(Tuesday, the 15th June, 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 question Nos. 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19 and 21 with Supplementary thereto and Nos. 20,22 and 23 without Supplementary were disposed of.


            The Hon'ble Speaker made an announcement that he had received a withdrawal of Petitions against three out of five MLAs filed on the 1st April, 2004 under "The Members of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on the ground on the ground of Defection) Rules, 1988" duly signed by the complainants (1) Shri T.C. Lyngdoh, MLA and (2) Shri Sayeedulah Nongrum, MLA dated Shillong, the 10th June, 2004. He further apprised that he had accordingly given them a fair chance to appear in person on 14.4.2004 and that he had also issued a show cause notice to the five Members and that accordingly they have replied their show cause notices on 21.4.2004 the date already  fixed for the receipt of the show cause notices and that he is giving  them another chance for personel hearing on the 29th of this month. However, he stated that yesterday he had received one letter from the complainants that they have no more grievances and are no longer interested in pursuing the case against the three Members viz., Shri Masonsing M. Sangma, Shri Timothy D. Shira and Shri Gopinath K. Sangma out of the five MLAs of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) viz., Shri Edmund K. Sangma, Shri Admiral K. Sangma, Shri Masonsing M. Sangma,  Shri Timothy D. Shira and Shri Gopinath K. Sangma and that hence the said case against the three MLAs may be dropped from the proceedings of the case. However, he added that the complaint against Shri Edmund K. Sangma and Shri Admiral K. Sangma  remains unaltered. He read out the letter for the benefit of the House.


             Shri A. L. Hek, initated the General Discussion on the Budget. Describing the budget as anti-poor budget, he term it as very regressive and counter  productive. The Hon'ble Member from Pynthorumkhrah felt that it will encourage the Inspector Rajs in our State at the cost of the poor people who will become the ultimate sufferers in the State. He also was the opinion that after listening to the points highlighted with proofs by the hon. Member from Mawprem yesterday about the  wrong figures reflected in the budget, it has defeated the very purpose of discussion on this budget in this House. the hon. Member urged upon the Government to repeal and redraft this budget for the betterment  of the people of the State. He came up heavily on the Government for imposing sales tax on ceramic items, steel safes and almirahs and  also for the imposition of luxury tax on hotels and lodgings which he apprehends it might discourage the inflow of tourists to the State. He requested the Minister incharge Finance to have a review of this budget for the benefit of the people of the State.
                Referring to Relief and Rehabilitation in his areas in Pynthorumkhrah, the hon. Member expressed unhappiness as no provision has been made in the budget  to control the recurrence of annual flood in his constituency and appealed to the Government to take a serious note on this to combat the menace.
                 Shri H.S. Lyngdoh took part. He stated that the style of planning this budget is different from the previous budgets. Lambasting the Government for non-inclusion of various road schemes to be implemented during this year in the P.W.D. budget, the hon. Member called for a clarification from the Minister incharge Finance on the specific allocation of funds for the Construction of  roads and bridges. He cited the example of the deplorable condition of roads in his constituency and called for measures to completed these roads which had been started in 2000-2001.
                  Lamenting on the lack of communication and health care facilities he suggested construction of roads from Shahlang to Darengiri to facilitate the patients who have to travel upto Nongstoin for medical treatment etc. The hon. Member wanted to know from the Government why it did not accept the recommendation of the 11th Finance Commission to give direct funding to the District Councils, Village Durbars and traditional institutions and why the discrimination in the fund allocation by the Government of India to the North Eastern States from the non-lapsable pool and why Meghalaya got  only 66 crores whereas Sikkim got 400 crores. He suggested a review of the entire procedure in this regard.
                   Shri M. Rava also participated. Referring on Minor Irrigation and Command Area Development, the hon. member was critical of the non-functioning of most of the irrigation projects booth small and medium in the State as  a result of which, no utility could be served to the farmers after spending lakhs of money. He attributed the reason to the defective planning and to lack of supervision on the part of the concerned department.  He gave an instance of a half-completed Sabang Irrigation Project which has not become operational or viable today and that the same thing happened with the Rongai Irrigation Project taken up 15 years back. He requested the concerned Minister to take note of this and try to complete this project within a short span of time.

                        On Sericulture and Weaving, the hon. Member suggested revamping the defunct Weaving centres in Garo Hills to encourage weavers to come forward and also to give employment to young people.

                         Coming on Roads and Bridges, he mentioned that 2876 villages have been already connected by roads in Meghalaya. Quoting statistics in this regard, he said that only one - third of these villages got road connection within  a span of 32 years whereas in the annual budget there were lots of provisions of amount estimated for the construction of roads and bridges. He expressed his dissatisfaction about the  non - inclusion of proposals for road schemes to be constructed in his constituency in the current years budget. The hon. member further pointed out of the dated  condition of the existing Agia - Tura  Road constructed by the N.E.C. He touched upon other subjects like education, Health and family Welfare, P.H.E., Civil Supply, Power and Forest and wild life.


                    Since there  are no other participants, the House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 16th June, 2004.



Meghalaya Legislative Assembly