(Tuesday, the 21st December, 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 :


            Under Rule 300 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri A.L. Hek raised a point of order stating that the Government has been reduced to a minority when they have been defeated in the resolution yesterday and that they have no right to continue  and reply to the question now.
            Shri E.K. Sangma supported the point of order. The hon. Member stated that since the Government had lost the confidence of the people, it has no more right to continue. Shri M. Rava took part. He also supported the contention of the mover of the point of order and charged the Government of shirking its responsibility to the High Power Committee.
            Replying to the point of order, Shri D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister, clarified that from the beginning yesterday, he had said in the House that it  was not the question which involved the decision of the H.P.C. in which it happened that the Hon'ble Speaker was the Chairman of the H.P.C. for shifting of the site. The Chief Minister further pointed out that it was not a Government resolution or a Money Bill whereby the Government should own its responsibility or step down once it has been defeated in the floor of the House. However, he stated that in this context, there was no logic at all and the point raised by the hon. Member does not hold any water.
            Having heard  the views expressed from both sides, the Speaker clarified that the H.P.C. had formed by him to sort out things that came up with the Assembly subject to selecting of the site and that in doing so, recently many of the hon. Members have reacted to the decision of the  H.P.C., that the people at large were against the shifting of the Assembly and that the hon. Members and the Political Parties were not taken into confidence by the Government and the H.P.C. headed by him and hence it was on this basis that he had admitted this resolution so that the House can decide since this matter had only come up in the newspapers but never discussed in the House. He further clarified that since this was a very important issue which the people would like to know from their representatives, this was the reason why he had allowed this matter to be discussed at length yesterday to get matters sorted out once and for all. However, he asserted that he did not think that Government should step down or own moral responsibility and felt that by passing the resolution in the House, the minds of the people is clear and, therefore, he requested the hon. Members not to insist on the stepping down of the Government in this regard, but to go ahead with the business as listed for the day. 


            Starred questions Nos.57,58,59,60,61,62 and 63 with supplementaries thereto, Nos.64 upto 87 without any supplementary were disposed of.
            Unstarred questions No. 1 to 87 to which written answers have been given, were laid on the tables.


            Under Rule 49 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri P.M. Syiem, raised a zero hour notice with regard to a news item published in the local Daily, "U Mawphor" dated 17th December, 2004 under the caption "Sahdien bad shah leh bein ka Civil Hospital ha Jowai".
            Quoting newspaper report, the hon. Member from Mylliem lamented at the deplorable condition of the Civil Hospital at Jowai and lack of infrastructure thereby causing tremendous difficulties to the inmates as well as the outdoor patients. The hon. mover urged upon  the Minister incharge to see to the requirements of this hospital and to ensure sufficient supply of equipments including medicines and other services to this hospital so that rural people will not suffer. The hon. Member also requested the Minister incharge to see and bridge the gap between Inter District availability of Health Care and the facilities of Civil Hospitals and other health care units in the State.
            Replying to the Zero hour notice, Shri Sayeedulah Nongrum Minister incharge Health and Family Welfare, apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem of the up-to-date position of the man-power and staffing pattern including the facilities made available by the concerned department to the Civil Hospital in Jowai.
            Mentioning of the condition of this hospital the Minister incharge said that it has not been able to ensure ideal hygienic and proper sanitation. However, he apprised that there was a proposal to upgrade this hospital to a 200 bedded hospital and that it was presently, in the final stage of examination.


            Shri P.T. Sawkmie called the attention of the Minister, Transport under Rule 54 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the news items published in the Shillong Times Dated. 15.12.2004 under the caption "H.C. seeks air-worthiness report of Pawan Hans Choppers".
            Moving his Calling Attention, the hon. Member from Mawlai, called for clarification from the Minister incharge Transport that since the air-worthiness has not been violated, whether the Civil Aviation Ministry has allowed the State Government to resume Pawan Hans Chopper Services in the State ? (2) That according to the petition filed by the N.G.O. the Pawan Hans Chopper Co. Ltd. had certain defects in its aircrafts  and that was the reason why 19 aircrafts had crashed since 1998 and that according to the Press statement the Pawan Hans Chopper Co. Ltd. has promised to pay compensation to the families of the victims but that it was unfortunate  that till today that money was not paid by the Company in this regard. the hon. mover wanted to know the latest position on this. (3) That according to the newspaper report dated October, 16th 2004, the Government wanted to launch the new helicopter services as per decision of the cabinet. The hon. mover wanted to know why the new chopper was not placed into services and why the old chopper was allowed to continue ? (4) That the crash had taken place on 22-9-2004 but why the report was not received till today although the black box had been located.
            Replying to the clarification sought by the mover of the Calling Attention motion, Shri J.D. Rymbai, Minister incharge Transport gave a detailed statement in regard to the helicopter services of the Pawan Hans Chopper Co. Ltd. since it was first introduced in the State on 15th February, 1997.
            He told the hon. Member from Mawlai  that as far as Compensation to the members of the families of the victims in the Chopper's crash, the matter is being pursued by the department to see that the claims are settled expeditiously and that on receipt of the information from   the family members of the victims, the Government will take up with the Company for prompt payment of compensation to the next of kins.
            The Minister incharge further stated that the State Government had appointed a Commission headed by the Chief Secretary to examine various aspects relating to the crash and to the disaster management preparations and the need of having a separate helipad. However, the Minister incharge Transport further informed that a Committee comprising of the Principal Secretary Transport, Principal Secretary Revenue, Secretary of political Departments, the D.C. of Ri Bhoi District and the Commissioner and Secretary Transport as its member-Secretary had been constituted by the Government to go into the crux of the matter and to submit its report to the Cabinet for necessary action.


            Not later had the Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs, moved his motion for suspension of the second proviso to sub-rule (c) of  Rule 72 than Shri R.G. Lyngdoh raised a point of order under Rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business.
            Quoting Rule 66 (1) and Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, the hon. member from Laitumkhrah stated that the bill involving expenditure shall be accompanied by a financial memorandum which shall invite particular attention to the clauses involving such expenditure and shall also give an estimate of recurring and non-recurring expenditure in case a bill is passed into law. He requested the Chair not to allow this bill to be taken up for consideration until it comes up in a proper form as required per rule.
            Shri P. M. Syiem and Shri E. K. Sangma, supported the point raised by the mover of the point of order and urged the Chair not to allow this bill to be taken for consideration by the House.
            Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Finance clarified that in fact the department concerned had enclosed the relevant papers including   the Statement of Object and reasons along with financial memorandum. He stated that it was unfortunate that they have to come up with certain expenditure which were not included in the budget of the year because the Government used to meet such requirement through advances from the Contingency Fund which have to be regularised in the Assembly in the form of Supplementary Demands. The Deputy Chief  Minister further clarified that the problem involved was that there was a small provision in the Corpus and that based on past experience if they go by the trend, the trend is mission every year and that because the fund at the Corpus now is not sufficient, the Government has to come with an Ordinance by amending the bill itself. He was of the view that the rules were not violated at all.
            Shri R.G. Lyngdoh reiterated that the bill should have been brought in its proper form and manner in line with the rules framed for the purpose. He argued that the rules are sacrosanct and they cannot be ignored or violated and urged  that the Chair should not allow this bill to be moved for consideration. Shri R. L. Tariang took part.
            Complimenting the reply by the Deputy Chief Minister incharge Revenue, Shri D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister, clarified that in the past they have been doing the same wherein many bills were passed in this manner and that this amendment sought to enhance the Corpus which had been there already and to give detailed expenditure in the Contingency Fund it was not possible since these are only unforeseen expenditures. He requested the Chair to give his ruling on this.
            Having listened to the opinions and views expressed by the manners and by the Deputy Chief Minister and also the Chief Minister, the Speaker asserted that since the Deputy Chief Minister incharge Finance had yesterday introduced the bill with printing mistake and that since the hon. member had insisted that they should come up in a proper manner, this bill should as such be carried over to the next Session of the Assembly. He then adjourned the House Sine-die.


            The House rose at 12 noon and stood adjourned Sine-die.



Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.