Monday, March 19, 1979.

The Assembly met at 9.30 P.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.

        There was no question for disposal.


        The Leader of the Opposition, Shri. S.D. Khongwir, called the attention of the Minister, Finance, tot he news-item under the caption "Petrol Price Rise in Meghlaaya" which appeared in the Amrita Bazar Patrika of March 9, 1979.

        The Finance Minister, Shri. M.N. Majaw, made a statement thereto informing the House that the price increase was likely to take effect from the next financial year as a result of withdrawal of exemption of sales tax by Assam so far enjoyed by Meghalaya. However, he stated that the Government had apprised the Centre of the whole situation and requested them to establish a Central Sales Depot inside Meghalaya and that the Government of Assam was also requested to keep the question of withdrawal of the exemption of sales tax in abeyance till the issue was finally decided by the Government of India.


        The House passed Supplementary Demands Nos.1 - 10. The Cut Motions against Demand Nos.4, 7 and 8 were withdrawn after hearing the Ministers concerned, while the only Cut Motion in respect of Demand No.3 was not moved.

        Replying to the discussion on the Cut Motion against Supplementary Demand No.4 in which the Leader of the Opposition, Shri. S.D. Khongwir, the Leader of the MULF, Shri. W.A. Sangma, including Shri. R. Lyngdoh (HSPDP), Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (APHLC), Shri. B. Wanniang (HSPDP), Shri. G. Mylliemngap (APHLC) and Shri. B. Pakem (HSPDP) beside the mover Shri. E. Lawphniaw (HSPDP) participated, the Minister of State for Transport, Shri. S.P. Swer, informed the House that the Government had been able to clear the backlog in respect of payment of share of revenues to the District Councils. He pleaded that the reasonable delay involved was due to the fact that the reconciliation of figures and apportionment of shares after that took some time.

        As many as 6 hon. Members participated in the discussion on the Cut Motion on Supplementary Demand no.8. They were Shri. Manik Das (MULF), Shri. B.K. Roy (MULF), Shri. D.N. Joshi (MULF), Shr. B. Pakem (HSPDP), Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (APHLC) including the mover, Shri. H. Hadem (HSPDP). Most of the participants, dwelt on the inability of the investigation wing of the Police Department to detect crimes beside criticising the police for other shortcomings in the matter of dealing with law and order. Reference was also made to the recent gruesome murders in Shillong town. Replying to the debate, the Chief Minister admitted that the existing police force was inadequate to deal with the task of maintaining law and order in a growing town like Shillong. He further stated that there was room for improvement of the Police Organisation and with this and in view the suggestions made by the members participating had been taken due note of.

        Speaking on the Cut Motion on Demand No.11, the mover, Shri. H. Hadem (HSPDP), Shri. E. Iawphniaw (HSPDP), Shri. Maham Singh (MULF) and Shri. W.A. Sangma (MULF) vehemently opposed the creation of the Meghalaya Construction Corporation, while Shri. G. Mylliemngap (APHLC) and Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (APHLC) opposed the Cut Motion. The discussion was inconclusive.


        The Chief Minister referred to the recent news bulletin broadcast through the All India Radio (Shillong) and made a statement detailing the law and order situation in Shillong town following the murder of Shri. D.K. Verma and Shri. G. Nedhi, to dispel any possible misgivings in the minds of the general public. He further apprised the House that Government had taken steps to deal with any possible communal trouble and other anti-social elements trying to disturb the peace of the community. He added by saying that Government was contemplating to raise 2 more companies of MLP Battalion to augment the police force.


        The House was adjourned at 1.42 P.M. till 9.30 A.M. on Tuesday March 20, 1979.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.