The Assembly met at 10 a.m. on Monday, the 19th June, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair
(To which oral replies were given)
Constitution of Sports Council
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :
1. Will the Minister-in-charge of Education be pleased to state -
(a) Whether the State Sports Council since constituted, has ever met?
(b) If not, why not?
(c) Whether the Sports Officer has been appointed?
(d) If so, who is the incumbent and what is the scale of pay?
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Education) replied :
1. (a) - No Sir.
(b) - The Council has not met because a Sports Officer who is to act as the General Secretary has not yet been appointed.
(c) - No.
(d) - Does not arise.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : What is the difficulty in appointing a Sports Officer?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first instance, the Government was planning to appoint an officer who is serving as Additional D.I. but later the Government decided that in view of the fact that we are already short of Inspecting Officers, it would not be advisable to utilise the services of the Additional D.I. as a Sports Officer. Then of course, the legal and Constitutional difficulties came up after 21st January, when the State no longer had the services of the Assam P.S.C.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : May I know what is the main function of the State Sports Council?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) : The main function will be to advise the Government in the matter of development of sports.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : May we know from the Minister whether there is any appointment order that Government is going to issue to any particular officer, as a Sports Officer being an officer of some other posts also?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) : The answer is No.
Construction of a Stadium in Shillong
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :
*2. Will the Minister-in-charge of Education be pleased to state -
(a) Whether Government is contemplating upon constructing a Stadium in Shillong?
(b) If so, what are the steps so far taken in this regard?
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) replied :
2. (a) - Government is considering the question of constructing a stadium in Shillong and a proposal is under examination.
(b) - As stated above, a proposal in under examination.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : How long will the Government take to make a decision in the matter?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) : It will take as long as it will take to complete this process of considering and examining (Laughter).
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer is not very satisfactory. May we know from the Minister when the Government intends to take a decision on this matter?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : No definite information regarding Government decision could be given just now.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : May we know from the Minister if the site has been selected or not for the construction of a stadium in Shillong?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) : The Shillong Sports Association has obtained a 'no objection' statement from the Board of Trustees which control the Polo ground. As such it may be said that a sites is available.
Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether responsibilities of constructing the stadium have been entrusted to the Shillong Sports Association?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) : The matters is under consideration.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : When the site has been selected, what is the difficulty of starting the construction?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have been pursuing the matter with the Government of India as this is linked with the development of Shillong Town.
Water Supply Scheme
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) asked :
*3. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -
(a) Whether Government are aware that raw water at the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme is like to be contaminated by pesticides?
(b) If so, whether it would not endanger human lives?
(c) If the reply to (b) above is in the affirmative, what steps Government propose in this regard?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
3. (a) - Few water samples from the intake of Mawlai Water Scheme was tested before taking up the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme but on pesticide contamination was found in the water. However, one more sample is being sent for analysis.
(b) & (c) - As no pesticide contamination was found, there is no danger to human lives.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : When the water was taken for testing?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, I will not be able to give the exact date as to when this water sample was taken. But I presume before the scheme is executed testing of the water must have taken place.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : To whom was this water given for testing, to which Laboratory?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have no information with me as unfortunately, this question and its answer have been sent to me only last night. So, I have not been able to collect the relevant file and materials for supplementaries.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :
*4. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -
(a) When the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme is going to be completed?
(b) What is the total expenditure so far incurred in this Scheme?
(c) Has compensation for this land connected with the Scheme been paid to the person concerned?
(d) If not, why not?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
4. (a) - It is expected to be completed within the year 1972.
(b) - The expenditure upto 31st March, 1972 was Rs.14.18 lakhs.
(c) & (d) - Compensation to the acquisition of land was sanctioned by the Secretary, P.W.D. in the month of May, 1972 and the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, Shillong has already been requested for making payment to the land owners concerned vide letter No.PW/PHE-1/70/19, dated 9th May, 1972.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know from the Minister whether he is aware that the dam at the intake of the Water Supply Scheme has been damaged very recently?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I will have the matter enquired.
Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether this scheme had got no connection with the Water Supply Scheme of Shillong Town?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : No.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know from the Minister whether the scheme was to be inaugurated on the 2nd October, 1971?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have no definite information. But the Water Supply Scheme will be commissioned by 1972.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : I asked this question because I have got intimation from the Department that inauguration of the scheme would be on the 2nd October, 1971.
Mr. Speaker : Have you got a written intimation?
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Yes, I have got a written intimation.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well that being the intimation, I have to enquire from the concerned Department.
(To which written replies were placed on table)
Re : Meghalaya Calendar for 1972
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :
1. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
(a) The cost of printing and publishing the Meghalaya Calendar for 1972?
(b) The names of persons or firm who printed the Calendars?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : replied :
(1) (a) - Rupees 38,361.00.
(b) - M/s. Impala Advertising, Calcutta-16.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) : Sir, may we know whether quotations have been called for printing these Meghalaya Calendars?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Yes, Sir.
Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Sir, now many firms came forward for giving the quotations?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : As many as 9 firms.
Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Whether this firm, i.e., M/s. Impala Advertising submitted the lowest quotation?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, I would not say it was the lowest. The Government is not bound to accept the lowest tender. We have to take into account the capacity, financial soundness of the firm and other things.
Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Sir, whether the local firms have been given a chance for doing the work.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have already replied to that. From my reply it will be known to the hon. Member that the local firm was not given the work.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) : How many of those calendars were printed and what was the price fetched from the sale of the calendars?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : 5,000 copies.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : What was the lowest quotation given by this firm?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Rs.5,000 for 15,000 copies.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Was there any local firm which submitted tenders?
Mr. Speaker : He has replied to that.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) : What was the mode of distribution of these calendars?
Mr. Speaker : Hon. Member will appreciate that when the Minister is to reply to one question he should not overlap it by putting another question.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : My first question is whether there is any local firm that submitted tender?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : From the information available it appears that two local firm, viz., Art and Advertising Services Shillong and M/s Mini Films India, Shillong submitted the tenders.
Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : May we know whether the firms submitted the samples of their printing when they gave the quotations?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Yes, the samples were given by those two local Firms, Viz., M/s Mini Films India, Shillong with sample of High glass art paper and superior binding and M/s Art and Advertising Services, Shillong-3 with attached sample of Riming to be done with plastic.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Lyngdoh is still insisting on the price fixed per copy.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : No price is fixed. More or less the copies are given free in order to advertise the coming of Meghalaya into being.
Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : May we know what are the criteria for choosing this Messrs Impala Advertising for this work?
Mr. Speaker : He has already replied.
Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Is Government aware of the fact that the colour printing was very unattractive and secondly whether Government is aware of the fact that all the three dancing Pictures were in the wrong months?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a personal opinion.
Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : But it is a statement of fact?
Mr. Speaker : This is a matter of opinion whether the pictures are good or bad. To you they may be bad to them they may be good. Now, let us pass on to item 2.
Panel of Chairmen
I appoint following personnel to the Panel of Chairmen under Rule of the Assembly Rules for the current session of the Assembly -
1. Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah,
2. Shri Hoover Hynniewta,
3. Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang,
4. Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang,
Let me pas on to Item 3.
Report of the Business Advisory Committee
I called a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on the 6th June, 1972 to settle business for the current Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. A draft calendar for the meetings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was prepared by my Secretariat and circulated to the hon. Members present in the Committee with a statement of Business received from some of the Department of the Government. The Committee had considered the draft calendar and approved the same with slight modification. The Committee has considered to give more time to the hon. Members to take part in the Budget discussion and so, on Saturday, the 24th June, 1972, although it is a recess day, the Assembly will sit to conclude the discussion on the budget. A copy of the approved calendar has already been circulated to all the hon. Members.
I hope this has the approval of the House. (Voices - Yes). Before I request the Finance Minister to present the budget estimates of the Government of Meghalaya I will now ask the office Assistants of my Secretariat to distribute the budget speech and thereafter hon. Members may collect the budget papers from the office Superintendent of my Secretariat. May I now request the Finance Minister to present the budget.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) : Mr. Speaker, Sir. The year 1972 is the most notable year for the people of Meghalaya and for the people of the North Eastern Region as a whole. On the 21st January of this year, our great Prime Minister inaugurated the full fledged State of Meghalaya. This day, the 21st January, 1972 will ever remain the most memorable date for the people of our State, for it marks the complete fulfillment of the aspirations of the people for a rightful place in the life of the nation. In this connection, I would like to acknowledge with gratefulness the deep understanding shown by our Prime Minister and the other national leaders of the problems and aspirations of the people in this part of the country. I would also like to put on record our appreciation of the abundant good-will that came to us from the people of the country as a whole and of Assam in particular. I am sure this august House will join me in extending our best wishes and continued good-will to the people of Assam and the North-East with a pledge to march hand-in-hand in ensuring a balanced and accelerated development of the region as a whole. The emergence of Meghalaya as a full fledged State has thrown a challenge and has put upon us the gigantic responsibilities to initiate and implement the programmes for all round development of this under-developed part of the country. Out objective is not only to bring the level of development of the State at par with other advanced States of the great Republic to which we are privileged to belong, but also to keep up with tempo of development in the rest of the country. I would solicit the co-operation of all the members and the people of Meghalaya towards putting in maximum efforts to realise this goal.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the world of today, political development in one country cast their inescapable shadows on the others. And in the case of Meghalaya, political developments in the erstwhile East Pakistan did and will have profound effect upon our social and economic life. With influx of refugees in an almost unparalleled manner in the history of the world and its consequent repercussions, the economy of this poor State of ours was put to a severe strain. A challenge like this was perhaps not faced by any other State during the initial years of its life. I will not be accused of undue self-praise if I submit to this august House that this challenge was adequately met by the new born State of ours. The administration stood up as one man during those critical days in our history to the best extent possible and delivered the goods. It is a tribute to the administration as well as to the people who displayed unexpected endurance and a lasting faith in the values which we traditionally cherish. Looking back now, it is indeed heartening to note that the seemingly endless night of autocratic tyranny on the teeming millions of the erstwhile East Pakistan came to an end with the help of our valiant Army. The sun of freedom rose in the eastern horizon for this unfortunate group of our neighbours across the border and ultimately there emerged the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Bangladesh. Ours was the first country to recognise this youngest nation of the world as a sovereign country and almost the entire comity of nations followed suit in no time. We hope that our vital border trade which got such a rude jolt after the partition of the country twenty-five years ago will again be normalised, thereby sustenance to our hard hit border people in particular and to the overall economy of the State in general.
Meghalaya's Contribution during war with Pakistan - I may also be permitted to refer to our humble contribution to the war efforts of the nation against the ruthless attack of Pakistan. Soon after the declaration of war by Pakistan in December, 1971, a Citizens' Council was formed in our State with the Chief Minister as its Chairman. Branches of this Council were constituted in all the Districts and subdivisions of the State. The Citizens' Council directed popular efforts in promoting the welfare of the fighting forces and attempted to ensure maximum participation of the common man in the national war effort. Donations were collected for the National Defence Fund to augment Government's resources in fighting the war. A campaign was launched to enroll blood donors and the response was overwhelming. Gift articles were collected for the armed forces and a sum of Rs.1,06.949.60 p. was presented to the Prime Minister on the day she inaugurated Meghalaya as a full-fledged State.
Additional Resources Mobilisation for Bangladesh refugees - The Government of India introduced certain legislative measures aimed at mobilising additional resources for providing relief to the ten million refugees from Bangladesh. In line with the other States of the country and in pursuance of the instructions from the Government of India, various measures were taken by this Government to raise additional revenue in aid of refugee relief. Our efforts in this line are still continuing and during the current session I may have the privilege to move certain bills in this House with that end in view. The war has brought home to us the paramount need for attaining economic self-reliance even if it involves some additional hardship and sacrifice. I would not like here to repeat the traditional Finance Minister's invocation to tighten the belts, but I will be failing in my duty if I do not take this opportunity to emphasize the need for observing economy and discipline and to put in hard work to increase production in every field.
Welfare measures for Defence Services Personnel effected by the Indo-Pak War - As in the rest of the country the Government of Meghalaya adopted various measures for the welfare of the officers and men in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Para-Military Forces which were killed or disabled in action during the recent operations against Pakistan. These concessions have been extended to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and B.S.F. Personnel, who are or were permanent residents of Meghalaya.
Review of Economic situation - I would now like to mention briefly some of the broad trends in the Nation's economy which have a bearing on the economy of our State. the year 1971-72 was one of the most difficult years which the country has faced since independence, mainly because of the influx of Bangladesh refugees and the war with Pakistan. As a result, plan targets fell short. Industrial production in the organised sector during the year may not grow by more than 4 percent. The rise in the first 8 months of 1971 was only 2 percent as compared with 5.5. percent during the corresponding period of the previous year. Agriculture, on the other hand, showed a satisfactory rate of growth in the country.
Price situation - Average price rise in the calendar year 1971 was 3.9 percent as compared with a 6.2 percent rise in the previous year. At the end of January, 1971, the price level was 4.1 percent higher than at the same time a year ago. It is inevitable that the impact of the war will continue to be felt on the price situation and on the economy of the country.
National Income - According to the estimates of the Central Statistical Organisation, the National Income of the country increased by 5.3 percent during 1969-70 as against 2.4 percent during 1968-69. this rate is marginally lower than the average annual rate of growth as envisaged in the 4th plan. This rate of growth was also not commensurate with the rate of growth of population. During 1970-71, the National Income according to a tentative estimate showed an increase of 5 percent to 5.5. percent over 1969-70. The per capita income during 1969-70 in terms of 1960-61 prices was estimated at Rs.339.40 p. as against Rs.329.90 p. in the previous year. At current prices the per capita income was put at Rs.589.30 p. during 1969-70. This encouraging trend in the National income is due mainly to the consistent progress in agricultural production which registered a steady rate of growth. During 1971-72 the output of foodgrains in the country was expected to increase by about 4 percent or 4. to 5 million tonnes over the level attained in the previous year and to reach the figure of 112 million tones.
Meghalaya in All-India context - The machinery for collection of data regarding State income and per capita income in Meghalaya is being built up. While I am not in a position to give accurate figures relating to the per capita income in Meghalaya yet it is well-known that we are extremely backward and much remains to be done in the agricultural as well as industrial sector to bring Meghalaya at par with other advanced States in the country. The number of factory workers per lakh of population in Meghalaya was only 161 as against the All-India average of 1971 and the Assam average of 616. The Government of India have declared the whole State as industrially backward and have applied the scheme for incentives for industrial development to all the districts of the State.
We have excellent hydro electric power potential and yet the per capital consumption electricity here is one of the lowest in the country.
Nature has been bountiful to us with regard to mineral resources which are still to be fully surveyed and utilised. The setback of the early sixties is still having its effect on our local coal mining industry. In case of Silimanite also the performance has not been very satisfactory. Only limestone production has registered some improvement.
Agricultural Production - Cultivation over a large area is still on the shifting pattern thus leading to waste. Low inputs and lack of improved agricultural practices have combined to make the overall agricultural yield disappointingly low. Still in 1970-71 there has been a marginal increase in production of foodgrains over that of 1969-70. Production of jute and mesta is expected to register a slight increase this year as against 1970-71. Potato output is expected to be better during 1971-72, exact statistics on which are still being collected. Recently a special scheme has bee prepared to take up a programme for settling those engaged in jhumming by reclaiming land, terracing, development of irrigation facilities etc. The scheme has been submitted to the Government of India for sanctioning of necessary funds.
The other main crops of the State are oranges, arecanut, batel leaf, pine apple, bananas, etc.
Border Transport subsidy for essential commodities - As we are to import to of the essential commodities from other States, spikes of these articles are always higher in Meghalaya than in the neighboring States. The problem of transportation is very much there and mores so in the border areas where a transport subsidy scheme had to be adopted to provide some relief to the border people.
Problem of Unemployment - With the fast increase in the number of educated youths, the problem of educated and semi-educated un-employment has raised its head in our State also. It is expected that employment potential would be created through development programme like soil conservation, road construction, small-scale industries, rural works health and education programmes though this problem calls for sustained efforts over a number of years.
Fourth Plan and the Annual Plan 1772-73 - When Meghalaya was created as an autonomous State the outlay for its Fourth Plan was fixed at Rs.38 crores by taking out a share of the Assam Hill Plan outlay. Now that Meghalaya has become a full State, it has to get a share of the outlay of the general Plan of the Assam State also. The Fourth Plan of Assam before the division comprised of the general Plan and the Plan for the Hill areas. Out of the general outlay of Rs.225.50 crores for the Fourth Plan for Assam Rs.65 crores was meant for the Hill Plan and Rs.160.50 crores for the general Plan. Subsequently, on a reappraisal of the resources, the State Plan was raised to Rs.236.75 crores and the Hill Plan was raised to Rs.65.75 crores. The Hill Plan consisted only of District Level schemes for all the districts of composite Assam and some outlays common to all the hill districts. The State level schemes were included in the general Plan. At the time of allocation of the Plan outlays to Meghalaya, only the Hill Plan outlay was divided as between Meghalaya and the Hill Areas of the rest of Assam. On the whole, Meghalaya could get only Rs.38 crores for the 5 year period which was inclusive of the Plan expenditure during 1969-70, the year in which Meghalaya had not become an autonomous State. The outlays for the Plan of Meghalaya drawn on this basis were extremely inadequate and left no scope for expenditure on the State level Schemes. In addition, the Shillong Municipal and Cantonment areas have been transferred to Meghalaya Government with effect from 21st January 1972 on coming into force of the North -Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971. The responsibility of continuing the development schemes undertaken by the Government of Assam in these areas has developed upon the Government of Meghalaya without any corresponding increase in the Plan outlays. It would, therefore, appear that the original Fourth Plan allocation for Meghalaya did not take into account the implementation and continuation of such schemes in these areas at the time of division of the Hill Plan outlay of Assam between Meghalaya and the Hill District of the rest of Assam.
This question has, therefore been taken up with the Planning commission and the Government of India. We look forward to a sympathetic consideration of our request by the Government of India, as a result of which it is hoped that the size of the State fourth Plan may go up to a certain extent, making implementation of bigger programmes possible in the remaining two years of the Fourth Plan.
The First Annual Plan of Meghalaya, i.e., for the year 1970-71, provided for an outlay of Rs.7.25 crores for the State sector programmes and the implementation started only from September, 1970. Against this outlay of Rs.7.25 crores, expenditure amounted to Rs.7.56 crores.
The Plan outlay for the Annual Plan 1971-72 was fixed at Rs.7.95 crores. According to provisional estimates the entire outlay was spent during the year. For the year 1972-73, the Plan outlay has been fixed at Rs.8.25 crores. This includes Rs.7.22 crores as central assistance. The balance amount of Rs.1.03 crores is to be raised by loans from the Life Insurance Corporation of India, open market loans by the State Government etc. In addition there is a provision for undertaking a special employment programme to the extent of Rupees ten lakhs. As against the accepted procedure of the Central Government giving grant on condition that the State Government gives cent percent matching grant, we have requested the Government of India to waive this requirement of giving matching grant by the State due to our meagre resources and to give us the entire amount of Rupees ten lakhs by way of Central assistance.
Plan Priorities - As the development programme of Meghalaya depend, to a large extent, upon a good communications system, high priority has been given in the Annual Plan to the road development programmes. Priority has also been given to agriculture and allied programmes. In the field of Industrial development, emphasis is being placed on the building up of infrastructure and other prerequisites and quickly as possible so that development and economic utilisation of the natural resources of the State can be taken up. In the sphere of social services, increased facilities for general and technical education, medical, public health services, residential housing and water supply have been provided for. Provision has also been made for accelerated development of border areas, Besides, the District Councils with continue to receive assistance from the Government for financing their own Plans.
Special Development Programme - Certain special development programmes have been drawn up outside the Plan and submitted to the Government of India. These special programmes relate to regrouping of villages in Garo Hills, road projects of strategic and economic importance, Shillong Water Supply Scheme, development of Shillong, Tura and Jowai towns and rehabilitation of border economy. the State Government have set up a Working Group to go into the details of the project for re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills as required by the Planning Commission. For rehabilitation of the border area economy, an integrated scheme is being drawn up. The project report for the Shillong Water Supply Scheme has been prepared and submitted to the Government of India for the purpose of arranging funds for the project.
Agriculture - The main objectives underlying the Agricultural Plan have been the creation of conditions conducive to higher growth rate in agricultural production by popularising improved and scientific methods of cultivation amongst the farmers and building up the infrastructure to support these programmes. The expenditure on agricultural programmes including minor irrigation warehousing, storage and marketing rose from Rs.50.81 lakhs in 1969-70 to Rs.69.40 lakhs during the year 1970-71. In the field of agriculture including minor irrigation, the development al activities started in the past were being continued and the allocation in the State Plan has also increased from Rs.67 lakhs for the year 1971-72 to Rs.90.00 lakhs for the year 1972-73. Out of the current year's allocation Rs.65.00 lakhs have been provided for schemes under agricultural production, land reforms, research education and training and the balance amount of Rs.25.00 lakhs has been earmarked for minor irrigation schemes. In addition, the Agriculture Department is implementing programmes to the extent of Rs.5.10 lakhs under border Areas Programmes. The total anticipated production of food-grains during the year 1971-72 was 145.000 tonnes as against the production of 123,700 tonnes in 1970-71.
Small Farmers Development Agencies and Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers Schemes - The projects for the benefit of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers were sanctioned by the Government of India in September, 1971 each entailing a total outlay of Rs.100 lakhs. These projects known as the Small Farmers, Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers Development Agencies were registered under the Registration of Societies. Act, 1860, during the month of November, 1971. These are credit-oriented project which will arrange loans from co-operative and commercial banks for the small and marginal farmers and support these loans by way of adequate in-put subsidies in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry and rural a artisanry. For the agricultural labourers there are schemes to provide them with subsidiary occupations like dairy and poultry etc. It is expected that both the Agencies together will benefit a total number of 30.000 small and marginal farmers and 10,000 agricultural labourers within the Fourth Plan period by arranging purposeful programme aimed at substantial increase in the income. The Agency with headquarters at Shillong has taken up 3 blocks viz., Bhoi, Mawryngkneng and Thadlaskein and the second Agency with headquarters at Tura has taken up these programmes in Rongjeng and Resubelpara blocks. These activities may be also be extended to other blocks.
Projects with foreign collaboration - In my last Budget Speech, I had mentioned about the Government of India's proposal to locate a Special Area Development Project for agricultural development with Norwegian collaboration. This project is still being processed by the Government of India and it is expected that his project and the schemes under 'Freedom from Hunger Programme' with financial assistance from the Government of Japan will be approved during the current financial year.
Special Project for control of jhumming - Studies have already been made in consultation with the Government of India for a special project for improving the way of life and methods of agriculture of the jhum cultivators in the State. It is expected that this project will also make some headway during the current year.
Training - As the hon'ble members are aware, there is a great dearth of trained technical personnel and subject matter specialists in the Development Departments. The Government have already taken steps to depute officers for training in the other parts of the Country and abroad. One officer was sent to Australia and another to Scotland last year and one officer has been sent to England this year for the purpose of training.
Production potato, etc. - There has been a marked increase in potato production after the introduction of disease-resistant varieties like SLB-67. SLB-391 and SLB-484. Another new variety of potato, namely, Kufri-Joyti, has also been recently introduced in Meghalaya. This variety has been brought from Himachal Pradesh and can be raised twice in a year.
As it is essential to provide research support to all the agricultural programmes, specially those connected with improved and high-yielding varieties of crops, the Government has drawn up a detailed programme to establish laboratories and soil-testing stations and to conduct surveys and investigations required for the purpose. The Government of India have sanctioned one mobile soil-testing laboratory. The Agriculture Department have also taken up experimental sub-soil mulching programme which utilizes the base of jungle weeds and jungle growths prevailing during the monsoon for conversion into good organic manure aimed at increased fertility of the soil.
Horticulture - Horticulture in this State is an important field of farming activity, Besides the creation of a separate Horticulture Wing in the Directorate of Agriculture, a scheme has also been drawn up for strengthening the research base in this direction. There is a proposal to set up a full-fledged Research Station on a temperate fruits with financial assistance from the Government of India, and another scheme for the rehabilitation of citrus cultivation in Meghalaya is proposed to be taken up. The Government of India have also proposed an intensive horticultural development programme on watershed basis which is being processed by the Agriculture Department. It may not be out of place to mention here that we participated in the All-India Pineapple Show organised by the Government of India at Gauhati during August, 1971, and we not only won a large number of prizes but also were awarded the All-India Shield.
An officer was also deputed for training in artificial cultivation of mushroom at Solan in Himachal Pradesh . It is proposed to start an experimental mushroom cultivation station in this State very soon.
Supply of Agricultural Machineries - One of the encouraging features in the field of agriculture in our State has been a general awareness among the farmers in the rural areas about the tremendous potentialities, scope and the vast range of benefits accruing from scientific mechanised cultivation, harnessing and application of water to crops and processing and scientific warehousing of the products. During the last year there was an unprecedented demand from rural areas for tractors and bulldozers for land reclamation and land development works. In order to cater to these needs of the farmers, the Department of Agriculture have started an Agricultural Engineering Wing which is further sub-divided into four separate cells each dealing with agricultural machinery, minor irrigation engineering research and construction works respectively.
Animal Husbandry - All the programmes of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department are aimed at increased production of milk, eggs and meat. While there has been a substantial increase in the production of eggs and milk in the State, the piggery development programme has not made such impact as the programme initially based on propagation of Yorkshire breed was not preferred by the people of the State. Efforts are now being made to introduce the Saddle-back and Berkshire breeds of pigs and it is expected that the programme will gain momentum by the end of the current financial year. The Government of India have agreed to the recommendations of the Danish experts for establishment of one Indo-Danish Project at Upper Shillong which will re-organise the Upper Shillong Livestock Farm, impart training to local farmers in the modern methods of management and rearing of animals, and breed of good cows from the basic stock of 30 Friesian cows and 3 Friesian Bulls which will be given by the Government of Denmark. An Intensive Cattle Development Programme has also been taken up. Establishment of Stockman Centres and Semen Banks has been started and it is expected that about 20,000 cows will be covered by the artificial insemination programme. In this connection, one key village block has been established and it is proposed to establish more such centres during the current year. Distribution of improved breeds of sheep and goats has also been taken up to popularise rearing of these animals.
For veterinary aids and control of animal diseases, 2 veterinary dispensaries and 4 Veterinary aid centres have been established and 2 additional mobile veterinary dispensaries have been commissioned. The mobile units will be used for giving veterinary aids in the border areas. A training programme has also been taken up and number of students have been deputed for training as Veterinary Field Assistant and Graduates in Veterinary science. Meanwhile, a farmers' training programme in poultry has also been continuing successfully. District and Sub divisional Offices have also been strengthened though we continue to feel the wide gaps in the staffing pattern due to non-availability of technical personnel.
The town milk supply scheme and the milk chilling plant in Naya bungalow have been operating satisfactorily, and there is a proposal to establish a bottling and pasteurization plant at a strategic place. It is also proposed to establish a creamery and ghee making plant in Garo Hills.
Fisheries - There is a great scope for fishery development in the State and there is a provision of Rs.20 lakhs for fisher development during the 4th Five Year Plan period. The development schemes include fish seed farms, financial assistance to pisciculturist, development of reservoir fisheries, conservation and protection of river fisheries, strengthening of the administrative and supervisory machinery, and training and research. Besides this, the fisher development programmes are also being taken up under the Applied Nutrition Programme in the border areas with an additional outlay of Rs.0.15 lakhs. A provision of Rs.1.50.400 has been made in the current year's budget and this amount will be spent in running the normal administration and maintaining schemes which were completed before the commencement of the 4th Plan. The target of fish production as approved by the Planning commission is 300 tonnes for Meghalaya for the year 1972-73.
Co-operation - The State Government have taken steps to streamline and ensure healthy growth of co-operative societies in the urban as well as the rural areas. Loans for agricultural purposes given by co-operative societies have registered an increase in their quantum and this is a sure indication that the co-operative societies in the State are gaining ground. During the year 1971-72, however no new sub-area marketing societies and other co-operative societies were organised with a view to strengthen the financial base of the existing societies. This was done by way of assistance in the shape of share capital contribution managerial subsidy, loan and subsidy for construction of godowns. The results have been encouraging. The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank was given a share capital contribution of Rs.5 lakhs and a managerial subsidy of Rs.1.50 lakhs in order to take-up agricultural loaning operations and the Hill Development Corporation was given a share capital contribution of Rs.1.99 lakhs for organising procurement and distribution of fertilisers. The approved outlay for the year 1972-73 is Rs.27 lakhs and it is expected that this amount will be sufficient to put the already existing co-operatives on a more stable footing.
Soil Conservation - With the continuance of jhum cultivation and wastage of land resources, the Soil Conservation Department and its activities have assumed vital importance. Re-organisation of the Ranges and Beats in all the districts of the State was taken up during the last year and it is proposed to continue the process this year. Besides, the Department also proposes to take up terracing. Contour bounding and land reclamation on an extensive scale supported, whatever necessary, by follow-up programmes of supply of improved seeds, fertilisers and irrigation facilities. An afforestation programme to conserve the watersheds and catchments areas is also being taken up. People who cannot take up terracing on hills where the gradient is unsuitable for the purpose will be assisted in the cultivation of cash crops and horticultural crops. The total outlay for Soil Conservation in the Annual Plan for the year 1972-73. is Rs.25.00 lakhs.
Community Development - During the current year we have a total number of 24 Blocks in the State, out of which 10 Blocks are in the Stage II and 14 Blocks in Post -Stage II. An amount of Rs. 20 lakhs has been provided under the State Plan and Rs.27.60 lakhs in the normal budget for implementing the Community Development Programmes. The number of Tribal Development Blocks in this State is 16 in Stage been provided for the Tribal Development Blocks by the II and 7 in Stage III and an amount of Rs.32 lakhs has Government of India.
To meet the problem of malnutrition in the villages, a special programme called Applied Nutrition Programme was taken up during the last financial year in collaboration with the UNICEF, FAO and WHO. Although the programme involves the agriculture, horticulture poultry, fishery, medical and health and education departments the responsibility for co-organising the programme has been entrusted to the Community Development Department. During the year 1972-73 the programme will be taken up in 5 Blocks with a provision of Rs.1.70 lakhs under Central assistance and Rs.1.35 lakhs out of Community Development budget.
Another programme, known as the Special Nutrition Programme was also started with a view to provide supplementary nutrition to the younger group of children belonging to the weaker section of the community in the slum and tribal areas in order to counteract the serious effects of malnutrition amongst them. An amount of Rs.1.88 lakhs was spent under this programme during the last year and an amount of Rs.2.84 lakhs is proposed to be spent during the current year. One crash scheme for rural employment was taken up with an outlay of Rs.25 lakhs during the year 1971-72. this scheme has been implemented in all the Blocks with a view to generating employment amongst the weakest sections of rural communities. The scheme will continue during the year 1972-73 and the Government of India has already been apprised of our requirement of funds which may be of the same pattern as last year.
The Pilot Research Project in Growth Centres was also started during the last financial year to locate potential growth centres. The Project is basically concerned with development of methodology for planning and development of Rural Growth Centres in the country. The term of the project is of five years duration and it will continue during the current financial year.
Besides the aforementioned activities of the Community Development Department, the Blocks have also been consistently busy with the extension work of agriculture and other Departments. It must, of course, be said that during the last financial year most of the officers in the Blocks were engaged in the refugee relief operations which hampered the the implementation of the Community Development Programme and the entire work of the year had almost to be done within the last few months of the financial year.
Forest - Forest constitute a very important natural resource of the State and their proper management is of utmost importance for the economy of Meghalaya. Ways and means for proper management of forests with the co-operation of the District Councils are being studied. During the last year emphasis was placed on raising of valuable trees like Teak and medicinal plants like Ipecac supported by organisation of forest research and protection measures. The process will continue during the current year and the plan outlay for forests is Rs.20.00 lakhs. It is also expected that the revenue from forest will go up by about Rs.2 lakhs during the current year.
Revenue and Agricultural credit - It is common knowledge that the land tenure system in Meghalaya is generally of a nature which had created difficulties in mortgaging of land by the agriculturists in the State. The State Government have been examining for quite some time in consultation with the District Councils the possibility of working out a system whereby agricultural credit can be expended to our agriculturists without radically changing the social pattern of our society. Efforts to evolve a system by which ownership of land can be identified so that the credit requirements of the farmers can be met easily by the financial institutions are being continued both by the District Councils and the Government. It is expected that effective steps will be taken to solve this problem and institutional credit will flow in ensuring sustained agricultural growth.
Weights and Measures - Weights and Measures Department has a statutory function to standardise and enforce all weights and measures in the State according to the Metric System. The task is by no means easy because it involves complete change of age-old units of measurements and weights. The programmes of the Department will be supported by adequate publicity so that adoption and use of metric system becomes a common practice in the State.
Health - On the 21st January, 1972 , the following medical institutions were taken over from the Government of Assam
1. Pasteur Institute, Shillong ;
2. Ganesh Das Hospital, Shillong ;
3. Shillong Civil Hospital Shillong ;
4. R.P. Chest Hospital, Shillong;
5. Laban Dispensary ; and
6. Contributory Health Scheme Centres.
The State Public Health Laboratory will be transferred to Meghalaya after Assam Government starts its own, though we will continue to contribute a part of the expenditure and use the services of this laboratory as before. Even before the creation of the full-fledged State of Meghalaya early this year, the there were 67 dispensaries and 24 block dispensaries in the State besides the hospitals in Jowai and Tura. It is proposed to construct a part of the proposed new hospital at Tura and expand the existing Jowai Civil Hospital as soon as possible. It is also proposed to establish Health Education Bureaus. Five Nutritional Therapy Centres for the benefit of the under-nourished children have also been functioning in the State.
The Government have already sanctioned additional incentives to doctors serving in rural areas so that more doctors are attracted and the problem of shortage of doctors in rural areas is solved early.
Out of the annual plan outlay of Rs.25 lakhs during 1971-72 only an amount of Rs.15.25 lakhs could be spent partly due to technical reasons and partly due to the strain on the personnel on account of relief operations. During the current year, a sum of Rs.30.00 lakhs has been provided for in the Plan, which includes programmes calculated to make up the backlog in expansion and establishment of hospitals, training of Para-medical personnel and development of existing dispensaries.
Besides, the normal programmes, the Health Department has also been implementing some National schemes like Malaria Eradication Programme, Small-pox Eradication Programme, Filaria control Programme and programmes to control diseases like trachoma, leprosy and cholera. Family Planning is one of the major centrally sponsored schemes being executed by the Medical and Health Department.
Education - Before initiating the steps for improvement of education in Meghalaya, the State Government was very keen to decide on the type of education that we should impart to our children. With this end in view and also to determine whether the education being given now is suitable for our State, a Commission was constituted which is currently studying the problem and will make its recommendations available within a short time. The Government have also taken up projects for teaching science in selected middle schools and have set up a State Sports council for improvement in the field of sports. The Government is also considering the appointment of a Text Book Committee. Our secondary education and higher education is still under the control of the Gauhati University and the Government are considering the evolving of a suitable arrangement in this regard. A full time Director of Public Instruction has been appointed to streamline the educational administration. The Government is also considering the proposal to create 20 scholarships for students of Meghalaya reading in Sainik Schools.
As the hon'ble members know, our State is very far behind other States in the field of technical education. In spite of the restrictive policy currently followed by the Government of India due to unemployment of engineers and technicians, we have sent a proposal for introduction of electrical and mechanical engineering course in the Shillong Polytechnic to meet the requirements of the situation in Meghalaya. It is hoped that a Girls' Polytechnic will also become a reality during the 4th Plan and will include courses like food technology, pharmacy and tele-communications. Steps are also being taken to start another polytechnic school for boys. Provisions have been made for the programme of Scholarships, text books and establishment of a Directorate of Technical Education. Government have also constituted the State Social Welfare Board of Meghalaya.
Labour - Labour Department which deals mainly with industrial harmony between employers and employees, training in craftsmanship and certain regulatory and inspection functions with regard to industry as a whole, has, as a subject, come over to Meghalaya on 21st January, 1972. The work for creation of Directorates and Inspectorates has been taken up. The institutions so far under the control of this Department are Employment Exchanges at Shillong, Jowai and Tura and the Industrial Training Institute at Tura. the Industrial Training Institute, Shillong at present functioning at Guwahati will be shifted to Shillong as soon as possible.
District Councils - The Government have continued to assist the District Councils financially, and especially in their schemes for rural water supply, rural communications and construction of buildings. There is a provision of Rs.25 lakhs during the year 1972-73 for the above schemes.
Comments of the District Council on the District Budget - The estimate of receipt and expenditure for 1972-73 pertaining to the District were first placed before the respective District Councils with a view to eliciting their comments. The comments of the members of the District Councils which were received have been considered by the Government. I would like to make it clear that the State would like to make it clear that the State Government attach due importance to the views expressed by the members of the District Councils. Efforts are made to make adequate provisions depending upon the requirements and availability of funds. The State Government are working under financial limitation and constraints both on the Plan as well as on Non-Plan side. The allocations have to be made within the limitation of overall resources position of the State. The provisions for Plan Schemes are fixed in consultation with the Planning commission. In view of these circumstances, Honourable Members would appreciate that it may not be possible to act upon all the suggestions of the members of the District Councils, though utmost effort is made to accommodate them as far as possible.
Municipal Administration - The Municipal Administration Department which had been looking after the Garo Hills Town Committee only till 21st January, 1972 , has also started looking after the Shillong Municipality after the creation of the full State of Meghalaya. An amount of Rs.15,000 has been provided as grant to these local bodies this year and an amount of Rs.1,40,000 has been proposed as loan to the Shillong Municipality during the year 1972-73 to improve the Shillong Town Water Supply.
Public Works - On account of geographical conditions in Meghalaya, roads are vital for developing the economy of the State. We now have about 3450 Km. of roads net-work in the State. The completion of the double line Someswawri Bridge at Baghmara within record time was a commendable achievement of the Public Works Department. The completion of the concrete bridge near Balat has also been very helpful in movement of supplies and for National Defence. Work on Maheshkhola Bridge is also in progress and the constructing of the Chibinang Bridge in Garo Hills will also be taken up shortly.
Public Health - The Public Health Department completed 8 water supply schemes during the last year benefiting a population of over 11,000 in the rural areas. 20 more water supply schemes are also in progress and to new schemes will be taken up during the year 1972-73.
The Greater Shillong Waster Supply Scheme costing Rs.336.70 lakhs in the first phase has been sent to the Government of India for technical approval and arrangement of funds.
Urban Development - During the current year it is proposed to take up the formulation and implementation of certain schemes for Urban Development. The Directorate of Town and Country Planning and Housing has already been startled and housing loans under the Low Income Group Housing Scheme will be given this year to the extent funds are available.
Supply - The supply machinery in the State had undergone great stress due to the problem of refugees during last year. But the position of supplies and the prices were reasonably kept under control, though few cases of temporary and local price rise were noticed. the problem of feeding the refugees was a colossal one, but the Government met this problem successfully in spite of the ill-equipped supply machinery. The Government have taken up a transport subsidy scheme financed by the Government of India to enable the people in the Border areas to purchase essential food -stuff at prices prevailing at the district headquarters. We are getting regular allotment of rice, wheat and sugar from the Government of India and the supply position in the State is generally satisfactory. There is an acute scarcity of cement, C.I. Sheets, Iron and Steel, etc., in the State and the question of increasing the supply of these items has been taken up with the Government of India.
Tourism - During the current year, it is proposed to take up schemes for development of places of tourist interest, and conducted tours for tourists.
Transport - Although the Assam State Road Transport Corporation has been re-named the Assam and Meghalaya States Road Transport corporation after 21st January, 1972, a final decision regarding the continuance of a joint Corporation is expected to be taken within a few months. The State Transport Authority has already been constituted and a scheme to run departmental bus services, on some interior routes is already under implementation.
Industries - In order to assess the industrial potential of the Sate, a techno-economic survey was conducted last year through the National Industrial Development Corporation. Based on the report of the Corporation, negotiations are underway with consultancy firms for preparation of feasibility studies of possible industries in the State. The Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation has been set up and we have already entered into negotiations for establishing a Cinnamon Oil Distilling Plant. The Assam Cement Limited at Cherrapunjee has also come over to Meghalaya and steps have been taken to improve the functioning of the Company. Schemes have also been taken up to develop village and small scale industries.
Sericulture and Weaving - As Meghalaya is ideally suited for development of sericulture and weaving, 10 schemes were taken up during the year 1971-72 at a total cost of Rs.6 lakhs. Eri concentration centres and collective mulberry gardens have already been established and muga and wild silk worm rearing have also been introduced on an experimental basis. It is proposed during the current year to expand the grants-in- kind facilities in Garo Hills District as the weaving industry is practically confined to that district. The Annual Plan outlay for sericulture and district. The annual Plan outlay for sericulture and weaving including handloom co-operatives is of the order of Rs.9 lakhs for the current year.
Power and Electricity - The achievements in the power sector so far have been the construction of a 132 kv. line from Shillong to Cherrapunjee, Construction of distribution sub-stations and extension of 33 Km.11 kv. and other lines for rural electrification. Out of a total of 40 villages proposed to be electrified during the last year, only 6 villages could be actually electrified. The short fall can be ascribed to difficulties in transportation and booking of materials to Assam and Meghalaya from outside the State. An outlay of Rs.38 lakhs has been proposed for the year 1972-73 for the spillover works as well as the new rural electrification programme.
Mining and Geology - This work was earlier entrusted to the Government of Assam but we have recently established our own Directorate of Mineral Resources. A number of mineral occurrences have been located in the State.
Last year, 9 important mineral investigations connected with coal limestone and Refractory clays were taken up and the work on these projects is in progress. The plan outlay for 1972-73 is Rs.10 lakhs out of which an amount of Rs.1 lakh is meant for share participation in the Mineral Development Corporation.
Information and public Relation - The Government have taken steps to streamline this Department and an outlay of Rs.7.56 lakhs has been proposed for the purpose. The schemes to be taken up this year include publication of bulletins at the District level, purchase of vehicles, exhibitions, rural broadcasting, publicity through cultural media, films and other audio-visual publicity and printing of publicity literature for distribution in the villages.
Political - It may be worthwhile mentioning at the outset that the Police administration in Meghalaya has been separated from that of Assam recently and we have also acquired an Armed Police Battalion of our own. The possibility of smuggling of arms and ammunition from across the border poses a serious danger and the State Government has proposed to establish a number of check posts on the border for the purpose. The law and order situation has generally been normal except for influx of a number of Pnars from Mikir Hills District into Jaintia Hills District due to repressive treatment meted out to them. The Government has taken up the matter with the Government of Assam so that conditions can be created for early return of these Pnar villagers to their homes. The Government also proposes to liberalise border trade across the border with Bangladesh and to establish border hats for the purpose. We also take this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh directed to establish better trade relations between the two countries.
Services - Members are aware that under the provisions of the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisations) Act., 1971, staff (other than members of the All-India Services) serving in connection with the affairs of the existing State of Meghalaya including those already serving under the Government of the then Autonomous State of Meghalaya, are to be finally allocated between the Government of the State of Assam and the Government of the State of Meghalaya as may be determined by an agreement between the two Governments. Pending final agreement for allocation of staff belonging to different State Services as between Assam and Meghalaya, an understanding has been reached with the Government, of Assam that the staff now serving in connection with the affairs of Meghalaya, including those who may later be required to serve, shall be treated as on deputation but without any deputation allowance. The question of constitution of various services in the Sate of Meghalaya consequent on the allocation of the staff as between Assam and Meghalaya, is now under the consideration of the Government.
Under Section 70 of the North Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act,1971, the Public Service Commission for the existing State of Assam as defined in the aforesaid Act ceased to have jurisdiction over the State of Meghalaya in matters of recruitment to posts and service in connection with the affairs of Meghalaya, and consequently, the Assam Public Service Commission (Limitation of Functions) Regulations,1951, as amended ceased to be applicable in respect of any recruitment matters provided there under concerning posts and service under the Government of Meghalaya. The State Government have decided to set up a Public Service Commission for Meghalaya.
Elections - The First General Election to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and the Bye-Election to the Lok Sabha from Tura Parliamentary constituency were held simultaneously on the 9th March 1972. Elections to the District Councils of Garo Hills and Khasi Hills were also conducted during 1972. Polling in the State was smooth and the response from the electorate was good.
Census - The major work on the decennial Census has almost been completed and some of the officers have been awarded medals for meritorious work.
Relief to Government Employees - Government are keen to meet the needs of their employees as far as possible within the financial constraints and limited resources. The Scheme for House Rent Allowance adopted in 1970-71 in view of prevailing acute scarcity of housing accommodation will be continued during the current year also. The State Government have also decided to grant interim relief to their employees on the scale recommended by the Pay Commission set up by the Assam Government.
Budget for 1972-73 - Mr, Speaker, Sir, now I have the privilege to present the first budget of the new State of Meghalaya. The Budget estimates for 1972-73 now presented include, the provisions made in the vote-on-Account budget passed by this august House in March last. Some modifications in the estimates for the whole year under certain Heads have however, been made in the light of further scrutiny as well as new requirements.
Provision of Rs.50 lakhs has also been made for contribution to the Contingency Fund
The salient features of the budget estimates for 1972-73 are as follows :-
Amount in lakhs of rupees
|A Receipts in the Consolidated Fun|
|(i) Statutory grant under Finance Commission Award.||
|(ii) State's share of Central taxes and duties under the finance commission Award.||
|(iii) Central assistance outside the Finance commission Award for non-plan expenditure.|
|(iv) Grants from Ministry of Transport for construction and maintenance of border roads, etc.||
(v) Central assistance for Plan expenditure
|(a) Grants ..........................||
|(vi) Central assistance for Centrally Sponsored Schemes.||1,69.70|
|(vii) States receipts ....................||1,65.23|
|(viii) Market loan||52.00|
|(ix) Loan from Life Insurance Corporation of India||30.00|
|(x) Temporary Ways and Means Advances from Reserve Bank of India||1,10.00|
|Total - A||19,87.81|
|B. Surplus in the Public Account||10.00|
|C. Opening cash balance................................||(-)55.54|
|Total - Resources (A+B+C)||19,42.27|
|(In lakhs of rupees)|
|1. Gross revenue expenditure||6,34.11||13,47.21||
|2.. Gross capital expenditure||3,54.86||5,16.54||8,71.40|
|Net Capital expenditure||3,45.59||4,60.77||8,06.36|
|Total - Gross||9,88.97||18,63.75||28,52.72|
B. Closing Cash Balance
|Total - (A+B)||9,74.70||16,99.99||19,42.27|
Thus the budget Estimates for 1972-73 will close with an over-all deficit of Rs.(-)732.42 lakhs. The deficit gap of Rs.(-)200.86 lakhs in the estimates for 1971-72 now comes to Rs.(-)55.54 lakhs under the revised estimates.
Deficit in the Budget - According to the financial estimates included in the budget for 1972-73, the year will end up with a deficit of Rs. 732.42 lakhs. I am extremely unhappy to present before this august House a Budget with an over-all deficit of this magnitude. This is due to inescapable reasons which are beyond the control of the State Government.
The aforesaid deficit includes the carry-over deficit of Rs.55.54 lakhs from the end of the year 1971-72. As Honourable Members aware, with effect from 21st January, 1972, the Police Administration has come over to the Government of Meghalaya. We have also taken one Armed Police Battalion from Assam for discharging our duties relating to maintenance of law and order. Some of the important institutions such as Jail, Civil Hospital, Ganesh Das Women and Children Hospital, Reid Chest Hospital, etc., have also been handed over to us. The Government of Meghalaya will have to incur expenditure for the Roads and disburse grants-in-aid, etc., to the educational Institutions falling within the Shillong Municipal and Cantonment Area. All these factors have imposed considerable financial responsibility on us.
A provision has been made in the Budget for repayment of Rs.4.13 crores towards principal and interest to the Government of India. While a part of this relates to the repayment of the amounts advanced by the Government of India after the creation of Meghalaya as an Autonomous State, large part relates to the repayment liability as provisionally determined by the Accountant General loan Account of the debt liability of the composite State of Assam. In view of the financial position of the State, we would approach the Government of India for writing off this liability of for giving us relief in any other suitable manner considered feasible in these circumstances. As the Honourable Members are perhaps aware, the State of Meghalaya came into being after the last Finance Commission Award was put into implementation. The requirement of the State for running normal administration are yet to be assessed. The State Government propose to place their case before the next Finance commission which is being appointed very shortly. Pending the examination of the case of the State Government by the Finance Commission, the State Government will move the Government of India for increasing financial assistance for meeting the increased requirement of funds due to the financial liabilities devolving upon in terms of the North -Eastern Areas (Re-organisations) Act, 1971. We look forward to a sympathetic equitable and just treatment from the Government of India in this regard considering the peculiar conditions of the State and also in view of the fact that our non-Plan revenue gap has still to be assessed.
Honourable Members will agree with me that while we shall press for our rightful share from the Government of India yet at the same time we shall strive to become self-reliant and to stand on our own legs. With this object in view, we have to explore avenues of additional resources mobilisation. The need for accelerated development of Meghalaya and for running its administration smoothly has placed upon us a responsibility which calls for maximum efforts and sacrifices. I appeal to all the Honourable Members and to the people to co-operate with us in achieving this objective.
I have made an earnest attempt to present a Budget which reflects and provides for meeting the requirements of our new State of Meghalaya within the frame work of financial constraints and limitation of resources. The wholehearted co-operation of the entire people of the State is necessary for ensuring the success of the programmes which we propose to undertake and which have been briefly outlined in the budget. This also requires the co-operation and the best efforts of the entire administrative machinery. With an earnest appeal to the Honourable Members and to all sections of the people to contribute their mite towards the achievement of our common goal, I present the Budget for 1972-73 for consideration and acceptance of the House.
Mr. Speaker : As I said earlier all the budget papers will be made available to the hon. the Members and I would request them since the House stand adjourned today, they will have to collect all those budget papers from the office. Now, we will come to the last item of today's list of business. May I request the Chief Minister to move an Obituary Reference.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is with profound sorrow that I refer to the sad demise of Shri Damodaram Sanjivayya, President of the Indian National Congress, on 7th May, 1972, Shri Sanjivayya was born in 1921 in Kurnool District and had his early in Andra Pradesh and later on took a degree in law from Madras Law College. Even as a student, he actively participated in the Struggle for Nation's freedom. He had a remarkable career in politics and by dint of ability and hard work rose to occupy high positions. He was Minister in the composite Madras State, Chief Minister of Andra Pradesh, Minister in the Union Cabinet and President of the Indian National Congress and had the distinction of being among the first Harijans to have shouldered such high responsibilities in the cause of service to the Nation. Shri Sanjivayya was known for his administrative ability and for his uprightness of character. His sudden death has cut short an illustrious career and has robbed the country of a dynamic leader.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to associate myself with the Leader of the House in paying our respect to Shri Damodaram Sanjivayya who suddenly passed away on the 7th May, 1972. Sir, we remember when he came to Shillong and other places of this North Eastern region of India during the period of Chinese Aggression. He came to us during a time of gloom and in security and his coming created an atmosphere of hope and reassurance during those difficult days. Now Sir, there are many qualities of this great national leader of ours which we admire. He was born in a poor family and belonged to a community which for generations in this country has been looked down and suppressed but he succeeded in over-coming all the adverse circumstances. His life is a glowing example of one who had risen to great fame from a very humble part. Since the beginning of his career, when he held a small Government post, he had earned the reputation of being honest, strict and vigilant. Later in life he saved our country in different capacities with the same honesty sincerity of purpose and a selfless spirit. In his political life he particularly, fought against social injustice and class prejudices, Sir, he was loved and respected by all and his premature death is a great loss to our country.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House and also by the hon. Member from Mawprem. The sudden passing away of Mr. Damodaram Sanjivayya is a great loss to the country and a greater loss of us. Though we are not depressed ourselves, we consider those people of the backward classes, having no barriers of caste as also very important to us. We too don't have any divisions of barriers of caste or race. We consider as vital these two qualities of being honest and humble, as this great leader has shown and we hope these two qualities will be examples to us and we offer our sentiments and sorrow at the sudden loss of this great man.
Mr. Speaker : I would also like to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the House at the premature death of Shri Damodaram Sanjivayya which is really a great loss not only to the Indian nation Congress but also to the Indian Nation. I am very unfortunate that I have had no occasion of meeting this great man. But I have read a lot about him and I was very much impressed by the humble beginning from which he started his career as has been rightly pointed out. He came of a humble family and from a class which had been looked down for centuries in this country. This great man had to fight against the hurdles and obstacles of life and he was one of the few Indian who could prove that low tradition of family background and poverty can never stand as obstacles to a person who wants to rise in life. I also admire his ability that in spite of the fact that he was born, as I said, in a humble family, he could prove his ability not only as a freedom fighter but also as a political leader. He was the only Indian leader till today who could become the Chief Minister of the State even at the age of 39. I think his political career was very much impressed that each and every one must appreciate especially in this House that Shri Sanjivayya was looked upon as second only to Dr. Ambedkar in projecting the real difficulties of the backward communities in this country. It was through his realistic approach to the difficulties of the backward communities that Shri Sanjivayya was very much respected. He was respected while he was Member of Parliament, he was respected while he was the Minister in the Raja Gopalachari's Ministry. He was respected as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and as a Minister of the Union Cabinet and above all he was respected not only in the Congress Party but by other political parties. Although he was at that time merely the President of the single political Party yet that did not diminish the admiration of the people belonging to other parties ad well. So I also agreed with the whole House that we have really lost a great and noble leader who had shown the way that through humility, one could reach to greatness. With these words, let us close the Obituary Reference.
Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of information, may we know whether the Budget has been presented to the House?
Mr. Speaker : It has already been presented to the House right from the beginning and the Hon'ble Minister has already placed it on the Table of the House.
Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, because normally a copy of the Budget should be placed on the Table of the House for immediate distribution to the Members.
Mr. Speaker : For the information of the hon. Members I just want to make a departure that since the Budget has been placed on the Table of the House I have taken it for granted that it has become the property of the House. But for the convenience of the members, the budget papers may be distributed as soon as the House stands adjourned. We have only one very little business to be done today. So since there is no other business before the House stands adjourned, as a mark of respect to the departed soul of (late) Damodaram Sanjivayya, I request all the hon. Members to stand in silence for one minute.
(At this stage all Members stood in one minute's silence)
Since there is no other business to be transacted, the House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. on Tues day the 20th June, 1972.
|Dated Shillong,||N.C. HANDIQUE|
|the 19th June, 1972.||Secretary,|
|Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|
The Assembly met at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the 20th June, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair
Mr. Speaker : Let us take up starred questions.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
(To which oral replies were given)
Recruitment to the Gazetted posts in Meghalaya
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :
*5. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
(a) Whether it is a fact that recruitment to the Gazetted posts in Meghalaya has to be done through the Union Public Service Commission?
(b) If so, what are the difficulties that prevented Government from evolving their own machinery in matters of appointment to Gazetted posts?
Captain Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
5. (a) - No.
(b) - Does not arise.
Mr. Speaker : Let us now take up item No.2.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, do we not have Zero Hour?
Mr. Speaker : The Zero Hour will come afterwards. I have to ascertain from the Chief Minister whether we will take it up today or tomorrow. Of course in so far as item No.2 is concerned in today's list of business, the Hon'ble Minister has informed me that he is not ready to give a statement today and this will be taken up on the 22nd. Of course, the Hon'ble Minister has also consented. let us, therefore, pass on to item No.1A, a Privilege matter to be raised by Shri S.D. Khongwir.
Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawhati S.T) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, under the provisions of Rule 159 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, I seek you permission to bring to the notice of the House a matter concerning very serious breach of privilege of the hon. Members of the House, in the form of a news item of the local newspaper, "Young India", in its issue of 13th April, 1972 under the caption "THE BARK OF IGNORANT MISCHIEVOUS POLITICIANS".
I humbly submit that even without going through the contents of the above issue of the newspaper, the very caption. "The bark of ignorant mischievous politicians" would be enough to be considered a serious breach of privilege of the hon. Members and the House as a whole.
The dispatch, in its tenor and content, labeled the House itself and cast reflections on those hon. Members who took part in the proceedings of the Hose on the day in question. The words "Bark", "Ignorant" and "Mischievous" are contemptuous and insulting in their connotation, especially when the above words have been employed to describe the performance of hon. Members during the proceedings of the House.
The matter is a gross breach of privilege and contempt of the House.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this matter I would like to refer to the contents of this news-item published in the "Young India" dated 13th April, 1972. If the hon. Members would go through the contents of this particular issue of this local weekly they would find several languages which are vile, obnoxious and un-parliamentary. For instance, Sir, I would like to refer to a few words used by this formidable and very able Editor of the "Young India". In the first paragraph, he used the words to describe the Meghalaya this Land Transfer Act as "infamous Act" and then he also described this Land Transfer Act as an obnoxious Act. Then Sir, like a huge ferocious bull to a red rag, he has made a direct charge against one hon. Members, Mr. Hoover Hynniewta in using these words, in the third paragraph, "We admire the cross and colossal ignorance of this great Legislator'. These words are very insulting and the language in which it is couched to describe the hon. member is very insulting. Then Sir, I refer to another paragraph reality very mischievous. Then in the fifth paragraph of this news item he has directly attacked the hon. Members in this House like this "Now Hoover Hynniewta, the HSPDP and APHLC are playing the same dangerous game in India instigating one Indian against another on the preposterous plea that a non-tribal Indian will exterminate a tribal Indian. We raise our voice in full-throated protest against this type of speech inside an Assembly of a constituent part of India and against this short of evil, narrow-minded, separatist, hatred-hidden mentality, and demand that short shift be made of such traitors to the Indian nation".
Sir, I beg to submit that these words are a high violation of the rights and privileges of the hon. Members and the House as a whole. They cast a reflection, in fact, on the hon. Members and the House itself, and, as a responsible editor he should take every precaution to report correctly or not to use such kind of vile and obnoxious and un-parliamentary language while reporting on the proceedings of the House. For the ready information of the House, I would like to read out the dictionary meanings of these very important words used by this Editor.
Mr. Speaker : What Dictionary are you using?
Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Chamber's Twentieth Dictionary and Websters. Bark : is the abrupt cry uttered by a dog, wolf; the sound made by a barking dog.
Ignorance : adj. without knowledge, in general or particular; uninstructed, uniformed; unaware; destitute of knowledge or education; it also means illiterate.
Mischievous : causing mischief, injurious, prone to mischief:
Mischief : an ill consequence; evil, injury, damage, hurt; a source of harm (colloquial language - devil).
So, Sir, this Editor all of a sudden has turned the entire House and all the hon. Members into barking dogs. I, therefore, beg to submit that this is a gross breach of privilege of the House. Thank you, Sir.
Mr. Speaker : Any other hon. Member?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think there is no need to say very much on the vile vomiting of a raving lunatic who could have written such things for vile readers to read.
Mr. Speaker : I think it is better for the hon. Member to use some dignified languages and not to stoop down like the Editor.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : But, Sir, when describing such a person it is difficult to use polite words.
Mr. Speaker : You can use this type of language outside the House but not inside the dignified House.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : So, I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that instead of sending this matter to the Privileges Committee, what we should rather do, as suggested by the Editor, is to make short shrift of him. I would suggest that he should be brought before that House and be reprimanded with such little words really due to him rather than by sending this case to the Privilege Committee. Of course, normally we send a case t the Privilege Committee when there is difference of opinion. I am sure that no hon. Member of this House would like to be called a barking dog.
Mr. Speaker : Any other hon. Member?
May I request the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to give the House some enlightenment
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have in our country a free Constitution in which freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press form some of the vital elements of our freedom. However, taking the matter into consideration in the light of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, we have a disciplined manner in which that freedom is to be exercised by the citizen in any aspect of our life. So far as this matter in question is concerned, I would submit that there is a prima facie case for sending it to the Privileges Committee to be considered in all its aspects fully and calmly and also for giving an opportunity to the editor concerned to explain before the Committee. I therefore, would submit, Sir, that prima facie it is a fit case to be referred to the Privileges Committee.
Mr. Speaker : As correctly pointed out by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, it is better to send this particular news item to the Privilege Committee, and it appears that there is really prima facie case against the Editor of this Weekly and the Privileges Committee will submit their report by the end of August.
I have received notice from Prof. Majaw that he is intending to raise a discussion during the Zero Hour under the provision of Rule 49-A on the subject of remission of sentences of prisoners as a act of mercy in honour of the creation of the State of Meghalaya. Prof. Majaw is out at the moment. But if the Chief Minister feels that this is a matter of grave public importance he may make a statement.
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether the matter is of grave public importance without knowing the intention of the hon. Member who want to raise this particular question (At this stage Prof. Majaw entered the House).
Mr. Speaker : Prof. Majaw, you may now raise a discussion in the Zero Hour on the remission of sentences of prisoners as an act of mercy in honour of of the attainment of a full State of Meghalaya.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg apology for being late. I want to raise the question that since it has been the habit and also the custom to show some mercy to the prisoners who have spent a very long term in jail and who have already paid their debt to society, on a very special occasion like creation of a new State or even when a high dignitary visits the jail, it is customary to remit a part of the sentences that have been passed on these persons. So I would like to suggest that in view of the creation of Meghalaya there should be some remission of sentences particularly for those who have been in jail for a very long term and already paid their debt to society.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know exactly the cope of discussion on this particular question raised by the hon. Member. I think it was his intention to seek information from the Government whether any remission has been granted to the prisoners on the creation of full-fledged State of Meghalaya. But he has taken opportunity to suggest the Government. I do not know whether there is any scope fort this or not.
Shri Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have given notice immediately after Question hour. I may quote the rule - "Immediately after the question hour and before the list of business of the day is entered upon, any Member who wants to raise any matter of grave importance which cannot be raised under any other provisions of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, can do so with the previous permission of the Speaker provided, however, that the Member raising such a matter shall not make any speech". So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think I have not made a speech and have placed the question in that form.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I endorse the feelings of the hon. Member. But I think it is the intention of the hon. Member to suggest the Government, as a gesture of mercy, to remit the sentences of prisoners in view of Meghalaya came into being as a full-fledged State.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a precedent in the Conduct of Business of the House that in the zero hour only a matter of 'grave importance' can be raised. So, before the matter is discussed, it should be determined whether this question is one of grave importance or not.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : It has already been determined by the Hon'ble Speaker that the matter is of 'grave importance.
Mr. Speaker : The hon. Member has already had a discussion with me and I consider it to be of 'grave importance' particularly from the point of view of those prisoners if not for the Members of the House.
Of course it is true that the hon. Members should not take too much opportunity to utilise the zero hour for something. As for instance, the nature of presentation of the hon. Member should have been in the form of a question rather than raising the matter during the zero hour. So, I would request the hon. Members that in future they should take the opportunity of utilising the zero hour only for a matter of 'grave importance'.
Now, let us pass on to item No.3. May I request the Minister for Transport to beg leave to introduce the Motor Vehicles (Meghalaya Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Motor Vehicles (Meghalaya Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker : The motion is moved. Now, I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Motor Vehicles (Meghalaya Amendment) Bill, 1972. The motion is adopted. Leave is granted.
Mr. Speaker : May I request the Minister, Transport to introduce the Motor Vehicles (Meghalaya Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Motor Vehicles (Meghalaya Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker : The Motion is moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Motor Vehicles (Meghalaya Amendment) Bill, 1972 be introduced. The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced.
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
Mr. Speaker : May I request the Minister-in-charge of Forests to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Wild Animals and Birds Protection (Amendment Bill), 1972.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Wild Animals and Birds Protection (Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker : The motion is moved. Now put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Wild Animals Birds Protection (Amendment) Bill, 1972. The motion is adopted. Leave is granted.
Mr. Speaker : May I request the Minister-in-charge of Forests to introduce the Meghalaya Wild Animals and Birds Protection (Amendment Bill), 1972.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Wild Animals and Birds Protection (Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker : The Motion is moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Wild Animals and Birds Protection (Amendment) Bill, 1972 be introduced.
The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced.
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
Mr. Speaker : Now, may I request the Minister for Revenue to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Land and Revenue Regulation (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Land and Revenue Regulation (application Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker : The motion is moved. Now put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Land and Revenue (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1972.
The motion is adopted. Leave is granted.
May I request the Minister, Revenue to introduce the Meghalaya Land and Revenue Regulation (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Land and Revenue Regulation (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker : The Motion is moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Land and Revenue (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1972 be introduced.
The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced.
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
General discussion on the Budget
Now, let us pass to Item 6, in today's list of business. May I request Mr. Sibendra Narayan Koch to initiate a discussion on the Budget Speech?
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not ready to take part in the discussion on the budget speech to-day.
Mr. Speaker : So you are not in a position. I may now inform the hon. Members that the time at our disposal is very limited although it appears that today we have plenty of time. Thus they will have more time to take part in the budget discussion today than those who are willing to do the same tomorrow. So, I will request Mr. Majaw to initiate the discussion.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must confess of having heard the subject from the Finance Minister who happened to be dealing with it. With my sense of responsibility of being a professor and with this professional habit, whenever I am reading through the papers especially during examinations, I found that there is so much of copy8ng. So while I am reading this budget speech at leisure till 3 O'clock in the morning, I suddenly found out so many things very strange on this budget speech. Mr. Speaker,. Sir, the contents in so many paragraphs appear to be being copied directly from the Address of the Governor in March in this House. In this respect, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am merely just like an examiner to look at those copying.
Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, while going through the Budget Speech, I found a special programme. For example, if you take page 5 of the Governor's address in March and if you compare it with page 7 of this budget speech we find that certain special development programmes have been drawn up outside the Plan and submitted to the Government of India. These special programmes relate to regrouping of villages in Garo Hills, road projects of strategic and economic importance, Shillong Water Supply Scheme, development of Shillong, Tura and Jowai Towns and rehabilitation of border economy'. But Sir, it is surprising to note that at page 5 of the Governor's Address there were already mentions about these special programmes of regrouping of villages in Garo Hills, Road projects of Strategic and economic importance, Shillong Water Scheme and rehabilitation or border economy etc. These are exactly mentioned in the budget speech.
Mr. Speaker : But is an emphasis on the discussion of the Government to do this.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, or it is the failure of the Government to do that. Then you have some portions which were copied exactly for example, 'Industrial Development' the copyings is so exact as the Governor's Address. Mr. Speaker, Sir, at page 17 of this budget speech you have page 8 of the Governor's Address which changed one or two words and the rest is exactly the same. The Finance Minister's budget speech in order to assess the industrial development potential of the State techno-economic survey was conducted last year through the Industrial Development Corporation. Based on the repot of the Corporation, negotiations are underway with consultancy firms for preparation of feasibility studies of possible industries in the State. The Meghalaya industrial Development Corporation has been set up and we have already entered into negotiations for establishing a Cinnamon Oil Distilling Plant. The Assam Cements Limited at Cherrapunjee has also come over to Meghalaya and steps have been taken to improve the functioning go the Company. Schemes have also been taken up to develop village and small scale industries.
There are 7 paragraphs in all which were exact copyings from the Governor's Address. For example, for the Industries thee is one paragraph which was exactly copied and the only change is at the end where the Assam Cement Ltd., is being added in the budget speech. Mr. Speaker, Sir, these are my general observations as a Professor which show a great seriousness in the preparation of this budget speech.
(A voice as Member not as a Professor)
It shows how serious the Government were in preparing this budget speech which was more exactly like the one they have prepared last time that they have to bring in real developments with these copied changes in this State of ours. Two lean months have elapsed and from the very beginning of the budget speech at page 1, I found that mention has been made of the refugees. If this is a fact, I would like to hear from the Finance Minister if the refugees are still in our State to rob us to our riches and other amenities.
(At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the chair).
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would leek to ask the Finance Minister to reply later whether there are still more refugees, the non-tribal refugees in our State, if so what steps are being taken to relieve and rehabilitate them outside the State. At page 2 of the Budget Speech it is said that the challenge was adequately met the by the new born State of ours. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is the challenge. Yes, certainly we are credited for meeting the challenge in process but there are a large number of persons in the R.R. Department who gave relief and rehabilitation to themselves. It is a pity an unfortunate that there is still a large number of bills to be cleared, even for the very poor contractors. yesterday a Garo contractor said that it has taken him 1½ years to get payment of his bill of small amount. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this poor and unfortunate person had to come to Shillong and stay for 3 months or so in the hotel and had accumulated a big amount of loans and debt I remember that one Garo gentleman was weeping when he received payment of his bill because just after receipt of payment he had to pay the Accountant or Assistant Accountant this or that person a type of payment they call in Khasi "ka bai-burom, i.e. the pocket money for those who helped in passing the bill. That particular gentleman or contractor had to be contented with only Rs.200 only.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Not a cup of tea?
Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : It is really a very kind remark. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the bottom of page 2 of the Budget Speech, in the last paragraph, it is mentioned that steps are being taken for mobilising additional resources for providing relief to the Bangladesh refugees. To raise additional resources or revenue for said of refugees is still continued and we would like to know what additional resources are being raised by our Government. Then at page 3 in the Second paragraph, it is mentioned that the Government is adopting various measures for the welfare of the Defence Personnel. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed to make a brief comment with regard to the District Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, moreover the staff of the Board have not been paid their salaries for more than a year. There is no State Board yet. After the creation of Meghalaya as a separate State, it is learnt that the Government has excellent ideas of bringing an Army Officer who is still serving to be the Secretary of the State Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Board. I wonder who will that serving officer be, because he must be bereaved of senses to give up his service in the filed and come to sit in that dirty and musky room covered with rots and the Secretary of the State Board. I would like very much to recommend to the Government that a retired man should be appointed as Secretary of the State Board since this is the office meant of the welfare of the ex-servicemen. it is therefore better that a retired Army Officer who is qualified and has some experience be appointed to this post. Further the arrear pay of the District Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen Staff for one year be paid. Then it is unfortunate that the District Soldier's, Sailor's and Airmen's Board is still running in the dirtiest rooms. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you could take a little trouble to go to this Office, then you will see its actual condition. It is near the Supply Department. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, something should be done in this respect. At the bottom of page 3 of the Budget Speech, it is mentioned that during 1970-71 the National Income according to the tentative estimate showed an increase of 5 per cent to 5.5 per cent over 1969-70. But this is in figure only. As a mater of fact the purchasing power of the people has gone down and there is a demand for a higher pay; even the M.L.As want to have higher pay because the price has gone up and the purchasing power has gone down. This percentage did not indicate the actual per capita income. It is only in figure. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at page 4 of the Budget Speech we have a reference to the mineral resources of the State. Here I would like to enquire whether it is a fact that the Government of Meghalaya has decided to join with the Assam Mining Corporation I mean the Assam Mineral Development Corporation which was set up in 1964 and whether it is a fact that the Government of Meghalaya is also a party to this Assam Mineral Development Corporation. It is a fact that the mineral resources are here and why we cannot have the Mineral Development Corporation of our own, why we should join with the Assam Development Corporation of our own, why we should join with the Assam Mineral Development Corporation when most of the mineral are situated here in our State? This up to the Minister or Industries to consider.
Now let us come to a agricultural production. The potato production is expected to be better in 1971-72 as mentioned in the Budget Speech at page 4. This is a very good thing. It is a statement of fact hat the potato out-put in Khasi Hills this year is expected to be 20,000 tons but Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the tragedy still remain with us. These potatoes are not controlled by our people, 99 percent of the potato production of the State at least in this District pass into the hands of the unscrupulous middle class people who have come from outside the State and who have worked against the interest of our people. They are dealing with our people in the most obnoxious manner. It happened often that the big trader who sit in their Khadi in the Barabazar with their big stomach will say to the local potato producer that the price of potato is high; so go and bring your potatoes for sale. Our local people are taking the trouble of hiring a truck for carrying their potatoes to the Barabazar. When these people brought their potatoes, the unscrupulous traders will say to them that they have just received a trunk call from Calcutta that the price of potatoes has gone down. The poor people have nothing to do except sell their potatoes at the low price offered by these traders because to take back their potatoes will incur more expenditure. These things are still taking place and everywhere the potato growing p3eople are crying and they want that the Government should come to their aid and free them form the sickle that these unscrupulous trades place upon them. These traders the sickle that these unscrupulous traders place upon them. These traders in the markets are using false weight or scales in measuring the potatoes and from every bag of potatoes measured they will take away 4½ Kgs. for their benefit i.e. 10 grams have been taken away from every 100 grams; in addition they are troubling our poor cultivators by using this unfair means and wrong measurement or defective scales. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, something should be done an I would suggest either immediately the Government should sit up a Corporation or Government itself enter into trade without monopoly or Government should appoint a Supervisor in Barabazar to inspect the weighing of potatoes in the market and in bara bazar itself. I would better recommend that fixed prices must be ensured by the Government and this Government will earn praise, blessings from all the people of this District, particularly if they are prepared to go against the vested interests who are bearing about very far-reaching consequences with their activities. If this Government will go against these vested interests and fix prices of potato, it will really be a blessing to all the people of this State and then the people will be able to bring potatoes to the market or bara bazar and sell at fixed prices. At page 5; transport for essential commodities is also linked up with potatoes in the border areas although transport comes later. Here one great draw-back is that without direct monopoly by the State Transport this will not allow anybody-else to carry the goods along the Shillong-Gauhati road without special permission from the Government and this very much encourages the black marketeers. I would like to draw the attention of the Chief Minister to the fact that there are about 63 private trucks running along the Gauhati-Shillong road which are plying completely illegally because of the fact that potatoes are rotten and unless they are carried to Gauhati as the State Transport do not have any trucks to carry them. So people encourage the private truck-owners and black marketeers to load potatoes in their trucks and such procedure should at once be stopped. I am happy to see that officers of the Government are also listening to this. It is a fact that every one of these truck-owners pay the following sums of money to the DSP, Traffic, Gauhati Rs.100 per month, DSP. Traffic, Shillong Rs.100 per month, the O.C., Barapani Rs.75 per month. O.C. Nongpoh, Rs.50 per month, enforcement Officer, State Transport, Rs.75 per month, Enforcement Officer, DTO office RTs.75 for one trip at Nongpoh Rs.75 per month. The O.C. gets Rs.100 because it is the custom and these poor people who are encouraging these truck-owners share the money otherwise they will not be able to sell their potatoes at Gauhati. The root cause of all this is the monopoly control by the State Transport Companies charge only 0.50 paise to carry goods from Shillong to Gauhati. As you know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have only one road - the Shillong-Jowai road including Tripura and Mizo Hill which forms portion a of the National Highway where the Government of Assam-Meghalaya State Transport Corporation have sole monopoly and use to charge very high rate and thereby affecting the price-level in Shillong. Because of this exorbitant charge by the Assam-Meghalaya State Transport Corporation there have been many requests to do away with this Corporation and secondly, this monopoly control should be given up immediately. There is no earthly reason why that department can control over this monopoly system over the G.S. road. And I remember that this matter was raised even on the floor of the Assam Legislative Assembly so many times and their reply was very innocuous. If the Assam State Transport monopoly is closed down, they said, the people will suffer. I say monopoly must be closed down or removed and then we will be able to run these trucks and not to run these benami trucks.
Now, Mr. Dy. Speaker, Sir, I come to page 6 of the Budget. There is provision for special development programmes to the extent of Rs.10 lakhs. We would like to know from the Hon'ble Finance Minister the details of these Special Development Programmes. We know that unemployment is assuming a gigantic proportion. So more details would be very very welcome and we must congratulate the Government for this. Yesterday I was joking, thinking I was mischievous myself, for introducing an obituary reference to the death of the APHLC. Then now at page 7 of the Budget, we have minor irrigation schemes and research schemes; Rs.65 lakhs have been provide for schemes under agricultural production, land reforms, research, education and training and the balance amount of 25.00 lakhs has been earmarked for minor irrigation schemes. First of all, I must congratulate the Agricultural Research Department. This great Department is the sole exception or not having copies from the Governor's Address and the other Department is the Public Works Department. The Agricultural Research we have at Upper Shillong Farm was set up by the British in 1893. It covered an area of not less then 800 acres but today only 300 acres are left, 500 acres being handed over to the Defence Ministry and to other sections of the Defence Minister such as Air-force. This area is a matter to note because in the whole Meghalaya according to my friends in the Agriculture Department, few places were conducting real research. We paid a visit to these places and there are potato research schemes, cattle research schemes and all kinds of schemes are going on at Upper Shillong Farm. Whey on earth this Government gives away this area to the Defence Ministry while proper research works can be conducted in this same area.
Why the Revenue Department given land away. It seem there is o proper co-ordination among the various Government Departments for conducting Research work.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister Revenue) : Mr. Dy. Speaker, Sir, not even an inch of land was handed over since the State of Meghalaya came into being.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Dy. Speaker, Sir, actually there is a proposal before the Revenue Department to hand over land.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister Revenue) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that was a commitment of the outgoing Government the Assam Government.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Dy. Speaker, Sir, there may be commitments all kinds of commitments. But not the commitments which go against the people and against the State are not worth to be honoured. Therefore, my humble suggestion to the Government is that the proposal for handing over land to the Defence Ministry should be cancelled.
Now I would like to discuss the scheme of Ware Housing under Agriculture. It is very important to defeat the design of unscrupulous traders from outside. You may look at me with green eyes or prejudiced eyes, but the proposal which comes from our side is a constructive proposal.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Our looking at you means we are taking interest. (laughter)
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Here I would tell you how these traders conduct their business through forward trading Suppose in the month of January they will ring up to their agents to supply potatoes, say 500 tonnes to Gauhati while the potatoes are still unearthed, then again, say 500 tonnes to Siliguri and then to Patna. Like this, money already started rolling. But the simple farmers will not get the benefits. So I world like to draw the attention of the Government as to how to defeat the purpose of these unscrupulous traders. First of all, I would suggest that all the potatoes should be placed in a ware house under the Ware Housing Corporation. Although we do not have our own Ware Housing Corporation since we are still under a common Ware Housing Corporation with Assam, we will buy these potatoes from the farmers especially those varieties which can be stored for 2/3 months and keep in a godown. As the time comes when these traders from Gauhati or Siliguri will not be able to keep their words their purpose of transacting crores of rupees over telephone would be defeated and their market would be lost. We can help the local people by storing potatoes, tezpata, etc., in the cold storage. In this way the Government can control the market.
At Page 8 of the Budget speech it has been mentioned about the "Government of India, proposal to locate a Special Area Development Project for agricultural development with Norwegian collaboration" and at page 9 there is a mention of mobile soil testing laboratory. But I think on meaningful purpose will be se5rved by this arrangement. Because this type of mobile laboratory is meant for manufacturing beer. But actual soil testing needs real experts. When our laboratory has got no staff at all what is the use of bringing this mobile laboratory incurring such huge expenditure. So I request the Govern to appoint new staff so that the scheme can be a success. Even in the office of the DAO there is dearth of staff.
At Page 10 there is mention of Animal Husbandry. I think this is a big joke. In this connection, I would like to mention that the Bilati pigs are not acceptable to our people. According to our people the local pigs are more tasteful than the Bilati pigs. Probably the local pigs are fed with night soil.
Even if the Minister-in-charge of Veterinary would like to come with me one day to Upper Shillong Live-stock Farm he will see things there with his own eyes the state of existence of the Veterinary Farm as it happened to be before the 30th March, 1972. You will find cows and bulls and perhaps one could have one sample for his breeding purpose. There is a big ranch for such bulls and cows recently, having produced by the Farm at Upper Shillong. I am encouraging gall the people in the interior to come forward to avail themselves of the opportunity of having these kinds of stocks and seeds of cattle so that they can get maximum profit from the sale of milk. So we can expect much from the Agriculture and veterinary Department in the Development of dairy industry in the State if they are keen to rant such help to the villagers with such breeds in due course. But there is one venture in the Veterinary Department and that is about the famous 'Jerseys' Farm at Kyrdemkulai developed lately, by the Government of Assam. I wonder if the Government of Meghalaya has taken over the said Farm at Kyrdemkulai and the other one at Naya bungalow. These two farms are the two most important sites for the development and improvement of Cattle Farming etc., I happen to be an M.L.A. from this area and I have seen nothing has been done so far, even though, high quality of milk is produced in this area. Btu those milk producers are very unscrupulous Mahajons. When they will buy the milk at Naya Bungalow they will add 10 lb. of water to the original and will sell again the adulterated mild at that same high rate to the people. Again these byres will add again some water to get the maximum benefit and resell the same price. In this way the milk becomes bad and sometimes infective. It seems there is nobody to control against this. But as you know Sir, in the past, even the milk suppliers of Shillong town will proceed to this area for getting a good quality milk for reselling it at Shillong. So if these, things are not properly controlled these adulterators will continue this unscrupulous means of mixing mild with a greater volume of water i.e. to 10 lb. of water. The milk which is originally produced in the Naya bungalow area is the one which the Government of Assam used to buy for supply in the Shillong town. Therefore, it will be very good for the Veterinary Department to look into this matter in good time and also find out some ways and means of developing the existing farm stationed at Umsning and also to find out some other avenues to start the farm in the best way expected of it. In this respect, I would like to point out to the Government with emphasis to the urgent need of the development of Umsning farm which was taken up from the Government of Assam a few years back.
Now, we come to Soil Conservation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you know one general comment which. I would like to put before this House is to Soil Conservation as mentioned in the Budget Speech. It is excellent Mr. Speaker, Sir, in size, in practice, in copying the same thing as it was there in the Governor's Address. This is an important Department, no doubt, so far as the villagers in the interior are concerned. It is for this Department to instruct the farmers in the village to restrict their cultivation to soil conservation methods, to abolish the system of Jhum cultivation. it is the worst department I can say in matters relating to what I have just mentioned above. And I will place before the House and to this Government about what the Soil Conservation Range Officer has done in the Bhoi area. As you know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very important part of the country so far as cultivation is concerned. When the farmers of the villages approached the Range Officer for any application Form of grants or loans, he will charge them Rs.5 or Rs.10 per application Form, not to speak of getting such grants. One has to wait for years together. Sometimes one year, 2½ years as the case may be and sometimes to no advantage. Now, Sir, in regard to Agriculture also I have received a big report from the people of the village of Raitong. There were 26 applicants for agricultural grants in 1970, directed to the District Agricultural Officer, headquarters at Shillong. The District Agricultural Officer in response to their needs has sent one Shri Bhorali, Agricultural Inspector to investigate and to send a report for the same. But later on it was found that this investigator charged Rs.20 to Rs.30 on the applicants with a promise that they will get such an such grants. I have submitted a complaint to the Director of Agriculture recently and he has taken immediate action with an order of suspension of the Inspector. This Inspector visited Raitong village and told the applicants that you will get Rs.1500 as an irrigation grant and please give me so much of money. "The poor villages of Raitong have no other alternative than to pay the wanted amount, on the plea that the applicant will get the grant after two years, because there is no fund at the time. The matter has been brought to the notice of the District Agricultural Officer by the villagers of Raitong. It was again found on proper scrutiny that event he amount sanctioned by the Government fir the 26 Raitong farmers for the year 1970 had not yet been disbursed by the District Agricultural Officer. So the grants were not paid even till today to the 26 persons of the Raitong Village. Even though Government sanction was there already these people have to suffer a great deal of hardship that they have to come to Shillong frequently to see that they will receive say Rs.30 to the Investigator. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it will be fit an proper for the Department concerned to hand over such money, grants, loans etc., etc., to the Block Development Officer of their jurisdiction and to ask him to distribute to the deserving applicants in proper time. I think this step should be followed henceforward in order to prevent corruption of a few officers.
These are lying for last several months. Why should a man take Rs.100 for giving this grant of 1,500 rupees. I am to take interest because while paying a loan of Rs.1,500, Rs.250 is kept back and there are so many cases where loan has been sanctioned to 20 or 30 persons by the Block Development Officer and in some cases money was not sanctioned. There is no money now in respect of somebody though sanctioned for the purpose and the money has been taken away. There are several genuine cases like this. I would request Government to supply us with the list of agricultural grants and minor irrigation grants given out during the last two years. From the Department of Agriculture. I am prepared to ask the particular persons due to get the money if the Government is prepared to supply us with the list of agriculture grants in the next two days for the last two years from various Blocks. I do not know about other cases of the Bhoi Development Block. I would request others to move in the House for complete stop of the Block and their actual stoppage of Developmental work in the Bhoi area. Because never in the life of any D.C., B.D.O. or Minister in the Khasi Hill ever visited this area. The people are completely naked in the Bhoi Development Block area and nothing is done there. Even the D.C. never goes there. You are given to hear that on the 4th of July this year these people will come here in their naked condition. They will be coming before us only next month.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am now coming to my last point and I am sure the Government will take my suggestion into consideration, I shall now say something about the state of affairs in the Police Department. In the S.P's Office, there is one gentleman who is working as the Head Assistant for a number of years. What is happening in the S.P's Office is that this particular gentleman has been involving in the infiltration of Pakistani Nationals into our State because he control a good number of depulationists from the Bangladesh border. I feel that his transfer from the post is urgently necessary in the interest of the security of the State. We want, Sir, that a small Office like the P.P's Office should be manned by the people of our own State in order to prevent unauthorised entry of outsiders, specially people from Bangladesh, into our State.
Shri Onwardleyswell Nongtdu (Sutnga S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Budget Speech made by the Finance Minister I would like to point out that reference has been made in page 4 about claiming land, terracing, etc. I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the fact that there are some parts in the Biete areas where Development of irrigation on terracing is not possible for cultivation of paddy as the area is too sleepy. Therefore, in those areas I would request the Government to take up other schemes for plantation of other crops such as potatoes, oranges, etc.
I would request the Government to take up further Schemes in order to encourage plantation of other crops such as potatoes, oranges, etc. last year, due to the attack of pests those people lost their crops and nearly all the villages lost the entire crops in the at year. Now these people having lost their crops, are facing starvation. Starvation cases in these villages have been brought to the notice of the Government authorities and they were also requested to visit those places. The people are now living on wild leaves and roots of the wild plants. Words fail to express the sad and depressed look of those people, with tears rolling down their checks for the last three or four months, and due to shortage of proper diet and as they are living on wild plants serious diseases broke out and many lost their lives. These cases have been reported to the proper authorities in the District. They have requested to visit those places but as most of the places are in the jungle and as there is no proper communication the authorities could not go down and see for themselves in a proper way the actual serious condition faced by these people who had to fight and face the two worst enemies of human life without any help. At present, there is only one road under construction from Sutnga to Saipung. The Jowai District Council undertakes the responsibility to construct the road, but some portions which have been completed have either been was held a way bet the recent rain water or blocked due to heavy land-slide. The District authorities are not able to cope with these difficulties. So I earnestly request the Government to take up necessary steps to help these people who are in great hardship. The immediate necessary help, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is to supply them sufficient food and medicines, and also to open up good communications so that people living in the remote areas in the villages can go to the other parts of the Sate and get their supplies. Even if the road from Sutnga to Saipung is completed, it will not be of much benefit to the whole of Saipung area because Saipung is only a starting point in the vast areas of the jungle in that area. So I hope that the Government will see to this and will try to pen up new communication which will not be managed and run by the District Council. I believe, Sir, if good roads are to be constructed the P.W.D. road from Khliehriat to Sutnga is in a very very bad condition. It is very difficult to explain or express. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from mid June upto the end of August, it is not possible for vehicles to go to this particular village as the road condition is bad. Of course, it is true that every year there is sanction for metalling of the road but this was done with soft and small hard broken pebbles which are either being washed away or being carried away by rain water. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we earnestly request the Government to see this matter and take immediate steps and also provide funds for maintenance and black topping of this road and other roads in the State which require proper maintenance. Thirdly, Sir, what we see in the Budget Speech is that Small farmers Development Agencies and marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers Schemes are opened up and its activities were made to extend to only 5 Blocks in the State. But it is better if the activities of the Agencies be arranged to extend to all the Blocks in the State so that small farmers may not be deprived of the benefit that will be derived out of the activities of the Agencies. Fourthly, Sir, we have seen in the Budget Speech that the Assam Cements Factory has come over to Meghalaya and Meghalaya is trying to find out ways and means to improve the factory. But what we have seen in the Khasi Newspaper "U Pyrman" dated 16rth June, 1972. There was a caption of the newspaper item where it seems that the management of the Factory is anxious enough to hand over the Factory to the C.C.I. Ltd., of India. I for one, highly feel against this move if it is true because if such a move is finalised it would certainly cause unemployment problem in the State. Fifthly, I would like to draw the attention of the House to Education. There has been mentioned that a Commission was constituted to study the problem and suggest ways and means to improve the standard of education in the State. The Commission, as in the past, will spend more time to study only the higher level of Education.
But what we see now is the most important thing to raise the standard at the Lower stages. The condition of the lower primary schools in the State are horrible. The District Council Authorities usually appoint teachers who are not qualified in the primary schools but you will be surprised to find that in some of the schools where there are two to three teachers, the is not even a single bench for students to sit on. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the S.I. of Schools goes for inspection, he actually goes only to those schools situated in the centered places and not to all the schools. During their visits, they will call upon teachers of different lower primary schools to come to a centered place and bring the Registers for Inspection. This, I think, Sir, is a very bad example on the part of the inspecting officers to do. Local politics have much to play in appointing the Lower Primary School Teachers in the State. Interviews are usually conducted formally and have no connection with appointment of teachers. I would like to draw (At this Stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri P.R. Kyndiah took the Chair) the attention of the Government to this fact so that education in future in our State will actually be raised upto the level intended by our Government. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to mention that some inspecting officers like the D.I. and A.I. of Schools will have to visit a large number of schools and have to travel long distances by private vehicles and most of the journeys are strenuous and long, and sometimes they have to go on foot. So, if cars can be provided to them, it would be of great help and the inspecting officers in their turn will do better in their supervisory works. This on the other hand, will go a long way to improve the standard of education in our State. With these few words Mr. Chairman, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri M. Reidson Momin (Dadenggiri S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would, like to congratulate the Finance Minister for presentation of the Budget on the floor of the House and I would like to touch only a few points. In the Budget Speech a reference was made to heavy influx of refugees in an almost unparalleled manner in the history of the world and its consequent repercussions, thereby the economy of this poor State of ours was put to a severe strain. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Meghalaya State has suffered a lot because of this heavy influx of refugees from Bangladesh and I congratulate and appreciate the Government for having been able to raise to the occasion. In this respect, I want to say that many refugee sheds had been constructed by the contractors. Due to urgency of the matter, the contractors had to construct these sheds without getting prior work orders. This is due to that heavy influx of refugees pouring into our State day in and day out. So there was no time for calling tenders and no time to select contractors. These poor contractors have not been paid their bills uptil now. I also know that the Government, through you, Sir, that some arrangement should be made so that these irregularities can be overcome and payment of bills of these poor contractors be made.
There again Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are many Lower Primary school buildings and cultivable lands in Garo Hills damaged by the influx of refugees and during he Indo-Pak War of 1971 and the Garo Hills District Council is not in a position to rebuild these school buildings and pay compensation to the land owners of these damaged lands. On the other hand the District council has suffered certain losses because of the Indo-Pak conflict. Further during the conflict most of the hats or bazars were damaged and the hal mahaldars could not pay their dues. So, in this respect, I would like to point out to the Government through this respect, I would like to point out to the Government through this respect, I would like to point out to the Government through you, Sir, that some financial help or grant-in-aid to the Garo Hills District Council should be made to enable them to implement their schemes so that they can carry on their normal duties and for improvement of the district as a whole. Then Mr. Chairman, Sir, I come to page 3 of the Budget Speech in which mention has been made with regard to the welfare of the defence personnel who have been affected by the Indo-Pak conflict. Many men of the Army, Air Force and Para Military Forces were killed in the war and I would like to point out to the Government, through you, Sir, that while their families are taken care of by the Government the A.R.R.O.S. who were manning the refugee camps during the Indo-Pak War and faced Pakistani shelling and Pakistani bullets and worked under haphazard condition are without jobs now. They are knocking at the doors almost everywhere but hey have been turned down. So I would like to request the Government, through you, Sir, to help these people who have been retrenched after the closure of their camps. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the last paragraph of page 4 of the Budget Speech, which reads as follows. the Government of India have declared the whole State of Meghalaya as industrially backward and the applied the scheme for incentives for industrial development to all the districts of the State". Mr. Chairman, Sir, as the Central and State Governments are aware our State is a backward State. We have no big factories, we have only one Cement Factory at Cherrapunjee and in this connection I would like to suggest to the Government, through you, Sir, that a Cement factory be set up in Garo Hills. In this connection I want to bring to the notice of the Government that the total estimate of resources available from the Geology and Mining Department is - Limestone 600 million ton available in Garo Hills, Coal is about 1116 million tons, Cement requirement in the whole Eastern Region is 12 lakhs tons annually. The Assam Government has started a Cement Factory at Bokajan. Now if the Bokajan and Cherrapunjee Cement factories have the capacity to produce 1000 tons of cement daily, there will still be a deficit of 2000 tons of cement. So I would like to request the Government that another Cement Factory or Plant be set up in Garo Hills with a producing capacity 1000 tons of cement daily. We have ready market for the cement with the emergence of Bangladesh and if a cement factory is set up in Garo Hills, we can transport the cement to Bangladesh. Via Bugai river or Samewari river. I would also like to draw the attention of the Government that in the interest of the public, railway lines from Birisiri to Baghmara may be connected so that there will be easy trad between Bangladesh and Meghalaya particularly in Garo Hills.
Then Sir, I would like to take up agricultural production at page No.4. Potato is extensively cultivated in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills and the cultivators here are using modern methods of cultivation like fertilizers, etc. I would there, request the Government to train our people in Garo Hills also to use that modern fertilizer and in this respect also I would like to request or rather suggest to the Government that instead of trying to use ammonium sulphate and other fertilizers, I think to my poor know led, the bone-meal which could be used with safely as cow dung man we must be introduced in Garo Hills.
Then I come to page No.5 regarding transport subsidy for essential commodities. I am glad to know that the Government is really taking interest for rehabilating the poor people by giving maximum help to the people residing in the border areas. But than in our Meghalaya, it is not the people of the border areas who are suffering but even in the interiors so many villagers are facing the same hardship and, I hope that Government would tackle this problems in the near future and the transport subsidy be extended to interiors of the Districts also.
Then I come to the problem of unemployment. This is a very sensitive problem. It is a great problem which will have to be talked slowly. Here also I would like to bring to the notice of the Government that this unemployment problem can be solved by opening up new avenues and by sending notifications and circulars in time. Many of our boys and girls are unable to appear for interviews or submit their applications in time because many of the letters reached Tura from Shillong very late and there are even cases where the selections of candidates were to be made in Shillong on 29th and whereas the letter was received at Tura on the 29th only. A letter was types out on the 20th was signed on 22nd and posted on 24th and reached Tura on the 29th, on the very day, when the Selection was to be made in Shillong.
Then Sir, I come to page 7 - Agriculture. I am rather glad that Government is taking keen interest on agriculture and we have been trying to mechanise our agriculture. But there are lots of things still to be done in this subject and more stress should be given on irrigation, specially I am talking about Garo Hills, particularly my Constituency where people are living in a paradise of paradox. They have got plenty of flat lands but no lands for cultivations they have plenty of water for but no water irrigation. So in this respect I would like to say that there is a big river, flowing through Dadenggiri and if this river can be dammed it will benefit the people of that area and more than 2000 acres of land can be irrigated and not only for irrigation, but it can also be utilised for generating hydro electricity and also for solving drinking water problem. relief on famine, etc. I would request the Government to consider this matter very seriously and sent a team of experts to survey this particular place and start construction of a dam across this Ringgi river at Dadenggiri.
Then Sir, I come to Co-operation. In Garo Hills, of course, I may excused, I do not know much about Khasi Hills. In Garo Hills, the Co-operative Societies are not functioning well for want staff. What I would like to mention is that in the co-operative Societies in Garo Hills, there are vacancies for junior and senior Inspectors, but the is no appointment. Unless and until we appoint our people, how can we solve our un-employment problem When there is a vacancy, if the Government does not take action to appoint people how can we solve this problem of unemployment. So I would like to request the Government to appoint those personnel so that the unemployment problem can be solved to a certain extent and at same time the work can be run smoothly and efficiently. Then in the same page, I come to Soil Conservation. Soil conservation in Garo Hills poses a problem because of certain difficulties, which we have not been able to overcome certain schemes could not be followed up for lack of funds and ultimately they had to be abandoned and Government money has been spent unnecessarily. But in certain areas recently terracing work has been started and I am really glad that the people have started cultivation of crops in these terraces which are coming up very nicely. People are now taking keen interest and taking up terrace cultivation. The local farmers and cultivators should be supplied with improved seeds and manurel and demonstration centres opened in whole Garo Hills. If the department takes up this schemes in future, I thin the Jhum cultivation can be stopped and people will take to terrace cultivation.
Then Sir, I come to page 12-Community Development. The Community Development, I am sorry to say that in many of the Blocks - there are no B.D.O's and Extension officers are functioning as B.D.Os but they can not cope with the situation because they have their own duties to perform in the Blocks. Then again, in may of the Blocks or Blocks Development areas I find that any S.E.O's have been withdrawn from the Blocks and absorbed in Education Department. I am to point out that these lady S.E.O's are very essential. They should be retained in the Blocks so that they can go into the interior villages and educate the women folks. In many Blocks there are no compounder, no doctors, no nurses and no Gram. Sevikas Under the circumstances the lady S.E.O's are required for the improvement of women folks in the villages. So I would like to request the Government rather to appoint more lady S.E.Os than withdrawing then from the Blocks.
Then I come to page 14-Health. I am glad that we have taken over some hospitals and dispensaries from Assam Government and that we are going to construct one big hospital at Tura itself. But our hospitals specially at Garo Hills we are short of nurses and pharmacists. I would request the Government to establish Nursing and Pharmacists Training Institutes in Tura so that more nurses and pharmacists will come out. Nurses and pharmacists are also required to man the Primary Health Units in the rural areas.
Then at page 16, it is stated that the District budget was sent for the comments of the District Council on the District Budget and it is understood that the comments on the district budget were received back from the District council with their comments as mentioned in the Budget Speech by the Finance Minister. But today if we simply say that the Government attach due importance to the vies expressed by members of the District Council and efforts are made to make adequate provisions depending upon the requirements and availability of funds and then the Government are working under financial limitation-both plan as well as non-plan will no do. District Council has primary responsibility for development of rural areas and unless they receive help from Government the District Councils are not in a position to implement their schemes. So instead of merely saying that the State Government is also working under financial limitation, and constrain the State Government should allocate funds as grant-in-aid or even as loan to the District Councils.
Then Sir, I come to the same page under Public Health. I am rather glad to say that the Public Health Department has implemented a very good Water Supply scheme in Tura but I find there are many new stream flowing from the pipe lines in the town yet people are without drinking water. I do not know whether these leakages are due to departmental negligence or due to the negligence of the supervisory staff of the contractors. I would like to draw the attention of Government also to certain disparity in distribution of water supply. Water should be supplied throughout the Tura and not partially to certain privileged persons as to being done now.
I want two minutes, Sir, to complete my speech. The other day I talked to an Executive Engineer of Public Health Engineering regarding non-flowing of water in public taps but availability of water in private taps. But why this discrimination. Why water is not given to public taps. When ever there is distribution of water it should be done throughout the Town and there should be no discrimination of public and private connections.
Then I come to page 17-Transport, Now road transport is the only means of conveyance for Meghalaya where there are no navigable rivers or rail links. In Tura specially, the bus operators are not getting new vehicles to replace old ones. I do not know about Shillong. Because there is no quota of vehicles for Meghalaya. So I request the Government that at least some vehicles have to be allocated for the State of Meghalaya so that there will be no difficulty for running road transport system efficiently.
Then I come to Tourism. Tourism has been given due importance and the Government has taken interest in promoting tourism in the State of Meghalaya. I would like also to suggest that Government should construct some Guest Houses or some bungalows and arrangements should be made at Balpakram which is really a very beautiful spot and the approach road constructed immediately. With these words I resume my seat.
Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of information, I would like to know before I enter into a discussion whether I could make some observations on the Budget?
Mr. Chairman : Yes you can do so.
Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : First of all Sir, I would like to know whether the liabilities have been apportioned in all respect or only in cash liabilities. Sir, I would like to invite the attention of the Hon'ble Finance Minister to the fact that the public debt against the Electricity Board according tot he statement of Expenditure and disbursement is 22 lakhs as a loan to the Electricity Board; whether this is also included in the statement of revenue and receipts shown against the loan for State Plan Schemes amounting to Rs.72 lakhs. Another observation Sir, I which to would like to invite the attention of the Hon'ble Finance Minister is whether apportionment of the liability with the Government of Assam is done in all respect and whether the item shown as Rs.2 crores 94 lakhs and 50 thousand against the expenditure on Public Debt is debited only against, the Cash liabilities or also the other liabilities. And another observation is against the statement of expenditure and disbursement for Rs.9 lakhs, 64 thousand shown against the ways and means advances for Plan Scheme whereas in the receipt and revenue side this amount is not shown at all. So it is not understood why this amount is directly posted to the expenditure and disbursement side which had completely changed the budget of the State as a whole and if we take this amount in the receipt side also it would completely change the deficit position of the budget.
Mr. Chairman : You yes mean to refer to which budget?
Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : No Sir, this is a memorandum the budget estimates and another point also if the apportionment of liabilities with the Government of Assam has not yet been agreed for all liabilities. The the amount shown as Rs.2,94,50,000 on the expenditure and disbursement would not figure so much or it should not have been figured at all and the financial strain on the state's Budget would have been restrained and the market loan which the Government is going to derive, could have been easily avoided. So there are some of my observations in respect of this budget which may pleas be clarified by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. Now I come to the discussion in general. I would like to invite the attention of the Hon. Members to page 18 of the budget speech regarding information and Public Relations Department. Actually it is felt that our indigenous artists and traditional artists were not given due recognition for what they have done till today for maintaining our culture and traditional ways of merriment or enjoyment and I feel that through you Sir, a separate wing of culture should be created in this department so that these indigenous artists and traditional artists can maintain the tempo of music and culture of our Meghalayans and they can be encouraged and properly developed. Another observation, Sir, is about he budget speech against the Agriculture Department there are three types of service carders such as SAS (Subordinate Agricultural Services) one, who and three and against each cadre it is learnt that there are so many vacancies and people who have rendered for 10, 11 and 12 years of Service in the Agriculture Department were never given a change to get promotion. We should at least given them some sort of fillip or encouragements so that they can work for the State. Then against the ministerial staff, it is learnt that no vacancy is left unfilled up for a very long time but against the executive staff, there are quite a lot of vacancies left unfilled up for the year together but these vacancies are being officiated by those people who are somehow or other qualified for promotion but hey were no given promotion but only were asked to officiate in such posts. We cannot just expect that all the people of the Department are not fit for promotion; not from A to Z are unfit for promotion. There may be some cases of people who are unfit. But we have to find out ways and means to spot out people who are fit to be sent for further training so that the people of our own State can serve the people of the State in a better spirit. We cannot just have the same missionary spirit of those people coming from other parts other than the people of our own. Of course, that will be there. But the degree will certainly be different. So I feel that through you Sir, instead of importing people from different places, we should try to encourage our own people so that we can expect better work and better dealing from them.
My third observation is against education. It is mentioned at page 14 of the Budget Speech. Our present system of education immediately brings out three problems. No.1 is that we will face manual labour problem in the villages. Secondly, we will face unemployed qualified people and thirdly we will find that the works of these people who are so-called qualified will not be upto the mark expected of them. So I feel that our system of education, as I have mentioned last time, should be job oriented and besides that I feel that in the Middle English stage we should not only teach the students only science but it should be self-contained so that the students who read up to Class VI will have some elementary knowledge of science, industry and other things. There should be stiff screening at this that the people who are really fit for higher study are given the chance to go up and those who are not fit will remain in the villages and will be ready to undertake any other type of work. They will not simply go in for while collar jobs. But as soon as we allow the people to go upto matriculation standard, they will go in for a peon's job and some other clerical jobs and they will not be ready to do agricultural work. Besides that when they will come up to graduation standard or University standard, these people cannot serve the State or the nation because their caliber is not upto the standard which is required of them.
Now, I want to make my observation on P.W.D. It is openly known that the estimates are prepared for each work to be undertaken and there should be technical approval and administrative approval. But on many occasions, we have notices that these are simply paper approvals. We have seen many fantastic estimates, and not only one estimate but revised estimates after revised estimates. And for this reason we have seen that many contractors are the richest people of the society. We are not to blame them; we are to blame the Government. The Government are not doing their works properly. How many of the responsible officers actually went to the site for verification before they frame the estimate and also before such estimates were technically and administratively approved. The contractors are doing their works alright, so there must be some thing wrong, are all these technical approvals and administrative approvals merely simply paper approvals? So, Sir, though you I feel that the Government should be vigilant in these matters so that public money is not spent unscrupulously.
Now, I come to municipal administration. As it is at present there is no administration at all in the Shillong Municipality. We have seen that there are two types of sweepers. One class of sweepers is looking into the nullas. They pull up all the rubbishes from the nullas and leave them on the road. There is another class of sweepers, who are pushing down all the rubbishes again in the nullas. This is the position of the administration of the municipality at present. Besides that I have notices that there are so many unauthorised construction of buildings in the municipal areas. Whether this unauthorised construction of buildings has come to the notice of the Municipal Board or not I do not know. In one instance, the then Chairman of the Municipality might be aware, the is one Durga Prasad Goenka in southeast Mawkhar, he has constructed a grand building without the permission of the Municipal Board. The Municipality has given him a stay order but to no effect. It has given him notice to demolish the building, but to not effect. This is not a solitary instance. There are many instances where many buildings are unauthorisedly constructed. These buildings are overlapping the road; they are overlapping the street and they are overlapping the neighbours compound, will the Government be pleased to set things right.
Another observation is on tourism. Actually it is good that the Government is keen to beautify or to maintain the beauty spots of Meghalaya as a whole. But it is a sad commentary that many of the beauty spots had been spoiled. A tourist who happens to reach Shillong late at night will have to go straight to the Tourist Lodge at Pologround. When he will get up early in the morning, his first sight will be a slum nearby. Besides that he will see that the damaged Race Course and the beauty of the Pologround has been damaged and everything has been damaged. Not only that. Actually Shillong Peak is regarded as one of the beauty spots in our area. But that area now has become a prohibited area. Nobody is allowed to go there. What our Government is going to do about it? Now, the Military has made that area a 'prohibited area'. They do not allow anybody to go to that place and sooner or later the Dam Site at Barapani will also be a prohibited are because the Military have taken over the land nearby. Now, for planning the town of Shillong, it is sad to note that wherever we move, there is a cantonment - whether you move to the east or move to the west, these is a cantonment. so, wherever we move (Bell rang).
Mr. Chairman : You can continue in the afternoon.
The House stands adjourned till 2 P.M.
(The Assembly met at 2 P.M. in the Assembly Chamber with the Speaker in the Chair)
Mr. Speaker : I request Mr. Mylliemngap to resume his speech.
Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have come to the point of discussion about the cantonment area in Shillong. If the Government is really interested to invite the tourists and improve Tourism in our State, I feel that some more portion of lands which have since been allotted to cantonment, should be taken back so that the town can be developed and more sanitation and drainage system may be improved. For that matter I feel that a whole time Director is actually required for this Department an not only al full-time Director but also a technical man such as Executive Engineer or Project Officer or some sort of these is to be appointed so that the construction work and beautifying works can be undertaken by the Government and also we can start some sort of library where the tourists Lodge and more standard hotels, Rest Houses so that the people when they come to our State, they will not be stranded an they will not be in a position to take shelter in the below standard hotels where they will not be satisfied at all. We can also arrange some sort of tour to be conducted by the Government for the people of the State of the State itself, say the people from Tura can come to Shillong, people from Jowai can go to Tura and the like and this type of tour can not only be undertaken by the people of the State but also from the rest of India and outside. Then only we can say that the Government is actually doing something for Tourism in our State. Now there is a Department which is known Public Relations Department. It is gathered that there is one ex-officio in-charge of this Department. Last time, I would like to recollect, one of the hon. Members remarked that at present there is everything ex-officio. We have got the assurance from the Government that they will try to do something for this. But what we find to-day? There is no proper advertisement about the works made in some of the local papers. But even all local people do not actually read these papers. So we urge upon the Government to make some sort of advertisement Policy so that the Policy and the activities of the Government can be published in a proper way. It is also learnt recently that in the Department of Public Relations some machineries have been stolen and it is also reported that this Department is in the habit of purchasing second-hand machineries such as camera, projectors, etc. This practice should be stopped.
Besides, I would like to bring to notice of the Government that there has been an appointment of P.P.S. as the Jt. Director of this Department. But this will not serve the purpose of the Government. But actually there should be at least 5/6 persons to assist him so that he can devote his attention more vigorously.
Now, I should like to draw the attention of the House to the keeping of better breeds of pigs.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It is a while pig?
Shri Gross Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : No, black pig sold in the market. So we feel that Government should do something. Government should start some sort of Bagon factory so that the people who have adopted this farming should get the price which is deserving to them. Lastly I would also like to mention that since it is clearly known that the Government is not going to hand over the cement factory at Cherrapunjee, I would like to suggest that to have a close touch with the activities and the policies of this Public undertaking, a Committee of Public Undertakings should be constituted so that we can heave a close touch with the public opinion and they would be in the know of the touch with the public opinion and they would be in the know of the Government policies, and their activities. On the whole I have to appreciate the Government policies of this Public undertaking, a Committee of Public Undertakings should be constituted so that we can have a close touch with the public opinion and they would be in the know of the Government policies, and their activities. On the whole I have to appreciate the Government for having taken up a musk room plantation programme. Just now I have finished a musk room lunch and I relish it, and that a motion is launched. At the same time I would like to remind the Government that all these ambitious schemes are good for us and let them not be just the musk room scheme. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker : Is there any other hon. Member who would like to participate today as we have still plenty of time. But all the time in the next three days we will be too busy as everybody would like to take one hour or half and we will not be able to cope with the situation. If any other hon. Member would like to take part today, I welcome.
Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : May I resume, Sir?
Mr. Speaker : I have thrown an open invitation to all other hon. Member; actually you have been given enough time. (After a pause). Since there is no other hon. Member who would like to take part to-day, I would request that if their time be rationed in the next three days, they will not feel anything about it.
So the House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. tomorrow, the 21st June, 1972.
|The 20th June, 1972.||Meghalaya, Legislative Assembly.|