The House assembled at 10 a.m. in the Assembly Chamber on Thursday, the 1st April, 1999 with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted in disposing of the Government Business.
Starred Question Nos.59, 60, 62, 63 and 65 passed with Supplementaries and Question No.61 and 64 passed without Supplementaries.
Dr. F.A. Khonglam called the attention of the Minister, Education to a new item published in Apphira dated 23rd March, 1999 under the caption "HSSLC Question Paper Leakage Alleged". The Hon. Member brought this motion under Rule 54(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. Initiating discussion he alleged that in the Anupchand High School, answer scripts were supplied to the examinees at the price of Rs.100/- each by some organised gangs during the last HSLC examination. The Minister for Education made a statement on the floor of the House stating what action was being taken by the MBOSE and the Department. And an enquiry report is awaited in the direction.
Hon. Speaker, announced that he had received a letter from the Minister, Finance that he would like to make certain correction in his Budget Speech. Hon. Speaker, then requested the Minister, Finance, to make his correction.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Finance Minister, then requested all the hon. Members to make a correction at page 23 of the Budget Speech in the first line where the word "agreed" should be replaced by "being requested".
The Hon. Speaker, then informed that all-together 6 members would take part in the discussion on the Budget. He allotted 30 minutes to each hon. Member.
(Hon. Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
Shri K.C. Momin, taking part on the discussion expressed concern about breach of peace in the State. He also stressed the need to make the State self-sufficient and this cannot be attained without peace and harmony. He also mentioned that funds are being diverted from one district to another district and that is also at the fag end of the financial year. This causes non-implementation of the Schemes; constructions are being carried out not according to the original plans and estimates. Further there is need for quality control.
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, also expressed concern over increasing cases of extortion but he attributed the cause of economic situation. He mentioned about the deterioration condition of agriculture. He referred to the disastrous condition of those people who were affected by the ban on timber export. He criticised the work culture in the PWD. He mentioned about the adverse effect of uranium extraction in the West Khasi Hills.
In his speech, Shri P.M. Syiem, observed that there is no sense of "accountability and commitment" in the Budget Speech. He says that there is lack of imagination in the Planning Cell of the State as Well as at the Centre. He also urged to do away with the loan component. He questioned the relevance of LOA. He urged the Chief Minister, as is the case with in other States, to visit foreign countries and invite the investment from various agencies.
Shri Tonsing Marak, appreciated the Budget and spoke highly of the Finance Minster's ability to manage the finance of the State in a good shape. But he was skeptical about the ways and means to bridge the gap of this deficit in the Budget. He stressed the need to improve the road condition in the State. He urged the Government to construct a fly-over at Dhankheti, between the Addl. Secretariat Building and main Building, Police Bazar. He urged the Agriculture Department to come to the rescue of those who have abandoned the jhum cultivation.
(Chairman took the Chair)
Shri A.D. Marak, hoped that the Budgetary package would not turn out to be an April Fool joke because he did not find anything in the Budget as very promising. He felt that 81.5% of the total population has been kept outside the preview of the economic activities. He regretted that inspite of spending so much under the Agriculture sector, the farmers are still using the out-dated methods of cultivation. He asked what has happened to the Economic Development Council.
Shri A.L. Hek, regretted that most of the schemes could not be taken up because the Finance Department always turn down on this plea or that plea. He urged that when Government spends money, it should be taken care that it really percolates down to the real needy people.
(Hon. Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
Shri S.C. Marak, the former Chief Minister, maintained that the newly constituted Departmentally Related Standing Committee would take up the assignment to usher in new millennium of the coming century. He regretted that inspite of statehood since 1972 it is still legging behind in all spheres. He stressed the need to adopt realistic target. He will continue next day, rule by the Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, announced the adjournment of the House till 10 a.m. on Monday, the 5th April, 1999.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,