(Wednesday, The 16th June, 2004)

        The House met at 10a.m. with  Shri M. Rava, hon'ble Chairman in the chair. The day was devoted for  the transaction of Government Business.

1.        QUESTIONS :

          Starred questions Nos. 24,25,26,27,28, 29, 30, 31,32,34 and 36 with Supplementaries thereto and nos.33,35, 37,38,39,40,41,and 42 without supplementary have been disposed of.

            Unstarred questions Nos.1 upto 14 to which written answer were given, were laid on the tables.


             Shri J.D. Rymbai, Minister in charge Excise, Registration, Taxation and Stamps, introduced the Meghalaya Tax (On Luxuries) Bill, 2004.


             Shri J.M. Marak, initiated the General Discussion on the budget during the day. Referring to C.& R.D. Department, the hon. Member wanted to be clarified as to why accelerated Rural  Water Supply Scheme was not taken up by the department inspite of funds already allocated by the Central Government under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme. As regards Old Age Pension, he suggested that the scheme should be revived in accordance with the assurance given by the Government last year. On National Family Benefit Scheme, he urged upon the Government to continue with the scheme since it helps the bereaved families to get financial assistance whenever the bread earner died. He requested the Government to take serious note on this. Coming to PMGSY, he stated that some schemes have been taken up in his constituency where there are about hundred villages with a population of not less than 500 people but as the government of India has set the target that roads schemes be completed by 2007, he was at a loss to understand if these schemes may lapse. The hon. Member wanted to know who  is the authority to select  the schemes. On Horticulture he stated that the department is following the ancient practice to select and supply seeds to the people after the season is over especially in Garo Hills. He impressed on the Government to look into this problem seriously. Referring to GAD., the hon. member mentioned  that there was a proposal to construct the Raj Bhavan at Tura whereby survey has been completed in 1986 but nothing tangible has come up so far in this regard.
              Shri Edmund K. Sangma, took part in the discussion. Referring to the defective financial system of the State, the hon. Member mentioned of the submission of bills to the Treasury Offices at the fag end of each financial year which practice had been there for the last several years since the inception of the State and that inspite of this, the Finance Department is not taking very seriously. He cited the examples of the Agriculture Department in which he himself had encountered with this type of problem in getting the sanction from the concerned department and also to get the bill pass  by the Treasury Officer only on the 31st March. The hon. Member called for measures to re-streamline the financial system of the State.
                Pointing out the difference in the figure reflected in the budget speech with the figure in the C.A.G. of India's Report, he was astonished as to which of the figures should be taken as correct.
                He requested the Finance Minister to kindly come up with proper clarification to this House in this regard. As regard mobilisation of additional resources and control of wasteful expenditures, he opposed the imposition of new taxes as proposed in the budget speech as he felt that this will cost heavily on the customers who have to bear the brunt of this taxation rather he proposed that it would have been better for the State to look for other productive means to increase Agricultural produces so that the State gets more revenue. He requested the Leader of the House that in case the errors in the figures of the budget speech are not correct, the Cabinet is collectively responsible under the leadership of the Chief Minister, if such errors are incorrect, the Chief Minister must come up with an explanation to this august House.
                Shri Predickson G. Momin and Shri Gopinath Sangma also participated.


                In reply to the various points, suggestions and observations raised by all the participants in the general discussion on the budget, Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Finance gave a categorical statement to the House. Expressing his appreciation to the Members who have taken part in the discussion, he stated that their valuable suggestion have benefited the Government and that such important observations given by them have been taken note of by the concerned departments. The Minister incharge while accepting the various observations by the hon. Members, he told the House that he cannot deny the fact that there are certain issues raised by the hon. Members especially by the hon. Member from Mawprem which he said, may tend to confuse many Members in this august House and also the people at large and on that context, he will try his best to clarify to the points raised by the hon. Member from Mawprem on the figures and dates given in the budget. As regard Taxes Revenue, the Minister incharge reiterated and confirmed that the amount was correct. He presented actual figures the amounts which consist of two components which he alleged the hon. Member from Mawprem had alluded that the amount of 148.5 crores includes the amount the amount of 18.90 crores received from the Central Government as its share for our State in line with the re-commendation of the 11th Finance Commission and hence he said that his statement was correct.
                On Debt Service Burden the Minister incharge gave actual figures and reiterated the verocity of  his statement.. Refuting the charges of the hon. Member from Mawprem that the figures reflected in the Finance Accounts of the  previous year and that they are contradictory with the figures  appearing in the CAG'S Report, the Deputy Chief minister incharge Finance quoted actual figures and clarified that other expenditures  are not included in the capital expenditure as per standard of practice all over the Country. He also replied to the other subjects raised by the hon. Members who took part in the discussion and clarifies that other points which have not been covered, have been properly taken note of for  necessary action and future implementation by the concerned departments. 

5.         ADJOURNMENT :

                The House rose at 1.20 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Thursday, the 17th June, 2004.






Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.