The House assembled on Wednesday at 10 a.m on 24th March, 1999, in the Assembly Chamber with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for disposing Government Business.
Starred questions No.16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 were replied and passed with supplementaries and in starred question No.25 passed without supplementaries since the questions hour was over.
Immediately after the question hour, the Hon. Speaker announced that he had received a letter from the Hon. Members viz. Shri C.R. Marak, Shri T.H. Rangad and Shri Cyprian Sangma regarding kidnapping of one Shri Dil Bahadur Neor and they demanded admission of a adjournment motion before transacting any other business of the House. But the Hon. Speaker made a reference to the Parliamentary Practices by Kaul and Shakdhar and did not allow the adjournment motion because this did not warrant the provision of "urgent matter of public importance". He however requested them to come forward with the issue in some other forms. The House then witnessed an uproarious scene and some member came down to the well of the House. Against this back drop, the Speaker asked the Government to make a statement on the floor of the House tomorrow morning, the 25th March, 1999. And if the members are not satisfied, they may submit a fresh an application and, if necessary, he would allow even 2 and half hour discussion in the House. With this ruling, Hon. Speaker disallowed the Adjournment Motion. In protest, Shri C.R. Marak walked out.
VOTING ON SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND FOR GRANTS :
The House took up the Demand for Grants and before that he Hon. Speaker read out the Message from the Governor. The Demand No.1 and 2 passed without any cut motion. There was a cut motion against the Demand No.3 but the Hon. Speaker ruled that the cut should be Rs.100 instead of Re.1 since this was only a policy cut. Moving the cut motion, Shri P.M. Syiem mentioned the unfair means adopted during the last MDC election where the anti-specials ran the roost. Shri H.S. Lyngdoh supported the cut motion and mentioned about unlawful activities indulged in by the goons. Shri F.A. Khonglam also took part. He alleged that there were anomalies in the Voters' list. Shri Tonsing Marak opposed the cut motion while admitting that there were some loop-holes in the election process. Shri C.B. Marak, Minister in-charge, while replying to the various allegations made by the hon. members stated, that he was not responsible for all 'hum drums' of the election process. However, he admitted that inspite of the directives from the Election Commission, Photo Identity Card could be issued only to 7 lakh 87 thousand and 392 PIC could be issued against the voters number. 10 lakh 89 thousand and 603 for various difficulties. However, he hoped that after computerisation of the electoral rolls and issue of PIC would be completed, the situation will improve. But he regretted that the State has adopted the gun culture during election which was hitherto against the ethos of the tribal people.
He appealed to the mover, to withdraw the cut motion in view of his elaborate statement on the PIC issue, and the liabilities faced by the department against the threat from the contractors. After seeking clarification, the mover withdraw the cut motion and the Demand No.3 passed by voice vote. Demand No.4 passed without any cut motion. Demand No.4 and 5 and 6 passed without cut motion. Demand No.7 was moved by Shri Sujit Sangma, Minister in-charge, and passed since the cut motion was lapsed in the absence of the mover. Demand No.8 was moved by Shri M.N. Mukhim, Minister in-charge. Shri P.M. Syiem, moved the cut motion as a policy cut.
(HON. DY. SPEAKER TOOK THE CHAIR)
Moving the cut motion, Shri P.M. Syiem complained that most of the installations for non-conventional energy have been either stolen or damaged by the anti-socials. He also blamed the Government for failure to set up the institute for training of the Personnel on non-conventional energy. He also mentioned about mal-practices in the matter of appointment of staff.
Shri Tonsing Marak while opposing the cut motion, admitted the importance of non-conventional energy especially by the villagers. He felt the need to strengthen the department with trained people. While replying, Shri M.N. Mukhim, Minister in-charge informed the House that the Government of Meghalaya was committed to provide additional energy by non-conventional energy and other means of environment friendly energy resources viz., hydel projects, bio-gas, solar energy etc. He informed the House that the Regional Institute (REP) could not be set up since the Government of India did respond to the State Government, request for bearing recurring cost on 90:10 basis. He did not admit any mal-practices in the appointment policy; and also informed the House that many of projects are functional. He appealed to the mover to withdraw the cut motion. In view of the assurance given by the Minister, the mover withdraw the cut motion. The Demand No.8 was then passed by voice vote, Demand No.9 was moved by Shri Sujit Sangma, Minister in-charge, and a policy cut was moved by Shri T.H. Rangad.
While discussing Shri Rangad, mentioned about wasteful expenditure on casual appointments by the huge ministry. This a colossal waste of precious meager resources of the State. Shri Tonsing Marak, while opposing the cut motion he said it was the privilege of the Ministers to appoint casual employees. Shri Simon Siangshai also opposed the cut motion. Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, while supporting the cut motion wanted to know, how many casual employees have been appointed so far. He alleged that a money is being drawn in name of the casual employees, the Ministers are taking the money. While replying, the Minister in-charge admitted that the State had been facing financial crunch and such huge ministry is not reasonable. But he maintained that such a big ministry is due to expediency of the peculiar situation, but he did not agree that the ministers are not attending office. He assured the House that he would try to curtail the expenditure of the Government and appealed the mover to withdraw the cut motion. On getting assurance from the Minister, the mover withdraw the cut motion and Demand No.9 was passed by voice vote. Demand No.10 was moved by Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister in-charge.
Shri T.H. Rangad moved a policy cut. He stressed the need for insuring the money being taken from the Banks to Offices. He also demanded, that pay should paid in cheques. While replying, the Minister assured that the Government was going to introduce payment in cheques. Regarding insuring the amount, he could not give any commitment, but he agreed to look into the matter. With this, the mover with draw the cut motion and Demand No.10 passed by voice vote. Demand No.11 was moved by Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister in-charge. Cut motion was moved by Shri P.M. Syiem, while initiating the discussion, he demanded that the Police force in Meghalaya should be modernised at par with other states in country. Shri T.H. Rangad, also supported the mover of the cut motion. Shri H.S. Lyngdoh also supported the motion.
(Since the time is up, the Hon. Deputy Speaker requested the member to continue next time)
The Hon. Deputy Speaker announced the adjournment of the House till 10 a.m. on Thursday, the 25th March, 1999.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly