The Assembly met at 9.30 A.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.
Unstarred Questions Nos.48 - 50 were disposed of with supplementaries.
The House passed demands for grants Nos.1 to 5.
The Cut Motions in respect of Grants Nos.3 and 4 were withdrawn after adequate reply from the Ministers concerned, while the Cut Motion on Grant No.5 was disallowed as the matter sought to be raised through this cut motion was not relevant to the Grant.
Speaking on Cut Motion against Grant No.3, Shri H. Hadem (HSPDP) contended that it was not necessary to have Ministers of State and Deputy Minister in as much as they were not given independent charge of Department. Shri. H.L. Nongsiang (HSPDP) termed the present Ministry to dogmatic and expressed the view that only 10 Ministers would be more than sufficient for a State like Meghalaya. Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (APHLC) branded the Ministry as a hotch potch team devoid of single command. Other members who spoke in favour of the Cut Motion included Shri. E. Iawphniaw (HSPDP), Shri. Salseng Marak (MULF), Shri. B. Pakem (HSPDP), Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (APHLC) was of the view that although the quantum of work in the Government Departments might be less because of the size and population of the State, the number of Departments and development works were largely the same as in other big States.
Replying to the observations, the Chief Minister informed the House that the three tier ministry had been deliberately resorted to partly to reduce the size of the cabinet and partly to slightly bring down the expenditure on salaries and allowances in respect of the Ministers as well as to provide opportunity to his colleagues to gain experience which was necessary in running the administration. He claimed that it was too early to criticise the working style of the ability and effectiveness of the Government which came to office only a month back.
Speaking in Cut-Motion on Grant No.4, Shri. Manik Das (MULF) complained that as many as 2000 cases were pending in different courts in Khasi Hills, while about 1000 cases were still to be disposed of in Garo Hills, while about 1000 cases were still to be disposed of in Garo Hills courts, most of which were pending for a number of years leading to over-crowding in jails by under trial prisoners.
Shri. H. Hadem (HSPDP), Shri. Maham Singh (MULF), Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (APHLC) and Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (APHLC) expressed similar view with the mover. The Minister for Law, Shri. M.N. Majaw, apprised the House that the situation was not peculiar to Meghalaya alone. He apprised the House that delay in the disposal of cases was due to a variety of reason like procedural delay, inadequacy of presiding officers, reluctance of citizens to appear as witnesses etc.
Cut Motion No.1 on Grant No.6 was not moved as the member was absent.
Speaking on Cut Motion No.2 on Grant No.6, Shri. Manik Das (MULF) wanted the inter-State boundary of Garo Hills and the District of Goalpara in Assam to be settled expeditiously.
Shri. Albinstone Sangma (MULF) and Shri. Y.F. Lyngdoh supported the Cut Motion.
The Minister for Revenue, Shri. P.R. Kyndiah, while replying to the discussion on the Cut Motion, informed the House that Government would like to settle this matter very expeditiously.
Shri. D.N. Joshi (MULF) in the course of his discussion on Cut Motion No.3 against Grant No.6 complained that no instructions had been issued by the Government in the matter of regulating the transfer of land from non-tribal to non-tribal or from a tribal to a non-tribal. Shri. B.K. Roy (MULF) pleaded for some protection of rights over land held by genuine non-tribal Meghalayans. Shri. Mozibar Rahman (Janata) pleaded for exemption of the plan areas in Garo Hills predominantly inhabited by non-tribals from the operation of the Land Transfer Act. Shri. Y.F. Lyngdoh (HSPDP) supported the enforcement of the Act for the best interest of the tribal people.
Replying to the discussion, the Minister for Revenue, Shri. P.R. Kyndiah assured the House that the difficulties faced by both tribal and indigenous non-tribal Meghalayans in the process of enforcement of the Act would be borne in mind of the Government.
Shri. B. Pakem (HSPDP) called the attention of the Minister incharge of Soil Conservation Under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to a news-item published in a Local Jaintia weekly "U Naphang" of 25th March, 1979 under the caption "Ka Farm Saipung".
The Minister of State for Soil Conservation, Shri. E.K. Mawlong, informed the House that the news-item related to the removal of fencing posts and damage to Eri Plantation by some anti-social elements at an afforestation plot acquired by the Soil Conservation Department at Saipung in Jaintia Hills. He stated that the matter had been reported to the Deputy Commissioner, Jaintia Hills and case had been registered.
(i) The Chairman of the Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes, Shri. Jenden Ch. Marak, presented the First Report of the Committee.
(ii) Shri. Maham Singh, Chairman of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation, presented the Third Report of the Committee.
The Chief Minister made a statement detailing in brief the point discussed in the meeting between him and the Chief Minister of Assam held at Raj Bhawan, Shillong on 3rd April, 1979 under the Chairmanship of the Governor.
The House rose at 1.45 P.M. and stood adjourned till 9.30 A.M. on Thursday, the 5th April, 1979.
|Sd/- D.S. Khongdup|
|Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|