MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
RE-ASSEMBLED BUDGET SESSION, 1998
(Tuesday, the 30th June, 1998)
The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government business.
1. QUESTIONS :-
Starred questions Nos. 62, 63 and 69 lapsed as the questioners were absent, Nos.64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70 with supplementaries thereto, replied and Nos.71 to 82 without supplementary were disposed of.
2. GOVERNMENT BILLS :
(1) Dr. Donkupar Roy, Minister incharge Education, moved that the Meghalaya Board of School Education (Amendment) Bill, 1998 be taken into consideration.
Since there were no amendments, he further moved that the said bill be passed.
(The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Board of Education (Amendment) Bill, 1998 was passed.)
(2) Smti R. Warjri, Minister incharge Urban Affairs, moved that the Meghalaya Municipal ( Amendment ) Bill, 1998 be referred to the Select Committee with the following members :-
(1) Shri R.G. Lyngdoh, MLA from Laitumkhrah (2) Shri T.C. Lyngdoh, MLA from Malki-Nongthymmai (3) Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, MLA from Jaiaw (4) Shri T.H. Rangad, M.L.A from Laban and (5) Smti R. Warjri, Minister incharge as the chairperson.
Shri D.N. Joshi suggested that his name also should be included since he also represents the municipal area from Mawprem.
Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition and Shri C.B. Marak endorsed the suggestion to include Shri D.N Joshi, MLA from Mawprem.
Smti R. Warjri, Urban Affairs Minister stated that there is no bar for the members to express their opinion before the Committee although they may not be included. However, she agreed that it will be a seven Members Committee by the inclusion of Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, MLA from Nongstoin and Shri D.N. Joshi, MLA from Mawprem.
The question was put to vote, that the Bill be referred to the Select Committee consisting of seven members of the House.
(The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Municipal ( Amendment ) Bill, 1998 referred to the Select committee comprising of seven members of the House).
(3) Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Minister incharge Health & Family Welfare, moved that the Meghalaya Prohibition of smoking and non-smokers Health Protection Bill, 1998 be taken into consideration.
Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition was of the opinion that (1) Prohibition within 100 metres, may dislodge many people of this business (2) The officers of the rank of Sub-Inspector and (3) below the age of 18 years will be difficult for the seller to determine and suggested that this bill should be referred to the Select Committee.
Shri D.N. Joshi supported the view expressed by the leader of opposition.
The Speaker observed that this particular bill cannot be referred to the Select Committee at this stage and ruled that for any change to the bill, a member should have come with an amendment or can discuss only on the principles of the bill.
The question was put before the House that the Meghalaya Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Bill, 1998 be taken into consideration.
(The motion was carried and the bill was taken into consideration).
But since there was no amendment, the said bill was passed.
(4) Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Taxation, moved that the Meghalaya Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1998 be taken into consideration.
Shri C.B. Marak pointed out that the Statement of object and reasons Para 3 proposed to revise the rates of tax on petroleum and petroleum products and also on taxable items and was of the apprehension that it may have an adverse affect on sales tax which in turn may create social injustice to the society.
Shri Kitdor Syiem referred to Para 4 of the Statement of object and reasons which stated interalia that legislation has to be resorted to every now and then and pleaded that it should be only the legislature which can amend any taxation measure on any basis.
Replying to arguments, Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Taxation clarified that the same thing happened in the case of the existing Meghalaya Excise Act, even in the Assam General Sales Tax Act and many Central Acts when certain unexpected circumstances occurred in which the Government may have to revise the rates of tax and a legislation has to be resorted to in this regard. He stated that however, the Government has not proposed any unpredictable exercise of imposing tax on any new item and assured that an amendment would be brought in the next session of the Assembly.
Quoting Rule 77 & 73 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri C.B. Marak, suggested that the Bill should be referred to the Select Committee.
Shri Kitdor Syiem opined that only Para 4 should be referred to the Select Committee.
Shri D.D. Lapang, leader of the opposition supported.
However, the Speaker, ruled that no action will be taken on this unless an amendment is brought to the Assembly. He stated that it cannot be sumoto referred unless the Government had made a decision on this and allowed to speak on the principle of the Bill under Rule 73 & not under Rule 77. Later the Speaker ruled that since there was no amendment, he requested the Minister incharge to move that the Bill be passed.
Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Taxation, thereafter, moved that the Bill be passed. (The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1998 was passed.)
4. LAYING OF REPORTS :
(1) Shri H.B. Dan, Minister incharge Transport, laid the annual Accounts of the M.T.C. for the year 1992-93.
(2) Shri M.N. Mukhim, Minister incharge Power, laid the Annual Statement of Accounts of the M.S.E.B. for the year 1996-97.
5. ADJOURNMENT :
The House rose at 11.40 a.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 1st July, 1998.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.