Proceedings of the Second Session of the Provisional Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled under the provision of the Assam Reorganisation Meghalaya Act, 1969

        The Assembly met at the Assembly Chamber, Shillong at 10 A.M. on Tuesday on 22nd September, 1970.


        Prof. R.S. LYNGDOH, Speaker, in the Chair, five Ministers and thirty five Members.


(To which oral answers were given)

Re : Constitution of Meghalaya State Service

Shri S.J. DUNCAN asked :

*1. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -


Whether Government propose to constitute Meghalaya State Service as empowered in item 37 of the Autonomous State List (Part A of the Second Schedule)?


If the answer be in the affirmative, what steps are being taken by the Government towards that end, and what kind of class of public services will form the Meghalaya State Service?


If the answer be in the negative, the reasons therefore?

Capt W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) replied :

(a)  -

The Matter is under the consideration of the Government.

(b)  -

Does not arise.

(c)  -

Does not arise.


(To which written answers were given)

Re : Muster Roll Labour of the Public Works Department

Shri S.J. DUNCAN asked :

1. Will the Minister of Public Works Department (R. and B.) be pleased to state -


Whether Government is aware of the fact that the majority of the muster roll labour employed by the P.W.D. on roads in Meghalaya is drawn from Nepalee labourers?


What are the daily wages paid to muster roll labourers ?

Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Public Works Department) replied :

1. (a)  -

No. The Government is not aware of the fact.

    (b)  -

The daily wages paid to the muster roll labourers is Rs.3.25 (Rupees three and twenty five paise) only.


Re : Chowkidars and Inspection Bungalows

Shri S.J. DUNCAN asked :

2. Will the Minister of Public Works Department (R. and B.) be pleased to state -


Whether Government is aware of the fact that many Nepalee are employed as Chowkidars of Inspection Bungalows and some of these Chowkidars have constructed ugly looking cowsheds for their own cattle inside the I.B. Compounds?


If the answer is in the affirmative, what action is being taken to give employment to local people sand to keep Inspection Bungalow compound free of unauthorised structures ?

Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, P.W.D.) : replied :

2. (a)  -

Only few Nepalees are employed as Chowkidars for Inspector Bungalows and non of those Chowkidars has constructed any cowshed inside the Inspection Bungalow compounds, falling within the jurisdiction of Meghalaya State.

    (b)  -

Does not arise, in view of the reply to 2 (a) above.

Government Business

The Meghalaya Interpretation and General Clauses Bill, 1970 :

Capt. WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Interpretation and General Clauses Bill, 1970 :

Mr. SPEAKER :- The question is that leave to introduce the Meghalaya Interpretation and General Clauses Bill, 1970, be granted.

Shri AKRAMOZZAMAN : We have no objection to the Bill being granted leave to be introduce.

Capt. WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.

Mr. SPEAKER :- The question is that the Meghalaya Interpretation and General Clauses Bill, 1970 be introduced.

(The Bill was introduced)

The Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Bill, 1970

Capt. WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Bill, 1970

Mr. SPEAKER :- The question is that leave to introduce the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Bill, 1970 be granted.

Shri AKRAMOZZAMAN :- We have no objection to the Bill being granted leave to be introduced.

Capt. WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- I introduce the Bill.

Mr. SPEAKER :- The question is that the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Bill, 1970 be introduced.

(The Bill was introduce).

General Discussion of the Budget.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister ) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir with your permission yesterday evening one hon. Member had been kind enough to point our certain error in the figures which appears in page 6 of the Budget. With your permission, Sir, I would like to make correction in my budget speech in page 6 first paragraph in place of "There are only two licensed Country Spirit Shops, one at Jowai and one at Tura" it may be corrected as read as "There is one licensed Country Spirit Shop at Jowai and a few licensed Out still Liquor Shops in Garo Hill and some licensed Out still in United Khasi-Jaintia Hills, from which Government receive revenue".

Shri AKRAMOZZAMAN :- May I know why the Finance Minister has no accurate figures to these licensed Country Spirit Shops?

Mr. SPEAKER :- May the Finance Minister clarify the position?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister ) :- With due apology to the hon. Members, I would point out that the records from the Assam Government about excise matters have not yet been fully obtained up to this movement. Even yesterday, we tried to contact by telephone about this matter but we have not yet got the correct statistics and data about these still in these three districts.

Mr. SPEAKER :- Yesterday, the House rose only after the budget speech. There was no time for the hon. Minister to check up the correct data which we read yesterday. Since this is the first time that he gets a chance to correct his speech his speech, I think the correction may be allowed.

        Now the hon. Members are free to have a discussion on the budget.

Shri S.J. DUNCAN :- Before we proceed, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to follow up the point raised by my friend opposite, Mr. Zaman. Since it is not possible to get the information from the Government of Assam, it would be easier to get these figures from the district authorities from whom they are readily available.

Mr. SPEAKER :- I have received a notice from Shri Akramozzaman that their group will participate tomorrow. I would like to know from the ruling party how many of their members would like to participate in today's debate.

        In the meantime, since the study of the budget is complicated one, it will be better to have a general discussion today and specific discussions may be taken up tomorrow. I would like to inform the hon. Members concerned that if they are ready to make some general observation to day, they can do so. They can have time also tomorrow and the day after.

Shri P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has not been the intention to participate in today's discussion. But in view of the leniency that you are giving to this House to dwell on matters in a general way, I am taking the floor only with a view to bring home some of the salient features of the budget speech and proposals and mainly on what I think should be a guideline in matters of presenting the budget proposals. I fully appreciate the various difficulties encountered by the Finance Minister and because of the nature of this autonomous Hill State these difficulties are inherent in it, If I remember correctly in the last  session we had at Shillong, Mr. Duncan had made a very significant remark when he said that we are starting our State not only on a clean state but we are starting from a blank slate. Today I will add with emphasis that we are starting from zero. So, considering the basic difficulty of the Finance Minister, I am not prone to be critical, rather I think it would becoming on my part and on the part of the hon. Members to sympathies with him. I know the difficulties in getting matters and materials for the formulation of budget proposals. I realise the difficulties of not getting the economic indicators or to fall upon the past trends or past estimates. All these difficulties are there. I also realise the basic fact of the insignificant financial resources that the State is facing. The financial resources as they appeared to me are comparatively less. I know these difficulties.

Mr. SPEAKER :- I would like to interrupt the hon. Member. I would point out that since there is difficulty in moving the mike to his seat may I request that you kindly move near the mike?

Shri P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH :- Yes, Sir, So all these difficulties are there. I am only raising my hats off to the Finance Minister that although apparently it is a deficit budget but according to the figures he presented. I think, it is not so. How did he manipulate with the figures, I do not know. He is a genius in this respect. But whatever it may be, the fact is that it is a good signing that while starting from minus, we are reducing that minus. If we go into the various figures which I just glanced only to-day we will find that we have started-rather the State has stated-with a deficit of Rs.98.77 lakhs and will end up with a deficit of about Rs.60 lakhs. So this is something for which, I think, the Finance Minister has to be congratulated. I am personally very happy to find that in the budget speech mention has been made of the burning problems that we face in Shillong on which I had dwelt in detail in the last session-I mean the water supply for Greater Shillong. I am very happy that it has found place in the budget speech that the Government is meaning business; to do something concrete during the current financial year. I am also happy to find a note of the Finance Minister about the improvement of marketing facilities in Shillong and believe, most of us are very happy about the approach of the Government in so far as the question of tackling the Shillong problems is concerned. But more than that, I am very happy that the problems of Shillong have to dealt with as one entity.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, you know fully the difficulties that we are facing in Shillong. Politically and legally there are many interpretations on how to go about it. But I am happy to find a practical approach to treat Shillong as one entity. Therefore, irrespective of what has been embodied in the Assam Re-organisation (Meghalaya) Act which stipulated the constitution of a Special Committee for Shillong which will deal with education with supply and so on. I am happy that even before the constitution of that Committee the Government has come boldly to tackle this burning problem of Shillong. This is a good sign. I would like also to express my sense of appreciation of the Finance Minister who has taken pains despite the financial difficulties and limitations of financial resources, to project an image of robust optimism. From the budget speech I have found a note which shows that this State has started with great hope.

        I appreciate the way that priorities are given and it is very right that in a State like ours which is predominantly a hilly region with a very small part lying in the plain areas, that we should concentrate and put our energies and put our thinking on communication. This emphasis this giving of priorities of communication is a welcoming sign which symbolizes a bold policy on the part of the Government. I think that for an agricultural economy like ours, which is predominantly agricultural, we could have given more emphasis or priority to agricultural development, but this agricultural development and agricultural productiveness cannot be effective unless there are a network of communication, a network of road communication and network of other types of communication whether the roads are small or big. Therefore, this giving of priority is a most welcoming sign which definitely symbolizes and projects ability to grapple with the problems we are facing today. And I am also happy to know that the Public Works Department has taken various steps of vigorously push forward the existing construction or roads and has also contemplated but put more vigour in taking up of new projects. While standing today, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I like to share the thought with you and this House-since we are taking on the Budget in a very general way-I hope you will allow me to speak more elaborately tomorrow, which I would definitely like to. Now there is a thought which has been lingering in my mind for quite some time as to how to develop this beautiful State of ours- this virgin State of ours. I have been thinking seriously that today in India and throughout the world we are witnessing all kinds of forces-economic forces, political forces-which all go to one single point-gravitation of economic need. Now we hear a lot about capitalist society, capitalist economy, free trade and all that. We hear a lot of regimented economy which we find in Soviet Union and in other communist countries and we see today that India's economic forces are going forward to culminate, if I may use the term, in socialism, although we are yet to know and appreciate it ourselves because of the lack of indicators. But I do feel that this is the most opportune time to think of the real needs and aspiration of the hill people. Let us not be overwhelmed  by the wealth, by the great riches of some States and some States and some countries. Let us be careful about the accumulation of wealth. I like to say that when wealth is distributed evenly. This is an economic factor which is playing a great role in the country today. We cannot live in isolation, we cannot live by ourselves. We are affected by these forces throughout the country. Therefore, it is wise for us to take note of these forces, to take note of socialistic forces and to take note of those forces which are predominantly working in the country.

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said before, these thoughts, that I have viz. that wealth be evenly distributed and that we are to come to a certain conclusion as to whether we are to go for industrialized economy or we are to go for rural economy which is the romantic term in pastoral economy. Now, Sir, I have been much affected by what I have seen today throughout the world I say if we go too much for intensive urbanisation, one day we will find that the people will be gasping for breath because of smog as it had already happened in some big cities like New York and others.

        It is right at this stage to think whether we should go for intensive urbanisation or whether we should go for peaceful rural economy. This is a big problem for us today. In this connection, I would like to go 10 or 20 years ahead, a vision of the future. I like to retain the colourful life of the hill people, a free life, a very free life devoid of any inhibition; a life full of dance and music (laughter). I shall tell you about a significant experience in my life when I was mentioning that the wealth was a dangerous thing if it is accumulated. I will tell you an actual and interesting story. A friend of mine some years ago approached me for small little loan and I was also Chairman of a small bank and I gave him the loan. I find that he has got a licence to run certain business. Then after some time he got money suddenly. He started building houses right and left the money in question is wholly concentrated on a person. But then he was completely shattered morally. this is in so far as an individual family is concerned. The same can happen to a society and the nation. I am not at all in favour of concentration of wealth in any form and I am also not in favour of intensive urbanisation as in Calcutta, Bombay or in other cities of today. Now I shall refer tot he problems of Calcutta. The problems of Calcutta cannot be solved because everybody is trying to solve the problem politically which is a social problem. We saw a lot of unhappiness there because there is no individual identification. So I will not aspire for big cities rather I would like to see small towns with proper sanitation, water-supply and electricity facilities. We have been always telling the hill people that if we get the political power, we will endeavour to wipe out the tears  of the poor and the down-trodden people. These people are concentrated in the villages. We have to do something tangible to extend help to them.

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am coming to another very important matter. I am not critical that the agricultural has not been given the top most priority and that it has been given second priority. I has been said that the Indian farmers including our farmers are born in debt, live in debt, and die in debt. If we are to go deeply into the problems of agriculture in the hills today, we will find that apart from various other factors, bad seeds primitive method of cultivation and that our agriculturists are deprived of modern facilities to improve the agriculture; we find the basic cause of this is their indebtedness. I am very happy; therefore, to find that in this budget speech mention is made of giving assistance to marginal farmers. I would go a little ahead of that. I would say that we do not have any big farmers; we have only small farmers in the hills. Therefore when the mention was made that the Government is actively considering to chalk out programmes to give credit facilities to the farmers, I feel, very enthusiastic. I had been in certain villages in the Khasi Hills and I know in what difficulties they are to live. How to lift them of from the indebtedness. Because the rate of interest is very exorbitant. It comes to 50%, 60% per annum. So you cannot expect the farmers to get out to this vicious circle. Therefore, we should tackle this problem not only with enthusiasm and vigour but with practical disposition. We talked a lot that we should bring people together. There is a saying that the hill people are very individualistic and they cannot combine together. But I do not agree with that. I feel that in any political matter we have seen how they come to a decision. How they come to a conclusion unanimously after deliberation; a happy conclusion-consensus. The word consensus is a happy word, it does not smack, rather it carries the feeling of true democracy. Our people are very democratic. Therefore we should not fight shy to bring our people either in the form of cooperative society or either in the form of a Company Ltd. or in the form of partnership. We need this kind of working together in the hills. Therefore, I am extremely happy and I congratulate the Government for having brought forward the schemes, introducing Small Farmers Development Agency, Agricultural Labourers Agencies pending the approval of the Government of India. I have had the occasion to come in contact with certain representative of the Reserve Bank of India. I feel they are very much inclined to come in a big way. So it is up to the Government to come with big schemes. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am also happy that the question of having separate State Financial Corporation for the State and also the State Apex Bank is under active consideration. In India today the Co-operation is taking limelight in the economic activities. It is a matter of fact that those State where the cooperative endeavour flourishes, we find the fate of the farmers and agriculturist better. In Punjab, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu farmers are coming up because of the co-operative movement, of course, other factors also go together. It is a fact that there are certain demerits in the Co-operative system of work. Therefore, with all the limitations in the co-operative structure even in Assam today, we, I believe, can go ahead with optimism because we find in certain Co-operative Societies wherever there are honest and good workers and trained persons, the Co-operatives work wonderfully. With the present policy of the Government of India and our own Government laying emphasis on the need of the agriculturists, it is very very important that the Co-operative structure should undergo certain modifications to become effective. We shall have to learn by our experience in Assam.

        I know that the State Co-operative Apex Bank is meant entirely for giving short-term loans to agriculturist and I would strongly advise that the Assam Hills Co-operative Development Corporation should concentrate on giving medium term and long term loans. The farmers needs not only money to buy fertilisers but he also requires money for purchasing other materials and certain capital expenditure. So we have to tackle the problem of the agriculturist in a multi-sided way. Therefore this has come as a great thing for all of us. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, since I am still on my feet I thought I would like to also to say a few words on employment problem. This was touched here in the Budget Speech in matters relating to industries. In the last session I had mentioned about the need to lift our economy and at the same time giving certain incentives to young men to come together for an economic enterprise. I was very much affected by the idea presented by Assam Entrepreneurs Association of Gauhati. It is therefore high time that the minds of our young men and women are diverted from office employment to other kinds of employment. It is good for them and for the country that they think in terms of an enterprise. We need entrepreneurs but we know the difficulties of the young people due to lack of capital and also due to lack of incentives. Government will live not only by the physical figure that it presents but most of all it will live by the opportunities it gives to the people. If today Government come forward with a policy of giving all the facilities, training and money to the young people coming from the colleges, I am sure that most of them will come together and start an enterprise. The other day I was affected by one little talk not because that I have a feeling that in Meghalaya there are tribals and a non-tribals but let us face one fact that Meghalaya is predominantly tribal. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you take a little walk from the Police Point of Barabazar towards the G.S. Road and come upto the D.C's court, you will not find any of our indigenous young men as shop-keeper or entrepreneur. This is a fact not that I wish to differentiate between a tribal and non tribal. For me all the people living in Meghalaya are Meghalayans but why I mentioned this thing is just to bring home that our young men and young women would be given all the opportunities to take up business and to open up enterprise and that for the Government to give all the necessary help. Even in giving permits of taxis or even in starting small scale industries, preference should be given to young men who come together. So this is the point which I like to bring home for development of economy in this part of the country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will conclude with the saying that the Budget or the Budget proposals represent the policy of the Government in figures. I cannot say off-hands that it has truly reflected the aspirations and the needs of the people but at the same time I do realise the various handicaps and difficulties faced by the Government. Nevertheless let us not lose sight of the basic human element. Of all the activities whether physical financial or political -the most important thing is the assessment of the human power and the assessment of human capability. We have to assess upto what extent our people can go along with us. I am not unnecessarily trying to bring home to you the need to explain the problem but on the other hand I would like to be rather practical. Let us not have a big budget without being able to spend. Let us have a small budget and be able to spend it rightly and if we can do that I think we will be able to do great things. Thank you.

Shri S.J. DUNCAN :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I associate myself with a friend, Mr. Kyndiah in praising the Financial Department, particularly the Finance Minister, the Finance Secretary and his staff for the great work that they have been able to show in the budget proposals presented to the House. I have not had time to go minutely into the details of the proposals, but looking at the form, that is to say, the way the proposals have been put forward, I notice one thing which probably may have been there from before in the budget of the Assam Government and which I have not seen for a long time. I refer to our particular feature which I think, it is very welcome the way in which the State expenditure is shown separately from the district expenditure. I do not know whether this is a particular innovation of the Finance Department of the government of Meghalaya or whether it has been inherited from the Assam Government practice. Whatever it is I think it is a very good feature. It enables anyone who goes through the budget proposals to know at once how much has been allotted the expenditure in the district and how much for the State. Mr. Speaker Sir, the staff with the Finance Minister has with him may have had some experience before in producing budges, but taking he condition and the difficulties which the staff experienced, I think what they have produced is a very commendable effort on their part. Now every budget proposal has, as its objective, plans for the betterment of the people in the State, how to improve their economic and social conditions. Whether the budget proposal contain all those ingredient, it remain yet to be seen after the detailed figures have been studied lying the proposals was how to improve the conditions of the people of the State and also to raise the status of the State, however small it may be to be on a par with other States in the country. Our young people should always received our fist consideration because they are the people who will eventually build up the State, and therefore ample opportunities should be provided and created so that when they finish their studies they are suitable employed. When I say "suitably employed" I do not mean that they should all be in offices. This one way of employment but is it not all. In the budget speech mentioned has been made of the Industrial Development Corporation. Well, there are quite a number of young people who would like to start their own business and the great handicap has always been the lack capital. I looked into the budget proposals to see whether there are provisions in the way of industrial loans. It may be that I have not been able to find all the items connected with it but I saw one item containing an amount of about 7 lakhs of rupees. Well, loans for small industries are given by the Government up to a maximum of Rs.20,000, I think. Rs.7 lakhs would cover only about 35 people. It occurs to me therefore that probably, depending, of course, on the number of applications that we get from our young people, the amount provided for in the budget may not be sufficient. However, that is by the way and I am not going to dwell on it very much. Now the economy of the State should be in my opinion as has been rightly pointed out in the budget speech, both agricultural and gradually to become also industrial. We have yet to start quite a number of industrial. At the moment, we have very few indeed. Along with agriculture we should make every endeavour to start run industries which will by the way, provide employment to our young people. Education should therefore be so oriented that our young people should not aspire only for jobs in the Gernment offices but also to branch out to other lines which will both benefit themselves and the State.

        Now, technically education is another matter which needs our very serious consideration and thought. We were told by the Finance Minister that there is a great dearth of doctor to man out of the way dispensaries in the State. I have talked to a few young people who have just passed out of the Medical College. There are some of them who do not seem to think of serving the State in any capacity. They think that they can earn more money by starting private practice. What the Finance Minister has suggested in his speech, therefore, is very welcome. We should encourage our young people, our young doctors to come forward to outlaying areas with sufficient incentives by way of allowances like non-practicing allowance and so on. There is also great dearth of candidates in the engineering line. We have very few engineers belonging to Meghalaya proper. I think, here also efforts should be made to get as many young men as possible to come out and qualify themselves as engineers.

        Well, I reserve my further comments when we deal with separate grants at the appropriate time. But, on the whole, I congratulate the Finance Minister for having introduced a Budget, which to me seems to be quite a practical one.

Shri JOHN DENG POHRMEN :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to participate in discussion in connection with the first budget of our Meghalaya Government. In about five months' time the Finance Ministry of the Meghalaya Government has been able to bring out such voluminous literature presenting the detailed estimates of receipt and expenditure. I think it deserve appreciation from all sections. As for me, the very look of the volumes scares me. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if I can do justice to the fact that I now stand to take part in the discussion, for the simple reason that only less than 24 hours had been made available to me to study this literature. Partly I have to blame myself that a few hours that has been to my disposal had been not spent usefully in reading minutely and examining the budget estimates. But as a human being with all the short memory that I have I find it difficult to remember even what little I have glanced through the pages of these so many volumes presented to me. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Finance Ministry should be appreciated. In a few pages I have been able to glance, however, I feel that something tangible is there and as a Meghalayan I am really proud that for the first time we have been able to produce a budget of our own. If this is good, we have only a praise ourselves. If this is not so favourable, we have to thank ourselves, and I really believe that all inhabitants of Meghalaya are also proud to see that for the first time the budget estimates have been given with a view to enable the various representatives hailing from all parts of Meghalaya to examine and study, and if need be, to make certain proposal or to make little improvement which, I believe, the Government will readily accept.

        In regard to cottage industries, I really feel so much particularly to see provisions made from various cottage industries here. I have a little kind of a day dream that perhaps from next year we shall have articles of goods produces by our Meghalaya say, umbrella made in Meghalaya and hammer made in Meghalaya say, cane and bamboo, so many things. If provisions are made and are really used and, of course I wonder, whether in a few remaining months these provisions could really be used. However if they are really used, I feel that something new and something revolutionary may come out as a result of our provision made in the budget.

        Sir, allow me also to say, this is not, of course, that I would criticise the Finance Ministry but simply to point out. Perhaps I may be wrong and I may be right or perhaps they may be wrong and I may be wrong and I may be right or perhaps they may be wrong and I may be right. I have somewhat glanced at page 300 of Finance  Department's budget, Volume 2, regarding printing. If is only, of course by way of example. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed..............

Mr. SPEAKER : What page number?

Shri JOHN DENG POHRMEN : Page 300-Volume II-Estimates and Demands for Grants.

        Somehow the figures came to my sight and I find printing of 2 in Arabic in which a  provision is made for 50,000 Rupees, I cannot really understand what this 50,000 of Rupees for stores means. I have some friends not that I am the authority in printing, but somehow by circumstances, I used to have little discussion with them in the past. I know even in the Assam Government Press, the provision is made only of about 3 or 4,000 of Rupees in a year because stores mean only for ink. Now I wonder how this 50,000/- of Rupees will be spent in the next few months because stores actually, in printing mean only for ink; whereas the Assam Government Press, they are using only 3 to 4,000 of Rupees of maximum for ink in a year. Again, in Arabic 9, printing in Roman II-'An Assembly Wing in the Government Press'. This also I fail to comprehend the significant, for the simple reason that in the past, probably in 1968-69, there has been a proposal to have an Assembly Wing in the Government Press. But that was only a proposal, it was never implemented. Now we all know Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Meghalaya Government has now got its own Printing Press. Now I wonder why only a simple Wing should appear there. It is only by way of giving simple or certain acts of occasions, which I probably hope the Finance Ministry will please excuse if I point out.

Mr. SPEAKER : I think you mean the Finance Minister because the Department cannot come and reply.

Shri JOHN DENG POHRMEN : I stand corrected, thank you. So the Assembly Wing in Government Press perhaps might only be a kind of that such a thing should be looked into. Of course perhaps other hon. Members, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when glancing here and there, they might come across such things which perhaps might be act of omission or commission which may be noted. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I have said, I hope I may be allowed to take part in tomorrow's discussion.

Mr. SPEAKER :- To be more specific?

Shri JOHN DENG POHRMEN : I have so many things especially with regard to the Jowai Autonomous District, which i am more particular. But I reserve that part for tomorrow so that I can have a better preparation to the satisfaction of the House. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Mr. SPEAKER :- May I tell the hon. Members of the House that in today's morning session, I am not asking all of you top make some general observations including those who have intimated me that they should participate only tomorrow. But if they want to make any general observation in this morning session, they can do so.

Shri WITHERSON MOMIN :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I simply regret that these copies and other papers have been made available to us only yesterday. I have been trying my level best, since I received, to make time but because of this of that circumstance not allowing me I have not been able to prepare myself. Of course I have been willing very much to participate in this very important general discussion and so on and so forth. But as for today, I do not think I shall be in a position to touch all the points and so I would like to request Mr. Speaker, Sir, to allow me some time tomorrow.

Mr. SPEAKER : Any other hon. Member?

Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN : Mr. Speaker, Sir, though I intimated to you that our group shall only take part in tomorrow's discussion but .................

Mr. SPEAKER : I will give you teem tomorrow also.

*Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN : Of course as I requested an order from you, it is not an order but only a request. Whatever that might be, I have no objection to obey your order that there should be some discussion today also. Sir, this is no doubt a great day for me to participate as a different group from the Ruling Party of our first budget estimate of the newly born Meghalaya State and as the hon. Members said already that Finance Department has got many difficulties in  preparing the budget. So this voluminous thing also is a very great thing for us just to say and see and follow the principles involves in it and just to have development activities and the shape of administration which the Government is going to give to the people of Meghalaya, I appreciate the difficulties of the Government and at the same time, I wish to say that these difficulties may not have the confrontation of the Department to do more speedy work. I think a little endeavour would have enabled the Department just to supply, say the papers - the most vital papers of the budget estimates. Similarly the papers - the most vital papers of the Budget estimates. Similarly Sir, now as the general discussion, of course,  there are so many pages written by the Finance Minister and placed before the House and in a different way, it has given us a picture in the economic way and also in the general administration way. Sir, one thing particularly and also in the general administration way. Sir, one thing particular strikes me that there is no mention particularly about the general administration. How the Meghalaya Government is to reshape or renovate the general administration. Sir, this thing has come to my mind because our set up is a democratic set up and in democracy, if there is no separation of the executive from the judiciary the there is no safe-guard of democracy and this vital point was committed or was not mentioned in the budget estimate through which the policy of the Government is adopted. So I fail to understand that in the near future whether our judiciary is going to be separated from the executive or not. This also involves some difficulties to some of the people. That due to the inclusion  of the executive with the judiciary some sort of delay in this thing or that thing is going on and this means that the court cases are lingering for so many days and in some cases running for two to three years. it is said that 'justice delayed is justice denied.' This also involved economic factors. Moreover, democracy will not be safeguarded until the judiciary is separated from the executive. This principle also involves in democracy, so I cannot find in the Budget Speech any mention or any indication as to how Government is going to implement this is the way envisaged in the Constitution of India. Apart from this, another matters comes to my mind about transfer of some power development powers to the District Council. The things is this that in the Governor's Address we have heard that there will be some certain negotiation between the Government and the District Council as to how the departments like Agriculture, Community Projects and other projects can be brought under the fold of the District Council just to managed the affairs district-wise. There is no indication about that neither there is any information in Budget Speech as to how this matter has been taken up with the District Council and whether negotiation is going on and any information in Budget Speech as to how this matter has been taken up with the District Council just to manage the affairs district-wise. There is no indication about that neither there is any information in Budget Speech as to how this matter has been taken up with the District Council and whether negotiation is going on and any decision is taken by the Government, which involves other departmental a activities. Sir, so far as afforestation is concerned a detailed scheme has been given in the Budget Speech and obstructions was there that the un-classed forests are under the management of the District Council. Naturally we do not question the dignity of the District Council. Suppose if the State Government demands that two hundreds or more acres of land are to be acquired and that it will be made a Reserve Forest for plantation of valuable trees like teak, sal etc. and the other thing will come in. So this is for the implementation of the State-owned programme. This bar will be there because these two departments are under two authorities-some parts are under the State Government and some parts are under the District Council. So what has been stated in the Governor's Address two or three factors have been left out. Some information should have been given as to what progress has so far been made in that direction. Sir, I am doubtful, rather in this respect that the materialisation of the principles involved in it, whether Government will be able to materialise those things until arrangements are made. Sir, another factors is that there is some arrangement to be made also about Community Development Project. We have heard this also both outside and inside that this matter will be taken with the District Council so that the Village Council or the Panchayat and the lower level and some democratic set up should be started so that from the Village level to the State level there should be two-tier democratic set-up. But there is no mention of it in the Budget speech, fundamentally in what way Government is going to implement its principle of democracy-whether from village to State level. I would have been much more glad if that principle would be very kindly mentioned or information about this is given in order to throw more light to the Meghalayans that our Government is going with a true spirit and vigour to establish this democratic set up in the village level and State level. But it is lacking so far as this project is concerned. Because in the Budget speech that principle of administration of different categories is involved, but I do not know in what way the Government wishes to implement this democratic set-up. So I believe Government will very kindly take note of it that everywhere, while in every part of India, this democratic set up is going to be established or established already from village level to state level there should not be any objection from the Government side against speedy set-up of these institutions, so that standard of democratic principle in this region and other parts of the region in maintained on equal footing. But this cannot be done until we can give all facilities to the people and work cannot progress in different levels. So I request the Government to kindly mention about the action they have been taking and what they are trying to formulate in future.

        Sir, now as to the economic factors, one thing of course, which I agreed, with the Finance Minister when he says that there is no indicators available at present at the State level to see or measure what is the economic condition of our people in different regions. But in this respect Sir. I would like to say, if a little task, a little difficulty and initiative is taken, then it would not have been difficult to find out the difference because there is district statistic in Garo and Khasi Hills. These are the components of two districts and a joint statistic comes in. So I am not inclined to take it that there is no indicator to weigh the difference. There may not be a general indicator but the component parts are there. The component parts joined together is the whole. This is logic. So, the Finance Minister or the department concerned could have found quite easily the facts and figures from different levels. And that is why I do not know whether it is a fact or whether the Department concerned was not able to get the figures. So I understand that in the District Council budget if we see the allocation of funds of the different District Councils-Garo Hills, Khasi Hills the necessities in these places will be different on different footing. There are some factors which I can show that in agriculture and irrigation there is a gulf of difference of about Rs.40 lakhs in between these two districts. Then what is the measuring gauge or indicator of the Finance Department or the department concerned to allot money in this way. That is the question which I may put to the Finance Minister. What is the indicator by which he has allotted the amount under different heads when there is so much gulf of difference between developmental activities and normal work particularly, agriculture and irrigation. So in the preparation of the Budge we should know by what measuring gauge by which we shall distribute the amount to respective areas. I think there is no indicator. But it is not enough simply to say that we have no indication but there is mention that we have divided the amount. It is not known how the Finance Minister has allotted the fund without having any indicators in different districts with different necessities. Sir, in this respect I wish to say that our State is, no doubt, more backward than any other parts of India and even in our State itself there are more backward areas than other areas. As for example, Garo Hills is more backward than Khasi Hills. So, the eyes of the Government should be on those backward areas, where endeavour should be made to bring these people of those areas in such a way so that they may be brought to the standard or to the per capita income level of India by the year 1981. Until we give this emphasis on the backward condition of our people. I do not think it will be possible to bring them to that standard even within 1991. So this emphasis should have been mentioned in this speech. We are also backward amongst most backward places of the district for which we must give emphasis but this was not included in the speech.

Capt WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) : That was mentioned in the Governor's Address.

*Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN : Sir, I think that it would be seen that Garo Hills is more backward than the Khasi Hills and the difference o the amount is more backward than the Khasi Hills and the difference of the amount is between Garo Hills and Khasi Hills should have been fifty lakhs or more. Sir, these things of course, are not mentioned. I came to know from my friend, and I too, if I remember aright, this there is a draft plan outlay formulated by the Planning Committee this there is a draft plan outlay formulated by the Planning Committee that they were making a scheme for fisheries and there is mention of the amount. If I remember correctly and I shall try to find out the paper and bring them to the House tomorrow.

        That it has been written about the fishermen that there is no community in Meghalaya as in other parts of the country. This has been written in the preface of the fishery planning. I am sorry Sir, justice has been denied to the small fraction of the community. It is very serious thing. This is so in Garo Hills, of course and I do not know about Khasi Hills. The Leader of the Treasury Bench and the Chief Minister himself knows how many villages and there are particularly by caste or profession. The Chief Minister visited the villages, viz. Phulbari etc. It has been felt that perhaps what I feel that whenever a scheme is to be made today, we should know the difficulties of the people. The people of Garo Hills know the difficulties and their problems. The figures of the fishermen community had been taken during the Census of 1961. So, Sir, these are known problems. Our officers may be new but the leaders who are here have also some knowledge of the position of the State of Meghalaya. Sir, I would simply say that firstly there should be a joint Administration. Although we do not have any indication of the joint Administrative set up, whether in the State or in the District Council. So far as Assam Re-organisation is concerned there is a Planning Department. In Planning Department also there is a Planning Committee, which could also have a picture of composition and equilibrium and the membership of each District and District Council

Capt WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) : Fisheries, as a matter of fact fall entirely under the State Gernment but fund is allotted for the development of fisheries through the District Council.

*Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN : Now, Sir, I shall come to a very vital question. This is regarding primary education. In the budget Speech it has been said that the primary education is to be administered by the District Council. So Gernment will give assistance to them by financing but it has not been mentioned whether they will help by deputing inspecting staff or no. Although the primary education is particular administered by the District Council, the State Government cannot shrink their responsibility as well. there are of course, some handicaps in improving the primary education and there are so many demands from the District Council. So far I remember it was agreed that the inspecting staff must be at the disposal of the District Council for improving the lot of the primary education

        It was a unanimous demand from us that the inspecting staff must be placed at the disposal of the District Council for improving of the standard of primary education. The standard of education must be uplifted. In the field of primary education where the District Council are the masters, we find that the teachers do not care for the Sub-Inspectors of Schools. This is the position. If this is the position and the teachers are made free to act according to their own will, I am afraid, Sir, the standard of education will fall. One thing, Sir, I have heard that a new policy is going to be adopted by the Government of India in respect of Class IV and the primary stage from the next year. Class IV will be attached to the primary section. So, Sir, I may point out that this thing should be studies so that teachers should not be allowed to act in that way.

        Sir, one thing, I used to say that in education in the present set up there are schools, primary, M.E. and High Schools, Primary Schools are upto Class III. There are some places where M.E. and High Schools are there and different grants are coming from different heads. I think, Sir, it would be better that in places where the M.E. and High Schools are existing then the M.E. Schools should be amalgamated from Class IV to X. If it is amalgamated in that respect, the control and standard of Education, building and inspection will be much improved with less expenditure. We want economy. That is why, I put forward to the Government to consider the matter. 

Mr. SPEAKER :- In places where there are Schools, Basic and High Schools, what is you suggestion?

*Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not going to that. But in rural areas there are so many things. I would like to suggest that the control of the institution, expenditure on buildings and other grants would have been much minimised and the standard would automatically improve. Sir, I think, we have taken a Resolution in this House that there should be a Hills University and it is up to the Government of India and Meghalaya Government when the implementation will be given effect to. I do not know, Sir, what steps have been taken by the Government for the students of Meghalaya to have seats in Medical College, Agriculture College in Assam and what is the proportion for allotment of seats in Engineering College in Assam for our Students. This important thing has not been mentioned in the budget speech. As you know, Sir, Agricultural College, Medial College and Engineering College are under the control of the Assam Government. I appeal to the Government to see that many of our students may get seats and privileges in the field of technical education. Negotiation should be stated quickly so that we get our own University.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, one of my friend has just pointed out about the question of tribal and non-tribal. I think it should be treated as Meghalayan and Non-Meghalayan. It is not a question of tribal and non tribal but Meghalayan and Non Meghalayan. In that respect, I think that there are many things that these private sector industries should also help. We have not got any indication or any proposal for setting up of public sector industry except the Cement Factory at Cherrapunjee. We have not seen any indication whether our economy should be in a capitalistic or socialistic form. When I say socialistic I mean socialist division of wealth and in what w\term we can define it. The other day the Leader of the House was very prompt to give a reply that there are so many people speaking in socialistic tone but failed to act on it. So, Sir, the question of employment should be viewed from two angles. One if the establishment of industries either by the Government or by the private enterprisers. It is also very difficult for the Government to make any reservation to certain class of people. there is a tendency that in order to have better administration, there should be open competition in order to man our different Departments. Why I say this and how? Suppose a person is ill. We do not simply say that he is sick. But what we do? We go to doctors to find out the disease - where the disease lies, whether the whole body  has been affected by that disease-whether its affects is in the lungs or in the heart. then we get the treatment from the doctor to remove the disease. As the whole body is affected by the disease similarly in the case with the question of employment. Now if any part of the population is affected for the lack of opportunities in the matter of employment , we must give facilities to that portion of the population - whether tribal or non-tribal. So, we are to treat this employment question in such a way to find out who suffer most. Because in the open competition, they may not come forward to compete with others. In order to qualify themselves in the open competition, they also require proper nourishment. I think, in this way, if the Government can give emphasise on the employment question just as we give treatment to the limbs of the body, we can have some reservation of posts for employment of the people who are more backward in matters of education. In this way, the growth of the population would also be a healthy one. With this end in view, Sir, I would make a conclusion that whatever might be the criticism here - because we are also new just as the Government is new - my thinking, thought not a matured one, is that some provision should be made for the upliftment of the people at this stage. Sir, most unfortunately, one important factor has totally been omitted here in the speech. That is the question of flood. In the Governor's Address there was also no mention of flood.

Capt WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- We are considering the question of tackling the flood in Garo Hills.

Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN : I am coming to that point, Sir, Although the Government has mentioned in the last part of the Speech about the question of flood, yet there is no mention of any measure to control the floods. For this reason we are making the people who are affected by the flood to live on the relief, given. Therefore, control of floods is essential. Whatever the Government may say the fact remains that thousands of families are affected this time. But whether relief is given from the Government or from any other source, it is a questions of begging. And I do not think that the Government of Meghalaya would like to see a portion of its population as beggars for eternity. Of course the Government has no magic lamp as "Alla-Uddin's lamp', yet I would have been very  glad if there is a hope and a thinking for the control of flood. It is not sufficient on the part of the Government to give relief only at the time of floods. But what is more important is the question of control of floods which unfortunately id not find place in the budget speech.

Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister P.W.D.) :- May I give some enlightenment to the hon. Member regarding this question of control of floods? This is a common subject i.e. Flood Control. We are not preparing a scheme for the whole flood area to be taken up with the Government of India. That is the reason why we did not think it wise to mention say anything about control  of floods here in the budget speech because, as I said, Flood control is a common subject between the Government of Assam and the Government of Meghalaya. That is why it does not find a place here.

Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN :- Yes, Sir, I understand that the matter has been taken up with the Government of Assam. But i there is some indication as to the measure to be taken, I would have been happy.

Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister P.W.D.) :- It is the prescription you need !

Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN :- Yes, so that I can go to the doctor for medicines with the prescription. If I take medicines without prescription who knows. I may die. So, I agree with the Hon'ble Minister that the prescription is not there. For this reason, I am thinking within myself that when the people will enquire of me after the session as to the Government's stand in this matter of flood control and if I tell them that the Government is trying to control the floods I am afraid that will be misleading the people.

Capt WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- For that you may please wait for the reply from the Government.

Mr. SPEAKER :- The people will see the proceedings of the House and the clarifications by the Minister.

Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN :- Afterwards, perhaps the Minister will say that they have forgotten to mention about this as it happened with the Finance Minister this morning when he corrected the number of liquor shops. However, I am glad that at least there is a ray of hope coming to fulfill the aspiration of the people.

        Sir, one thing I want to point out here. Now-a-days there is a lot of talk as to what will be the position of Meghalaya with Assam. This is also known to you after the declaration of Manipur and Tripura as full-fledged States. therefore, I am going over these matters again which you have taken up with the Government of Assam. Is it not?

Mr. SPEAKER :- That time will come.

Mr. AKRAMOZZAMAN :- I wish to see that our Government come with a resolution that floods must be controlled. Sir, with these words, I hope that the criticism which I made may not be taken in a different way but I am only highlighting the points which need the consideration of the Government in the matter of implementing the development plans and programmes of our State. Jai Hind.

Mr. SPEAKER :- Any other hon. Member? In view of the fact that the hon. Members are not ready-I do not know - unless and until they indicate to me - to participate in the discussion today, I think it is better to adjourn the House. I would request the Leader of the House and also Mr. Akramozzaman, leader of the Congress Group to give me the lists of participant tomorrow so that I can adjust the time of the House. Is it the sense of the House that today we adjourn the House?

Capt WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- As many hon. Members are not ready to participate in the discussion today, I would request you to adjourn the House till tomorrow in order to give them an opportunity to prepare themselves.

Shri. AKRAMOZZAMAN :- We have no objection.


Mr. SPEAKER :- The House stands adjourned till 10 A.M. tomorrow the 23rd September, 1970.


Dated Shillong,


the 22nd September 1970.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.