(Thursday, The 24th, June, 2004)

                The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Chairman, Shri Zenith Sangma in the Chair, the was devoted for the transaction of Private Members' Business.

1.        QUESTIONS :

                Starred questions Nos. 135,137,138,139,141,142,144 and 145 with Supplementaries thereto, Starred questions Nos. 136,140 and 143 without Supplementary, were disposed of.
                Starred question No. 134 lapsed as the questionnaire was absent.

Under the Rule 55 of the Rules of  procedure and conduct of Business, Shri M. N. Mukhim , Minister in charge P .H. E. gave a statement  to the House in regard to his reply to starred question No.112 on 23rd June, 2004.


                  Under rule54(1) of the Rules of procedure and conduct of business, Shri H. S. Lyngdoh, MLA called the attention of the Minister incharge Revenue to the news item Published in "U Rupang" dt 16.6. 2004 under the caption " Dawa ka MIPF ban pynkyalla noh ia ka ain thied khyndew ha ka jylla."
                Quoting from the newspaper's report on the above subject, the hon. Member stated that the Meghalaya Land Transfer Regulation Act , 1971 had been made based on the Notification of 1950 in which the term tribal people of the Northeast had been defined and that in 1950 when the constitution of India came into forced there were three types of population of India (1) General (2) Scheduled Castes and (3) Scheduled tribes and that when the district Council came into being  on the sixth Schedule it was authorised to make laws to protect the rights on land and properties of the individuals including their Customs and practices. He read out the list of Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes the total of which was 89 tribes. The hon. Member further pointed out that the North Eastern states have their own separate list of the scheduled tribes whereby a schedule Tribe in one state was not recognised as a schedule tribe  in other state and that it was on this basis that the M. I. P. F had demanded the amendment to the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act , 1791. He wanted to know the stand of the government in this regard.
                   In reply to the Calling Attention motion , Dr .F.A. Khonglam, Minister incharge Revenue , apprised the hon. Member that a number of organisation and certain individuals have submitted their views and opinions on the proposed  amendment, which are under inter- department scrutiny in the State Government at present and that the views of the Deputy Commissioners have also been sought and that given the sensitivity of the subject matter this exercise was likely to take some more time for  which no fixed time frame was possible to be laid down.
                   Supplementing the reply of the Minister incharge Shri D.D. Lapang , Chief Minister , stated that there are 54 Scheduled tribes having entitlement right to acquire land in Meghalaya and this posed a big question and that the Government realising the seriousness and urgency of the problem started to analyses the idea and found that there are few section of the people  without going deeply into the issue started demonstrating and do not want to come forward to talk across the table. He further tolled the house that these 54 tribes cannot be recognised as scheduled Tribes in the state and that was the reason why the government had invited the views and opinions from the NGOs and individuals and that the Government wants to call a spade and since the issue concerns about the interest of land of genuine indigenous tribal people of the state , he requested the organisation to come forward and give the suggestions by  responding to the call of the Government.

4.        RESOLUTIONS :
                 Shri A. Chaudhuri moved resolution No. 1 " This House do now resole that the Khasi Language be included in the eight schedule of  the Constitution."
                    Moving his resolution , the hon. mover stated that Khasi language structurally is an independent language which is one of the richest languages among the Mon-Khmer group that produced a number of authors of Khasi  language and that it is the only  language in the country recognised for  study at the level of academics pursuit which was also recognised by many universities in the country including N.E.H.U. He stated that as a spoken language , Khasi language is far more developed and advanced in the comparison to other tribal language which was spoken and read widely by one million people including adjacent countries like Bangladesh even in Karbi  Anglong of Assam.
                    The hon. mover also emphasized on the need to recognised Garo language and urged the state Government to take up to include these two languages in the Eight Schedule of the constitution.
                    Shri J. M. Marak, Smti J. Phanbuh, Shri M. Rava and Shri T. D. Shira supported the resolution.

                    Reply to the points raised by the mover and other participants , Shri D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister , informed the house that the question of inclusion of Khasi and Garo regional language accepted as the spoken language by the people of the state and the question of inclusion of Khasi and Garo language had even come to the floor of the parliament. The Chief was referring to Starred Question No.203(a) and (b) to which Shri I.D. Swamy, Union Minister of State in-charge Home laid a statement on the table of the House in the Rajya Sabha on 5th March, 2003 for inclusion of regional languages in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution of India. However, he stated that the State Government has decided to set up a High Power Body to examine on the question of inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution since he stated that the Government is interested on the line of thinking of the hon. Members to see that amendments should be brought before the Houses of Parliament both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. He called for the support from all quarters of the State in view of the technical problems which he mentioned that the State Government cannot decide anything at this point of time. The Chief Minister assured that he will take the opportunity to persuade influential people who have got the same problem to see that the  Government of India realises the need to take steps to include regional language in the Eight Schedule.
                    The resolution was withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House.

5.        MOTIONS :

                    Dr. Mukul Sangma, Minister incharge P.W.D. (Roads) continued his reply to motion No.3 which was inclusion on 17th June, 2004. He presented detailed figures of targets of achievement in roads construction during the period 2002-2003. The Minister incharge also gave categorical reply to the points raised by the mover and other Members who participated. He refuted the allegation that has been disparity in fund allocation in this regard and and requested the hon. Member to come up with specific instances to substantiate the charges.
                    The Minister incharge replied to the other points of clarification and assured that they have been noted by the concerned department and that the Government is determined to ensure that their problems are taken care of.
                     Shri J. M. Marak, moved Motion No.4 that "This House do now discuss the delay in sanctioning and releasing of MLA's Local Area Development fund including procedural Laouna in processing the recommendation by MLA".
                     Moving his motion, the mover stated that the schemes which have been submitted last year, these schemes have not been implemented till now due to non-release of funds by the department, as a result of which there has been delay in the plantation. He requested that the schemes should be release in time.
                      Shri T. D. Shira, Shri A. Chaudhuri and Shri M. Rava took part and supported the motion.
                      Replying to the points raised by the mover and other participants, Shri C.R. Sangma, Minister incharge C & R.D. stated that there is a scheme called SRWP for the representatives of all the constituencies which was launched in the year 1990-91 constituency-wise in which each MLA has to select the Schemes or Projects as he likes to be processed for sanction. The Minister incharge further stated that the proposal once received, goes through different channels and stages and that the department is having the State Level Committee with the Chief Minister as the Chairman whereby the schemes are being scrutinised and sanctioned. As regard delay in the sanction of schemes and projects, he said that the department cannot be blamed for that since the lapse lies with the MLAs for non-submission of scheme timely. He replied to the clarifications and assured that their points have been noted for examination by the concerned department.
                       Motion No.5 was not moved as the mover was absent.
                       Shri Zenith M. Sangma moved motion No.6.
                      "This House do now discuss the need to rectify the functioning of the field staff of the Public Health Engineering Department in the State".
                       Discussion on the function of the P.H.E. Department, the mover stated that the pump operators are not discharging their duty properly which has caused tremendous hardship to the consumers for not getting drinking water supply in different localities with particular reference to rural areas inspite of  huge amount spent by the department to provide water supply. He attributed the fault to the non-functioning of pump operators because they are un-skilled labourers and their services have not been regularised or because of lack of supervision by the sectional officers and sectional assistants to look after the execution of different schemes by the contractors.     
                         He urged upon the Government to look into the loopholes and to take corrective measures to ensure smooth functioning of the department.
                          In reply, Shri M. N. Mukhim, Minister incharge P.H.E. informed the mover that the policy of the Government is to provide safe drinking water to the entire population of the State both in the rural and Urban sectors and that in order to achieve the goal, the department has taken all possible steps to supply drinking water department depending on the resources provided by the Government of India. As regards the non-functioning of the pump operators, he stated that lots of complains have been received by the department either in rural or urban areas on the activities of the pumps operators. He admitted the fact that the there is scarcity of water in some cases whereas there is surplus water supply in other cases due to the non discharging of their duty. He informed the House that the department is trying its best to have proper implementation of the schemes, proper planning and proper execution of projects in all parts of the  states and assured that some sort of action will be taken on the pump operators and plumbers who are not discharging their duties to the satisfaction of the consumers. He replied other clarifications sought for the mover.
                           Shri Ardhendu Chaudhuri , MLA moved motion No.7.
                           "This House do now discuss the functioning of the Export Promotion - Industrial park at Byrnihat".
                           Mentioning about the salient features of the EPIP at Byrnihat the hon. mover pointed out certain concessions to be made available by the central Government in the form of exemption of sales tax, CST and excise duty as well as on transport subsidies by the Central Government. He told the House that the Minister of Commerce Government of India had  already issued the guidelines that 25 percent of the products from the EPIP should be exported outside the country but  he was wondering how could the state  government violated the guidelines. He also stated that the EPIP is supposed to usher in an industrial climate so that local products could be evaluated for export by the units remain unfulfilled. Hence the mover wanted to know what steps the government will take to ensure that the Industries fill up these posts earmarked for the tribal people and what mechanism the government has to monitor to see that various terms and conditions are implemented and followed. He also wanted to know the total revenue that the government is getting from the subsidy in power supply. The mover suggested that the Government should encourage setting up fruit processing unit where plenty of raw materials are available within Meghalaya. His deliberations remain inconclusive to be continued on the next day. 


                            The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Friday, the 25th June, 2004.


                  Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.