The House assembled at 10 a.m. in the Assembly Chamber on Wednesday, the 31st March, 1999 with the Hon. Dy. Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted in disposing of the Government Business.
Starred Questions No.51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58 passed with Supplementaries.
Shri M.M. Danggo, called the attention to a news item published in the Meghalaya Guardian on 22nd December, 1998 under the Caption "Resentment expressed over misuse of fund". While discussing the matter hon. Member referred to many alleged irregularities in implementing various schemes under C & RD and S.R.W. etc., in respect of utilising funds in Ranikor. Replying to the calling attention, Shri Lotsing Sangma, Minister in-charge, stated that on receiving complaint from the Join Action Committee, Ri-Lyngngam. The matter was verified by the Department. and found that the allegation was unfounded in so far as there were only 3 schemes were submitted and not 29 numbers of schemes as alleged in the complaint. However, the Minister gave an elaborated account of how various schemes in that block are now in progress for the information of the House.
Before the debate on the Governor's Address initiated, Dr. F.A. Khonglam, raised a point of order. In his point of order, the hon. Member made a strong plea that if the time limit is fixed at 12 noon, many of the hon. Members would not get any opportunity to take part in this debate. His contention was supported by other members as well, viz., Shri C.R. Marak, Shri Cyprian Sangma, Shri T.H. Rangad and Shri A.T. Mondal, Shri D.D. Lapang, Deputy Chief Minister, also urged the Chair to see that while negotiating with time limit, Government should not be deprived of the Privilege to explain its stand properly for slicing down their time allotted for C.M.'s reply.
After taking into consideration all aspects, Hon. Deputy Speaker ruled that all together 6 (six) Participants from the Opposition side, each hon. Member would get 9 (nine) minute each.
Shri Tonsing Marak, picked-up his thread of discussion which he could not complete on the previous day and criticised the malfunctioning of the Education Deptt. He stressed the need to set up Medical College/Engineering College and other Vocational Institutes in the State. Taking part in the discussion, Dr. F.A. Khonglam, criticised the Policy of Government and questioned the logic in creating hundreds of teachers posts when many of the villages do not have any schools at all. He also urged the Government to improve the lot of the people in the border areas. In his speech, Shri A.L. Hek, bitterly criticised the law and order problem in the State, especially on the activities of the extortion, robbery, killing and other unlawful activities of the underground elements. He also mentioned about unemployment, tourism and sports.
Shri E. Roy Kharkongor, expressed concern over the miserable condition of the people, consequent upon the blanket ban on export of timber. But he regretted that no mention has been made in the Governor's Address about this important aspect. He advocated the need for resorting to Jhum cultivation.
Shri D.P. Iangjuh, while supporting the Governor's Address hoped that the proper implementation of the policies and programme enshrined in Address would usher in a new era of the State.
Smti Maysalin War, stressed to need to improve the horticulture in the State.
(Hon. Speaker took the Chair)
Shri Cyprian Sangma, although appreciated the setting up Agricultural Marketing Board, he is skeptical as to whether it would help the real farmers especially in Garo Hills.
Shri A.T. Mondal termed the Governor's Address as full of falls promise having no sense of direction.
(The Hon. Speaker extended the time for another 15 minutes i.e., upto 12.15 for debate)
Shri Simon Siangshai, while appreciating the Governor's Address which is committed to maintain law and order in the State but he regretted that the Police did not help to project the life and properly of the Jowai Bazar which was gutted recently.
(The Hon. Speaker announced a break till 12.30 P.M. to enable the Chief Minister to give his reply)
(The House re-assembled at 12.30 P.M. with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair)
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Hon. Chief Minister thanked Shri T.H. Rangad and other hon. members who have brought the amendment motion and he delegated Shri D.D. Lapang, Hon. Deputy Speaker, to give reply on his behalf. In his reply, Shri D.D Lapang, appreciated the hon. Members concern over law and order, handing over corruption cases to CBI etc. He assured the House that the Government is in the process of revamping the Police force. Regarding railway, he regretted that when the centre wanted to give the Railway, there was resistance at that time. However, a new alignment of Railway line has been chalked out. He assured the House that the programme implementation Committee would monitor the functioning of various schemes. Necessary steps are being taken to check the recurrence of flood. He admitted that it is a matter of shame that the Primary School teachers for not getting salaries. But the Government would soon tide over the situation; and the teacher would get their salaries very soon. With regard to agriculture, he informed the House that the Government was fixing support price for some agriculture produce. In the question of free and fair election. The Dy. Chief Minister informed the House that some corrective measures are being taken in the line with the Central Election Commission. He gave an vivid account of help given to the District Councils. He assured the members that the Government is trying to rescue those people affected by the ban on timber export. He appealed to the hon. Members that since the Governor's Address only outlines the major policy decisions of the Government, its Government is quite seized of the problems and would not remain complacent and do everything possible for the State.
(At the request of the Hon. Deputy Chief Minister, Shri T.H. Rangad agreed to withdraw his amendment when the House consented to this withdrawals, the Hon. Speaker put the main motion of Thanks to vote and carried. Thus, the House adopted the Motion of Thank to the Governor).
5. Shri D.N. Joshi, Minister, Parliamentary Affairs, moved -
"That this House hereby adopts the Report of the Rule Committee for setting up of Departmental Related Standing Committees and Budget Committee in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly".
(The Motion was put to vote and carried).
The Hon. Speaker announced the adjournment of the House till 10 a.m. on Thursday, the 1st April, 1999.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly