The Assembly met at 10 a. m. on the 21st June 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker:-Let us take up questions.
(To which replies were laid on the table)
Re : Supply of bone-meal to the Cultivators of Garo Hills, Khasi and Jaintia Hills
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA asked:
|Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state-|
|What is the total quantity of bone-meal supplied at subsidised rate to the cultivators of the districts of Garo Hills, Khasi Hills, and Jaintia Hills during the year 1972 (quantity should be stated in district-wise)?|
|What is the total quantity of bone-meal supplied at subsidised rate to the cultivators during the months of April-May, 10972 in each of the districts of Jaintia Hills, Garo Hills and Khasi hills?|
|The names of the authorised dealers entrusted for distribution of bone-meal in the open market rate as well as subsidised rate?|
|Whether it is a fact that the authorised dealers were allowed to sell the bone-meal in the open market rate as well as subsidised rate?|
|Whether Government is also aware that due to shortage of bone-meal at subsidised rate many cultivators have been compelled to purchase at the rate higher than that fixed by the Government?|
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) replied:
|- Quantity of bone-meal supplied at subsidised rate upto juke 1972 is as follows -|
|- Quantity of bone-meal supplied at subsidised rate during the months of April May, 1972 is as follows-|
|Garo Hills||Khasi hills||Jaintia Hills|
|Nil||25.5 M.T.||29.933 M.T.|
|Nil||96.5 M.T.||805.558 M.T.|
|- Initially only 3 dealers have been authorised to distribute bone-meal at subsidised rate, but later on few more dealers have also been entrusted to distribute bone-meal at subsidised rates to meet the increased demand of the farmers. The name of the dealers are the following :-|
|1.||M/S. Ralis India.|
|M/S Assam Agro Industries.|
|3.||M/S. Assam hills Development Corporation.|
|4.||M/S. Mylliem Hydro Industries.|
|-Bone- meal is not controlled commodity. Whatever quantity the dealers declared to the Department, that quantity only is taken into consideration for payment of subsidy.|
|-No, such report has come to the knowledge of the Government.|
Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Government is proposing to open some more Agencies in places far off from the Headquarter for distribution of bone-meal?
Mr. Speaker :- This is not the main question.
Shri H. ENOWEL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T. ) :- Whether the bone meal is required for paddy cultivation in the Garo Hills District or not?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- The Government has no such information.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, May I be allowed to say that the Government has got 3 Agencies for distribution of bone-meal but then increased to 7 Agencies. My question is whether the Government is interested to open more agencies to make bone-meal available to the pole for the purpose?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has no strict rules that we should open more Agencies to deal with this.
Shri STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, what is the District-wise spilt up of these Agencies?
Shri E. BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- There is no district-wise spilt up regarding these Agencies.
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T. ) :- What is the subsidised rate per metric tonnes?
Shri WILLIAM A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- This is up to the Minister of Agriculture to give a specific reply. But the hon. Member should make his question clearly by stating any particular question, whether it is a or b or c.
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T. ) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding (a) I want to know from the Hon'ble Minister the subsidised rate of bone-meal supplied to the cultivators.
Shri E. BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- It is Rs.5 per bag Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Shri STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would repeat my question. I want to know how many Agencies have been appointed in respect of each district in the Khasi Hills District, Jaintia Hills District and Garo Hills District. Their addresses are not given here.
Mr. Speaker :- But this was not asked in the main question also.
Shri HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso-Raliang S.T) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know through whom this subsidised bone-meal was distributed for supply to the individual cultivators, particularly, in the Jaintia Hills District?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- That was supplied from 7 Agencies.
Shri HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso-Raliang S.T) :- What is the procedure that is being followed in demanding the quantity of bone-meal that is being lifted from these Agencies?
Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean the facilities of lifting the bone-meal from the Agencies by the individual cultivators?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- That depends upon the individual cultivators themselves.
Shri HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso-Raliang S.T) :- May we understand that the bone-meal has to be lifted by the cultivators direct from the agencies?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- That is according to their wishes. They may do that by themselves or they may authorise somebody but it should be distributed through the individual cultivators.
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether Government is aware of the fact that there are other Agencies also who are doing the distribution of bone-meal in Jowai?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- But the bone-meal is not a controlled commodity. Nobody can control the bone-meal. This is a matter for the Company to sell the same at subsided rate as approved by the Government from time to time.
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T.) :- May we know Mr. Speaker, Sir, the name of the agent of this M/S Ralis India in so fast as supply of bone-meal in Meghalaya is concerned?
Prof MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Government is aware of the fact taht M/S Ralis India was selling this bone-meal at Rs. 32,35,and 37 per metric tonnes and whether the Government is aware of the fact that the Sales Manager, Agro-Industries, Shillong has submitted a report on this matter.
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- We have no control over them; they can sell at any rate.
Mr. Speaker :- His intention is that M/S Ralis India is selling bone-meal at different prices in the Jaintia District.
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- We have no such information so far.
Shri MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- May we know Mr. Speaker, Sir, the different quantities of bone-meal required in this State?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- I can not say the definite amount of bone-meal to be required by our State. I have no definite information.
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- May we know what is the total amount of bone-meal supplied last year?
Mr. Speaker :- This is not the question.
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I think the scope is very limited.
Prof MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW (Mawhati S.T.) :- We have a very important question which our Agriculture Minister has to take note of and that is concerning the Co-operative Societies that are given grants in kind, loans in kind, and the particular question now is whether the Government is aware of the fact that in every case bone-meal being supply very lat to these Societies?
Shri MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- May we know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, how the Government fixed the quantity of bone-meal to be subsidised?
Prof MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW (Mawhati S.T.) :- Whether my first question has been replied to?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- This is not in the main question.
Shri MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- May we know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we how the Government has assured at the quantity of bone-meal subsidised?
Shri EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- We are yet to decide to subsidised the rate of bone-meal and also the transport subsidy and we have not yet arrived at a decision.
Shri MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- But my question does not refer to the rate of subsidy bone-meal but it refers to the quantity of the bone-meal subsidised.
Mr. Speaker :- In what way the Government is going to decide on the quantity of bonemeal to be subsided?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister) :- That is our decision, Sir, that is rupees five per 37 Kgs. of bonemeal.
Mr. Speaker :- That is for whatever quantity required and supplied through these firms.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) :- But my question is that in 1972, the quantity of 1309.519 Metric Tonnes of bonemeal was supplied. How do the Government arrive that so much quantity would be required this year and not more or not less than that?
Mr. Speaker :- That is the actual requirement up to June, 1972.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Will Government be pleased to lay on the Table the detailed statement on the distribution of 1172.599 Metric Tonnes as per accounts of the Subdivisional Agricultural Officer, Jaintia Hills?
Mr. Speaker :- That is done under the rules and not here.
Shri Edward Kurbah (Sohiong S.T.) :- May we know whether the various permits are going to be retained or they are going to be cancelled?
Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean all these 7 Agencies?
Shri Edward Kurbah (Sohiong S.T.) :- I mean the permit holders from the rural areas.
Mr. Speaker :- That is a anew question altogether.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) :- Sir, of these 7 Agencies, No.2 is the Assam Agro Industries Development Corporation which is a semi Government Agency that us sponsored by the Government of Assam. Nevertheless it is rendering service to the Government of Meghalaya. My question is whether Assam Agro Industries Corporation has failed to supply the required quantity of bonemeal for our State?
Mr. Speaker :- That is also a new question.
CALL ATTENTION MOTION
Now let us come to Item No.2. Call attention motion in the name of Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir.
Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir :- Sir, I want to know about my notice which I gave for the Zero Hour.
Mr. Speaker:-That will follow later. Will the Minister-in-charge of Supply make a statement?
Shri Stanley D.D Nichols-Roy (Minister, Supply) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have seen the news item that has appeared in the Assam Tribune dated 12th, June, 1972. The only information that we have received from the Government of India is as follows :-
"On the 10th June, 1972, the subject came up[ in the course of the meting in the Planning Commission with the Economic Delegation from Bangladesh led by Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed, Chairman of the Bangladesh Planning Commission and Finance Minister. The Bangladesh Delegation enquired how soon the supply of limestone to the Chatak Cement Factory can be resumed. It was subsequently agreed that a joint study group including members from both sides should go into this question immediately and suggest an alleptable solution. So far as the Indian members of the Ministers of External Affairs, Steel and Mines, Industrial Development and Foreign Trade, in addition to the Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya in the Mining and Geology Department". Beyond this, we have no other information.
We have, however, sent a telegram to the Planning Commission requesting for details on the news item that has appeared.
We have been examining since some time the question of supply of Limestone to Chatak Cement Factory in Bangladesh. We have requested a Consultancy group called 'Development Consultants' of Calcutta to prepare a detailed project report for mining quarrying of limestone from Shells areas deposits and crushing and conveying to a suitable point on the border for further transport there form, by ropeway to Chatak plant in Bangladesh to meet the requirement of existing Chatak plant as well as its proposed expansion. We are also examining the possibility of supplying clinker to the new pants in Bangladesh and through Bangladesh to new units in West Bengal, particularly from the Garo Hills. No decision has been taken so far.
I may also remind the hon. members that the Trade Agreement between India and Bangladesh provides for export of lime and limestone and other commodities to the extent of Rs.100 lakhs. It is understood that some authorities in Bangladesh have invited tenders for import of lime and limestone from India and contacting local exporters in this connection.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us now come to Zero Hour. Mr. S.D. Khongwir wants to raise a matter of grave importance pertaining to the erosion of a dam at intake of the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme under Rule 49 A.
Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to Rule 49 A, I should not make a speech, but at least I should say something to make the matter clear. This dam at the intake of the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme has been constructed about a year and a half ago. Only on the 14th of this month we went this dam at the intake of the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme. I have also gathered a lump of the concrete mixture which shows that the major position of this mixture contains mostly sand and I understand that the estimated amount for the construction of this particular work.
Mr. Speaker :- You mean only sand and not cement?
Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T) :- I said mostly sand-not only sand, cement is also included. So the estimated amount for this was given to the tune of Rs.25,500 and this particular piece of work was given to one contractor by the name of Shillong Leather at a cost of Rs.18,000. So, Sir, I think this is a defect on the part of the Department which has allotted this work. This shows that no strict supervision has been made by the Department.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Speaker, I would furnish necessary information which I received from the Department concerned.
The Dam is as cement concrete structure. No damage has occurred to the Weir. A small protection wall was constructed temporarily to prevent erosion long the bank of the river beyond the Weir (downstream side) pending construction of permanent protection works. During the recent flood there was some damage to a small length of this temporary wall and this is being attended to. However, there is no damage or danger to the permanent structure of the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme. The Amount required for the repair of this protection wall would-be about Rs.1,000.
INTRODUCTION OF THE MEGHALAYA URBAN AREAS RENT CONTROL BILL, 1972
Mr. Speaker :- Now, let us pass on to Item No.3. may I request the Minister, Revenue to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Urban Areas Rent Control Bill, 1972.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. speaker, Sir, i beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Urban Areas Rent Control Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- The motion is moved. I put the question. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Urban Areas Rent Control Bill, 1972. The motion is adopted. Leave is granted to introduce the Bill.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. speaker, Sir, i beg to introduce the Meghalaya Urban Areas Rent Control Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- The motion is moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Urban Areas Rent Control Bill, 1972 be introduced. The motion is adopted. The bill is introduced. (The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
General Discussion on Budget
Let us now pass on to Item No.4. let us resume the general discussion on the budget. Today we have about 14 participants should limit his speech within 22 minutes. Of course, group leaders will get some more time May I now ask Mr. D. Dethwelson Lapang to participate?
Shri D.D Lapang (Nongpoh S.T) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I must congratulate the Hon'ble Finance Minister for bringing the budget to the House which embodies bold and important schemes which the Government has given some attention to a vital matter of importance in my constituency. This a good sign of good co-operation from the Government side, on the demand raised by the public. But, Sir, I would like to raise important points in my observation of the Budget and Budget Speech as has been brought by the Finance Minister. May I draw the attention of the House to the Public Works Department in so far my constituency is concerned and I would like to express my gratitude for construction of the Nongpoh-Umden Road and Umden Nongtham road which I have allotted for implementation also such road improvement in which the Public Works Department has allotted to several constituencies of my colleagues. Well, Sir, on this point, there is one headache which has been gaiting the mind of the public and that is land compensation for road constriction. It is a very sad affair that people who have given away lands including the houses and all for road construction have not been paid due compensation for years and years together. May I cite one instance, The Umsning-Jagi Road Construction work has been done 15 years ago but compensation has no been paid till today. Most of the compensation cases, I understand, are still pending in the Office the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong. Well, I have no knowledge of other areas in Jowai and Tura, but so far my Knowledge goes, the pending cases are many in Jowai and Tura, but so far my knowledge goes, the pending cases are many in the Deputy Commissioner's Office, Shillong which have been sent there since 5/6 years ago but no compensation has yet paid. There are some cases which have been delayed by the Public Works Department itself. So, Sir, my request to the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department is to look into the matter so that people may have more confidence in the Government by giving their land for development and road construction or for giving the land for some other purposes for Government use. As it stands today, I doubt whether people will have much confidence if this type of affair in respect of land compensation is being neglected very badly. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while talking on development, may I unveil the fact and take the opportunity of bringing to the notice of the Government that in the areas which I am representing, i.e., Ri Bhoi, there is a large number of people who are still very backward. You will be surprised to know that in many places of this area, they still do not know that India has achieved independence are still singing "God Save Our Gracious King". Well, Sir, not to speak of the day when the new State of Meghalaya came into existence. They are still looking up to the British regime. it is the duty of the Government to look into this matter so that these people will really be brought to light. Mr., Speaker, Sir, 'Ri Bhoi' has dense forests and we can safely call the granary of the State. It is this area which really calls fro improvement of lands. This area has got its own land tenure system and the people have got their own practices and these people should have received the attention of the Government. The people of this area are very anxiously waiting for land development in the form of improvement of agriculture, road development, etc. etc. I think many of us, Mr. Speaker, Sir, are still remembering that in this area in many years ago there has been a move to have a separate Regional Council which was initiated by the Organisation known as Ri Bhoi Durbar and this Durbar has fought very vigorously to bring this type of administration in this area. This has compelled the Organisation to move the Government and the then Governor that the Regional council is really very badly needed and the Government should see to it. I have a strong belief that if Government is really keen and have got interest improving in important area, a civil subdivision for this area is really a necessity of the day so that the people of this area when they have come to know that our State has really got a full State it will look to the interest of the downtrodden and make them equal with the rest of the people in the State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I now skip away to some other item and that is, Community Development. It is a matter of fact which should be admitted by all that the performance of three Development Blocks are satisfactory. And attention has to be paid and some reorganisation has to be made and some sort of new programmes and schemes have to be drawn up. I would like to say that many friends of mine who happened to be representatives from different Blocks will express the same thing that they are not very satisfied with the plan programmes of the Block development Officers. I would like to bring to the notice of the Government, so far as the Blocks are concerned some complaints which were brought against them. I extend my thanks to the Hon'ble Chief Minister and the Minister, Agriculture that they have complied with the request of the public that the present officers be removed and other new Block Officers be brought there with the attempt to implement the schemes of the Blocks. I have had a talk with some of my friends that there should be some sort of organisation in Block development Committee with a non-official Chairman so that he will have better control over the movement of and the activities of the Block Development Officers and he will serve as a link between the members of the B.D.C. and the officials of the Government and the Chairman will also see that the Block should not relegate the confidence of the public.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Now I would come to item No.6, i.e. Education Department. Coming to page 14, I would like to express my appreciation to the Government for having realised that the Government is very keen to impart education to our children. But the fact is that the old system of education rather absolute, it is not workable, it is clerical type of education which has created more unemployment headache to our youth of the State. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, instead of imparting this old conception of education. Although we do not have many new items to be brought hoe for our development programme I would suggest to the Government to see that Agriculture also should be one of youth will not go away from the field and after completing their education career the will go back to the field. The would be in a better position to implement more modern and more scientific method of cultivation. We know that there are arrangements for holding seminars in the training camps for the illiterate cultivators on the activities of the Block Development. But I would like to suggest to the Government to see that these facilities b extended to the students of the class IV or V of Middle English Schools so that the will be in touch wit the progress of the State and the will not be only job seekers and for look clerical jobs. We know, after the completion of their educational career our youths start seeking the jobs of clerks, typists or peons. So the present system of education must be job oriented and some changes are imperative.
Turing to another item, i.e. the constitution of Text Book Committee, I should say that proper and through attention should be paid in selecting the Text Books. Now there are some Text Books of the Schools and Colleges which are being taught year after year; the same sets of books are being taught for many years. Whereas the rare many new books written by various authors. So, I would like to request the Government to see that these new authors are not being deprived of their legitimate claims and they should be encouraged by selecting their booked as text books in various institutions. Now, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the setting up of a Board of Secondary Education. But I do not find any mention in this regard in the Budget Speech. At present we have got two Boards; I.e. the Assam Board o Secondary Education and the Board of Higher Secondary Education common with Assam. But I should impress upon the Government the necessity of having our own Boards of Education. Because it is likely that some difficulties may crop up in the respect of language. Now I come to another branch of Education Department. i.e., the Basic Education. An Institute of Basic Education was established in our State in the living memory of the activities and ideology be beloved Mahatma Gandhi. But I fail to understand as to why this institute is not prospering rather it is declining. I do not understand why the authority concerned does not pay any attention to this Institute. I would also request the Government to appreciate the fact that as many as 128 employees including instructors and teachers of the Basic Education Institute who have been serving for last 15 or 20 years have not yet been declared as permanent Government servants. I want to know whether this Institute is going to be abolished, if so, I am afraid these 128 people will be suspended and they will have to decide their own fate. But I would suggest that they they have should the privilege of having made permanent and retirement facilities.
Now I refer to the activities of the Institution established in 1966 by the Lyngdoh Sohiong. As many as 40 acres of land were allotted by the Lyngdoh Sohiong to construct this Basic Training Centre at Sohiong. This institution was started 2 years after constructing the buildings, craft room, school buildings by spending lakhs of rupees but many things are yet to be constructed such as staff quarters, women hostel, kitchen, latrine and water tank. These should have been done already.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the Central University really comes into existence within a very short period of time.
So far as social education is concerned, although there is no mention in the Budget Speech, it is surprising to know that now-a-days the students are getting habituated in taking LSD drugs. It is held that after taking this particular drugs, people lose all control over their body; they do not know as to how are their parents, their friends, etc. You will be surprised to know that this drug is being consumed in the girls, hostel even. So this kind of social evils should be nipped in the bud.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed to say something about Industries. Well I should congratulate the Government for setting up of Meghalaya Industrial Development Project and I must congratulate also for their taking over of the Assam Cement Factory at Cherrapunjee from the Government of Assam. It is the only Industrial Unit in our State. But you will be surprised to know that it is also a losing concern. We may request the Government to look into the matter and scrutinise it very properly. This is the only industry in hand which should not be a shame to the Government but should really be an earning concern. Now, I understand that there is only one motor and it is no longer workable with a grinding capacity of 350 tonnes. This motor has now been replaced by a smaller motor whose grinding capacity is 120 tonnes. This is one of the causes why it is a losing concern while the Government should pay attention and look into the matter, the officers and administrators must not neglect their duties and should see that it is really done in a very satisfactory way. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to suggest to have one Advisory Board in which the Public Leaders also will be included so that there will really be a contact between the public and the Government concern and that this Advisory Board will also include some of the leading Members of our Legislative Assembly. Well, I do not mean to suggest any name to be included as a Member (Laughter) of the Board.
We are glad that we have at present an Electricity Board at Barapani. This is also a losing concern. It is surprising that all the industries in the Hills are losing concerns. They should be ex-post facto examined and diagnosed properly as to why should they be losing concerns. The Barapani-Umtrew Power project is supplying power to Assam, Tripura and Bhutan whereas the consumption in our own State is really very small. Now I understand (Bell rang) the power Generated from the Nangalbibra Thermal Project in Garo Hills is being supplied to places 80 km. away in the Goalpara District. Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask the Government, through you, why Government is spending so much - Rs.10 crores for the Kyrdemkulai project and Rs.70 crores for the Umkhen Project. This is really an additional headache to them when this is a losing concern. I understand that from the Umkhen Project power would be supplied to Bangladesh. Why take additional burden?
With regard to the Meter Factory I understand that the Government are taking over and have asked for evaluation which was reported to be about Rs.1 crores. But I understand from the people who are really in that factory that the machines are second-hand machines and that due to depreciations of machineries the evaluation come to only 70 percent and if this is worked out the cost of this factory is meter not more than 50 lakhs of rupees. I would now suggest to the Government to look into the matter and not to spend money unnecessarily (Bell Rang)
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may please be allowed one or two minutes more. I would also like to know about the fate of the Silliminite Company while congratulating the Government for taking over of some of the offices, industries, factories, etc., I would like also request that a malaria institute be set up by the Government. May I also tell about the very bad condition of our dispensary at Umden? It is not good for me to be very much communal about my Constituency (laughter) I have here a photograph which you will really be surprised that a Government dispensary could be in such a bad condition and I want that the reporters include this topic as a part o the proceedings of the house, the Speaker, Sir, I would also thank the Government that a sis-bedded hospital has been set up at Nongpoh but there should be colony for the lepers at Umden. There are about 300 lepers at Umden alone and I would impress upon the Government to provide a separate colony or hospital and a research institute to see that these 300, whose number is likely to increase within a short time to 1,000-or more-will not rally be without help from the Government. Mr. Speaker. Sir, we have seen in the weekly of Shillong, namely, "The Implanter letter to the Chief Secretary. I may please be allowed to read this latter:
This morning.................................................. some lepers and so on and so forth".
This letter was published on the 10th but I am really surprised that the Government have not paid any attention to the publications. As a meter of fact, the lepers are still there moving about among passengers waiting for buses. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to request (Bell Rang) the Government, through you have these lepers removed so that people are not contaminated from these lepers. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri. Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang (Mawsynram S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must congratulate the Finance Minister for his Budget Speech on 19th May, 72 in spite of the fact that we are having deficit budget right from the beginning of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya up till now. I would also like to congratulate the Finance Minister for his Budget Speech in which mention was made about the sufferings of people for the last few years in the border areas because of transport subsidy in the border areas which was stopped by the Government of Assam for some time. Now, according to the Budget Speech of our Finance Minister the Government of Meghalaya has started giving border subsidy to our people living in the border areas.
Regarding agriculture the Finance Minister has earmarked Rs.25 lakhs for minor irrigation schemes for development of agriculture in our State. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, i would also like to give some suggestions to the Minister concerned. I have seen that that Rs.25 lakhs have been earmarked for special minor irrigation schemes in which certain grants have been given to certain individuals. I would rather urge upon the Government to take up these projects by the department which will be beneficial to the people of those particulars areas which really needed. last time I have seen certain cases where some individual agriculturists were granted certain garments but in my opinion the Government would take up the schemes by their own expert because in certain irrigation projects, I have seen some agriculturists do not have any idea of construction of these check water and Head water dams and, as such, it is a mere waste on the part of the Government. It is a mere waste on the part of the Government. It is a mere waste on the part of the Government if construction of dams is not done by private persons. Who do not know anything about such construction.
Regarding Community Development also, I am in line with one of my friends the hon. member from Nongpoh because I have seen that this Department has been performing in a very unsatisfactory manner. That is why I am also in line with my friends suggestion that the Government should com forward and try to pull up this Department so that the people will understand that the Department should serve them in their on areas.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- What is your concrete suggestion?
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang (Mawsynram S.T.) :- I may also suggest about appointment if a non-official Chairman i9n the Bloc. I am really very glad to know that such a thing should come out from the Government so that the Chairman may be able to check the Plans and Programmes of this particular Department properly. Regarding Public Works Department, this is really a very important Department and without communication, though we have agriculturists and we may grow many things we cannot export our goods to the markets. That is why I quite appreciate whatever has been mentioned her in the Budget speech about this particular Department, in spite of its drawbacks, they have been able to complete at least some important bridges in this District, I mean in Meghalaya as a whole, so that the people will be benefited and will be able to bring their agricultural products to the market. I would also suggest that instead of constructing new roads it would have been better to complete the existing fair whether roads so that the vehicle could ply the whole year and this also will help the people of Meghalaya. The last part I have seen in the Budget Speech is that we are facing with a deficit of Rs.732.42 lakhs. Actually, we are a new born State and I would suggest, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Government should request the Government of India to write off the amount of Loan given by the Central Government and other agencies till we are in a position to bring out or tap our national resources so that we can meet our proposed expenditure. But at present, I would suggest that this august House should request Government of India to writ off those amounts. Lastly, before I resume my seat, I am disappointed that in the Budget Speech it has not been stated anything about improvement of markets in Meghalaya. We know there are three important market in the whole of Meghalaya. These are Barabazar, Tura market and Jowai market. Actually I must suggest that the Finance Minister would have put something, I mean, about the improvement and taking over of the Barabazar by the Government which is neither under the Government nor the Municipality. I would suggest that the Government should take over this market and improve its sanitation and proper shopping system. Regarding Tura and Jowai markets, these are under their respective District Councils. But neither the Government not the District Council has got any control over the Barabazar. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would suggest that Government should take over this market. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Dlosingh Lyngdoh.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to learn from the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister that the Government have taken up so many items for the improvement of the State and the people of Meghalaya. But I am sorry to say that though all over India, the land reform system has been taken up, yet in this particular Budget Speech, we have not seen anything whatsoever so far as the land system is concerned. Moreover, in our State, the land system is a very complicated affair and many difficulties arise with regard to the cultivators who are given here as small farmers and marginal farmers. How can these farmers and cultivators get help from the Government or from the 14 banks which have been nationalised unless and until the lands are codified by the Government, so that Government will know to whom the lands belong. In this District, the Government did not recognise the land holders and the lands owners expect in cases of those Zamindars or undeclared Zamindars as we have said in this District. That is why the marginal and small farmers cannot get the benefit from the Meghalaya Apex Bank or from any other banks for improvement of agriculture in the State. So Sir, I would like to impress upon the Government., through you, that the land reform system is absolutely necessary for the State of Meghalaya and also for the improvement of agriculture as well as industries in the part of the Country. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to point out in the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister at Page 7 where it has been stated that schemes for the benefit of the small and marginal farmers were sanctioned. Sir, may we know what are the processes or the factors to define the marginal and small farmers unless and until the land tenure system is properly brought in line with modern ways. Mr. Speaker, Sir, can it be that this marginal and small farmers are at the mercy and sweet will of the officers concerned who will define as to who are the marginal and who are the small farmers. The officers can not do anything to their own wishes so ever, according to law, but they can do whatever they like according to their own wishes, so, Sir, I would suggest to the Government, through you that these marginal and small farmers who are the backbone of our country should be given first and foremost help by the Government. Government should extent their co-operation to our people so as to enable them to be real cultivators and to enable Government to see who are that marginal and small farmers according to the landholders or landowners.
Now Sir, let us turn to page No.9 of the Budget Speech, I am very glad to see here that tractors and bull-dozers are given to the farmers in the interiors of our State. But it is very unfortunate, Sir, that factors in the interiors of our State. But it is very unfortunate, Sir, that tractors and bull-dozers are given to the cultivators at different rates. Last year and also this year at the same time and date, some of them are given at the rate of Rs.12 per acre, some at Rs.60 per acre in the same date and same place and this matter is also reported to the Government but no action has been taken so far. Moreover, tractors and bull-dozers be given directly by the through you that those tractors an bull-dozers be given directly by the Government to the actual tillers of the soil which need them at proper time with good supervision of the high-ranking officers otherwise the people might be misguided by those whimsical officers. Now, as regards Agriculture grants Sir, I observe that for the last 5 or 6 years, people who are to receive grants never received but these grants are given to some people who are not supposed to get them. If the Government or the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture will be pleased to see to this, I would request them, through you, Sir, to check up the list of various agriculture grants distributed to the people and then the will understand and see that only those people who used to get grants, continue to get grants as usual up to this date but not other cultivators. It seems to me, Sir. That this grant is inheritable grants, and not for the interest of the actual cultivators. (Laughter). As regards Agricultural forms, these firms are not freely distributed but rather sold to the poor farmers at different rates. If they see that the persons are unintelligent, they sell at the rate of Rs.5 per form. But if they think that the cultivators are intelligent one they see that the persons are unintelligent, they sell at the rate of Rs.5 per form. But if they think that the cultivators are intelligent one they sell it only at 12 annas or 50 paise per form. However, to their close friends and relatives they give them free and mostly to those relatives and friends of the Agricultural Officers, Now I would laws like to touch on PHE matters at page 16. We are very grateful to the PHE Department, as it appears from this Budget speech, that they have taken up as many as 8 water supply schemes last year they have initiated to take up 20 (twenty) more water supply schemes. The Bhoi area, as the hon. member from Nongpoh has rightly mentioned is a neglected area in the State in Meghalaya. They have put there an officer may be an S.D.O or and Overseer- I do not know exactly! Who is to do survey work in the Bhoi area as this officer does not now anything about the actual position of the Hill people. He suggested a pumping system where there is no electricity. But we are waiting and I believe we still have to wait for another thousands of years for electricity. (Laughter). In the Hill areas I know that there are streams and water falls from where we can generate electricity and get water supply. But this particular gentleman, Sir, has made a proposal for pumping system because he comes from the plain area and dose not know about the hill areas especially the Sub-Himalayan mountains. There is one water supply scheme at Umsning which our Hon'ble the last few months. So, how this particular officer has proposed a pumping system, I cannot understand! (Laughter). We have many stream but he proposed to draw water from a well which means nothing but to get this plan negatived and also to show to the people the unwillingness of the Government to take action, though the Finance Minister has given promises to give water supply under this scheme. So I request the Government through you, Sir, that such an officer should be better removed than allowing him (laughter) to put the people in troubles and in very very difficult situation.
There are also, Sir, plenty of streams and waterfalls from where we can take electricity for our State yet this gentleman took water from a well by using pump. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request the Government really has a good intention to give water to the needy people of our State, to take up water supply scheme form the streams and water falls and not from streams and waterfalls and not form wells as the gentleman as I have also mentioned is doing. I would like also to refer to page 18 where mention has been made on power and electricity and I am proud to say that I am representing the very constituency where electricity has been produced. But at the same time, Sir, I am very sorry to note that so far only electric lines, wires and high tension lines are passing over my constituency and not electricity (laughter). What is this? We have seen only electronic lines or power lines but no light. These lines are there only t provide sitting places for birds because electricity does not catch-hold of birds. The electricity lines it seems are only meant for birds to increase buildings of their nest and not for the use be taken up in the hill areas of our State, especially in the Khasi Hills in an area like Umroi, though electricity is produced there because of transportation. I am very sorry to say, Sir, that this particular constituency of Umroi has a very good transport system. Stand anywhere you like, turn any side you like within a short range of 3 miles you will find a road. Of course, this is not PWD road, it is a road constructed by the forest contractors to exploit our forest mercilessly. I want to know from the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of Transport, whether the trucks of the contractors are better than the trucks of the Assam Electricity Board, because the contractors' trucks are plying every day whereas trucks of Electricity Board, it is said, are unable to ply because the road is very bad. In my constituency, there are about 5 or 6 villages near the village of Bhoilymbong to be electrified and sanction for this purpose has already been accorded and I have already received a letter in this connection since the last 2 years. But this proposal and the money sanctioned is there and the Chairman of the State Electricity Board has given orders to the Executive engineer to take up the work of electrification of villages of Mawkneng and 5 villages of Kyrdem area but up till now nothing has been done. They say that due to bad condition of the road, the work could not be carried out. Our Hon'ble Finance Minister who visited Kyrdem knows very well that trucks and jeeps are plying day and night and yet these people said that they cannot proceed with the work due to bad communication especially to Mawkneng village which is close to Bhoilymbong. Electric posts which have been put there for the last 8 or 9 months have been damaged and I had reminded the authorities concerned time and again to take up the work before the electric posts are damaged but they just promised that it will be done tomorrow, day after tomorrow, within a week or within a few weeks. But up till now nothing has done. Another important and interesting point, Mr. Speaker,. Sir, which I would like to say is that at Bhoilymbong very near to the Umroi Airfield there is a house of power sub-station constructed some time in the month of January last year. This house was destroyed by storm some time in the month of April this year. We had written (Bell Rang) to the authorities concerned reporting about the destruction of the house by the storm but nothing has been done. Luckily, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the local people there are innocent; they do not steal the sires or meters, etc. from the destroyed house.
