MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
BUDGET SESSION
THURSDAY, THE 19th APRIL 2007

BULLETIN NO. 17.


The House met at 10.00 am with the Hon’ble Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business.

QUESTIONS :

Starred Question No 346 to 351 were disposed of and No 352 to 355 could not be taken up for want of time.

ZERO HOUR NOTICE :

Under Rule 49A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri Manas Chaudhuri drew the attention of the Deputy Chief Minister to the news item published in the local daily newspaper “The Shillong Times” dated 12th April, 2007 under the caption : “MeSEB violates CEA guidelines, Rs.21.7 crore spent to buy 50,000 electro-mechanical meters”. Initiating the discussion, the mover stated that the MeSEB had procured more than 50,000 electro-mechanical meters costing Rs.21.7 crores for consumers in the State and, in the process violated the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). In this regard, the CEA had issued a Notification on the 17th March, 2007 to all the electricity boards in the country including MeSEB to ensure that all “interface meters, consumer meters, energy accounting and audit meters should be of static type”. He wanted to know why the Board is flouting the norm of the CEA.

In replying to this, the Deputy Chief Minister i/c Power stated that what the media reported had not been based on facts because the MeSEB had not violated the norms laid down by the CEA. He further informed that tenders for Garo Hills for the purchase of the new meters was called on the 6.5.05 and East Khasi Hills and West Khasi Hills on 11.5.05. The installation of the electronic meters were done on the 12.3.07 and, therefore there has been no violation of the rules.

ZERO HOUR NOTICE :

Under Rule 49A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri Sengram R.Marak drew the attention of the Minister to the news item published in the local daily newspaper “The Shillong Times” dated 14th April, 2007 under the caption : “Govt. to examine feasibility – Shillong-Sylhet bus service”. Initiating the discussion, the mover stated that since this proposal was approved by the Government four years ago by now, it should have been implemented. He was also of the view that the bus service from Tura to Dhaka via Mymensing should also be examined so that trade and commerce would flourish.
Replying to this, the Minister i/c Transport informed that the Government of India had sought the views of the State Govt on the 13th September, 2002 and the State Government replied on the 29th August, 2003 that it welcomed the proposal and also requested for financial assistance, but till date, no information had yet been received by the State Government.

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER I/C FOOD & CIVIL SUPPLIES:

Under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri M.N.Mukhim, Minister i/c Food & Civil Supplies made a statement before the House with regard to his replies relating to Starred Question No 110 asked by Shri A.L.Hek on 2.4.07, Unstarred Question No 17 asked by Shri J.M.Marak on 17.4.07 and Starred Question No 330 asked by Shri J.M.Marak on 17.4.2007 on the increase in the price of essential commodities. He informed that the main factor for this rise in prices are macro-economic in nature. The State is more affected than the others because it is heavily dependent on other producing States for the essential commodities and which is far away from the production centres. Moreover, the State does not have a railway head and all the necessities have to be brought by road. However, the Government had taken all possible steps to check the rise in prices and no effort will be spared to contain the spiraling prices for the benefit of the consumers.

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER I/C FORESTS AND ENVIRONMENT:

Under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri M.N.Mukhim, Minister i/c Forests and Environment made a statement before the House with regard to his replies relating to Starred and Unstarred Questions as well as Calling Attention Notices tabled by the Hon’ble Members on the “Illegal felling of trees and encroachment in the Reserved Forests of Garo Hills” in Dibru Hills, Rongrenggre Reserved Forests and Dilma, Rajasimla and Chimabangshi Reserved Forests. He had sent his team to enquire into the matter and they found that the illegalities had increased due the demand for timber, firewood and homestead land from the rapidly growing population. Protection of these forests had proved to be insufficient due to the limited staff strength. He sought the views of the members in tackling this menace and to conserve the forest wealth. He assured the House also that the Government will spare no effort to conserve the Reserved Forests in Garo Hills in particular and the whole State in general.

CALLING ATTENTION NOTICE:  


Under Rule 54 (l) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri Manas Chaudhuri called the attention of the Minister to the news item published in the Shillong Times dated 28.2.07 under the caption “Court asks Government to protect catchment areas”. He informed the House that the Defence authorities had proposed to construct houses for the families of the Kargil war victims and, in the process, large number of tress would be fell down thereby defiling the sources of water in the foot hills of the Shillong peak. He was of the opinion that houses for the war victims can be constructed anywhere the country but shoud not be at the cost of the public at large. He wanted to know the stand of the Government on the matter since the Court had asked it to protect the catchment areas.
Shri M.N.Mukhim, Minister i/c Forests and Environment informed that Shri Armstar Lyngdoh, Joint Secretary Raid Laban Hima Mylliem had filed a P.I.L. against the State Government and the Union of India through the Secretary of Defence. In view of this, the opinion of the Advocate General was sought for and advised to wait for the disposal of the PIL before taking a final decision. The Guwahati High Court on 23.2.2007 directed the State to constitute an Advisory Board will be meeting shortly to decide on the matter and send its recommendations to the Government keeping in view the time given by the Court. However, further extension of time will be sought from the Hon’ble High Court. He assured the House that all necessary steps will be taken to protect the catchment areas.

