The Assembly met at 10 A.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.
The day was utilised for transaction of private members' business.
There was no question for disposal.
Shri J.D. Pohrmen apprised the House of the difficulties experienced by the electric power consumers of Nongtalang area in Jaintia Hills as a result of the necessity of honouring the consolidated bills for powers consumed over a period of several months, presented to them by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board, amounting to hundred of rupees.
The Minister incharge of Power stated that the defaulting meter-readers had been taken to task and that arrangements had been to allow the power-consumers to pay the consolidated bills in easy installments.
The Meghalaya Requisition and Control of Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 1981, and the Meghalaya Rural Mothers Welfare Fund Bill, 1981, both by U M.N. Majaw, were introduced and also referred to Select Committees for reporting back to the House by the 30th June, 1981. The composition of the Select Committees was to be announced later.
(i) The Finance Minister resumed his reply on the discussion on the following motion moved by U M.N. Majaw on March 12, 1981 :-
" This House considers it very desirable to recommend the setting up of another Pay Commission to do real justice to all State Government employees."
The Minister stated that the Commission had taken due note of the prevailing price index while recommending the Pay scales of Government servants. He concluded by saying that the Government had constituted a Committee consisting of Government officers to examine the anomalies in the pay structure.
The motion was later withdrawn.
(ii) Motions Nos.6 and 7 was not moved.
(iii) U M.N. Majaw moved.
" This House do now consider the allocation of funds to the Community Development Blocks in the State."
U Bah Martin Majaw advocated the need for providing more money at the disposal of Community Development Blocks for meaningful development works. He expressed doubt to the effect that various schemes could be implemented by the Blocks in view of the late allocation of money through the Channelisation of Funds Schemes.
In reply the Minister incharge of Community Development, Shri E. Iawphniaw, stated that Government was facing great constraints as regards funds for Blocks but assured the House that Government would do its utmost to ensure that various schemes were implemented in time.
(iv) Shri P.R. Kyndiah moved :
" This House do now discuss the need to convert the existing playfield at Jaiaw, Shillong into a mini-stadium for sports in order to promote healthy sports activities among the youth."
The mover made out a case to justify that his proposal was worth implementing.
The Chief Minister stated in reply that the field identified by the mover was too small for the purpose of a mini-stadium. He, however, informed the House that proposal was afoot to convert a part of the field into a basket ball ground and a badminton court.
(v) Motion No.10 was not moved.
(vi) U M.N. Majaw moved :
"This House, aware of the fact that there are still a large number of Meghalaya Government employees serving on deputation from the Government of Assam, with detriment to their pay scales, allowances and promotion prospects, hereby expresses its opinion that the Government of Meghalaya should settle all such outstanding cases with the Government of Assam, within three months of the passing of this Motion."
U Bah Majaw alleged that there were numerous deputationists who had not been able to reap the benefit of revised pay scale.
In reply the Deputy Chief Minister stated that the Government of Meghalaya had already written to the Government of Assam for permission to allow the deputationists to draw the revised pay scales, but the later had not responded to the communication. He added that Government would pursue the matter till a final settlement was reached.
(vii) Motion No.12 was not moved.
(viii) Motion No.1 of the 2nd batch of balloted list was not moved as the member was absent.
(ix) Shri L. Kharlukhi moved :-
"This House do now discuss the various problems faced by the farmers in the State."
The mover pleaded for greater assistance to the farmers in the shape of fertilizers, seeds, service of power tillers etc. He also stressed the necessity of the Government's intervention for acquiring more cultivable lands through negotiations with District Councils, Syiems, Dolois, Nokmas etc. for making them available to needy farmers.
The Minister for Agriculture, Shri Fuller Lyngdoh Mawnai, stated that the Agriculture Departments had not yet faced the necessity of acquiring lands for agriculture purposes. He apprised the House that Government had been extending all assistance to farmers to help them increase their agricultural produces and that financial institutions like Cooperative Apex Bank had been rendering fiscal assistance to the agricultural in the rural areas.
(x) Shri Tylli Kyndiah moved :
"This House do now discuss the working of the Food and Civil Supplies Department in the State."
The mover alleged that dealers in essential commodities were charging more than the controlled prices for such commodities and that black marketing of cement was rampant particularly in Jaintia Hills Districts.
Shri J.D. Pohrmen and Shri J.C. Marak expressed identical views with the mover and cited instances of shortage of essential commodities with the appointed dealers which at the same time were available with the wholesalers at higher price.
The Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Shri Maham Singh, reminded the House that the shortage in essential items were brought about by the constant agitation in Assam over the past months but claimed that the State of Meghalaya did not pass through extreme hardships as a result of this temporary shortage.
The Minister could not conclude his reply for want of time.
the House was adjourned till 10 A.M. on Wednesday, March 25, 1981.
Sd/- D.S. KHONGDUP,
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.