The House assembled at 10 a.m. in the Assembly Chamber on Wednesday, the 7th April, 1999 with Hon. Dy. Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted to dispose the Government Business.
Starred Question No.99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110 passed with Supplementaries and question No.98 lapsed since the questioner was absent.
Shri C.R. Marak, raised a Point of Order on the ground that the Minister of State while replying the question No. 103 on behalf of Shri Kitdor Syiem, Minister, Supplementary was asked and the Minister for Forest took his seat and tried to reply. Shri C.R. Marak insisted that the Minister of State should answer the Supplementary also. The Point of Order was however over-ruled by the Chair in view of the fact that the interest of the hon. Members is to get the information whether it is given by the Minister or the Minister of State. Moreover, in this case, Shri Kitdor Syiem, Minister in-charge has already sought permission of the Chair before authorising the Minister of State to reply on his behalf.
(Hon. Speaker took the Chair)
Under Rule 52, Shri C.R. Marak, raised a Point of Order to discuss the problem faced by the MLAs in the MLA Hostel. Hon. Speaker disallowed the Point of Order on the ground that a meeting has already been summoned today, the 7th April, 1999 in the Room No.14 to discuss all these matters.
Hon. Speaker informed the House that he has received a letter yesterday, the 6th April, 1999 signed by four hon. Members viz. Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri P.M. Syiem, Shri T.H. Rangad and Shri C.R. Sangma and they sought to move a censure Motion under Rule 133 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business against Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Chief Minister, for his alleged failure to maintain law and order, economic condition etc., Hon. Speaker ruled that since the application has fulfilled all the conditions, and supported by 12 hon. Members - under Sub-rule 3 of Rule 133 he found the application in order. Therefore, he granted the leave to move this motion on the last day of the Session on 9th April, 1999 immediately after disposing the Government Business.
Shri P.M. Syiem called the attention of the Minister, Education, under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the news item published in the North East Daily, dated 27.3.99 and on 28.3.99 under the caption "93 year old Government practicing School in crisis at Jaiaw". In his discussion, Shri Syiem gave a history of the establishment of the said school. He wanted to know from the Government whether they are intending to shift this school to a new building since the existing building is in dilapidated condition. Shri K.K. Dkhar, Minister in-charge made a statement on the floor of the House.
Dr. F.A. Khonglam continued his discussion which he could not complete on the previous day. He suggested among other things; to construct fly over to avoid traffic jams in Shillong. Shri C.R. Marak, taking part in the discussion maintained that this huge deficit in the budget cannot be bridged with the existing revenue collection of the State. He criticised the law and order situation in the State. He stressed the need for proper plantation to avert soil erosion. Shri D.P. Iangjuh while welcoming the Budget Speech stated that it would fulfill the aspirations of the people at large. He however criticised the functioning of the Education Department particularly at the Primary level. He also dwelt at length the problems faced by the border people. Smti Maysalin War took part and mentioned about the condition of the people due to ban on felling trees by the Supreme Court. She mentioned about rehabilitation of the jhum cultivators.
(Hon. Speaker informed the House that there would be a brief break at 12.10 P.M. to enable the Finance Minister to give his reply)
(The House reassembled at 12.30 P.M. with Hon. Speaker in the Chair)
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh in his reply informed the House that the Central loan received by the State is Rs.321. crores from financial institutions Rs.70.71 crores and from market borrowing Rs.238.69 crores totalling Rs.630.78 crores. He also informed the House that the Government since 1974 till date has given loans to the Meghalaya State Electricity Board Rs.139.24 crores of which Rs.106.03 crores from plan sources and Rs.38.24 crores from the non-plan sources. But there has been no repayment of this loan by MeSEB. Regarding meeting the deficit he stated many austerity measure, intensive collection of revenue. In view of the financial crunch at the Government of India level, he suggested that the State have to depend more and more on loan components rather than on subsidy.
He admitted that the State is not financially viable since the NE region is connected with the mainstream by only 2% and 98 % of the border is with other Countries. Hence, if border trade is not opened up, the State will remain 'not viable'. He observed The criticism of the Hon. Members are very constructive and most of their suggestions will be taken due date. He also admitted the mistakes and misprints in the Budget Speech. Regarding serious financial irregularities, he informed the House, that the matters would be handed over to the CBI and anti-corruption Bureau. He assure the House that some new initiatives are being contemplated to tackle the law and order problems of the State.
Hon. Speaker announced the adjournment of the House till 10 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday the 8th April, 1999.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.