(Thursday, the 5th March, 2004)

        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. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 33 with Supplementaries threats, Nos. 32, 33, 34,35, 36, 37, 38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50, and 51 without Supplementary, were disposed of. Unstarred Question No.1 to which written answer was given, was laid on the tables.


        Shri Edmund K.  Sangma, initiated the debate on the Governor's Address. Referring to Para 3 of the address, the hon. Member from Dadenggiri, observed that the address does not reflect the programmes and policies of the Government and that in the absence of the target of achievements it is difficult to understand whether the targets have been achieved or not. He called for proper planning and strategy by the different departments to achieve the targets and proposed for a master Plan for the entire State to enable the departments to work in coordination.

        The hon. Member lamented at the slackness of the administration of the different departments and the decline in the work culture among the employees. He cited an example whereby no staff is available even at fixed office hours resulting in the loss of time and called for initiative to strengthen the administration in this regard. On Para 4, the hon. Member called for efforts from the Government side to educate the citizens to know about the value of peace and to help the citizens to live in peace so that there will be peace and tranquility in the State. He stated that to contain insurgency it is not by bullet and killings but it should be by peaceful means. He suggested the Government to inculcate in the minds of the police force a sense of self-sacrifice, commitment dedication, and responsibility. He urged upon the police organisation to come up with a clear cut Policy to hold the quality of the police force in the days to come.

    Shri M. Rava took part. Taking part in the debate on the Governor's Address, the hon. Member from Tikrikilla mentioned of the defunct production-cum-Training Centres for Weavers in the Plain belt of Garo Hills which had thrown young Weavers out of jobs in the last few years due to the lack of proper functioning of the Sericulture and Weaving Department. On Para 22 of the address , the hon. Member stated that though the Government claims that many villages in rural areas was electrified but in practical field, these villages are still looming in darkness. He stressed on the urgent need to electrified villages in rural areas and to regulate the voltage of the electricity to help students carry out their study at night. He also mentioned of many loopholes in the billing system and called for **tification of the fault. The hon. Member, also expressed dismay at the non-inclusion of roads under M.L.As Scheme.


        Shri D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister gave a detailed categorical reply to the points raised by the participants from besides of the House. He stated that this Government welcome the constructive criticism from all quarters in order to boost morale and also to improve the performances in the functioning of the Government.

        Replying to the discussions of the Members, he pointed out various measures already implemented as well as those to be implemented by the different departments of the State Government with the sole objective to achieve the goal of over all development in the State. The Chief Minister, assured that other points which have not been touched, have been properly noted down by the concerned departments for implementation. He also replied to the clarifications sought for by the mover of the amendment to the motion of thanks and the participants.

        The amendment to the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address was, thereafter, withdrawn by the hon. mover with the leave of the House.

        (The sitting was extended till all the business listed for the day are disposed of with the sense of the House).

        After the amendment to the motion of Thanks was withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House. The Speaker put the following motion to vote the Question was that "The Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this Session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the address which has been pleased to deliver to this House today the 27th March, 2004".

        (The motion was carried and the Vote of Thanks to the Governor's Address was adopted).


        Shri S. Nongrum, Minister in charge Labour, moved that the Meghalaya Shops and Establishment Bill, 2003 be taken into consideration.

        Shri Edmund K. Sangma, moved his amendments to ** bill. As regards his amendment No.1, he felt that the title of the bill should be substituted by Meghalaya Shops and establishment Act, 2004 instead of the Meghalaya Shops and Establishment Act, 2003.

        On Amendment No.2, he suggested that the words "Registration" appearing in paragraph 3 (6) between the words "for" and "or" be deleted. He read out the relevant paragraph and opined that it will be too heavy on the part of the employer to pay for registration fee, including renewal fee plus a penalty of Rs.5?- per day.

          An Amendment No.3, the mover, felt that the words in paragraph 3(6) of the bill "equal to the fee prescribed for registration or renewal of registration as the case may be plus an additional penalty" be deleted and on amendment No.5 - working hours at page 4 of the bill the mover proposed that the working hour should be increased from 8 hours to 10 hours considering the fact that the employer has to pay additional overtime to his employees/ since it was found that none of the paragraphs of the draft bill seek to protect the interest and welfare of the employees.

          Replying to the points raised be the mover of the amendments, Shri S. Nongrum, Minister incharge Labour stated that the title of the Bill stands corrected from the Meghalaya Shops and Establishment Bill, 2003 to that of the Meghalaya Shops and Establishment Bill, 2004 as suggested by the mover. In reply to amendment No.2 moved by the Hon'ble Member from Dadenggiri, the Minister incharge said that the words "registration" appearing in paragraph 3(6) between the words "for" and "or" be deleted may not be deleted since the words "application of registration" should completed the sentence and will comply registration and that if there is no penalty within a stipulated time, the very purpose of the said bill will be defeated. As regards the words "registration or renewal of registration as the case may be plusan additional penalty may not be deleted since the word provides for a penalty to be paid by the employer in business who has no valid registration certificate. With regard to amendment No.4, the Minister incharge replied that the words eight hours should not be substituted by ten hours, as it is in consonance with the provision of the International Labour Laws and the convention made applicable so far. Replying to amendment No.5, he stated that separate paragraph may not be inserted in the Bill since the same paragraph in the bill seeks to safeguard the interest and welfare of the employees besides, many other clauses provided in the said bill for the benefit of labourers.

            Shri T. D. Shira took part and called for clarification to the reply of the Minister incharge on amendment No.5 with regard to the interest and welfare of the employers. He stated that employers and employees are interdependent and suggested that a separate paragraph should be incorporated to safeguard the interest of the employer and not only for the employees to ensure the right to equality justice for everybody.

          Shri E. K. Sangma, supported the proposal.

        Replying to the clarifications, Shri S. Nongrum Minister in charge Labour, stated that Government is giving justice to both the employer and the employees and that the employer is always at the receiving ** since the idea of the bill is to protect the interest of the employees but not the employer.

        Supplementing his reply to the points of clarifications sought for by the hon. Member from Resubelpara and the mover of the amendment, Shri D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister stated that after all the Minister in charge labour has referred to the International Labour Laws to protect the employer which is now in practice the world over. He requested the hon. Members to come again in some other time and in a proper way if they are not satisfied and requested the mover of the amendment to withdraw his amendment.

        Subsequently, the amendment were withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House and thereafter, the Minister in charge Labour, moved that the bill be passed.

        (The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Shops and Establishment Bill, 2004 as corrected, was passed).


        The House rose at 12.35 p.m. and stood prorogued.

  Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.