MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
RE -ASSEMBLE BUDGET SESSION, 2004
(FRIDAY, THE 25th JUNE, 2004)
The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was for the transaction of private Members Business.
1. QUESTIONS :
Starred questions Nos. 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151 with Supplementaries thereto Nos. 152, 153, 154, and 155 without Supplementary were disposed of.
2. POINT OF ORDER :
Under Rule 301 of the Rules of procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri R. L.
Tariang, Minister in charge of Power raised a point of order with regard to the
notice of a breach of privilege brought by Shri C. R. Sangma, Minister i/c C
& R. D. against Shri Edmund K. Sangma to which the Hon'ble Speaker had
announced the other day that it will be taken within this session and that since
today being the last date of the session, he wanted to know why the Hon. Member
could not attend the House, whether he was sicked. He suggested that decision
should be taken by the House in this context.
Clarifying the position the Hon'ble Speaker stated that on the first day he had stated in the floor of the House that because the member concerned was not present in the House he had rejected the matter to be discussed and that on the second time, when you have raised this issue, he had informed that he had received a letter from him and that he had rejected the matter and had assured that it will be taken up within the session. But since he had received another information that he is still in the hospital, the Hon'ble Speaker observed that in case the hon. Members really desire to take up this issue, he can allow them to do so.
Shri P. T. Sawkmie, Minister incharge Irrigation, participated. Quoting Rules 163 and 167 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, he was of the opinion that the House should proceed with the matter in his absence.
Shri J.D. Rymbai, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs stated that as per practice it is not advisable to move this motion in the absence of the concerned member since he felt that it is a very serious matter in which his personal presence is necessary and that since he is still in the hospital, the Minister incharge suggested that the matter should be postponed.
Shri B. G. Momin, Minister incharge S.A.D. supported the above suggestion given by the Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs.
Shri Zenith M. Sangma, MLA took part. Referring to Rule 167 of the Rules of Procedure, the hon. Member expressed the view that the matter can be taken in the House even in the absence of the concerned member provided he was willfully absent. He asked whether he has intimated to abstain himself or not ?
Shri P. T. Sawkmie , Minister incharge Irrigation argued that under Rule 162 of the Rules of procedure the Speaker may refer the matter to the Committee on privileges in case they are not willing to discuss in this House.
Intervening at this juncture the Hon'ble Speaker maintained that unless he allow the member to move the motion he was not in a position to refer the case to the Committee on privileges.
Shri C.R. Sangma, Minister incharge C & R.D. also took part and proposed for postponement of the case till the next session in view of the non-ability of the concerned member to attend the House.
Dr. Mukul Sangma. Minister incharge P.W.D. (Roads) submitted that while disposing of any allegation against the respondent in the court of Law, the principle of natural justice should be adhered to and no action should be taken against any respondent in absence otherwise it may amount to violation of natural justice. He was of the opinion that in case the accused member was suffering from an ailment and if he was not responding to medical treatment after few days, the Hon'ble Speaker should direct the Government to constitute a Medical Board to verify the ailment and to go into details about the ailment of the member concerned in order to clear the doubts from their minds without casting any auspersion to the doctors and suggested that since the rule permit that the case can be postponed, this matter should be postponed till next time because it is a very serious case which requires the intervention of the House.
Giving his observation, the Hon'ble Speaker asserted that since majority of the members were in favour of postponement to the next session, he ruled that the matter should be deferred to the next session. With regard to the suggestion by Dr. Mukul Sangma, Minister incharge P. W. D. the Hon'ble Speaker assured that he will take into consideration and will discuss the matter with the Health Minister, if necessary.
3. MOTION :
Ardhendu Choudhuri, continued with his discussion on motion No. 7 which
inconclusive yesterday. He wanted to know what is the subsidy which is being
extended by the Government of India and the subsidy extended by the State
Government since EPIP at Byrnihat was created to develop export oriented
industries but the fact remains that not a single unit is exporting any product
outside the Country. The Hon. mover Stated that all these units are flauting the
terms and conditions particularly 25% of the product to be exported that almost
all the units are engaged in ferrous alloy components to which one of the most
important requirements in these kinds of industries is power. He desired to know
how many of these units have got clearance from the pollution Board since most
of them are also run by charcoal for generating heat and which in turn has led
to a large scale deforestation by the felling of trees for charcoal. The hon.
mover further advocated that these units are getting double benefits of
subsidies from power supply and on the entire, they are getting 7 lakhs of
rupees as power subsidy for five years which he felt that there is the need to
enhance the rate of power supply by the State Government. He referred to the
clause of granting licenses to the units by the M. S. E. B. an the need to
obtain assurance certificates from the State Government and he mentioned that
there are 35 units which 20 of them are functioning whereas 15 units are yet to
start. Hence, he suggested that the Government should re-examine properly before
granting license and should see that new industries should be encouraged on the
basis of availability of raw materials and to see that local people get the
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh took part.
In reply to the points raised by the mover, Shri D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister incharge of Industries replied that the scheme of EPIP in Byrnihat was a Centrally Sponsored Scheme meant to industrially develop the area by providing the infrastructure required by the industrial units having export potential and that it was on that basis that the EPIP project was sanctioned in 1997-98.
Giving a detailed statement on the salient features of the said scheme and also on the objectives of the EPIP, the Chief Minister stated that altogether 40 units were there out of which 26 are functional and 14 of them are still under implementation. He refuted the statement that the units are not exporting outside. He said that although they have been started sometime past yet they are to find market in the world. However, he told that few of them like the MS Meghalaya alloys Ltd had started exporting materials to outside world to Uganda and some other units have exported and were engaged in Industrial trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh. As regard charcoal the Chief Minister informed that license cannot be granted for charcoal since the same cannot be supplied from Meghalaya but that these units should certify to bring charcoal from outside, the fact of which remains that we cannot destroy the jungles and that the trees cannot operated and that the Government is taking step to ensure that the ecological balance is maintained in the State at all cost. The Chief Minister mentioned of the transport bottleneck and that considering this problem as one of the main obstacles, Byrnihat area has been chosen as the best area for EPIP whereby the place is accessible by all means of transport including the proposed railway head so that these units can compete in the national market. However, he informed that this proposal to bring a railway head to Byrnihat had agitated the minds from different quarters without going deeper into the ground reality. He called these people to come out of their cocoon activities and to forge ahead with the march of time to make the state prosperous. He called for the co-operation of members from both sides and welcome their suggestions in this regard. The Chief Minister clarified to the points raised by Shri H. S. Lyngdoh.
Shri M. Rava, MLA moved motion No.8.
"This House do now discuss about the nomendature of the P.H.E. South Division, Tura which comprises the three Development Blocks of Northern part of West Garo Hills i.e. Selsella, Dadengiri and Tikrikilla".
Moving his cut motion, the hon. Member brought to the noticed of the Government that the new P.H.E. Division which was inaugurated by the Minister incharge P.H.E., comprises of three blocks namely Salsella, Dadengiri and Tikrikilla which fall under the Northern part of West Garo Hills and that he had named this Division as the South Division. Hence, he suggested the Government to rename it as North Division because three blocks fall in the Northern part of West Garo Hills that is from one P.W.D. Division which is known as a National Highway Division of P.W.D. road which passes through these Blocks upto Bajengdoba in the Northern part. He also requested the Government to establish a Divisional Headquarter at Tikrikilla which falls under the West Garo Hills in order to achieve the objective of the Government to bring administration closer to the people.
In reply to the points, Shri M. N. Mukhim Minister incharge P.H.E. informed the hon. mover that the proposal for creation of two P.H.E. Sub-Divisions at Dadengiri and Mahendraganj will be considered in the next phase and that recently the newly created P.H.E. Division at Tura has started functioning w.e.f. 20.05.2004. However, the Minister incharge said that at present the new Division was made to look after one Sub-Division namely Phulbari Sub-Division which was originally under the existing Tura Division and that this Division was entrusted to look after the implementation and maintenance falling under three Blocks namely Dadengiri, Salsella and Tikrikilla Blocks where as the name Tura Sub- Division was proposed with a view to bring areas upto Barengapara falling under West Garo Hills under this new division and that after the reorganisation of the jurisdiction of the Division of West Garo Hills, suitable name will be provided to this newly created Division.
With regard to the suggestion to shift the Headquarter to Tikrikilla, the minister incharge told the House that the matter will be thoroughly examine by the department for further consideration.
Shri T. D. Shira, MLA moved motion No. 9.
"This House do now discuss the functioning of Education Department, particularly the plight of schools and colleges teachers in Meghalaya".
Highlighting the plight of the pre-primary school teachers, the hon. mover stated that these teachers had been appointed with a lumpsum pay of Rs.1000 and their condition is very pathetic in that they have to maintain the family with this meagre income. He also stated that these pre-primary schools teachers although they have served for ten or fifteen years, their services were never regularised and were never given a chance to teach in primary levels whenever vacancy arises thus compelling the Association of Primary School Teachers to submit memorandum to the Government and to meet the Director of Mass Education who had given them the assurance that their cases would be looked into but till now nothing tangible has come out in this regard. The hon. mover further pointed out of the condition of the Government and non Government school teachers whereby the Government school teachers are pensionable whereas non-Government school teachers are non-pensionable. He urged upon the Government to give equal status to both the categories and to see that non-Government school teachers should be given first priority for appointment in Government primary schools whenever a vacancy occurs and even on retirement or expiry.
He stated that due to lack of inspecting staff teachers in the interior were not working upto expectation. He suggested appointment of more inspecting of more inspecting staff so that teachers can perform their duty properly and sincerely. Since the time was up his deliberations remain inconclusively to be continued in the next session.
4. PROROGATION :
The House rose at 12 noon and stood prorogued.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.