Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong, at 10 A.M on the 21st June, 1971 with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair.
(To which oral replies were given)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin with Starred Question No. 2.
Opening of Directorates in Meghalaya.
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
2. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state whether all the Directorate under Meghalaya Government have been opened?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- replied :
2. The Government have decided to create thirteen Directorates. Of these, ten Directorates have been established and steps are being taken to establish the remaining three Directorates.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Sir, may I know whether the Directorate of Supply which is very important one and the Directorate of Survey are in the list of those which have been opened ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- These are the Directorates :-
1. Directorate of Supply and Consumer Goods including :-
(a) Commissioner of Transport,
(b) Director of Tourism,
(c) Director of Inland Water Transport.
2. Directorate of Education includes :-
(a) Director of Technical Education.
(b) Director of Historical and Antiquarian Studies,
(c) Director of Sports and Youths Services,
(d) Social Welfare.
3. Directorate of Information and Public Relations :-
4. Commissioner of Taxes including :-
(a) Commissioner of Excise,
(b) Director of Small Savings,
(c) Superintendent of Stamps,
(d) Inspector General of Registration, and
(e) Registrar of Firms.
5. Directorate of Health Service including :-
(a) Inspector General of Prisons, and
(b) Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths.
6. Directorate of Civil Defence and Home Guards.
7. Directorate of Industries including -
(a) Director of Sericulture and Weaving.
N.B. - This Directorate will look after the administrative functions which would have been discharged by the Chief Inspector of Factories and Chief Inspector of Boilers.
8. Directorate of Minerals Resources.
9. Directorate of Agriculture including -
(a) Director of Veterinary,
(b) Director of Fisheries and
(c) Controller of Weights and Measures.
10. Conservator of Forest Including -
(a) Director of Soil Conservation,
(b) Director of Community Development, and
(c) Registrar of Co - operative Societies.
11. Chief Engineer, P.W.D (R & B) Including -
(a) Chief Engineer (PHE) and
(b) Director of Housing.
12. Director of Land Records.
13. Directorate of Economics and Statistics.
Mr. Speaker :- The question of the hon. Member was whether the Directorate of Survey and the Directorate of Supply have been opened. ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, Sir, these have been included in the list.
Shri Witherson Momin :- May I know from the Government whether any separate cadres for these Directorates have been created. ?
Mr. Speaker :- That is outside the main question.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- May I know when the Government is going to set up the Directorate of Statistics ?
Mr. Speaker :- The Directorate of Statistics is included in the list.
Shri Choronsing Sangma :- May I know whether the Government have made any mention decision to open a Directorate of Relief and Rehabilitation ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is included in the list of and the work is done under the Social Welfare Department.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdon :- May I know whether the Government is going to open a Directorate of Accounts ?
Mr. Speaker :- The Finance Minister has already replied to that in the last Session. Please go through the proceedings of the house.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- At present we have entrusted this work to a Special Officer under section 61 (b) of the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act.
(To which replies were laid on the Table)
Requisition of Tribal Employees from Government of Assam.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh asked :
8. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
(a) Whether the Government is aware that there are tribal employees under the Government of Assam still working at Gauhati ?
(b) If, So whether any steps have been taken for requisitioning them to our State ?
(c) If the answer is in the affirmative when Government is going to requisition them ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- replied ;
8. (a) - Yes.
(b) and (c) - The services of some of the tribal employees working in Gauhati under the Assam Government have been secured. While it may not be possible to absorb all of them under this Government, their cases are considered whenever vacancies arise with due to regard to their experience and qualifications.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- May I know whether the Government is aware at the time of filling up vacancies in many Departments under the Meghalaya Government, many people who are in Gauhati and are qualified have not been appointed in Meghalaya ?
Shri P. R. Kyndiah :- Sir, May I know, apart from experience and qualification of those persons who are at Gauhati whether any other consideration from humanitarian point of view was taken into consideration as these employees are at present suffering hardship there.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Such consideration is given by the Government. But in this connection , it is not possible to absorb all the tribal employees who have to go to Gauhati. At the same time, in this connection, it is not the policy of the Government that all the vacancies that are available for the Government of Meghalaya should be filled up by the existing employees. Therefore, we have to be guided by that policy.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Sir, the question was that according to the reply made here, it is not possible to absorb all the people with past experience and qualification. But my question was whether any extra concession was given to the women employees who have been sifted there and are suffering hardship ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Extra consideration should be within the Government policy.
Dr. S.C Deb :- May I know whether the Government of Meghalaya is taking the same attitude to the Meghalayan employees who are living in the Meghalaya State. ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- As far as the Government is concerned, everybody in Meghalaya is considered as Meghalayans and they are supposed to have equal share in administration and other matters.
Shri Rokendro Dkhar :- Is Government aware that in the case of one employee who is working under the Flood Control Department who has been requisitioned by our Government, that the file is missing. ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I am not aware of that.
Mr. Speaker :- So, let us come to unstarred question No. 9
Number of Directorates in Meghalaya
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh asked :
9. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state :-
(a) How the many Directorate have been established for the Government of Meghalaya ?
(b) What is the procedure in appointment of staff in the said Directorates ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- replied
9. (a) - Ten.
(b) - Normally the services of officers, are obtained from the Government of Assam. If, however, no suitable persons are available with that Government, the service of the officers are secured from other sources, viz. the Government of India and autonomous bodies, etc.
As regards staff, the Superintendents and Upper Division Assistants are generally taken from Assam and in same cases from the Government of India on deputation. The Lower Division Assistants, Typists and Grade IV employees are taken from Assam at 70 per cent, 80 per cent and 30 per cent respectively of the posts in Meghalaya and the remaining 30 percent , 20 per cent and 10 per cent respectively by direct recruitment.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will come to Unstarred Question No. 9.
Whether the Government is aware that requisitions of Lower Division Assistants, Typists, and Grade IV in some of the Departments in Meghalaya have exceeded by 70 per cent, 80 per cent and 30 per cent ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I require notice.
Mr. Speaker :- Now let us come to the next item in today's list of the business. May I request the Chief Minister to lay the Meghalaya Subsidiary Force Ordinance, 1971 (Meghalaya Ordinance No. 4 of 1971).
Laying of Ordinance.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I beg to lay the Meghalaya Subsidiary Force Ordinance, 1971.
Mr. Speaker ;- Now let us come to Item No. 3 in today's list of business. May I request the Chief Minister to beg leave to introduce the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) Amendment) Bill, 1971.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Prevention of Disqualifications (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. This question is that leave be granted to introduce the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 1971, The motion is carried.
The Chief Minister to introduce the Bill ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I beg to introduce the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Prevention of disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 1971 be introduced. The motion is carried. (The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
General Discussion on the Budget.
Let us come to item No.4 of Today's list of business that is, the general discussion on Budget.
Shri Witherson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with thanks to the Minister in charge of Finance who took pains to being to light our voluminous Meghalaya State Government Budg4et for the year 1971-72 and with full satisfaction at the success, I today stand to participate in the Budget discussion.
To start with I feel like talking about, the and dwelling at length on, the receipt side. To me as a lay man it is something like an Alphabet to a Kindergarten School going child as according to me it is one of the technical works. Inspite of my best efforts to catch its head and tail, I should confess the inadequacy of my knowledge of it. However, whatever my humble way of learning gave me should find expression tight or wrong on this floor. What most disappointed and frustrate me is that the bottom statement indicated the beginning of the life of our Meghalaya Government with no single farthing as cash in a hand. What a mysterious start from the scratch. It is a challenge to a newly - born baby and child either to die or to survive by all means as if by the mercy of Nature and Nature and alone.
To enter in to the discussion stage proper, I may concern myself with the statement, made at the bottom of the Explanatory Memorandum of the Budget Estimates of the Government of Meghalaya for 1971-72. The Statement referred to above said 'The year 1970-71 which opened with a balance of Rs. 98,78 lakhs closed with a balanced of Rs. 70,66 lakhs. The deficit for the current year is Rs. 130,20 lakhs excluding the opening balance'. From this statement it necessarily follows that Rs. 70,66 + Rs. 130,20., i.e. Rs. 200,86 lakhs will be an inevitable deficit at the close of the current financial year.
This is just a phenomenon of responsibility to rest on the shoulder of either A or B or C. or better substitute M for B so that now they are either A or M of C instead, for their easier identification. M has two children born to her and they are A and M. These two particular children are either quarrelsome on the slightest pretext or interlocked in love. Now let us examine the issue. During the entire course of examination, be it borne in mind that A is the first born child and M is the last one of their mother between whom may intervene many others whose cases let me say, are out of picture for our present concern. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the abrupt idea of all my talks in this direction as above is to refer to the assets and liabilities of poor last born M in the claim of A the first born. It is just here where I am lost as if in the labyrinth. It is now up to the Government of Meghalaya to acquaint the House with the happenings at the stage of financially transitional period apart from all other matters.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when such was the state of things that just prevailed in between A and M, what about C, their suckling ? Please pardon me for questioning this. My question or query of this sort does not express mistrust in her. Rather I am inclined to thank her for her appreciation of the difficulties both her children were in.
But there in the circumstances what would our mother, the Central Government do to solve the problem of financial tension this Government is facing today. Will she deny us the sucking of her breast for our flesh and blood or expose us to the mercy of nature for our survival, planned growth, progress and prosperity. Other wise there is every doubt how a neglected baby and child will grow and behave; implying that to expect from Meghalayans the production of useful sincere and devotee citizens in a vast country like our India, may be anything else adversely. The Government of India may take serious note of it from the sense of responsibility for the birth of Meghalaya that had taken place under the provisions of the Constitution and adequately finance the baby State of ours though the Finance Commission.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the statuary grant under the Finance Commission Award from which only Rs. 297,00 lakhs is expected badly needs enhancement and the said commission may be moved to that by our Government at the earliest possible.
Dependence on the Central Government alone for the years to come will not place the administration of our years to come will not place the administration of our Meghalaya Government on sound and stable footing. We should also, as Meghalayans make an effort to tap our internal resources that can reliably and permanently afford to give us our own sources or of revenue. It is indisputably correct that our homeland constitution the State of Meghalaya is rich in mineral resources and fertile in soil with the abundant means of irrigation for all practical purpose in various agricultural fields. If therefore this Government takes upon herself the task of exp0loring the mineral and agricultural potentialities through the experts, the stretching out of our begging bowl will be saved sooner or later. Therefore, I consider it our bounden duty to enslave and utilise the natural resources for purpose of our revenue at no distant date and become self - sufficient.
The deficit of Rs. 200,86 lakhs is quite an index to the hardest, sincerest and most honest effort of our Government for the achievement of an objective behind our long patient and peaceful struggle for the Hill State and for the fulfillment of the people's aspirations all along in the shortest possible time to come. Hence this result of gigantic deficit soaring up to more than Rs. 23 crores. It is a pity that our Government inspite of her continued efforts to pursued the Centre on this matter succeeded below mark. I for the one hold that the continuation of the close-fisted ness, on the part of the Centre will delay our progress and prosperity. This attitude of the Central authorities if it obstinately exists at all in the Financial Cell, will give us our goal in 20 years time what can be given in a period of 10 years. There is, therefore, an absolute necessity for the Finance Commission and the Central Government as a whole to be alive to this burning problem of our baby Government and in this burning problem of our baby Government and in this context rush a generous financial help at her own initiative, apart from the question of being approached by ourselves with our empty begging bowl time and again. The Government of India will do very well to embrace Meghalaya at her breast, fondle and caress us on her lap and help grow at the accelerated rate of pace to bring us at par with advanced propels living in other parts of pave to bring us as par with advance peoples living in other parts of India, in the shortest possible time. Let the all round backwardness of the people in Meghalaya as whole not linger under the dynamic leadership of our present Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Allow us to have a share also in the taste of the so-called socialistic pattern of society for which we had all jointly fought hard in the last Lok Sabha general election
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on land revenue to I very much regret to say about the land revenue in Khasi and Jaintia Hills. I do not know very much about the land revenue system that is prevailing here. Here land revenue is no assessed and this has deprived the people of a chance to get loan advance and grant from the government. of Meghalaya. Last time we had industrial loans and this loan was distributed but because of the fact that I was ignorant of the land revenue that is prevailing in Khasi and Jaintia Hills at that time that loan was distributed. But the question that arises is how to recover these loans already distributed when there is not propose land tenure system. I do not know what is going to happen and to how the people will repay the loan to the Government. The land of the People of in Khasi Hills is fully under the control of the Syiem.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the hon. Member does not know about the land system in Khasi Hills.
Shri Witherson Momin :- Yes, Sir, I do not know.
Mr. Speaker :- If the persons fail to repay the loans Government will have to take possession of their lands they have already mortgaged to the Government. Government has every right to do so, if they fail to repay the loan. The Syiem does not have any land.
Shri Witherson Momin ;- Another Point Mr. Speaker, is education. We have Rs. 1.07.800 provided in the budget for hills allowances at Page 115 of this budget. It is a consolidated budget. There we have this amount, I do not know whether teachers and staff are given the due share or not from hills alone. I do not know whether the secondary schools, M.E. Schools are going to have a share in it.
Mr. Speaker :- It they are Government schools, they are entitled to get it.
Shri Witherson Momin :- Government or non - Government , I do not know about that. Mr. Speaker, Sir, then I come to public health. We have certain number of midwives and nurse in Garo Hills serving in the posts created by the Development Block. You know these people created by the Development Block. You know these people will remain rotten there if the Government of Meghalaya do not take the initiative to create posts for them, because the Block Development Officers though created these posts, are not in a position to help these poor people in the matter of their pay and allowances. This is due to the fact that the Government of Meghalaya did not take any action to entertain or accommodate these people under Meghalaya. So I would request the Government of Meghalaya to take the initiative to create posts to accomodate these midwives and nurses in Garo Hills . I do not know very much about the position in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills.
Now I come to agriculture , Mr. Speaker, Sir, i.e with regard to the sanctioning power of District Agriculture Officer, Normally the District Agriculture Officer was vested with powers to sanction upto Rs. 10,000 /- for irrigation bunds, etc. But unfortunately this year that particular power has been taken away from the district Agriculture Officer by the Directorate of Agriculture . According to the present formula of the Government the District Agriculture Officer has not been empowered to sanction a singly farthing from the Government of Department of Meghalaya. You will get the information abut that and this is my complaint. I therefore request Government to revise this order and empower the District Agriculture Officer to sanction upto Rs. 10,000 /-. I do not know why this year this power of District Agriculture Officer was taken away. So I would urge upon the Government to revise this and give powers to District Agriculture Officer at least to sanction up to Rs. 10,000 /- from the fund of the Department.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, now I come to road and communication in Garo Hills, I find that almost all the important villages in the district have no link and there are no roads linking them. I do not know what Government is doing to on this.
Then I come to co - operation, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already talked with the Secretary, Co - operation, Government of Meghalaya at Shillong that until and unless you create scope for training people to shoulder the responsibility in the matter of co - operatives, the question of having multiple number of co - operative societies is doing to be a mere waste. We know what is the happening in Garo Hills, Mr. Speaker, Sir. There are so many co - operative Societies, and also most all of them have become defunct now because of the lack of knowledge and skill in the line. Unless and until we have trained secretaries to man the offices of the co - operative Societies, marketing services, fishery and others, the societies shall become defunct. This I guarantee, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Momin, it seems that you are opposed to each and every policy of the Government.
