The Assembly met at 9.30 A.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.
Shri. S.D. Khongwir, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister-in-charge of Finance delivered his budget speech at 9.31 A.M. and concluded at 10.10 A.M.
The Deputy Chief Minister and Minister-in-charge of Finance presented the Vote on Account for 1978-79.
The following Bills were introduced by the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister-in-charge of Finance:-
|(i)||The Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1978, and|
|(ii)||The Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1978.|
The Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, caused the following Reports of the First Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to be laid on the Table :-
|(i)||The Eight Report of the Committee on Public Accounts.|
|(ii)||The Second Report of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation.|
The following members participated in the debate on Governor's Address :-
|(1)||Shri. Tylli Kyndiah, U.L.P. (APHLC);|
|(2)||Shri. Maham Singh (Cong.);|
|(3)||Shri. G. Mylliemngap, U.L.P. (APHLC);|
|(4)||Shri. D.D. Lapang, (Cong.);|
|(5)||Shri. D.R. Nongkynrih, U.L.P. (PDIC);|
|(6)||Shri. Reidson Momin (Cong.);|
|(7)||Shri. Tuberlin Lyngdoh, U.L.P. (HSPDP);|
|(8)||Shri. Albinstone Sangma (Cong.); and|
|(9)||Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy, U.L.P. (APHLC)|
Shri. Maham Singh complained that the size of the Ministry was not in proportion to the total representation in the House and that extend the Government was extravagant. He also observed that there was nothing new in the policy statement of the Government in declaring their eagerness to maintain the distinct identity of the tribal people inasmuch as this policy was enunciated by the Congress Government ever since India became independent.
Shri. G. Mylliemngap maintained that the unity of the various parties for constituting the present Government was providential for the welfare of the people of Meghalaya. He blamed the previous Government for totally ignoring the decisions of the Block Development Committees in matters of according priority to various developmental schemes. He demanded an enquiry into the activities of Community Development Blocks during 1977-78 as he suspected misuse of fund by the members of Block Committees.
Shri. D.D. Lapang stated that his party accepted the verdict of the people in the last elections and that his party would function as a constructive Opposition inside the Assembly. He was in favour of ramification of the co-operative movement in the rural areas in the field of dairying, housing etc.
Shri. D.R. Nongkynrih spoke in Khasi with the previous permission of the Speaker. He pleaded before the Government to stop the work of construction of Umiam Dam as the Dam would submerge a vast area of cultivable land and rob a large number of poor people of their means of livelihood.
Shri. Reidson Momin laid special emphasis on major and minor irrigation for increasing agricultural production.
Shri. Albingstone Sangma told the House that a large area in Garo Hills has been claimed by the Government of Assam and wanted the Government of Meghalaya to take note of it while setting the boundary issue.
Shri. S.D.D. Nichols-Roy greatly appreciated the difficulties of the Government in preparing the Governor's Address within a week after assumption of office by the new Ministry. He totally disregard with Shri. K. Kalwing, Cong., who earlier alleged that the emphasis on the preservation of distinct identity of the tribals would lead to communalism. He spoke at length on common problems confronting the border villages.
The following Ministers also spoke clarifying various points raised by the Participants in the debate relating to their Departments :-
|(1)||Shri. M.N. Majaw,|
|(2)||Shri. P.R. Kyndiah,|
|(3)||Shri. B. Pakem,|
|(4)||Shri. J.D. Pohrmen,|
|(5)||Shri. H. Hadem,|
|(6)||Shri. S.D. Khongwir.|
The House was adjourned till 1 P.M. to allow time to the Chief Minister to prepare himself for reply to the debate.
(The House re-assembled at 1 P.M.)
The Chief Minister apprised the House that the Government stood committed to the election manifestos put forward before the electorate and that Government would fully and faithfully abide by the policy statement. He admitted that Government was fully aware of the Centre's recommendation towards limiting the size of the ministry to 10% of the total membership in a House, but pointed out that this principle was not adhered to by many States in India. He justified the size of the present Ministry considering the special circumstances facing the State. He reiterated the Government's firm policy in safeguarding the rights and interests of all sections of the people.
The Chief Minister asserted that law and order would be maintained at all cost and to this end he sought the co-operation of all sections of the people. He apprised the House that co-ordinated approach would be made by the B.S.F. and Home Guards to deal effectively with the border crimes. On the reported exclusion of the names of certain non-tribal electorate from the voters list, the Chief Minister submitted that there was no malafide on the part of the Government. This had happened not only in the case of non-tribal voters but also in case of tribals.
Concluding his reply, the Chief Minister welcomed all constructive criticisms and thanked the participants in making the debate lively.
After hearing the Chief Minister, the mover of the amendment to the motion of Thanks to the Governor's Address, Shri. G.S. Marak, withdrew his amendment.
The motion of Thanks was thereafter passed unanimously.
The House rose at 1.45 P.M. and stood adjourned till 9.30 A.M. on Tuesday, March 28, 1978.
|Sd/- D.S. Khongdup,|
|Meghalaya Legislative Assembly|