Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 10.00 hours on Monday, the 29th November 1971 in the Assembly Chamber Shillong, with the Speaker in the Chair.
QUESTION AND ANSWERS.
(To which oral replies were given)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin with item No. 1
Disturbance in Bara Bazar area
Shri Gilfred Singh Giri asked :
*5 Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
|(a) Whether it is a fact that some persons died during the disturbances in Bara Bazar area of Shillong on the 23rd and 24th of June, 1971 ?|
|(b) Whether the Government has ordered a Judicial enquiry in to the cause of the disturbances ?|
Shri Williamson A Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
|5.||(a) - One person died in the incident.|
|(b) - No|
Boundary Commission for Bashista - Khanapara
Shri Gilfred Singh Giri asked :
*6 Will the Minister in charge, Revenue be pleased to enquire and state-
|(a) Whether it is a fact that the Government of Assam has appointment a Boundary Commission for Bashista - Khanapara area ?|
|(b) If so, whether the report of the Commission has been finalised ?|
|(c) If the reply to (a) and (b) above are in affirmative, whether the report of the above commission be placed on the table ?|
|(d) Whether the Government of Meghalaya has accepted the findings of the Commission ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Revenue) replied :
|6.||(a) - The Government of Assam had constituted a Committee with 3 (three) members to get the boundary between Kamrup and united Khasi and Jaintia Hills Districts in Bashista - Khanapara area demarcated on the ground.|
|(b) - Yes.|
|(c) - A copy is placed on the table|
|(d) - The report of the Committee was accepted by the Government of Assam before Meghalaya came in to existence.|
Shri Gilfred Singh Giri :- May I know from the Minister in charge whether the Government of Meghalaya has accepted the Report ?
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government of Assam has received a protest from the District Council the Syiem of Mylliem and others. We have requested the Government of Assam of not to disturb the status - quo because they are going to take certain actions pending examination of the report and uptil now the matter is under consideration between the Government of Meghalaya and the Government of Assam.
Position of I.A.S Officers
Shri Gilfred Singh Giri asked :
*7. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
|(a) The number of I.A.S Officers now working in Meghalaya together with the particulars of posts held by each of them ?|
|(b) The number of A.C.S Officers now working in Meghalaya together with particulars of posts held by each of them ?|
|(c) Whether Government have decided about the number of I.A.S and A.C.S Officers that it will need at present ?|
|(d) If so, what is the number of such I.A.S and A.C.S Officer ?|
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
|7.||(a) and (b) The list of Officers showing the posts held by them is placed on the table of the House.|
|(c) and (d) The requirements of I.A.S and A.C.S Officers are met from the Government of Assam at present and requisitions are sent to that Government whenever the need arises. The requirements of I.A.S and State Civil Service Officers, when Meghalaya becomes a full State, are being examined.|
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- Is not the number of I.A.S Officers high in a State like ours ?
Shri W.A Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is a matter of opinion.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- May I know from the Minister - in - charge whether it is a fact that most of the posts of Directors and even Jt. Directors are being held by I.A.S Officers ?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is more of less a hypothetical question.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- May I know from the Minister in charge how many Blocks have implemented the schemes ?
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Community Development) :- It is stated that the schemes will be taken up during the current year. So none of the schemes is being implemented at present as replied at 6 (c).
(To which replies were laid on the Table)
Range Office at Rongrenggiri
Shri Choronsingh Sangma asked :
4. Will the Minister in charge, Soil Conservation be pleased to state -
|(a) Is there any proposal to establish a Range Office at Rongrenggiri (Garo Hills) ?|
|(b) If so, when it is to be established ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Community Development) :- replied :
|4.||(a) - No.|
|(b) - Does not arise.|
Creamery at Tura.
Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :
5. Will the Minister in charge Animal Husbandry and Dairying be pleased to state -
|(a) Whether the Government proposed to start one creamery at Tura this year ?|
|(b) If so, what action so far has been taken by the Government ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary) replied :
|(b) - District Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Officer, Tura has already arranged a plot of land measuring own and half bighas at Rongram. Final possession of the land is waited after the completion of all formalities between the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department and the District Council, Garo Hills.|
Number of Blocks under Crash Programme
Shri E. Bremly Lyngdoh asked :
6. Will the minister of Community Development be pleased to state -
|(a) The number of Blocks where the schemes under the Crash Programme is entrusted ?|
|(b) The amount sanction under this schemes so far ?|
|(c) Whether the amount sanctioned has been fully, and properly utilised ?|
|(d) If not, why not ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Community Development) :- replied :
|6.||(a) - There are 24 Blocks in which the Crash Scheme for rural employment is being implemented.|
|(b) - The total amount sanctioned for the 24 Blocks is Rs. 25,00,031.|
|(c) - The projects sanctioned are required to be implemented by 31st march, 1972. Care will be taken to ensure that the amount sanctioned is fully and properly utilised.|
|(d) - Does not arise.|
Posts of Superintendent in the Community Development.
Shri E. Bremly Lyngdoh asked :
7. Will the Minister of Community Development and Co-operation be pleased to state -
|(a) Whether it is a fact that posts of Superintendent in the Department of Community Development and Co - operation have not been filled up yet ?|
|(b) If so whether the Government is considering for filling up the vacancies ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Community Development) :- replied :
|7.||(a) and (b) - There is posts of Superintendent for the office of Registrar of Cooperative Societies. There are two sanctioned posts of Superintendent for the Office of Director of Community Development, viz,. Superintendent and Superintendent (Accounts) These will be filled up on availability of suitable personnel.|
Timing on Tura-Gauhati via Bajengdoba - Krishnai Motor Service
Shri Mon Bahadur Newar asked :
8. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state -
|(a) Whether the Government have proposed any more to introduce one Second timing of Tura - Gauhati via Bajendoba - Krishnai direct motor Service ?|
|(b) If so, with what result and when, the proposed Second timing can be expected operation ?|
|(c) If not, will the Government be pleased ti initiate such a move immediately ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Transport) :- replied
|8.||(a) - No.|
|(b) - Does not arise.|
|(c) This question will be examined|
Plan for Development for Fisheries.
Shri E. Bremly Lyngdoh asked :
9. Will the Minister of Fishery be pleased to state -
|(a) Whether Government have any plan for development of Fishery in the State ?|
|(b) If so, whether a study in this regard have been undertaken by Government ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Agriculture, etc) :- replied :
|9.||(a) - Yes.|
|(b)-Action to undertake study of Fishery potentially in the State for development is being taken up. In fact, the Department is short of trained personnel and hence time would be required to survey all culturable water areas within the State.|
Proposed road from Simsanggiri to Chokpot
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
|10.||Will the Minister P.W.D (R and B) be pleased to state whether the work of the proposed Road from Simsanggiri to Chokpot via Jasatram is to be undertaken within the current year ?|
Shri E. Bareh [Minister, P.W.D (R & B)] replied :
Construction of Bensamgiri foot bridge over Sumarsori river
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
|11.||Will the Minister of P.W.D (R and B) be pleased to state whether the construction of Bensamgiri foot bridge over Sumarsory river, Garo Hills has started ?|
Shri E. Bareh [Minister P.W.D (R and B)] replied :
Wire making factory at Sutnga
Shri Beryl Sutnga asked :
12. Will the Minister of Industries be pleased to state
|(a) Whether Government proposed to open soon a Wire making factory at Sutnga ?|
|(b) If so, what is the progress now ?|
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) replied :
|12.||(a) - Government has no plans for opening a Wire making plant at Sutnga at present.|
|(b) - Does not arise.|
Small Scale Industries.
Shri E. Bremly Lyngdoh asked :
13. Will the Minister of Industries be pleased to state -
|(a) The names of small scales Industries functioning in Meghalaya at Present ?|
|(b) The number of small scale Industries which have received financial help or otherwise from the Government ?|
|(c) The expenditure incurred by the Government in this regard ?|
|(d) Whether Government is aware of any achievement made so far ?|
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Industries) :- replied :
|13.||(a) - Complete data on a number of functioning units is not readily available.|
|(b) - Ninety four units Artisans received financial help in the form of the loans and 301 in the form of grants.|
|(c) - Rupees one lakh and seventy - five thousand loans and Rs. 1,16,700 grants.|
|(d) - No assessment has as yet been made.|
Water Supply Schemes
Shri E. Bremly Lyngdoh asked :
14. Will the Minister of P.W.D (P.H.E) be pleased to state -
|(a) The number of water supply schemes taken up by the Government in Meghalaya ?|
|(b) The progress in implementation of such schemes ?|
|(c) The cost involved and the total amount spent so far ?|
|(d) Whether the Government is considering of taking any new schemes ?|
Shri E. Bareh [Minister, P.W.D (R & B)] replied :
|14.||(a) - Eleven Nos. of continuing rural water supply schemes, 17 Nos. of new water supply schemes with effect from 2nd April, 1970.|
|(b) - Nine Nos. of the continuing schemes so far been competed. The works in respects of the 19 Nos. of the water supply schemes are in progress out of which 12 Nos. are expected to be completed during 1971-72 and the remaining 7 Nos. of schemes by the end of the 1972-73.|
|(c) - The total cost of all the schemes is Rs. 131.30 lakhs. A sum of Rs. 87.94 lakhs has been spent up to October, 1971.|
|(d) - Yes.|
Staff of Block Development Officers.
Shri Beryl Sutnga asked :
15. Will the Minister of Relief and rehabilitation be pleased to state -
|(a) Whether it is a fact that Government is engaging the staff of the Block Development officers in the refugee camps in the States ?|
|(b) If so, the reason thereof ?|
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister- Relief and Rehabilitation Department) replied :
|(b) The refugee came suddenly when we had no separate organisation for providing relief to them. The Block Development officers and their staff had therefore to be engaged to meet the emergency situation.|
Proposed Simsanggiri Civil Subdivisions
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
16. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
|(a). Whether Government has ascertain the area of the proposed Simsanggiri Subdivision ?|
|(b). If so, what are Block Development and Lasker areas within the Simsanggiri Subdivision ?|
|(c). Whether Government has considered a Board to look after the functions of the Proposed Subdivision Project ?|
|(d). If so, what are the names of the members of the Board ?|
|(e) Whether, Government has appointed a an officer to start the Project ?|
|(f) If so, what is the name of the Officer ?|
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
|16.||(a) and (b) - A final decision on areas to be converter by the proposed Simsanggiri Subdivision is expected soon.|
|(d) Does not arise.|
|(f) Shri J.P. Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills.|
Land Use Survey Branch.
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
17. Will the Minister of Agriculture be pleased to state -
|(a) To what extent the purpose and aims of the Land Use Survey Branch Agriculture been achieved in Garo Hills ?|
|(b) In which year the Land Use Survey Branch is introduced in Garo Hills ?|
|(c) What are the works programme so far been done in different parts of the Garo Hills ?|
|(d) Whether the Agriculture Department has got sufficient staff in different branches in Garo Hills ?|
|(e) If not, why not ?|
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Agriculture) Replied :
|(a) Surveys of the Vegetation, Soil, Grassland, Waste land, Fallow land and irrigation potentialities in spotting out potential areas and assessing their importance have been completed.|
|(b) It was introduce in 1968-69.|
|(c) Works programme so far done in different parts of the Garo Hills are as follows :-|
|(i) Classification of soils.|
|(ii) Classification of lands for different land development purposes.|
|(iii) land development potentialities suitable for different development mental works.|
|(iv) Grass land survey for animal husbandry.|
|(v) Recommendation of type of irrigation for surveyed land.|
|(d) and (e) The matter is being examined by the Agriculture Department in the light of economic development.|
Functions of Assistant Marketing Officers, etc.
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
|18. jfg||Will the Minister of Agriculture be pleased to state what are the functions and works of Assistant Marketing Officers and Assistant Agriculture Research Officer in the district ?|
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Agriculture) replied :
|18.||The main functions and works of the Assistant Agricultural Research Officers are to :-|
|(a) Study the existing problems relating to importing crops such as rice, maize, vegetables etc,. being grown in the State .|
|(b) Find out control measures in regard to the prevailing insects, pests and diseases.|
|(c) Study the fertility of the Soil where the different crops are being grown and find out the deficient nutrients which have to be supplemented in the form of manure and fertilizer.|
|(d) Study the suitability of introducing new exiting varieties which are already popular in other States.|
|(e) Assist and advice the farmers with their day to day problem.|
|(f) Assists the Research Officer in supervising the research works.|
|(g) To conduct and supervise trials in the cultivator's fields.|
2. The main functions and works of the Assistant Marketing officer are to :-
|(a) Survey the markets or Market Investigation.|
|(b) Survey of commodities.|
|(c) Grade and standardise Agricultural commodities, including mustard oil ghee, etc.|
|(d) Obtain Market intelligence or market information.|
|(e) Serve consumers.|
|(f) Market Border produce.|
Primary Object of Starting Zikzak Seed Farm.
Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :
19. Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -
|(a) The primary object of starting Zikzak seed farm.|
|(b) The year of starting and the area of the farm.|
|(c) What seeds are mainly grown in the seed farm from 1965-70 ?|
|(d) Whether all the areas under the seed farm are reclaimed ?|
|(e) If not, why not ?|
|(f) Whether Power Tiller, plough, cattle and water pumping set provided in this seed farm for better managements ?|
|(g) Who is directly in-charge of all the cultivation at the seed farm ?|
|(h) What labour charges incurred for the cultivation in his seed farm yearly from 1965-70 ?|
|(i) Whether cultivation is carried out during the current year at in that seed farm ?|
|(j) If not, what works are being done now by the farm staff ?|
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Agriculture) - replied :
|19. he||(a) The Primary object of starting the Zik Zak Farm is to produce and multiply the improved and high yielding variety seeds required for the District.|
|(b) The farm was started during 1959-60 and the area of the farm is about 12 hectares.|
|(c) The seeds grown in the sees farm from 1965-70 are as follows :-|
|High yielding and improved varieties of paddy e.g., T.N.I., I,R. - 8, CH - 63 and Manohar Sali, etc. 321, JRO. 632, etc., Mustard, Maize Wheat and Pulses.|
|(d) The entire area of the farm could not be reclaimed due to shortage of fund.|
|(e) Does not arise in view of (d) above.|
|(f) Only one power Tiller and one Tractor are being used in plugging.|
|(h) The labour charges incurred is shown below year-wise -|
|(i) - Yes.|
|(j) Does not arise in view of (i) above.|
Number of applications for licenses.
Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :
20. Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to state -
|(a) How many persons had applied for licenses for different industries during the year 1970-71 ?|
|(b) How many of them were granted such licenses ?|
|(c) How many persons have applied for Government loan for starting industries during the year 1971 ?|
|(d) How many persons are granted Industrial Loan during the year 1971 and the total amount so granted ?|
|(e) Whether Government has taken steps to set up some industries in this most backward State of Meghalaya ?|
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Industries, etc) replied :
|20.||(a) - No application for license has been received by this Department as this Department do not grant licenses.|
|(b) Does not arise in view of (a) above.|
|(c) - Three hundred and forty-nine persons have replied for loans during 1971-72.|
|(d) - Altogether 94 Units/Artisans were granted industrial loans during 1970-71 and the total amount of loans granted is Rs.1,75,000.00 for the year 1971-72, loans are yet to be granted.|
Number of Evacuees Camps in Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and Jowai
Shri Nurul Islam asked :
21. Will the Minister of relief and rehabilitation be pleased to state -
|(a) What is the number of Evacuees camps at present in Garo Hills Jowai and Khasi Hills ?|
|(b) What is the approximate figure of Evacuees living in each camp ?|
|(c) How they have been accommodated ?|
|(d) What kind of ratio are being supplied to then for their daily consumption ?|
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State of Relief and Rehabilitation) replied :
|21.||(a) - The total number of camps at present is as shown below -|
- Garo Hills - 15 Nos.
- Khasi Hills - 16 Nos.
- Jowai - 2 Nos.
|(b) - The appropriate figures living in each camp is as shown in the statement places on the table of the House.|
|(c) - Most of them accompanied in huts constructed by Government and some of them in temporary sheds by themselves.|
|(d) - The best quality available either through Food Department Corporation of India or from the open market.|
Creation of Weights and Measures Department.
Shri Bremly Lyngdoh asked ;-
22. Will the Minister of Weights and Measures be pleased to State -
|(a) The importance of creating this Department ?|
|(b) Whether the Government has fully publicised for education of the people in rural areas in connection with the adoption of metric system ?|
Shri Stanley, D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister of Weights and Measures) replied ;
|22.||(a)- It is the responsibility of the Government to see that no false weights and measures are used and that in every transaction a buyer is to receive the correct quantity of goods and a seller is to receive the correct value of his goods.|
|(b) - The Government is aware of the necessity of educating the people specially those in the rural areas regarding adoption of metric system and on proper and correct weightment and measurement and steps are beings taken to do so.|
Replacement of Cattle.
Shri Mon Bahadur Newar asked :
|23.||Will the Minister in charge of Veterinary be pleased to state -|
|(a) Whether the Government have taken up any scheme to replace the present type of cattle by importing high yielding type ?|
|(b) If so, whether Government have fixed any limit for imported type of cattle to be kept in a particular Bathan ?|
|(c) Whether there exist any arrangement for fixing grazing area for each Bathan.|
|(d) What arrangements are being made for the disposal of the present battle in the Bathan ?|
|(e) Whether the scheme provides granting of any financial aid to the Bathan owners ?|
|(f) If so, up to what limit ?|
|(g) If not, whether the Government propose to constitute a Committee to prepare such a scheme early ?|
Shri Stanley D.D Nichols - Roy (Minister in charge, Veterinary) :- replied ;
|23||(a) - Yes, the Government have taken up a scheme for up grading the local cattle by expanding the activity of the Artificial Insemination Centre at Phulbari. The scheme envisages covering the area of Phulbari up to Garo Badha at the moment. For this work the services of the India recognised breed, Bulls, namely, Hariana is being utilised at present .|
|(b) - No.|
|(c) - The matter is under consideration of the Government.|
|(d) The matter is under the consideration of the Government to colonize the present bathans cattle so that improved breeding technique and better arrangement can be practiced.|
|(e) - No.|
|(f) - Does not arise.|
|(g) - The matter is under consideration of the Government.|
Formation of Subsidiary Force.
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
24. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
|(a) Whether the Meghalaya Subsidiary Force is formed ?|
|(c) If not, why not ?|
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- replied ;
|24.||(a) - No.|
|(b) - Owing to certain difficulties it was not possible to do so earlier.|
Meghalaya Subsidiary Force.
Shri Samarendra Sangma asked ;
25. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
|(a) When Government is going to set up the Meghalaya Subsidiary Force ?|
|(b) What will be the total number of such force and when the recruitment will start ?|
|(c) At what places such recruitment will take place ?|
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
25. (a), (b) & (c) - The matter is under consideration of Government.
Observation by the Speaker.
Mr. Speaker :- Before we go to the next item, I would like to make some observations. In the past Sessions the answers to question had been very satisfactory but this time three sets of questions became time barred because they arrived in the Assembly Secretariat very late. We sent 15 Starred Questions and 68 Unstarred Questions to different Departments. Out of 15 Starred Questions, 7 questions were replied and out of 68 Unstarred Questions, only 25 questions have been answered and there are some Departments which have not replied to most of the questions. The education Department did not send a reply to a single question out of 7 questions sent, the Supply Department out of 2 questions sent none is replied, the Political Department out of 2 questions sent none is replied, the Cooperation Department out of 2 questions sent none is replied, the Law Department out of one questions sent no reply is given, the Appointment Department out of one questions sent no reply is given. These are the only Department which have not sent any reply to our Secretariat. Yet let us expect that in future both the hon. Members and the Government will take keen interest on questions and also replies to the questions. Parliamentary questions are one of the surest means to ensure legislative control and surveillance over the actions of the Government. Unless and until we take keen interest during the questions hour, it is really very difficult for the Assembly to have control over the Executive. It is important at this juncture when we have not yet appointed the most important Committees due to some Constitutional difficulties. But when we will have these important Committee like the P.A.C and the Estimate Committee, we will have the miniature Legislature to control of the Executive and here I am would request the hon. Members that in future in they should take interest by sending questions in time and I would request also the Government to give replies in time so that the interest of the Assembly and the interest of the whole State will be served. So with these few words let us pass to the next item of today's List of Business.
Mr. Nichols - Roy to move Demand No.I
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Supply) :- Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs. 1,72,638 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st march, 1972 , for the administration of the head "26 - Miscellaneous Departments - V- Civil Supplies Department".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no Cut motion, I put the question before the House, that the Demand No. I to be granted.
(The Motion was carried and the Demand passed)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to the next Item Demand No. 2.
The Education Minister to Move Demand No. 2
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that the an additional amount of Rs.24, 97, 480 be granted to the Minister, In charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "28- Education, etc."
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received one cut motion on this Demand to be moved by Shri Akramozamman.
*Shri Akramozamman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs. 24,97,480 under Supplementary Demand No. 2 Major Head "28 - Education, etc," at page 5 of the list of Supplementary Demands be reduced to Rs. 1.00 i.e of the amount of the whole Supplementary Demand of Rs. 24,97.480 do stand reduced to Re. 1,00.
The object of the cut motion is to raise the general discussion on the Demand.
Sir, I have gone through the necessity of this Demand as put forward in the Explanatory Notes. The additional amount will be required by the Education Department and here in the note it has been said that it will be required to defray the charges of Secondary Education and Scholarships, etc These are the points that have been mentioned there. The existing provision will hardly cover the expenses for the remaining period. Similarly on Secondary Education, the additional amount is required by the Education Department for the remaining period of 4 months for the Secondary Primary Schools and General Scholarships. These are the points which have been mentioned there and the existing provision of Rs. 10,00,000 will hardly cover for 8 months. Hence, an additional amount of Rs. 5,98,800 for the remaining period of 4 months for 1971-72.
It shows clearly that when the Budget was prepared by the Education Department, they were not upto the mark to estimate what will be the total amount of requirement to defray the expenditure for the management of Secondary Education and for the management of District Councils Primary education. Otherwise, how it was possible to say that the estimates which has been made in the original demand can cover only 8 months. Here also the same thing occurred that a big sum of Rs. 16,52,680 shall be required for defraying the charges which have been necessitated by the District Council for maintenance of Primary Education. It seems that the Education Department is running on its own way without having any calculation of the requirements of the Department. Otherwise, how will it be possible to go for supplementary demand ? The necessary expenditure should be have been fixed at the time or preparing the budget and if there is any possibility of any extra ordinary situation arising in future, the Government should have been able to speculate such extraordinary situation. It is a fact that supplementary demands are found to come up. But here, in the Explanatory Note different information is given that the provision which has been made in the original budget can hardly cover the expenditure for 8 months. But why it is not possible for the Department to make provision for full 12 months at the time when the budget is prepared. What was the difficulty that stood in the way to make the budget for 12 months ? So, from these facts., it appears that the Education Department is not working or cannot work as desired by the Government and as desired by the House. It is not me, but I think the House and every hon. member will agree that the Education Department has not been working as desired. So it is very important that Government should take serious note about the functions of the Education Department. Sir, besides this, I use to say that there was so many talks about the Education Departments, particularly about Secondary Education and this is not only confined to Government Secondary Schools, but also to Government Aided Schools. There was some demand regarding this and the Minister also replied that he would consider as it would be necessary for smooth functioning of the secondary Schools. It appears that in the Garo Hills and the Khasi Jaintia Hills there e are so many High Schools. Those have now been going on and the present staff, particularly Inspectors of Schools in Garo Hills cannot cope with the situation. I think some corrective measures should be taken and it should be not be a left the to the Inspectors of Schools to visit the institutions. There was a demand for Additional Inspector and the Minister in charge, Education, was kind enough to assure that he will look in to the matter. So, I hope Government will take in to consideration all these matters.
Now, I wish to know what action has been taken by the Government in the meantime on the point that has been raised in this House about the appointment of the Assistant Inspector of Schools and Additional D.I. of Schools in Garo Hills. Secondly regarding primary education there was a serious point that was discussed in the last session at various stages about the transfer of the S.I. to the District Council authority or to take some effective measures so that District Council and the inspecting staff can have co-ordination. Up till now we have not got any information and I wish to know the stage at which the matter stands now. Another factor which I wish to mention here is about scholarships. What is the purpose of scholarships ? Whether it is merit scholarship or low income group scholarship ? The purpose of giving scholarship is that students may continue with their studies without any hindrance and they are not to think about monetary difficulty. But the scholarships are usually paid almost towards the last part of the year of the post metric students. Therefore, the very principle of giving scholarships for the benefit of the students is defeated. Because the student does not get scholarship for many months, therefore, he suffers. I think he has to take loans from some body or he has to go away from the institutions and remain in his house. Therefore Government should take steps to see that scholarships are paid monthly. Sir, it is found that for Government Aided Schools, the recurring grant is paid two or three months after the grant is released. Suppose one grant is released in the month of February, then it will be paid only for a period of three months and after a lapse of three months, another three months grant will be released by which time the teachers are suffering. That is the condition of the Government Aided Schools. The position is very bad and that is why there is urgent need that Government should give sanction at least, at a time, for six or nine months., Up to nine months, they can easily give the sanction because in the budget estimate, is has been found that the amount which will be required is sufficient at least at to give a recurring grant for nine months. Even for eight month, Government can make provision so that the schools can ran easily and the teachers may not suffer. What was the difficulty to give the grant for 8 or 9 months at a time. I do not understand the logic behind this piece meal sanctioning of the grants for three month only at a time. This matter also requires very serious attention of the Government. Besides that I wish to point out for the information of the Minister in charge of Education, that there were so many schools in the border areas. These school buildings have not been occupied so far as my knowledge goes. Particularly, I know that education suffer for want of schools buildings. Another features is that due to constant shifting of people from one place to another ,. primary schools middle schools and high schools are totally stopped. In some places, 75 per cent of the institutions are closed. So I wish to know what action Government has taken to reopen these schools and How many buildings have vacated. I want to know the original number of schools that were suffering from these schools and how many buildings have been vacated. I want to know the original number of schools that were suffering from these circumstances and the number of schools that are now functioning ? These are the informations I want to get. I do not want to go in to the details, but these are vital points. I want to know from the Minister in charge whether action can be taken or taken or not. I want to know detailed and definite information and I hope that the Minister and the Government will be able to do that ; otherwise I will be compelled to jump to the conclusion that the Education Department has practically failed in the discharge of its duties.
Mr. Speaker :- The cut motion is moved. Is there any hon. Member who would like to participate ?
Shri Singjan Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in support of the cut motion moved by my friend, Mr. Zaman, I take this opportunity to speak a few words on the points raised by him. The points which have been raised by him are very important ones, and I believe that proper action will be taken by the Government in order to give better facilities to our boys and girls in the field of education in our State. In this respect, I want to mention only very few points. The Government is full aware of the fact that almost of all schools, both M.E. and H.E Schools, including some of the L.P schools which are particularly situated in the border areas of Garo Hills had to be closed down due to occupation of the school buildings by the refugees of Bangal Desh which caused irreparable loss to our boys and girls in their education. Now, we are very glad to learn that in appreciation of the situation, the Government has already proposed to give financial sanction for the construction of temporary school buildings in order to give facilities to boys and girls to continue their studies. And in this respect, so far my knowledge goes, plans and estimates prepared by the technical personnel from the P.W.D for construction of buildings have been submitted by the respective Secretaries of the different Managing Committees of the different schools in the district. But I do not know what action has so far been taken by the Government in this matter, and in this particular matter I want to know from the Hon. Minister in charge of Education whether these proposed plans have already been abandoned by the Government and if not what was the reason for the delay for according necessary financial sanction ? So, I request the Government particularly the Education Department to take firm action so that our boys and girls who have been suffering an irreparable loss in their study will get chance to continue in their studies.
Another point I want to add is that the Government was very kind to give financial assistance for the construction of School buildings both M.E and H.E Schools, but now many managing Committees are finding difficulty to draw the money only because they are not in a position to a submit the utilisation certificates. So, if this process is continuing instead of helping the schools for their development in the field of education, I feel that it will create handicap for such Managing Committees to draw the money and implement the schemes. So my humble request to the Government is to scrutinize the matter according to the individual cases so that they may not find difficulty to draw the money and implement the schemes. With these few words, Sir, I support the cut motion moved by my friend Mr. Akramozzaman.
Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Member would like to participate in the discussion ?
Now I call upon the Education Minister to give a reply.
*Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the various points raised by my friend in his cut motion. As you know, Sir, the State is quite new, and, as pointed out by him, the Departments have not been fully geared up and adequately staffed. Over and above that I was also saddle with additional amount of work - not only myself but also my officers with this influx of the refugees. So, many of the points raise in this connection particularly those relating to border area schools are connected with the necessity for demanding additional or supplementary grant. Sir, the additional amount of this is Rs. 24,97,480. This amount required Department had to be geared up during the first months, and then the actual amount provided in the original up budget was not also accorded. That is why after calculation it was found that we had to ask for some additional grants. Sir, it is extremely difficult to give a correct calculation unless and until you know the number of applications for tribal scholarships from the tribal students as these applications come late after the provision is made in the budget. So it is difficult to know the number of candidates who intend to apply to for the scholarships. It is only after we received the applications from the various institutions that we can calculate the necessary that amount of all the tribals students who are a shortfall. So we pressed for the additional amount of Rs. 4,69 lakhs from the Government of India this year. It is not due to wrong or incorrect budgeting that the additional amount is required but because of the gearing up of the various activities of the Department in various parts of Meghalaya.
Shri Akrammozaman :- May I know what are the various activities of the Department ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Various activities in the sense that we have to give additional grants, adhoc grants and other financial assistance to the Secretaries of the different Schools or Managing Committees. Because these Managing Committees will ask for increase of grants in the middle of the year. So, sometimes we have to increase of by Rs. 100 or Rs. 200. It is so happened that in our visit to the schools in the interior, the Managing Committees would press by saying that the amount which Government is giving to the institution is very small that instead of Rs. 300 they say they will need Rs. 500. In that way in the many of my tours I had to fulfill and the grant is increased.
Another point raised by the hon. Member is regarding the post of the Assistant Inspector of Schools for the Garo Hills and also the Additional Deputy Inspector of Schools. Already we have moved for the creation of the post of the Assistant Inspector of Schools for Garo Hills and an Additional Deputy Inspector of Schools also for Garo Hills Most probably sanctions will come soon.
Shri Akramozamman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know whether these appointment will be made within this financial year ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, attempts will be made to appoint, if possible within this year, one Additional Assistant Inspector of Schools and one Additional Deputy Inspector of Schools for Garo Hills.
Regarding transfer of Sub - Inspectors to the District Councils, it is a very difficult task for the Government although the Government is committed to this. We have written to the District Councils recently to know the terms and conditions. We have written to the Syiems on this subjects but we have not yet got anything in black and white from them.
The Hon. Member has raised the question about scholarship and that the scholarships are not beings paid to the students regularly. Now, Sir, that in Meghalaya every student is entitled to have scholarship either this way or that way as you know that 80 per cent of the students are scheduled tribes.
Shri Akramozamman :- So the calculation is very easy.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are some scholarships which are being paid by the end of the year. I will give an example in case of St. Anthony's College where there are so many poor students who are reading and staying in hostels. But the students do not pay anything to the College authority. At the end of the year when the scholarship is paid, the College dues are deducted by the Principal and the remaining balance is being handed over to the students. So it serves the purpose, Of course, I do not know the details as to how the money is beings utilised by the students of the institutions. But as I have told earlier that in Meghalaya 80 per cent of the students are from the scheduled tribe, there are different types of scholarships and sometimes students are at a loss to decide as to which scholarship they should take and which they should not. However, at present there are some scholarship., viz the hostel subsidy the merit - cum - poverty scholarship, tribal scholarship etc. But as the hon. Members know that most of the students of Meghalaya belong to scheduled castes and are entitled to scholarships. The Government has to select out of them the genuinely poor and meritorious students who actually deserve. Only those students are getting scholarships.
Shri A.B. Diengdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know from the Hon'ble Minister, in charge as to how the Government determine the genuinely poor. I mean, what is the procedure ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is only one procedure which we generally follow. The procedure is that we send out Inspector or Sub - Inspector of Schools to enquire in to the matters. As a matter of fact we are to depend on the Headmaster of the schools to check up whether the candidate who has applied is really deserving or not. That is the only machinery to determine. Otherwise it is extremely difficult to scrutinise. I think I am quite clear to the Hon. member.
Mr. Speaker :- In that case, the recommendation of the hon. Member also counts a lot. There is always a column in every Scholarship Form where there should be a recommendation for a respectable gentleman or from an hon. Member of the House about income.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Any way, we will try to pay the scholarships as early as possible. Mr. Speaker, Sir, some hon. members complained that recurring grants or grants for construction of buildings in respect of Aided Schools are not beings released by the Government regularly. Sir, as all of us know that the management maintenance and appointment of teachers of the Aided Schools are being done by the Managing Committee of the Schools. So the Government has practically little control over the Aided Schools. But the Government can help them, only been they they will submit utilization. Certificate, Because A.G will always insist on the Utilisation Certificate. That is the why unless and until this is being furnished by the respective schools it is extremely difficult to help them. But, unfortunately the managements of the schools do not furnish their development schemes and estimates to the Government in time. However, we have asked to the Deputy Inspectors of Schools to write to them to furnish the Utilization Regarding building grants, the plans and estimates should regularly be sent to the Government before the grant is released. In this connection, I would like to mention here that the plans and estimates should be done by the P.W.D The specification and building structure should be according to the P.W.D manual. But in proactive what we find is that the plans and estimates and are only countersigned by the S.D.Os. So, I think the hon. Members will appreciate that unless and until we get proper plans and estimates, we cannot sanctions money. Because we have to send every plan and estimate to the Account General for scrutiny.
Now as regards border schools, as you know, that it is not at creation rather it has been imposed on us. More than seven lakhs of refugees have taken shelter in Meghalaya. Guardians, teacher and others complained that schools are closed down and I never knew that these schools were closed. It is not possible for the local people or the Government to resist construction of refugee camps. Every family is being forced to vacate their land not to speak of vacant plots which have been occupied. I have seen such plots of land in Baghmara where influx of refugees took place. The hon. members of the House will agree with me that nobody wants to close that the schools. Unfortunately, schools have to be vacated and refugees camps have to be constructed in school compounds to be occupied by refugee and that is why schools have to be closed down Considering the difficulty of the students in the border areas, we have decided that all the schools should be re- opened. I came to know, particularly in Garo Hills, the Inspector of Schools who go to the border areas are of the opinion that such opinion buildings which have been occupied by the refugees would not be fir for re-opening of the classes in the near future. No parents would like to send their children to schools under such circumstances. Many of the schools will have to be rebuilt or renovated. Because of such conditions obtaining at present, it has not been possible to utilise the grants in the border areas of the building of schools, play grounds, hostels, etc. We will have to clear the refugee camps first for buildings of hostels, etc otherwise it will not be possible to build the schools, hostels etc in the same vacant plot. It is not very sad that schools have to be closed down, but I do appreciate the idea of opening these schools or to have some alternative arrangement for the Border people. But unfortunately, there is no scope. We have tried to bring some border students those who have applied for admission - to the existing schools due to the closure of schools. But at the beginning of May or June, when they left their places, it is very difficult to give them administration because many will fail and, besides it is very difficult to provide them hostels accommodation etc. So these difficulties are there. Unfortunately, in the border schools the guardians, children, teachers, etc have suffered. And as you know, it is a social duty that teachers have to work for the refugees. It is not the refugees who wanted them to work but they themselves found that they have to help these victims.
Shri Akramozamman :- My friend, Shri Sangma, has raised one point that there was proposal that Government will give additional amount for construction of temporary schools buildings and many of the schools Managing Committee have sent their plans and estimates to the Government. We want to get the information from the Minister in charge as to how many schools in the border areas have submitted these schemes and what is the grant that has been given and what action has been taken by the Government for the construction of temporary schools building, as already said.
Mr. Speaker :- I request the hon. Member not to seek detailed information on it. You should have sent the question at proper time so that the Minister might have collected proper information.
Shri Akramozamman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the information I would like to get is what action Government has taken during this time.
Mr. Speaker :- That is the exact reply to the hon. Member.
Shri Akramozamman :- We do not know that. But as pointed out by Mr. Sangma, I understand he wanted to know the number of schools and temporary schools buildings to be constructed and the number of students who have vacated.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- It is difficult at this moment to give detailed information. I think Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will be better if I tell you that last time, on my tour to the interior area, the members of the Managing Committee, M.L.As and others approached me to get alternative plots of land for the construction of schools. So, I asked them whether they have received the grants or have utilised them. I said to everybody that the Government is not in a position to construct some school buildings. I have told the D.C and the Sub-Inspector of Schools and some of the members that the normal procedure that we follow in the matter of giving grants for construction of school buildings is that the Managing Committees can go ahead with construction if they have got the site for the school building. The school building like the one of at Ampati needs a new construction. When I asked the members and Secretary of the Managing Committee whether they have got any alternative site for the construction of the school building and whether they have received the grants they said 'yes'. Again when I asked them if they have fully utilised the money or not ; they said they have not utilised it as any site for the construction of schools, is meant for the refugees. So, no site is available to them in any particular place and therefore, construction of school buildings in any particular area could not be decided and the grants are mis utilised.
Shri Samarendra Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know if grants that the Minister of Education has indicated for construction of School buildings have been fully utilised.
Mr. Speaker :- You cannot seek information during the discussion on the cut motion. You can do that only in course of the general debate.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have been advised by the members to go ahead and that the Government will look in to the matter afterwards. Mr. Speaker, Sir, not only that. So, if I could tell you, there are difficulties also with the regard to the official communications to that affect. Mr. Speaker, Sir, unfortunately, this official communication has been a very lengthy process and the officers concerned have to approach the authority occasionally for these difficulties and hardships. Consequently, the Sub - Inspector of Schools with the D.C visited the various places. They have submitted reports for the requirements and arrangements, are being made for plans, etc, for the construction of such damaged buildings taking in to account any loss incurred by the refugees who are occupying the buildings. They have also submitted the reports in time because of that, I am sure last time we went to Tura for finalisation of this Report. A site has been selected and money has been given. But they said, "we do not like the site for construction of the building. We want to change the site to a better spot with your money". I told them that will serve them and that there is nothing wrong in that. It is the duty of the Managing Committee or the secretaries of the schools to inform the Government accordingly in that matter. The Government has given a grant of Rs. 20,000 /- for the construction of such schools. But they are unable to construct the schools at this very moment since we have to allot lands, and schools building to the refugees. So every grant, that we have already given is to be utilised for construction of schools buildings but in spite of our requests to them the construction of the said school building is not there. Anyway it is good that this point has been raised and I will look in to it and I shall try my level best to redress the grievances of the students, the members, the parents the guardians and the teachers in the border areas. All these Managing Committee require more strength and powers. I understand all these difficulties. But our Government I think will face these difficulties very boldly, and I hope that the border areas will realise will all these difficulties that our Government is facing today. In this context, I would request the hon. member to withdraw the cut motion.
*Shri Akramozzaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have heard the replied from the Hon. Minister on all those points that have been raised before the House. One thing that strikes my mind is that the department has not the required staff. It is important for this department to put pressure on the Government for sanctioning of those staff. (Laughter). They should take steps otherwise, I do not believe that this Government can take the initiative or pave the way including the education department to have such force. So I think the force is to be created here, so that the Government can understood the difficulties. The force is complicated but whatever it might be, I say I am not convinced and this is the thing that strikes me much and that has completed me to withdraw the cut motion even though I am not fully convinced, Sir. (Laughter)
Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion ? (Voices : Yes, yes). The cut motion is with leave of the House withdraw.
Since the hon. member, Mr. Akramozamman, has withdrawn his cut motion. I am to put the main question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs. 24,97,480 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1972 for the administration of the head "28 - Education, etc".
(The Motion was carried and the Demand passed) Mr. Bareh to move Demand No. 3.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- On the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, Sir, to move that an additional amount of Rs. 24,35,397 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "30 - Public Health - II - Public Health Engineer".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question before the house.
The question is that an additional amount of Rs. 24,35,397 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1972 for the administration of the head "30 - Public Health-II-Public Health Engineer".
(The Motion was carried and the demand Passed)
I would request Mr. Lyngdoh now to move Demand No. 4.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- On the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, Sir, to move that an additional amount of Rs. 33,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "71 -Misc -II - Donation for Charitable purpose".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion I put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs. 33,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "71 -Misc -II - Donation for Charitable purpose".
The motion was carried and demand passed. Now the Minister, Revenue to move Demand No.5.
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, Sir, to move that an additional amount of Rs. 22,53,608 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "71 -Misc - (IV - Expenditure on Issue of Free Ration and Rice Concession, etc)".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut Motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs. 22,53,608 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "71 -Misc -(IV - Expenditure on Issue of Free Ration and Rice Concession, etc")
(The Motion was carried and the demand passed)
Now, Mr. Marak, Minister to move the Demand No. 6.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Revenue and Rehabilitation) :- On the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, Sir, to move that an additional amount of Rs. 18,20,000,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "71 -Miscellaneous - (V - Expenditure on Displaced persons)".
Mr. Speaker :- I have received notice of a Cut Motion from Mr. Akrammozaman.
Shri Akrammozaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs. 18,20,00,000 under Supplementary Demand No. 6 Major head "71 - Miscellaneous - (V Expenditure on Displaced persons)" at page 10 of the List of Supplementary Demand of Rs. 18,20,00,000 do stand reduced to Rs. 100.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.
Shri Akrammozaman :- Sir, we all know that the abnormal circumstances which have been created by the incoming of refugees of course were beyond the speculation of the Government or even of every Member of this House. So at this stage, I am afraid whether this Supplementary Demand will be sufficient or not. I wish to point out here that refugee are of two kinds. To speak the truth one kind of refugee are the victims of Military oppression in Bangladesh and other kind was caused by the unprovocated firing of the Pakistan Government in our border areas, and for these reasons, many families from the border areas had to shift to other places particularly, in Maheshkhola area and the whole population of that area which consist of about 12 villages had shifted to other places. Of course it is not clearly mentioned here that for our own people this amount is going to be spent or not. The Central Government shall give the amount no doubt and from this amount whether we are going to spend for those persons who have left their hearths and homes to other places. Of course, I do not wish to go in to the details because there will be a ruling that there is the exact number of families who have been displaced and it might be the situation is very tough.
Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the attention of the hon. Member to the fact that while raising any question in his speech that question must be relevant to the Grant which is under discussion ?
*Shri Akrammozaman :- So I think the Government may inform the House the total number of our people who are now living in the camp due to the unprovocated firings by Pakistan Army on our area. I also wish to say that it was required of the Government for various reasons even from the point of view of security measures, to also try to keep the situation peaceful without any conflict between the refugees and the local people and to see that the refugee should live in the camps and the should be not be allowed to go elsewhere and should be not leave the camps without permission. This is what we have to do for the refugees and it is also the intention of the House to have some restrictions in the area. The situation in the country is of varying degree and we do not know what we shall do either to fight against or adapt of the circumstances afterwards. It is difficult to speculate whether to take action so that the situation may not be disturbed. Because it is learned and it is found also that many refugees who used to go out of their camps used to destroy crops and demand many things from the local people and therefore controversies started. That is why there was also a question in this House that subsidiary crops should be raised in the refugees camps. The refugees should be not be allowed to go out of their camps visiting many villages where in some cases altercation also started. Under the circumstances, whom are we to blame, the refugees, or the local people or the administration ? I would like to request the Government that we should take strict measures and not allow the refugees to go on their sweet will to other places which will create a great misery from the health point of view. Such cases have been found in and around different refugees camps which may also be due to the infection caused by the spread of such refugees camps. This is one point. So I earnestly request the Government to see that the refugees may not be allowed to go freely as they like without proper check except when it is so, important for them to come out of their camps without Government's permission. Secondly, here we have seen that cash doles are to the be paid to them for purchase. In this respect, some shops should be established within the campus of the refugees camps and prices of the commodities also should fixed by the Government so that refugees can purchase from those shops only. It would be better for the Government initially to establish markets or give facilities to different marketing co - operative societies located near about the refugees camps to have such shops within the refugees campus. So these co - operative shops, can have the profit by doing so. Besides that, if it is not possible at present to grant such cash also be introduced so that the refugees can have their commodities by the credit slip from markets which are established by the Government. Otherwise there will be not solution to it. Sir, in some cases it is found that construction of refugees camps in Garo Hills has been done at the instance of the District Council. So far I understand, there are no proper Government agencies. Some camps have been constructed long before and the payment was very much delayed. The cause of the delay is not known. It is understood that the Government has sanctioned the payment. It is also learnt that 10 per cent is usually cut from the payment. I do not also know the reason for deduction of this 10 per cent. If the work is not good the payment should not be made.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I may inform the hon. Member that this 10 per cent is not actually deducted. It is a temporary withholding of payment pending final check up of the construction of the huts. Sir, this was done at my own instance, because when I went to a particular camp I found that the roofing of the huts was not properly done and the refugees reported that the huts were leaking. This is done just to avoid defective construction. So, it is only a temporary withholding of the total payment and that is the practice followed by Public Works Department.
Shri Akrammozaman :- When the house is once occupied by the refugees and after wards it is found that it was not properly construction it becomes very difficult ; On whom the responsibility will be put ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, Mr. Zaman did not go to see the camps when there was a huge influx and it was not our desire to occupy to the camps as we would like, I would request Shri Zaman to realise this fact.
Shri Akrammozaman :- Sir, it is not a fact that I had not been to the refugee camps (laughter)
Mr. Speaker :- At the time of the huge influx and when there was a huge rush ?
Shri Akrammozaman :- There was huge rush, of course, but there were camps where Government can take the refugees.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I would like to reply. There are certain rules and procedures in almost all the contract works to encourage the local people. I want that payment should be more or less prompt. But I cannot allow final payment for something which is not properly done. Whenever everything is set at right, that 10 per cent balance will be paid after some of the defects that are loud are rectified first.
Mr. Speaker :- So far as this question is concerned, I want to rule it out in so far the procedure of payment is concerned, there are always sets of rule which the Government must follow.
Shri Akrammozaman :- Sir, about the allotment of works, so far I remember, when the Chief Minister visited the camps, I was also in the Circuit House along with the Chief Secretary. We were also present. So far as allotment of work to the local people, in some cases, it was found that many outsiders had got contract work instead of local people. That is why I believe there was a Central Relief Committee meeting to review these things and a recommendation was made by that Central Relief Committee to the authority concerned that the local, people particularly in the area where there are the refugee camps that the construction of the houses should be given to them. I believe that Government will take into consideration that recommendation.
Mr. Speaker : By local people what do you mean ? Do you mean the people living in those areas or other people of the State ?
Shri Akrammozaman :- In the resolution of the Central Refugee Committee, the local people have explicitly been stated. So I wish that Government would take in to consideration the meaning of the local people. It is also learnt that there was also local purchase of the rice for ration, to some camps whether it is a fact or not, As far as we know it is decided that the ration will be supplied by the food Corporation of India we are not to sacrifice from our own quota, it is additional. What were the circumstances under which Government had to purchase locally some quantity of rice to supply to the camps and what was the rate. I believe that Government will take all this into consideration and take action very promptly not to allot the refugees to go outside the camps and outsiders are not allowed in side the refugee camps without any proper and urgent cause. No. 2 The shops should be opened within the refugee camps or to give facilities to purchase articles and for paucity of funds, credit slips should be given for the purchase. Preference would be given to the Co - operative societies to open shops within the campus of the refugee camps. In this connection, I would like to point out one thing which is most important and which has come up during the discussion on Education Grant and that is the Government should sweet that educational facilities should be given to the disposed persons of our own. These people are now suffering from not getting ration and other things and the Government should look in to it and try to find out ways and means to meet their requirements. There are so many complaints that these people are not getting the required ration, etc. because of the abnormal situation that is going on at present. These are essentialities which require to be taken in to consideration by the administration of the refugee camps in relation to the local people and the refugees. I believe that the Government will take prompt action to solve these problems.
Mr. Speaker :- Is there any hon. member who would like to participate in this discussion?
Shri Singjan Sangma : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in support of the cut motion moved by my friend, Shri Akrammozaman, I would like to say something in connection with the supply of rice particularly rice which is being supplied to the refugee camps. I would like also to inform the House that the Government rice which is supplied to the refugees at Baghmara, as far as I know is costing Rs.132.51 P per quintal but the local rice which is purchased by the Government to supply as ration to the refuge camps sat Baghmara is costlier than the Government rice. It is learnt that the purchasers had purchased rice from the Baghmara local market at the rate of Rs. 165 - Rs. 172 per quintal and thereby a causing a great loss to the Government. Now we one thing which strikes my mind is that according to my information the purchasers had purchased about the 16,000 quintals of rice from Baghmara local markets. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if this huge quantity of rice can be available at Baghmara local market even in the lean period of August September and October, then it causes me to think that Baghmara is a surplus area. If it is so, then I would say that Baghmara ahs actually become the granary of Garo Hills. So my point is that what caused the Government to purchase the local rice at much higher rate than that of the Government rice. Whether the purchase had actually purchased rice from Baghmara market and if it is so from whom. So I request the Government to look in to the matter and take prompt necessary action.
Shri Witherson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know the names of the purchasers ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is alright, I will give a reply to it.
Shri Singjan Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am really very sorry to inform the House of the incident which occurred at Sesengpara refugees camps. The incident took place during the absence of the A.R.R.O when some of the interested staff of the said refugee camp gave one tin of mustard oil an loan to the refugee shopkeeper of Sesengpara camp. I do not know whether it is permissible to give Government ration on loan to a certain shopkeeper. If it is not, I request the Government to make an enquiry in to the matter and prompt action should be taken to stop such undesirable activities and thereby discourage corruption. With these few words Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support the Cut Motion moved by my friend, Shri Akrammozaman.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I myself was born and brought up at Baghmara village. As far as I know Baghmara has never been the granary of the Garo Hills District. On the contrary it is a deficit area.
The actual fact it that we have been depending for the supply of essential commodities including food grains on the Food Corporation of India. At one time I received a report that because of inadequate supply from the Food corporation of India Go downs both from Gauhati and Bongaigoan the District Administration could not rush required quantity of rice and the other commodities to the different refugee camps in Garo Hills and if rice and other essential commodities could not be procured from elsewhere in order to feed the refugees then they would bag starved at that particular time. It was because of this reason, the Local District Authorities had to procure rice from some other source, I quite agree that there was some agitation at Baghmara refugee camp for not getting adequate supply of essential commodities.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member also stated that even after troubles broke out in Bangla Desh some rice was available at Baghmara from across the border. It is not only Baghmara villages but other places along the border used to get some rice from across the border. However, only because some rice could be purchased at Baghmara it could not be presumed that it was produced from that place. Whatever rice could be purchased at Baghmara might have come from some other places from across the border.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as stated earlier, when we could not get our supply from the regular source we head to procure rice and other essential commodities from any other source. So, whenever the District Authorities had to procure rice and other supplies from some other source that is from open market naturally the businessmen taking the advantage of the situation charges higher price. Last time when I was touring in the interior areas long with my colleague, the Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation we were asked to risk supply of ripe immediately so that the people would not starve. My colleague directed the District Authorities for early rushing of supplies but it was reported that these was no stock of rice in the Food Corporation of India go downs at Gauhati. Therefore, in such a situation there would be no other alternative but to procure rice from the open market even by paying higher price. Unless compelled by such circumstances the Government would not have procured and rice and other supplies from the open market by paying higher price.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the incident mentioned by Shri Singjan Sangma it would have been better appreciated, if the matter was brought to the notice of the Government and in that case a report from the Deputy Commissioner could have been obtained. This procedure would have been more helpful rather than binging this matter direct to the floor of the Assembly. he should have reported the matter of the D.C in the absence of the A.R.O when some Assistants in his office as alleged sold mustard oil to some shopkeeper. The fluty persons should have been brought to book. M.L.A and public leaders should reports the corrupt practice to the authorities concerned. I cannot guarantee that the all employees are anglers. There may be such practices not only amount the employees (laughter).
Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister in charge R.R. like to add some thing more ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Relief and Rehabilitation) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Leader of the House has replied to most of the important points raised by the hon. mover of the Cut Motion. He wants to know something about local families. I will try to reply to it in brief. So it is not possible to give a detailed reply to all the queries regarding refugee problems in the border areas. One points is about local evacuees. In K & J. Hills there are 3,517 local evacuees, that is, families to be multiplies by 5 - the average number of each family. But in Garo Hills it is not possible to give the exact figure because the people ,live live in scattered way. I think the number is larger than K & J Hills.
Shri A.B Diengdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know whether the number of evacuees in Khasi and Jaintia Hills also includes the number of evacuees in Khasi and Jaintia Hills also includes the number of people living in Sohiong Camp ?
Mr. Speaker :- It may multiply to 10,000 or 20,000. But the main contention of Mr. Zaman is that whether this amount will also include the amount to be spent to the local evacuees.
Shri W.A Sangma (Chief Minister) :- If I remember correctly the Government of India decided only the two States viz., Meghalaya and Tripura should provide shelter and food and to the local evacuees and in Meghalaya they are getting it. As stated by the Minister in charge, it is difficult at this moment to give the exact number of local evacuees in Garo Hills. In Garo Hill, we have bigger evacuee population who have had to leave their hearths and house, and as pointed out correctly by Mr. Zaman, the entire border area is almost swamped with evacuees. We are giving them ration but as far as shelter is concerned, they are making their own arrangement. They will, however, be paid, for the sheds constructed by them.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Relief and Rehabilitation) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, another point which has been raised is regarding to the refugees going out of the camps. The question has been taken up by Government, and we are trying to prevent them from going out of the camps, without deploying any force.
So far as supply of food stuff to the evacuees, is concerned it is extremely difficult for this Government to control the movement. I think you will appreciate that at the present moment, it has not been possible to give cash doles to the evacuees. Sir, regarding mustard oil, this is something quite undesirable at this stage.
Shri Akrammozaman :- I do not say that all those who are in the camps should be supplied with kerosene. But I think it will be better to give for the Government to introduce credit slip system in order to make them purchase the articles from the shops to be established by the Government.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Relief and Rehabilitation) :- It has also been discussed at the Government level whether cash is to be paid to the refugees in the camps already maintained by the Government Considering the economic condition of the border areas, if we give cash to the refugees, it will create dissatisfaction among the local people. So we find that it is not possible at this moment to give cash to the evacuees. What is required not is that a proper atmosphere is to be created in the border areas. The Hon. Member also mentioned about fair price shops. We have been trying to open shops for the local evacuees in various parts of amps in Meghalaya. Regarding construction of camps in those areas which have been badly affected in Garo Hills, there is a Committee known as Central Relief Committee to continue the work in consultation with the District Council as the District Council is the authority on land. As you know, the chief concern of the Government in regard to land is to have an agreement with the District Council.
Shri Akrammozaman :- We are not speaking about land.
Mr. Speaker :- In fact, the main intention the Mr. Zaman indicated on the floor of the House is that he has pleaded that these fair price shops should be given to the Co-operative Societies.
Shri Williamson A, Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, subject to correction, the rate of ration as fixed by the Government of India is Rs. 1.10 paise per head per day. However, as far as the Bangla Desh evacuees are concerned there is a proposal from the Government of India to reduce the scale of ration in respect of certain items so that there may be some cash saving. At present within the amount of Re. 1.10 paise we are supplying rice, dal, mustard oil, salt and sugar at a prescribed scale. The proposal is to reduce the quantity of certain items. Say, as for example, instead of 400 grammes or face per had per day the same may be reduced and whatever cash is saved out of Re. 1.10 paise may be given to the refugee families in order to enable them to purchase some other essential items not included in the ration. As far as this State is con corned this proposal is being examined taking in to consideration the various implications involved. If we now decide that out of Rs paise per head per day ration to the value of Rs. 00.80 paise only should be given in kind and the balance, that is to say Rs. 00.20 paise should be given in cash then we shall have to keep huge amount with the Assistant Relief Officers. As pointed out by my colleague it will not be safe, especially in the border areas, to keep such a big amount with the Assistant Relief Officers. Moreover, these officer have not furnished any security. Even in a camp consisting of 5.000 or 8,000 families if we are to give ration in kind to the value of 80 paise and the balance is to be given in cash then the amount will be huge. Constant fear is prevailing in the border areas. All these facts will have to be taken into consideration before any decision is taken on this proposal. However, we have to do something about this. As stated earlier, it is still in the process of examination.
Mr. Speaker :- That is the main contention whether Government will take step on that or not.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- On a point of clarification whether the hon. Member meant whether these shops are for the local people or for the evacuees.
Shri Akrammozaman :- For both. Wherever it is possible in the camps, there should be Marketing Society so that the refugees can purchase the articles from them. I would suggest that Marketing Societies may be allowed to be established from amongst the Government approved shops.
Mention has also been made regarding restriction of movement of the evacuees in the localities. The evacuees move about in the localities mostly to cut trees at random for fuel and thereby they destroy forests. In order to prevent this we have decided in principle to supply fuel to the refugees. The Government of India has agreed, if I remember correctly to supply fuel upto the value of 10 paise per head per day. However, unless and until the quest on of supplying ration part in kind and part in cash is decided upon I do not know how this decision of supplying fuel can be given effect to. Speaking the actual fact you will find that the Bangla Desh evacuees are selling rice, dal and other items of their ration all along their camp sites and the local people are buying these commodities from them. I have seen this with my own eyes. I have seen this in Dalu Camp in Garo Hills and I learn that the same thing is happening in Mailam Camp in Khasi Hills. In fact the evacuees have captured business from out local people. It will, therefore, be seen that except for the reasons stated earlier there will not be any difficulty to reduce the scale of ration of certain items and resort to part-clash and part kind programme.
As stated by the Minister-in-charge, Relief and Rehabilitation we are taking steps to supply essential commodities to out local people in the border areas through the fair prove shops. We have already obtained sanction from the Government of India for this purpose and that for the remaining period of this financial year. My colleague has already moved supplementary demand for this purpose. Let us not, therefore, mix up one thing with another. Question of establishing the fair price shops either through co-operative societies or through other agencies will have to be examined.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Marak have you anything more to say ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Relief and Rehabilitation) :- I think it is enough and I hope the hon. mover of the cut motion will kindly appreciate the difficulties and withdraw his cut motion.
Shri Akrammozaman :- Sir, the difficulty was and will always be with the Government no doubt. That is why you also informed the House that many of the questions could not be replied by this Department I think the question should be.. ... ... .
Mr. Speaker :- That is not relevant here.
Shri Akrammozaman :- So, I believe that final decision shall have to be made by the Government about the payment of cash dole to the cooperative societies to supply these things. With that hope I withdraw the cut motion.
Mr. Speaker :- As the hon. Member has withdrawn the cut motion, I now put the question. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.18,20,000 be granted to the Minister in charge of defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "71 - Miscellaneous - (V - Expenditure on Displaced Persons)".
(The motion was carried and the demand passed).
Now, the Minister P.W.D to move Demand No. 7
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- Mr. Speaker, on the recommendation of Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.3,19.600 be granted to the Minister, in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head - "103 - Capital Outlay on Public Works outside the Revenue Accounts, etc.".
Mr. Speaker :- The motion is moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question before the House.
The question is that an additional amount of Rs.3.19,600 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "103 - Capital Outlay on Public Works outside the Revenue Account, etc."
(The Motion was carried and demand passed)
Now the Minister, Supply to move Demand No. 8
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Supply) :- Mr. Speaker, on the recommendation of Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.1,75,000 be granted to the Minister, in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head - "124 - Capital Outlay on Schemes of Government Trading".
Mr. Speaker :- The motion is moved. I have received notice of one cut motion from Shri Akrammozaman. Will the hon. Member move his cut motion ?
*Shri Akrammozaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs. 1,75,00 under Supplementary Demand No. 8 Major head "124 - Capital Outlay on Schemes of Government Trading at page 13 of the List of Supplementary Demands be reduced to re. 100. i.e the amount of the whole Supplementary Demand of Rs. 1,75,000 do stand reduced to Re. 1.
Sir, this is a new item that has been introduce here and I agree that there is a necessity for it but the thing in other states the Government Trading has incurred a heavy loss. So there is apprehension in our minds about the fate of this Government Trading and we have not heard about the details of the scheme that has been prepared by the Government, I shall, therefore, be glad if only the Hon'ble Minister informs the House about the detailed scheme of this Government Trading. It is only glad that the Minister in charge will give us full detailed information in what way Government Trading is going to be carried on.
Mr. Speaker :- I may also request the Minister in charge to explain the present scheme.
*Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Supply) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the hon. Members are aware the present unsettled situation prevailing in this region is due to the disturbances prevailing in East Bengal and in the event of a war we are likely to be seriously affected and this scheme is being taken up because of the present situation. If the position becomes worse then we are likely to be more adversely affected and in this whole region we are very dependent on the arrival of a large number of commodities from outside the State and outside the region. That is why we have decided to go in for the State Trading on certain commodities so that it will prevent the State from being short of certain essential commodities and any disruption in the communication is likely to have a serious affect on the prices and availability of commodities in Meghalaya. The main objective of the buffer stock is (a) to have the commodities physically available in this region so that in the vent of brake down of communications, scarcity conditions are mitigated ; (b) the buffer stock of war, the tendency of the traders to hoard the stocks be kept easily cantered if stocks are available with the Government for release to the consumers ; (c) the buffer stock may be released to the consumers at reasonable prices in the even of prices showing a high tendency. This will also force the traders to sell their commodities at reasonable prices due to competition from the Government Fairs Price Shops.
The present scheme has been prepared, to meet 50 per cent of three month, requirements for the local people. This presumes that there will not be a complete breakdown of communications and the usual trade channels will be functioning, at least, to some extent. The total stocks would be sufficient for three months at the above rate.
In all schemes of buffer stock, there is no doubt an element of risk because the commodities may have to be sold at prices lower than the purchase prices, if the market shows a downward trend. But while fixing the release prices, the Department would try to ensure that the Government does not suffer any financial loss. The procurement of the commodities and its storage will be arranged with the F.C.I failing which the Government may think of appointing its own agents. Storage will be done in go downs managed by the officers and staff of the Government.
The commodities will be released every two or three month to avoid deterioration.
This, in short, is the scheme for which we have asked for a sum of Rs. 1,75,000 primarily for the purchase of food stuffs. I would like to correct in the printed list of Supplementary Demand Sir. There has been a misprint and I saw it myself this morning and hon. Members may kindly correct in their copies in this Demand, No.8 Under A, sub-clause (a) "the expenditure on Establishment of Food stuffs it is actually "Expenditure on Establishment and Purchase of Food - Stuffs". So I hope that with the Co-operation of the hon. Members in checking the price, as I have earlier mentioned in the Debate, this scheme will be a success. With these words I appeal to the hon. Member to draw his cut motion.
Shri Akrammozaman :- For want of information I would like to know whether the Government will fix any Agency for purchase. Whether it would be purchased by the Co-operative Societies or by any other Agencies ?
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Supply) :- At the first instance I cannot say this. However we will try to absorb Good Corporation of India ; failing which we may try other Agencies and whether co-operative Societies would be appointed or not will also be considered.
Shri Akrammozaman :- These I asked only for want of information. However, I have no objection to withdraw the cut motion.
Mr. Speaker :- I would like to draw the attention of the mover of the cut motion that the cut motion which he has put is not a cut motion at all. This particular form of cut motion can be described as the disapproval of the Government policy where a Member can suggest an alternative police. But since this is a new scheme, the hon. member has sought only a clarification from the Minister which has has given.
So, now I put the question before the House. The Question is that so additional amount of Rs. 1,75,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1972 for the administration of the head "124 - Capital Outlay on Schemes of Government Trading."
(The Motion was carried and the demand passed.)
Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971.
Before I request the Finance Minister to move the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971, let me now read the message from the Governor :-
"In exercise of the powers, conferred by sub-section (i) of Section 37 of the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 (Central Act 55 of 1969) I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Assam exercising my functions as Governor in relation to Meghalaya hereby recommend the introduction in the Meghalaya L.A of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971.
Dated Raj Bhavan
Sd /- BRAJ MUMAR NEHRU,
The 28th November, 1971.
May I request Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.II) Bill, 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971.
(The Motion was carried)
May I request the Finance Minister to introduce the Bill ?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to leave to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The questions that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971 be introduced.
(The motion was carried and the Bill introduced)
(The Secretary then read the title of the Bill)
Before I request Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh to move for consideration of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. III) Bill, 1971, let me read the message from the Governor :-
"In exercise of the powers, conferred by sub-section (3) of Section 37 of the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 (Central Act 55 of 1969) I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Assam exercising my functions as Governor in relation to Meghalaya hereby recommend the introduction in the Meghalaya Legislative .Assembly of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971.
Dated Raj Bhavan
Sd /- BRAJ MUMAR NEHRU,
The 28th November, 1971.
May I request Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971 be taken in to consideration ?.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971. be taken in to consideration.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971 be taken in to consideration.
(The Motion was carried)
May I request Mr. B.B Lyngdoh to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971 be pleased.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971 be passed.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.III) Bill, 1971 be passed.
(The motion was carried and the Bill passed)
Mr. Speaker :- Before the House stands adjourned since die I would like to take the opportunity of saying a few words. This may be the last Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous State. If things go well or if nothing untoward happens, the North Eastern Areas (Re - organisation) Bill, 1971 will be passed during the current Session of Parliament. I hope things will go well so that the Meghalaya full-fledged State will be installed some time in the first week of January, 1972. As I said, in that context, this Session will be the last session, and as soon as the Meghalaya Autonomous State will be installed as Meghalaya Full-fledged State, this Assembly will convert State for sometime, and if the Bill will be passed in its present form, I think I should have to bid farewell to the three nominated Members who will not be have their place in the interim Legislative Assembly of the Full-fledged Meghalaya State. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chief Minister. I would like to thank him as the Leader of the House. In fact, I am tempted to speak to you personally, intimately and perhaps, more closely. As the Leader of the House, you have really conducted yourself from the very beginning till the end with classic grace and dignity and with nobility. You have conducted yourself with a high sense of duty and responsibility and it is with this attitude in the House that you have gained the confidence of the whole House. Your cheerful nature, your ever smiling face, your genial spirit have won the love of all the hon. Members. I active co-operation to you, to me and to the whole House. I would like to thank the Members of the Opposition group who have never played the part of the some of the Opposition Party which we know in other parts of the world. They have been more constructive than some of the Members of the Ruling Party elsewhere.
They have never played dilatory tactics. They have never taken resort to unnecessary adjournment motions, no confidence motions or any other unnecessary motions. But they have conducted themselves with dignity. I would like to thank all Members of the House for their high sense of responsibility in the conduct of the business of the House. I think I must be proud that I am presiding over the most disciplined House in the country. I must be proud that there is no House in the country which is more disciplined, more business like and more decorous than our House. I must thank the Deputy Speaker without whose constant suggestions and advise, without whose cheerful spirit and dignified demeanor inside and inside the House, it would have been impossible for me to conduct the business of the House properly. I must think the Secretary without whose selfless devotion to his work, it would have been impossible for me and for the whole House to transact the business in time. I must thank the members of the Press. In political terms, the members it of the press formed the third chamber of the Legislature and Gallery has been always full. In many Legislatures there is complaint as to why should we take up business when the Gallery is vacant. But I am very happy that the Press Gallery here is always full. The Press plays a very important role in Parliamentary Democracy. They keep the people informed of what is happening inside the House and the House also gets information from them. With the co-operation of the press, we have been able to project even outside the State and the image of this Assembly. I am looking forward for their co-operation in future and I am expecting that in that next House, that is in the first Assembly of the first full-fledged Meghalaya State also we will be expecting the same co-operation, understanding and goodwill from all sections.
On April 1, 1970 when I was unanimously elected to this august Chair, I assured every section of this House, every group and every individual tha5t I would never let down their privileges. A Member's privilege as a Member of the House has been constantly before me. I have tried to stick to the tradition follow the older ones and whenever new ones have to be established, you may take it from me that I have tried best to do that also. I have not tried to make any difference between Party and Party or between group and group. It may be that I have not resigned my membership from the Party, but I have no attachment with any Parliamentary Party or group within the precincts of the House. This I did because I want to infuse confidence in the minds of all to raise the standard, convention and traditions of this House. I sincerely believe what the famous constitutional expert Ersksne May says : "Confidence in the impartiality of the Speaker, is and indispensable condition of the successful working of procedure and many conventions exist which have as their object not only to ensure the impartiality of the Speaker but also to ensure that his impartiality is generally recognised". I do not know, I might have committed some acts omission and commission. Human being is always subject to making errors : no one is perfect. I may have committed some mistakes, and if I have done so, I would humbly ask you forgiveness. I do know that atleast, on one occasion, I had made a mistake and I take this opportunity to point out that when the Assembly made an obituary reference on the death of President Nasser of the United Arab Republic, I made a mistake. According to the Convention, it should have been the Speaker who should take the initiative, But I made a mistake and so, I requested the Chief Minister to make the correction of the mistake which I have committed. I know and also I think that you are all aware of the fact that we are working under great handicaps. If I were to remain in the Chair or if I am no longer here, some body will occupy this Chair and I would request each and every one of you to take keen interest and the initiatives in the proceedings of the House. We must make so many changes and perhaps, we must also try to equip ourselves. The Assembly is to be well equipped. In the Assembly we have to be sufficiently attentive. This is the main task that needs to be solved in the near future. The Assembly Secretariat must take steps to equip itself in the very near future with sufficient number of Reporters so that the Assembly may not have to depend on the Executive. The Assembly must also try at least to initiate the private members and others to know how to draft question, motion and resolution. We are not experts in this sphere. We need the assistance of experts. But due to lack of expert drafts men in this part of the country, I think that will require some time. With these few words, I once again thank each and everyone of you in this House for the greatest amount of co-operation you have been giving from the day when I was elected till today.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I am indeed very grateful to you for the kind words you spoke to me.
I do not, however know as to whether this will be the last session of this Assembly or it will have to meet again in the near future. The Bill for granting full Statehood for Meghalaya is expected to be introduced soon in the Parliament. I have had, along with some of my colleagues, opportunity to make certain comments on the draft Bill and to offer some suggestions before the same is finalised for instruction in the Parliament. According to the provision of sub-clause (6) of Clause 22 of the Draft Bill, it appear to me that this particular Assembly will have to meet again ; in respect of delimitation of Constituencies is required to laid before the Legislative Assembly of the concerned State. Before the next General Election in 1972 and with passage of the Bill for granting full Statehood by the Parliament, the composition of the present Assembly will be changed
Mr. Speaker :- But the full-fledged Assembly will have to sit even before the Bill was placed in the Parliament.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I am not very sure about it. Everything is now with the Parliament in Delhi. Anyway, I should take this opportunity to thank you. Under your able guidance we have been able to conduct the business of all the sessions smoothly. I would also like to thank you for the cooperation you gave to the Government.
I would also like to the thank the Deputy Speaker and the officers and the staff of the Assembly. Lastly, I would also like to thank all the hon. Members of this House including those in the opposite. In fact, I do not call those friends in the opposite as members of the Opposition Party. From the way they have tackled the various issue before the House, it will be seen that they have never behaved as Members of the Opposition. They have been always constructive and along with the Members from this side they have helped the Government to tackled various problems. But, anyway, they have to take their seats in the opposite. In democracy, there should be a constructive and strong Opposition. The hon. Members, irrespective of their party affiliation, should be able to point out certain shortfalls on the part of the Government and come forward with concrete suggestions to correct them. It is only in this way that the Government will be able to functions more effectively.
Mr. Speaker :- As you have said already, I also want to thank all the members of this House. The members should be efficient indeed. They should have ready information and details to be placed before the House and in particular the qualities essential for the services to and to safe guard the interest of the people. I hope and I believe that in the next Assembly all the members, should be on the alert to the service of the people as it is the principle laid down in our Constitution. Every member should take the responsibility of doing service to the people and should play an important role for widening the sphere of our Government we deserved which is the destiny of the people, and for whom we have served and also worked for the past 20 years in our own respective capacity and with the ability we posses.
*Shri Akrammozaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also take this opportunity to thank you. Firstly, because it would not have been possible for all of us to grasp that idea without your able guidance. One thing is that we need a very strong constructive Opposition Party, especially in course of a discussion on a particular motion in the House. If there be a criticism, what ever business before the House might be, it is to be decided with the Opposition Party taking part. I give my thanks also to the Deputy Speaker, and all the staff of the Secretariat of the House for the whole hearted cooperation which they have been extending in the interest of this honourable House. At the same time, I also give my thanks to the Leader of the House and his colleagues for their sincere attempts to enlighten the House on Government policies and how to implement them. Here the greatest importance of a democracy is the presence of a very strong Ruling Party and a strong Opposition Parties. I believe that all the Members of this present Assembly or of the coming full fledged State's Assembly and after all the Government, should strive ahead for the establishment of strong background for the common good of all so that the aim at the stable democracy and a stable Government can be attained. Lastly, I give my thanks to the Press because I have seen that through the Press that public opinion is being focused. Therefore, I encourage that there should be a compromise between the Press and the Government because whatever the criticism is made, it is only through the Press that the Government can be impressed upon as to the people's need and their interest in the field of democracy so that our State of Meghalaya could fulfill its duties and services to the best interest of the whole country and to the people of Meghalaya most particularly. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker :- The House stands adjourned sine-die.
Dated Shillong :
The 29th November, 1971.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
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