The Assembly met at 9.00 a.m. on Saturday the 31st March, 1973 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong, with the Speaker in the Chair.
Presents :- Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair, Five Minister two Ministers of State and Twenty Hon. Members.
(To which oral replied were given)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us being with the business of the day by taking up the Starred Question No.32.
Shri Martin Narayan Majaw asked :-
*32 Will the Minister of Finance be pleased to state-
|(a)||Whether Government has received a letter from the Syiem of Mylliem and Durbar, No.MS/REV/69-70/712, dated 31st July 1970, on the Share of Revenue due to Mylliem Syiemship from Sales-tax and other Taxes collected by the Assam Government ?|
|(b)||If so, what action has Government taken on the basis of that letter ?|
|(c)||If not, why ?|
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance ) :- replied :
|(b) & (c)||-Do not arise.|
(To which replied were laid on the table)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to Unstarred Question No. 73
Shri Francis K. Mawlot asked :
73 Will the Minister -in-charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state -
|(a)||Whether Government are aware of the fact that the drains at Jaiawshiap locality are completely washed away by rain water because of their dilapidated conditions and converted into dumping places ?|
|(b)||If so, what steps Government propose to take in the matter ?|
|(c)||Whether Government are aware of the fact that the rubbishes of the Civil Hospital dumped in dustbins are not collected by the Municipal Authority thereby making the surrounding of the Hospital unhealthy ?|
|(d)||If so, what steps Government propose to take in the matter ?|
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- replied :
|-The major drains in the aforesaid locality belong to the Public Works Department. However, a joint inspection was held with the Municipal Board representative and the P.W.D officials to improve their condition.|
|No. There are no Municipal dustbins around the Civil Hospital.|
|-Does not arise in view of (c) above.|
Mr. Speaker :- Then we will come to Zero Hour. Mr. S.D. Khongwir to bring to the notice of the Minister-in-charge of Education or to the Government the state of affairs in the Central State Library.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, strictly confining myself to the provision of Rule 49(a) I shall not make any speech but I would just like to indicate to the Government regarding the state of affairs in so far as the Central State Library is concerned which is located here at Shillong. I am of the opinion that we in the State of Meghalaya, have also got every right and interest in this Library and a couple of months ago I received some information from the persons who are working there in the Central State Library that many valuable books have been shifted down to Gauhati and these books uptil this time remained at Gauhati and have not been returned to the Central State Library, Shillong. I would like to point out to the Government to see to our interest in the Library that whatever we got there should be protected.
Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister-in-charge of Education reply ?
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State for Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the matter raised by the hon. Members has been engaging the attention of the Government since the attainment of full State-hood. On the 20th of January 1972, the Director of Public Instructions requested his counterpart in Assam for a list of all officers discharging duties in connection with the State of Assam in the ate of Meghalaya so that from the 21st of January, 1972 their services may be dened to have been taken over by the State of Meghalaya. In reply to this request the Director of Public Instruction's Assam stated that in as much as the State Central Library is concerned it was under administrative, professional a District Library of the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills. This position was found unacceptable and the matter was pursued by the Secretary, Education. On the 3rd August 1972 the Government was informed that the Assam Government were examining the issue. On the 15th November, 1972, the Chief Secretary pointed out to his counterpart in Assam that a portion of the Library is performing specifically district functions and that this portion should forthwith be made over to and managed by the Meghalaya Government. The Assam Chief Secretary agreed with this interpretation over the phone. On the basis of this agreement several letters were written but no reply was received. The attention of the Chief Secretary was again drawn to the fact that no action has been taken by the Assam Government and a reminder was issued from the Chief Secretary's end on the 17th March,1973. The Chief Secretary also pointed out that no books, furniture, etc., from the Shillong Library should be removed pending final agreement between the two States. In reply to this letter the Chief Secretary, Assam has reverted to his Government's earlier stand that no portion of the State Central Library belongs to the Government of Meghalaya. He has, however, suggested a meeting between representatives of the two Governments. This is how the matter stands at the moment. Our position as I have already pointed out, is that the portion of the State Central Library functioning as a District Library belongs to us. Although this position had been accepted by the Assam Government, they seem to have had seconds thoughts and have revised their position. As far as the removal of the assets of the Library is concerned, we have requested the Assam Government to maintain the status quo, until a final agreement is arrived at.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Government of Meghalaya are aware that a few valuable books have been shifted down to Gauhati sometime in the month of October or November, 1972.
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State for Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have no specific information about that.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, are the Government of Meghalaya willing to find out these books ?
Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, that information has been given to the House and the matter will be pursued.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the second item in today's list of business. Mr. D.D. Pugh, member of the Privilege Committee to move the notice of Complaint by the Marshal of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly be taken into consideration.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I have a word. I notice that this is report of the conversation that took place in Khasi and English and there is a direct mention of my name.
Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw, you will have a chance to deny, affirm confirm or reject. No body of this House has said but somebody from outside.
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State for Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move a complaint of Breach of Privilege by the Marshal of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly against Mr. Properly Chyne of Jaiaw, Shillong be taken into consideration.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved, now I put the question before the House. The question is that the notice of complaint by the Marshal of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly against Mr. Properly Chyne of Jaiaw, Shillong be taken into consideration
(Motion was put to vote and carried).
Mr. Speaker :- The Notice of complaint will be taken into consideration but before I ask Mr. D.D. Pugh to submit his argument before the House, may I ask the hon. Members from the Opposition side to indicate who would like to participate. I have got here the names of Mr. Maham Singh, Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh and Mr. Jormanick Syiem.
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State for Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I rise. to initiate the discussion on and to pilot the consideration of the privilege motion now before this august House, I would like to begin by stating that I have noticed that we have a fairly long list of business before us for today. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I shall endeavour to be a brief as possible. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I shall fully aware of the existence of Rule 175 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business by the provisions of which my freedom of speech is restricted and circumscribed. Now, the said rule says that "the debate at all stages on questions involving privilege" shall be brief. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I reiterate that I shall make every attempt to be as brief as possible.
Now, as we all know this legislature has today been called upon to deliberate on the privilege motion now under consideration because of the notice of complaint the House has received under which the complainant has very clearly stated that Shri Properly Chyne had on the 29th of March, 1973 criticised the ruling made by the hon. Speaker, in matter relating to question of privilege. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is my contention that the the offence of bringing a legislature or of the House such as this into ridicule or contempt by casting reflections on the hon. Members is bad enough. To malign the entire House by heartily criticising the ruling by the hon. Speaker himself thereby directly casing reflections on him who is the supreme head of the House is a crime which is unforgivable. We just cannot pardon such a crime. For the benefit of my fellow Members from the Garo Hills who perhaps do not know the person who has had the check and the audacity to criticise the hon. Speaker, himself and to question to correctness of his ruling, I would like to take this opportunity of making just one for that Shri Properly Chyne was for some years at one time the Wahadadar of the Shella Confederacy. In my opinion, the Shella confederacy is only in Meghalaya. But in the entire north-east. Secondly, I would like to bring to the information of the House by way of a reminder that the self-same person, Mr. Properly Chyne contested the election to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly from the Shella constituency which to me, means that he considers himself and he is considered by those who voted for him, good enough to be a member of this very august House. Needless to say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the perhaps it was providential that Mr. Properly Chyne did not return. Now, some of my hon. colleagues in this House may wonder that I have brought out these two facts. The reasons for bringing to the information of the House the fact that Mr. Properly Chyne is an ex-Wahadadar of the Shella a Confederacy and that he also contested the election to this legislature is this. As the Wahadadar he was also the Presiding Officer over the highest court of law within the Shella Confederacy which means to me that he is expected to be very very well acquainted with the term 'contempt of court' and also to be acquainted with all that the term contains and means. Secondly as a Candidate, I would have expected Mr. Chyne to know that there is such a thing as the power, privilege and immunity enjoyed by the legislature such as this and also enjoyed by the Members thereof. Moreover, Mr. Prosperly Chyne can by no stretch of imagination claim to be an uneducated and illiterate person. He is a very highly educated person, and because of this fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am constrained to believe that Mr. Chyne willfully committed the offence. Another fact I would like to pinpoint is this. That Mr. Chyne had been warned in the first instance and that one of the hon. Members of this very House had advised Mr. Chyne not to say the things that he was saying on the 29th of March and also notice Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in the memorandum on the question of privilege involving the hon. Speaker, Sir of the Meghalaya Legislative assembly brought to the notice of the House on 30th March, 1972 to which I believe the hon. member from Mawhati was drawing the attention of the House. I notice here that it has been recorded, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that you yourself had said this: "When we are here please do not forget that I am the Speaker". He was fully aware and he had been given a forewarning of the fact that whatever he was saying he was in the presence of the Speaker of the Legislature.
Then on page 2 of the same memorandum, I have also taken note of the fact that it has been recorded that Mr. Chyne said this in reply to what the hon. Speaker, had said. 'Then shall I talk by standing'. This statement to me is a clear indication that Mr. Prosperly Chyne was fully aware of the implications of the warning given by the hon. Speaker himself. Finally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in connection with the breach of privilege committed I would like to draw your kind attention and also the attention of the entire House to the second sentence of the second paragraph of the memorandum which reads as follows : ' In the course of this conversation Shri Prosperly Chyne, who happens to be one of the leaders who organised the demonstration outside the Assembly Building, remarked very uncourteously in presence of the Hon'ble Speaker". In this sentence Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to reaffirm the fact that we have a proof that Mr. Prosperly Chyne acted most haughtily because, in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is only a haughty person who can be discourteous. In brief, Mr. Chyne has willfully and haughtily committed a breach of privilege against the hon. Speaker, and therefore, against the entire House. Therefore, he deserves to be so judged and punished. Now, since the party which is charged in this case is not a member of this august House, according to Rule 172 the House has the power to inflict one of the 3 punishments, namely (a) Admonition (b) Reprimand and (c) Imprisonment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe that I have succeeded in emphasizing the seriousness of this breach of privilege committed by Mr. Chyne and, therefore, because of the magnitude of the gravity of the offence committed by him, I am inclined to recommend to this House that he be imprisoned but because taking into consideration of the fact that this is the first offence committed by Mr. Chyne I would suggest that he be reprimanded, and before I resume my seat. I would like to plead with you to dispose of this matter here in this House. I am making this appeal because Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am fully aware of the fact that, notwithstanding what any Member of this House may say, suggest or propose, it is you prerogative Mr. Speaker, Sir, to refer the matter to the Privilege Committee under Rules 162, 164 and more especially my humble submission that because of the heinous character and gravity of the offence committed by Mr. Chyne, it is only right and proper that the offender be punished here and now if we are to uphold the dignity and sanctity of the House. With these observations Mr. Speaker, Sir, I recommend that Mr. Prosperly Chyne be reprimanded before the Bar of the House. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker :- Before Prof Majaw would make his submission on one part, I think he will have his say now.
Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there can be no two opinions on the gravity and seriousness of the offence committed. We are can be permitted that can in any way, even by an iota, reduce the honour and dignity that is due to this House and particularly to you. We may be a small State, we may be new state, we may be inexperienced in the art of Government but where the privileges and the immunities of this House are concerned we cannot have a different opinion but one that such things should not be allowed as brought to the notice of the House through this motion. The matter becomes all the more serious because of the fact that this is not merely hearsay but is first -hand experience and not referring merely to the member of this August House but particularly to the Speaker who represents the entire House and whose ruling was not only a ruling of the Speaker but it also becomes a part of the proceedings of the House. I do not wish in any way to condone the action committed nor to, in any way, bring disrepute upon the House u condoning such action. The fact thus remains a clear fact that it has been an insult to the dignity of the House. While saying this I would also like to point out that the record of the conversation that took place on the 29th has an indirect reference to me. I am referring to page 2 of this memorandum in which Mr. Prosperly Chyne is reported to have said that the Member who move the adjournment Motion had stated that the ruling was incorrect. I happen to have been that member who tried to move an a adjournment motion. It was over-ruled but I must add very clearly and emphatically that this is figment of his imagination and has not a drop of truth in what he has said. It is absolutely false. I am at a loss to understand how he could make such a statement.
Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw once you said that there was no truth in it. It all the more gives the impression that he has cast a reflection upon you also (laughter).
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I am coming to that Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I would wish that this should be noted because we are very very anxious through experience and also through mistakes of inexperience to protect this new found dignity this new -found honour, which brings honour not only to the House but to the State as a whole so that, as you have rightly pointed out, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in making a false statement about me and in uttering the utterance that he brought forth against you and also against the House..............
Mr. Speaker :- And against you also.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- He is, I quite agree, guilty of a very serious breach of privilege. Now the second para of this motion or at least the second part of the deliberations will deal with punishment. What punishment is to be meted out ? How he is to be punished ? I quite agree with the hon. member who moved the motion that Mr. P. Chyne cannot be looked upon as an uneducated or illiterate person. But I would also like to point out, while not in any way abrogating or taking away the dignity of the House, that he has come here as a leader of a group of persons who are demanding relief from the Government to redress their troubles like starvation and other troubles that have arisen out because of the closure of the border along Bangladesh.
Mr. Speaker :- That is not the impact on this remark against the privilege of the House.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- No not at all Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am talking of punishment to be meted out to him. Now those of us know him also that he is a very impatient person, hot-tempered you may say so, given to the fits of anger and in fact, in the conversation with the Chief Minister and the Minister of Industries, he frequently interrupted the conversation so often that it is something ingrained in his nature of character. Now that has happened even when he conversed with the Speaker, and that is his character of being hot-tempered, angry, impatient from the very circumstances of having brought these persons here.
Mr. Speaker :- You mean his impatient attitude can be an excuse for the privilege of the House ?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- No not at all Mr. Speaker, Sir, (laughter).
Mr. Speaker :- Even ignorance of law cannot be an excuse
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I will be the first man to uphold it and I am going to talk only on punishment, the degree and the nature of punishment to be meted out to him. There is no excuse at all in trying to bring down the dignity of the House and there is no attempt at all on our part also to condone the offence. The offence is very clearly there and we fully agree that the motion is one that has effected the dignity of the House. But speaking only on the punishment that may be meted out to him. I would say in view of the fact that he is a person of impatient type of character and perhaps disappointed over the outcome of his demonstration or over the outcome of what had happened. He certainly acted very very wrongly. But I might say in view of these facts, that we should demand an apology from him, he has to submit an apology to the House and to the Speaker, and I confess of course, that it is very very delicate matter, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because I do not want in the last manner to try to condone the act. But the ultimate decision lies with you Mr. Speaker, Sir, because if it does lie within our power to allow him to make an apology to the House and to yourself, I would suggest that the matter may end there. But I do fully agree with the mover of the motion that this case may not be sent to the Privilege Committee. It is a very very unfortunate matter and it should be settled now. No purpose will be served in taking up this case several times and then submit report to the House.
Mr. Speaker :- Don't you think that he could be sent to some Mental Hospital for treatment ?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we should get him examined and I would humbly submit that he has to tender unconditional apology to the House and to you. I think the matter may be allowed to rest there. that is my humble opinion. but here is no gain saying the fact that 'his is certainly a very serious matter in which such conversation took place.
Mr. Speaker :- Before I call upon other Members, let me inform that Mr. Chyne has written to me a letter which I have received yesterday at 4.00 p.m. in my room. The letter reads as follows :-
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong.
Honourable Speaker Sir,
I do hereby tender my apologies and at the same time express my regret for the sad incident that occurred during the discussion on your disallowance in the Assembly to accept the adjournment motion concerning the peaceful hunger demonstration by the Shella Constituency Border People. The fact is that firstly I took it as a friendly discussion and secondly since we were in the common room of the Hostel I did not think that it would affect the dignity of the Speaker and the House concerning the privilege of the whole House. So I would request to kindly take it as a case of pure accident of "PYNDEI KTI PYNDEI KJAT' which is accordance with our Khasi Polite manners and custom we say "KHUBLEI".
Once again I request you and the whole House to accept my tendered apology.
The 30th March, 1973
So there is no reason why I should not allow the motion to be moved. The reason is that the person concerned did not say that he had no intention to reflect the Speaker. Secondly it was a misrepresentation of facts to say that I talk to you as a friend. I had already indicated in the memorandum that "you must remember you are inside the Assembly premises, I am Mr. Speaker, " and that is the reason why I think that this letter of apology is insufficient that I still allow a discussion to take place now. so taking the matter into consideration in the light of this take place now. So taking the matter into consideration in the light of this letter. I would like to call upon other Members who would like to participate.
Shri Jormanik Syiem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in supporting the motion moved, there is hardly anything more to be said that has not been said. Having heard the Mover of the motion and also the hon. member from Mawhati, I think everything has been stated by them. It is clear that the matter was very serious indeed for it was committed in the presence of the Speaker, himself who is the Presiding Officer of the Legislature of the State of Meghalaya and we are following the parliamentary system of England in which such offence are treated as very serious. Going through the papers placed on the table of the House, I found that the party which has been reported against has committed a very serious offence which cast a reflection not only to the Speaker, of the House, but to the whole House itself. We have a precedent in the United Kingdom which says, "the slightest reflection in the House upon the Speaker's action or character is a grave breach of order, receiving immediate and serious report". Contempt of the House may be defined generally as any act of omission which obstructs or impedes either House of Parliament in the performances of its functions, or which obstructs or impedes any member or officer of such House in the discharge of his duty, or which has a tendency, directly or indirectly, to produce such results. Even though there is no precedent of the impede the House in the performance of its functions has a tendency to produce this result indirectly by bringing i\the House into odium, contempt, or ridicule or by lowering its authority, it constitutes a contempt. Further the House may punish not only contempt "rising out of facts of which ordinary courts will take cognizance, but also those of which they cannot, such as contemptuous, insults, gross calumny or four epithets by word of mouth not within the category of actionable slander or threat or bodily injury". Here, this contempt in which Mr. Prosperly Chyne has by his impertinent audacity in spite of the warning given to him by the Hon'ble Speaker, he still had the audacity to say that the Speaker's ruling was wrong or mistaken. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we have heard from the previous speakers that this person is a literate or an educated person and that he was a Presiding Officer of the subordinate Court of Shella Confederacy. He was a candidate for this Legislature and there should be no excuse for what he has done. What is the action that has to be decided by the House and whether Mr. Prosperly Chyne has cast any reflection not only to the Speaker but to the House itself. Secondly, whether the words uttered by Mr. Prosperly Chyne tantamount to direct or indirect criticism of the Hon'ble Speaker's ruling inside the House. He said that the Member who moved the Adjournment Motion told me that your ruling is incorrect and I am also convinced that your ruling was wrong.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Syiem, you need not quoted all the line in details you have to touch only important points.
Shri Jormanik Syiem :- Well, he was so pertinent that he has shown his audacity before the Hon'ble Speaker. There is no necessity for providing it by evidences, this has been committed in the presence of the Hon'ble Speaker himself. Now, the question is that whether Mr. Prosperly Chyne's action constituted a gross breach of privilege involving the Chair had the whole House. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, the only question now for the House to decide is that what action should be taken against such a person. The offence has been very grave and in spite of his apology, there should be no regret, I mean to say there is nothing to be excused when he confronted the Hon'ble Speaker in the premises of the House and therefore, according to me, deterrent punishment should be inflicted on a person so that this will make the man realises about the gravity of the situation and also that it will serve as a precedent in the future in case any people from outside or inside has that some audacity to cast a reflection on the Chair and on the House and they also should have to face a serious consequence. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would suggest that the person reported, that is Mr. Prosperly Chyne should be brought before the House and given such sentence as the House deems fit to impose on him. With these words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in fact, it is a fact very very sad thing to mention the incident that took place on the 29th March, 1973. We were also present there in the place of occurrence and we heard that Mr. Prosperly Chyne and really stated the words that were stated in the Memorandum. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say a few words in this regard that as per statement by the hon. Mover, it is true and I believe that what has happened and what has been stated was really an act of contempt to have cast a reflection not only on the Hon'ble Speaker but on the House as a whole. Mr. Prosperly Chyne, in spite of the previous warning given by the Hon'ble Speaker, informing him that this is the lounge which is within the precincts of the House. Myself also Mr. Speaker, Sir, on that day though not included here in the memorandum, after Mr. Prosperly Chyne uttered the word before the Speaker in connection with the ruling of the Adjournment motion, did really warn him asked him not to speak like that. I told him it was not only the consensus and the decision of the House but the ruling of the Speaker. But it appears at that time the man has become so desperate and impertinent, he did not listen to me. Therefore, since the incident took place within the precincts of the House and the interpretation of Mr. Prosperly Chyne was also against the ruling of the Hon'ble Speaker, there is no denying the fact about it. I for one, feel that the action of Mr. Chyne really tantamount to a breach of privilege of the House. But one thing Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not agree with the hon. Mover of the Privilege Motion who has expressed that this was a criminal offence.
Mr. Speaker :- We are not concerned with a criminal offence but what we are concern is with the privilege of the House, and whether the action of Mr. Chyne casts any reflection on the Chair or not.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since this tantamount to the breach of privilege and contempt of the House I feel that this august House should inflict punishment on this person and I will leave this to the House to decide the type of punishment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to point out as stated in the memorandum, that when the Speaker entered the lounge, while we were talking about the demonstrators who were lying here in the premises of the House for the last three days, we were talking not so seriously about it but two persons, namely, Mr. Prosperly Chyne and Mr. Justfilton Rapthap, were asking me to give some help to the women and children. They were asking me to give food and water for them. So, we were talking about them and when our Speaker, was coming along the passage of the Hostel, I myself called the Speaker to enter. When the Speaker entered the lounge and at the time while we were talking, Mr. Prosperly Chyne immediately rose up and said 'Let us talk as friends'- To ngin ia kren kum paralok'. He did say like that though he tendered apology to the Hon'ble Speaker, He wanted to talk to the Speaker and also to us who were there as friends. So, it seem that his mind is not balanced I feel, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is perhaps the first time and we have never come across such an incidents in the House and it will be a precedent of his act and what he has done, though his intention and motives are not known, is really a commitment of the breach of privilege of the House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may also refer to the discussion with the Chief Minister the other day before this thing happened. That day we had a talk with the Chief Minister and the Minister of Industries. That day also while representing the case of those demonstrators, Mr. Prosperly Chyne was acting in a similar way. He was very talkative and he did not even allow the Chief Minister to talk and we also, did not have the chance to talk about the people who were in the premises of the House. So, I would share with the view of the Mover of the motion and, in fact, with the whole House that it was a breach of the privilege of the House that Mr. Prosperly Chyne had committed. With these few words, resume my seat.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, just for an information, Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh also admitted, as stated in the Memorandum, that he was also present during the discussion that took place between you and Mr. Chyne. I would like to know from him whether it was a fact that this gentlemen said, as the Mover has stated, that the ruling of the Hon'ble Speaker, was incorrect. I think, as he was present he would be the best man to give the House the correct information.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- This is a serious question to ask, Mr. Speaker, Sir. How can the Chief Minister ask collaboration of the other Member when the Speaker himself made a statement.