Shri Witherson Momin :- I am opposed categorically. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am opposed, and I am afraid I must say that. unless you have trained secretaries to man the co - operative societies, then all the societies will become defunct.
Yes Sir, I am categorically opposed. I am hard against it. Let the Meghalaya Government man the co - operative Societies, otherwise all the societies will be defunct sooner or later. Then under Grant No. 67 I do not know why.. .. .. .. ... ...
Mr. Speaker :- You can speak on it at the proper time. There is a cut motion on this....
Shri Witherson Momin :- Very well, Sir, Now I come to agricultural loan. Under Grant 83, provision has been made that for agricultural loan, application forms should be prepared an made available to persons to avail of that agricultural loan. But every time I went over to Tura and asked the Deputy Commissioner in order to help the people who are willing to get this help, the reply from Deputy Commissioner in order to help the people who are willing to get this help, the reply from the Deputy Commissioner is always in the negative I do not know why the Meghalaya Government should make these forms for agricultural loan available for the people. But I do not know why the Government is lagging behind in this respect. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know why such a huge amount has been earmarked when there is no arrangement made by the Government and the people are deprived of the opportunity of getting loan. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know why the people who have got no land no cattle and nothing should be given agricultural loan. I want to be enlightened on this point.
Now, a very sad thing, very regrettable enough that I find in the Rongreng forest reserve, the trees have been felled mercilessly. They are not every put for auction sale. The trees are mercilessly felled and there is no hope for their regeneration.
Mr. Speaker :- How many minutes will you take ? Today is the last day for discussion on the Budget and I would like to give opportunity to other hon. Members.
Shri Witherson Momin :- Sir, I would require another five minutes. Now, Until and unless Government has got a programme to give benefit to the People what is the use of mercilessly felling the trees in the Rongreng forest reserve. These must be put to auction sale, so that we may get benefit. I do not know why the Forest Department of Meghalaya is not taking step in the behalf.
Another point, I would like to dwell on. This is about E. & D. Department I do not know what steps and measures have been contemplated by Government for E & D and sort of arrangements have been made for establishing E & D. Department.
With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Molendronath Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with you permission, I would like to make and observation on the Budget Speech. In the address delivered by the Governor at the Inaugural Session of the Assembly at Tura in 1970 he had informed the House that his Government would place before the Assembly a resolution enabling the setting up of a Central University in the Shillong area. Then, in his Budget Speech, the hon., Finance Minister on the 21st of September, 1970, referring to the Hills University again assured the House of the fact that the Meghalaya Government was taking necessary follow up action. This may be seen at page 16 and 17 of his speech. If is, however very very surprising to note in this year's Budget Speech not a single word has been said either on the Ventral University or the Hill University. I would therefore Like to know if this is an indication of our Government's surrender in respect of the proposed University. May we take the silence of the Government on this issue to be a hint of the fact that our Government has had indications from the Union Government that the latter have no intention from what so ever to establish the said University despite the clear and categorical recommendations of the Experts ?
I was indeed very happy when I heard the Governor stated, "My Government had moved the Government of India for declaring both the districts of Meghalaya as economically and industrially backward. I am glad to inform the House that the Government of India have accepted this proposal. As a result of this, concessions Institutional finance and outright grant or subsidy by the Centre will be available to entrepreneurs in this State" This statement made by the Governor is recorded at page 4 of the Address delivered in the March Session of 1971. But, I am again pained to note that the Hon'ble Finance Minister has said nothing on this point. Could it be that our Government to date has not been able to decide best to utilise the concession offered by Union Government ? If this be the position, I would urge the Government to be up and doing so that this backward State may develop industrially. This is especially necessary and urgent in view of the two crore deficit shown in this year's Budget.
Since I have made mention of the deficit in the Budget may I, Mr, Speaker, Sir, also take this opportunity of reminding the House and also the Government of the fact that one of main sources of revenue, that is, Shillong Town is still not within the Autonomous State of Meghalaya. The loss of revenue on this account would. I am sure, come to a very substantial amount. I would therefore suggest to our Government to find out ways and means of rectifying this anomaly. I just cannot understand why a town which is so completely within a State should be kept out of it even for the purposes of tax and revenue collection.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would take this opportunity recalling the fact that some 8 or 9 years ago, that is when the people of these Hills District were still struggling for creation of Hills State, some of our leaders had taken the trouble of collecting certain facts and figures. As a result of this research done, I was discovered that in a single financial year the Assam State Transport department has earned the net profit of 11 lakhs rupees from the Gauhati - Shillong route alone,. It may be interesting to also recall that during the said period the State Transport which incurred a loss of 8 lakhs rupees on account of the other routes over which the State Transport was plying its vehicles. Consequently the loss or deficit was covered by the revenue, earned from the Shillong - Gauhati route. This fact has naturally made me think that if Government is seriously concerned to gap or bridge the difference between the revenue and receipts and expenditure this year, it should would be highly advisable that Government seriously consider taking up the Shillong - Gauhati route, the Shillong - Khliehriat route, Shillong Cherra - Shella route and the Shillong - Dawki Tamabil route to and to ply its own vehicles on the said routes. I am convinced that if this step is taken the Government will not only be able to earn at least 20 lakhs rupees as revenue but it will also help to solve the problem of travelling publics who are today experiencing great hardship especially on the last 3 routes mentioned earlier.
While on the question of transport and travelling, I also take this opportunity of urging the Government to expire matters connected with the advertised airport at Umroi. This I believe will be another source of revenue both direct and indirect, by which Government can hope to further reduce the deficit.
Shri Justman Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Members who have spoken during three day's Budget discussion, have covered a lot of grounds and also the biggest aspects of the Budget. They have discussed about roads and buildings, municipal matters, road transport and others. As such, there is hardly any room for me to speak a new. I agree with their many observations and as you have already warned not to repeat the subject already spoken, I will therefore leave those subjects already dealt with by the hon. Members and I will try to deal with only certain things which I think have not been spoken by anybody and untouched by them. First of all I will deal with the item of cottage industries. The Hon. Member Mr. Johndeng Pohrmen, dealt with at full length but I believe he has left one thing which I consider very very important. It is the subject of installation of a distillation plant. The Hon. Finance Minister in his Budget Speech of the last September Session has mentioned about it, But nothing has been done within this financial year upto 31st March, 1971. I would request the Government to clarify the reasons as to why this installation plant could not be taken up. I think, it is one of the simplest industries that we can imagine. It needs very simple machinery, tools and implements and the light material expected is the boiler. The Cinnamon Oil Factory will be composed of very simple machinery and what is needed is to get a plot of land, which is not at all difficult, and raw material ,which is also in abundance. We have got plenty of raw materials and the oil can be distilled. But already 6 months passed we do not know anything about it and there is no mention even in the Budget. I would therefore, request the Government to let this House know why this cottage industry could not be started.
Now I will come to the question of Hill University, as I had mentioned three months ago because as the hon. Members who have just said that this was mentioned before in the Governor's speech and was also mentioned in the Finance Minister's speech in the last September Session some provision was made for Rs. 50,000 and actually before that in the March Session we have passed a resolution and this resolution was sent to the Central Government so that they can pass a bill in the Parliament.
What I know about the further action on this line is that the Government probably constituted a Committee for location of the University. During the year that Committee went round and made a survey of the sites. I happened to be one of the Members of the Committee and we selected a site which we consider to be the best and suitable for the location of the University. But after that we heard nothing more about it and there is no mention about it in the Finance Minister's speech. No amount has also been provided against it. We all know the plight of the Meghalayan students in the plains, where various inconveniences are there due to factors of climate and present language policy of the State Government of Assam. You might knew what had happened recently in the Jorhat Agricultural College due to certain feuds and trouble between students of certain communities. The Meghalaya students had to come away leaving their schools and classes before the classes of the University actually close and they are still here. All parents - the Parents of the Meghalaya students-sent their children to the plains not to be beaten black and blue but to receive learning and acquire knowledge. But the plight or the conditions under which they are living now are far from being happy. I do not know what is the difficulty in establishing the University soon. Is it the absence of multi- storeyed concrete buildings and can we not start the University without those buildings? The Old Universities in the past centuries like to Taxila University, Nalanda University and Kalinga University were not housed in multi storied concrete buildings. They were housed in hutments.
Mr. Speaker :- Even the modern Viswa-Bharat University.
Shri Justman Swer :- Yes. It is a simple building and was not a grand building, University implies imparting of knowledge and education to the students. Look at the Union Christian College at Barapani. It started in a very humble way but it has produced many graduates and it is thriving well and well coming up. I think if the Government pursues the matter, we can start the University with some arrangement which may no be very gaudy but simple.
Now I will come to another item.. .. ... .. . .
Mr. Speaker :- What I cannot understand is that the hon. Member has said that there is no difficulty to establish a University.
Shri Justman Swer :- We can start classed and lectures anywhere even in small houses.
Mr. Speaker :- That is a different subject matter. If the University is to be established under the Act of the State Legislature , then we can do it right away. But it is to be the Central University, it has to take a long process.
Shri Justman Swer :- I want the Government to be more energetic so that we can have the University as soon as possible.
I will come now to the next item Forests. I feel very disappointed when I find that the provision of money under this head is very very meager and most inadequate. The need for the creation of reserved forests is very badly felt in the hills district. You know that water supply has suffered, the streams which used to carry a lot of water had defied up and the water is found in them only during the rains and all is due to the dwindling of forest in these hills. The Finance Minister in his speech has mentioned that our aim is to gradually increased the forest to the national standard of 60 per cent. The amount provided during this financial year is Rs. 2,83,000/- against the item of creation of new forests. The area of Meghalaya is about 10 thousand square miles and if we are to build up forests to the national standard of 60 per cent. We need 6000 square miles of area under forests. The amount sanctioned is Rs. 2, 83,000/- only. If we start acquiring land, and I am talking from the yard stick of Khasi and Jaintia Hills and from the necessity of making payments for acquiring areas and that amount has been evaluated by the Deputy Commissioner of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the cost comes to about Rs. 400/- per acre for payment of compensation. Now if Rs.400/- is to be spent for acquiring land for creation of reserved forests, it will be getting with this provided amount only 700 acres a year. That means less than two squares miles and if we are to reach the standard of 6000 squares miles at 2 square miles a year, it will take 3000 years to reach the national standard.
For that reason I must say that the Government should be more thoughtful on this subject, which is very important and should give more attention and more consideration and more weightage towards providing bigger amounts under this item in the future budgets.
Last of all I will say something on the subject of Primary Schools. The Government , the State Government as we all know has entrusted the control over the primary schools to the District Councils. I will only relate some of the difficulties and the present troubles which the District Councils are suffering on this account. The Government does not provide sufficient funds for the employment of additional teachers of the Erstwhile Government Lower Primary Schools, the Junior Basic Schools in spite of the increase number of students every year. That is the first difficulty that we are facing due to the Government not providing funds against this requirement. The second difficulty is that when the primary schools were transferred to the District Councils two categories of teachers were transferred. In the first category are Government teachers wholes posts have been made permanent and in the second category are temporary teachers. While the pension of these teachers is being provided by the Government of the State by setting aside enough and adequate funds against the requirement but there is no such provision against the temporary teachers with the result that the District Councils have been put into great difficulties with their meagre funds to make them permanent. The people are nowadays very conscious of their lives. I am afraid that if this matter is not taken seriously, the situation may be out of control. Another difficulty that we are facing now is that according to the Das Award the Government employees are getting ad-hoc D.A of Rs. 20 /- per month and an exgratia of Rs. 6 per month with effect from the 1st of April, 1969 . Bu we wrote to the Government in the Education Department for a similar payment to the schools teachers, we got a letter from the Director of Public Instruction (Hills) that he does not agree to that payment. This has brought about a great discontentment amongst teachers and I am afraid that if we do not reconsider this matter, it might of out of our hands. We are also finding difficulties in the meeting or paying the substitutes for teachers who go on leave with the result that if there is only one teacher in the school , that schools has to be closed down because the teacher has gone on leave. We have no money to pay for a substitute and this is the situation which is far from being satisfactory and I would like to draw the attention of the Government to that effect.
Lastly as far as Primary Schools are concerned, I wish to draw the attention of the Government to the Governor's Speech, when he opened the March Session last year and saying like this "As Primary education in the State is under the control of the District Councils, the services of the Sub-Inspectors of Schools are being placed at the disposal of the District Councils to ensure better co - ordination and more effective inspection of the schools. Steps are being taken to constitute an Experts' Committee to examine the various aspects relating to education.' I am afraid that even after three months nothing has been done.
Mr. Speaker :- The Governor's Address is not in March Session, but in the inaugural Session in April 1970.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- If it is in March Session. It is this year.
Shri Justman Swer :- It is in March Session 1971. Any way , I hope the Government will implement this decision. Well, these are the few points which I like to place before the House and before I sit down I would express my thanks to the Finance Minister for the sincere and honest attempt to produce his budget. We know no budget in the world is foolproof welcome and accepted by every body. At the same time the budget defects may be here and there for all purpose of the Government machinery to function, I know that this budget will be passed. Once again I thank the Finance Minister and as we know, the criterion of success is not what one produces but it depends on something on the honest and sincere attempt to produce something and on that context I thank him very much.
Shri Singjan Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your kind permission I take the opportunity to participate in the discussion of the budget which has been placed by the Hon'ble Finance Minister for the year 1971-72. Going through the contents of the Budget Speech and also the detailed estimates and demand for different grants appears to be not a bright one because there is a landslide deficit in the budget for this current year in comparison with the last year's budget. This is the reason why I believe that the Finance Minister himself expressed his unhappiness in presenting the budget with an over all deficit. But whatever the case may be, whether there is deficit or surplus budget the budget passing will be one after another without much difficulties (Laughter).. The Finance Minister at the very outset of his speech has mentioned about unhappy happenings in East Bengal. And if the speaker kindly permits me to speak about the said happenings only for reference, I will speak something.
Mr. Speaker :- Do you want to speak about refugees problem or about the while situation in East Bengal I have received a notice from one hon.. Member of a motion to discuss on the matter and I have fixed the date tomorrow.
