( Monday, the 14th June, 1999 ).

        The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Private Members' business.


        Starred Questions Nos 1 to 5 with Supplementaries thereto, 6 to 11 without Supplementary were disposed of. Unstarred Questions Nos 1 to 7 to which written replies were given, laid on the tables.


        Shri C.R. Marak resumed his discussion on the pending motion moved by Shri P.M. Syiem in the last Budget Session, 1999. He mentioned of the increase in the population of Meghalaya since its inception as a full fledged State in 1972 and reiterated the proposal to increase the Legislative Assembly seats from 60 to 100.

        In reply to the discussions raised by the mover and other participants, Shri D. N. Joshi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, stated that Article 170 of the Constitution of India specifically provides that the Legislative Assembly of each State shall consist of not less than Sixty members chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the State and that in so far as Meghalaya State was concerned the number of allocated is Sixty. He also pointed out that to increase the number of seats from 60 to 100 will involved re-adjustment of  territorial constituencies of the State and re-adjustment of territorial constituencies of the State and re-adjustment will have to be done in such a manner as parliament by Law determine and such being the constitutional provision, the  Government did not see the scope for increasing the number of seats at this time. However, he stated that the suggestions by the members will be examined by the Government.

3.    MOTIONS :

        Shri A.T. Mondal moved that this House do now discuss the need for creation of a high power District Level Monitoring Cell under the R & R Department for the prompt and immediate action to look after the plights of the victims of natural calamity, five etc., in regard to relief and rehabilitation and clearance of  various calamity related bills.

        He discussed at length on the occurrence of flood and cyclones in areas under his Constituency and the impact of the calamities caused to the people and vegetation. He lamented at the failure of the Government to take appropriate measures to provide relief to those affected people in time and suggested the Constitution of a high power Monitoring Committee to look into the plights of the victims and urged for expeditious clearance of related bill.

        Shri T.H. Rangad took part.

        Shri D.D. Lapang, Deputy Chief Minister In-charge, Revenue, replied that the Government has constituted Committees at different levels to monitor quick and prompt release of relief materials to the people affected by natural calamity in the State and that Government is considering to enhance  the amount of relief to the victims.

        Shri P.M. Syiem moved that this House do now discuss the need to extend encouraging incentives to the electronic and print  media of local dailies in the State of Meghalaya.

        He urged the Government to come up with a clear-cut policy on how to help the electronic and print media so that they could come at par with the media persons in other States. He also  suggested to the Government to formulate a scheme which will  benefit the local media in our State and requested the Government to take action on the petitions submitted by them earlier.

        Shri A.T. Mondal and Shri T.H. Rangad supported the motion.

        In reply to the points raised by the mover, Shri C. B. Marak, Minister-in-charge, Information & Public Relations stated that Government provides facilities to the Press Reporters of various papers to cover Government programmes outside the State capital in the form of transport etc. and in addition, it also sponsored workshop, press-conducted tours and assists journalists in attending seminars outside the State. He further added that in the past, subsidised news-print was provided to the newspapers of the State with quota received from the Government of India but unfortunately, it was found out that the newsprint which are made available in rolls only not in sheets, were not suitable to the local newspapers and hence  the scheme was discontinued long back. He further stated that at the moment, there was apparently no reason for any encouraging incentives. However, he assured that Government may examine the proposal.

        Shri T.H. Rangad moved that this House do now discuss the existence and  operations of non Banking Financial Companies in the State and the Role of Government in their regulation.

        Discussing at length on the function of the Non Banking Financial Companies, he wanted to know from the Government how many Non Banking Financial Companies are functioning in the State, from where they come from, and whether they were properly licensed by the R. B. I. or not and whether they conformed to the R. B. I  directives. He urged the State Government to get a record of their credibility and the amount of money that has been siphoned of.

        He also asked whether an Economic offences has been  set up with trained personnel like the Police to detect the offences committed by these Non Banking Financial Companies.

        Shri P.M. Syiem took part.

        In reply to the points raised by the mover, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister-in-charge of Finance told the House that the Government was not aware of any Company being detected by the State Police functioning under Non Banking Financial Companies without authority till date. However, he assured that the Government will  go its own way to see that in future people are not cheated by these companies and that it will  be vigilant to see that such companies should come into the State surreptitiously.

        Shri A.T. Mondal moved that this House do now discuss the viability and the immediate need of opening a cotton based industry in Garo Hills.

        He stressed for the necessity to set  up cotton based industry in the State to benefit the growers in Garo Hills and in order to inspire the people to do away with Jhum cultivation which is rampant in the State. He urged upon the Government to come forward to help the people with  financial assistance to take up this Project by starting this industry in Garo Hills for the benefit of the people in the entire State.

        Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri T.H. Rangad, Shri Lot Singh A. Sangma and Shri C.R. Marak supported the motion.

        Replying to the points raised by the mover and the participants, Shri D.D. Lapang, Deputy Chief Minister incharge of Industries stated that local entrepreneurs are provided with financial assistance by the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation and other financial institutions for encouraging them to take up this industry but he deplored that the response was quite poor. He assured that Government will continue to help the growers in Garo Hills to start with Cotton based industry by availing the assistance from the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation in order to combat the influx of outsiders by creating more public awareness among the cotton growers in Garo Hills. Further, he stated that their suggestions will be taken into consideration.

        Shri C.R. Marak, moved that this House do now discuss the need for creation of  Civil Sub-Division at Chokpot.

        Citing instances of the difficulties faced by the people and the lack of communications, he suggested that a Civil Sub-Division should be created at Chokpot in order to bring the administration to the people.

        Shri S. M. Simsang, Shri L.A. Sangma and Shri A.T. Mondal supported the motion.

        In reply, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Home Minister stated  that the Government is seized of the difficulties and problems faced by the people and that in the 10th Finance Commission this matter was taken up but was ultimately turned down due to non-availability of resources. He further said that Government cannot give any commitment at this juncture.


        The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m.  on Tuesday, the 15th June, 1999.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly