The House assembled at 10 a.m. in the Chamber of the Assembly with Hon. Speaker in the Chair, the day was devoted for disposing Government Business and debate on Governor's Address.
The House disposed off the Starred Question No.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 with Supplementaries and also the Unstarred Questions No.1, 2, and 3 which were duly replied by the Ministers concerned.
Immediately after the Question Hour, the Hon. Speaker announced that he had received a letter signed by Shri O.R. Marak, Shri M.M. Dango and Shri Cyprian Sangma with a request to move an Adjournment Motion before transacting any other business of the House. He read out the letter in which they referred to a news item published in the Shillong Times dated 18th March, 1999 in which Shri H.S. Lyngdoh threatened the Home Minister, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh either to act or face civil war for the activities of the GNF. They wanted to move this Adjournment Motion under Rule 56 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. However, the Hon. speaker observed that this adjournment motion could not be entertained in view of another letter from the hon. member, Shri P.M. Syiem seeking to move a calling attention under Rule 54 (1) on the similar subject to be moved on 23rd March, 1999. The Hon. Speaker informed the House that he had already admitted this Calling Attention Motion. Therefore, he felt that there was no need to move such adjournment motion in view of the Calling Attention moved by Shri P.M. Syiem, under Rule. 57 of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister, Finance, presented the Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1998-99.
Shri Methrona R. Marak initiated a discussion on a motion of Thanks on the Governor's Address. He appreciated highly the broad guidelines enshrined by the Governor about the policies and programme of the Government. His speech was followed by a motion of amendment to the Governor's Address moved by Shri T.H. Rangad. The motion was admitted and as one of the movers, he was asked to initiate a discussion. In his address, Shri Rangad came down heavily on the deteriorating law and order situation and rampant corruption in the Government.
(Chairman took the Chair)
Participating in the Amendment Motion Shri H.S. Lyngdoh denied that he had issued any threat of civil war but he narrated the plight of the people at the hand of the Assam Police and the GNF. He placed his original letter on the table of the House. He urged upon the Government to negotiate with the under ground outfits to solve the problem of insurgency. He also stressed upon setting up of small scale industries. He also mentioned about tannery which also had a prospect in the State. He was very critical about the pitiable condition of the State-run fisheries similarly, he mentioned about how the forests of West Khasi Hills were being denuded by the Assam Police in connivance with higher ups of Meghalaya. Regarding power generation, he suggested that power could be generated at a minimum cost at Kynshi river. Regarding primary education, he pointed that the situation has deteriorated after the State Government has taken over the Primary education from the District Councils. He farther stressed the need for construction of more roads in the Border areas.
Participating in the amendment motion Shri P.M. Syiem pinpointed the failure of the government to implement the Commercial Crop Development Board and also the deteriorating law and order situation. He also demanded what steps have been taken to bring railway line to Meghalaya. He also mentioned about introduction of PIC for which crores of rupees had already been spent. He mentioned about flood control and fixing support price for agricultural products; special schemes for women and children, village dorbar to be strengthened unemployment problem, SRWP, CRRP, Water scarcity, traffic congestion, inner line permits, proper implementation of Doordarshan programme to avoid alienation of the village people.
At one steps, Shri C.R. Marak, raised a point of order under Rule 13 (3) and 15 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. He maintained that since the Motion of Thanks moved by Shri M.R. Marak was not supported by any other member, the proposed amendment might be included. However, the Chairman, ruled that Shri M.R. Marak moved the motion of thanks and it was duly seconded by Shri K. Susngi and hence his point of order was not tenable.
While supporting the motion of Thanks, Shri K. Momin dwelt at length the various aspects of the Governor's Address. He hoped that the Government would implement all the proposal in true letter and spirit.
Supporting the amendment, Shri C.R. Marak, pin pointed the issue of fiscal discipline and financial management. he wondered, how this Government would check the Government expenditure when there is a titanic size of the Ministry. The loopholes in the taxation Department also come under fire in his speech. Law and order problem also figured prominent in his speech.
(Since the time was up, Shri C.R. Marak to continue next day, as ruled by the Chair).
The Chairman (Shri T.H. Rangad ) announced the adjournment of the House till Tuesday, the 23rd March, 1999 at 10 a.m.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly