The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business:


          Starred questions Nos.237, and 241 lapsed since the questionnaire was absent. Starred Question Nos.236,238,239 240,242,243,244 with supplementaries thereto and Nos. 245,246,247,248,249,250,251,252,253 and 254 without any supplementary, were disposed of.

          Unstarred questions Nos. 26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34 and 35 to which written answers were given, have been laid on the tables.


          Shri Manas Chaudhuri, MLA called the attention of the Minister in-charge planning under Rule 54 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the news item published in 'The Shillong Times' Dt. 10.3.2005 under the caption " Purno seeks PM's help for Garo Hills Development".

          Quoting Newspaper report under the above caption, the hon. Member from Mawprem stated that there was a conspiracy and step motherly treatment towards Garo Hills for the development of the area which had compelled the M.P. of that area to approach the Prime Minister, the highest executive of this country to lodge a complaint (1) that the Ministry of the DONER which is specifically meant for the development of the North East has not been given adequate attention to Garo Hills (2) he has also blamed the State Government under the leadership of the present Chief minister, Dr. D.D. Lapang for the backwardness of Garo Hills. The mover was of the opinion that instead of washing the dirty linen at Delhi, the leaders should have sat together to thrash out the problem once and for all.

          In his reply to the Calling Attention motion , Dr. D.D. Lapang, the Chief Minister, apprised the hon. Member from Mawprem that the newspaper's report relates to the schemes from Central pool of Non-lapsable Resources that are subjected to scrutiny and that are to be sanctioned by the Ministry of DONER during the corresponding period of the years ending 2003-2004, 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. The Chief Minister incharge Planning pointed out of the process of submission of the schemes and proposals received from the various departments of the State Government right from the Sub-Divisional and District level including the higher level and these schemes and proposals were submitted to the DONER Ministry whereby the state Government has no power to reduce the amount, to modify the schemes or to reject the same since this has been the prerogative of the DONER ministry to which the state Government has no control over this matter. The Chief Minister refuted the newspaper's  report that out of 1954'19 crore  only 57.72 crore has been allocated for Garo Hills since he said that the amount involves also the actual schemes to be subsequently approved by the DONER which are under process at this stage. He assured that his Government is committed to ensuring fairness and justice to all sections of the State and that there should be no discrimination or partiality in the allocation of funds to all the districts in the State.


           Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister in-charge power laid the Annual Financial Statement (Budget Estimates) of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board for the year 2005-2006.


          Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Finance laid the synopsis in respect of Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills for the year 2005-2006.


          Shri Manas Chaudhuri, initiated the general discussion on the budget. The hon. Member was disappointed as no mention was made in the budget speech of the Finance Minister on Poverty alleviation and unemployment problems which are the burning issues confronting the Sate. As regards Education, he expressed unhappiness on the lack of development of human resources which has a tremendous affect to help people take up position to run the affairs of the State. He called for measures on the part of the government to streamline the system so that the State becomes self-reliant in ................ human resources. He felt that there is enough money being pumped out by the Government of India but there was no capacity to absorb and utilise the money available.

          On Value Added Tax, the hon. Member from Mawprem said that the system is a complex one and was of the opinion that the State Government might not be in a position to enforce this new taxation since the traders in the state are not prepared to go in for the new system. He suggested that officers may be absent to study how this new taxation system works in the states which have implemented and also in those States where it was not implemented. The hon. Member suggested that V.A.T. should be looked into from the realistic point of view so that the consumers do not suffer for no fault of theirs. He proposed that amount should be raised to Rs.10 lakhs instead of 1 lakh for unregistered dealers in line with the amount fixed by the Government of India. With regard to Citrus rejuvenation, he urged the Government to take up special schemes for the protection of Sohra Oranges and a patent registration should be done in consultation with the Scientists from I.C.A.R. in order to preserve and boost the production of oranges in the state.

          On the question of Tea cultivation the hon. Member suggested that a policy should be formulated for the next five years to raise the production by involving people to go in for gainful enterprises. 

          About Border Areas Development, Shri. Chaudhuri called for concertive effort on the part of the government to revive the scheme for purchase of transport vehicles and the enhancement of Border Areas Scholarship to the students of border areas.

         On Roads and Bridges, he urged upon the concerned department to construct concrete slaps all along national highways and to take up a contingency plan to combat, congestion in the national highway.

         On Arts and Culture, the hon. Member, suggested that the indigenous religious institutions like the Seng Khasi, Niamtre and the Sok-sakne should be preserved and that there should be a dialogue to ascertain the problems faced by these institutions.

         He suggested that the ancient temple at Nartiang nurtured  by the Sein Raij should be declared a heritage site.

         He called for concrete policy from the Government to safeguard the minorities. As regard the question of identity cards to be implemented in the state, he suggested that a dialogue be called so that a consensus is evolved in this regard.

         On District Council Affairs, the hon. Member emphasised on the need to simplify the procedure of obtaining trading licences by the non-tribal traders. He suggested that there should be a mechanism to have nominated members from amongst the minority community in the District Councils. He also touched on other subjects like Tourism, Rain Water Harvesting and the G.A.D.

         Smti. J.R. Phanbuh participated in the general discussion on the budget during the day. The hon. Member dwelt at length on the paras of the budget speech presented by the Finance Minister. She was critical on the lack of priorities on some development departments like power, Roads and bridges, Education, Health and Information Technology. She called for a statement from the Finance Minister in this regard.


         Since there were no other participants the House rose at 12.15 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. Thursday, the 7th April, 2005.         





Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.