( Tuesday, the 22nd June, 1999 ).

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


        Starred Questions Nos.84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97 and 98 with Supplementary Questions thereto, and Nos.95, 99 upto 106 without any Supplementary were disposed of whereas Starred Question No.89 lapsed since the member was absent.


        Under Rule 49 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri P.M. Syiem, drew the attention of the Minister-in-charge, Co-operation to a news item which appeared in "The Meghalaya Guardian" dated 19/ 6/ 99 under the caption " MSCU Staff not paid for months".

        He wanted to know from the Minister-in-charge and Enquiry Committee has been set up or not and in case the Government cannot pay the arrear salary due by the Staff for fourteen months, whether or not these Staff could be absorbed in the parent department?

        In reply, the Minister-in-charge, Co-operation, Dr. Mukul Sangma, apprised the Hon'ble Member from Mylliem of the background of the Meghalaya State Co-operative Union Limited vis-a-vis its problems. He stated that the prime objectives of this Union is (1) To propagate co-operative principles and ideology for healthy growth of the Co-operative movement in the State. (2) To serve as exponent of Co-operative opinion and render advice to the Government in all matters affecting the movement (3) To promote different types of Co-operative Societies as per need of the people of the State. (4) To plan, implement and review education and training activities in the State as per need of the movement. (5) To raise fund for administration and activities of the Union.

        However, he mentioned that in view of serious financial mismanagement and indiscipline by the Union, the salary of the Staff has been suspended for the last many months and the matter is now under consideration by the concerned department.


        The Speaker informed that he had received (1) few copies of P.W.D. Budget for the year 1999-2000 and Members who are interested may collect the copies from Legislation Branch. (2) That he would like to give his decision today in the afternoon before 2 P.M. in the matter of a split in the A.I.C.C. pertaining to the State of Meghalaya and recognition of the split group consisting of nine hon. Members under the 10th Schedule to the Constitution of India.


        Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister In-charge Home (Police) placed a statement relating to replies to Starred question No.21, dt.15.6.99.


        Shri K. Khongdkhar, Minister In-charge Primary Education, gave a statement to the House with regard to his reply to Supplementary question on Starred question No.67, dt.21.6.99 on the retiring age of DCLP School teachers.


        Under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri T.H. Rangad, called the attention of the Minister In-charge Revenue to a news item which appeared in "U Rupang" dated 10.6.99, under the caption "Kurup Jaka Sorkar ki Shipai ha Lummawbah".

        He pointed out that this area has been since time immemorial, been used by the people to pass through and to collect water nearby and unfortunately, however, recently, the Army authority have fenced this area. He desired to know from the Minister In-charge whether this land belongs to the Government or the people or is a Raid Land and whether the Government has any record if the said land is a Government land or it belongs to the Cantonment.

        Reply to the queries, Shri D.D. Lapang, Dy. Chief Minister in-charge of Revenue, apprised the hon. Member from Laban that the land at Lummawbah was acquired as far back in 1963 from the different Raids, the total areas acquired by the Government is 2682 acres. He stated that the land acquired in agreement was first divided between the Cantonment and Civil administration and that the cantonment land was  being documented properly. He assured that he had written to the Defence Ministry to see that a High Power Committee should be there and that the matter will be looked into for the convenience of the people.

7.    MOTIONS :

        Shri P.M. Syiem, moved :-

        "This  House do now discuss the need to seriously consider necessary steps to promote Tourism in the State so as to encourage flow of Tourism which, in turn raise the economy of the State".

        Shri P.M. Syiem was critical of Government failure to give wide publicity of the vast potentials on Tourism. He called for immediate steps to open the stalls for Meghalaya in New Delhi  and other States to facilitate the flow of Tourists and he suggested for providing of basic amenities at  Umiam Lake Resort including the hotels here in Shillong. He also urged the Government for extending facilities to the Staff /Workers of the Meghalaya Transport Development Corporation. 

        Shri A.L. Hek, Shri T.H. Rangad, Shri A.T. Mondal and Shri C.R. Sangma took part.

        Replying to the points raised by the mover and other participants, Smti R. Warjri, Minister-in-charge, Tourism stated that Tourism was really one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world and the State's Tourism department had adopted a new strategy to be carried out in a phased manners. She said with this object in view, the department have created public awareness through various agencies by providing photographs and materials to the National Information Centres pertaining to places of interest, Tourism Spots, flora and fauna and allied information necessary for the promotion of Tourism in the State. Further, she clarified and replied to various points and suggestions of the members and stated that they have been noted by the concerned department for examination and implementation.

        Shri Elston R. Kharkongor moved that this House do now discuss the style of functioning of Health & Family Welfare Department in the State.

        Lamentating at the deplorable conditions and plight of many Health Centres and Hospitals in the State, the Hon'ble Member from Nongkrem urged upon the State Government to try to find out ways and means to follow the steps explored by private parties in running hospitals and opening of Nursing Homes etc. He wondered as to whether the Government was surrendering its duty to have their hospitals privatised by the licensing of nursing homes and private hospitals. He urged upon the Government to take steps to upgrade the existing hospitals in Tura, Jowai and Shillong and equip them with sufficient man-power and infrastructures so that they come at par with the hospitals outside the State and called for concerned effort to be able to touch the finishing line of "health for all".

        Shri Cyprian R. Sangma and Shri M.N. Danggo, participated. 

        Shri M.N. Danggo's deliberation remains inconclusive due to shortage of time - to continue next time.


        The Speaker, gave  his decision in the matter of a split in the Indian National Congress pertaining to the State of Meghalaya and recognition of the Split Group named and styled as the "Meghalaya Congress Legislature Party" consisting of nine hon. Members under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India as well as in the matter of application filed by nine Members of the Meghalaya Congress Legislature Party on 2nd June, 1999. In his final analysis of the letters/complaints received by him one by one, he gave an order that the request of Shri Methrona Marak,  hon. Member to treat his letter of 2-06-99 was withdrawn was accordingly allowed.

        (2) The Split in the I.N.C. pertaining to Meghalaya which took place at the level of the original political party and at the level of the Legislature party stands valid. 

        (3) The new Split Group named and styled as the "M.C.L.P." does not attract disqualification under para 3 of the 10th Schedule to the Constitution of India since the new Split group commands the required no. of more than one-third of the total strength of 25(twenty five) Members of the Congress Legislature Party.

        The plea of Shri C.B. Marak, Secretary, C.L.P. and that of Ambika Soni, General Secretary, A.I.C.C.( I ) New Delhi, that there was no split in the I.N.C. at all India Level or in the Meghalaya Congress Committee at the State Level cannot be entertained and accepted and accordingly, the new split group named and styled as the "M.C.L.P." was hereby recognised in the House with immediate effect.

        As regards the letter dated 15.6.99 signed by Shri C.B. Marak, Secretary, congress Legislature Party the Speaker ruled that it cannot be treated as a complaint for taking action under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution  of India as it has not fulfilled the requirements of Rule 6(Six) of the Members of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on ground of Defection) Rules, 1988 and as such, the Office was directed to return the aforesaid letter to Shri C.B. Marak, Secretary, Congress Legislature Party forthwith.


        The House rose at 2.10 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 23rd June, 1999.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.