Shri Singjan Sangma :- Then I think it will be better to leave I for tomorrow. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the Budget there are mainly two aspects. We are to see from the income side and the expenditure side. Now, before passing this Budget for this current year, I think it is time for us now to retrospect in a proper perspective whether the funds which have been allocated in the last year's Budget for different developmental programmes had been utilised in a proper way for the purpose for which they was meant. Whether any sign of increasing production, particularly food production is visible. Whether the poorest of the poor who are living in the most interior places of our State are actually deriving benefits from those funds, which have been spent by the Government Mr. Speaker, Sir, is we closely study and compare the amount of last year's Budget that has been spent by the Government for the various developmental programmes, with the production side particularly food production, it appears to be very discouraging and it is far from very satisfactory. The first and foremost task of the Government is to provide the basic necessaries of life like footing, housing clothing education, hearth and the like , so that everyone gets an equal opportunity for progress and hundreds and thousands of our people and children living in our State may get a chance to live a better life and to get the good things of life. Government should always lay emphasis on production, particularly on food production so that the improvement of economic conditions of the people can be made and thereby the standard of their living can be raised. With this end in view greater amounts of money are being spent by the Government for the development of agriculture which is the backbone of the State's economy. But it strikes my kind that tin spite of spending so much amount of money of increasing production, no sign of any increase of production can be visible uptil now. This is the reason why the Meghalaya State as a whole is still deficit and the same has been admitted by the Finance Minister in his budget speech. If these things go on in this way, I really cannot understand how we can march from one stage to another and achieve the ultimate goal. Different hon. Members have been speaking many things and are giving different suggestions as they feel fit and proper. But we are forgetting one of the basic factors, that is, the reasons and defects for which the developmental programme have failed. Until and unless we give thought to these very serious factors, by merely passing the Budget, and by discussion on the floor of the House, and by giving suggestions, are expecting. Now, I put forward a very important thing before the Government that a time has come to find out the main defects for which our developmental programmes got a set back. I personally feel that it is the duty of the Government to find out defects whether the defects lie on the administration or in the implementation or in the preparing the schemes. This is a diseases which stands in our way and proper diagnosis is necessary so that proper medicine can be administered in order to cure the disease. So I request the Government to give thoughts over this very important factor and find the defects and reasons for which the various developmental programmes are not coming out successful.
Now, one thing I would like to point out to the House that many people living in the border areas had started fish farms, Some of them have started at their won initiative and some are at the initiative of the Government itself. But I am sorry to inform the House that last time some of the persons who have constructed fishery tanks have submitted their applications to the District Fishery Officer, but so far my knowledge goes, the names of the persons who improvement or to continue the works have been committed. This is the reason why sometimes whenever people took up the schemes at the initiative of the Government and when they do not get the financial help which they deserve are usually disappointed. So I request the Minister in charge of Fisheries to give instruction, to revise the list of name of persons and thereby, select the deserving parsons so that the deserving persons may not be deprived for of getting such help. Another thing.. ... .. .. ... .. . ..
Shri Standley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Fisheries) :- For clarification, do I understand that the Member has said that some persons who received the aid are those who are not deserving and those persons who are deserving do not receive aid or no one received it ?
Shri Singjan Sangma :- The persons who have executed the fishery tanks and for which financial aid is necessary either for improvement of for completion of the works have submitted their applications but I am sorry to learn that even though their cases are genuine, such cases have not been considered and as such their names have not been included.
Shri Standley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Fisheries) :- Did somebody get ?
Shri Singjan Sangma :- Whether payment has been made this year or not I do not know.
Now, one hon. Member has mentioned about the setting up of the Hills University and last time it was mentioned the Governor's Address and even the resolution has been passed in this connection. But I do not know what action has been taken so far by the Government or whether the Government has abandoned the idea of setting up of the Hill University. I hope that in this connection the Minister in charge of Education may kindly enlighten us. Regarding Education, I would like to speak something. The grants in aids for improvement of education, either for construction of school buildings or for other things also, are being given by the Government in different forms and shapes. But in this respects what I would like to point out is that certain schools are getting such kind of aid, but there are some schools which are not getting such kind of aid for construction, or the school building. What I would suggest, particularly in the respect of construction of the school buildings is that Government should take it on the basis of category, that is, school buildings which have been started and not yet completed, sufficient money should be given for such cases in order to get such kind of schools buildings completed. But sometimes if can generally be seen that when the construction of buildings has been started and frames have been completed, but for want of money or not for getting necessary financial help from the Government , the wholes thing cannot be completed which brings deterioration of the buildings themselves. So I request the Minister in charge of education to see to these things and proper aid may kindly be given to such schools considering the progress of construction of school buildings.
Last time so far as I remember , it has been decided to take up some roads that is, one from Damalgiri to Boldamgiri and another from Garobadha to Selsela. But up till now no construction has been started. I do not know whether the Government is going to start the constructing of those roads this year or not or whether the Government has abandoned the idea of construction of said roads. In this respect so far I under stand , the representative has been sent to the Government has actually taken up the works or not. So I request the Minister in charge of P.W.D to take action as early as possible. I spoke about the facts and reasons for which our development programme could not come out successfully. In this respect, I want to point our one thing, that the Soil Conservation Department has taken up certain schemes that is both reclamation and terracing in four villages, under the Tebronggiri Pilot Project in the District of Garo Hills. So far my knowledge goes, money has been drawn for the acreage of about 160, but up till now the scheme has not yet been completed and I do not know whether full payment has been made for non - completion of works. If it is correct and if it is going on in this way, how can we expect that ever by spending huge amount of money we can increase production.
And another thing, most probably, one of our hon. Members from Garo Hills mentioned about the thing and just to remind the Government, I want to speak a few words. Last time a question has been put, and so far my knowledge goes, the representations from the people of Baghmara area goes have been sent to the Government in order to transfer the Block Development Officer., How far it is correct, I do not know, that even telegrams from the Government have been sent to the concerned Block Development Officer, to hand over the charge of the Block Development Officer. But I really cannot understand why up till now the Block Development Officer, is still at Baghmara. Personally, I have nothing to say against him. But I am speaking from the administrative point of view only. If in spite of representations made by the people and if the decision has been made by the Government itself to transfer the said Block Development Officer, why up till now the decision could not but implemented.
So, far as I remember, when the Hon'ble Minister in charge of Agriculture and Industries came to Garo Hills on the 26th January, 1971 and visited Baghmara, the same ting has been represented and by the people. But in spite of that, I really cannot understand the reason why the Government is not in a position to transfer the said officer. It has now created a feeling in the minds of the people that if the Meghalaya Government is not in a position to transfer one Block Development Officer from one place to another. How this Government will run the administration of the State as a whole effectively ?
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister Finance) :- May I intervene Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have informed earlier that this officer has been transferred and he is on leave and some other officer has taken charge of Baghmara.
Shri Singjan Sangma :- Thank you, Sir, our is a backward State and I appeal, to the Government that whatever we do and whatever scheme Government may take up for the benefit of the State as a whole, but until and unless we sincerely do the things and strengthen the administration then we cannot expect to get the real benefits that we are expecting. My appeal to the Government is that if we cannot change or channelise the minds of the people in the right direction for more co operation for more production, then whatever administrative reform there may be their progress may be the same as it is , So I appeal to the Government to seriously consider this aspect for the development and improvement of the people and to make the State march forward and to infuse the spirit of honesty in the minds of the people and to carry out the various programmes in a vigorous way in order to achieve the target.
Shri Samarendra Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the last two days the hon. members of this august House were discussion the Budget estimates for the year 1971-72 and expressing views from different angles.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that the Finance Minister and also the Departments concerned had taken all possible measures and have explored everything in course of the preparation of the Budget. I feel it is encouraging and justified in the case of an Autonomous State like ours which is in its initial stage. I sincerely and honestly appreciate the endeavour and labour of our Finance Minister and the Departments concerned. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am fully aware of the resources at the command of our Government at present and the difficulties and handicaps that our Government is facing in the present administrative set up as an Autonomous State due to the inherent defects in the Assam Re - organisation Bill itself. I believe with the attainment of statehood all these difficulties, and handicaps will be removed and the pace of development will be quicker and wider. It is the earnest expectation of the entire population of this Autonomous State also, that the Government of India will introduce the Bill for the full state hood of Meghalaya in the current session of parliament.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a deficit of Rs. 200.86 lakhs and in 1970-71 the deficit was Rs.70.66 lakhs. It indicates that the deficit has risen to two folds this Year. It indicates that the deficit has risen to two folds this year. It was not possible on the part of the Government to avoid such deficits and such become a necessity since our Government of the actually intended to deliver a the required goods to the people of the State. Here we see the intention and determination of the Government to move the proper authority for acquired financial assistance.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as stated by the Finance Minister the scope for mobilising additional resources at this stage of the State is very much limited and the Government is going to put its sustained efforts to raise the additional yield from the resources under the existing measures of taxation and also going to exercise economy where ever possible. This is a clear indication that the Government intends to the be self reliant in future. But I fear it will help to reduce the deficit gap to some extent only. We believe that the Finance Commission and the Government of India will provide the required financial assistance , considering the backwardness of this border State and I believe this will help to tide over the deficit considerably. At this initial stage such financial assistance for this Autonomous State is unavoidably and needed and I am quite definite that the Government is determined to exploit the unexplored resource in future at the right moment.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I find that there is no proposal for new taxation in the State and I feel Government has very realistic and practical approach in this respect. Some Hon. Members of this august House suggested that the Government should have proposed now taxation which would add to the State's exchequer. I think at present there is no such scope and this would not help us much. I believe Government will take approprit3 measure in this regard in right opportune time.
