that in his statement there was some incorrect recording. It was also recorded in the meeting with the Syiems that Mr. Shullai said that.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I was listening carefully, though I was not inside the House always. I find that many of the hon. Members have agreed to these proceedings except on a point which was raised by the hon. Member from Mawlai with regard to the appointment of Commission. But my contention is this. When any principle has been agreed to that there must be a machinery and once you agreed in principle that this very problem should be taken up, naturally we must set up the machinery and the hon. Members would again be given a chance to discuss about the terms of reference, the scope of this Commission, how it will proceed to elicit information or to collect public opinion, this and that.
SHRI ENOWELL POHSHNA :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of information. Our Chief Minister said that the hon. Members, by not speaking in the House about land reforms, show that they have agreed. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of us have not even come to the subject. Because it is a question which we have got no time to discuss, can it be said that we have agreed? Now the Commission was appointed for Khasi Hills and there was no consultation even with the Leaders of Members meeting of Leaders or Members of Legislative Assembly and only a few representatives of the District Council, can that decision be applicable to the Jaintia Hills?
MR. SPEAKER :- In the Governor's Address, we do no find anything regarding appointment of the Commission for Jaintia Hills. It is clearly stated that the Commission will look into the land tenure system in Khasi Hills. The reason is perhaps the Government had consulted only the leading Members of the House and also public leaders to examine this issue.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, infact the hon. Member, Mr. Hadem, I do not know his constituency, while touching this particular point suggested that this particular problem relating to Jaintia Hills should also be taken up. To that my reply is this. Since land tenure system differs from district to district and from area to area we thought we should have machinery suitable for each district separately. So this particular discussion was confined only to the land problem in the Khasi Hills and as far as Garo Hills district is concerned, we have mentioned here that the District Council has gone ahead with the problem and has made appreciable progress in the matter. Thereby I do not mean to say that because one district some progress in this regard, without taking into consideration the system of land tenure prevailing elsewhere, others should blindly follow it. It was because of this fact, and also after taking the consensus that a proper machinery has been proposed to be set up. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think, first of all, I should deal with policy matter because it was my expectation that in the debate on the Governor's Address, the hon. Members will confine their observation to policy matter knowing well that we have not had the opportunity to go into fuller details. I would now deal with certain points which were raised by the hon. Members First, I would like to refer to the observation made by the hon. Member from Mawhati. The hon. Member being once the Professor of English wanted to find fault with the use of words and not with the contents and substance.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- I protest against this imputation.
MR. SPEAKER :- Is it not a fact that you were once the Professor of English?
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- I think being there, it is not correct being this imputation form knowing grammar to drawing a difference between the meaning of the word and its implication.
MR. SPEAKER :- I think the hon. Member has taken the Chief Minister from a wrong angle. In fact the Chief Minister has praised you for your knowledge of grammar, I do not think there is any imputation.
SHRI HOOVER HYNNIEWTA :- This is why he does not want to accept any compliment from you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Member was referring to the words "proposed" and "proposal" and he said, he counted that there are 29 times that the words "proposed" and Proposal" have been used. I counted and contend it and found that it contains only 26 times and not 29 times (laughter). I do not know how far the Member is serious and starting that in the Governor's Address he should not put the words "proposed" and "proposal".
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I suggest that the change of glasses would be better?
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- Mr. Speaker Sir, we have a Captain that side and a Professor this side.
MR. SPEAKER :- They are Professors of both side, and the heads of the House.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- However, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not going to contest the interpretation of the word "proposed", by pointing out that the word has been used 26 times. I also want to propose that I would like to make comparison of the word which has been used here in the Governor's Address with those he used in the context of what he wants to do something. He wants to bring a concrete proposal or concrete commendation for the works to be done by the Government. Therefore, it will not be correct to presume that it contains only the word "proposal" and nothing else. It may not be a correct way of using words but I want to make it very clear that it is an indication of the form of action intended to be taken by the Government whether the word "proposed" or "proposal" has been used. It is upto him interpret. So far as the Government is concerned, what has been indicated by the use of these words is the Government's intention. I would like to refer to the serious allegation of the hon. Members from Mawhati. He compares the Government with the bankrupt bridegroom. He has made further observation of being bankrupt in efficiency and bankrupt in honesty. He is also saying that there is impure money.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not using that word.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I have the copies here.
