MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

BUDGET SESSION, 2005

BULLETIN NO 7

(MONDAY THE 21st MARCH, 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 Government Business:

1. QUESTION :    

         Starred questions Nos. 71,72,73,74,76,77,78 and 79 with Supplementary thereto, Nos.75,80,81,82,83,84,85 86,87,88,89, and 90 without any supplementary were disposed of.

2. VOTING ON SUPPLEMENTARY DEMANDS FOR GRANTS :

        Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Election, moved Demand No.4.

        Shri. Manas Chaudhuri moved his cut motion against Demand No.4. The Hon. mover discussed on the defective electoral rolls and on the need to check electoral malpractices. He suggest that the enumerators should be briefed before they take up this assignment and that intensive training should be imparted so that they cover every house and ensure that the name of eligible voters are not left out from the voters list on this or that plea. The mover cited an instance to the 21- Mawprem Assembly Constituency in which he alleged that the names of many indigenous people and eligible voters were deleted from the list without rhyme or reason.

        Reading from a booklet on the ................ plan of action on Electoral Registration, he called for a clarification from the Minister incharge as to the reason why their names were not included in the electoral rolls. Also quoting from the Hand-book for Voters-page 37, the mover mentioned about the guidelines given to the Party in power while filing candidates in the election that it should not misuse the official position during election campaigns.

       The hon. mover suggested doing away with the system of ration cards or passport for the purpose of identification to prove that he/she is a genuine voter.

       Shri. P.T. Sawkmie, Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Shri. Zenith M. Sangma, Shri. M. Suchiang and Shri. P.M. Syiem took part and gave their individual suggestions to strengthen and improve the electoral system in the State. The participants opposed the cut motion Shri. M. Rava also took part and support the cut motion.

      Replying to the points raised by the mover of the cut motion and other members who have taken part, Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Election stated that most of the points raised centred around the need that the electoral machinery should be proper, accurate and correct. Presenting a detailed statement on the preparation of electoral rolls for every Constituency in the State he said that it is being done in accordance with the provision of the Representatives of Peoples' Act, 1950 and as per directive issued by the Election Commission from time to time. The Deputy Chief Minister told the House that electoral rolls for the Constituencies may be revised very intensively or primarily as  the Election Commission may direct or it may also order special revision if necessary. However, he pointed out that for such revision, public announcement  should be given in a Press note and the Cooperation of the public leaders including the N.G.O's should be involved in this regard.

       As regards preparation of electoral roll, the Deputy Chief Minister incharge of Elections apprised that the enumerators should visit each and every household and enter every Constituency and must complete the work within a scheduled time and that on a qualifying date the Electoral Registration Officer or the Assistant Electoral Registration Officer should see that the draft rolls should be displayed so that if the eligible person was left out he/she can file his claim in a prescribed form for the inclusion of his/her name in the roll.

       On the question of non-inclusion of eligible voters in the electoral roll, he assured that in the Representation of Peoples' Act,1950  and 1960(Revised) and on the basis of other Supplementary Guidelines issued by the Election Commission from time to time and that by implementing of the rules laid down thereon, the malpractice is averted.

       The Deputy Chief Minister refuted the allegation that there had been large scale ommision of eligible voter names from the electoral roll of 21-Mawprem  Constituency. He stated that the voter has a right to raise his objection and to claim in a prescribed form for the inclusion of his name and assured that the Election Commission is  doing its best to ensure that the right of the voters is honored and to see that no person is to be registered in more than one Constituency.

       The Deputy Chief Minister replied to all the points raised by the members who have taken part in the cut motion and stated for other points which were not replied, they have been taken note of by the concerned department for future examination.

      The cut motion was afterwards withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House and Demand No.4 was passed.

     Demands Nos. 5,6,7,8,9,10,11 and 12 were passed since there were no cut motions against these demands.

    Shri H.D.R. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Housing, moved Demand No.13.

    Shri Manas Chaudhuri moved his cut motion against Demand No.13. He discussed on the matters concerning with the running of Meghalaya House Kolkata  vis-a-vis the problems faced by the staff posted there. The hon. mover of the cut motion stated that for the past one and half year the Meghalaya House, Kolkata has been looked after by one particular seniormost officer officiating as Trade Adviser without any monetary benefit or any power to take decision at his level. He suggested the creation of a separate State Service Cadre exclusively for this post which is stagnated. 

     The mover called for concrete steps to provide accommodation for the staff and to see that the staff do not have to pay the Commercial rate of electricity bills.

    Shri. P.T. Sawkmie and Shri. P.M. Syiem, opposed the cut motion.

    Replying to the discussion, Shri. H.D.R. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Housing apprised the mover of the cut motion and the members who took part that it was a fact that after the superannuation of one W.R. Marak, MCS, the then Trade Adviser and Director of Movements from service, the Liaison Officer, Shri. Bonavanture took charge of the post of  T.A.D.M of Meghalaya House, Kolkata with effect from February, 2002 in addition to his duty as Liaison Officer and in which post, he is continuing till date and that the temporary arrangement shall continue until such time when regular officer is posted by the Government in the personnel Department. However he started that the G.A.D. is taking steps to improve the function of the Meghalaya House and to see that the problem faced by the staff is solved and that for employees who have rendered comendable services but were remaining stagnant due to lack of promotional avenues, an extended scale is being given in the line with the recommendation of the Third Pay Commission. As regards accommodation he replied that out stationed staff have been provided with residential quarters and that for payment of  exhorbitant electricity bill at a Commercial rate, the Minister incharge informed that subsequently the meter system had been bifurcated into domestic and commercial and that the rate has since then been drastically reduced. In regard to improper planning, he stated that the building has already been constructed by the Municipal Corporation and that it cannot be changed now. However, he added that Government is taking step to modernize the building to see that one of the stair case will be converted into four rooms to ease the problem of accommodation. About the question of separation of cadre, he assured that Government will look into the matter and in so far appointment of candidates, he said that from now onwards when there is a vacancy, interview will be taken here in Shillong and that candidates from outside should come to Shillong for interview. He further replied to the other points raised by the participants. The cut motion was ultimately withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House and Demand No.13 was passed.

     Demand No.14 was passed since there were no cut motion against Demand No.14.

     Shri. Manas Chaudhuri did not move his cut motion against Demand No.15. Hence Demand No.15 was also passed.

     Demands Nos.16 and 17 were passed too since there were no cut motions against these two demands.

     Shri. H.D.R. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Information and Public Relations moved Demand No.18.

     Shri Manas Chaudhuri moved his cut motion against Demand No.18. He discussed on the failure of the department to project the State's image before the rest of the Country. The mover stated that this department is still regarded as a minor department in term of financial implications and he called for effective step to convert it into a major department if the State's image is to be projected outside the region. He suggested giving of more powers and to equipped this department with model infrastructure so that it can deliver the goods whether it is in the field of Tourism or of direct funding to private investors from outside the State. The mover suggested that the word 'publicity' is obsolete and it should be  substituted by 'public relations'. he also suggested that at the Directorate, there should be an officer who is trainned in civil administration with Public Relations as his specialised subject to deal effectively  with public relations work. Since the time was up, his deliberations remained inconclusive and he will continue on the next day.

3. ADJOURNMENT :

        The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned will 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the 22nd March, 2005.

     

Secretary,

 

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.