MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

RE-ASSEMBLED BUDGET SESSION, 2001.

BULLETIN NO. 10.

(THURSDAY, THE 28th JUNE, 2001).

        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.

1.QUESTIONS :

        Starred questions Nos. 186, 187, 189, 190, 191, 193, 194, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201 with supplementaries thereto, Nos.195 and 200 without supplementary, were disposed of

        Starred questions Nos. 188 and 192 lapsed, questionnaire absent.

2.VOTING ON DEMANDS FOR GRANTS :

        Grants Nos.46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 were passed since there were no cut motions to these grants.

        Shri K. Susngi, Minister in-charge P.W.D. (Roads and Bridges) moved Grant No. 56.

        Shri Sujit K. Sangma, moved his cut motion against Grant No.56. The mover raised a discussion on the functioning of the P.W.D.  vis-a-vis conditions of roads in the State. He stated that whereas surface transport is the only means of transport, the State Government should insist on the clearance from the Government of India to declare the Rongjeng - Assanangiri Road a national Highway. He called for immediate improvement to the existing road from Rongjeng - Sonapahar - Nongshram Road and completion of the on-going schemes including the missing links and wanted to know the reasons why the disparity in the allotment of funds under the MLAs' Scheme of the P.W.D. and demanded the resignation of the Minister in-charge by owing moral responsibility.

        Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri K.C. Boro, Shri T.C. Lyngdoh, Dr. Mukul Sangma and Shi D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition supported the cut motion.

        Replying to the points raised by the mover of the cut motion and other members who have taken part, Shri Kyrmen Susngi, Minister in-charge of P.W.D. (Roads & Bridges), stated that the Annual Plan Outlay under this head for 2001-2002 as informed by the Planning Department, Government of Meghalaya is 93.23 crores but then this additional amount of 93.23 crores could not be utilised for road construction work since this provision has been specified under of schemes viz ., RIDF, MDSF, S.C.A. and P.W.D. special roads and plans, channelisation of funds to C & R.D. and that as already specified for the different works, the original allotment of fund is very inadequate. The Minister in-charge further informed the august House that out of 93.23 crores, 86.90 crores are meant for some specified works mentioned above and that the amount allotted is 30 crores where as there are already - planned schemes for general schemes amounting to 1.33 crores. He also told the House that last year, the department had a bank of sanctions under the B.M.S. amounting to 62 crore which the Government of India was kind enough to consider the on-going schemes under B.M.S. as B.M.S.T.Y. schemes and had allotted 35 crores out of which, 27 crore was left as of now. He assured that the department will try its level best to convince the Government of India to consider these on-going schemes of Rs.27 crores as B.M.S.T.Y. schemes and that in addition to road projects, there are new schemes for road connectivity which the department will implement out of 27 crore meant for on-going schemes for 2001-2002 out of a bank of sanctions from last year amounting to 35 crore and 8 crore respectively for the new schemes and that since this money is included in the annual plan of P.W.D for 2001 - 2002, uptil now, the department had not received the amount from the Government of India.

        The Minister in-charge clarified to the other points raised by the mover and the participants and refuted the allegation of news-paper report that it does appear to be correct. He further replied to various other queries.

        Dr. Mukul Sangma wanted to be clarified on what basis this particular grant could be passed by the House in absence of the detailed estimates of the P.W.D. Budget for 2001-2002. He proposed the institution of an enquiry Committee to investigate on the non-presentation of P.W.D. Budget to the House to which Shri K. Susngi, Minister in-charge P.W.D. (Roads & Bridges) clarified that it is not mandatory to be placed in the House before this grant come up for discussion and requested the mover of the cut motion to withdraw and assured that P.W.D. Budget for 2001-2002 will be circulated to the members within this Session.

        However, since the mover was not willing to withdraw the cut motion, the Chair put the  questions before the House for the passage of Grant No.56 but subsequently, had to adjourn the House for 30 minutes in view of strong protest by the opposition members.

(The House was adjourned for 30 minutes).

        After adjournment, the House re-assembled at 2 p.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.

        No sooner had the House met again, than Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of the Opposition, referred to pages 49, 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and suggested the setting up of an enquiry Committee with the Speaker as the Chairman so that this matter should be the  first and the last incident that has occurred in this House.

        Dr. Mukul Sangma stated that the rule does not allow this Demand to be passed and suggested postponement in the passage of this demand as well as the Appropriation (No.II) 2001, Bill  and called for impartial decision from the Chair in this regard.

        Clarifying the position, Shri E.K. Mawlong, Leader of the House referred to Volume II at page 2 on the detailed estimates on Demands for Grants of the budget papers for 2001-2002 wherein all the details pertaining to this Demand to Grant No.56 have been specified. He stated that he had held review meeting twice last month to examine whether to go in for new schemes in which the Minister of Finance, Officials from Planning department also attended but it was found difficult considering the bank of sanctioned schemes that are in position as of now and hence the Government was of two minds (1) whether to carry on with already sanctioned schemes (2) limited schemes should be thought of and that taking this into account, the only possibility to take up new schemes is only from loan component and that also should be thought of properly since how much it can absorb.

        The Chief Minister further mentioned that the Assembly Standing Committees are there  where scrutiny is taken up for various departments and suggested that this problem can be sorted out by the Standing Committees. As regard new proposals for the year 2001-2002, he informed the House that there is every possibility that the department may take up some schemes this year and that every year in the P.W.D. budget there were always unforeseen circumstances whereby funds have been provided in a lumpsum manner to meet new schemes of emergent nature or for special occasions etc. He requested the opposition members not to oppose the passage of this grant since estimates are there and the demand is in order.

        Shri Salseng C. Marak, took part and stated that this is the first instance he had come across since 1972 till today that the Demand to Grant was not reflected in the budget and that right from the beginning the P.W.D. budget was placed to the House and that it was on that basis only that the opposition members have opposed this grant.

        He further pointed out that now it is the question of propriety whether it is proper to pass the grant without budget estimates and since the House is governed by rules  and convention he wanted that this incident should not recur.

        Dr. Mukul Sangma, participated. He mentioned that in the budgetary provisions of the P.W.D. under Volume II, there is no projection of new schemes which are normally projected in the P.W.D. Budget separately. He wanted to know how Government will go about such new schemes?

        Clarifying the position, Shri E.K. Mawlong, Chief Minister, assured that these schemes that have been approved actually, will be made known to the members and that allocation of funds have already been made for the new schemes for the year 2001-2002 and that there will  be a lumpsum provision for the new schemes.

        Shri R.G. Lyngdoh and Shri C.R. Marak also took part.

        After ascertaining the views of senior leaders from the Opposition and also clarifications from the leader of the House, the Speaker, guillotined the following remaining grants i.e. Grants No.56, 57, 60 under Sub rule (3) of Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and Grants Nos.56, 57 and 60 were passed.

3.THE MEGHALAYA APPROPRIATION ( NO. II ) BILL, 2001 :

        Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister in-charge Finance introduced the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 2001.

4.SUSPENSION OF RULE :

        Shri M. Rava, Minister in-charge Parliamentary Affairs, moved :

        "That the second proviso to sub-rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in its application to the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 2001 be suspended for the time being in so far as the  Rules require circulation of the Bill four days in advance before the motion for consideration may be moved ".                

(The motion was carried, sub-rule 72 was  suspended for the time being.)

        Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister in-charge Finance moved that the afore said Bill be taken into consideration but since there was no amendment to this Bill, the Minister in-charge further moved that t he bill be passed.

        The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.II) Bill, 2001 was passed.

5.ADJOURNMENT :

        The House rose at 2.45 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Friday, the 29th June, 2001.

Secretary,

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.