The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business.
Starred questions Nos.46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 with supplementaries thereto, 51 to 63 without supplementary were disposed of.
Under Rule 49 (a) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri P.M. Syiem raised a zero hour notice to a matter which appeared in "The Shillong Times" dated 4-03-2001 under the caption "Government employees to stage protest on March 15".
He wanted a clarification from the Finance Minister as to what action the Government has taken or proposed to be taken on the 10 points Charter of Demands submitted by the Federation of Meghalaya State Employees to the Chief Minister, Meghalaya on December 4, 2000 and why the Government has failed to invite the Federation office bearers for talk to air their grievances ?
In reply to the zero hour notice, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minster in-charge Finance apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem that these ten points Charter of Demands of the Meghalaya Federation of Employees are being examined by the Government and the question of meeting anybody did not arise and that only when the Finance department of the Government takes a decision on this, then only the question of meeting the office bearers of the Federation of employees at an appropriate time could be considered.
Supplementing the reply to other points raised, Shri M.M. Mukhim, Minister in-charge of S.A.D. gave a detailed of the steps taken by the Government to meet the demands of the employees federation and stated that since the Charter of demands have to be examined by many departments involved, it was not possible at this stage to give an indication as to how long the Government would take to examine them and assured that this will receive his personal attention that the Government will examine all the points in the Charter as early as possible as was already stated by the Finance Minister in the course of his reply to a question raised on 19th March, 2001.
Demands Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 passed since there was no cut motion.
Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister in-charge of Taxation moved Demand No.7.
Shri T.N. Marak, moved his cut motion against Demand No.7 and discussed at length on the management of teer game. He requested the State Government to revise the rate of taxes and to provide the Association with a playground and some sort of financial assistance which may be granted so that the State Government can earn more revenue.
Shri K.C. Boro took part and supported the cut motion whereas Shri A.T. Mondal opposed.
Quoting Rule 300 Sub rule (1) & (2), Shri Clifford R. Marak, raised a point of order in respect of Mr. T.H. Rangad in relation to unparliamentary words and pleaded that he had not used any unparliamentary word which have to be expunged in his deliberation yesterday, the 20-03-2001. He proposed that the Parliamentary Affairs Minister should convene a meeting with those who are expert in the rules. Shri T.H. Rangad, Minister in-charge Home stated that he could not accept such words unless the hon. Member can substantiate. The Chair however requested the hon. Member to refer to Rule 279 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and the matter was closed.
Shri A.T. Mondal resumed his discussion on cut motion to Supplementary Demand No.7.
Replying to the points raised by the mover and other participants, Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister in-charge Taxation informed that the rate of taxes will be enhanced but not at the cost of revenue collection of the State. As regards the total revenue collection right from 1978, he informed the House that he had no records. However, he assured to lay before the House the revenue collection right from 1992 onwards and gave a detailed figure of revenue collected from 1996-97 till date.
The cut motion was afterwards withdrew by the mover with leave of the House - Demand No.7 was passed.
Shri M. Rava, Minister in-charge of Transport, moved Demand No.8.
Shri Sujit K. Sangma moved his cut motion against this demand and raised a discussion for not extending the helicopter services to Williamnagar, Nongstoin, Baghmara etc.
The mover also wanted to know from the Minister in-charge what was the total amount due to M/S Pawan Hans Limited from March, 2000 to February, 2001, the amount collected from the occupants from March, 2000 to February, 2001 and since the procedure was 75:25 he further wanted to be clarified on the amount required to cover the 25 percent share and also the total flying and expenditure per flying ?
Shri D.N. Joshi, Dr. Mukul Sangma and Shri T.N. Marak, supported the cut motion.
Replying to the points raised by the mover and other members who took part in the discussion, Shri M. Rava, Minister in-charge Transport gave a detailed reply to the functioning of the Transport department with special reference to the Helicopter Services. He stated that the Helicopter Service was started in Meghalaya on 15.2.99 with the approval of Government of India and after having signed in Agreement with M/S Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited, a Government of India Undertaking and according to the Lease Agreement the Pawan Hans Limited has provided a helicopter for exclusive use of the Meghalaya Government and its authorized persons and that per agreement, the State Government is to pay M/S Pawan Hans Limited fixed monthly charges and hourly charges for each flying hour. He further informed that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India provides a subsidy of 75 % to the State Government against bills submitted by the Pawan Hans Limited while the remaining 25 % has to be borne by the State Government, a part of which can be recovered through passenger fares and that as per the current schedule the total number of flying hours per month on an average are 78 to 80 hours. Hence he pointed out that it was not possible to extend the helicopter services to other District Headquarters other than Tura.
Since the time was up, his reply remains inconclusive to be continued on the next day.
The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Thursday, the 22nd March, 2001.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.