Mr. Speaker :- I think Prof. Majaw, you have already denied. But what the Chief Minister wants to know is whether the Member concerned really casts a reflection on you also.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I hope the Chief Minister is not wanting the proof of the statement.
Shri W. A Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I do not want it. What I want to know is whether he has cast a reflection on the Speaker, and you also.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think what you stated is sufficient.
Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw has already denied that he has cast reflection on him individually.
So may I call upon Mr. D.D Lapang. ?
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is really unfortunate that such a thing happened. While going through this report which has been circulated, we have seen here at page 2 what Mr. Prosperly Chyne has state and one can definitely come to the conclusion that it has cast serious reflection on the Chair and the House as a whole. It will certainly tantamount to direct or indirect criticism of the Hon'ble Speaker's ruling and will constitute a breach of privilege involving the Chair and the House. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the words from S.S. Moore's 'Practice in Pediment' may be quoted. There he stated that the ruling of the President, which means the Speaker in our time, cannot be criticised. It is further stated that it should not be open to any Member of the House to criticise directly or indirectly outside the House. Now, Mr. Prosperly Chyne is stated to have said 'I am also convinced that your ruling is wrong", which means a challenge to the ruling of the Speaker and the decision of the House. So , this has cast a serious reflection on the House and besmirched the prestige and dignity of the House. Here I may be allowed to refer to a case similar to this which happened some months ago in Parliament. The case was like this. The Deputy Speaker, Mr. G. G. Swell, was in the Chair when the Motion was brought to the House relating to the question of famine and starvation. The Deputy Speaker gave a ruling and disallowed discussion of the issue. Then Shri Mani Ram Bagri, General Secretary, Socialist Party, sent a telegram to the Deputy Speaker which reads as follows :-
"Shri Sitaram Singh and Shri Shiv Sankar Prasad Yadav raised the question of famine and starvation in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively. You have acted cowardly by suppressing this issue. Therefore, you are guilty of ignoring Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and crores of hungry people. I condemn your action and at the same time commend the brave persons like Sarvashri Sitaram Singh and Shiv Sankar Prasad Yadav. Do not disallow such question. This is not your durbar. It is the House of the people.
Then on 31st August, 1972 Shri R.N. Sharma , M.P. sought to raise the question of privilege against Shri Mani Ram Bagri. The Speaker, Dr. G.S. Dhillon, admitted this motion. While discussing in the House there has been a privilege as to whether this can be discussed without any signature on the telegram as it is only a confirmation copy. But the Speaker in spite of that, he said these words. "I admitted it because the question of the Chair was concerned. ". Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very clearly under stood, here that even a telegram without any witness without any signature is admitted in the House because it concerns the Chair. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Raj Bahadur, stated "it is clearly a breach of privilege and insult to the House ". The Deputy Speaker, while taking part in the discussions said these words" ................... ...................... ........................ So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to remind the House that ours is a newly born State, so in my opinion, I do feel and I hope ours is a newly born State, so in my opinion, I do feel and I hope that others will fall in line with me, that we should also make a good start so that we can expect that the end will be a good one in order to maintain the dignity and prestige of this House. It is stated very clearly by the hon. member who moved the Motion that Mr. Chyne is not an illiterate person, that he does not lack knowledge but he is in equal rank with any other literate person. So it would be fit and proper Mr. Speaker, Sir, that these types of things should be nipped in the bud and to bring the person to book and as suggested by the hon. Member, I would suggest that Shri Chyne be reprimanded by this House.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we feel very much aggrieved and we feel that great disrespect has been shown to us when we learnt what has happened as is given in the Memorandum which was circulated to us that in the occurrence which took place on the 29th March, 1973 at 3-30 p.m. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree with the Mover of the resolution that we have to take very serious note of what actually happened. Mr. Speaker, Sir, now the first question that arises over here is whether Mr. Chyne has cast any reflection on the Chair by uttering these words. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, now the first question that arises over here is whether Mr. Speaker, Sir, apart from the fact that we all consider that actual disrespect has been shown to the House by the utterances of Mr. Chyne, it may be mentioned that these utterances took place within the Members' lounge at Manipuri Bhavan that is within the precincts of this august House. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. Chyne was one of the leaders of the leniency actually had been shown to them by allowing many of those people even at night to sleep in the verandah of the Members hostel. Now Mr. Chyne as a leader of these people was allowed to enter into the lounge room because he is a man of standing and besides that, he is the leader of those people from the border areas who are faced with starvation. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, when he came to the Members' lounge according to the conversation that has been given in the memorandum,, he said "let us talk as friends". The warning had already been given by you Mr. Speaker, Sir, when you said "when you are here, please do not forget that I am the Speaker" and then he went on further to say' then I shall talk by standing. So, this shows that he is pretending addressing the Speaker and being formal. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, immediately after that he said 'you do not love your own people'. Thus, he is criticising the ruling that bad been given by you in this Housed for not allowing the Adjournment Motion moved on their behalf one of the hon. Members.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, here is the translation of the word's "People" for "Paradoh parasnam" is not correct.
Mr. Speaker :- The people of our own flesh and blood. But that has very little burden on me.
Shri Maham Singh :- So Mr. Speaker, Sir, by uttering these words in spite of the fact that he was already warned, we consider that a reflection had been cast on the Chair and then again when we come further to the other conversation, it is a direct criticism on the ruling of the Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the next part of the conversation is 'Balei Phim shah ia ka Adjournment Motion- " Why do not you allow the Adjournment Motion" and then in spite of the fact that the Speaker had told him that it was decided according to the rules, he went on and confronted and said that "your ruling is wrong". He told that your ruling is incorrect, "I am convinced that your ruling is wrong." That is a direct criticism on the ruling of the Speaker before this august House. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, we consider that a breach of privilege has been committed. We cannot allow this act to go un punished because we want that other people also should know that there is sanctity in the ruling of the Speaker in this august House and we should also maintain the honour and dignity of this House. Now the next question arises what should be the punishment that should be meted our for the offence committed by Mr. Prosperly Chyne. As has been said by the Mover of the Resolution he should be reprimanded because it is the first offence. Now the other question is whether we should deal with him in a lenient manner i.e., instead of imprisonment he should be reprimanded. The other punishment is admonition which is lesser than reprimand. Whether the punishment should be admonitions or he should be reprimanded. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as already said by the Mover of the resolution Mr. P.C. Chyne is is not an illiterate person. He himself was the Chairman of the Village Court. He is well aware of what the term "contempt of Court" means and there may have been precedents in his own Court with regard to contempt committed against his own in his own Court with regard to contempt committed against his own Village Court. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I quite agree with the Mover of the Motion that Mr. P.C. Chyne should be reprimanded by this House.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to subscribe my views to this privilege motion which is brought on the floor of the House due to severe criticism by one, Mr. P.G. Chyne in connection with the ruling of the Hon. Speaker, on the 29th of this month within the premises of this august House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the established rights and privileges of this House are enjoyed by each and every one of the hon. Members of the Committees, even the State Government and the Marshal and its whole establishment itself. Therefore, if any reflection is cast on any one of its counterpart, it has also cast a reflection on all of us and if the right and privilege of any one are impeded, the right and privilege of one and all are impeded. The rights and privileges and the prestige of this House and above all its Speaker who is the symbol of dignity, the symbol of unity were never criticised directly in indirectly even outside or inside the four walls of this House. The issue was raised by the Marshal of this House, as the Hon. Speaker, was criticised that his ruling was incorrect, a matter which has jeopardized the rights and privileges of this House. May says as follows : "Parliamentary privilege is the sum of the peculiar rights enjoyed by each House collectively as a constituent part of the High Court of Parliament, and by Members of each House individually, without which they could not discharge their functions, and which exceed those possessed by other bodies or individuals". To follow May again - "any act or omission which obstructs or impedes either or impedes any member or officer of such House in the discharge of his duty or which has a tendency, directly or indirectly, to produce such results may be treated as contempt". Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. Chyne who challenged the ruling of the Speaker of this House, did so with intention. the main reason why he has damaged the rights and privileges of this House was because the adjournment motion was disallowed by the Speaker, because the matter raised in the adjournment motion was the occurrence that took place within the premises of this House. Mr. Chyne said that he was convinced. Please mark Mr. Speaker, Sir, He was convinced that the ruling of the Speaker was incorrect. Who was delegated practices of this House given or delegated the power to him ? or have the people empowered this man ? He is not a simple or an ignorant man, as we have heard. Therefore, Sir, we cannot just take it lightly that what he has done, is a mere accident, as he has stated. We cannot just take that what he has done, he has done it in a friendly manner. I do not see any reason why this man has forcefully entered into the premises Member. Do you think that this man is unaware of this fact ? He was a candidate for the Legislative Assembly seat in the last general election. Is he unaware of having any intention to damage the prestige and privilege of this House and the Speaker Mr. .Speaker, Sir, this man was thinking that he was leading a mighty crowd, or an ocean of crowd and so he could forcefully enter into the premises and challenge the ruling of the Speaker. Is it not a case of hijacking , Sir, to hijack the ruling of the Speaker that your ruling is wrong you should rule on this line. Is it not a case of hijacking ? shall we be lenient with this type of man, Sir ? This is the first case that has taken place in our newly born State and if we encourage, this type of activities by giving a minor punishment, then other people will take advantage. A mere admonition will not suffice a degree of punishment to confer on this person. It is nothing to him as many of the hon. Members have stated, he has not done this without any intention, when the Speaker before talking to him said that 'Mind you, this is the Assembly premises and you are talking to a Mr. Speaker. He was talking to him by standing, he was not talking to him in a friendly manner, he was talking to him and addressing him as a Speaker. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the hon. member of this august House suggested I feel that admonition is too light a punishment, but since it is first case, as the hon. Member from Mawprem said, even imprisonment will be too much, therefore I also fall in line with the Mover and the hon. Member of this august House to reprimand Mr. P.C. Chyne.
Mr. Speaker :- The Chief Minister wants to say a few words.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is indeed a matter of great regret that such an incident took place on the 29th of this month and we have to discuss this matter today through a motion of privilege. I am very happy to note that the hon. members of this House have realised the seriousness of the breach of privilege committed by Mr. Chyne. I am not going to repeat the arguments put forward by the hon. Members to prove that there is a breach of privilege. I think no further proof is necessary in this regard. but the only question would be what punishment should be decided. It appears from the recommendations of the hon. Members that though the person deserves much bigger punishment, that, means, imprisonment, but as Mr. Chyne committed this breach of privilege for the first time, the recommendation was that he may be reprimanded. I would very much like to fall in line with the hon. Members, but at the same time, Speaker and also the House as a while, I think we shall be guided by the Speaker as regards the type of punishment to be awarded to him. If the sense of the House is that it is sufficient, I would also like to fall in line with the suggestions that he may be reprimanded.
Mr. Speaker :- We have heard the letter by which Mr. Chyne has tendered his apology but it is not sufficient for the House to take cognizance of it. Each and every Member who have expressed this view against the action of Mr. P.C. Chyne are of one opinion that it is a clear breach of privilege of the House. I say of the House because the ruling which I gave on that day, on the 28th, primarily centred round the privilege of the House involving the dignity of the Speaker, and for that matter the whole House. Some hon. Members have already suggested that the punishment to be meted out to him should be to reprimand him. Some others have suggested that at least we may give him a chance to apologies, perhaps, in a proper manner. I quite agree, as Prof. Majaw said that there are things which befall sometimes. In spite of everything which we have discussed today, I am afraid we cannot come to a decision today. The person concerned must get the chance to explain his position. If you refer to Rule 170 it says; "except where a breach of privilege is committed in the actual view of the House or of a Committee, the House shall at some proper stage of the proceedings before the sentence is passed give an opportunity to the person charged to be heard in explanation or exculpation of the offence complained against him". So at this stage, before we give him an opportunity to be heard, we should not come to any decision as to whether reprimand is too lenient, w3hether imprisonment is insufficient, or whether he should be forgiven. Those are questions to be decided after a person has got the chance to explain. So I fix Monday the 2nd April, 1973, as the date when Mr. P.C. Chyne be summoned so that he may have the chance to explain himself. After that the House will come to a decision.
Now let us pass on to the next item of today's list of business.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Power, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Annual Report (1968-69) of the Assam Cements Limited.
I would like to explain, Sir, in case the hon. Members may be wondering why I should lay the Annual Report of 1968-69 which deals with the years before Meghalaya come into being. But the report was printed and prepared after 1972, after the State came into being. Therefore we are to lay this Annual Report.
Mr. Speaker :- Minister for Power and Electricity to lay the Statement of accounts (1971-72) of the Assam Electricity Board.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Power , etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the statement of Accounts (1971-72) of the Assam State Electricity Board.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to item No. 5. May I ask the Chief Minister to initiate obituary references.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Shri Bhupati Mazumdar, a veteran freedom fighter and patriot, passed away on 27th March, 1973 at the age of 82. as a young man, Shri Mazumdar joined the Congress and came under the influence of Deshabandhu Das. Subsequently, he was associated with the Congress Swaraj Party. During the struggle for independence, Shri Mazumdar was arrested and detained in jail for long spells on many occasions. After independence, Shri Mazumdar became a Minister in West Bengal both under Dr. P.C. Ghosh and Dr. B.C. Roy. Shri Mazumdar was interested in tribal affairs and as a Cabinet Minister he looked after tribal affairs in West Bengal. Shri Mazumdar was associated with educational institutions and organisations connected with arts and literature. He was a man of wide interest and great talents. In Shri Mazumdar's death, West Bengal and the country as a whole have lost a dedicated public leader and patriot.
Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Members ?
Shri P.N. Chaudhuri :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to associate myself with the Leader of the House to condole the death of Mr. Bhupati Mazumdar, a veteran freedom fighter. Mr. Mazumdar was a selfless and dedicated worker who joined the country's freedom movement and suffered and sacrificed in may ways. He as a great revolutionary, joined the Jugantar Party and he underwent several terms of interment and imprisonment. He was also a Minister in the West Bengal Cabinet for two term - once in the first Ministry after the independence of the country under the Chief Ministership of Dr. P.C. Ghosh and subsequently, under the Chief Ministership of Dr. B. C. Roy. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the death of Mr. Mazumdar, the country has lost a selfless leader and a fearless champion of nationalism and socialism. I pay my respect and homage to this departed soul. May his soul rest in peace.
Mr. Speaker :- I wholeheartedly associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House and by other hon. Members of the House on the sad demise of Shri Bhupati Mazumdar. After what has been said by the hon. Members taking part in this obituary reference, I need hardly add more to acquaint the House with the remarkable contributions of this noble son of India. It is for us to emulate the example of sacrifice and selfless service rendered by such personalities to prove ourselves worthy of the task that has been imposed on us as Legislators and servants of the people. I may as well venture to add that India owes much for her independence to valuable contributions such as rendered by Shri Mazumdar. It will indeed by a terrible loss for India and particularly to West Bengal to have lost an indisputable leader and ardent patriot like Shri Mazumdar. I now request the hon. Members to be on the their feet and observe silence for one minute as a mark of respect to the departed soul. May God grant him eternal rest and peace and fortitude to the bereaved members of his family.
(The House observed one minute's silence).
Let us pass on to Item No. 6. of today's List of Business which is a pending Resolution of further discussion on the following Resolution moved by Shri Upstar Kharbuli, M.L.A. on the 30th November, 1972 that "This Assembly recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to move the Government of India to release and hand over to the State Government that part of the Cantonment area which falls within Shillong Town proper in view of the fact that more land, and to the extent of nearly 4,000 acres, are being acquired by Government of India for that purpose, so as to enable the State Government to improve and develop Shillong Town in a planned manner". It must be recalled that as many as 7 hon. Members have already participated last time and these were Mr. Upstar Kharbuli, Prof. Majaw, Mr. E. Pohshna, Mr. Francis K. Mawlot, Mr. P.N. Choudhury Mr. Joshi and Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh. Is there any hon. member who would like to take part, otherwise I will call upon the Minister to reply. In the absence of the Minister-in-charge of Revenue, may I ask the Chief Minister to reply and he will be assisted by the Minister Industries.
(Minister Industries entered the House in the meantime)
(At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Ministers Industries will reply
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am sorry, I thought that more discussions would take place. Since the Minister in-charge, Revenue is not here and since I was the Minister-in-charge of Revenue previously, the Chief Minister asked me to reply to this Resolution. This is a rather delicate matter because it is not within the purview of our Government but it is within the purview of the Government of India. We appreciate the sentiment expressed and the words of suggestion made by the Mover of this Resolution but at the same time, this is a long-standing situation in which the Defence Authority have control over certain parts of Shillong and Cantonment area and it will require considerable amount of discussion on our part to negotiate with the Government of India. So we can state, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this will be very carefully examined when the Government feel that at the appropriate time it should be taken up with the Government of India.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- After hearing the reply given by the Minister, may I know the mind of the Mover ?
Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in view of the assurance made by the Minister, I feel that I should withdraw the resolution.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw the Resolution ? (Voices ....Yes, Yes)
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now let us pass on to No. 7 of today's list of business. May I request Mr. S.D. Khongwir to move the motion.
Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. Rule 129 states that resolutions which are admitted for a particular session shall stand lapsed along with the prorogation of the session. Provided that any resolution or resolutions which are under discussion shall be concluded during the Session and for that purpose, if necessary the Speaker may extend time for such discussion.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- For the information of the hon. Member, Rule 264 says that a motion, resolution or an amendment, which has been moved and is pending in the House, shall not lapse by reason only of the prorogation of the Assembly and shall have priority over all other motions, resolutions and amendments.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it seems that there is some contradiction to Rule 129.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this Assembly do now take into consideration the achievements and performance of the Community Development Blocks in the State.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved and now you can raise a discussion.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is the third attempt that I have been trying to bring a discussion of this particular subject matter, that is, the performance and achievements of the Development Blocks. As we all know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Blocks in our country have come and remained with us for the last 20 years or so. But with regard to the achievements of these Blocks and their performances in so far as other States or areas are concerned it is not within the purview of this House nor is it my intention to bring out a discussion on this very important, Department Blocks are very important especially to the rural population. It is important that as many as 24 Block are there in our State of Meghalaya and most of the blocks have been here in the performance of their duties, their functions and their services especially in the rural areas for many many years. Even here in our State in so far as the District of Khasi Hills is concerned, if I am not mistaken the Bhoi Area Development Block is the first Development Block that has come with the specific propose of assisting the rural population of that particular area, and later other projects of the block Development were established in other areas of the District and the State as well. To me Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the importance of these Block can conveniently be compared to a mini State; we find that in these Blocks several functions, several items of works are being carried out especially in the field of development. We find that in case of communication, health and all other matters are directly involved in this Project. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel that the working of these Community Development Blocks should be thoroughly examined. Let us find out and see how these blocks that have been here in our State for so many years in the service of our people perform their duties; how they have to handle the affairs and how they have managed their duties to really assist the rural community in the matter of social upliftment, of bringing about a social change in our State through these projects. I would like to remind Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that one of the main objectives of the Blocks should be to bring about a social change and social upliftment in the rural community. In this regard, the Blocks should be able to help the people by and large to actively participate in the democratic activities of the State. I also feel that the Community Development Projects should function in such a manner so as to achieve the essence of the Blocks. that function in such a manner so as to achieve the essence of the blocks. That essence of the Blocks is to help the people and in turn help themselves. that should be the main purpose, the main objective of the Community Development Projects. The projects have got, as already enunciated and spelt out by the Government itself in the two speeches - the Address of the Governor and the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister- which is also the main objective of the Government, to eradicate ignorance, disease and poverty and I feel that through the Blocks also we can conveniently achieve these objectives. These three evils - disease, ignorance and poverty are the main enemies of the State as a whole, of the people at large. I feel Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Blocks have got a very important part to wage a war against these three enemies and it all depends on the performance of the Blocks, how they carry on with their worked in the process of achieving this very important objective which is a very important part to wage a war against these three enemies and it all depends on the performance of the Blocks, how they carry on with their work in the process of achieving this very important objective, which is a very very important objective as spelt out by the Government itself. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very sorry to say that in so far as the Blocks are concerned, they have missed this very important point in so far as the achievement of these objectives is concerned. If we go to any rural area and meet the local people and if we ask them about the picture or about the image of the Block, the image that we can gather from the local people, who are directly concerned with the Blocks, it this the block or people, who are directly concerned with the Blocks, is this the block or people, who are directly concerned with the Blocks, is this the Block or the Project is a Banker. It gives us money, it gives us grants. That is the image, that is the reputation, that the Block has got in the process of its performance of its duties. It is a fact that the performances of the Block have been in a such a way as to make the people understand that the only work of the Block, is to get money from the Government and disburse this money to the people without going deeply into the objective or the main purpose of the Block. That is why Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, after a little bit of assessment and evaluation of the Block, I have brought out this motion so that these things can be brought before the notice of the Government and because, as I have said earlier, that the Blocks in the performance of their duties act as a mini-Government, they are the one that have direct contact with the people and that is why the Block are very important for the rural economy. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it really pains me that I have to mention here that the picture that the people have got of the Blocks is that most of the Blocks are corrupted, there is a lot of corruption in the different Development Projects in our State. Really Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said earlier, it pains me very much to have to say this and I do not like to dwell on this at length because it may embarrass the Government, it may also embarrass me. so I would only like to point out that the Blocks in most of the areas in our State have failed in the performance of their duties and it may be Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that their Blocks have taken an incorrect or wrong approach in so far as the Block and rural population are concerned. So, we have to find out whether, during these last few years of the existence of these Block is, there has been any progress or advancement at all. I have made a mention of the Bhoi Area Development Block - one of the first Blocks in our District- and if you go down to the Bhoi area, and the hon. Members from that side will bear me out and they had also on several occasion s expressed before this august House, that the people there are still very very backward and I fail to understand that even after 20 years of the existence of the Block in that particular area we find that, at this stage, the people are still backward. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have to find out whether the approach of the Government through the Development Project to deal with the problems of the rural community is a right one or should we change it. There has been a thinking on the part of the Government though the Governor's address that even the Block Development Committee would be re-organised. In so far as the B.D.Cs are concerned Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have almost made it a point that I shall never attend any B.D.Cs meeting again because in the B.D.C. I have experienced that there have been a lot of bickering, fighting and quarrelling amongst the hon. Members also. There had been an incident in one of the block Development Committees....
(A voice - Which Block ?)
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I won't mention the name. There was an incident where the members stood up and almost started to fight.
(A Voice - Physically ?)
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Almost fighting one another. So, I do not know what is the thinking on the part of the Government though they have already expressed in the Governor's Address that they will reorganize the B.D.C.s. When I said that, I do not mean that in the B.D.C.s all the members will be excluded because of this single incident that I brought before the House. I do not mean that but my intention of bringing this motion before the House is to impress upon the Government to realise the importance of the Blocks and, if possible to accept and of course, it would mean that they will have to spend some amount of money to set up a kind of Commission or some body to probe into the achievements and performances of the Blocks. My jumble request to the Government through this motion is that to really find out and let us be realistic about the things that we want to do. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through this motion I will try my level best to sound this to the ears of the Government to kindly make a probe into the performances of the Blocks. If it is possible to do so, this body will go deep into the duties and functions and approached of the Blocks so far taken up by them during these last few years of their existence in the State and to recommend ways and means how to improve the workings of the Blocks Development Projects in the State. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in support of the motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawlai.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Mawlot in this respect there is no question of supporting or not supporting. You should give only your opinion.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Of course, I just want to extend my hand to the mover of the motion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir ,when we speak of the Block Developments offices, I sometimes feel pity on the officer concerned in view of the fact that he is over burdened. He is to act as a banker as the hon. member has pointed out. He is to act as an Engineer to construct road and bridges and sheds, etc. He is to act as a Political Officer and whenever necessary the Government will just inform him you do this, you do that. He has to act as an education officer or the Minister-in-charge Education because he has to support some L.P. Schools, some night schools for the adults and some M.E. Schools and to supervise them all and also he has to act as an Agriculture Officer, as Publicity Officer, as Magistrate, as a doctor in publishing the Government's policy on Family Planning. He has to act as Veterinary Doctor and has to act as an innkeeper whenever any Minister visits his Block because the message will come to him- you prepare lunch for so many people as so many members who will come there. He has also to act as Minister, Industries, and so on and so forth. According to my calculation, though of course I was not able to collect all, there are about 13 departments. In Nongstoin Block, I do not know of other blocks, I personally counted, the Block Development Officer is having one S.E.O. One Lady S.E.O., one A.E.O. one Veterinary Doctor, one Accountant, two or sometimes on L.D. Assistant, three Peons, one Chowkidar, one Driver. All told, his staff are 12 in numbers. So all the portfolios are divided and are given and entrusted to a single employee. Even a Chowkidar is entrusted with one portfolio. So if we say that our Community Development Department have failed, it is due to this thing in my opinion. How can he as an officer along supervise. During my childhood days, when I was only a boy; I remember my father told me "ka Sorkar, ka Sorkar " and that saying to me sound that Ka Sorkar is a stout woman, I thought it was a woman only. But here the Block Development Officer is not a woman or "ka sorkar". So if at all we have to speak of the development in our state, I mean to Community Development, my suggestion is that the Government should at least see that our officers should not be forced to be in-charge of so many departments. The B.D.Os. especially have no specific work to do and that is why we sometimes find the B.D.O.s are moving around desperately because they did not know from where to start work. They have so many portfolios with only 10 or 11 staff with them who have been entrusted with different works respectively. That is why the B.D.O. could not or will not be able to perform his duties as is expected of him. With these words I take my seat.
Shri Jor Manick Syiem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to participate in this very important subject which the hon. member from Mawlai has brought through his motion. He has also expressed that the Block Development Projects are like mini States. Yes they have been introduced in order to run the rural administration for the purpose of eliminating illiteracy, poverty and disease. It is true that some Blocks have not been able to perform as they were expected to, but there are several Blocks which have shown sufficient progress and we cannot deny that it was through the Development blocks that we have been able to get so many bridges and roads in various parts of the State. Although there may be corruption or in-efficiency with some Blocks, but we cannot straight-away condemn the whole Community Development Block's projects. I for one will not say so because there are such bickering within the B.D.C. and I do not want to attend their meetings and I shall never do that because it is our duty to see that the interest of the people whom we represent is served. The block in Bhoi area has been in existence for a long time and it may be correct that the people of that areas do not progress much, but it is the responsibility of the Block Development Officer to see that all the villages covered by the Block get all- round development. If people after getting grants would go in for buying bicycles and musical instruments and other things, I think it is not right and proper to blame the Block Development Officers, for allowing them to do this sort of things. It is the duty of the people too utilise the grants for the purpose for which they are granted but if the people do not know how to utilise them, it is for us also, as the representatives of the people, to enlighten them to help them utilise the grant they get for ameliorating their own lot. That corruption exists is a well known fact that in every department we have been sinking so low in our moral standard that some do not hesitate even to share the grant with the people who receive the grant. But should we condemn the blocks and the people who receive the grant. But should we condemn the blocks and the people who receive the grant. But should we condemn the Block and the Block Development Officers for that ? Is it not our duty to try to see that corruption is checked ? Now, it is said that the Block Development Officer has got no portfolio but he has to run the administration, he is the person who is to distribute the grants, who has to coordinate the works of the different officer. We may of course try to see that the Block Development Officer does not simply sit in his office but he is also go to the fields to check the Gram Sevak and other village workers that they are doing their duties perfectly. Now, we should also find out some specific cases where the officers of the Block have really committed such corruption and it shall be our duty as the representative of the people to bring those facts to the notice of the Government. In any case, I do not agree that the Community Development blocks have not done anything in the State. As I said before, we would not have got so many bridges and motorable roads or foot-paths in the different parts of the villages had there been no Community Development Blocks. It is only through these Blocks that our people have been getting all those facilities. It may be true that some funds have been misused but it is also for us to see to this by appointing the Block Development Committees and to encourage the people to give their participation whenever called for. Besides that they have to see and check that the grants given to that area are utilised for the purpose for which they are meant. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would say that the Community Development Blocks and their Projects had made considerable progress at least through failure and short-comings and now, it is for the members and the representatives of the people, to kindly help to gear up the administration in the block level by appointing suitable Block Committees and try to advise the Block Officers as well so that the money that is going to be spent through these Block is utilised in a proper way.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Pohshna ?
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while taking part in the discussion on this Motion, I would like to say a few words with a request to the Government for serious consideration in so far as the a request to the Government for serious consideration in so far as the achievements and performances of the Block Development Departments are concerned. sir, it is really a fact as the hon. Member from Nongstoin had stated that the Block Development Officer has got many departments and undertakings under his charge. Public Works in small scale, Agriculture, Water Supply, Public Health Engineering, Education and so on and so forth. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is really very difficult to understand how the Block are working and are progressing in the development works for the interest of the people. More over at present, we find that there is no co-ordination among the various Departments of the Blocks. It is also very difficult to know what are the different functions of the Blocks, which projects they are undertaking, for example, the very fact that the Public Works Department. do not like to continue to repair the buildings of the dispensaries made by the Block Department clearly shows that many of the departments do not like this Block development projects. It appears that the Public Health Engineering Department do not like the Water Supply Scheme constructed by the Blocks and they do not recognise the scheme. The Agriculture Department said we cannot pass his budget unless the works have been approved by the Agriculture Engineering Department and hence it appears there is no coordination between the various departments and the Blocks. I do no know, Sir, why Government have put so many departments under the charge of these Blocks and this will result in the duplication of works. Water Supply Scheme will be done by the Public Health Engineering Department and at the same time by the Blocks and at the same time, not only by the Blocks but by the Distinct Councils. Therefore, three of four departments work the same kind of scheme. In Education Department also, the Director of Public Instruction has given some grant, then again at the same time the Deputy Inspector also will give some grant and at the same time, the District Council also is giving the same grant. Now coming to communication the Public Works Departments also has constructed roads, the District Council also is constructing the same roads and the Block also is doing the same roads. With this amalgamation of the works of the different departments. and the Blocks, I am afraid that we have to do something as repetition and duplication whether in grants or in some other spheres. Now, again coming to the Soil Conservation, if a clever man will go to the Block Development Officer and say kindly give me grant for some minor irrigation project his application is strongly recommended by the Block Development Officer. Again he goes to the Agriculture Department for sanction of the same work. Then the same man will go to the Soil Conservation Department and will ask for the same grant and so on so and forth. Therefore, Sir, we should properly examine the working of these Blocks and to what extent they will really be successful for development works in their respective areas. In the present condition, I feel that our Block Development Projects are out-dated. Therefore, I fully agree with the mover of this motion when he stated that a Commission or a Committee should be continued to examine the working of the Blocks, to assess their achievement in their performance and to make suitable recommendation and to see that we can make them successful in other works. On the other hand, I fully agree with the hon. Member from Nongstoin that at present our Block Development Officers cannot cover their works because they are already overworked. For instance, they cannot cover their programme ; they have to go from one place to another, and if on a sudden the Minister is to attend any particular village within the Block, he is to receive him and his programme to attend to the people will be held up. He is to accompany the Minister since he is doing some works for that Block. The works of the Blocks during the last two years have deteriorated because the Block Development Officers, instead of doing, their own duties, have some time ago to attend to the refugees and have become "Bangladesh Officers". So unless we properly examined and define the duties of the block development officers, I am afraid most of the grants that have gone to the Blocks will go to the drain. The area of the Blocks also will have to be redefined. I may cite an example in this respect. In our Jaintia Hills District there is one Block known as Saipung-Darrang Block which covers more than one third or almost one-half of the Jaintia Hills District. At the time when the Saipung-Darrang Block was established, it had one Sub-headquarter because it is so big area. But the entire Sub-headquarter had been ruined. Nobody is there to take care of the C.I. Sheets. They are scattered here and there. Gram Sevaks quarters are also not utilised and thus mot of the funds of the block are wasted. Proper care is also not taken of most of the buildings constructed by the block. I do not want to take much time of the House. But I want to request the Government to consider, as the mover of the motion had stated, that a sort of Committee or Board should be appointed in order to examine and assess the achievements and performances of the block and also to suggest ways and means how to improve the works of the Blocks.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) (replied on behalf of Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am grateful for the opportunity that we have had for discussing this question of achievements and the performances of the Development Blocks. Before I reply to some of the points, I would like to suggest to the hon. Member from Mawlai, the mover of the motion, that in spite of his bad experience in one particular case, it would be a matter of counsel of despair if he had to withdraw from all Block Development Committees because some thing went wrong in one particular meeting. Members of this House are elected to look after the interest of their constituencies in various Committees of this House as well as Government. They have the privilege to represent in these Committees. The various................
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just for clarification, I did not say that I would not attend. I said that I am almost convinced.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Thank you for the clarification on the point. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to remind the Members of this House about the main aim and object of the Development Blocks. The whole aim and object of the Development Blocks was to involve the ordinary men in the farms and in the villages for their own development and the officers appointed were to act, if I may use a chemical analogy, as catalytic agents for getting the people involved for development. I would say that the main aim and object is to develop the outlook of the common men and to infuse in them a sense of participation in the programmes of the National Development Schemes. It cannot be denied that the people are very much development conscious and I would say that many people have become involved to some extent in the programmes or the Community Development and it has achieved its objective to some extent. They have come to realise that they are to be involved directly or indirectly in the work of the Community Development blocks. The desires of the people for better arming better sanitation, better food, improved techniques in taking care of their cattle and so on are being expressed through the association of the people in the Development Blocks. The work of the Extension Staff is to try to help them get more involved in this. It is true that there are a number of different aspects of Community Development. One of the Members has listed as many as 13 over which the Block Development Officer is supposed to be in charge. He does act as the head of the Community Development programme and those Extension Staff working under him are supposed to work in close cooperation with the different department departments from which they come. He is supposed to look after the general administration of the Block and, therefore, it is not surprising that he is sometimes not in a position to attend to specific duties that may be listed for him. But he is in over-all charge. Now, there are 24 Development Blocks in the State. In addition the normal schemes under the normal schemes under the Community Development and Tribal Development, crash schemes for rural employment and special nutrition programmes have been taken up at the Community Development level. It has been suggested that we evaluate and put up a body to process the evaluation. In this regard I would like to inform the Members of the House that the Government of India is taking up this aspect of evaluation of the Community Development programmes and the State Government will be associated in this evaluation process. now, since the main objective is to develop the outlook of the people, I mean to associate the people in the villages with the programme so that they feel the programme is theirs and not a Government programme. This is the main objective has been achieved. While this is a matter or opinion, I may agree that in certain cases, we have not yet achieved that feeling that this Community Development Programme belongs to the people and is not a Government programme belongs to the people is not a Government Programme and that the blocks are not merely places where one gets grants. It is unfortunate that some people may have the impression. I may admit that some failure of this programme may be due to the fact that people look upon the programme as a Government programme. But sine it is meant to be a people's programme, the Government staff are supposed to just assist to give ideas to that the people can take up this programme with the whole objective and aim how it is to be worked. But since it is meant to be a people's programme may be due to the fact that people look upon the programme as a Government programme. But since it is meant to be a people's programme, the Government staff are supposed to just assist to give ideas so that the people can take up this programme with the whole objective and aim how it is to be worked. But as I said the Department after Meghalaya has come into being as a full State, the Department, after Meghalaya has come into being as a full state, is taking a fresh look into the working of the Community Development Programme and try to get more non-officials to participate in this programme and it is hoped that with the cooperation of all the Members of this House and other non-official leaders, we can get the people to understand more what this programme is supposed to do.
Regarding various complaints, as long as there is any programme for the public, we cannot avoid complaints. Regarding corruption, it is certainly a very sad comment for a Member of the House, after making his own assessment, to say that most of the people would feel that most of the Blocks are riddled with corruption. That is a sad comment not only on the officers who work the programme, but on the society as a whole. I would , for one as representing this Government, welcome suggestions to try to get to the root of corruption which is the greed and selfishness in everyman and try to root out this corruption from our State. I believe we can do it. But it will not necessarily go by just blaming Government officers or somebody else who have been appointed. Each one of us will have to take the responsibility to try to educate others including ourselves of how to stop corruption. It is not a one-way problem, but it is always a two -way problem. The people get involved with the officers and vice-versa. As regards the organisation or reorganisation of the Block Development Committees, this matter is receiving the active consideration of the Government and some statements had already been made regarding non-official Chairmen and so on and so froth. It is true that thee are some other works not linked with Community Development which are to be on the shoulder of the Block Officers with the small amount of staff and the staff which was outlined 20 years ago are supposed to perform these duties in addition which come in the way. This certainly is going to be looked into whether additional staff would be required and the Government of India, as I said, is going to have a fresh look into the whole question of this Community Development programme.
As regards coordination, the creation of the post of District Planning Officer who will look into better coordination will help the question of creating more tribal Community Development Blocks was already taken up, even when I was incharge of his programme upto March, 1972 with the Government of India. It is a fact that certain Blocks have very large areas - like Saipung - Darrang and Nongstoin Blocks, but the criterion for establishing block is not the only one, is mostly on the basis of population. Therefore, while we have scattered population, the areas become larger. Further, it was the decision of this Government to ask for a few more Blocks. We took up officially and directly as Minister-in-charge, Community Development at that time, with the Government of India. But unfortunately, they turn us down, of a Committee to evaluate at the State level, we shall have this examined. But finally Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, having myself in the post years attended a number of Block Development Committee meetings met a number of people in the 4 or 5 Blocks with which I was associated, I cannot agree that the Block Development programmes have been a total failure. there are things wrong. Yes, they may continue to be wrong. But Government will try to improve them and I hope that with the enthusiasm that has been generated with the creation of our own State by a fresh look, all of us can have our part in the development of our State if we educate our people that this is their programme. Government servants are only to assist and help them in real impact on the development in the rural areas. The fact that many of our people are participating at the village level and never have the opportunity before the Community Development Programme was initiated is in itself a testimony of the success of getting themselves successful and to see that they really do the work, is of course some thing that we will have to study. So while agreeing with some of the remarks of the members, I would suggest that this outlook and approach to community development is fully understood particularly by the Members so that we place the responsibility on where it is Our hon. member from Mylliem has agreed that while there have been some lapses and failures, there has been positive achievement through these Blocks and I appreciate that he has seen that. It is difficult for us to expect the Blocks to undertake Government work which is outside the scope of the Community Development staff has to do certain duties. But as I said, this matter will be looked into when the evaluation is going to take place at the Government of India level with the cooperation of the State Government and we will a sees what we have achieved during the last 20 years and what we can improve in the next 20 years.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Khongwir to move Motion No.22.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discus about the employment policy of the Government of Meghalaya.
Shri Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can raise a discussion.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I fully agree that the question of employment or unemployment problem is a complex one and the other day I had the occasion on this very floor of the Assembly to tell the Government and this House that it would be impossible to entirely solve the unemployment problem in the State. But at best what we can do is to mitigate the problem and Sir, after we have achieved our own State especially after January 1972, when we have got full-fledged State most, of our young educated persons were under the impression that now is the time when they have got their own State and there will be employment right and left. That was the impression, the popular impression on the part of the educated section of our young people. With regard to this particular motion I would only like to deal briefly with the employment policy of the Government. In the speech of the Finance Minister, he has elaborated certain schemes and programmes to generate more employment potentialities. It is a very welcoming drive on the part of the Government to lay this fundamental objective before us and to show to us an impatient that the Government is really sincere in it attempt to generate employment potentialities in the State. As we all know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that we have had several occasions during the current years' Session and in other sessions of those people who are now serving under the Government of Assam and and we have pressed the Government to kindly consider their case of absorption as early as possible. We can very well understand the various difficulties they will have to face when they are about to go down to the plains of Assam and especially in the case of those ladies who are now staying in Assam for the last 4/5 months. I had the occasion to meet a few ladies who were there in Gauhati and they have expressed their concern by saying that there was a split in their family. One lady told me that she had one establishment there and he husband was here at Shillong and she was staying at Gauhati alone; she had to rent a house costing 75 rupees. I know personally that lady and I know here pay is not more than Rs. 150- and she has to spare an amount of Rs. 75- out of her meagre pay for house rent. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is indeed a problem before the Government and the Government on several occasions have given assurance before this very House, before the hon. members and before several delegation of employees to see that the unemployment problem is solved. In this regard, as a word of caution to the Government, I have already said that the task is gigantic and huge and it is indeed very difficult. but in spite of that I would request the Government to see to this so that the employment policy of the Government will not culminate in a clash of interest of our local people Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before this august House I would like to bring to the notice and for the consideration of the Government certain remarks made to us about the employment policy of the Government. there have been a few cases where we as representatives of the people, have had the occasion to meet them and discuss with them about the employment policy of the Government and sometimes it is very sad to say that the impression of the people in regard to employment policy of the Government is that the Government is not at all interested to solve the unemployment problem of our people. They have passed several remarks against the Government and they have said that the Government instead of looking to the interest of the local youth are more interested in trying to bring people from outside. That is the impression that has been created in the minds of the people and because of the problems they have faced they have passed this kind of remark and they have in their mind this kind of impression. They have also said that most of the time whenever they have approached the Government for this or that job or for that vacancy frequently they got the reply from the Government that the tribal community or the tribal people are not at all competent to take up this job and that is why it has become the responsibility of the Government to try and find out people from outside the State. The Government have passed several remarks on these people, they have said that the tribal people are incompetent. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if that is a fact, it is not only the local youths then who are tribals, even the Minister himself and in fact all the Ministers are tribals also. So if these tribals are incompetent we are not ready to take up this particular work or that particular job because we are incompetent and because of the fact that we are tribal. I must also say that it goes without saying that even the Ministers also because they are tribals, are incompetent. If that is so, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest that why not go back to Assam say for 5 or 10 years and get the training from Assam and after we have become more competent, let us come back and form a State of our own at that time. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would really like to impress upon the Government on this particular issue of employment because I have seen in the Motion No. 4 that the hon. Member from Jaiaw is also seized of this particular problem and that is why he has put up this motion about the unemployment problem in the State (interruption)
Shri W. A. Sangma :- You are talking about a policy. That is a different subject.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- It links up with the two. In so far as this is concerned, I would like to express my opinion that we cannot hope to really solve this problem at this particular juncture or in the future time to come, if we cannot really develop industries. So we have to change our educational system because our education system is only confined to literary matters and the education policy that we have been following is a policy to enable our people to get what is called a white collar job. So the Government should try to see and find out how best it can really solve this problem of unemployment. And I have seen in the budget provision under the head "Major Industries", that 3 lakhs or rupees have been set aside only for the purpose of survey and investigation and in the previous years also, 1971-72, 1972-73 an amount of Rs. 1,90,000 was set aside only for the purpose of survey. When I speak about this that if we continue making survey or investigation without setting up any industries at all, it reminds me Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just like a person who is always conceived, conceived, conceived, but without giving birth. So in the Industries Department in the (interruption).
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. Here in this particular motion, the hon. Member wants to discuss the employment policy , not about the employment potentialities. I would request the hon. member, through you, Sir, if there is a specific ground to criticise the Government policy, to confine to that, I mean, he may refer to the motion of Mr. P.R. Kyndiah who wants to discuss about the unemployment problem. Here it is specific. The Government policy, that is the unemployment problem that is sought to be discussed.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my opinion I was thinking that there was a link between the problem and the policy of unemployment to be adopted by the Government. But unfortunately Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was interrupted by the Chief Minister when I was coming to the fag end of my speech. Now in my humble opinion , Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I see that the employment policy of the Government has got a lot to do with the problems of employment because I have said that the question of setting up of the industries or taking up agricultural development programmes and the like has got connection with the employment policy of the Government. So with these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while taking part on the motion moved (interruption).
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Just on a point of convenience Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Now there is a motion standing in my name which has been suggested to be grouped together with Motion No. 2. Now in consideration of the time whether it can be grouped together, for in that case, I may be allowed to move the motion.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- As I pointed out earlier, this Motion No. 2 relates to the policy of the Government in the matter of employment. Now Motion No. 4 relates to the matter to be discussed about our unemployment problem. You see, it will have a different context. Therefore, I do not think it can be linked up.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I think they are basically linked up if you carefully go through them because the subject of employment policy will not be there unless there is an unemployment problem. First comes the unemployment problem and then comes the employment policy. In this case they are linked up with each other.
Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Sir, I beg to differ from the hon. member from Mawhati. I think these questions though they are related, they place different emphasis (1) the motion standing in the name of the hon. Member from Mawlai raised the question of employment policy of the Government of Meghalaya and in elucidating his motion he has stated that it is confined more or less, broadly speaking, to the tribal employees now working under the Assam Government. But in Motion No. 4 which stands in the name of Mr. P.R. Kyndiah emphasis is placed I think on the question of the unemployed youth in the State and thus it relates not only to the Government servants. It may relate to industries, it may relate to agriculture and it may relate to other departments of Government. So I think since the Speaker, has treated them as different from each other and since the Leader of the House has also felt that they are different although there is no subject matter which is completely isolated - but from the point of view of special attention and special consideration, I think Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the order that has been put in this order paper should be maintained.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are two proposal before the House - one is the order paper and the other is the proposal from the hon. Member from Jaiaw as to whether he may be allowed to move the motion. If he may be allowed to speak on this motion them perhaps, he may not move later. We may evolve a compromise.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my intention in requesting you is not about what the hon. member from Mawhati meant. will just speak on Motion No. 2. My idea is that I will move my own Motion concerning the problem of unemployment in all sectors of activities. So it may therefore come into conflict with definite issue of policy matter. Since there is, it appears to me, some contraction of view, I will not press to move the Motion just now.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Any other hon. Member would like to participate in the discussion ?
