The House met at 10.00 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business.
Starred questions Nos.263, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269 with supplementaries thereto replied. Starred questions Nos.264, 270 to 278 without supplementary were disposed of. Unstarred questions Nos.80 to 116 to which written replies were laid on the tables, were disposed of too.
Under Rule 49(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri E.K. Mawlong, raised a matter of great public importance with regard to the need to declare Tourism as an Industry and the steps taken or to be taken by the State Government for Tourism promotion in the State.
Replying to the above zero hour, Shri E.S. Lyngdoh Minster incharge Tourism, apprised the hon. Member from Umroi that the declaration of Tourism as Industry was basically contemplated to bring the Tourism projects at par with the Industrial Projects for grants of incentive etc. He put forth some of the main objectives which were being deliberated and acted upon by the department and stated that the Government will encourage setting up of additional accommodation and tourist facilities in all identified places of tourist importance as well as for the setting up of facilities for travelers on national highways.
He further informed the House that the State would endeavor to preserve its cultural, moral environment and religious values and project a positive image of its people and the environment while formulating plans and and projects both in the private and public sectors and also to extend financial concessions incentives to the prospective investors in the sectors of Hotel, Restaurant way side facilities built as per specification laid down by the State Government and by the Government of India to be approved by the Tourism Department.
Mentioning of the Tourism policy for the State Government, he said that measure of declaring tourism as Industry was only one competent of Tourism policy and the Government of India had set up a task force to chalk out the strategy for each of the North Eastern States and also the Integrated Tourism Promotion Policy for the entire region which was expected to be finalized soon and on the basis of which, Tourism policy for Meghalaya suitable to the local conditions would then be worked out.
Dr. Mukul Sangma, Parliamentary Secretary incharge Border Areas Development Department, gave a detailed point-to-point reply to the various discussions raised by the mover and other participants in the course of their debate on the cut motion to Grant No.46. He stated that in recognition of the multi-faceted problems faced by the people of the border areas, a separate department had been created in 1973 for giving special focus to the development of the border areas which talks, was being performed by a call in the Planning Department prior to the creation of this particular department and therefore, he said that this department should be view as a substitute to the Planning Department in so far as the border areas were concerned. He presented detailed schemes undertaken by the department since its inception in 1973 which included the schemes roads construction, promotion of Education, Agriculture, Soil Conservation...........P.H.E., Cooperation, Fisheries, A.H. Vety., Sericulture, Supply and Transport Subsidy etc. However, he pointed out that due to the meagre funds available under the programme, the Working Group of the Planning Commission during the Seventh Five Year Plan had recommended that this department should concentrate only on a few core sectors instead of spending the resources in too many schemes and sectors. He further gave a categorical reply to all the points put forth by the mover and the participants. His reply was inconclusive to be continued on the next day.
The House rose at 12.00 Noon and stood adjourned till 10.00 a.m. on Monday, the 7th April, 1997.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.