MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
RE-ASSEMBLED BUDGET SESSION, 1998
(Tuesday, the 23rd June, 1998)
The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government business.
1. QUESTION :
Starred questions Nos.1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 with supplementaries thereto were replied. Unstarred questions Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 to which written replied were given, laid on the tables.
2. VOTING ON DEMANDS FOR GRANTS :
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Chief Minister, moved Grant No.6.
Shri T.C. Lyngdoh, moved his cut motion against this Grant. Discussing on the functions of the department, he raised on issue of great public importance with regard to the insecurity faced by the people of the State living in the borders with Assam with particular reference to village like Nongriwah and Mawlein in the Ri-Bhoi District in which intrusion and illegal arrests have taken place in November, 1997. He urged the State Government to consider this matter seriously and to settle the boundary problem with Assam once and for all.
In reply to the points raised by the mover of the cut motion and other participants, the Chief Minister stated that the State Re-Organisation Act under which Meghalaya was created had clearly defined the boundaries between Assam and Meghalaya with all the land records being set very clear excepting the problem of ground demarcation between the two States.
However, he mentioned that the state Government will endeavor to maintain the good relationship with Assam and will try to solve the boundaries dispute amicably.
As regards relief to people affected by natural calamities, he stated that the Centre is giving 70 to 75 percent for relief to such calamities, the rest is being borne by the State. However, he pointed out that the amount may be enhanced depending on the financial position of the State.
He also welcomed the other suggestion by the participants and sought their cooperation.
The cut motion was thereafter withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House and Grant No.6 was passed.
Grant No.7 was passed without any cut motion.
Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Minister incharge Excise moved Grant No.8.
Shri Sujit Sangma moved his cut motion against this grant. He called for a legislation to be enacted by the Government to prevent persons below 18 years of age to purchase liquors. He criticized the Government policy in regard to the recruitment of constables by the Excise Department and cited instance of the interview held at Tura in which meritorious and deserving candidates were disqualified.
He wanted to know from the Minister incharge (1) the total no. of I.M.F.L. Bonded warehouses, I.M.F.L. Vander Licenses (2) The total revenue collected till 31.3.98 (3) Whether the Government intend to issue more licenses, if so, how many and (4) total quantity of illicit liquor detected so far and the amount involved.
Dr. Mukul Sangma, Shri J.D. Rymbai, Shri D.N. Joshi and Shri K.C. Boro Momin, supported the cut motion whereas Shri O.N. Chyrmang opposed.
Replying to the various points raised by the mover of the cut motion and the participants, Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Minister incharge Excise, gave a detailed statement of the policy of the department with regard to the functioning, procedure for granting of licenses, district wise no. of I.M.F.L. Retail shops/Bar/Bonded Warehouses/Out-stills in the State.
The Minister incharge further presented a clear picture of detection cases including the quantum of illicit liquors seized by the department during 1996-97, 1997-98 and the revenue it fetched to the state exchequer. He further replied to the clarifications sought by the participants.
As regards the setting up of breweries and distilleries he stated that the department used to encourage people to come forward but there was no response till now. About the rampant sale of illicit liquors and other suggestions, he assured that they have been taken note of for necessary action by the concerned department. He requested the mover to withdraw his cut motion.
The cut motion was then withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House and Grant No.8 was passed.
Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Taxation moved Grant No.9.
Shri Sujit Sangma moved his cut motion against this grant. He called for a complete revamping of this important department and desired to know from the Minister incharge as to the (i) Government policy to eliminate the leakage of revenue (2) the policy of the department vis-a-vis the expansion of taxation network.
Other participants included (1) Dr. Mukul Sangma. He supported the cut motion and (2) Shri O.N. Chyrmang who opposed the cut motion.
3. ADJOURNMENT :
Since the time was up, the House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 24th June, 1998.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.