(FRIDAY, THE 29th 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 Private Members' Business.


        Starred questions Nos.202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 211 with supplementaries thereto and Nos.210, 212 upto 226 without supplementary, were disposed of.

        Starred question No. 209 lapsed since the questionnaire was absent.


        Under Rule 49(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri P.M. Syiem, raised a zero Hour discussion with regard to a news item published in the local English Daily "The Shillong Times" dated 26.06.2001 under the caption "MECOFED Staff want sanction of fund for salary Expenses".

        He called for a categorical reply from the Minister in-charge on the urgency to  sanction funds for meeting the salary of MECOFED  staff. Recalling the assurance, given by the Minister in-charge on this subject on 30.3.2001 during the last Budget Session, the mover stated that the assurance ended only in the floor of the House and was never implemented till now.         

        Referring to the findings of NABARD on the poor performances of the MECOFED and Cooperative Societies in the State, the mover urged upon the Government to try its level best to revive the sick unit with special reference to MECOFED by extending all the necessary financial assistance. He called for a categorical reply in this regard.

        Replying to the zero hour, Smti R. Warjri, Minister in-charge of Cooperation, apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem that it was not true that the Government did not take action on the problems faced by the staff of the MECOFED. She stated that the employees of the MECOFED were appointed by the Board of Directors and that they have their own service Rules and payment of their salaries and allowances and other benefits is actually the responsibility of the MECOFED whereas the Government is in no way responsible for such payment. However, she informed the House that inspite of financial resources, the Board accepted the revised pay scale as recommended by 2nd Meghalaya Pay Commission for the employees without Government approval and Government had to pay Rs.28,89,835 only towards arrear pay and that the Board also adopted the 3rd Meghalaya Pay Commission without consulting the Government. The Minister in-charge further stated that the problems of the MECOFED were reviewed in a meeting convened by the Chief Minister on 6.12.2000 in which the Minister in-charge Finance, Minister in-charge Planning, Minister in-charge Cooperation, Minister in-charge Agriculture and Minister in-charge C & R.D. were presented assisted by Senior Officers of the concerned departments and the Chairman of MECOFED wherein a High Level Committee with the Chief Secretary as the Chairman was constituted to go into the problems faced by the employees of MECOFED and that this Committee had met on 28th June, 2001 to find out ways and means to revitalise the MECOFED for which the Government is equally concerned and aware of. She assured that an all out effort is being made to resolve these problems in due course.


        Shri R.L. Tariang, Minister in-charge Border Areas Development Department made a statement to the House under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business on matters relating to his reply of Starred question No. 169 dated 27th June, 2001.


        Under Rule 54(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri K.C. Boro, called the attention of the Minister in-charge Revenue to a news item published in the English local Daily "The Shillong Times" dated 18-06-2001 under the caption "Reservation Policy, Land Transfer". Quoting from newspaper's report on this subject, the hon. mover of  the Calling Attention stated that as per existing provisions of the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act, 1971, other tribals communities other than the Khasi, Jaintias and Garos are allowed to purchase and sell land in the State but by bringing this proposed amendment to the said Act, he was afraid that indigenous tribal people who have been residents for ages may be deprived of their right to sell and purchase land within the State. He urged the Government that minor tribal communities like the Kochas, Rabha and Hajongs and other non tribals who are genuine residents right from Assam's time especially from Tura, be allowed to sell and purchase the land among themselves.

        In reply to the Calling Attention, Shri H.B. Dan, Minister in-charge Revenue, apprised the mover that the existing Act applies all parts of the State except Jail Road, European Ward, Police Bazar and Shillong Municipality and also Mauza No.6 of West Garo Hills. He said that the Meghalaya Land Transfer Regulations have been successful in protecting the customary tribals right over the land but that with the passage of time, however, it was felt that some relaxation to the provisions of the Act was amended in 1991 to provide some exceptions in cases where land is required for a place of public religious worship by the community, burial or cremation grounds and in cases where land is required to promote the interest of the tribals in the field of education and so on and so forth. The Minister in-charge further mentioned that owing to the definition of this Act other tribals of the North Eastern States were also included in the purview of the Act whereas the Khasis, Jaintias and Garos were not recognised as Scheduled Tribe in the other States and that with a view to restricting transfer of land only to indigenous tribals of the State of Meghalaya and to exclude other tribals who are not indigenous tribals of the State, a proposal was presently, under consideration by the Government that there is no intention to restrict transfer of land to members of indigenous minor tribal communities such as the Rabha, Koches, Boro, Hajongs Kiate, Karbis Lalungs, Diwah who are normal residents of Meghalaya.

        He assured the august House that the Government will take the comments and suggestions made by the hon. Members who have participated during cut motions and this Calling Attention will take their views into consideration in due course.

(2)   Immediately after the Chair called upon the Home Minister to lay the statement on the Calling Attention Notice of Shri F.W. Momin on the Newspaper's Report dated 9.6.2001 under the caption "Gun shots Heard at MLA Hostel", Shri C.R. Marak raised a point of order expressing the opinion that Shri F.W. Momin should be allowed to move and make a statement in brief. He pleaded that the hon. Member should be allowed to move first and thereafter, the Minister in-charge can place the statement.

        Shri K.C. Boro, took part. He recalled that during the time when the present Chief Minister was a Speaker, he was in No.2 on a Calling Attention Notice but the Speaker at that time, he had allowed him to move.

        Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition, participated. He pointed out that the leader of the House who happened to be the Speaker at that point of time had allowed the hon. Member, Shri K.C. Boro to move and in order to set the record straight, he suggested that the hon. Member should be allowed to move.

        Intervening in the discussion, the Leader of the House, Shri E.K. Mawlong suggested that the hon. Member may be allowed to move the Calling Attention but there should not be any speech after which, the Minster in-charge will place a statement.

        Ascertaining the opinion of the members from both sides of the House, the Chair, called upon the mover of the cut motion to read out only the first and second sentence of the text of the Calling Attention.

        Following the ruling from the Chair, Shri F.W. Momin, read out the First and Second line of the text of his Calling Attention Notice.

(The Minister in-charge Home (Police). Shri T.H. Rangad, placed the statement on the table of the House.)


        Since the time was up, the House rose at 12 noon and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Monday, the 2nd July, 2001.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.