( MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2003 )

                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 question Nos. 1,2,3,,4,5 and 6 with Supplementaries thereto, Nos.8 upto 24 without Supplementary have been disposed of. Starred question No.3 lapsed since the Questionnaire was absent.


                The Chair made an announcement to the House that copies of P.W.D. Budget for 2003 are available. He requested the hon'ble Members to collect the copies from the Legislation Branch after the House rises today.  


                Shri Ardhendu Chaudhuri, initiated the General discussion on the Budget. The hon'ble Member opined that whereas the 11th Finance Commission had recommended an increase in plan allocation for the State, the State Government was not in a position to project the scheme properly which has prompted the Finance Commission to award less amount for the State. The hon'ble Member wanted to know whether the Government has failed to forward the utilisation certificates in this regard ?

                On Tax collection, the hon'ble Member stated that the collection of taxes was very marginal and that obviously, many departments have not been able to collect taxes to the optimum. He attributed the problem to a no. of loopholes and suggested measures to plug these loopholes in order to accelerate the revenue collection.

                Referring to the law and order problem faced by the people of Khanduli and Mukroh villages in Jaintia Hills, the hon. Member, reiterated immediate steps to be taken by the Government to give protection to these people. He urged upon the State Government to take up with the Government of Assam with all seriousness to see that status-quo in the disputed area is maintained and pleaded for the settlement of boundaries with Assam once and for all.

                As regards Cooperation, the hon. Member was at a loss to understand why such a huge amount has been allocated for this department inspite of the fact that cooperative movement in the State is at a low profile. He called for a concertive effort from the part of the department to popularise the movement to rejuvenate the defunct cooperative stores and for creating an awareness so that more people come forward and join in the movement.

                The hon. Member lamented on the purchase of flats at Vellore and felt that there was no necessity since about fifty percent of the people lived in rural areas and can ill-afford to go for treatment to Vellore.

                He also advocated the need to have a separate wing of the Fire Brigade in the State and called for urgent steps to modernise the Fire service with model fire fighting and safety equipments. He was of the opinion that now since sky-rise buildings and structures have come up, prior permission should have been obtained from the Fire service department before the construction of multi-storeyed buildings.

                 The hon. Member touched upon other subjects and urged for timely completion of the scheme.

                Shri H. S. Lyngdoh, Shri Brening A. Sangma and Shri Monindra Rava took part. All the participants stressed on the need for successful implementation of the schemes and projects proposed to be taken up during the year to achieve the goal of an all round development in the State.


                  Since the time was up, the House rose at 2 p. m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the 24th June, 2003.




Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.