Prof. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- Bankrupt is very important.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) : - I shall not agree with him. His allegations are baseless. It is true that there may be lapses on the part of the officers in performance of their duties or in discharging their duties. But it will not be correct to condemn wholesale that there is no honesty. Now, efficiency may differ from man to man, honesty may also differ from man to man but it will be wrong to condemn outright. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if today the Government is going to be bankrupt I would not have the occasion to be with you here. Therefore, the hon. Member from Mawhati has to come forward for increase of pay and allowances stating that my pair of shoes costs so much and the pay given to us was not sufficient. Therefore, I found a lot of contradictions. I agree that our final resources are not so good. We have yet to improve our financial recourses. But I think it is not proper on the part of the hon.. Member to compare this Government with a bankrupt Bridegroom looking for a bride. I categorically refute the serious allegations. The temporary financial set-back of this Government, he said, it due to the expenses incurred in connection with the District Council elections in Jaintia Hills in support of the party-man.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- On a point of clarification. I did not mention about the elections. I mentioned two facts. Well, God knows but the fact is that immediately after the election was over there was no money.
MR. SPEAKER :- One should not bring in the name of God in the House because he knows as human bring what we are doing.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I may inform the House that this temporary set-back was due to wrong booking by the Office of the amount of Rs.1 crore and non-receipt of it at the time of Plan allocation which was due in February last and also due to non-receipt of share of Central Excise. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this temporary financial critics happens elsewhere also and not confined to this State alone. Therefore, it is not correct to say that this is due to this or that. I would request the hon. Member to prepare for ore responsibility and to be sure of proving whatever statement he may bring in this august House. Otherwise it will amount to misleading the public. I am sure the hon. Member has not decided to mislead the people. If today everyone of us thinks that it is better for me to mislead the people, I think we are not going to be of service here. Therefore, we should act responsible representatives. Everyone of us should behave like a responsible citizen. We are responsible for every work and every statement were make in this House. One should remember that these things are not confined to the four walls of this House. It goes to the Press, to the people and to some other sources disseminating information and it can mislead the people. It may be right for me to observe like a chosen representative. But it will be wrong to give a picture to mislead the people and thereby bring about unnecessary misunderstanding heading to some undesirable situation. I therefore would like to request the hon. Members to give us their fullest co-operation. I welcome all the corrective measures armed at better basis of concrete suggestions we will be prepared to rectify them. It will not be desirable for any hon. Member to make an observation in an irresponsible way as some of our hon. friends have done in the past. I am happy to welcome concrete suggestions both through this august House and outside. I think I had the occasion to consult with my friends.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, mention has been made about the Bangladesh refugee. The hon. Member from Nongstoin alleged that many Bangladesh refugees continue unauthorisedly to say on in Shillong. The refugees from Bangladesh entered Meghalaya at the time when atrocities were committed by the Pakistani Army in 1971. Some were allowed to stay with their relatives. Police maintained a complete register showing the details about such refugees staying with their realties. When the refugees started pouring in, a machinery was set up for door to door check in Shillong town and suburbs under one Inspector of Police assisted by the local head man of the respective area. Police had been conducting periodical verifications about such persons through surprise checks and had taken steps to ensure that such refugees leave Meghalaya. I may also mention for the information of the House, that Government have taken a number of effective measures to safeguard against infiltration of foreign nationals from Bangladesh into Meghalaya. For quite some time now, possession of passports has been made obligatory for visiting India by Bangladesh national and vice versa. There are a number of post for preventions of Bangladesh refugee Infiltration along the Indo-Bangladesh border to prevent unauthorised entry of foreign nationals into our country. There are also several border outpost manned by the Border Security Force whose duties include checking of Bangladesh nationals. In this connection, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Hon. Member from Nongtalang has stated that we should not depend on the Border Security Force and we must strengthen our own force. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some years ago, I cannot exactly remember, the Border Security Force were placed under the Jurisdiction of the State Government, and later on under the direction of the Government of India. Therefore, I would like to inform the hon. Member through you Sir, that we don't entirely depend on the Border Security Force to watch the infiltration of foreign nationals into our territory. We have got our own set-up of Bangladesh Infiltration Posts and Bangladesh Check post as follows : -