LAYING OF A STATEMENT:

Smti D. C. Marak Minister I/c Arts And Culture laid a statement relating to Calling Attention Notice by Shri M. Rava , MLA, under the Caption “ More than 50 numbers of Siva Lingas discovered”. 

INTRODUCTION OF THE MEGHALAYA APPROPRIATION (NO. II) BILL, 2007:

Dr. Donkupar Roy, beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation, NO.II) Bill, 2007.
Since, there is no Amendment to this Bill, the Minister introduced the Bill. 
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).

SUSPENSION OF RULES : 

Shri R.. G. Lyngdoh, Minister I/c Parliamentary Affairs moved “That the second proviso ( c) of Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in its application to the Meghalaya Appropriation (NO.II) Bill, 2007, be suspended for the time being in so far as the rule requires circulation of the Bill four days in advance before the Motion for consideration may be move” 
The motion was carried and the Second Proviso ( c) of Rule 72 in its application to the Meghalaya Appropriation (NO.II) Bill, 2007 was suspended for the time being.

CONSIDERATION OF THE MEGHLAYA APPROPRIATION (NO. II) BILL, 2007:

Dr. Donkupar Roy, moved that the Meghalaya Appropriation, NO.II) Bill, 2007 be taken into consideration. 
Since there was no amendment, the Meghalaya Appropriation, NO.II) Bill, 2007 was carried and passed.

GOVERNMENT RESOLUTION :

Shri R.. G. Lyngdoh, Minister I/c Parliamentary Affairs beg leave to move the Government Resolution for adopting the amended Meghalaya Economic Development Council (MEDC).
The motion was carried for adopting the amended the Meghalaya Economic Development Council (MEDC).

ADOPTION OF GOVERNMENT RESOLUTION:

Shri R.. G. Lyngdoh, Minister I/c Parliamentary Affairs moved that the Government Resolution Government resolution for adopting the amended Meghalaya Economic Development Council (MEDC).
The motion was carried and the amended Meghalaya Economic Development Council (MEDC) was adopted.

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CHAIR:

Since the number of Candidates is equal to the number of seats, Smti Irene Lyngdoh was declared elected to the Committee on Public Undertakings for the remaining term.

LAYING OF REPORTS : 

The Reports on the Public Account Committee, Estimates Committee, Public Undertakings Committee, Subordinate Legislation Committee, Committee on Empowerment of Women were laid by respective Chairmen.

LAYING OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY:

Dr. D. D. Lapang, Chief Minster laid the report of the Commission of Inquiry for Tura and Williamnagar firing incidents on 30th September 2005. 


LAYING THE REPORT OF THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL OF INDIA :

Dr. Donkupar Roy Deputy Chief Minster I/C of Finance laid the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ended 31st March, 2006

LAYING OF THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT:

Dr. Mukul Sangma Deputy Chief Minister I/C of Power laid the Annual Financial Statement (Budget Estimates) of the MeSEB for the year 2007-2008.

LAYING OF ANNUAL ACCOUNTS:

Shri Nehlang Lyngdoh, Minster I/C Industries laid the Annual Accounts/Report of the Meghalaya Watches Limited for the year 1999-2000 to 2002-2003.

DISCUSSION UNDER RULE 50:

Under Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure, Shri Manas Chaudhuri, raised a discussion to the News item published in “The Shillong Times” dated 5-4-07 under the Caption “Delimitation to be completed by June”. He wanted the House to take a collective decision or go en bloc to New Delhi to plead with the Prime Minister to implement the Delimitation of Constituencies after the election is over in 2008.

Shri P. T. Sawkmie was of the view to leave the decision to the Delimitation Commission. 

Shri Tonsing Marak was of the view that sufficient time should be given before implementing the Delimitation.

Dr. Mukul Sangma Deputy Chief Minister i/c Election informed the House that there will be a hearing on the 10th and 11th May, 2007 for public opinion and in that hearing , anyone can err their views to the Commission. He was also inclined to agree with the view expressed by Shri P. T. Sawkmie that the matter should be left to the Delimitation Commission.


PROROGATION: 

Since the time was up, the House rose at 1:40 P.M. and stood prorogued.

Secretary, 
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.