Mr. Speaker :- Your time is up.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, please give me 3 minutes more to speak. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest to the Government that if actually they want to electrify the areas of Meghalaya like that of Norway, they should utilize the electric power that is available in this State of ours and to give more employment to our own people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry to find that in this electricity project especially at Umroi, I do not find any Meghalaya Engineers; I do not find any Meghalaya officers , I do not find even a peon appointed from our own people. Why our Meghalaya people are not suitable to be appointed even as office assistants in the office of the Electricity Board. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to appeal to the Government through you to look into this vital and important thing. Moreover, Sir, the Government has taken the elands of the poor cultivators but these people are not getting any job. What justice is this, Sir? Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, more and more lands will be taken for the Umroi Airfield but I do not know whether a mystery or a carpenter can get a job there or even as a boot polish. So I would request the Government to employ our local poor people at least as a boot-polish in that Aerodrome. A new Aerodrome and a Military Cantonment Area will be constructed at Umroi and (Bell rang) Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have a few things more to say. So please give me one minute more. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out about the Police officers and appreciate the hon. Member who spoke yesterday that the Police, especially the Barapani police is not looking after the safety of the people. Instead, they used to rob our people, the jeep or truck drivers have been robbed by them. Sir, I would like to state only one point. On the 19th May, 1972 there was a breach of law and order at Mawkneng village in my constituency. The matter was reported to the Deputy Commissioner, the District Council and so on and so forth but no action has been taken on this. On the 27th May I reported the matter to the Chief Minister and he has given an order to this effect. Due to failure of the law and order there I told the villagers of the Mawkneng village that if the Police could not do anything about this, you take the law and order yourselves and open the school by force. Mr. Speaker, sir, this school has been closed down and on the 27th, the Chief Minister has given an order to the Police to look into the matter for a settlement. But still nothing has been done and the school ahs not been opened. I told the people that we have requested the Chief Minister, the highest authority in the Government about this State of affair, so you open the school and if somebody does not allow you to do it you kill them. (Laughter).
Mr. Speaker :- Are you preaching the people to kill some body? That is a highly irresponsible statement on your part.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh :- That is not a fact, Sir, and so I withdraw.
Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many hon. members who have spoken before me, have taken part in the discussion on the budget placed before the house and many of them had made valuable observations and suggestions as well. If u understand correctly from the speeches of the hon. members before me, with all their attitude and tone, I feel we fall in line with the Finance Minister's budget speech before the House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the mere scratch on the surface in respect of the development of Meghalaya today, for the last 24 years is one of the reasons that makes us unhappy today. Looking into the backwardness of the State, one cannot but feel unhappy and restless. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, especially, the economic condition of the whole people of Meghalaya is at such a low off and thereby bringing them into the State of restlessness. This is the great challenge, a great challenge that us confronting us today.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this budget speech the Finance minister has brought out an outline how to meet the challenge in the near future. We brought out an outline how to meet the challenge in the near future. We know, Sir, that our State is connected with roads only as a means of land transport and we know that road transport is a costliest mode of land transport and we know that road transport is a costliest mode of land transport in modern times, and on this means of transport, our produces and products, and our consumers' goods are transported and brought into the markets in the State. This basic fact, we have to bear in mind. It is the markets in the State. This basic fact, we have to bear in mind. It is the main factor that affects our economy. The geography of the State as we know does not allow any other means of land transport expect by road. I am know does not allow any other means of land transport expect by road. I am glad that one of the top priorities of infrastructure in terms of Roads and communication has been given due consideration by the Government.
The construction or making of roads is in progress. But the construction of roads in our State is very very costly if compared with that of other sister States in the plains. Unless we have roads, how can we implement other development programmes? How can we reach the requisite materials for implementation of water supply scheme or electrification scheme, how these schemes or other schemes can be implemented without the easy reach of the requisite materials, how can we implement all these things without roads.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- In the southern part of the State, especially in areas on the same belt with Cherrapunjee, road-making is very costly because of the oblique and difficult terrain. Now we see the slow progress in the widening of the roads in the Shillong-Cherra Road, Cherra-Mawsmai road and also Mawsynram-Balat Road and many other roads in the border areas. Our State is a border State and roads must be constructed for all purpose of the State and the country as a whole.
Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we all know that the literacy in the State also is about 28.43 per cent, much behind the rate of literacy, in the average rate of literacy in our country. Education is the liability of the State. here also, is the tremendous task of the Government to enhance the rate of literacy also. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, the rudimentary State of the infrastructure in terms of Roads and Communication and Education, as I said before, and also in terms of medical facilities and financial institutions, are disturbing realities of the economy of our new born State. It is only on the 21st January, 1972 that Meghalaya came into being as a full-fledged State, we all know. We are yet on the initial approach to tap our own resources. Therefore, we need liberal Central assistance and heavy in flow of capital. Taking all these into consideration among many others. I support the Finance Minister and fall in line with hi budget speech to approach the Central Government for more financial assistance and writing off the inherent debt from the deficit budget as suggested by the Finance Minister. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I resume my seat, I would like to inform the House and through you Sir, as some of the hon. members had already spoken about, there are certain drawbacks in the budget speech so far as Industries is concerned. And that is regarding Major Industries. It is rather surprising to note that there is one and only one Major Industries in the State, i.e., the Assam Cement Factory. The Press report of the proposed handing over the management of the Assam Cements Ltd to the CCI has created a very grave sensation among the workers and the general public in Cherrapunjee. I would request the Government to take immediate action, to look into the matter and also into the entire affairs of the Assam Cement Factory, immediately as many hon. members have also spoken much about the Community Development Blocks and I also, agreed in respect of the performances of some officers of the Blocks. But I don't feel that because of the failure of some officers, the whole idea of Development Blocks should be abolished. If we have given serious thought about Community Development Blocks in the light of how best we can develop our areas, especially, the rural areas of our State, I think it is time that these Development Blocks should be reorganised and strengthened because so long we have found the performances of these blocks are not satisfactory, own areas, it is very difficult to find out some other agencies for quick development of the rural areas. Now, we know that in every block there is a Block Development Committee consisting of Local leaders, public leaders and other important persons within the Block's jurisdiction are to attend such committees as summoned by the Block Development Officer. If all the members attended such as Committees and if they do perform their duties properly, I don't see that the idea of having the Block Development or the Development Blocks is a bad thing and we know that in every Block there are certain Committees, there are local Development Committees there are Field Management Committees in which all and very leader of the villages are there in the Committees.
(Shri E. Pohshna : A.P.H.L.C.?) that I don't know. These Committees are to help the Block Development Officers and the officers of the Block in implementation the schemes and these schemes are taken only when the Block Development Committees have approved that said schemes, and also there to se, examine and sanction or approve the schemes to be taken up. What I feel is this. That so long the approach of the Block Development Officers to the people is not correct approach.
(Shri E. Pohshna : But the Leaders are there) Yes, leaders are there but if they don't have the correct approach to the people in general, if they are not consulted, they will not be able to understand thoroughly about their way and line of thinking in all villages of the Block. I feel that certain rules or procedures in selecting or electing the members of the Block Committee should be there. And I am not blaming the Members of the Block Development Committees, in absence of such framed rules. Officers and field workers in all departments, whether it is Agriculture or Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, Fishery, Cottage Industry, Social Education, Communications should be strengthened. We find that in the Blocks, these departments do not have even a single officer or staff on the Block, these departments do not have even a single officer or staff in the Blocks for implementation of schemes given by the parent department I mean the department I mean the Department concerned. We have also to improve they co-ordination between the block and the parent Department. And if this is not do one, then we will find there will be no success of schemes and so you will find failure of schemes or projects. I have experienced in this last five years that until and unless we take interest and we guide the District Councils, The Blocks, the parent department, we will find there will be every possibility of over lapping of schemes. For the same footpaths, the same batch is getting grant from the District Council, from the blocks and also from the parent department. This has to be taken into consideration seriously by the Government so that we will see that every pie of the money meant for development reached to the people in a proper way. With these words I resume my seat.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me start my observation with the dismal remarks of the Hon'ble Finance Minister which goes as "I am extremely unhappy to present before this august House a Budget with an over-all deficit of this magnitude." Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am doubtful about the sincerity of this remark of the Hon'ble Finance minister because in a developing country or a State deficit budget I not new a specially in Indian democracy, it has become a fashion of the day to present deficit budget and I have a firm conviction that the Hon'ble Finance Minister presented this deficit budget to the tune of 73.42 lakhs keeping in view the fact that unless he presents a deficit budget then he will be deprived of firstly to get Central Government assistance and secondly either to show to the house or to the people that the Government is sincere in implementing certain developmental works. Hence judging from this points of view I find no reason for Hon'ble Finance Minister's being unhappy for the deficit shown in the 1972-73 budget. Nevertheless, if we are to build our State's economy, we cannot speak about development without touching agriculture because our State's economy is based mainly on agriculture and agriculture is a relative term. A husband without a wife is meaningless and like-wise if we say agriculturists without land also does not bear any meaning. The Hon. member, Mr. Lyngdoh, has rightly pointed out about the land tenure system in our State, but this s a very sorry State of affairs that our Government has not taken any step to overcome difficulties. What are the difficulties in our land tenure system in Garo Hills? Of course, I am not familiar with the system in Khasi Hills-but in Garo Hills, there are Nokmas and without the consent of the Nokmas or Muharirs no individual can have record of rights of individual can have record of right over the land. Of course, under the system or custom or tradition they are rights of individual to live under the Nokmas in his asking land and also take to jhum cultivation but if the cultivator wants a certain plot of land as a permanent property, that as permanent property, that he cannot have. Our Government is also such, if I may be permitted to say-because I am not finding any suitable words for it expect to say an impotent for not coming forward with bold legislation to help the landless people, so that each of the cultivator can have a plot of land for permanent cultivation. It was the expectation of the 9 lakhs of people of Meghalaya that certain plans and programme would be taken up by the Government with a view to driving out the obstacles from which the people of Meghalaya are suffering, specially, when we have attain our full Statehood but not to speak of taking any such step. Our Finance Minister has ended his remark by saying that "the State Government have been examining for quite some time in consultation with the District Council the possibility of working out a system whereby agricultural credit can be extended to our agriculturists without radically changing the social pattern of our society." From this remark it appear that our Government fights shy to fight against the social evils and I doubt whether in a democratic country, the Government which fight shy to fight against the social evils for the benefit of the masses has any right to exist. Here at page 13 it is said that "It is a common knowledge that the land tenure system in Meghalaya is generally of a nature which had created difficulties in mortgaging of land by agriculturist in the State". When Government has detected the diseases from which the people are suffering it is the duty of the Government to administer appropriate medicine to cure the ailment. So, one wonders when one fails to find any fixed programme of the Government to be done in future is regard to its land tenure system. Moreover from the Hon'ble Finance Minister's budget speech he showed his half hearted concern and anxiety only about the temporary measure that is to give relief to small farmers in matters of getting agricultural credit from the Bank. If we are to build our economy we must not look to the temporary measure but we must look towards a permanent a solution. Here in the budget speech there is no such thing. As the hon. member, Mr. Lyngdoh has already discussed, I would like to stress upon the Government to see that the lot of the poor agriculturists is improved. I do not find any meaning in coming to Shillong and delivering a speech in the House if we cannot direct our policies towards complete eradication of poverty. Some, my humble request and also appeal to the Government is that they the should come forward with some legislation by which we cannot direct our policies towards complete eradication of poverty. So, my humble request and also appeal to the Government is that they should come forward with some legislation by which we can give some lands to the landless agriculturists so that they an have at least a piece of land where they can live and cultivate. I have already stated, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that I am doubtful about the remark made no very happy in presentation a deficit Budget. That, the Hon'ble Finance Minister's worry and anxiety for deficit Budget. That, the Hon'ble Finance Minister's worry and anxiety for deficit budget is artificial which becomes clear from the following instances. In fact for the implementation of the Programmes the Government undertakes there should not have been the gap as shown in the budget provided less receipts would not have been the gap as shown in the budget provided less receipts would not have been shown than what it had been receiving in the former years. For example, under the Head of Excise Duty Government earned to the tune of Rs.51,000 during 1970-71 but in 1972-73 budget it is shown as Rs.41,000 showing less receipt of Rs10,000 without any explanation for such short-fall. (Shri Enowell Pohshna. It may be due to prohibition) Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch. If it is in the mind of the Government and I am grateful to the Government. Assuming that the receipt under the Head Excise duty has gone down to Rs.41,000 from Rs.51,000 for prohibition then may I request the Hon'ble Finance Minister to explain why the receipt under the Head 'Forest' in Garo Hills, has come down to Rs.46,000 in 1972-73, when the receipt under the said head in 1970-71 was to the tune of Rs.61,400 thus showing a short receipt of Rs.15,400.
Shri Williamson Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Because forest resources are getting exhausted for jhuming. (Laughter).
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar S.T.) :- The reason may be due to smuggling also at the mercy of the Government. (Laughter). So if we calculate all the short receipts shown by the Hon'ble Finance Minister for three Districts we will find that the deficit has come down to the tune of Rs.6,97,000.12. Sir, we know a child is born, he or she does neither remain child but grows to manhood as the time passes. But it seems that it is not applicable in case of our State. For instance, if we derive Rs.10 this year we should at least earn Rs.15 by next year. So also should have been the trend of our revenue receipt-an upward rise by atleast 10 per cent than the previous year's budget revenue receipt-and if we calculate in this way the total deficit comes to Rs.3 crores. Therefore, it is my belief that three must be lack of sincerity on that part stand economically on our own feet, our all efforts to build a prosperous and beautiful Meghalaya will be meaningless and we will reach a stage when we will will have to look forward towards Delhi for our bare existence. So our efforts should be directed towards making her self-sufficient because for attaining this our people had been struggling hard and for that matter we have also struggled for Independence 25 years ago. So, if we find today that there is all round deterioration, for that we cannot blame the people but it ids the leaders only to be blamed.
Sir, coming to my next point I would like to say that there are various communities in our country and also in Meghalaya. Before the attainment of the State of Meghalaya, the minorities living in Meghalaya, were enjoying some scholarships, Viz. merit -cum-poverty, etc. The Minority communities also expected that they would get these facilities after the creation of Meghalaya also. But unfortunately it is found that non-tribal students from the minority communities were deprived of this benefit because the Government ahs taken away that privilege. I know about 3 or 4 students who are studying at Gauhati University. So long the were enjoying the merit-cum-poverty scholarships but since last year that has been stopped including renewal. It is not only in case of University students but also in case of the students reading in different colleges in Meghalaya and Assam. So I would request the Government to look into the matter and see that justice is done to those students coming from the minority communities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate that during the last session some of the hon. members made some harsh or even un-parliamentary remarks against minority communities and there was no protest from the Treasury Branch. So, I am constrained to to ay that the Government has also indirect support to such attitude and stoppage of scholarship to the minority students.....is once of glaring examples of Government's oppressive policy towards minorities.
Shri Williamson Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to make it very clear that the Government would provide equal protection to all sections of the people in Meghalaya and there should not be any misgivings about it. Well, as regards the instance of granting scholarships cited by the hon. member, Government will enquire in to the matter.
Shri Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T) :- Hon. member should not excite the Chief Minister.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar S.T.) :- I am thankful to the Government for the assurance given by heeder of the House that the Government would enquire into scholarship matter. In the matter of education leaving aside the question of merit-cum-means scholarship I find nothing about technical education or the growth of technical education in the State. There is only mention of a polytechnic in Khasi Hills but nothing about Garo Hills. There are three districts in Meghalaya and without technical experts or without any technical know-how we cannot hope to go forward in our development works if we are always to look towards Assam, West Bengal, U.P. or any other States for officers, doctors or engineers. So, Sir, in the Budget there should have been concrete proposals for setting up institutes in which our children could get their education and technical know how. The absence of concrete proposals only goes to show great omission of the part of our Government and I would request our Government through you, Sir, that at least one engineering college be set up in Garo Hills preferably at Menbhata? (Laughter) I suggest Mendipathar to be the seat of the Engineering College, because in other parts of the District it will be difficult to get land. As you know, Sir, there was a proposal for creation of a Subdivision at Simsanggiri since 1945 but but this proposals could \not implemented because Nokmas do not give their land for which the proposals is hanging since 1954.
Shri Williamson Sangma (Chief Minister) :- There is also Nokmas at Mendipathar.
Shri Sibendra Koch (Mendipathar S.T) :- But I assure to help the Government with the land as much as it needs. Here, under the head "Supply of Agriculture Machineries" "One of the encouraging features in the field of agriculture in our State has been a general awareness amongst 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" From these remarks it seems that Government is aware of our cultivators being mechanised minded and adopting scientific methods of cultivation, but Sir, I have seen that there is no provision for giving subsidy for purchasing power tillers or pesticides to the needy cultivators. Of course, regarding fertilizers we know that the Government have subsidised the rate. The question now is for purchase of power tillers and power etc. pumps for which also there should be a provision for subsidy. If a provision has not already been made I would now request the Government that this provision be made (Bell rang). Some more minutes, Sir. During the last session while taking part in the discussion on the Governor's Address I spoke about the judiciary and make our Hon'ble Law Minister was kind enough to make certain promises but this time also there is nothing mentioned in the budget provision as to what steps the Government is going to take in order to revitalized our judiciary in the State. I have already spoken during the last discussion on the Governor's Address that the procedure Law of the State which is known as administration of Justice can be rightly termed as the administration of Injustice because it is creating the most injustice to the people. As regards judiciary Administration of justice rule is not the end, but there is something more big lapse and I do not know whether the Government is aware of the fact that under amended provision of the 6th Schedule the appeal provision the High Court has been taken away from the decrees, orders and sentences of the District Council Courts (Bell Rang) Only two minutes more, Sir. Under sub-para (2) and(3) of paragraph (4) of the un-amended Sixth Schedule the High Court of Assam had the appellate jurisdiction but after the deletion of these sub-paragraph (2) and (3) of paragraph (4) now there is no provision for appeal from the orders, sentence or decrees of the District Council Court. So he has become a final authority without any scope to challenge his verdict which is great deprivation of the legal and constitutional right of a citizen. So unless we have some provision for appeal from the judgement of the District Council Court the rise ample opportunity of suffering for the people. So this should be taken into consideration (Bell Rang).
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Your time is up.
Shri Sibendra Koch (Mendipathar S.T) :- I have come more to say, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- You have only one minute.
Shri Sibendra Koch (Mendipathar S.T) :- Our Finance minister in his Budget Speech said that Government is keen on giving relief Government employees and that it is a good gesture on that part of the Government. As a matter of fact, prices of the essential commodities have gone up many more times than the prices prevailing in 1964 when the pay scales of the Government employees were revised. But here our Finance Minister wanted to be satisfied in giving financial aid in the form of House Rent Allowance and Interim Relief which was given by the Government of Assam. It is known fact to all that the Legislators and Minister can only formulate the policies but they cannot personally go for the executive of the policies for which Government is to depend upon its employed Officer. So, Sir, when we want to realise good things from the officers we must also be ready to pay them fairly. It is universal truth known to all. One can get sweet mango by paying more. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now M. B.B. Shallam (At this moment Mr. B.B. Shallam is absent from the House).
Shri Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T) :- On a point of information, Sir, in order to avoid delay, may we get the proceedings of the last Session?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The proceedings are now under print. Now, Mr. Syiemiong.
(The Speaker at these stage took the Chair from the Deputy Speaker).
Shri W, Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I begin my speech, first of all I feel I must congratulate the Finance Minister for presenting the first Budget of the State of Meghalaya. As a man who has got little experience in accounts matter, I know that the preparation of this first Budget of Meghalaya which as a very meagre income is very difficult and I think that the Finance Minister must have the performed many tight rope waking to present us with neither a happy nor a sad budget. I say 'happy' because I find that there is now new taxation and if there is fresh taxation on the people of this poverty stricken State, I am sure it will tell upon the poor people. I am at the sometime sad because I find that am the very first year, we have started with a very big deficit that it is not a very happy trend although it might be that the Finance minister must have thought it might be that the finance minister must have thought of getting grant from the Central Government that in the first year we should start with a deficit. Anyway, Sir, let us come to some salient point in the budget and I would like to start with the Budget Speech at Page 17 which is dealing with Tourism. Sir, I find that this is one subject which has been given the least attention though actually is one subject. Sir, I understand that there are some countries, small countries in the World like Monaco and West Indies islands which flourishes only on tourism. Not only these countries but also affluent volunteers like Switzerland, Greece until the other day, and Spain; the revenue from Tourism alone contributes largely to type exchequer of those countries. Coming nearer them, we also find in Siam and Thailand as well as in Kashmir that tourism is very important. In Meghalaya State also, Sir, we are not lacking in beautiful spots and if we exploit them we could have done a lot of things and invited more tourists to our country. We have got some famous places like Mawsynram and Cherrapunjee' e have got a Golf course which is regarded as the second best in the world and we have got Shillong which is a beautiful town but we have done nothing so far and there is no guide to invite the tourists and hence we suffer. So also here in Shillong, especially if we consider the present situation and conditions of of the roads, you will find nothing but every where roads with Pot-holes, rubbish things and dirty drains. I do not know if the PWD Engineers are inefficient or they are not actually filling to work properly because I remember, for example, that road in Barabazar which has repaired in 1970 is now in such a condition that it is very lard for motion cars and pedestrians to ply and walk thought. So also all drains overflowing the roads. I remember yes tardy my friend Mr. Mylliemngap deferred to two sets of sweepers doing two different works. Apart from them we find that there is another set of sweepers of the Municipality ho reform both duties at the same time and those are the scavengers who carry night soil. Then scavengers do not perform it in nice way or rather dispose of the night soil in a very bad way which affects the health of persons in some neighbourhood they throw the night soil in drains and if any would take a morning walk to improve his health he certainly will impair it instead. Talking about health I feel I must say something because last year one of my brothers fractured his hand and there was no X-Ray film in the Civil Hospital and that Hospital is running like that still. So this causes a lotto problems to the people coming for treatment there especially people from the villages and I understand, Sir, that the reason is shortage of fund when that Hospital could buy plenty of sofa sets and stomach tubes. About 8 sets of these stomach tubes are being supplied to each ward for cleaning the stomach and there are hardly about 5 cases in am on the and 12 Enema tubes again are supplied for one ward. Again Sir, you will find that even medicines in that hospital are not available. You may get only mixture and most of the medicines are to be purchased by patients from pharmacies outside. So this also causes a lot of troubles to the people of the villagers. Even for getting admission, they find it very difficult because it all depends upon a particular Surgeon Superintendent who used to do according to his wishes in admitting people. Even in emergency cases, he usually asks in Hindi ; "Tum kia Jad Hai" which means "what is your caste" or to which community do you belong? Them if the persons are Meghalayans the will not get proper treatment in the Hospital. I am happy, Sir, to say that our State has got its own police force. Police Force is most important though we did not have it before. The Police Force that we are having now should really be the police force to clean up for administration in the way the Government likes or in the way we like. It should be anti-corruption when he spoke last, yet everywhere we turn corruption is rampant. In the Supply Office, in the Relief and Rehabilitation Office, in the B.D.Os Offices, the people there mostly supply things for themselves, rehabilitate themselves and the Block Development Officers do not help development but they block the development. So unless the Government does something, I am afraid, Sir, all our efforts, our aims and aspirations that our police force should purge itself and it should keep itself always clean and above corruption. We have heard about the Assam Police and the police force of other States and most of them are named it corrupted people. We want that the Police Force that the State of Meghalaya is having should be the cleanest and the real guardian of the law like the Bobby of England whom all people could trust and have faith. I feel that recruitment of these people should be carefully screened and their antecedents and past records should no looked into. We do not want to bring police force which will go against our people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is another subject which I find has received little attention i.e., Weights and Measures. I remember the other day, when my neighbour purchased a fish and said that the vast of the fish was a very cheap but when she measured it, it was found that half a Power was short. This thing is happening everywhere now-a-days. Everywhere in meat shops, fish shops and vegetables shops this thing is happening and it is more terrible in the shops of the Marwaris. So, Mr. speaker, Sir, this shortage of measures is found everywhere. Although complaints against this practice have been given but nothing has been done. The other day I had a talk with the officer who once belonged to this Department of Weight and Measures and he told me that the main difficulty they are facing now-a-days is because of the Enforcement Act. Our Inspectors of Weights and Measures cannot enforce the rules because wherever the will arrest a person or defaulted shopkeeper, they have to get impartial witnesses. This is very difficult. This is according to Assam Weights and Measures Act 1956, Rules and Regulations thereon. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, something should be done to modify these Rules and we should have some sort of Mobile Court powers so that our Inspectors of Weights and Measures can arrest a man at any time and this will go a long way to improve our system weights and measures. On the subject of education. Sir, I have not much to say either on primary or middle schools education, Sir, I have not much to say either on primary or middle schools education but I just want to stress on social education which is not mentioned in the Budget Speech. A part from other functions the social education looks into the general education of our adult population especially in the rural areas. This is very important subject because education is not only meant to increase the knowledge of the younger generations but at the same time I feel that that all those people who have lost the opportunity of education in their time should also be given some sort of education so that the can understand, red or write and will be able to know the urge of change from their traditional or primitive mode of life to a modern society. But unless they're given the opportunity of education, the will remain in the primitive way of life and will not be able to understand anything. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I enquired about the social education in the rural areas especially in my own constituency, I found nothing up-till now has been done. It is learnt that most of the people could not understand who is the authority over the SEO whether the B.D.O or DI is in-charge of social education. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to speak a few words about forests and would like to say that in the Governor's Address a mention has been made with regard to the forest policy of the Government which is still under study of the District Councils. I do not understand why after 3 months have passed nothing has come out of the study. I do not mean that I am not satisfied with the study cannot be made expeditiously our Forests in the meantime will be destroyed and our wild animals, s the Hon'ble Minister of Industry wishes to introduce a bill to protect them will have no place to live. So unless something is done expeditiously with the study on the forest, our forests from which a huge revenue has come will be exhausted. In my constituency, I used to advise people not to cut trees but unless Government does something to expedite its policy on forests nothing can be done in this regard.
On PHE Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say a few words. It is understood that some 20 villages have been water supply by the Public Health Engineering Department. The PHE had completed 8 water supply schemes during the last year benefiting a population of over 11,000 in the rural areas, 10 more water supply schemes are also in progress and 10 new schemes will be taken up during the year 1972-73. I do no know whether these 20 water supply schemes will be sufficient or not but I would only like to request the Government that villages if Nongspung and Jakrem of my constituency be included in the new water supply schemes of 1972-73 because, Sir, the people in these villages have no other source of having drinking water expect from the rivers and during the rainy season or during the monsoon season the people have to take muddy water rivers. With these few words Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat, thank you.
Mr. Speaker :- The House stands adjourned till 2.00 P.M.
The Assembly reassembled at 2 P.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.
Shri Printington Sangma (Kharkutta S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, participating on the budget discussion, I would like to express my satisfaction with the budget estimate. Although there is little deficit shown in the budget. I am happy that by making this deficit budget Government is showing keen interest in bringing about all round development in the State. I would like to make some observations and suggestions. The budget in paper, of course, seems very sound and good and I am happy that our Finance Minister has taken so much trouble to make an inclusive budget for the current year. But the estimates, however, they may be good and schemes however they may be sound in paper, unless they are implemented with all sincerity, I feel that it will be meaningless. We often find that schemes and plans adopted by the Government become meaningless when they go the district level. The Government machinery at district level neglects and becomes insincere in the implementation of the schemes. I would like to estimate taken up by the Government are sincerely implemented. We know generally that the District officers, specially the field workers, gram sevikas, subordinate workers and overseers used to neglect their duties. The schemes taken up by the Government are made to go with the wind. As they neglect their normal duties, I would like to say that these people are the happiest persons under the sun. They are care-free. No power on earth can clip their wings, they can fly even higher than heaven at Shillong. So it will be good if the Government see that schemes and plans adopted are sincerely implemented.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer here to the budget speech of the Finance Minister at page 6. Here Government has given priority to the three schemes, especially communication development, agriculture and industries. As far as development programme is concerned, the development programme of Meghalaya depends to a large extent, upon a good communications system, high priority has been given in the Annual Plan to the road development programmes. So I would like to make observations here on the road communication on the State. Sir, we are all aware of the fact that Meghalaya State remain the most backward and most undeveloped State in respect of road communication. We do not have railways line; we do not have navigable rivers, we do not have air lines in our State. The only road communications that we have also remained undeveloped. But I am grateful to the Finance Minister, particularly to the P.W.D because they have taken measures to develop road in the State. Roads are in a very bad condition and most particularly in the north eastern part of Garo Hills. In my area, Kharkutta Constituency, there is not a single road. This part of the State is totally cut off from the rest of the world. The people of this area are confined within their own corners. But I am happy when I have seen in the budget that an amount of Rs.5 lakhs has been allotted to construct roads from Adokgri Rongjeng via Mangsang and if this road is constructed, I hope that the condition will be improved and business in this corner of the State will also improved and business in this corner of the State will also improve with the development of the roads. I would suggest that another road, i.e., road is constructed. If this road is constructed people will get the benefit of going to the headquarters and sub divisional headquarter, via, Damra and Mendipathar. So I suggest to the Government that this road should be taken up as soon as possible.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, again in connection with the Public Works Department, I would like o point out some defects. The local contractors under the P.W.D are not given favourable consideration. Contractors are not given chances. So I suggest that local Contractors are also given a chances. So I suggest that local Contractors are also given a chance so that they can learn and enter into the contract business.
Another thing in this connection is that we all know that our Meghalaya is abounded in rich mineral resources and forest produce. I feel that it will be good if broad gauge railway line from Jogighhopa is extended to Garo Hills as far as Nangalbibra so that in future these routes can be slowly extended to the interior parts of Khasi Hills also. I feel that it will be good for the Government to move the central Government to extend the railway line to the Garo Hills
Now, I pass on to agriculture. We all know that our Government is giving priority to this Department. But in the field of agriculture I would say that nothing remarkable has been done by the Agriculture Department so far. The works are very minor and insignificant. In Garo Hills there is scope for improvement. Arable lands are there and streams are there which are meant for irrigation. But we talk about application of improved method of cultivation like the Japanese method without any realistic approach to the big problem. So, I suggest that permanent dings and bunds are constructed and good irrigation system is provided to the cultivators. I have been seen in the plains areas, specially in the Goalpara District, this Embankment and Drainage Department is providing good irrigation for the cultivators. They are constructing the switch gates and water drops. So I feel that our cultivators also will derive great benefit if the schemes for constructing switch gates are taken up to control water in order to raise the ever depending beds of the streams. This will be of great help to the cultivators. I know in my areas in Chibonga, the streams are very torrential and they are deepening the beds making the paddy fields dry and fertilizes. I feel that if these measures are taken, our cultivators will derive great benefit. In this connections, I would like to link it with Soil Conservation Department. This Department is doing some service to the cultivators. But these works are not at all satisfactory. The Department did reclamation of the land but without taking the matter into consideration whether there will be water for irrigation or not. They just for the sake of reclamation, reclaim the land and that also is done haphazardly and not completely. As result do which after one or two years that land has to be reclaimed again because the jungle has grown over the reclaimed land. So, it is my feeling that before reclamation of the land, this Department should examine whether water can be brought for want water for their cultivation. And if this Department is prepared to take measures for the supply of water for irrigation, I think the cultivators will themselves come forward to cultivate the land without reclamation as they consider that only water supply is very important.
Now I pass on to industries. The Industries Department is giving little importance to the growth of industries in our newly born State of Meghalaya. I dare say that nothing remarkable has been done so far for the development of industries in our State. Our State is declared by the Union Government as an industrially backward State. This is a fact. So, I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to give importance to the domestic industries as well as other big industries. I have seen in the budget that some small industries have been taken our by the Government including some Ginger Dehydration Plant at Naya Bungalow. here also I would like to say something that in respect of production of ginger, the people of Garo Hills will be greatly benefited if this factory, i.e., the Ginger Dehydration Factory is established somewhere at Anogri or Baljik Agal. Again I have seen that some handicraft industries are coming forward in the private sectors. Recently at Mendipathar one person went for handicraft industry. So I would suggest to Government, through you, Sir, that if Government can extend help to such entrepreneurs, I think the people will be much encouraged later on. So, I would request the Government to sanction some substantial amount to these handicraft industries at Mendipathar also. Sir, for some time I have been thinking that there is scope and I think it is congenial to start in our Meghalaya tea gardens. I know that humidity and soil of Meghalaya are suitable for the cultivation of tea bushes. I would request the Government to make a humble beginning or to examine the feasibility of setting up this very attractive industry in Meghalaya. Again in the field of Industries, I feel that it will be good if we set up some castor or oil crushing industries. In Garo Hills oil seeds are plentifully available. here I would like to point out that one such oil crushing centre at Ron gram or somewhere has been established. This centre is not functioning. So I would request the Government to see that this industry is revived to function immediately. I would like to pass on to Sericulture which I consider to be very very important from our Meghalaya point of view.
Sir, we all know that the neighboring State of Assam can shine in this field. Assam silk is everywhere and Assam is famous for its silk. Every Where we will see Assam industries, inside , Assam, outside Assam and outside India. This has become their glory. The Assam silk is earning a lot of foreign exchange in this respect. Again, they are making direct and indirect employments. So, this respect. Again, they are making direct and indirect employments. So, this in indeed a very good industry. Actually, who produces and what is the source of raw materials for this attractive industry to produces and what is the source of raw material for this attractive industry to produce such find cocoons? I would like to say that we the Garos, people of Meghalaya living on this northern part of Khasi Hills and southern part of Kamrup (Bell rang) all know that the importance of this Industry of the Assam Government rests within the three places; Sualkuchi, Chaygaon and Palasbari. But even though Assam is so famous in respect of Silk Industry, it is rally surprising to know that the raw materials are produced form our State of Meghalaya. So I think our State will be benefitted it we can start this Industry in our own State. I would like to propose to the Government through you, Sir, that Sericulture is the vital concern of Muga and Endi. In this connection, I would like also to point out to the Government that we should start with this industry by establishing Training-cum-Production Centres to be opened at Adokhari because these raw materials of fine cocoons will easily find good market in the three markets of Malangkhona and Hahim. So, it will be good if we start now these Production-cum-Training Centres somewhere.
Please give me some minutes, Sir, I would like to come now to Education. Here I would like to continue to some few topics especially Primary Education. Here I would like to confine to some few topics especially Primary Education in the Garo Hills where one could find that our education standard is very low. When I go to the root cause of primary education in my own district, I feel Sir, and we all know that primary education in my own District Council. But I would like to suggest one measures on order to co-ordinate the works so that there will be proper co-ordination between the District Council and the State. It will also a good if we can form a Board on Primary Education by appointing Executive Member i/c Education to control the Board and the D.I. of Schools with the capacity of a Secretary of the Board of Primary Education linked up with that in the Director of Public Instruction's office. He should be entrusted with the task of looking into the affairs and function of such schools like the L.P. Schools. One thing that I would like to suggest, Sir, in this respect is that we in Garo Hills, all know about the general standard of primary schools teachers. The standard I would hardly mention here in this House is really very low. As a result of this Standard of teaching, which is very very low, I feel that it will be good if we select some schools from improved and important villages like Resubelpara, Baghmara and Rongjeng and send the teachers of those schools for trainings. Only the best teachers should be appointed in such schools and those teachers must be highly academically qualified, graduates and trained in some well-known Convents or even in some Montessori schools or Kindergartens. only then I think our primary education and the standard of teaching will be improved in Garo Hills.
I think I may be given another one minute more. These B. T. trainees, I have learnt, have to pay all the fees in the colleges. We all know that there were also other Government deputationist from some other departments who need not pay any single penny as fee but those Government deputation it is our State from the Education in the same proportion. Therefore, I think it will be good if we god if we can justify all the claim of our deputationist, trainees and others do not have to pay and to take steps to save their poor pockets from paying of all such fees. Hence, I would request the Department concerned to to examine the matter it this and in view. With these few words, resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- I now request Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh to take participate in the discussion.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I take this opportunity to associate myself with this budget discussion. There are many things to point out. But since all our colleagues and many hon. members in the treasury benches, have spoken and have also brought to the notice of the House all the points I would only request the Government to take necessary action for implementation of all these budgetary allotments, and estimates earmarked for development. I support the speech of Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw yesterday about those refugees, as mentioned in the budget speech of the hon'ble Finance Minister. I would also like to stress all points that there and many irregularities in the administration of Relief Department. This is with regard to the clearing o bills of those poor contractors. Recently, I came across many complaints from many of the small contractors that their bills have not been cleared whereas all the big contractors have been paid. In this connection I would refer to one place i.e. Moasara where such small contractors have completed the works allotted to them by the B.D.O. But it is a matter of regret to point out that up till now they were not n\being paid, even though I understand that the money has already been sanctioned and drawn but may be being kept by the B.D.O. Nongstoin himself. You know, Sir, these places are situated in the border of our State. If the the Legitimate rights of the people who are helping the refugees to relieve them at the time of emergency were being neglected. I don't know how our State will prosper and be free from the clutches of corruption. The Relief office under the D.C. assured me that the money has been already sanctioned by the Government and drawn by the Block concerned since March, 31st. But money has not been paid to the contactors concerned and the money seems to have been kept by the B.D.O. And this, is really a great irregularities on the part of the Government's Administration and I would like to remind the House that Government should look into the matter.
The Deputy Commissioner should supervise these things accordingly or should send his representative to supervise the payment. Besides, in the Budget itself, it is shown that and expenditure has been estimated at about Rs.151.00.0000 which seems very big amount for maintaining the displaced persons when all refugees have returned to their homes. We do not know why so much has been asked for sanction.
Mr. Speaker :- Not sanctioned but earmarked.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Yes, earmarked or demand for grant. So it seems that the Government might have an idea of maintaining some of them. how many of these refugees are still here, I mean the foreign national. I would also stress that our own people specially from border areas have been badly affected with influx of refugees but nothing as done. We appreciate that Government decided to send some officers for and enquiry into the affected areas for giving compensation, but till now, we have not heard that they have been paid anything, for their affected crops which they have lost. We urge upon the Government, therefore, through you, Sir to look into this matter and hasten the payment if compensation. This compensation business usually takes a long time not only in this border relief but in other projects also like the P.W.D. etc. So I would request the Government to look into this matter and to take immediate action in giving compensation to the local people, when we have been putting a lot of money and a lot of things for the foreign nationals who came to our country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, again we refer to the speech of the Hon'ble Finance Minister about the National income. here it is said - "at the current price, the per capita income was put at Rs.589.30p". This seem to be a very exaggerated figure. It is not a true index of our areas, especially most of our constituencies, specially interior constituencies like Mawkyrwat, Nongstoin, Mawthengkut, other Bhoi constituencies and also in many other constituencies in Garo Hills where people are still living in a sub human condition; they are still below human standard compared to other people. So this figure therefore, seems to be very high. It seems the Government have not collected proper data of the per capita income in our State. Therefore, we urge upon the Government that proper data and proper statistics should be maintain.
Then, regarding agriculture and agricultural products was discussed yesterday, many charges we leveled against the Government that the Government has not taken action at all in stabilizing the price of potatoes and other products. I would also point out some points about the implements and fertilizers, the fertilizers which the present cultivators are now adopting. Of course, they have grown more potatoes and other crops with fertilizers, but distribution of fertilizers is not adequate, specially in this District of ours i.e., Khasi Hills Districts. I do not know about other Districts whether the gave been using fertilizers but in this District of ours, i.e., Khasi Hills District though the cultivators are using more fertilizers distribution is very inadequate. last time transport subsidy was granted only to few companies and corporations, that is Hills Development Corporation and Rallis. These corporations were not able to distribute fertilizers adequately. So we urge upon the Government that they should put distributing units in every area. The last winter, the cultivators had to buy fertilizers in the black-market. They received from the corporation only one bag while they had to but 5 bags from black market. This seems that Government has no control over this.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- May I know from the hon. Member when was this, they could not get sufficient fertilizer, which period?
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- The period was right from the beginning of January, February, March and up to April. There was a demand from fertilizers but during that time they did not get. Only at the bag end of April when the people required no more they get the fertilizer. The cultivators require fertilizers always at the planting season but not after the planting season. We heard also that the Government of India is giving Transport subsidy to the inaccessible areas of Meghalaya. We ask the Government that whatever fertilizers comes to Meghalaya, the transport cost should be subsidised. Distributing units should be opened and license should not be granted to a few firms only because there will be a monopoly. If there is monopoly here is black marketing. Monopolized Firms put demand for requirement of the area less than required so that they could sell at a higher rate and at black market rates. I would, therefore ask the Government to grant license to every area, and to many distributing units. Distributing unit may not be a big one, but license for say 10 to 15 tonnes can be granted to distribute to the people in those areas. Since partition of India till today, we have been classifying this State of ours into border areas and the upland areas. Though it is a border State most of constituency, i.e., Mawkyrwat Constituency consists of both border areas and upland areas but when I compared the living standard of the people it is pitiful and sad to say that the upland area is far behind the border areas. Border people seems to be better off. So I feel that facilities should be given both to the border areas and upland areas. Facilities applicable to inaccessible areas like transport subsidy of essential commodities should be made available to border as well as upland areas. Because last year transport subsidy we as given for ration in the border areas whereas for the upland people there was no provision for transport subsidy. Distribution of Ration say, sugar and other essential commodities are given more to Border then to the upland. You are aware than trice consumption is more in the upland areas than in the border areas but we find that rice supply to the border areas was more than that of the upland quotas.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Probably they eat less because of heat.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we compare the condition prevailing in the border areas and the upland areas, we will see that the standard of living in the border areas is better than that of upland areas. We may classify border areas and upland areas just fro obtaining special facilities from the Central Government. But the administration cannot afford to discriminate one section at the cost of others. Equal treatment to all should be the consideration of the State as whole.
Now I come to the problem of unemployment. Of course, the problem of unemployment is being experienced by almost all the States in our country. But with reference to my constituency I would like to say that we are being rather exploited on the ground of political consideration, because our people are not from the Ruling Part. Sir, I cannot hide that fact that our people are always being subjected to discrimination especially the Mawkyrwat and other areas in the interior.
Mr. Speaker :- I cannot follow as to whether you are speaking about unemployment of educated youth or unemployment of the people as a whole.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- I am speaking about unemployment of educated and uneducated alike. Now we should appreciate the Central Government for granting crash scheme for rural employment and other spheres of work like P.W.D and other development departments like Soil Conservation and Agriculture Departments which can give the benefits to the rural cultivators. But here also there is discrimination on party basis. I know when people from interior places submit applications to avail the facilities provided by the Government, Government officials seem to consider only on political ground and hence the yare not getting any response.
Mr. Speaker :- Are they Government Servants?
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Government servants but they are not speaking openly or they are not lecturing from the public platform. In examining the applications in offices like the Soil Conservation where cultivators applied for terracing rants and other grants, those offices are examining the applications on party basis. Some Secretary of Secretary Party cliques are getting these facilities. Therefore, if the Government administer the State with this party feeling, I think we cannot progress in this age of ours, where people are very conscious of everything. Therefore, on the employment side I want to ay that there area lot of people who are unemployed in our areas and are expecting to get employment only in the construction of P.W.D roads and bridges. So if Government open more works these people can be employed like labourers. and can complete the work in no time. Sir, I would also like to refer to industries and cottage industries. Our people demand grant, for industrial loans and other thing and it seems during this current year some loans have been distributed to the people as cottage industry loans or industrial loans. But though the Government have sanctioned loans to those crafts. men and other people like carpenters and others but when they come to collect the loans the yare not given in time. It takes months together to receive the loan so sanctioned. It seems, the offices in charge of the District Branch of that cottage or industrial loan did not bother to look into the matter and people are being harassed much after the have spent a lot. It is better not to sanction at all than sanction Rs.1,000 and they pay only Rs.500 after waiting in Shillong for weeks and months together. A lot of complaints have been received by me in this connection. So I request the Government to see to these complaint.
May I be allowed few minutes more to make an observation on the Budget as a whole?
Shri S.D.D Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I intervene and ask a question to the hon. member in so far as distribution of loan is concerned? Can the hon. member give any specific instance and hand over such specific instance? I would welcome any specific instance in which loans which were due to be given were not given but held up or not distributed properly. Can you do it now or later on?
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Well, Sir, I can give the specific instance later on to the department concerned. There are many instances. Sir, many members have appreciated the Budget presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. I for one, feel that the whole budget presents a very gloomy picture because in a new State of ours which has nearly half of the receipts, i.e., amount of Rs.732 lakhs out of the receipts of 1,942 lakhs. So nearly half of the amount put as deficit financing. Economists say that deficit financing I good sign for developmental. purposes, because it gives more employment opportunities. But when we look into the budget as a whole there is nothing like that which creates employment opportunity to the pole. It rather frightens the people because to start with a deficit Budget of rupees 732 lakhs in a year, by the next year it may accumulate some more deficit financing. More over we apprehend that in near future the Government may have no other ways but to impose direct taxation. The Government should have avoided a deficit financing of this magnitude so that it will not frighten the people !
Mr. Speaker :- Are you afraid of taxation? Without taxation no Government can serve any purpose.
Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, no of course, but there is no taxation at all.
Mr. Speaker :- You know even shares from Excise and Income Tax; all these are indirect taxes.
Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- But Sir, there is no new tax at all although there is indirect tax already. But it appears that the Government may have no other way but to impose direct taxes in future. So, on the whole, I feel that the budget is not at all as it should be, when compared with the high sounding speech of the Hon'ble Finance Minister. It is not at all a good picture; it is rather a very dark picture for this year. I for one aim not happy with this deficit Budget. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- I now request Mr. Salseng Marak to participate in the discussion.
Shri. Salseng Marak (Resubelpara S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all I congratulate the Finance Minister for presenting this budget for 1972-73 with an overall deficit of Rs.732.42 lakhs. This deficit is quite welcomed because it shows that the Government is really trying to put in maximum efforts to accelerate the tempo of development of our State. It is heartening to note that there is a marked increase in the allocation of funds for every Department so as to accommodate the National Policy and the schemes and plans of the State. I hope this will enhance the developmental activities of our State. This huge deficit was caused by the financial requirements for implementation of the schemes transferred from Assam in the Shillong Municipal Areas and also for taking over one Armed Police Battalion. These factors, of course, have caused heavy financial stress upon the State. However it is hoped that the financial requirements for implementation of the State's Plan will be sympathetically considered by the Planning Commission. I would like to make some observations on some of the subjects like agriculture, education and health.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Meghalaya. I am glad that the Government has embarked upon schemes of land reclamation, terracing, development of irrigation, agricultural education and other facilities. These schemes will fall in line with the National Policy to drive out poverty. Though funds earmarked for this Department are found to be meagre as compared to the magnitude of the work in our State, whatever amounts earmarked must be fully utilised for the benefits of the common people. So far as agriculture is concerned it is agriculture which controls the well being of the common people. If agriculture is improved, the condition of the masses will also be improved. Our cherished goal is self-sufficiency in food-grains. This can only be obtained by the adoption of modern scientific methods of cultivation. The primitive methods of cultivation like Jhumming should be totally discouraged because it is not primitive, but also unscientific and unproductive. So, in its place modern methods of cultivation like terracing with proper irrigation facilities can be adopted and the people practicing Jhum cultivation be properly educated and familiarized with modern methods, I, therefore, suggest to the Government through you, Sir, that the training Centres should be established at every Block Head quarters so that our farmers should be properly educated and well-acquainted with the modern techniques of cultivation. I am glad that Government have already started reclaiming waste-land in some parts of the State. I do not know reclaimed have no irrigation facilities wastelands and most of these reclaimed lands remain uncultivated for want of water supply. I therefore, suggest to the Government through you, Sir, whenever any land reclamation is being undertaken there must be proper irrigation facilities.
Then from the Budget speech at page 9, we will find that during that last year there was an unprecedented demand from rural areas for tractors and bull-dozers for land reclamation and land development works. It is very heartening to note that people are very conscious of the use of tractors and bull-dozers because they need them for reclaiming and tilling their lands. I, therefore, request the Government, through you, Sir, to make these tractors and bull-dozers available for use of the farmers.
Now, I come to education. I am glad that there is an increase in allocation of funds to education and I hope this is in tune with the educational policy of the Government to eradicate illiteracy. But I am not satisfied with the grants earmarked for the non-Governmental Colleges in Garo Hills Districts. This recurring grant of 10 thousand rupees is earmarked from Normal and there is no allocation from the developmental scheme. I find that this grant is only nominal. I am afraid the development of Non-Government College will be greatly hampered. I, therefore, request the hon'ble Finance Minister to earmark substantial grants to the Non-Government College in Garo Hills District. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also found that sanction for grant-in-aid to Government Aided Schools is irregular and and consequently, it is the teachers why suffer most because of these irregularities teachers of these Aided Schools have to go without pay for three or four months and this is untimely. That is why I humbly request the Government through you, Sir, to sanction this grant-aid to aided schools timely.
Next, I come to Health. The Hospitals and Dispensaries of our State are without staff at all. This can be avoided if non-technical persons are first appointed and then sent for training in Nursing of Doctors, courses. Such training for pharmacist and nurses should be established at Tura in Garo Hills instead of concentrating all the training centres at Shillong only. Recently, the Health Minister visited the new site for the Hospital and he was satisfied with the selection of site and he assured the people of setting up[ Training centres for nurses and pharmacists. I hope the hon'ble Minister-in-charge, of Health keeps his promises and assurances. I would like to suggest, through you, Sir, that training for nurses should be attached to the primary Health unit. This will certainly attract the local youths to disjoin this training in nursing and pharmacy. Jeeps and ambulances are also to be provided to the primary Health unit for use in the rural areas. With these few words I resume my, Thank you.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you for this opportunity given to me to speak a few words. First of all, I want to extend my thanks to the Finance Minister who whole heartedly presented this Budget for the year 1972-73. Considering all the situations of the State of Meghalaya district-wise the Government is providing money for ach district though this Budget is a deficit one. In other words the Government tries to meet these things. I wish to draw the attention of the Government to the Public Works Department. I do not think of selfish motive but I want to point out certain particular roads in Garo Hills which will conduct three or four constituencies of MLAs. But in one place, in my constituency, I have seen in Tura South Division, for construction of the road from 12 mile up to Tura Road and to Chokpot, an amount of 1,490,000 rupees is provided. But I want that the work should be speeded up in future. Moreover, to construct bridges and culverts, an amount of Rs.18,94,000 is provided in the Budget which will be found at page 78 Serial No.6 of the budget. Mr. speaker, Sir, it is a very good sign that the Bugi bridge was constructed on the river and river is causing great damage to this bridge. But no further action was taken by Government on this. So it is for the Government to see to this otherwise, this may not this last for some years. After a few years, it may break down.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- What Bridge?
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Bugi Bridge. This is a bridge which is 12 miles from Chokpot, and another bridge Rongdi which is 3 miles from Chokpot. The bridge itself is narrow and there is also a big turning. In last January or February, one truck me with an accident and turned upside down and there were many passengers. Some of them were injured and one died. So the Department should divert returning and widen the bridge. I am very glad to see that an amount of Rs.28,83,000 has been provided for construction of a new road from Chokpot to Siju. Construction of this road has started with 8 kms. The people of Simsanggiri Subdivision on and Chokpot area cannot go around about Tura, Rongrenggiri, Baghmara to Simsanggiri, crossing the Tura hillock from Simsanggiri to Eandaramanda touching Chokpot road to Siju. So Government may kindly consider this proposal also. Another road taken upon during the time of the Government of Assam, was constructed from the extreme border of Gachuapara. There is no other way in between Dalu and Sibbari expect this road. During the Indo-Pakistan trouble, the people of Gachuapara had no chance at all to save their lives. As this is the only road in that area, why it is left out? This road was constructed for about 2 kms with two culverts but these culverts have broken down. So I request the Minister-in-charge PWD to kindly look into the matter, and take up this road from Gachuapara to Chokpot. Mr. Speaker, Sir, before giving black-topping on the Tura-Baghmara road, some of the turnings should be diverted and some crossing should be widened because some portions are very narrow.
Now I pass on to another Department, Sir, that is Agriculture I want to speak something about land reclamation, bunds and dongs and embankments. With regard to Agriculture, I want to speak a few words. Sir, it is something serious, what I wish to say. In a particular place in my constituency, the Dareng river is becoming a river of sorrow. This river has been eroding vast areas of paddy lands and cultivable lands belonging to the people of Chokpot. Unless the Government constructs a major embankment, the people of Chokpot will become landless after few years. So, I request the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture to look into the matter. There are many vast dongs are also necessary. I have reported these things to the District Agricultural Officer, but Government has not yet taken steps to stop the erosion and protect the affected people. So, Sir, I request the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture to give special attention to this.
With regard to education, Sir, we know it is one of the burning problems. many speakers have spoken about this and I do not have to speak much about it. But one thing I would like to point out here is about the Training Centres at Tura. There are two Training Centres one is the Guru Training Centre and another the Basic Training School. These two Training Centres should be combined into one Teachers Training Centre. Mr. Speaker, Sir, another thing is how to improve the Schools from Primary to High Schools. Many years ago, the inspecting Staff are not visiting the Schools. That is why uptil now, these Schools cannot be improved.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, unless the Inspecting Staff visit these Schools we cannot improve the quality o the School. How to produce good teachers unless the Government provincialised the Middle. English and High Schools and it is no doubt difficult on that part of the Government to do this. During the last Budget Session, I had spoken on the floor of this august House to provincialised two Middle English Schools.
Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean the speech in the last budget session?
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- During the Provisional Budget Session in the month of March.
Mr. Speaker :- That was the first Session.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Sir, I had spoken on the floor of this House that Sibbari Middle English School and Chokpot Middle English School should be provincialised. I had requested the Minister-in-charge also to look into this matter. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Is there any hon. member who would like to participate? There is one hour and 40 minutes left, any one who will volunteer to speak will get more time than tomorrow or the day after. Since there is no other hon. Member who would like to participate, the House stands adjourned.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sir, before you adjourned the House, I would like to request you that for next day's business papers be made available to us at least on the night before, otherwise we will be always in in difficulty when we receive them just on own table in House.
Mr. Speaker :- As far as possible, my Secretariat has been trying to circulate all papers on the previous evening. It is really impossible to get a copy of bills or papers in time as they have t be typed and cyclostyled. So unless you have patience, it will be difficult for our Secretariat. However, I think I should apologies to the whole House that we have not really distributed the necessary papers and as far as possible I will see that these papers will be sent to all the hon. members in the previous evening.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have to look into these papers before hand for necessary study and preparation, and for that, would like to point out that we have also given our Shillong Address to the Secretary.
Mr. Speaker :- This kind of discussion should be inside my Chamber and not on floor of the House because it concerns me and my Secretariat. So I will try my best and I assure the whole House that as far as possible necessary papers will be dispatched in the previous evening.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Thank you ; Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- Since there is no other hon. member who would like to participate, the House stands adjourned till 10.00 a.m. tomorrow the 22nd June, 1972.
|Dated Shillong :||
|The 21st June, 1972.||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.