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to participate in the Motion moved by the hon. friend from Mawlai. In this connection, I just want to say a few words with regard to the problem of unemployment. I will have also a say in the next Motion to be moved by the hon. Member from Jaiaw. Mr. Deputy Speaker, sir, the Government policy of unemployment is there. It was stated time and again in this very House and also how to solve the problem of those tribal employees who are serving now under the Assam Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these tribal employees have been assured by the Government since the last Budget Session in this Session also they have just repeated the same, but uptill now the Government have not been able to implement that policy which was declared and promised.
Shri W. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I do not know what was the promise with regard to these tribal employees.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we look at the Budget Speech and also to the replies given by the Government in the budget session, we will find that the promise is there to take back from Assam preferably women employees but I will not repeat it now to what I have said. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government have also promised to solve the unemployment problem of the tribal youth. Many suggestions have been made by the hon. Members over the policy initiated by the Government but still we do not see anything done by the Government. Till now the Government have not yet been able to fulfill their promise and have seen no progress where Government have implemented its policy. It may be said, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that it is a lullaby policy of the Government just to show to our tribal people that something is being done. As the Mover has said, while we were demanding for our State our people have thought that it will immediately create scope for employment so that our people will be progressing and will be economically benefited. But Sir, the policy of the Government which has been adopted is really a lullaby policy, just to stop the crying children but nothing has really been done. So with these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I express my opinion that the Government have not yet been able to implement it policy of employment as declared all along in this House.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also rise to support the Motion moved by the hon. friend from Mawlai and in doing so, I would like to examine what are the principles involved in employment policy. Now, though there is a Motion coming up later on, still one of the first of these things is to remove unemployment- Employment based at removing unemployment. Then another on the needs, the particular needs in the State. There are needs in the areas to be developed, industries to be set up, roads to be built, offices to be manned by staff, there are various needs for employment. Then again in the selection which is involved when employed. You have 10 persons before you, who are the right persons whom you will have to select, that also involves the criteria for selection, and then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is partly the criterion, partly also whether apart from the persons who have applied still other persons may be found who could do better who have not yet applied. Now in all this matter of principles, the first of course is solving the unemployment problem, granting employment for those unemployed. All of this, I must say that this Government has not succeeded in giving employment to those who are unemployed. The cry for employment is heard from one boundary of this State to the other. It is heard in villages, it is heard in towns, it is heard from educated persons it is heard from non-educated persons. It is not heard in one district along but it is common to all the three districts both urban and rural, and I am told that the M.L.A.s cannot face the people of their constituency for fear of assault or to go in public for not having procured employment for them. Now this is no doubt an immense problem, it is not possible for Government alone overnight to create such post, such vacancies which will cater to any one's need. We do not expect this infant Government which is still having teaching problem to be able to masticate the difficult pieces of meat which are difficult to be digested. But certainly we have hoped during the three years of existence of the State that the employment policy as enunciated since 1970 would be implemented to a large extent. As far as unemployment is concerned I would like to point out the facts Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that for almost a year 83 vacancies remained unfilled in the Heads of Departments and in the Secretariat of Meghalaya counting from Grade IV Staff upwards. 83 vacancies at the clerical level and IV Grade level were kept vacant for a year under the Heads of Departments and in the Secretariat. The excuse being that it was actively considered or under the consideration of the Government. One reason why these things have not been done or the employment policy has not been implemented in removing unemployment is because of the slowness by which Government functions. I have had the occasion to compare this Government for the slow progress or rather slow movement of the Government to a buffalo cart which we are sometimes trying to twist the tail or saddle, to twist its ear and sometimes use a whip to move it and then progress is improved a little further. Atleast in my opinion when Government used a word will consider, it often means it will forget unless there are 20 reminders and then under consideration would mean finally it is lost and under active consideration would mean that the files is lost but we are actively looking for the file, perhaps to take up would mean after 5 years. That is in our humble opinion, how the machinery of the Government moves if it does move if it does grind and so we are still saddled within this problem for the non-implementation of the employment policy. As regards selection Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here there has been a a great deal of criticism. We admit that part of the Government contention that we are short of technical staff. Yes, where technical post are concerned the posts have not been created.
Thirdly Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a Selection Board. Now the Public Service Commission is yet to finalise the selection. This selection is yet to hold an examination and select. With regard to this Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in spite of this there had been occasions when really technical persons could have been appointed but for other reasons there had been occasions when the post would have been crated but because of the slow movement by which Government operates the posts could not be created or rather were not created. There are many occasions where posts have not been created and were not filled up. If we were to go to the Budget of this Government you will see how much money has been squandered away for want of persons being appointed to posts. For example, I will take small instance of the Sericulture and Weaving Department. As we had pointed out earlier, greater emphasis should be laid on this Department; it should be turned into a directorate. Now there is shortage of demonstrators, there are many vacancies to be filled up by the senior most trainees who have passed out and they could have been appointed as demonstrators and we could have taken a few demonstrators even from the neighbouring State preferably, the mother State on contract basis who will train up our trainees and who will then later on become demonstrators them selves. That is one example. There are other examples. There are officers who have technical knowledge but who were denied appointment and have to go to Assam for appointment. We are not allowed according to the Rules to bring these things to the House but the Ministers may refresh their memory on what happened during the last three or four years when there were posts which could be filled up by any person be he technical or non-technical or when there were posts that had to be filled up by tribal or non-tribal. Our humble submission is that when the over whelming population in the State is tribal it is our duty to secure the State for our people so that they can develop themselves according to their own genius and culture. Certainly of our people, set up by the majority of this people, elected by the majority of our people would also give employment to the overwhelming majority of our people. But I know what reply the Government will give. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the overwhelming majority of clerical staff under the Government of Meghalaya are tribals Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but our tribal people are not born to be mere servants like peons or chowkidars but we are born for higher and greater things. There have been people from among our hills who have out shun so many others on the stage of India and on the stage of the world. We have had cadets even in the N.C.C. who have stood first in India not once but twice or thrice. Although we were a race that will be living in these hills but we will not be determining the future of our people. Let me remind the Ministers also that the word Ministers come from the Latin word "Ministrare" meaning to serve and ministers also are servant and they are public servants and therefore, if we wish our people to be well-Government and well ruled and to have a share, through employment, in the Government of the Sate equality must be given to all. It is so unfortunate that over and over again we have to see lists or annals of non-tribal persons as though the State cannot produce great persons deserving Padma-Shri from the three district, as though the State cannot produce great persons to receive the Tamrapatras, who fought for freedom of this area. They are all denied recognition , they are all denied a true place under the sun.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- How is this relevant Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir ?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- This is an indication of the Government policy. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is difficult to judge a person only by his actions; sometimes you can judge a person by his intention or motive and I do impute this motive at times when we feel frustrated by seeing what is happening, from day to day. There are actions which are not motivated and then there are actions which are motivated. If a drunken man stabs a person to death and that person dies, he cannot be condemned to death because he did not have the motive; the Government does not condemn him to the higher penalty. But there are kinds of motives and I say that this Government is guilty Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is certainty guilty of its motives when employing or appointing persons. So I earnestly request the hon. Members and the Government in particular not to feel upset if we point out one fact that this is a new State, a new Government and the Ministers, with all respect to them sometimes, inexperienced in the art of pushing files or moving files up and down or in taken decisions, because , some of them, have not had experience; all our sympathies with them. But because of that draw back they depend very much upon the Secretaries and in the normal functioning of the Government, when a file is put up from the lowest to the highest and when it passes from the hierarchy of officers they simply put their initials like the dhobi marking and the job is done. But the whole background has been prepared by the officers and it is put up for dittoing and that is our fear, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with all due respect to the officers in the State. I am not in any way talking of a person or persons or characters but I am telling the principle involved. I had occasion to state last year also on how the word 'Home' means. We must get a man from home. Moreover, there is no country or State in the whole world where a person from outside is in-charge of the Home'.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is absolutely incorrect.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I stand corrected Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, If you can give an example of a State in India where the Home Secretary is not from the State but in general practice Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the word 'Home' is used obviously it is from the 'Home'. I have the highest respect for these great persons, very qualified, highly educated persons but I also submit that Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the blood is thicker than water, blood is thicker than water. It really needs that heart and the blood of a tribal to really understand.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Regarding the employment policy these are not relevant and here far reaching communal feeling is being expressed. I would request you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that at least you would request the hon. Member to be relevant and to the point.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Relevancy is there, I must admit, because the employment policy is motivated in my opinion. When selecting there is a criterion that is taken for judgement when a judge passes decision saying this is right or that is wrong he uses the criterion. So also the Government. I am trying to discover the criterion. All that we can do is to look at the action, in some cases at the motives. What are the motives ? And those motives will indicate the criteria. What criteria are used in selecting or appointing the people who come from outside the State ? They are very find and excellent persons, highly educated but we did not set up our State for mere bureaucrats, highly educated but we did not set up our State for mere bureaucrats, highly educated persons, to rule over us or to have a rule of bureaucracy. No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We set is up so that the lowest person in this State can claim to be equal to the higher persons; we set up the State because of the Government of the people for the people and by the people. This should be the policy of the Government. And perhaps, I stand corrected also Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, perhaps the motive may be that in getting a person from outside the State it is easier to order him to do certain things which he will never refuse. He will never have the spirit of independence that an average hill man that an average hillman possesses. He will have servile obedience whereas out hill men have the spirit of freedom of the individual in asserting what is outs till we achieved a unique State in this country ? India, where without shedding blood we get a separate State because of the spirit of independence ; the living spirit of individual liberty is so strong in us and, perhaps, this the reason for not selecting hillman because he may not obey unpleasant orders. This of course, in my ignorance and smallness, I submit as my opinion, but it is certainly a very serious affair. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this matter of selecting persons is only because of one great possibility that faces us that is the fear that through employment and through using persons from outside, gradually a strangle-hold will come upon this State. There is a particular weightage going in favour of one particular community. I had occasion to point out or rather I am grateful to the Chief Minister for his brilliant reply when I asked for the names of the officers in-charge of all the Police stations and Border Outposts along the Border. No doubt it is a brilliant reply but it is a confession of the employment policy right from one corner of the Khasi Hills to the other corner. When we look at the names of the persons who are in-charge of the integrity of the State, we know that the persons who are coming across we also know that arms are being smuggled into the State by certain person who have been driven away. What is happening to the population of unwanted persons in the State which is increasing tremendously and these persons come again for employment and, with this employment policy of the Government, their, reply will be "We have to give them also employment, they deserve it". There they form the sizeable portion of the population and what has happened in the neighbouring State of Meghalaya. I will not mention names as I was not allowed last time but there are glaring examples before us on how a motivated employment policy can finally influence every function of the State by somebody else and I would, therefore, without going into too many details of this particular delicate and very serious matter earnestly request the Government to read the writings on the walls that the population of our Hills has increased during the last 10 years by 27 per cent whereas the general non-tribal population has increased by 50.5 per cent and that of the Scheduled caste-non-tribal population by 28 per cent. Now this has become the potentiality for employment if this employment policy is to be based on majority. If it is based on the majority, tomorrow employment should be given to the majority community and tomorrow another minority has become the majority then what will happen Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. So since we are to stop the trickling leakage over a little crack in the dam now, tomorrow huge flood of water will sweep us away and there will be no more records of our own people, but there will be only yellow photographs of our own people and we will be in the museum as specimens of the Hills Tribals. We will not be able to talk to the people in our own language and there will be no more people in the future generation because of the policy of the Government, the hill tribal people of our State will be a sterilized race. Finally Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the matter of education, there is a link between education and employment and here I would suggest that in order to ensure employment to the educated youth, the policy of the Government should be well-based, well, founded to give opportunities of employment to the majority community in the State and also to help such persons, perhaps a review on our education policy will be required. Of course, unfortunately the famous Education Commission which was appointed in 1970 has sat only thrice and since then has died a natural death and what will happen, God only knows Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. So I would request earnestly the Government to link up education policy with the employment policy. With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to the hon. Member who has brought this motion for discussion with regard to the policy, I mean, employment policy of the Government. With regard to this particular matter of employment, I had on a number of occasions informed the House in the past and it also came up in the general discussion of the Budget and also in the debate on the Governor's Address. There have been also question from the hon. Members on this particular matter and replies have been given by the Government. I would expect the hon. Members to come forward with specific recommendations or suggestions as to what should be the policy of the Government with regard to employment. I would have expected also that discussions are confined to this particular matter only. But instead of doing so, a number of participants have mixed up irrelevant things. So I would like to reply to the serious charges put forward by the last Speaker, the hon. Member from Mawhati. I must say categorically that all the charges are baseless. I would expect the hon. Member who brought forward this serious allegation to substantiate it. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the general policy with regard to new recruitments to the services of the Government, as we have made it very clear is that, expecting of the technical posts, we have reserved 40 per cent of the vacancies to the Khasis, and Jaintias and 40 percent to the Garos, 5 per cent to other tribals and 15 per cent for general. This is the policy of the Government and this is according to the population. I would have expected that this policy with regard to reservation of vacancies has the approval of the House.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- You mean clerical.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is not only clerical but it is as far as new recruitment is concerned. Except for technical posts, all other posts are reserved and this reservation will be applicable to all.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- That is including higher officers ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Let us try. There are two services, the State Service and the All India Service. Some times officers belonging to State Service may hold higher. Office also. But I would request , through you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the hon. Member realises that as far as the All India Services viz. I.A.S. I.F.S. and I.P.S. are concerned, they are joint cadre services between the Assam and Meghalaya Governments. Here also expecting two, I speak subject to the correction, we have taken all I.A.S. tribal officers and from the A.C.S. Class I and Class II, we have taken all of them expect one or two. So it would not be correct to say that this is always in the clerical job that we have been trying to maintain the percentage. In fact, for the information of the hon. Member , through you Sir, in the ministerial jobs, I think the tribal employees would constitute more than 90 per cent. I have already said that almost all I.A.S. officers and almost all A.C.S. offices class for Class II except one or two, have been taken. But with regard to technical posts, due to non availability of tribal officers from our own State, we have no other alternative but to take other. I think we need not fight for a State hood of our own only to become Members of this House but, through Statehood, to serve the people. For the purpose we must have to set up proper machinery, Government machinery, so that through this machinery we can serve the people in the different fields. Now, it was also alleged that there is a motivation in the matter of selection. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government does not come into the picture of employment directly. As far as the new recruitment is concerned, before we establish our own Public Service Commission we established the State Selection board to conduct examinations, interviews and in order of merit to send the recommendations to the Government. Therefore, it would not be correct to say that there is motivation in the recruitment of staff for the Secretariat and the Directorates At the District Level, we have also constituted the District Selection Committee for filling up the vacancies in the district offices. It is only on the recommendation of the District Selection Committee that the vacancies are filled up and the Government does not come into the picture directly. Therefore, it would not be correct to say that we have a motivation. Another policy, which we have made clear to the hon. Members time and again, is with regard to absorption and the filling up of vacancies through direct recruitment. Many times this has been explained to the hon. Members and we have made it very clear that in filling up the vacancies in the Directorates and Secretariat or in providing employment to the educated unemployed people, we have reserved certain percentage to be filled up by direct recruitment. Since in the Directorates we need experienced hands, in respect of Lower Division Assistants we have decided that 70 per cent of our requirement should be filled up by taking from Assam and 30 per cent by direct recruitment. As far as the Fourth grade employees are concerned 30 per cent by direct recruitment. As far as Lower Division Assistants are concerned, 60 per cent are to be taken from the incumbents of the Government of Assam in the Secretariat and 40 per cent by direct recruitment and as regards typists is 80 per cent by taking from the existing incumbents and 20 per cent by direct recruitment. In the Directorates, 70 per cent from the existing Assam Government employees and 30 per cent by direct recruitment. I would expect to get definite information from the hon. Member while discussing the employment policy of the Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very very unfortunate, specially on the part of the hon. Member from Mawhati, to say that Ministers have been blindly guided by the Secretaries and many of the Ministers are not experienced and they do not know how to deal with the files. Well, I do not say that we are all expert and I do not say that we are as intelligent as he is but what we are concerned is only for the people whom we represent. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also alleged that we have been warned to see the writing on the walls. Yes, we will try to read what has been written on the walls. As far as the people are concerned, there are enough proofs given in the last District Council Election in the Jaintia Hills and, therefore, I cannot agree to this warning. I would expect the hon. Member to be responsible and to make responsible observation. I am not going into the details of this particular question that is, in regard to the various employment potentialities, because the subject matter is to discuss about the employment. Policy of the Government. I have made it very clear all about the policy. Now, if the hon. Members feel that this policy is not acceptable to them, I would expect to get an alternative suggestion from them. With regard to the police, by insinuation he has stated about what he alleged to be the reply of the Chief Minister. Here I would request, through you, Sir, that the hon. member should realise that we got our full-fledged State only on the 21st January, 1972, and the Police also came along with the achievement of the State. There is a District Police Force. There is also a Special Police Force and other categories of Police that were in existence. To start with, we have to take them all. As far as the Police Battalion is concerned, we have taken the 7th Assam Battalion wholesale. Therefore, it would not be correct to say that it is by new recruitment that we have taken all, according to him, the non-tribals. They are already on deputation. Even if the hon. member from Mawhati could have taken my place here, he would have no other alternative but to take them to run the administration. He would have to take this as skeleton. We do not know why the hon. Members criticises the Government. I would advise him that today the writing on the wall is not correct. The people from that side may take our place and one should be very careful because they may have also to follow the same procedure and the same policy and they may also have to depend on the Secretaries or other Government machinery, or they will themselves become Secretaries or other Government machinery, or they will themselves become Secretaries and run the administration. We have to depend on Secretary and myself, without the Secretary, I cannot function. Well it is unfortunate to criticise as to how the Minister are disposing of their files and to give such a general remark.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- But we want tribal Secretaries.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here the on. Member should realise what is the policy of the Government of India. With regard to the allotment of All India Services, it is the policy of the Government of India that not more than 50 per cent of the officers should be allotted to the parent State. Therefore, it is not possible today. In fact, we have had an occasion to correspond with the Government of India to get more tribal. I.A.S officers and those officers who had been allotted to some other States. But because of the policy of the Government of India, there has been the difficulty and it will not be desirable to have only the officers of its own in a particular State in the national interest.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we already have had an experience of three officers brought from other cadres of the State. So it is possible.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, according to you, it is possible. We have made some correspondence with the Government of India and the other day we have received a reply from the Minister of State, Home Affairs, Government of India. He has expressed inability to comply with our request. Now, with regard to the State Services, we have agreed to bifurcate and it is now in the process.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : A buffalo cart
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It may be a buffalo cart according to you. But I want to be slow in this matter because slow and steady wins the race. I do not want to act on emotion and excitement. Those who act on emotion and excitement, they often land themselves in trouble. Therefore, I would rather advise the hon. Member, through you, Sir, not to act on emotion or excitement so that he will not land in trouble.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is the full implication of that ?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- You can also guess about the full implication of it. It may be motivation, if you like to call it. It is just a joke. I have no motivation. I know well that if we act with emotion and excitement, we may really land in trouble. Not only you but I must also advise myself not to act in emotion. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, once we are in a position to bifurcate the Services, we will have our own Meghalaya Services - both in Agriculture, Forest, Medical, Education and other departments. We will take into account our total requirements. Then if we find that we have to have more officers, then recruitment will be made and that will be done through the Public Service Commission and here there will be no motivation or discrimination ; but justice will be done.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- What about appointment. ?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- That also will be on the basis of the recommendation of the Public Service Commission. The hon. Members of the House will have the opportunity to know whether there is any motivation because, according to the rules of procedure, the report of the Public Service Commission will be placed on the table of the House. Then the hon. Members will have an opportunity to know whether we have been guided by the recommendation of the Public Service Commission or whether we have been led by motivation. It is not fair to make the allegation and put the blame on the Government.
Now, there is also an allegation that though a number of posts have been sanctioned, much delay has taken place in filling up those posts. I have already had an occasion to reply as far as the Secretariat are concerned, the position is quite good and with regard to the Directorates, sanction has been issued and now it is in the process of selecting incumbents from the Government of Assam for filling up those vacancies.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the employment potentialities, I think we will have an opportunity to discuss while take in up Motion No.4 standing in the name of the hon. Member from Jaiaw, Mr. Kyndiah.
Lastly, I would like to inform the House that we are equally anxious as the hon. friends from the other side to see that the interest of our people are properly safeguarded. But in doing so, I would also like the hon. Members on the other side to realise that primarily when we initiated the struggle for the State of ours, my friend from Mawhati was also a party to the policy enunciated by the APHLC the interests of the non-tribals will also be properly safeguarded.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- But within limits.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have said that there is a reservation of 80 per cent for the Garos and the Khasi and the Jaintias.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- It should be 95 per cent and 5 per cent for others.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- This has been done on the basis of population.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- The inflated population.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I do not know whether it is inflated or not. We have to depend on the Census figures. We want that everybody in Meghalaya should feel that they have a place. But according to the Government of India policy and according to the constitutional provision under Act. 16, if I am correct, tribal are comparatively backward and are classed as such. We have made this reservation on these considerations. I am sure my non-tribal friends will not grudge about it. But they will really feel that their interest are not being safeguarded it we make 95 per cent reservation for the tribals and 5 per cent for the non-tribal. We must base on population figure and try to accommodate. I would also request the hon. Members to realise one fact or one of the reasons why we wanted to have a separate State of our own. It was because we thought that our interests were not properly safeguarded in the composite State of Assam. Now if we put ourselves in the position of non-tribals, how would we feel and how would we stand ? We have blamed the Government of Assam for not looking to our interest. We have sought to be separated and a new State has been constituted.
Now, after achieving the Statehood, if we also behave in the same manner, I do not know what reason at all we would have to have a separate State. Justice should be done to all. Let us not be led by emotion. Let us not bring or place something which will mislead the people. As responsible leaders and as decent people, we should see that we maintain the State well. It will be our primary duty to look after more backward people.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think most of the hon. Members have not taken lunch and the time is now up.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have come to a close. I would, therefore, request the hon. Members, through you, Sir, while we are anxious that our people should be helped to develop in various ways, let us not forget that we have also our own responsibility. We must take our own share of responsibility. We must also help in the development of the area. Everyone must co-operate and it is only with that spirit of cooperation and accommodation that we shall be able to do service to the people and to the State of Meghalaya.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now this will be taken up on the next day.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have already finished
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Then the House stands adjourned till 9 a.m. on Monday, the 2nd April,1973
the 31st March, 1973.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.