It is learnt that the Government has decided to set up a force known as Meghalaya Subsidiary Force and an Ordinance to this effect has already been promulgated I have seen in the different camps of the East Bengal evacuees in our border areas very limited Police personnel working day and night. In spite of their best effort they are not always in a position and to cope with the matter. It is an overwhelming and humanly impossible task for them. I think Government had a serious thinking in this respect and the and the Subsidiary Force will be helping the Police personnel greatly to maintain order and discipline in relief camps besides their other duties.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is giving grants to District Council for various schemes such as Rural Communication, Re-grouping of villages under model village schemes, Rural Water Supply,, etc. and the respective District Council carry out or implement those schemes in their respective jurisdiction. But the most regretful thing is that such granted are made available to the District Council at the fact end of the year. Last year such grants were made available to the Garo Hills District Council even on the 24th or 25th of March. I request the Government to be very particular in this so that all these grants are made available to the District Councils in sufficient time ahead so that they can properly utilise the amounts.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it also depressed us to leant that some Departments surrendered a considerable amount without utilizing it. I feel Government should be up and doing to see why such surrender occurred and take proper action so that such surrender can be avoided as far as practicable. Such cases have disappointed many of our people in the State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that our Government has not yet given proper attention in the matter of leprosy in our State. The general apprehension is that leprosy cases are increasing in our State. The affected persons are passing their days in a deplorable state without any medicals help and other assistance. I request the Government to start a survey in this respect and to ascertain the number of such affected persons, parts of Meghalaya affected most, the cause of it, what sorts of medical and other assistance should be tackled from now on. In my area under Sanna Laskar, Dinapara, Darugiri and Slamanpara, in these villages many such affected persons are passing their days miserably. Particularly, I draw the attention of the Government to Nagalpara village under the dame Laskar, where the entire village affected. They are living in a compact village and passing their days in a miserable way without any medical help or other assistance., I request the Government to look into this matter and to examine how best Government can help these large numbers of our affected people.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I now like to draw the attention of the Government of the subjects mentioned below and request the Government to take measures as may be necessary.
(a) District Research Station at Sangsangiri Garo Hills, which was stated 4 years before comprising an area of 100 acres, Research works, on various agricultural crops such as Hills paddy, Ginger, Cotton, Vegetables are being carried out there. But as there are no arrangement for water supply and electricity, the Research works ate being handicapped . The fields are not fenced and no arrangement for staff quarters is yet made. I request the Government to look into it.
(b) The P.W.D Road from Ampati to Mahendraganj is in a very bad state, no proper drainage channels, no gravels are kept ready by the road side, some bridges of course are there but they are small ones, are supposed to be not reliable and at any moment the plying of vehicles may to be reliable and at any moment the plying of vehicles may be obstructed and this will create a very serious situation in my area. I mention here this matter because two refugee camps are at Kalaipara and the other at Patijira already constructed by the side of the road and I learn that a 3rd camp is going to be constructed by the side of the same road. Some 15/18 thousand, evacuees are going to be sheltered there, their food - stuff and all medical help are to be carried to the camp site. So if in any case 2/3 days plying of buses and trucks is stopped, the entire camps will be in the trouble, I request the P.W.D Minister to instruct the respective officers so that adequate precautions are taken immediately.
(c) Payment in respect of 5/6 numbers of pucca bunds under Zigzak Block is yet pending. It was out of the fund which was sent to the District Agricultural Officer last year and the work were done under the supervisions of the Block Development Officer, Zigzak. The Block Development Officer said that the bunds were constructed properly and are in tact and the District Officer is to take measurement and he is an the man to make the payment. I request the Agriculture Minister to look into this matter. Such unnecessary delay in making the payment after the completion of the works will not help our people much.
(d) One public call office at Mahendraganj, that is a phone line is very much essential. Last occasion also, I touched this mater. Even the existing phone, which is being used by the Postal Department only has not yet been utilised for public purpose as suggested by me. It is an essential one at the most thickly populated border disturbed area, the advanced place where so many Government Department exists, I do not know whether in other places like Phulbari, Baghmara, Dalu the public have taken phones, 13/14 numbers in each place. If not , I do not understand that at first they are to subscribe 13/15 numbers of phones. I heard that at present at Sibbari also a phone arrangement is going on. I do not know how many persons are already subscribing to it. I request the Government to expedite the matter.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we understand Government alone can do nothing. In order to reach our goal the active participation of the people in all developmental activities is very much required. Hard - working with devotion and determination is required., Co - operation between the public and the different Government Departments is required. In every State there are so many problems. In the Case of an Autonomous State like ours, it is more true and before I conclude, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I express my thanks to you for giving me a chance for discussion.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, lastly I intend to endorse the view-points of our Hon'ble Deputy Speaker which he has expressed in regard to the Thermal Plant at Nangalbibra, Garo Hills, to the effect that the work is not satisfactory and the schemes for rural electrification are not getting due attention. Though our Government is not directly concerned with this matter, the future development not our State is very much connected with it and, therefore, we should not allow the matter to remain as I is now. I request the Government to move the respective authority so that things things move on satisfactorily.
The Assembly reassembled in the Assembly Chamber at 2. p.m on Monday the 21st June, 1971 with the Speaker, in the chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Now we come to the last item in today's' list of business. May I request the Hon'ble Finance Minister to reply to the Budget discussions.
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Finance Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do appreciate the keen interest showed by the Hon. Members of the House, in all aspects of the Administration and in all activities of the Government in its attempts, its efforts to aid, to help and to develop our young State, in various fields of development. All the more Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the constructive and responsible approach running through our the speeches of all the hon. Members of the House. All of us, in the Administration, in whatever capacity as human beings, we respond to appreciation or praise, we equally respond to criticisms or blames and all these are for the good of our State. Perhaps it is for this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that democracy in spite of its various difficulties has been preferred by most countries of the world. Through the discussions and speeches for the world. Through the discussions and speeches for the last 3 -4 days in the house, I could also visualize Mr. Speaker, Sir, the high hopes, the high expectations of the people of our State from this State or from this Government of our own. I know also Mr. Speaker, Sir, we cannot all at once or in the new near future fulfill all these aspirations of the people. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is also I know that the People will have patience, the people will bear with us, if they see that we proceed in the right direction. Mr. Speaker, Sir it is the duty and the responsibility of all the members of this august House, whether we are in the Government or outside the Government to see that the Government and its Departments do proceed in the fight direction. On the various matters raised by the Hon. members during the discussion, let me inform and assure the hon. Members that their questing, their suggestions and their criticisms have all been noted down by ourselves and by the Officers of the Government. Copies of notes were taken and they were sent to the various Department concerned them. In fact, I have not a full file containing the explanations, the replies of and the proposed actions and attention of the various Department on all the questions and all matters raised and the suggestions made by the hon. Members of this House in the last four days of the discussions. At the same time most of the suggestions had already been attended to by the Department Mr. Speaker, Sir, within the limited time and the limited energy at my disposal, I shall not be able to reply to all the matters raised, question and criticisms and suggestion made by all the hon. Members of the House. At the same time, I feel that Members should agree with me that it may not be necessary actually to reply to one and every point. In any case, I would again assure the Members that even those points, those matters which may not be covered in my replay to day had already been considered taken care of and attended to by the Department concerned and would be continued to be attended to in the coming days, coming weeks and coming months. Many Members have expressed considerable concern about this deficit. Some Members had also expressed apprehension that development schemes already allocated and already planned of the next 3 or 4 years might be affected by this deficit. As I have already earlier clarified, I would assure that this deficit does not affect the plan allocation and the plan estimates. All development schemes will go ahead as planned. As already indicated in the Budget Speech, this deficit is mainly due to the provision for repayment of our debt liability to the Government of India. Many Hon. members have suggested ways and means to meet this deficit, like raising of internal resources, exercising economy in the administration and pressing Government of India to give us our due share of financial assistance. All these suggestions we have taken note of and we will do our best to find out ways and means to meet the situation.
Well, several Members, Mr. Speaker, Sir, have also expressed series concerned on the question of influx of evacuees from East Pakistan. As this subject will be taken up tomorrow separately, and most probably the Chief Minister will make full statement on this,. I would not say very much on this subject. On the question of our own people in the border who have run away out of fear and panic due to sudden shelling by Pakistani forces, we have decided to give them shelter, aid, and relief in the same manner as are being given for the evacuees, crossing the border. At the same time, Mr., Speaker, Sir, I would like to reiterate here Government's determination to see that the welfare and interest of our own people in the border areas will not be jeopardized on account of influx of refugees. With these few words, by way of general observation, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to deal with the specific questions and suggestions as raised by the hon. Members during the discussions. As I have stated, it may not be possible or necessary to cover all the points, but I will try to reply to the cases that may be more illustrative rather than exhaustive.
On agriculture, as many as seven Members have raised questions, and this morning also 2 or 3 Members, Shit E.B. Lyngdoh has referred to training in modern methods of cultivation. Modern method of cultivation is being popularised amongst farmers as far as possible and for this purpose, a short course training or 14 day's duration is being given in the Upper Shillong Gram - Sevak Centre. Mr. E.B. Lyngdoh had also expressed about the need and demand of power tillers Now, modern power tillers have been indented from all sources possible. Technical personnel are being selected for giving training in suitable centres in Madhya Pradesh and other parts of the country. Local training facilities also will be premed up in the G.S.T Centre, Shillong, Mr. Pohrmen and also Mr. Khonglah had very strongly pressed for pan leaf Research Centre. They brought an analogy of the Maize Research Institute at Upper Shillong is set up by the Indian council of Agriculture Research, Government of India. Now, Government is taking steps, with the Indian councils of Agricultural Research to open one Research Sub - Station for pan leaf.
Mr. Khonglah had referred to minor irrigation and terrace cultivation. Now, on this, the he complained bout the inadequate grant for the big expenditure in irrigation. Now, Government have to follow certain procedure and certain policy. In this question of irrigation, we have, for small irrigation, the procedure of 40 per cent of the total cost, subject to a maximum of Rs. 120 /- per acre to be irrigated and for this bigger work involving pucca construction work, and other work of heavy nature, subsidies, are allowed as a contribution of cent per cent of the actual cost, subject to a maximum of Rs. 120 /- per acre of the area to be benefited. Now, the Members would realise the underlying reasons for this maximum because this will obviate the difficulties of subsiding in fructuous this projects of costly nature of poor feasibility. This is why the procedure of subsidy subject to a maximum of Rs. 120 /- per acre to be benefited is followed.
Mr. Kyndiah has complained that the project report of the two allocated projects for introduction of small Farmers Development Agency and a Marginal Farmers Agricultural Development Agency and a Marginal Farmers Agricultural Labour Agency, have not been submitted to the Government of India till now. The Government of India was requested to allot two projects to this State and the Government of India till now. The Government of India was requested to allot two projects to this State and the Government of India only in the month of June indicated that they had agreed to our request and then for the preparation of the project report, we require suitable statistical date and at this time, these preparations are almost ready and within six months, we expect to send the project report to the Government of India.
On fishery, Mr. E.B Lyngdoh had made some reference. It is true that for quite a long time or few months, we had not got the required number of officers and staff in the Fishery Department and therefore, steps have been taken for the training of suitable candidates both inside and outside the State. In this respect, 6 trainees have already been sent for the undergoing training at the Fishery Training Institute at Joysagar. One Fishery Officer has been sent to under going training in Fishery Technolgy at the Barrackpore Unit organised by the Government of India and another 3 are proposed to be sent after due consultation with the Assam and Public Service Commission.
Mr. Singjan Sangma, this morning complained about the non - payment of grants to desiring applicants. Well, for Garo Hills there is an allotment of Rs. 60,000 /- for the year 1970-71 , and then, there were quite a number of irregularities in the applications, wrong estimates and so on and so rechecking was considered necessary and that also combined with the shortage of officers and staff created considerable delay. Now these enquiries and re - checking are in progress and these grants will be paid into the most deserving applicants.
Now, on industries, Mr. A.B Diengdoh, had suggested taking over of the Assam Cement Company at Cherrapunjee, The Government is agreeable to take over and the negotiations are now proceeding with the Government of Assam. It is hoped that negotiation will come to a successful agreement and then the Cement Company will be taken over.
Mr. Nimosh Sangma had referred to the industrial backwardness of our State and also to the Training - cum - Production Centre at Dalu. On this, the Government is encouraging the local people to set up industries in their respective areas in the State. An out right grant of 10 per cent on total fixed investments is given : machinery is being supplied on liberalised hire purchase terms by the National Small Industries Corporation and local people have only to pay 10 per cent of the total cost of machine, that is on the side of the encouraging industries in the State.
About the Training - cum - Production Centre at Dalu which has stopped functioning for some time, this will be revived as soon as it is vacated by Rehabilitation Department which had been occupied for the purpose of refugee works.
On Co -operation Mrs. War and Mr. Khonglah had suggested translation of bye - laws into our local languages - Garo and Khasi. This, the Department had promised to do. Now again, Mr. Khonglah complained about Amlarem Sub - area Co - operative Society. The Amlarem Sub - area co- operative Society. The Amlarem Sub - area co - operative Society is only recently organised and it is under stood that at present it has its office in a rented house. A secretary of the rank of Junior Inspector of Co - operative Societies was posted and he has already joined. All financial assistance in the shape of share capital contribution, working capital grant and managerial subsidy have already been extended to the Society and the whole amount was credited to the accounts of the Society in the Apex Bank. It is not a fact that the Society is doing nothing, only in last week of May,. 1971 it took up the distribution of 100 mounds of bonemeal to the cultivators of that area which is a good beginning.
Mr. Kyndiah as an expert in co - operation had complained of the lack of supervisory machinery or ineffectiveness of the same. Now on this, a very short reply admitting more of less that it is not upto the mark, a committee has been set up to advise the Government on the re - organisation of the co - operative structure in the State. So this question will be taken up by the Committee.
On community development many many members have shown keen interest and there is one question that Messrs. E.B. Lyngdoh and R. Dkhar had joined in question the need to have an Executive Engineer in the Community Development Department. I just have a copy showing the duties and responsibilities. He has seven functions but if I read only two I think the members may be satisfied. One of the functions is that he will inspect all constructions, all buildings, irrigation, reclamation projects, roads, bridges water supply projects, etc and secondly, he will technical scrutinise all schemes before approval is given by the Director of Community Development of the State. I have already experienced in the last few months in which we faced great difficulties in the preparation of works a and schemes under the rural development programme. The Blocks have got only Overseers and that also that not enough of them and at the same time the requirement is that schemes and the working of the projects cannot be accepted only on certification of an overseer. Most of them had to be countersigned and checked by the Executive Engineer. On the other day the Minister-in-charge had replied that it is very very difficult to get the services of the Executive Engineers of the P.W.D who are so busy and in practice I know that they do not have time to go through the schemes at all but to countersign them they just accept the Overseer's figures and estimates. So I think .. ... ... .... ... .... .. .. ... .
Mr. Speaker :- Are these technical functions independent of Community Development ?
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- In the Community Development department. Overseers are not enough and sufficient for these services and Executive Engineer is unnecessary for those kinds of works and purpose.
Mr. Speaker :- If I remember aright the hon. Member Mr. R. Dkhar said actually the technical personnel in Community Development should be under the supervision of the P.W.D
Shri Rokendro Dkhar :- Besides that the amount which is under the Community Development Block is rejected by the P.W.D.
Mr. Speaker :- That is a different matter I should say.
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- I hope that the Members will be satisfied that community Development is now under the Executive Engineer. Now, Mr. Khonglagh again complained about the shortage of funds in the Block for promotion purposes. You know that the funds in the Blocks are provided on the basis of a pattern approved by the Committee. These cannot be increased by ourselves. But in any case in this current year we will have this Rural Crash Programme and Rural Employment. I hope that funds for this purpose may be increased Mr. Kyndiah had said that applied nutrition programme fund has not been spent. This is not correct. All the amount under this head has been spent by the Blocks to which this amount has been entrusted. On rural electrification Mr. Pohrmen and Mr. Khonglah had suggested of that Jowai town should be classed as rural instead of urban to this is, it is not possible. It will create many complications and many difficulties. In Garo Hills, the biggest scheme is Nangalbibra Thermal Project and rightly some members expressed concern about the delay in functioning of this project. Now of the two units one will be ready at least by the end of this year. This will produce 2500 K.W and will be ample for Garo Hills, present need. The second unit will be considered next year. 5000 K.W at present are supplied by the diesel generator. Its capacity being limited it is not possible to increase the power generation. This is will be done the moment the thermal unit is completed.
Shri Standley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Power) :- The present installed capacity in Tura town is 200 K.W which is sufficient to meet the load of the town,.
The Tura Diesel Power Station is being further augmented by the installation on another 350 K.W diesel set. This is likely to be commissioned in July / August from which a larger load can be catered from Tura Power Station. The street lights have been provided in Tura town but unfortunately the energy consumed on the street lights has not been fully paid by the Tura Town Committee. As such the Board is finding difficult in extending street lights in Tura town.
Shri Grohonsing A Marak :- I want a clarification, I am told that there is one extra generator in Tura. Why that cannot be utilised ?
Shri Standley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Power) :- We have no information about this generator. As I said the total installed capacity is 200 K.W It is being increased by installation of another 350 K.W You will have adequate power, more than adequate power, from July, August this year.
Shri Grohosing Sangma A. Marak :- Whether the Hon'ble Minister will collect more information about this generator.
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Power) :- We will enquire into this.
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with the announcement of the Government 's division to create a new civil district of Jaintia Hills, now comes a similar demand for the creation of a civil Sib division for the Border Areas of Jaintia Hills and Government also have received a memorandum and delegation from the Cherrapunjee Border Area people demanding Civil Sub division for that area. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in a view of that and especially of the deficit budget, it will be difficult for the Government at present to consider these demands. However, we have asked the Deputy Commissioner to give a report on this question.
On P.W.D many members had taken very keen interest in asking various questions, but they are all of a simple nature which showed their keenness to have roads early completed or longer roads and so on. I have indicated in my budget speech that this Government have given top most priority to the construction of roads and I think that reply will cover all the questions and the interest shown on this question.
Now this morning
Mr. M.N Swer followed by Mr. J. Swer and earlier Mr. A.B Diengdoh and many
others members, have expressed great concern and anxiety for the Central
University. Let me inform the members through you, Sir, that so far as the State
Government is concerned we have taken all steps possible for the early
implementation of the Central University scheme. Not only the Education
Minister, but every other Minister who happened to be in the Delhi for any
purpose would not forget to take up the mater with the Central Minister and the
Minister of State and also officers regarding this question. Last time the
Education Minister as well as the Industries Minister, for the last few weeks
met the union Education Minister, Mr. S.S. Ray who has assured that a Study
Group will be appointed and sent for this purpose and let us hope on his
assurance that a Hill University will be sent up in our State. As I have said
earlier, I forgot some points raised this morning. Last time Mr.
A.B Diengdoh had again reminded us about furniture. It was quite a very hot question last year. He has suggested that encouragement should be given to our local people in the matter of supply of furniture for the Government. I have already received the Departments reply on this point this morning and I would like to say that contractors for supply of furniture to Secretariat and Government offices are appointed on the basis of tenders and quotations and also on the basis of the lowest rates quoted by them. Tribal firms who had come forward are given due consideration and preference, if the rates are reasonable or if they accept the rate approved by the Government. It has, however been observed that Tribal firms are ranger shy to complete in the market and only very few of them have responded to the various tender notices issued by the Government from year to year to or from time to time for the supply of furniture.
Again, Mrs. War hailing from Lyngngam area stressed very much about the need of that area and it is a fact that Lyngngam region is an unknown area. So the Department will have to take up a programme of Scientific survey by the land Use Survey Team of the Department of Agriculture. This will help towards finding out the real situation which will help a sound development of agriculture along with the setting up of a Sub - Divisional Headquarters at Nongstoin to be manned immediately by one S.D.A.O and a skeleton staff.
Mr. J. Swer this morning very strongly stressed on the need for Cinnamon oil Industry. For the information of the members of the House regarding Cinnamon Oil industry, there was no budget provision in the 1970-71 under this head. So we had to confine ourselves to negotiating for the processing license. In this year's budget there is a provision of Rs. 1.5 lakhs and we are only waiting for the to be passed so that the patent rights for the mill design can be paid and for the land to be acquired and the plant set up, i.e., on the Cinnamon Oil Industry.
Mr. Brojendro Sangma the other day had suggested very very strongly about the extension of facilities for the Assembly premises, specially about the need of a hostel for the members. Now, that Meghalaya is becoming a full State, very soon, the Government of Assam is bound to shift from Shillong. It is only a question of time and, therefore, in the circumstances, it would unrealistic to go in for the construction of an Assembly building or M.L.A hostel.
Mr. Justman Swer has this morning focused the attention on a very very serious problem facing us in our villages of the district, that is, the problem of primary education I notice., Mr. Speaker, Sir, through my contact with the people that there is almost explosion of expansion of Primary Schools in our State. Rightly, there fore the District Council may be facing quite a problem to meet the situation. But on this we cannot say anything off hand. Soon we will be discussion this matter with the Department and the Finance Department and the District Council Heads and see as to how best we shall approach this question. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I have stated earlier, all these points, all these matter that I have tried to reply are not exhaustive. I would like the members to take it as illustrative. I again and again assure the Members that all the points and questions and suggestions raised have been taken note or by the Departments and will be attended to. It is hoped next time, when we meet most of the suggestions would have been carried out, most of the questions would have been explained.
With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- As there is no other business for today, the House stands adjourned till 10 A.M tomorrow the 22nd, June, 1971.
(The House was then adjourned at 2.55. P.M)
the 21st June, 1971.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.