B. I. Ps.
P. C. Ps.
B. I. Ps.
P. C. Ps.
B. I. Ps.
P. C. Ps.
|Strength of B.I.Ps.|
|1.||Sub-Inspector of Police|
|Strength of B.I. Ps.|
|1.||Sub-Inspector of Police|
|1.||Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police|
|Strength of B.I. Ps.|
|1.||Sub-Inspector of Police|
Apart from this, there are also Customs Posts and staff to check smuggling of good and infiltration of smugglers. In addition, the police have got both uniformed and plan-clothes men to direct foreign nationals and kept watch over their activities. It is also added by the agencies of the Government of India. As such, it will be quite difficult for the Bangladesh nationals to enter Meghalaya without travel document and to stay here for long. Police have detected during this year upto date eleven Bangladesh nationals staying without travel document in parts of Shillong and after obtaining order of the Magistrate, they have been deported to Bangladesh. During the period from July, 1972, to December, 1972, seventeen Bangladesh nationals were detected in some parts of Shillong and were deported to Bangladesh. Police also conducted regular checks of hotels and residential area and interrogate suspicious persons It is, therefore, not correct to say that a large number of Bangladesh nationals stay on in Meghalaya un-authorisedly without being detected by the police. However, this problem cannot be tackled without public co-operation. I would request the hon. Members and also the members of the public to report police immediately any suspicious case which comes to their notice so that the police can take necessary action according to law.
There has been criticism of the functioning of the Police Force in Meghalaya. I would only point out the Members that the effectiveness of the police will depend on the extent of cooperation the police get from the public. Government are keen to ensure that the members of the Police Force develop the right approach in the discharge of their duties and in their dealings with the public. Government are taking steps for modernising the Police Force. Any case of dereliction of duty o misbehaviour by some members of the Police Force will be seriously dealt with. I would request the Members to remember that it will not be proper to condemn the Police Force in general. The tasks of the policemen are quite difficult and thankless and we should not demoralize the police merely because of some shortcomings here and there. The hon. Member from Mawhati has dramatized his allegation of inefficiency of the police by producing some bullets in the House which, he claims were found in Police Bazar but were not duly seized by the police. I would not like to go into this question at this stage, as the whole matter is under investigation.
There has also been some reference to the Government policy on employment. The hon. Member from Rongjeng has urged that the policy of reservation of 40 per cent of the posts in favour of the Garos should be strictly implemented. I would like to clarify the Government policy on reservation of 40 percent of the vacancies in respect of post which are to be filled up by direct requirement is kept in favour of the Garos.
Shri Parsva Nath Choudhury, stated that even though 15 percent of the post under the State Government for direct requirement has been kept reserved as general quota, in practice, this is not being implemented. In this connation, I must make it clear that the policy of the Party which runs the Government is committed to see that other citizens in Meghalaya get due share and for that a separate quota of 15 percent has been reserved.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember the hon. Member from Mawhati has complained that in awarding the Tamra-patras to the freedom fighters only person form a particular community have received them. In this connection, I will bring out the names of the Tamra-parta which are awarded by the Central Government in the name of the Prime Minister, in reorganisation of the role played by freedom fighters. Imprisonment for a period of six months in the cause of freedom is a minimum condition for getting a Tamra-patra. All the recipients have satisfied the conditions prescribed by the Centre. We caused verification by the D.C. Freedom fighters hailing from erstwhile East Pakistan and other parts of undivided India are entitled to get the award.
The following are the names of the recipients : -
|Smti. Snehalata Deb.|
|Shri Monoranjan Nandi.|
|Shri Nibaran Dutta.|
|Shri Upendra Noth Deb.|
|Shri Suresh Chandra Roy.|
|Prof. B. Dutta Ray.|
|Shri Panesh Chandra Biswas.|
|Shri Binoy Bhusan Choudhury.|
|Shri Chitta Ranjan Das.|
|Shri Sushil Kumar Bhadra.|
|Shri Hridesh Ranjan Deb.|
|Shri Amiya Sindhu Roy.|
|Shri Digendra Acharyya.|
|Shri Matilal Deb.|
|Shri Benoyendra Naug.|
|Shri Charu Shila Deb.|
|Shri Dewan Chand.|
This award was presented after taking the conditions into consideration. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it may not be possible for me touch all the points referred to by the hon. Members, and I hope the hon. Members will agree with me to discuss certain important matter during the general discussion on the budget and also during the Cut Motion.
Since the time is too short at my disposal, I will not refer to all the points. But I would like to mention about this particular matter which was raised by Mr. Lyngdoh and that is about border problem. Regarding the troubles in the border of Kamrup in Mawtamur area, some of the hon. Members had the occasion to meet me several times to discuss about this problem.
Originally dispute arose in the Forest Department and this dispute was there for a long time. According to our information, it was agreed to by the Forest Department of Kamrup and our Forest Department of Khasi-Jaintia Hills including the District Council that the matter would be settled a micabley. But unfortunately it appeared that some dispute took place in spite of the decision already taken and later on the situation become a little worse resulting in closure of traffic. I again convened a meeting with the District Council authorities in which the I.G.P. and other Police Officers, Deputy Commissioner and the Conservator of Forests were present. We were told that the roads had been blocked for vehicular movement and the people in the area were not getting the essential commodities. I requested the Deputy Commissioner to contact his counterpart and I was told that they had agreed to re-open the road.
Now with regard to the claim over this area that it falls within Khasi Hills, at present we do not have any paper to prove it. In fact I have asked the Revenue Department to took for the reverent documents of papers because we were told that for the administrative convenience this area was transferred to Kamrup and later on it was transferred to Khasi Hills. Now I am trying to search the relevant papers regarding this matter but I have not been able to have them. In fact I have requested those who have given this information to produce to me relevant papers. It will not be correct to presume, as contended by hon. Members this morning, that according to Paragraph 28 of the Sixth Schedule all the Khasi States would form part of Khasi Jaintia Hills. Now, the transfer of this particular Syiemship took place before the commencement of the Constitution. Therefore, it would not be correct to presume from that point of view that this also forms part of this District. If I remember aright, this transfer took place some time in 1876 and the Constitution came into being only in 1970. Therefore, it will not be correct to presume anything in that time. However, I will leave no stone unturned if my hon. friend, Mr. Lyngdoh or any other hon. Member or leaders of that locality can produce any document that it was in the interest of the people of that particular area that it has been retransferred this case is pending with the Hon. High Court. In any case unless we get some documents we will not be able to do anything.
MR. SPEAKER :- May I draw the attention of the Chief Minister that the matter is pending with the High Court?
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Not this particular case.
MR. SPEAKER :- It will be wrong on the part of the Government to inform all matters since they are pending with the High Court. In the meantime may I know how long you will take to conclude your reply.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I shall require 10 minutes more.
MR. SPEAKER :- May I beg leave of the House that we will rise as soon as the business of the day is completed? Meanwhile, I may remind the Chief Minister that he cannot discuss in the details the matter which is pending with the hon. High Court.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- With regard to this particular case also, as I have stated, the Government will take necessary action provided we are in a position to get necessary documents.
Now with regard to Mikir Hills and Jaintia Hills boundary dispute, I am sure the hon. Members coming from that particular District are quite aware of the origin of this. With the creation of North-Cachar and Mikir Hills District under the Sixth Schedule, some sort of Boundary Commission was set up in which local representative were also there. According to the recommendation of the Commission, Block I & II areas of Jaintia Hills were taken into the newly created Mikir Hills.
I know, right from the very beginning the people of those books are opposed to this inclusion. So the people of these areas refused to pay tax to the Mikir Hills District Council and they have also submitted a representation on a number of times to the Government and the Government of Assam has agreed in participle to reconsider the desirability or otherwise of re-transferring of these block No.1 and No.2 and for that purpose, it was agreed that joint enquiries should be made by the 2 District Councils, i.e., the Khasi & Jaintia Hills District Council and the Mikir Hills District Council. According to my memory certain agreement was arrived at by the Committee for block No.1 but it was finally to be approved by the respective Executive Committees of both Khasi & Jaintia Hills District Council and the Mikir Hills District Council. As far as the Khasi and Jaintia Hills District Council have not agreed. So the matter ended there and it was not pursued. But when Meghalaya came into being, we have taken up this case and it was mentioned in the Governor's Address. We had meetings with the Chief Minister of Assam and other Ministers connected with this. It was agreed that the Officers' committee consisting of officers both from Meghalaya and Assam should be formed for taking into account this question and to collect comparative census figures of the Mikirs and the Jaintias and as stated in the Governor's Address, these figures have been collected. So it is not correct to say that we are sitting idle and it will not also be correct to say or presume that because of this there has been a serious law and order situation. I will not accept the observation made by the hon. Member from Pariong that the Government always like to make obituary references of the big shots, while the people are suffering or dying. I will not accept that remark. Whenever the situation demands for taking corrective measures or preventive measures with regard to law and order matters, I must make it very clear that the Government has never been guilty of negligence of its duties. But sometimes because of the Government's difficulty in getting information about law and order situation or any other matter, it cannot be expected to be very prompt in tackling the problem then and there. In this, I would request the hon. Members to extend their help and to cooperate and assist the Government. If any such incidents should occur, they should take the earliest opportunity to inform the Government so that the Government can do something to prevent further deterioration of the situation.
SHRI HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I get a clarification from the Chief Minster. Is it a fact that a police force was asked to be stationed at Mawtmur to protect the people there?
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is entirely wrong that our police force is there. You see the Armed Police of the Government of Assam cannot encroach into our area and so also our Police force into other's territory. It is not because of the fact that the Armed Police of Assam are a bigger force or that ours is a smaller force.
SHRI HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I also give a clarification on my charge that the Government failed to maintain better order. So far as we are concerned, Mawtamur and Mawtyngkong areas are entirely within our State. According to the Election Law, these people are our voters and according to the administrative function, all the administrative activities there are run by the District Council and the Sohiong Lyngdohship.
MR. SPEAKER :- I think you should not bring a statement to the effect that the Meghalaya Police Force at Mawtamur is to be posted at Patharkhmah. The statement of the Chief Minister was that they cannot encroached into some other districts. But the Chief Minister did not say that Mawtamur does not fall within ............ (Interruptions)
SHRI HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH : - But Sir, the Chief Minister said that there is no communication. Communication from here to Mawtamur........ (Interruption)
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot make a categorical statement whether Mawtamar is within Khasi Hills or within Kamrup itself.
MR. SPEAKER :- Mr. Chief Minister may I get the information whether a case has really been instituted regarding this area?
SHRI BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) :- We are not aware.
MR. SPEAKER :- Otherwise it will complicate matters.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM :- Moreover, Sir, it will be harmful, if the Chief Minister disclaims or disowns............
MR. SPEAKER :- No, he has not disowned.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I am not very clear. If I have a document to prove that these actually fell within Khasi Hills or in Meghalaya, I will leave no stone unturned to bring it under Meghalaya.
In fact, our Police went there for the spot enquiry. According to the map-sheet produced and notification available in the Revenue Department, it is difficult to prove definitely whether it is within Khasi Hills or in Kamrup. According to claim put forward form the other side, it is much within their area. These is a dispute over the river and actual demarcation is not there. We have trying our best to collect relevant documents. But whatever documents we have at present, on the basis of that it is difficult to prove this or that. I do not, however, shirk the responsibility and as I said earlier, we have been trying to be armed with the documents and if from the document that may be available to us in the near future we know what it falls within our territory, we will say that this area should be restored to us.
SHRI FRANCIS K. MAWLOT :- May I have clarification on the reply to the question raised by Mr. Lyngdoh? I was stated the the police force was first posted at Mawtamur and then at Patharkhmah. But the Chief Minister said that it was completely wrong. May I, therefore, have a clarification whether the Police actually was?
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Whether it is Mawtamur or any other place, our Police can function within our jurisdiction only. Where there is an objection from the other side and they claim on the basis of the documents.
MR. SPEAKER :- I think enough has been discussed on this. Now I want to close the discussion on the subject.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- Just a very important matter, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. For shifting of the Police from Mawtamur to Patharkhmah, the distance here is about 12 miles. Why should the police go inside-about 12 miles. They would have come only to the disputed area instead of coming 12 miles inside.
SHRI HOOVER HYNNIEWTA :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think you have already closed the discussion on the subject and I think your word it is last word in the House.
MR. SPEAKER :- I said I have closed the discussion on the subject.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- As I said earlier time may not permit me to deal with all the points raised by hon. Members. I may be able to reply to a few points only. We know well that the points can be further discussed during the general discussion on the budget. We will have also ample opportunity to discuss matters during the demands for grants through Cut Motions and this and that. I would request the hon. Members, through you, Sir, to please excuse me if it is not possible for me to touch all the points and I would like to end my reply with this remark that we always welcome the concrete and useful suggestions not only from the hon. Members of this august House but any citizen of the State because our objective is the same, that is, to serve the people in State earlier through this determination to wipe out poverty, illiteracy and disease and let us put forth our joint effort and discuss together, taking into consideration the situation prevailing in the State, how best we can proceed have not been able to give satisfaction to the hon. Members on the but may be because our opinions on a particular issue may not be the same. It does not however, mean that there is no place for meeting. Once again, therefore, I thank the hon. Members, through you Sir, for the keen interest they have taken in the debate on the Governor's Address. I hope, with our experience both form this side and from the other side, we shall be able to make our programmes more effective arriving at certain conclusions and decisions which will help our people to march towards progress, prosperity and happiness. Thank You.
MR. SPEAKER : - The discussion is now closed and I put the question before the House. The question is that the Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in this Session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House on the 15th of March, 1973.
(The Motion was then put to vote and carried)
MR. SPEAKER :- The House stands adjourned till 9 A.M. on Wednesday, the 21st March, 1973.
|R. T. RYMBAI,|
|the 20th March 1973||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly|