MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
BUDGET SESSION 2005
BULLETIN NO 16
(TUESDAY, THE 12th APRIL, 2005)
The House met at 10. a.m. with the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Private Members' Business.
1. QUESTIONS :
Starred questions No. 272 lapsed since the questionnaire was absent. Starred questions Nos. 270, 271,274, 276, 277, 278 and 279 with supplementaries thereto and Nos.273,275,280,281,282, 283,284,285,286,287,288,289, 290,291,292,293,294,295,296,297,298,299,300,301,302,303,304,305,306,307,308,309,310 and 311, without any supplementary were disposed of.
Unstarred questions Nos. 46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63,64, and 65 without any supplementary were also disposed of.
2. ZERO HOUR UNDER RULE 49 (a) :
Under Rule 49 (a) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri. P.T. Sawkmie raised a zero hour notice with regard, to a news item published in a local daily "U Mawphor" dated 29th March, 2005 under the caption "4 of a family killed, over 100 injured as cyclone hits the State.
Expressing his condolences to the four members of a family who have lost their lives in a strong wind and thunder storm which has swept village Sohiong on the night of 28th March, 2005, the hon. Member from Mawlai suggested that (1) the Government should make sure that all the Deputy Commissioners of the seven districts should do justice to the people affected by national calamities (2) allotment of fund should increase from the present Rs.2 lakh to Rs.10 lakhs. (3) The amount allotted to each Deputy Commissioner should be increased from the present Rs.50,000 to Rs.1,00,000 (4) Relief should be sanctioned according to the property lost and damaged and should be distributed equally (5) Government should use cameras and photographers whenever any national calamity occurs in the State.
The hon. Member told the august House that the Central Government had sanctioned lot of fund for relief and rehabilitation but that it was unfortunate that the State Government could not implement the schemes since the guidelines framed by the Central Government in this regard, are complicated. He suggested that in case of flash floods which are common in Garo Hills, Government should come up with measures how to control the flood and that prompt action should be rushed to the affected area by coordinating all out efforts from the concerned MLA, the Ministers and officials to see the relief materials and financial aid reach the affected people immediately.
He cited instance of the cyclone happening in the Mairang sub-Division on 28-3-2005 whereby many houses buildings including churches have been completely or partially destroyed by a cyclone which has badly affected villages like Mawblei, Mawdon, Mawpun, and Manlyngriang etc. He urged the Government to take immediate step to sanction financial assistance to the affected people of these villages.
Replying to the Zero Hour discussion, Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Revenue apprised the hon. Member from Mawlai that Government have viewed with deep concern on the suffering that hardship of the victims affected by any natural calamity and that on the basis of the Relief Manual's Rules, guidelines have been issued on how to deal with the aftermath and that after receiving the report from the concerned Deputy Commissioner, this matter is taken as topmost priority and accordingly, fund is placed immediately at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioners to meet emergency arising out of the occurrence of such natural calamity and that for the purpose of the grant of gratuitous relief an amount of Rs.2 lakh is placed with the Deputy Commissioner as an advance and that in case the fund is not sufficient the Deputy Commissioner had been clearly instructed to move for an additional fund.
As regards the cyclonic storm which took place on 28th March, 2005 in those areas falling under East and West Khasi Hills an amount of Rs.4 lakh for the Deputy Commissioner of Shillong and 10 lakh for the Deputy Commissioner of Nongstoin respectively had been placed at their disposal for the sanction of immediate relief and financial assistance as per prescribed norms to the affected victims including ex-gratia payment to be given to the affected persons, However, he added that for the revision of financial assistance, the guidelines and norms to the State Government are provided by the Government of India and hence it is difficult for the State Government to alter. He assured that the suggestion of the mover to improve the existing system of allotment of fund with the Deputy Commissioner has been taken note of and assured that all the Deputy Commissioners and to do justice to the people affected by natural calamities.
3. CALLING ATTENTION UNDER RULE 54 (1) :
Under Rule 54 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri P. M. Syiem called the attention of the Minister incharge Health & Family Welfare to a new item published in "U Mawphor" dated 28.3.2005 under the caption "Pynmih hukum kyrkieh, 1,50 klur tyngka la mang ban pynbiang dawai".
Quoting newspaper clipping under the above caption, the hon. member from Mylliem, wanted to know the facts of the matter as it appeared in the local daily "U Mawphor" :
(1) Whether the department is following the circular issued by the Government from time to time in regard to the supply of medicines.
(2) Whether for the supply of medicines worth Rs.1.50 crore any tender has been called or was purchased on emergency basis?
(3) Whether the medicines purchased and supplied to various P.H.Cs or C.H.Cs are sufficient for those areas or requires more in future?
(4) Whether 1.50 crore comprises only medicines or scientific equipments and apparatus to be used in the P.H.Cs or C.H.Cs or hospitals?
