MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

BUDGET SESSION

BULLETIN No.8

( TUESDAY, the 3rd April, 2007 ).

The House met at 10.00 a. m. with the Hon’ble Speaker in the Chair.The day was devoted for the transaction of Government business.

 

QUESTION :

Starred questions from 144 to 149 were disposed of and Starred Question from No 150 to 172 could not be disposed of for want of time.

ZERO HOUR NOTICE :

          Under Rule 49A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri P.T. Sawkmie drew the attention of the Minister to a news item published in a local daily newspaper “The Shillong Times” dated 6th February, 2007 under the Caption, “Meghalaya’s response irks Centre-Implementation of Central schemes” whereby it was mentioned that the Union Minister Shri Raghuvansh Prasad stated that he had written letters to the State Government wanting to know the police action with regard to the BDO misappropriation of huge funds sanctioned under the rural development scheme. The mover also stated that Rs.20.64 crores had been allocated to the Govt. of Meghalaya under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme during 2006-07 but the work was not upto the mark. He wanted to know from the Minister the number of people benefited from this scheme, the type of rural schemes that are being implemented in the State and why the Govt. could not submit the Utilisation Certificate in time.

 

          In reply, the Minister in-charge Community & Rural Development Department informed that with regard to the misappropriation of funds by the officers concerned and the NGO involvement in this case, a case had been filed on the 6th  March, 2007 with the Phulbari Police Station by the Project Director, DRDA, Tura. With regard to the NREGA, this scheme was launched in the country by the Govt. of India on 2nd February, 2006 but due to the Bye Election for Tura Parliamentary Seat, the State of Meghalaya was not included. Ultimately, it was launched on the 4th May, 2006 . But since Meghalaya did not come within the purview of Part IX of the Constitution, the Govt. had to seek clarification from the Govt. of India and, ultimately, it allowed the Govt. of Meghalaya to implement the scheme by establishment of alternative institutions at the grassroots level in the form of village councils/authorities involving village traditional institutions. The whole process was completed in October, 2006 and approved by the District Employment Councils in the first week of November, 2006. The reasons that there has been delay in the implementation of the scheme was due to the facts that had been stated above. However, a remarkable achievement was made within a short time.

 

CALL ATTENTION NOTICE :

 

Under Rule 54 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and conduct of business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri Manas Choudhuri drew the attention of the Minister to the news item published in the “The Shillong Times” dated 16.2.07 under the caption “MEDC member resigns over Lapang assignments”

 

Initiating the discussion, Shri Manas Choudhuri stated that Mr. Toki Blah who was one of the stalwarts of the MEDC resigned because the Government had deviated from the rule by elevating the post of Chairman equivalent to the rank of Chief Minister sending a wrong signal to the people of the State.

 

In reply, the Minister i/c informed that there was unanimity in the House to amend the rule by upgrading he post equivalent to that of the Chief Minister previously held by the Dy. Chief Minister. He further stated that the resignation of the member might be because he did not know about the status of this latest notification.

 

Intervening in the replies, the Chief Minister stated that during his short stint as Chairman of the Council had instructed the officials to write to the ICAR and NEHU for expert people to join the Council to bring out the State from the morass in the field of agriculture.

 

GENERAL DISCUSSION IN THE BUDGET

Shri A. L. Hek, at the first instance, stated that the budget speech contained only false promises because there had been no mention to create the 5th Battalion for the State to create employment opportunities. With regard to road construction, since land has become scarce, suggested that rivers should pass through huge hume pipes and on top of them, road can be constructed. He was also of the view that the unutilized lands of the Defence Forces should be acquired for public utility as was done in the Shillong- Guwahati  road at Khanapara. He also spoke of the incompleted projects like the Baljek Airport, Crowborough Hotel, Orchid Hotel although a lot of money was pumped in. Medicines, blood had to be procured from outside and when the X-ray machine was made functional, there was no X-ray films.

Smti J. Phanbuh also spoke on agriculture, animal husbandry and horticulture.

 

When Shri P. T. Sawkmie was on his feet, the Hon’ble Speaker had to adjourn the House for want of quorum to meet again at 12.30 pm .

 

When the House re-assembled again at 12.30 pm , it had to be adjourned again for want of quorum to meet again at 10.00 am on the 4th April, 2007 .

Secretary,

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.