MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

BUDGET SESSION 2005

BULLETIN NO 9

(WEDNESDAY, THE 23rd MARCH, 2005)

 

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

1. QUESTIONS :

        Starred question No. 116 lapsed since the Questionnaire was absent.

        Starred questions Nos. 115,117 and 118 with supplementaries thereto and 119,120,  121,122,123, 124, 125, 126, 127,128,129,130,131, 132, 133,134,135,136,137 and 138 without supplementary were disposed.

2. VOTING ON SUPPLEMENTARY DEMANDS FOR GRANTS :

        Shri. Manas Chaudhuri continued his discussion on the cut motion against Demand No.18. The mover suggested that appointment should be given to efficient persons to run the administration and that the Director should be a professionally trained officer and not from the Civil Service Cadre as the Information and Public Relations Department deals with exposure and understanding to the requirements of the media.

        The mover of the cut motion lamented on the deplorable condition of the building and the lack of facility to keep sophisticated equipments live video cameras and other costly articles.

        He stated that for the last several years the department had to spend a huge amount for sending films to outside studios in the absence of the dark room. He called for measures to construct a new building to house the office of Information and Public Relations and suggested procurement of digital cameras to be handled exclusively by people trained in electronic media and for the setting up of a separate publication cell in local languages of Garos, Khasi and Jaintias and to upgrade this department into a major department in order to foster the image of the state to the outside world. The mover also called for immediate steps to appoint one officer to man this department who will be a liaison between the media and the department, filling up of all the vacant posts and for immediate finalisation of service rules.

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

        Replying to the points raised by the mover and other members who have taken part Shri H. D. R. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Information and Public Relations informed the august House that the Information and Public Relations Department is a relatively small department with a small  budgetary provision of only Rs.1.56 crore in the plan outlay and that out of which only about Rs.40 lakhs is available for publicity works. However, he pointed out that inspite of the constraints of funds and man power etc., the department had been able to project, promote and publicised the potentials and strength of the state both inside and outside  the state. He gave detailed statement of the achievements of this department during the past few years and stated that the department is trying its best to project the image of the state positively by participating in the National and International Trade Fairs held at New Delhi and elsewhere from time to time and that every effort is made to invite potential private investors from outside the State and for projecting the state image through exhibitions, fairs and presentation of Tableaux which had earned laurels and good name for the state.

        The Minister incharge further mentioned of the schemes proposed to be taken by the concerned department to achieve the objective in this regard.

        He also replied to the points raised by the participants and assured that other points which have not been touched have  been taken note of for future examination. The cut motion was latter withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House. Demand No. 18 was passed.

        Shri Brening A. Sangma, Minister incharge Civil Supplies, moved Demand No.19.

        Shri Manas Chaudhuri moved his cut motion against Demand No.19. The mover discussed on the modus operandi of the department in identifying the beneficiaries and the unsatisfactory execution of the Central Schemes meant for the poor and the needy. The mover suggested that proper publicity should be given so that the people in the rural areas come forward to avail of the scheme and that Government should see that first and foremost, hon. Members of this august House, the Social organisations, missionaries, the Seng Khasi, Sein Raid and other N.G.Os should be involved in the process to make the scheme more flexible and to cover more people and that in doing so, the Government must ensure that only genuine beneficiaries should be included in the scheme. He called for measure to revamp the D.R.D.A. so that the officials of this agency are compassionate in dealing with rural people and to see that it really works as a nodal agency in this regard.

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

        In reply to the points raised by the mover of the cut motion and other participants, Shri Brening A. Sangma, Minister incharge Civil Supplies, gave a categorical statement on the aim and and objective of the ANTYODAYA ANNA YOJANA SCHEME, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which had been implemented in the State with effect from November, 2001.

        Giving detailed breakup of the no. of beneficiaries covered under the Scheme District/Sub Division wise, the Minister incharge spelled out the criteria for identification of BPL and AAY families. He assured that as of now, no complaints have been received about the unsatisfactory implementation of the AAY Scheme and that if and when specific complaints, if any, are received that would be looked into and corrective action will be taken.

        The cut motion was thereafter, withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House and Demand No.19 was passed.

        Demand No.20 was passed since there were no cut motion against Demand No.20.

        Shri H. D. R. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge  Social Welfare moved Demand No.21.

        Shri Manas Choudhuri, moved his cut motion against Demand No.21. The mover discussed on the need to review the Old Age Pension Scheme. He called for a categorical reply from the Minister incharge as to why there were only seventy one pensioners and suggested for the enhancement of the amount per month and for extending the pension benefit to the ex-servicemen of Second World War including the widows and the families of the Indian Army so that they can avail the benefit under the scheme.

        In reply, Shri H. D. R. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Social Welfare apprised the hon. mover of the cut motion that Government is giving old age pension at Rs.600/- per month to the 71 (seventy one) Veterans World War II and their widows who are entitled to such pension under the scheme.

        However, he stated that the scheme cease  to operate in the case of children, grand children and the heirs of the families of these pensioners. As regards persons from the Indian National Army, if the heir is a qualified widow of the ex-serviceman, she entitled to pension under this scheme. The cut motion was then withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the House and Demand No.21 was passed.

        Demands Nos. 22,23,24,25,26 and 27 were passed since there were no cut motions against these demands.

        As the time of the House stood 1.30 p.m. the Hon'ble Speaker guillotined the remaining Demands Nos. 28,29,30,31,32,33,34 under Sub-rule (3) of Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.

        He put the main question before the House - the question was that Demands Nos. 28,29,30,31,32,33 and 34 be passed.

        (The motion was carried and Demands Nos. 28,29,30,31,32, 33 and 34 were passed).

3. THE MEGHALAYA APPROPRIATION (NO. I) BILL, 2005 :

        Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Finance, introduced the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. I) Bill, 2005.

4. SUSPENSION OF RULE :

        Shri J.D. Rymbai, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs, moved :

        "That the second proviso to sub-rule (c) of Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in its application to the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. I) Bill, 2005, be suspended for the time being in so far as the rules requires circulation of the Bill four days in advance before the motion for consideration may be moved".

        (The motion was carried and Sub-rule (c) of Rule 72 was suspended for the time being).

        Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Finance, moved that the bill be taken into consideration but since there were no amendments to the said bill, the Deputy Chief Minister incharge Finance, moved that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. I) Bill, 2005 be passed.

        (The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. I) Bill, 2005 was passed.

5. ADJOURNMENT :

        The House rose at 1.35 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Thursday, the 24th March, 2005.

 

                                                                                                                                               Secretary,
                                                                                                                          Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.