(5) If tender has been called for, out of many suppliers, how many got supply order?
(6) Whether the newspaper clipping was true or not?
In reply to the Calling Attention, Dr. Mukul Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister incharge education etc., apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem that the process of indenting medicines to all medical institutions are normally taken up on the basis of demand projected by the Medical Superintendents of Hospitals, the District and Medical Officers of the concerned district and that on receipt of the demand, the office of the Directorate of Health Services (Medical Institution) make a comparative study of the demand to ensure proper and adequate justification.
The Deputy Chief Minister further stated that it was not a fact that the department intended to favour only 5 (five) suppliers out of 39 approved firms as alleged but that the department has always made it a policy to procure medicines from any of those approved firms by not choosing from a few selected list. However, he told the House that the Government has issued standing instructions to all intending officers of the department that procurement and indenting of medicines should in all cases be carried out after analyzing the need and to ensure that an attempt is made to procure at the lowest rate.
As regard the report of the Anti-corruption Branch on the procurement of medicines at higher rates, the Deputy Chief Minister informed that the A.C.B. is yet to give its final findings on the matter and that the Interim Report did suggest that an in depth analysis of the indent by medical institutions may have to be examined thoroughly.
4. RESOLUTIONS :
Since the mover of the Resolution No. 1 was absent, the resolution standing in his name, was deemed to have been withdrawn by him.
5. MOTIONS :
Shri P.M. Syiem, continued with his deliberations on Motion No.3. The Mover said that good governance is the order of the day and urged the Government to look into this aspect seriously to see that food, clothing and water, the tree basis essentialities on which the people depend for their subsistence should be equitably made available and provided at all cost.
The mover suggested that the Government has to look into the Revenue, Mineral and Transport Departments vis-a-vis the rapid deteriorating of physical environment in the rural areas due to urbanisation. Citing the example of Kerela which is developing at a faster rate than other States, the hon. Member from Mylliem said that we should not allow past experiences to retard achievement and stated that efficient governance depends on delivery mechanism and the procedure adopted in discharging the functions assigned thereof. He suggested the Government to have an institution which should have the capacity to formulate a viable policy on the projects to utilise the optimum resources of the state and that this procedure hurdles should be minimised as far as practicable. On corruption, he suggested that the same should be eradicated starting from the lowest echelon to the higher level. He stated that it is high time for the Government to eradicate corruption right from its roots in order to ensure good governance and to generate more revenue. He called for a strategy through all possible means to improve governance at various levels and stated that people participation in this respect is a pre-requisite and that people should be educated not to look forward only to the Government but to stand on their feet. He suggested decentralisation of P.H.C.s and C.H.Cs The mover further dwelt on realisation of taxes and on the need to review the working of Planning Department by creating of a monitoring cell. He suggested separation of Judiciary from the Executive and that in order that Meghalaya should have its future, a Vision Committee should be constituted by involving officers of various departments. He urged the Government to look into this matter seriously.
Shri M. Choudhuri and Shri P.T. Sawkmie participated.
Replying to the various points raised by the mover of the motion and other members who have taken part, Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister, stated that good governance means Rule of Law applied for conducting the affairs of the society in a civilized manner and is something which covers the entire gamut of our lives be it political, economic or social etc. He informed the participants that the Government is spending crores of rupees in a no. of welfare schemes either directly or indirectly or through several agencies and that it is doing its best to monitor the implementation of these schemes in order to ensure that benefits reached the intended clients. He said that one such system to ensure good governance for speedy development is to improve the quality of administration particularly at the grass roots or at the cutting age level where it comes in direct contact with the common man.
On Reward and Punishment, the Deputy Chief Minister stated that the Government is introducing an award for excellence in performance by Government employees for their outstanding performances highlighting their exemplary and outstanding achievements in the performance of official duties. As regards transparency and accountability in governance, he stated that there is a need for a thorough review of disciplinary procedures which are currently long drawn out and cumbersome allowing the guilty to go scot- free and causing harassment to the innocent. He assured that many of the problems faced by the general public while dealing with Government offices could be resolved by an effective mechanism for redressal of grievances by proposing to have Public Grievances Cell in all District and Sub-Divisional Headquarters in its effort to strengthen the redressal mechanism.
The Deputy Chief Minister further replied to the clarifications put forth by the hon. Member from Mawprem and for other points which have not been covered in his reply have been properly taken care of for further examination wherever necessary and practicable.
6. ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CHAIR :
The Hon'ble Deputy Speaker apprised the House that he had received letter dated 12th April, 2005 written by Shri J.D. Rymbai, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs addressed to the Hon'ble Speaker, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly informing that Dr. Mukul Sangma, Minister has been elevated to the rank of Deputy Chief Minister with effect from 11th April, 2005.
7. ADJOURNMENT :
The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 13th April, 2005.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.