The House met at 10.am. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business.
Starred questions Nos.59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72, and 73 with supplementaries thereto were disposed of, Starred questions Nos.62, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, and 77 without Supplementary were disposed of.
Unstarred questions Nos.1 to 30 to which written replies were given were laid on the tables.
Under Rule 49(a) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduce of Business, Shri E.K. Mawlong raised a matter of grave public importance in regard to the urgent need of providing the facilities to the work charge employees of the P.W.D., P.H.E. and other department of the Government.
In reply to the Zero Hour, Shri T.C. Lyngdoh, Minister of State in charge Finance, apprised the hon. Member from Umroi that the Second Meghalaya Pay Commission had recommended the setting up of a High Power Committee to look into the system of work charge establishment with particular reference to their service conditions so that these section of employees get all the benefits from their long years of service they have put in. He further stated that under the existing system the employees borne as work charge establishment are entitled to pay and allowances prescribed at the rates admissible to other counterparts in the regular service and they are entitled to Casual Leave, Travelling Expenses and in a limited grade scale this category is entitled to gratuity but they are not entitled to Pension, H.B.A, H.C.A., D.R.C.D. and other retirement benefits, facilities of Leave Encashment etc. However, he stated that the question of regularization of their service is very much under consideration by the Government.
Shri J.D.Pohrmen, Minister in-charge of Revenue continued his reply to the discussions on Cut Motion No.3. He stated that the scale of assistance has been revised and with the approval from the Cabinet a new scale of assistance has been prescribed vide office memorandum No.ROG.70/88/10, dt.18.7.1988, the Tenth Finance Commission while recommending continuation of the scheme of Calamity, Relief fund has also advised the Government of India to constitute a Committee of Experts to identify the list of items which would qualify for sanctions out of calamity Relief Fund. However, he informed that Elephants are not in the list.
He assured the House that steps will be taken to expedite prompt payment to the victims in future.
The Cut Motion was then withdrawn by the mover with leave of the House. Demand No.3 was passed.
Since there was no cut motion, Demand No.4 was passed.
Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Minister in-charge Excise, moved Demand No.5.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh moved his cut motion. he discussed at length on the functioning of the Excise departments vis-à-vis demand for total prohibition. He called for a categorical statement from the Minister in-charge with regard to the (1) No of groups that have come with this demand to the Government (2) the reason the pressure groups have outlined in support to their demand (3) whether the matter has been discussed with such groups and what was the response from the Government (4) whether any inspection/supervision is enforced by the department in the Warehouses.
Shri E.K. Mawlong and Shri B.B.Lyngdoh supported whereas Shri Ton Singh N. Marak, Shri S.L.Marbaniang and Dr. Mukul Sangma and Shri H.D.R. Lyngdoh opposed the cut motion.
Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Excise Minister reply to the points raised by the mover and other participants clarified that N.G.Os like FKJGP have submitted a memorandum to the Government, HALC, KSU and the Members of the Prohibition Association have requested the ban of sale of illicit liquor and to in for a total prohibition in the State.
Apprising the House of the various factors that stand the way in implementing this proposal, he informed the House that the total prohibition is impracticable at this juncture.
To another query by the mover as regards the dialogue between the Government and the organisations, the Chief Minister, clarified that such kind of a discussion could be held at the Excise Minister's level in the near future.
The cut motion was withdrawn by the mover with leave of the House and Demand No.5 was passed.
Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Minister in-charge of Taxation moved Demand No.6.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh moved his cut motion. He discussed the loopholes in the assessment/collection of Sales Tax. He lamented on the way the Government treats its Officers and the poor accommodation provided to them and allotment of Transport to them for attending duties which he attributed to be one of the reasons for theirs poor performance.
He called for a clarification as to whether assessment was not done regularly. He narrated detailed figures from record pertaining to 1993-94, 1994-95 to justify the increase in the collection of Taxes.
As regards the problem of transport and accommodation, he told the House that this problem was faced because of non-availability of fund by the department. However, he was optimistic that the problem will be solved in future with the improvement in the financial position of the State.
The cut motion was withdrawn by the mover with Leave of the House and Demand No.6 was passed.
Dr. H. Lamin, Minister in-charge Transport moved Demand No.7.
Since the cut motion against this particular demand was withdrawn by the mover with leave of the House, Demand No.7 was passed
Demand No.8 was passed without cut motion.
Shri S.C.Marak, Chief Minister moved Demand No.9.
Shri E.K. Mawlong moved his cut motion. he questioned on the functioning of the Resources Mobilisation Commission and wanted to know how many sittings/meeting, proposals recommendations the Commissions had submitted to the Government.
Shri H.S.Lyngdoh supported whereas Shri Ton Singh N. Marak opposed the cut motion.
Replying to the points raised by the mover, the Chief Minister admitted that only one report in the tenure of Shri P.R. Kyndiah was submitted by the Commission and since then, no report was submitted till date. As regards the number of sittings, he stated that there are only occasional meetings of these Commission. However, he assured the House that whatever may be the Commission or the Board, it should function effectively.
The cut motion was thereafter withdrawn by the mover with leave of the House and Demand No.9 was passed.
Demand Nos.10 and 11 were also passed since there was no Demand No.12.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh moved his cut motion. he wanted to know the objectives of the said schemes Shri E.K. Mawlong supported Shri Ton Singh N. Marak and Shri S.L.Marbaniang opposed the cut motion.
In reply , Shri J.M.Pariat, Minister in-charge (Home) Police apprised the mover and the participants that the C.T.I.S Scheme was for linking district headquarters with the rest of the country for collecting information by means of computers. As regards pending bills in the Police department for the requisitions of vehicles he mentioned that steps would be taken to expedite settlement of pending bills to the private owners at the earliest.
The cut motion was withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House. Demand No.12 was passed.
Shri Sujit Sangma, Minister in charge Jails moved Demand No.13.
Shri E.K. Mawlong moved his cut motion. He wanted a clarification from the Government whether the existing Jails in the State, will be re-constructed and modernized.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh and Shri H.S. Lyngdoh supported whereas Shri S.L.Marbaniang and Shri Ton Sing N. Marak opposed the cut motion.
Shri Sujit Sangma, Minister in-charge of Jails informed the House that there was already a proposal to reconstruct the district Jails in the State and that an amount of Rs.24 crores was sanctioned by the Government in this regard. He further stated that out of this total amount, only Rs.3.01 crore has been placed at the disposal of the M.G.C.C.
Since the schedule time for this item was closed, the Minister in-charge was asked to place a copy of his reply on the table of the House.
With the time clocking 3 p.m, the Speaker under Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure, guillotined the following Demands :-
Nos.14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38.
(The above Demands were put to vote and passed by the House).
Dr. R.C. Laloo, Minister of the Finance moved;
That the second proviso to sub rule (c) of Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in its application to the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. I) Bill, 1996 be suspected for the time being in so far as the said Rule requires circulation of the Bill four days in advance before the motion for consideration may be moved."
The motion was adopted and the Rule suspended.
Dr. R.C. Laloo, Minister in-charge of Finance move that the aforesaid bill be taken into consideration. But since there was no amendment to the bill, he further moved that the bill be passed.
(The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. I) Bill, 1996 was passed.
The House rose at 3.10 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10.00 a.m. on Tuesday the 26th March, 1996.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly