The House met at 10 A.M. on Thursday, the 22nd June, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber with Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up starred question No.6 to be asked by Shri Stanlington David Khongwir.
Starred Question No.6.
Construction of Rostrum and fencings at Polo Ground in connection with the inauguration of State of Meghalaya in January, 1972.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :
*6. Will Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R & B) be pleased to state -
(a) The total amount incurred for the construction of the Rostrum and fencings at Polo Ground in connection with the inauguration of the State of Meghalaya in January, 1972?
(b) Was any tender invited for the construction?
(c) If so, how many tenders were received and to whom the work was allotted?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D., R. and B. etc.) replied :
(a) - The total amount incurred for the construction of the Rostrum and fencings was Rs.41,000 (Rupees forty-one thousand only).
(b) - Yes.
(c) - Four tenders were received for the work. The work was allotted to Shri Tura Singh.
Crash scheme for rural employment programme
Shri Rowel Lyngdoh asked :
*7. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to state -
(a) The total amount sanctioned by the Centre for crash scheme for rural employment programme for Meghalaya for 1972-73?
(b) The basis for allotment or distribution to each Block Development and the amount earmark for each?
(c) Whether the Government propose to give employment to rural population under this programme?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister of Community Development) replied :
7. (a) - An amount of Rs.25.00 lakhs has been allocated for 1972-73 at an average of Rs.12.50 lakhs for per annum per District. With the formation of the new District of Jaintia Hills, Government of India has been moved to allot an additional amount of Rs.12.50 lakhs.
(b) - The Block-wise distribution of funds is made on the basis of Rs.12.50 lakhs per district giving all the Blocks equal share as far as practicable. There is no fixed amount earmarked for each Block.
(c) - Yes.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the tender accepted was the lowest?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : This I will inform afterwards.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : May we know the date when the tenders were invited for this particular work?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : Tenders were called on 7th January, 1972.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : May I know what has happened to the structures immediately after the 21st January, 1972?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The structure and other materials will be disposed of by public auction.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the designs and architectural drawings were included as part of the work in the tender?
Mr. Speaker : I think the design was prepared by the Government architect.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a printing mistake in question (c), how do the Government propose to give employment to rural population under this programme?
Mr. Speaker : No, it is not a printing mistake.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are not clear how Government propose to give employment under the scheme?
Mr. Speaker : You can put that as a supplementary.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Community Development) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the scheme will be implemented by giving employment to the rural people by employing them in the slack season of the year.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : Whether under this employment programme the Block Developments are going to invite tenders for the work under the scheme?
Mr. Speaker : That question does not cover the main question.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the crash employment scheme is the same as that of the crash programme in some selected Blocks in the district?
Mr. Speaker : No.
Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, an amount of Rs.12.50 lakhs has been allocated for each district? May we know for how many districts?
Mr. Speaker : There are three districts. The answer is clear.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know the number of beneficiaries?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Community Development) : Actually, according to the Government of India's instructions, we should employ at least one thousand per district per year.
Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know what is the daily wage fixed for each employee?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Community Development) : For the unskilled labour Rs.4 per day.
Mr. Speaker : Let us come to unstarred question No.3.
Construction of the Shangpung M.E. School building
Shri Enowell Pohshna asked :
3. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R and B) be pleased to state -
(a) When the administrative approval and technical sanction for the construction of the building of the Shangpung M.E. School were given?
(b) On what date, the tenders were invited?
(c) The date on which tenders were settled and the names of the contractor with whom settled?
(d) The date on which the work order was given?
(e) Whether the work was started?
(f) If so, when?
(g) If not, why not?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
3. (a) - The Administrative Approval was accorded on 10th March, 1969 and technically sanctioned on 18th February, 1970.
(b) - Tenders were invited on 10th May, 1969.
(c) - The tenders were settled on 12th September, 1969 and the work allotted to Shri Simon Passah.
(d) - The formal work order was issued on 26th November, 1969.
(e) - Yes.
(f) - October, 1970.
(g) - Does not arise.
Construction of the Buildings of Jowai Government College
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :
4. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R. & B.) be pleased to state -
(a) How many times the Chief Engineer, P.W.D. has supervised the works in Jaintia Hills doing the last two calendar years?
(b) Whether any steps have been taken for the construction of the buildings of the Jowai Government College?
Captain Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
4. (a) - Chief Engineer P.W.D. is not a supervising officer, Chief Engineer visited Jowai Division once during the year 1971.
(b) - Yes. Preparation of Master Plan and architectural drawings is in progress.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : Unstated Question No.3, Sir?
Mr. Speaker : No, I have passed on to unstarred question No.4. I will allow you only one supplementary.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) : What is the progress of the work now?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : The work is in good progress.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not receive questions No.3 and No.4.
Mr. Speaker : You did not receive?
Shri Humphrey Hadem ( Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : No. Sir.
Mr. Speaker : I think there is something wrong between the office and your residence.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Excuse me, Sir, they have placed in my residence only Questions No.6 and No.7.
Mr. Speaker : Unstarred question are generally not sent to the residence, because all the replies are placed here in the House.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : But the hon. Member had not received the question, Sir.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Not supplied on the table also, Sir.
Mr. Speaker : There must be something wrong, but I will give chance to Mr. Hadem afterwards.
(Unstarred question No.4)
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) : In reply to (b) it has been stated that preparation of Master Plan and architectural drawings is in progress. May I know what is the progress made so far in the matter? In other words what is the stage of progress?
Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : It is in good progress.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, when it is likely to be completed?
Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : That I cannot say off hand. But it has been sent again for speedy completion of the Master Plan.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) : What will be the cost of the buildings of the Jowai Government College?
Mr. Speaker : Since the preparation of the Master Plan is not completed, I think, that is a new question.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Why no target date has been fixed for the completion of these drawings?
Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : No.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : May we take it that the Government does not think that this work is important and urgent?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, it is not correct to say that the Government does not think that this work is important. We will see that the preparation of the Master Plan and architectural drawings is completed soon.
Shri P.N. Choudhury asked :
5. Will the Minister-in-charge, Municipal Administration be pleased to state -
(a) Whether the Government have taken any step to increase the number of the Ward Commissioners of the Shillong Municipality?
(b) If so, what will be the number of the Commissioners?
(c) When do the Government proposed to hold the elections of the Shillong Municipality?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) replied :
5. (a) & (b) - Yes. The Government is actively examining the question of increasing the number of Municipal Wards of the Shillong Municipality consistent with the present day population within its limits.
(c) - The Government proposed to hold the elections to the Shillong municipality as soon as the question of increasing the number of Wards and of delimiting the constituencies is settled and completed.
Shri P.N. Choudhury (Laban) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, May I know what will be the basis of delimitation of the Wards?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) : It will be on population basis.
Mr. Speaker : Whether population or population-cum-territory?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) : The present wards will remain and then delimitation will be done on the basis of population.
Shri P.N. Choudhury (Laban) : Will not the area will be taken into consideration, Sir?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the area will not be taken into consideration but population will be the basis.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : May we take the answer of the Hon'ble Minister when he said 'I think' as correct, Sir?
Mr. Speaker : Actually the Hon'ble Minister must give a specific reply.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) : Population is the main basis.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to elections, will there be elections as soon as the term of the present board is over?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, attempts are being made that as soon as the delimitation is completed, the elections will be held.
Mr. Speaker : Let us now pas on to Item No.2.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Sir, will you not give me a chance as assured by you to raise supplementary questions under unstarred question No.3?
Mr. Speaker : We have already passed Unstarred Question No.3.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : But Sir, you have just now said that you will give me a chance!
Mr. Speaker : When we have taken up Unstarred Question No.4. I wanted to give you a chance.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Excuse me, Sir, may be, I have misunderstood.
Mr. Speaker : That is not the procedure. If you want any further enlightenment, then there is a way. Under Rule 49 (I) you can raise a discussion. Let us now take up Item No.2. Prof. M.N. Majaw to call the attention of the Minister of Power (Electricity) under Rule 54.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to call the attention of the Minister, Power (Electricity) under rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business regarding "the Resolutions passed by the Public Durbar of the four Raids of Nongtham, Namsha, Tyrso and Iapngap, on the20th may, 1972, to the effect that the farmers of all the thirteen villages in the Tyrso Valley are determined never to allow the Assam State Electricity Board to take over their lands and houses for the purposes of an Hydro Electric Dam along the course of the Umkhen and Umiam rivers".
The occasion for the holding of the Public Durbar, Mr. Speaker, Sir, was newspaper report that came up on the 17th May, 1972 where it was reported that the Planning Commission has allotted large sums of money to the Assam State Electricity Board for the construction of the Umkhen-Umiam Dam. As a matter of fact, the survey of the Dam has been going on for the last two or three years and there have been many protests from the people against the construction of this Dam, particularly because, I think, this is one of the biggest cultivable areas in the Khasi Hills District where you have got excellent paddy fields and the people do not want to lose their paddy field and cultivable lands to such an extent, as all these 13 villages have their lands and paddy field in this Tyrso Valley. So we wanted to know from the Minister what exactly was the position, specially since some of the surveyors have taken a very proud attitude with the local people. They have been telling the local people that whatever they intend to do, the Government will employ force to take away their lands. Of course, this is a very huge but in view of the fat that the Assam State electricity Board cannot even sell all the electricity generated from the existing projects, I fail to see any reason why this Dam should be allowed to be constructed.
Mr. Speaker : The hon. Member need not make a speech.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : So, we would be happy to get a statement from the Minister concerned.
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy Minister, Power (Electricity) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in reply to the calling attention motion of Prof. martin Narayan Majaw, this is the statement that has been prepared.
With a view to meet the additional power requirement in he future, the Assam State Electricity Board had earlier prepared a number of preliminary Project Reports for consideration of the Central Ministry of Irrigation and Power and the Central Water and Power Commission. The Umiam-Umkhen Hydel projects is one of these Projects.
In the original preliminary Project Report, it was envisaged or create a reservoir in Tyrso Valley by damming the Umiam River near that Valley. Subsequently, to save the valuable cultivable land in Tyrso Valley and to meet the understandable agitation of the local people, the Board framed a modified preliminary Project Report which would not submerge any land or homestead in the Tyrso Valley. This revised preliminary Project Report envisages installation of 3X60 MW hydro turbines having a continuous power output of 85 MW. It appears that if this Project is taken up there would be submergence of about 1 sq. mile (cultivated area. 3 sq. miles) in Jaintia Hills, 4½ sq. mils (7 sq. miles cultivated area) in the Khasi Hills and 5½ sq. miles (cultivated area 2 sq. miles) in the Mikir Hills.
It is reported that the Central Ministry of Irrigation and Power has included this Project in the Decade Plan. It had requested the Assam Government to undertake detailed investigation of the Project on priority basis. The Planning Commission had accordingly approved an allocation of Rs.21 lacks in the Assam Plan towards this investigation.
The Board has recently sought the concurrence of the Meghalaya Government to undertake the detailed investigation only. This is under our consideration.
Mr. Speaker : Before we pass on to item 3. I would like to inform the House that while I was going through the proceedings of the 20th of this month, I found that in the speech of one hon. Member there were a number of un-parliamentary languages such as 'block headed B.D.Os' and all that. These un-parliamentary words should be expunged from the proceedings of the House and moreover, certain names of the Government officers were read out on the floor of the House where the officers were not present. According to the convention of the House or any House all the names of those officers should be expunged and instead only their designation be retained. Now let us pass on to item No.3. and I call upon Mr. P.R. Kyndiah to participate in the budget discussion.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, having gone through the test of the speech of the Finance Minister and having sighted the figures in the budget estimates for the year 1972-73, I must confess that I have received from my study a sense of mixed feeling.
Mr. Speaker : Excuse me I would request all the hon. Members to limit their speeches within 20 minutes.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : 20 minutes! Then in that case I have to be very brief. Mr. Speaker, sir, I have been impressed by the speech and I have some impressions made. Firstly, that the budget speech covers almost all the important branches of administration. I must say that the speech is exhaustive and has dealt with all the subject matters in the way that evokes admiration. But one of the main factors which is most welcoming is the fact that it is a tax-free budget. It is welcoming to the common people, the common man and to all of us. I think when we consider that at this stage we are faced with various economic problems and the fact that we are in the State of backlog in the a developmental activities, it is right and proper that the budget should be tax free. But I must confess again that the deficit of the tune of Rs.7.32 lakhs which comes roughly to about 38 percent on receipt is a staggering amount so that the future does not present a rosy picture. If we come to the figures at page 21 of the budget speech we find that out of 100 rupees that we get as income the expenditure will be of the order of 138 Rupees which which means that we are deficiting by 39 Rupees or 38 percent. Now, the other factor is that the budget is definitely not self-reliant. It is a Centre reliant if I am to sues the word. In this, the State receipts come to only 156 lakhs out of total of 1942 lakhs which comes to about 8 percent which is indeed a very small amount. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the under-developed economy to the State and the need to lift the economy or to bring about a take-off or to have a break through in the economy of the State; and taking into consideration the limitation in the mobilisation of the additional resources, the Finance Minister deserves to be congratulated. In this respect I am to say that the future is challenging and is full of thrills. The other aspect which has struck my kind forcefully is that the present budget speech of the Finance Minister has not undergone a great departure from the speeches delivered in the previous Assemblies where I happened to be a Member for the last two years. These are matters of emphasis and matters of consistency. I have gone through the speech of the Finance Minister in the last budget session and I would like also to echo what the hon. Member from Mawhati has stated on that day there is some sort of copying as on the Governor's Address. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this only shows the consistency of the policy and thanking of our Finance Minister (Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : or obstay) So far as the Finance Minister is concerned, I think he is very consistent. It is better than being unpredictable. Certainly there is a need to bridge the gap of deficit. Firstly we cab bridge the gap by approaching the Government of India to write off all the debt liabilities of our State as mentioned by the Finance Minister in page 22 I think the case is good. Firstly, as I have said earlier that there is a backlog of developmental activities. Secondly we have been affected tremendously by the influx of evacuees and thirdly after having a separate State for Meghalaya, the expenditure on normal establishing and administration are certainly very high and according to the speech of the Finance Minister, fund requirements of the State of our own for running the normal administration are yet to be assessed. Therefore taking all these points not consideration, I think our approach to the Government of India to write of this debt liability will bear fruits. The other way to bridge the gap, I have to submit, is by tightening he belt of administration. Revenue bearing Departments like Taxation, Excise, etc., should be geared up to realise taxes as well preventing evasion taxes. Now that Shillong has come fully under the control of the State Government of Meghalaya, it is necessary to have a drive to see that all the taxes that have been evaded so long, as some of these cases also came to my knowledge, come to the State exchequer. And if the administrative machinery is geared up to that extent, we will be able to collect substantial amount on the score. Along side with that, I feel that the various taxes like sales tax, finance taxes, petroleum taxes power electricity duties, purchase tax, dues and all that and specially amusement tax will bring a lot of resources to the State exchequer. So I feel that the administrative machinery of the Tax Department has to be streamlined in order to augment our resources substantially. The third way of bringing the gap - here I would like to refer the to detailed estimates of the revenue receipts volume I in which I found some sort of discrepancies and I would like to draw the attention of the Finance Minister to page 6.I have found that the actuals of 1970-71 under the head on Taxes, come to Rs.80,312, the estimates for 1972-73 are only 11 lakhs 25 thousand. I believe that with the coming of Shillong the amount should heave been much bigger. Then at page 15, I am not explaining myself. Under the Miscellaneous Department, which the accruals of 1970-71 come to Rs.19,380 Budget estimates of 1972-73 are only 5 thousand I do not understand what is the reason behind this short fall of the expected receipts. These are only a few instance which I would like to point out. There are several instances but that will take time. I would only like to draw the attention of the Finance Minister that we could possibly augment more resources by having scientific estimates of the income based on the basis of actuals. Somehow, the actual have not been correlated with the estimates of 1972-73. Fourthly, I would submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there is need of economy and discipline, I am very happy that the Finance Minister has faced this fact very squarely by emphasizing the need of economy and discipline into put in hard work to increase production. Although it was a small matter, I think it goes to show that the Finance Minister is keen bout it. We were invited to Pinewood hotel for a Dinner to meet Shri Mohon Dharia, and I happened to overhear a conversation that we will not have any more dinner this time. Normally it is a convention to do so. I think the Finance Minister has hit two birds with one stone. So also in the case of a Meghalaya calendars, about Rs.38,000 was spent this year, but it was a first year and the first time and that is something understandable. But I think in view of the budget deficit we have today, there is need of more economy and discipline. Yesterday, I happened to read a newspaper editorial in the Assam Tribune about the tours of the Ministers in which the new Chief Minister of Orissa, Mrs. N. Sathpathy had issued a circular to all Ministers to restrict their tours in order to effect the State's economy and to augment the Exchequer of the State, but I do not know how far we can get to do that here. But it is worth following. In view of the very bad financial position, we should exercise economy on all fronts otherwise our case before the Government of India for financial assistance will be weak. We have to tighten our belt an then go to the Government of India and get more money. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the limitation of time I have to be brief. Ours is a welfare State and it seems that the State has to take steps in all spheres of activities of the citizens to see that the common man gets his due, to see that the State delivers the goods. But so far as I am concerned, being backward as we are, the need now is not so much to create an impact, the need now is more for creating factors to generate the economy. In short, I feel that we have to take action to determine priorities with a view to exact a self-generating economy. Now on this point also, I do not disagree with the Finance Minister for having road development programmes as priority as well agriculture and allied subjects. But I feel very strongly that one of the growth points apart from the infrastructure of the road development, is the agricultural front, and there I feel that potato is a very important crop. It is a cash crop. The people of the State will be financially much better off, will be economically better placed if we can do something about the cash crops. Now we have cash crops of potato in Khasi Hills, we have cotton and perhaps ginger in Garo Hills having a ready market, turmeric in Jaintia Hills the development of marketing facilities will raise the economy of the State. I am in agreement with Prof. M.N. Majaw when he said the other day about eliminating the case of the middlemen on our potato growers. It is a fact whether they are potato growers cotton growers or turmeric growers; it is a fact that they do not get the prices which are due to them. Much of the money has gone to the middle-men. Therefore it is right at this stage that the Government should come forward. I do not want that the Government should come to the trade wholesale. But certainly, the Government, since it is a welfare State, should come tot he extent of taking steps and act as a catalyst in order to control the price. To be precise, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that it is high time for the Government to bring forward a scheme to have a corporation which will deal with the marketing of cotton, potato, ginger, etc, which have got a tremendous market outside the State, say Gauhati or Calcutta. This will go along way to help the growers. Now about the nature of the organisation i.e., corporation or co-operative institutions that is a different matter. So far as we are concerned, I would suggest that thee should be a Co-operative Society or Co-operative Apex Marketing Society as in Assam. But we have been able to sell about 78,000 tonnes of paddy through a Co-operative Society in Maharashtra and we could give a very good price to the rowers. now to have a co-operative institution is definitely a very advantageous proposition because through this we can get many facilities and advantages. Firstly, we will be able to get loans at a concessional rate from the Reserve Bank of India, as you know, it is 2 percent below the normal rate. Also we can get a greater share contribution from the National Co-operative Development Corporation, viz. subsidy, working capital and many other facilities such as warehousing facilities, etc. Even if we cannot sell our produce directly to the purchaser because it so happened .........................
I do not know how much time I will get since I have to touch on many more important points. Any way. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to make a very important reference before the House. That is regarding Shillong. Now Shillong is the heart of Meghalaya. There cannot be any development without developing Shillong from its present state of bad condition, although I admit that Shillong is not facing the problem of urban disaster as the city of Calcutta is facing today. The main problems of Shillong are the very bad condition of roads, drainage, etc., and I feel that the problems of Shillong should be viewed in its own identity. Some time ago, the Government of India was very keen for the development of Shillong particularly the Market, because the condition of Iewduh or Barabazar is the worst. Yesterday I went to Barabazar and witnessed a very deplorable state of affairs. I was completely taken aback. Practically there is no sanitation runs riot. You will find the pitiable conditions of beef stalls, fish stalls and vegetables stalls; everywhere there is heap of garbages. People coming and purchasing from there. Then you will see quite a number of illicit liquor shops. Two years ago the number of such illicit liquor shops was 63 but yesterday I found that the number has reached 93. I feel ashamed to say that the sellers do not even care to hide their business. Openly they kept bottles and glass and people coming and taking liquor freely. Then there are a number of brothels also existing there.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Have you come across the brothels also?
Shri Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : You need not go there, you just get the smell from a distance. Now I would like to point out another aspect, i.e., selling of Teer tickets. Although there had been a legislation prohibiting such gambling, it is still rampant. I came to know from some responsible persons that this gambling of betting is going on by only paying remuneration to some officers between the rates of Rs.500 and Rs.200 per month which they get from the gamblers. If you want I can produce those responsible people.
Mr. Speaker : You may report to this higher authority.
Shri Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Then I would like to tell you about pick pockets in Barabazar. I think you can rarely escape them if you go to Bara Bazar. I was told the other day that there was a fighting between to men probably drunkards, and some pick pockets forward to help, settle the fight but in the meantime, some pick pockets snatched the money from those people. Again a friend of mine helped the lady who was pick pocketed. At night a group of pick picketers came to his shop and threatened him with dire consequence. As a result, now if you are in nay trouble, no good people will come forward to your rescue lest they get involved in the grip and threat of pick the pockets.
Mr. Speaker :- Now I would request Mr. Khongwir, to Speak.
Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in 1957 I was adjudged the fastest runner in Assam but in 20 minutes I do not think I can cover that distance (laughter). So, Sir, I would like deviate from the rules followed by most of the hon. Member and instead of beginning from the first page I would like to begin from the end or rather near the end ( laughter). In fact, I would like to read the words at page 22 of the Budget Speech: "I am extremely unhappy to present before this august House a Budget with an over-all deficit of this magnitude". Sir, I do not know whether the Hon'ble Finance Minister is really unhappy or not when one looks at the face value of this Budget Speech. However, I would like to congratulate the Hon'ble Finance Minister for his sense of candidates and, at the same time, for the last line of the second paragraph of the same page. This is due to the Inescapable reasons which are beyond the control of the State Government. Here also the Hon'ble Finance Minister has exhibited a sense of courage and intrepidity and for these, Mr. Speaker, Sir, instead of giving him showers of brick-bats I would like to offer him a bouquet Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is indeed a notable event, a memorable event, on 21st January 1972 but open this score, Sir, I do not find or I do not see anything notable in the event to accompany this memorable day. For instance as mentioned by the hon. member from Mawhati where the in release of a few prisoner took place and there was a gift to the tune of about Rs.1,60,000.60 N.P. to the prime Minister on that day.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, just to satisfy the hon. Member I would like to say that the 21st of January was immediately followed by the 26th of January and in the 26th of January we had released some of the prisoners.
Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- So; Sir, the 21st of January is a very important milestone in the history of our country and now I come to the most important and talked about subject and that is the influx of refugees. This influx of refugees has caused tremendous hardship and tribulation to the people of our State especially those in the border areas. But, Sir, I do not find even a single word in the Budget Speech of the Hon'ble Finance Minister nor has he cared to make any mention about these people. Sir, I even think that most of the Government officers and contractors and so on and so forth would like that this influx of refugees would repeat itself because most of them apparently had failed to get themselves in the band wagon last time. So, Sir, with regard to additional resource mobilisation for Bangladesh refugees, I would like to suggest that instead of keeping in line with the other States we should rather keep out of line with the other States and let us withdraw ourselves from this burdensome queue. However, I would like to be in line with the Finance Minister at page 22 again, last paragraph, regarding the question of repayment of Rs.4.13 crores as Government of India loan because Sir, it is a fact that our State is a new State and, as early stated, in view of the financial position we may approach the Government of India for writing off this liability or to give us some kind of relief in any other manner. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am in total agreement with the Hon'ble Finance Minister that we do something or make a plea with the Government of India to write off this liability.
Now, Sir, I would like to say something with regard to agricultural production. I have, I do not pretend to be an expert in agriculture, listed here a few points which, in my considered opinion, I take them to be a few drawbacks of our agricultural policy. These drawbacks are: poverty and the other is lack of improved seeds, manure and plant protection. With regard to improved seeds, all the time we get reports from the Department concerned that the so called improved seeds become dis-improved seeds due to untimely delivery. I would also like to sound a note of caution with regard to the matter of plant protection in that there have been instances of food poisoning probably due to unintelligent or reckless use of these pesticides or insecticides by the poor and illiterate farmers.
Mr. Speaker :- Sir, I now come to item No.3, that is, lack of adequate finance. As you know, Sir, most of the local farmers resorts to local borrowings at exorbitant rates of interest. Then, Sir, I come to item No.4 lack of marketing facilities and price incentives. The other drawback is, of course, ignorance and illiteracy on the part of the farmers. I think we should think of ourselves as the servants of the people right from the Chief Minister down to the peons. We should feel that we are servants of the people and once a minister or anybody becomes himself devoid of his responsibilities I think we would be facing a lot of catastrophe. While still on the subject of agriculture, I also agree with my friends, the hon. Members who have mentioned about fertilizers. I agree that the fertilizers are very important in increasing agriculture production, and Sir, I would like to relate to justify the importance of fertilisers by giving a factual illustration: There was a dwarf who but 2 kg of fertilizer inside his gum-boots thinking it would lengthen his height. So Sir I have given a factual illustration on the importance of fertilizer (laughter).
Now, Sir, I would like to take a hop step and jump and come to animal husbandry at page 10. In this regard, I will not say anything about live stock. I would rather say something with regard to die stock.
Instead of going to Upper Shillong Live-stock Farm I would like to make a detour and take you Sir, to my constituency and that is Mawlai Constituency. Mawlai is noted for slaughter houses because Sir, in Mawlai we have got private slaughters and they have been conducting in the most primitive unhygienic manner. Sir, I would like also to inform the House that it came to my notice that on several occasions the butchers both tribals and non-tribals bring the already dead animals to the market for sale. I feel that something should be done to prevent this.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister Industries) :- Is it that they bring the dead animals or are they already dead?
Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Yes, dead animals. They are brought to market and sold and unless and until proper inspection is made by the Government I think this might become a menace to the Society. Most of the hon. Members here eat meat and most of this meat comes from Mawlai. So unless and until we give a proper check and inspection, I think it will become a menace to our society if they bring these already dead animals for sale.
Then I would like to associate myself with page 12, that is with regard to Community Development. It is said that the main purpose of this Community Development is to help people help themselves, and you see, Sir, in most projects, the Blocks - in- stead of strengthening the people most of these Blocks behave in the opposite direction. Instead of helping people to help themselves, they act as agencies to decrepit the persons in the respective Blocks. Sir, I would like to say that with regard to this that the Blocks have been able to train a lot of petition writers for grants, Sir, I have collected from a certain book which deals with one of the serious weaknesses of the Block which states like this: - "Another serious weakness of the programme has been the wide disparity in the distribution of its benefits. It has made the better-off more better-off than the less-better-off. If any gains have accrued to the economically handicapped class of rural people, it appears that these benefits have come to them as a by-product".
Sir, with regard to these Blocks there is a very cloudy and dismal picture and I feel something should be done to make them better. Sir, on this page I would like to refer to special Nutrition programme and on this I would like to say that the Agencies in the feeding centres should be carefully selected and at the same time the officers concerned should see that genuine nutrients should reach the consumers in time. I would also like to inform the House that on several occasions, we have heard of wailing mothers who are crying for baby food because of scarcity of baby food in our area. If Government could do something on this on their part it would be better.
Now, I come to page 14 which deals with health. With regard to this, I would like to point out that we Pynthorumkhrah area have given a petition to the Minister in-charge of Health himself for the purpose of establishing a dispensary there at Pynthorumkhrah which is an area with a population of about 10 to 15 thousand because this areas does not have a dispensary. And while dealing with this subject on health, I would like to make a reference to the nurses. I have listed here a few of the requests of the nurses which I had the occasion to meet in one of the Hospital. One of these is confirmation and I found that many nurses serving more than 12 or 15 years have not been confirmed in their posts. The second thing is with regard to the Dhubi Allowance paid to the nurses of the Reid Chest Hospitals. They came out in dirty dresses and uniforms and when I asked them they told me - how can we help it because we get allowance only Rs.2 and we wash our uniforms only once in a month ( laughter). The staff nurses are getting only Rs.30 whereas the sisters and students are getting allowances at the rate of Rs.50. Then another thing, Sir, is in regard to casual leave. Instead of getting 15 days casual leave they say we want to have 20 days casual leave because on Sundays they attend duties and in Reid Chest Hospital nurses wanted to have what they call T.B. Allowance because in other States they have it. Moreover the Reid Chest Hospital is running without a Matron for the last 2½ years. So Sir, just yesterday I have scribed something with regard to the nurses because nurses were lawyers in my mind (laughter). If the nurses are not content they would resent if they resent, the patients lament if patients lament Government would repent. So, Sir, while dealing with the question of nurses and nursing I will quote one song "Thanks heaven for the little girls. Because without them what would little boys do". So I would like to dedicate to the nurses and also thank heaven for the amiable nurses for without them, what would the patients do? Mr. Speaker, Sir, now I come to the same bridge over which you allowed me last time to cross. Sir, the moment I was in the middle of this bridge, I felt myself to be terribly unsafe because of the narrowness of the bridge. When I stood there, heavy vehicles plied on the bridge and I think there was a palpitation. We have written from our side to the Minister of State, P.W.D. to provide us with foot paths along side the existing bridge because that bridge is very narrow.
Sir, I think the Minister, Supply is not here. But I would like to request him with regard to distribution of ration cards for Mawlai which has created a lot of trouble. The people have to spend money to get their ration cards and up till now, most of the people have not been able to get their family ration cards.
Sir, with regard to Tourism, I do not have to say either in favour of or against this very Department. From the Budget Speech itself, it appears that this particular Department is finding itself very shy.
Just a few minutes, Sir, as you have allowed the other hon. Members. I will come now to Power. I would like to mention very briefly with regard to street lighting in important towns. For instance, say, the towns of Nongthymmai, Mawlai and other areas like Pynthorumkhrah. I would like the Government to try to take it up. Now, Sir, I will come to the penultimate point of my speech and that is with regard to services. This has created a lot of problems and with the impending shifting of the capital of the State of Assam from Shillong, we know that many tribal officers and staff would be shifted to Gauhati or somewhere- else and this indeed is a thorny problem. Sir, I would request the Government to take this up not on a war footing, but on a refugee footing.
Sir, I would like to congratulate the Government for having decided to set up a Public Service Commission for Meghalaya provided that it becomes emanating as early as possible and not like the State Sports Council of Meghalaya.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Power) :- May I ask the hon. Member to clarify the statement regarding street lighting. He said that he would request the Government to take it up. What does he mean by take it up? What is the problem of street lighting.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Sir, there is no provision for street lighting. I have mentioned that there are no street lights in certain areas like Nongthymmai, Mawlai, etc.
Mr. Speaker :- In the suburbs of Shillong, there are no street lights.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- So, Sir, with these few words, I humbly resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. P.N. Choudhury.
Shri P.N. Choudhury (Laban) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, after going through the Budget Speech and the Budget itself, I am constrained to say that the Budget does not give us any rosy picture about the prospects of progress and development of the State. The Chief Minister in the last Session told this House that the aim of his Government is to fight against poverty, illiteracy and disease. It is indeed disheartening that the Budget does not throw any further light on the Government's intention and keenness to translate these ideas into action, Sir, keeping our men behind the plough, man in the factory in abject poverty how can we expect to fight poverty, I do not understand? The man behind the plough has not been able to free himself from the clutches of unscrupulous money lenders and middle men. Most of the hon. Members who spoke earlier have said eloquently in their speeches about these middle men, I do not like to elaborate on this point. But I want to say that without freeing our farmer from these clutches, we cannot fight poverty, because most of the people in the State are agriculturists living in the rural areas. Unless their lots are improved and unless they have the facilities to increase their products, we cannot expect to fight poverty and reduce the economic disparity. Coming to illiteracy, I wish to say that education is in an awful mess. Whatever policy adopted, has not been implemented. Teachers imparting education in the different schools are given different treatment. The teachers, in some cases, do not get their salaries in time. That is the picture now prevailing all over the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, unless we make the primary education free and compulsory and have a school for every village, we cannot remove the illiteracy from our masses. Now, coming to disease, as the Chief Minister said his Government want to fight against the disease- the third enemy, I regret to say that the dispensaries that we have, in some cases, are without doctors and medicines. We cannot fight disease in such a state of affairs. We must have State Dispensaries in different areas so that the people get the medical benefits within their easy reach. Sir, I do not find any mention of the most important items in the Budget Speech, except, a cryptic reference to it, that is land reforms. Land reform is a vital issue which is a key to increase production. We cannot have a egalitarian social order in the rural areas unless progressive land reforms are introduced. I was told by many that there is no problem of landlessness in this State. But from my personal knowledge, I find there are large number of landless people in our State. So unless land is provided land is is provided to these people and unless a scientific land -reform is taken up, we cannot improve our Agriculture, we cannot improve the lot of the people now we can remove poverty and we can not reduce the disparity that is now in existence in our society. So, Sir, I would like to request the Government to take land reform measures in the State at the earliest opportunity. The Finance Minister in the Budget Speech, at page 7, referred to two projects for the benefit of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers that were sanctioned by the Government of India. Mr. Speaker, Sir, now without any record of rights how is it possible to know who is a small farmer and who is a marginal farmer. I do not think that there is any record of rights on maintained by the Government. As a result the poor cultivators are left at the mercy of the B.D.Os who will say to them that you are a small farmer or that you are a small farmer or that you are a marginal farmer, according to his own sweet will. So Sir, it is very necessary that land survey should be undertaken in the State and record of rights prepared so that it can be easily ascertained who belongs to what category of farmers.
Sir, coming to unemployment problem, I would like to point out that it is an acute problem that our State is facing today both in rural and urban areas and I would like to say that no new light has been thrown about the Government scheme for removal of this problem. In the Budget Speech or in the Budget itself there is no mention how the Government proposes to create new avenues of employment to our unemployed youths. Mr. Speaker, Sir, our State is anew one and undeveloped and full of problems and the unemployment problem is one of the biggest of these problems. There are unemployed people in the rural areas as well as in the urban areas. There has been some mention, of course, about creation employment potential through development programmes but I do not know how many people will be employed and what the Government proposes to do with the rest. The setting up of the Government farm Government orchard and the development of tourism can also provide employment opportunity to our unemployed youths but there is no mention about Government's thinking in this direction. what they are going to do for the development of hydel Power in the State? Sir, in this State of ours, we have got enough potentialities of hydel power but these potentialities have not been exploited son far in a proper way. Whatsoever has been developed has not been fully utilised or profitably utilised. Regarding rural electrification scheme, from the speech of the Finance Minister I find that most of the villages that were to be electrified have not been covered, only 6 villages have so far been covered. This is not a happy state of affairs. Electricity is a must for us., if we want to develop agriculture, if we want to develop our industries, either big or small. The Employment Policy of the Government need to be reoriented and I would like to request the Government to reorient its policy so that all sections of the people living in this State of ours may get the opportunity for employment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, much has been spoken about Community Development Blocks by the hon. Member, Shri S.D. Khongwir. I would also like to add one point more, Sir. If the Community Development Blocks are function properly, we should bring them in line with the Anchalik panchayat in the plains having control by a non official Chairman. Pending bringing them in that line, I would suggest that the Block Development Committees should be headed by a Chairman from the non-officials Sir, these Development Blocks are very important institutions for the upliftment of the rural areas, the Government should take this programme of Community Development Block in a proper way, it should be neglected or treated in a different way. I would like to suggest to the Government to look into the workings of Block development and to devise ways and means how best there can be run properly. Mr. Speaker, Sir, coming to present condition of our Capital City, I would like to add a few words to what the hon. Member, Shri P.R. Kyndiah had lucidly spoken on the floor of this august House. Sir, Barabazar which is one of the biggest market places in this north eastern region has been very much neglected. The vivid picture of it has already been obtained from the speech of the hon. Member. Shri P.R. Kyndiah, and it seems to me that there is nobody to look after it. Sir, we cannot allow this market place of ours to remain as it is now. A plan to improve the condition of the market should be taken up by the Government. The Capital City of our State has become the most unsanitary and unplanned City. Development is going on, construction is being done unauthorisedly and in an unplanned manner. The P.W.D. road and land encroachment, and felling of trees are going on undetected and if such things are allowed to go on t hen this City will be made a place not worth living. Sir, in my speech in the last Session, I draw the attention of the Government to draw up a comprehensive master plan for this great City of ours, a master plan for the greater Shillong. But I do not know what Government has done or what Government proposes to do. I feel that a master plan for Greater Shillong is a must for us.
Sir, another thing I want to refer is about the State Transport Station at Jail Road. I would like to draw the attention of the Hon'ble Minister of Transport, through you, Sir, that this Station should be removed from the present place to another suitable place, or at least the road in front of the Station should be made one way so that passengers and pedestrians could move safely. This road is too congested and it is very difficult for pedestrians to pass through without endangering their lives. Now that Shillong ahs come under Meghalaya, I think there will be no difficulty to take up this matter urgently.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Finance Minister in his budget speech, at page 17, has referred to the acute scarcity of cement, C.I. sheets, iron and steel etc. ion the State. Cement is produced in our State Cherrapunjee but in Shillong cement is scarce and the price of cement is higher than in Gauhati. I do not understand how the price has fixed that it should be higher in Shillong that in Gauhati.
Permit me, Sir, to speak for a few minutes more. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in his concluding speech the Finance Minister has expressed his unhappiness for presenting a deficit budget. Sir, I do not see why he should be unhappy. Because I feel that a deficit budget does not spell danger. It does not spell danger if the money that is allotted for a particular scheme or a particular project is well spent. If targets of developmental programmes are achieved, there is no harm in spending more because more revenue will accrue in days and years to come of course, the whole thing centres round the administrative set up. With the present administrative set up we cannot expect better implementation of schemes and projects. The present set up is a bureaucratic one and it should be streamlined so that the administration is run in a democrative way. Sir, it is just like a square peg in a round hole. So at the first and foremost thing is to streamline the administration, to stop corruption, to plug the leakage of revenue, to stop evasion of taxes. Coming to tax evasion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that cinema houses are tax evaders No.1 I have came across one or two examples of such tax evasion by cinema houses, where they issue tickets without tearing the amusement stamps. They issue in such a way that the amusement stamps are not affected and these stamps they use again. The same stamps are use twice or thrice, some cases no ticket is issued at all. Such things are going on unchecked in cinema houses in this capital of ours too. So I request the Finance Minister to take effective steps to plug all these loopholes so that we can have more revenue, otherwise all our plans and schemes may not be successful unimplemented.
Shrimati Percylina Marak (Rongram S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while congratulating the Finance Minister for presenting his budget before the House, I would like to make a few observations. These are concerned with Garo Hills. First of all I will touch education in the district. A number of Middle English Schools have been established and though Meghalaya has come into being, not a single Middle English School has been provincialised. I would, therefore, request the Government to provincialise at least deserving Middle English Schools so that there can be more development and improvement in our education. Another thing, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is about the office of the Deputy Inspector of Schools, although there is a post of an Addition Deputy Inspector of School, up till now no step has been taken by the Government to fill up this post. I do not know for what reasons this has not been done and the post has been kept vacant. In this connection I would like to request Government to make immediate appointment to the post so that the work of the Inspecting Staff will run smoothly. Then again, I would like to mention about the appointment of two or more Sub-Inspectors of Schools in the same Department in Garo Hills. As there are more Schools coming up, I think the present Sub-Inspectors of Schools are facing much difficulty to cover the whole district. So I would like the Government to create or to appoint two or more posts of Sub-Inspector of Schools. On the same subject I would like to say about Government. Multi-purpose Schools in Tura. This Government Multi-purpose School, in Tura had been running without any Vice Principal for years together. But recently, one of the English teachers has been given the post of Vice Principal for years together. But recently, one of the English teachers ahs been given the post of Vice Principal temporarily. So, to avoid these irregularities the Government is requested to regularise the post of Vice Principal and appoint a new English teacher as well. Thus, it would be more convenient for the School to run smoothly. As we all know that extra curricular activities are a part of education there should be one Physical Instructor in each educational Institution. I do not know whether there is any sanction for this post but I am sure the Government would be willing enough to give sanction for this post too. Then, I have seen and I have experienced that most of the students especially, the college students or even the school student are not receiving their scholarships, in time. But sanction of scholarship for students of these Schools and Colleges is primarily meant for the purchase of books etc., or for payment of their rate of admission. So, if those Schools and Colleges were given scholarships the same should be given to their students right from the beginning of the session, as, it will be more helpful to the students concerned. Then I would like to say about the Tribal Hostel in Shillong. There is no proper allotment of seats for the Meghalayan students. So, in future if the Government takes necessary steps to make arrangement or make proper allotment of seats for the Meghalayan students it would be very good for those who come from the far off places, from Garo Hills, or Jaintia Hills even from Khasi Hills. These students are really in need of such Hostel accommodation for they do not have any relative here in this locality, I mean in Shillong. So, I would like to move the Government to see that in future this Tribal Hostel should make proper allotment of seats to the tribal students.
Then my next point is about Soil Conservation. Now, under this head there has been some scheme for Irrigation, Land Reclamation, Bunding and Terracing. Now, for implementation of the schemes by this particular Department, adequate technical equipments should be provided. Otherwise all the schemes above mentioned will be implemented in a haphazard way. So I would like to request the Government to provide at least 3 tractors ad one Bulldozer for every Range.
Now I will come to another subject and that is Health. Sir, there are villages in my Constituency far away from Hospitals or Dispensaries. These remote villages are very far away from Hospitals or Dispensaries. These remote villages are very far away from the town Hospital and dispensary. And due to food scarcity and sudden change of seasons, there is a threat of epidemic like cholera, dysentery, etc., amongst the people of these villages. Whenever such epidemics break up, the local authority rushes there to give treatment. But as "Prevention is a better than cure" preventive measures should reach such places before the villages fall victims of such diseases. I would, therefore, urge upon the Government to take up short term and long term measures. In short term measures I would like to request the Government to open Medical Units in the villages and secondly, if possible, to arrange to send one Mobile Dispensary to the central places where 3 or 4 villages could be reached. Then coming to long term operation, Sir. As all the hon. Members and friends of mine have already spoken about this, I would only again request the Government to open possible. Pharmacists Training Centre at Tura at an early date so that medical facilities can be easily obtained by those remote places. In this subject I would like to say something about the Family Planning. In the Family Planning office at Tura there are some vacancies, I have heard. So in order to fill up these vacancies I think the first preference should be given to the local candidates. These local candidates, I mean, the retrenched personnel who have been once serving as A.R.R.Os I would like to request the Government in this matter to give first preference to them as they know the local language and affairs as well. So it will be good to appoint those persons to fill up the vacancies.
Now, I would like to touch one more point, and that is Small Scale Industries. Here I would like to stress on the importance of the development of Sericulture and Weaving. There is an abundant of supply of raw materials required for this Industry in Garo villages of Kamrup, of courses, they are now in Assam and in Khasi and Garo Hills. As we are rich in such raw materials, I think it will be the duty of the Government to take up this industry in the future. Therefore, I would like to request the Government to take immediate steps to open Eri and Silk Training cum Production Centre near about the producing areas. Regarding weaving also, I would like to say something. Nowadays, there is a great demand for Garo garments or Dakmanda. And for this I think many weaving co-operative societies have been established and they are doing their best to supply such garments; but in order to meet local sales and outside demands, I would request the Government to introduce power looms and also better means of yarn dyeing process. And again I would like to say about the handicraft centres. Recently, I have seen the finished products of the Mendipathar Handicrafts Centre producing excellent results. Deserving centres and others interested in the trade should be encourage and should be extended financial help by the Government. Lastly, I would like to touch on Electricity. At Tura now a days we get supply of power from Nangalbibra Thermal Project and this Project is still under the Assam State Electricity Board. I think it is going to be taken over by our State soon. Whatever power we get from this station is quite irregular and inadequate. At least for a few weeks street lights were out of order. We are all aware of the fact that our State is quite rich both in black and white coal. Swift flowing rivers can be tapped and dammed and thus hydel power can be generated. So in places where there are such rapid rivers, I would request the Government to find out such places and dam in order to obtain hydel power. Now this will be quite a great help for rural electrification as well as for the encouragement and development of small scale industries like paper, soap making, etc. So with these few observations, I resume my seat. Thank you, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I now call Mr. Jagabandhu Barman.
Shri Jagabandhu Barman (Ampatigiri S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have gone through the Budget Speech of our Hon'ble Finance Minister and the budget allocation for the different districts. I do not wish to elaborate the points as any member and the Government can easily find it out taking into consideration the different allotments in the different departments and different districts. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, coming to the development question, it is found from the Finance Minister Speech that Government is giving much emphasis on the development of road communication, particularly in the border areas. And in this regard I will say that little development has been made on the border roads specially in regard to the road from Garobadha to Mahendraganj, from Mahendraganj to Purakhasia and thereby from Purakhasia to Dalu. In this regard I would request the Government or rather appeal to the Government that the matter must be considered and appropriate steps taken for its development. Sir, it is a fact that 98 percent of the population of our State are dependant on agriculture and today it is found that the land reforms and land distribution to the actual cultivators are an imperative necessity. I am sorry that in this respect, there is no definite scheme or policy taken by the Government in collaboration with the District Council authorities of different districts. The Government should take immediate steps in this regard. Apart from this Sir, more irrigation facilities should be made available to boost up agricultural production. In this regard, Sir, so far as my constituency is concerned, I would again emphasize the need for taking up two numbers of bund projects, No.1, namely, Bund over Thalang-sting river and No.2 bund over the Gopijhara river in Betasing Block Development Area. Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I appreciate that there is difficulty in posting doctors in different dispensaries in Garo Hills, particularly in rural areas, I would suggest that consideration should be also given at least for posting pharmacists in these dispensaries or sub-centres where Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now I would request the Government to take up construction of Primary Health Unit at Betasing as early as possible. In this connection, I may mention that all the formalities in respect of securing land, etc., have been already completed. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, I would request Shri Nimosh Sangma to speak.
Shri Nimosh Sangma (Dalu S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all I thank you for giving me this opportunity to take part in the discussion on the first budget of full- fledged State of Meghalaya, i.e., for the year 1972-73, as has been presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister showing a deficit of Rs.732.42 lakhs. The deficit in the budget is not an unnatural one and more so in case of our newly born State of Meghalaya where money is necessary for undertaking various developmental schemes. Anyway, Sir, at the very outset I must thank the Hon'ble Finance Minister for the trouble he has taken in preparing the Budget and his Budget Speech is also a very comprehensive one wherein he has touched almost all the important points. I hope the Budget has been prepared with a sincere mind and purpose for ensuring a balanced and accelerated pace of development of the State as a whole. But the developmental activities should not confine to only one particular area and a district only, rather it should be equally spread over to all parts of the State and if it is not so, distrust and misunderstanding may arise among many sections of the people of Meghalaya.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in this Budget discussion, I would like to give stress on Agriculture Department. As you know agriculture is the most important occupation of the people of Meghalaya and the majority of the people earn their livelihood from Agriculture. So I think, Sir, it should be a special duty of the Government to take up some important measures or programmes for the quick development to agriculture in the whole State. At page 7 of the Budget Speech the Hon'ble Finance Minister has expressed the importance of improving agriculture. It read as follows- "The main objectives underlying the Agriculture Plan.......conducive to higher growth rate and soon". It is true that improvement of agriculture is very very important. Sir, I want to refer especially to the case of Garo Hills. In Garo Hills, about 95 percent of the people are the case of Garo Hills. In Garo Hills, about 95 per cent of the people are the case of Garo Hills. In Garo Hills, about 95 percent of the people are agriculturists but, as you know Sir, they still follow those old primitive methods of cultivation and that should be changed. Modern and scientific methods of cultivation should be adopted as soon as possible. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, expressing my humble opinion I would like to make some suggestions in the interest of the Government for taking up necessary measures for improving the output of agricultural produces in Garo Hills. Some of the measures I would like to suggest are as follows. First, opening of training centres under Block areas to train the farmers in the modern technique of cultivation. Secondly, the Government demonstration farm should be started at different centres of the District and in these farms methods and techniques of plantation for agricultural crops and the use of fertilizers should be demonstrated to the people. I think, Sir, practical demonstration on this would be of immense help. There are some cultivators in the villages who wanted to have tractors but it is difficult for them to purchase for lack of fund. So, I would request the Government to supply tractors and power tillers to the cultivators at subsidised rates. Next, Government should supply better types of seeds to the cultivators timely. Sometimes, it has been observed that the cultivators did not receive seeds in time to the detriment of their interest. Then I want to say that the agricultural loans should be granted to the farmers on very liberal terms. Lastly, I would request the Government to shift the office of the Joint Director of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fishery, to Tura. This necessity has been felt by the people of Garo Hills for a long time. As a matter of fact, on many occasions the development schemes on agriculture were issued very late and sometimes they were not received at all. As such the farmers who require immediate and direct contact with the officers, especially in respect of Government loans and subsidies for the developmental works, are put in great difficulty. If the said office is located there, there will be avenue for employment to the local people also. So, Sir, taking all these points into consideration I think Government should take necessary steps which will result not only in the improvement of cultivation in Garo Hills but will also provide the means of avoiding economic depressions for many years to come.
Now, Sir, I would like to touch upon education in a short way. Education in the State as a whole is not in a happy position especially in the District of Garo Hills right from the primary to high school standard. So, Sir, I would like to request the Government, through you, to take necessary steps to improve the standard of education by constituting one Primary Education Board in the District level and another in the State level. These Boards are necessary for the improvement and maintenance of uniformity of the standard of education. Complaints have been heard in the villages that Government grants, both for the M.E. Schools and High Schools, are usually received very late. I would, therefore, request Government to take necessary steps so that the issue of these grants is expedited. It is very gratifying to note that the Government is going to spend Rs.100 lakhs for the two projects i.e., the small and marginal farmers' schemes and the agricultural labourers' schemes, as it appears in the Finance Minister's Budget Speech at page 7. But I doubt as to how much the scheme will benefit the farmers of the District. Many farmers have land and there are also many who have no land. Then there are those who have their land under mortgage. Also there are many farmers who have no paddy fields of their own. And those who have lands resorts to shifting or jhum cultivation from year to year. So, Sir, I would like to urge upon the Government to bring necessary legislation in this respect.
Now, Sir, I would like to come to the Border problems. We all know that our border problems arise out of the influx of refugees in 1971. During the influx of these refugees from Bangladesh many families from the border areas were compelled to leave their hearts and homes. This was also due to firing from across the border. In this way, many had lost their houses and properties. Now that the Bangladesh refugees have returned to their homeland after its liberation form the Pakistani forces and now that our local people in the border areas are trying to rehabilitate themselves, it is the duty of the Government to help rehabilitate those who have suffered for no fault of theirs. In this matter I am happy to learn that the Finance Minister has been pleased to earmark an amount to the tune of Rs.1,51,.900.00 and I hope (Bell rang) if this amount is properly utilised it will be sufficient to compensate for the loss of properties of these local people. I would also like to request Government to pay compensation for the damages to the houses and other properties and also to public buildings, Churches, etc. There are also those houses destroyed the occupation of Mukti Fouz or by our Army. These houses required reconstruction otherwise some sort of compensation must be paid to the local people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to raise another point before the House and that is the cost that is being paid (Bell rang) at present to the affected families in the border areas has no definite criteria for the amount which is to be paid to those families during the border troubles. Whether certain steps are not be taken like the border line, as a criteria, because there are some villages which do not get the ration although these villages are situated in the extreme border line. (Bell rang) One minute more, pleased I would like now to come to the Urban Development Schemes. Sir, under this scheme I would like to request the Government to take necessary action to declare Dalu as a small town and necessary action must be taken for its development. Dalu is one of the big villages in the southern part of Garo Hills with a population of 4 to 5 thousand inhabitants within the radius of two to three miles and there are as many as 8 Government offices, two High Schools, one English Medium and one Bengali Medium and one Bengali Medium and two Middle English Schools one Garo and one Bengali medium and then Primary Schools and three Nursery Schools. (Bell rang) One minute more, please. It is a good thing if Dalu is to be declared by the Government as a small township. Thank you.
Shri B. Blooming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, we are now in the second sitting of this august House since the coming of our full-fledged State into existence., At the outset, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the Finance Minister for having presented the Budget before this august House. Secondly, I would like to share with him in his unhappiness for the fact that we are having a deficit budget, but at the same time, I would like to mention that the budget deficit as it is, is not our own self made but it is something that is inescapable as mentioned in his Budget speech, it is something that we have to shoulder. But, when I went through the press release which is on my table where the Union Minister of State who had come here in Shillong recently had agreed to consider our request that the deficit amount is to be written off that unhappiness disappeared I appeal through the is august House to the Government of India to consider the matter so that the amount of deficit is written off. Now I would like to touch on one most important thing.
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the information of the hon. Member, the Press release does not say that the Government of India or for that matter the Minister of State will write off the deficit amount but he assures of assistance and additional help or fund which covers the State of Meghalaya after the 21st of January?
Shri B.B. Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- Then, Sir, according to my observation, if we are to develop our State in the true sense of the term we have to consider development of an infrastructure in so far as development is concerned. I find that better communication must be made available to us in the three district in Meghalaya which is generally known as the most backward State in all respects. This is mainly due to lack of transport facilities. I have seen in the budget for the P.W.D. a number of roads are going to be constructed or the existing roads are to be completed but according to my reading, unless we have roads which are most important to feed the main roads just that main road alone will not be enough because by having only the main road we cannot easily reach the deep interior of the villages. As for example I, can say in Jaintia Hills We have got very rich mineral resources such as coal, lime-stone and all that and having only this main road we cannot reach the site where there are these mineral resources. Therefore, I feel that few roads that lead to different places in the interior will be of great help not only to reaching these places of raw materials but also help the leaders from the town to reach different villages to meet the people and help them for their development. So I feel that I must suggest to the Government to consider this matter very seriously and see that good roads are constructed in different places. And I would would like to make my observation also about the performance of the Blocks. According to my observation, if we take into calculation the work done by the Blocks as it appears in the paper, I feel one should see that no more land requires to be developed. According to that paper report, most of the land in our area had not been developed. I am saying this in connection with the Jowai Hills District which I have the opportunity to see and I do not know about other districts. But from the different speeches of hon. Members which I listened day before yesterday it appears that these things are prevalent in the whole State. There must be an overhauling of the services of the Blocks as a whole. Moreover, I want to inform the House that in the matter of distributing grants to the people I can cite examples that there are people who are eligible for receiving grants do not get while some people who do not have any land receive grants; it may be because of their relationship or some connection which they may have with the authorities concerned. Of course, I do not blame the Government but some Government Agents.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso- Raliang S.T.) :- There are Sub Committees.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- Yes, there are Sub-Committees.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The time is up. The House stands adjourned till 2 P.m. Mr. Shallam will continue in the afternoon.
The House met at 2 p.m. with the Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Shallam to resume his speech. You have another 10 minutes.
Shri Blooming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I reported to the House that some under serving people received grants from the Block, some Members interfered and interrupted by saying that the Members of the Sub-Committee are responsible for that. It is possible perhaps that some Members of the Sub- Committee are responsible for that. But I would like to explain this matter because that is not so. In my case, I happen not to be a Member of the Sub- Committee. What is really done is that the Member of the Sub- Committee discussed the list of applicants recommended by the B.D.O. as well as his junior officers and in our turn we give a final recommendation to them. Only after that the work order is issued to the applicants asking them to take up the work so that final payment can be made to them. Now, everything depends on the Gram Sevaks who would take the measurement of the work. If they report that the work is done, the B.D.O in his turn, will make payment to the persons concerned. I find that in some cases, those workers in the field would recommend even those cases for which works have not been done and the grant was paid to them. So, I say that it is not entirely the responsibility of the Members of the Sub Committee. As a matter of fact, the Members of the Sub- Committee had to depend on the report given by the men working in the field. Sir, I would like also to point out about the working of the B.D.Os. I would like to mention that they seem to be 'Jack of all trades but master of none'. Why I have to say this? It is because of the many responsibilities being entrusted on their shoulders. They become Engineers because in the Blocks funds are allotted for construction of roads, bridges, drinking wells and all that.
Mr. Speaker :- But they are being assisted by Extension Officers.
Shri Blooming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- It is true. Sir, but the Extension Officers will not assist in the matter of engineering works such as construction of roads. The Extension Officers have to look after education.
Mr. Speaker :- In what way, I think Social Education has not been allotted to them?
Shri Blooming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- Of course, social education Sir, and they have also to look after Animal Husbandry and Veterinary. So I feel that in order to have good performance in the Block level I would suggest to the Government to have a full-time officer who will deal with Animal Husbandry and Veterinary and another full-time officer who will deal with matters relating to Agriculture. These officers will also be made wholly responsible to their respective Departments. I hope if these steps are taken, it will help giving a better administration in the Block.
Mr. Speaker :- You mean that an Overseer will be controlled by P.W.D. and Veterinary Department?
Shri Blooming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- Of course, Sir. With regard to construction of roads, water supply, etc., the District Councils are doing this. So I feel that I should suggest that instead of allotting funds to the Blocks which have multifarious activities, this aspect of the work may be given to the District Councils because they are doing the same thing. So I feel this will help the Block to run the administration in a better way, as the B.D.Os have so many responsibilities, it will be just difficult for them to cope with all the works. In the matter of Agriculture, Sir, it is difficult to develop it as the practice of shifting cultivation is prevailing in our State. This practice washes away the good top soil, and as a result, it affects also the perennial rivers being dried up. So I feel that some alternative should be found out such as taking up lifting irrigation and construction of canals so that waste lands and fallow lands can be used.
Another point I would like to mention, Sir, is about non-availability of bone-meal in time. As you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, our people of Jaintia Hills are not acquainted with the use of chemical fertilizers.
Mr. Speaker :- The same is repeated by many hon. Members.
Shri Blooming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- I was mentioning, Sir, about non-availability of bone- meal in time. I would like to request the Government to see from now onwards that bone-meal should be made available to our people in time because sowing season is there and if bone- meal is not available in time it may affect the cultivation of the people.
Now, Sir, I come to education. Mr. Speaker, Sir, about the qualifications of the teachers in the L.P. Schools as far as we know' the candidates who passed Class VI or above are qualified for the post of teachers. I can see that boys and girls of today who passed Class VI or Class VII cannot do much. They cannot teach much. They do not know even this or that. How can they teach others? So my humble request is that the Government should take steps to raise the qualifications of the teachers to Matriculation so that they can deliver the goods to our young boys and girls. Moreover this will also help in some way to solve the unemployment problem. I have seen only recently (Bell rang) in Jaintia Hills hundreds of young boys and girls who have passed the matriculation examination; some of them are B.As. and M.As. and they could not find any job. Many of these matriculates saw me and requested me to provide them with jobs. So if they can raise the qualification to matriculate at least we can help solving the unemployment problem.
Lastly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to endorse the view point expressed by one hon. Member from Bhoi area who requested the Government to consider the question of constituting a civil subdivision for the Bhoi area. I think if we think carefully this will help the people very much. I have been in the past in the interior or Bhoi area and I can see the wretched condition of those people there. So, I feel that feel that if the Government take steps to have a subdivision in that area that will help the people in may ways. So, in this sense I must endorse the view points expressed by the hon. Member from Bhoi area. Lastly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, (Mr. Speaker : How many lastly? I have already given you sufficient time?). Sir, I would request you to allow me to touch only one point. That is with regard to the development of the three towns in the State of Meghalaya. I am glad to see that our State Government has taken up the matter with the Government of India. They have submitted schemes for the development of the three towns, Shillong, Tura as well as Jowai. I had been to Tura many a time and I can say that there is need for development. (Mr. Speaker - Everybody must have been there. Anyway when you endorse the Government view, I think it is alright). Sir, I have a point to emphasize because I have seen in many cases the sense of complacency is there. We may have a scheme but we do not care to implement it.
Mr. Speaker :- Actually this is your family affairs. (Bell rang)
Shri B.B. Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- Whatever it may be, Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I have in my mind I have just expressed it on the floor of the House and it is for the Government to consider whether it is a family matter or not.
Mr. Speaker :- Family matter from the parliamentary point of view.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- So, whatever it is, thank you, Sir. I now resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now I call upon Mr. Upstar Kharbuli. You may come to the front seat and then speak.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso- Raliang S.T.) :- It was his original seat, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- Any seat is dignified since the House is dignified.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli (Malki) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have a short observation to make on the budget speech presented by the Hon'ble Minister, Finance. That is in respect of special development programmes referred to at page 7 of the speech. Here we find as many as 5 schemes are there. These are the regrouping of villages in Garo Hills, road projects of strategic and economic importance, Shillong Water Supply Scheme and No.4, the development of Shillong, Tura and Jowai Towns and the last one is the rehabilitation of border economy. We are very glad to see that the State Government have taken some preliminary steps with a view to implement these schemes in right earnest or as some as, I think that the Government of India extend their financial help. For this purpose, the State Government have set up a Working Group to go into the details of the project for regrouping of villages in Garo Hills, for rehabilitation fo the border area economy an integrated scheme is being drawn up and also the project report for the Shillong Water Supply Scheme has been prepared and submitted to the Government of India. But nothing was mentioned about any preliminary step that has been taken by the Government towards development of Shillong, Tura and Jowai Towns. So, the public will be anxious to know whether the Government is really serious to take up this scheme. I could understand that one of our hon. friends, the hon. Member from Laban has given certain suggestions in this respect and that he has proposed to prepare a Master Plan for at least Shillong Town. I would support his proposal and I feel that if really we are to do something in right earnest, we should start from now, and I do not know whether it would be possible for the Government to start examining that proposal. Another suggestion I would like to make is whether it will be feasible to set up some sort of an advisory committee which should take into consideration that Master Plan which the Government may like to prepare of course with the advice of certain experts in the line. Unless this thing is taken up from now on. I am afraid that with the inadequacy of powers of the Shillong Municipality Board, the time will be too late for us to do anything in the matter. We have seen in the recent fire havoc which took place in Police Bazar when those shops have been burnt down. The public actually expected that the Government will do something to beautify this business centre of Shillong Town. But from what we could see how is that some temporary buildings have been built without the the permission of the Municipality Board. So, I think with this inadequacy of powers of the Municipality, I am afraid that our Shillong may develop in such unplanned manner which may be not to the liking of the public and which may create difficulty on our part to do anything with a view to really develop our town. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, with these few words and few observations, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Enowell Pohshna.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I express my thanks to the Finance for the great trouble he has taken in preparation of his Budget Speech. The Budget Speech is a very lengthy one and the time limit of 20 minutes that is allotted to us is rather short and if I am to sit in the examination to write the substances of the speech I am sure that I will fail. Any how, Sir, I only want to speak a few things in this general discussion at this moment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, taking the Budget Speech as a whole, as it appears as if our Finance Minister has undertaken a very very long journey. Starting from the first page it sounds a nice sound of joy. The year 1972 is the most notable year to the people of Meghalaya and for the people of the North Eastern Region as a whole. After sounding this great round of joy of the year 1972 the Finance Minister passed on to so many things. From one page to another page, from one point to another with so many repetition. It is like the Governor's Address as one of the hon. Members said and when the Finance Minister comes to page 22 as one of the hon. Members had said in the morning had said in the morning, the whole thing has come to a picture. "I am extremely unhappy to present before this August House, a Budget with an over all deficit of this magnitude". After such a great joy, the Finance Minister has come to a lamentation; he is the most unhappy man. Therefore, if I congratulate the Finance Minister for his beautiful and good speech, I feel it is rather like adding insult to injury. But our Finance Minister is a very diplomatic man. Coming to the last page of the Budget Speech is a very diplomatic man. Coming to the last page of the Budget Speech I find that the Finance Minister has got a very very good heart for all of us. In the last paragraph of the Budget Speech, he said that he is extremely sorry and unhappy to present a deficit budget of 732.42 lakhs. It is really a very unhappy thing. Then judging by the figures he has made in page 21, I find that there is double mindedness and hesitation on the part of our Finance Minister before representing the Budget. If you look at the expenditure side, you will find that he has got special interest in double thing, i.e., 6,34.11, 6,29.11, 1,07.99, 18,68.33, 55.77, 6,71.40 and 16,99.99. Sir, there is something wrong which our Finance Minister did not have enough courage to place before the House and that can be proved from the overwriting that has been made in the statement of expenditure. You cannot differentiate between 5 and 1. It is difficult to differentiate between 3 and 5. Therefore, Sir, for all these things I have to congratulate the Finance Minister because we did not object at the very beginning while he was presenting the statement of expenditure though it is objectionable from the point of accounts. Any way, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I come to the last page of the Budget Speech and here I find that our Finance Minister has used the word co-operation three times. After stating his unhappiness for the over-all deficit budget of Rs.732.42 Lakhs, he realised the greatness and heaviness of the burden that will fall on the shoulders of the people of Meghalaya. Therefore his appeal is that the need for accelerated development of Meghalaya and for running its administration smoothly has placed upon us a responsibility which calls for maximum efforts and sacrifice. "I appeal to all the hon. Members and to the people to co-operate with us in achieving this object." In another paragraph "the wholehearted cooperation of the entire people of the State is necessary for ensuring the success of the programmes which we propose to undertake and which have been briefly outlined in the Budget." This also requires the co-operation and the best effort of the entire administrative machinery." Sir, in the last sentences the Finance Minister has whole heartedly appealed to all hon. Members and all sections of the people to contribute their mite towards the achievement of our common goal. Now Sir, the Finance Minister has again realised the difficulty that we have to bear on account of a deficit budget of Rs.732.42 lakh. I am sorry Sir, that I have no census figures no statistics of our population but roughly calculating if all the people and all sections of the people, the entire administrative machinery and all the hon. Members have to bear the entire burden, it will be Rs.80 per head. In order to hear the deficit of the current financial year's budget, Rs.80 per head is required. This amount of Rs.80 per head has to be contributed by the deaf and blind persons, by the persons who are suffering in hospitals and even by the lepers. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, our Finance Minister has earnestly appealed to all of us and to the entire people of the State to contribute their mite towards the achievement of our common goal. What is that common goal? It is not understand what co-operation they want from us and from all sections of the people of Meghalaya and from all the hon. Members of this august House? What kind of cooperation they want? Then coming again to the first page of the budget speech "I would solicit the co-operation of all the Members and the people of Meghalaya towards putting in maximum efforts to realised this goal." Inside the House the people of the party in power will say 'come on let us co-operate' but outside the House the attitude of these people is quite different.
They openly declare in public meetings that if you go to the M.L.As. who do not belong to the Ruling party, you may not get anything from them. Openly Executive Engineers, S.D.Os. of the P.W.D. were advised by Ministers or by the heads of the ruling party, not to give work to this man or that man. Is this co-operation you want from us?
Mr. Speaker : Can you bring out any specific evidence that the Government had really given such advice and orders to those officers. This is indeed a serious affair.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, they openly declared in public meetings.
Mr. Speaker :- Speeches made in public meetings cannot be taken inside the House. But when Government give orders and instructions to the officers, it is a very serious thing.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- I will give you a copy, Sir, later on.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- This is a very serious allegation against the Government as you have rightly pointed out, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Member has said that Government have given instructions to the officers that only people of the ruling party should be given work. So I seek your protection, Sir, that the hon. Member should be asked to prove this allegation against the Government before the House by placing a copy of such instructions that had been issued by the Government. In Public meetings any member may say this thing and that thing our Members in the opposition may also say the same thing; but that cannot be treated as an order. If it is correct that instructions had been given to the Executive Engineers, S.D.Os. and Overseers that only people of the constituency of the Ruling party should be looked after, this is indeed a very serious allegation. So I see, your protection, Sir, and would like to say that the hon. Member is entirely responsible to prove this allegation made against the Government.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Yes, Sir, I am glad to hear the statement made by the Chief Minister, when he said that he will take action if we can prove the allegation.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- If issuing of Official instructions can be proved.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Now, Sir, there are many kind of machines and tunnels through which Ministers or the officials can give order to the subordinates. They can do so by telephoning them, 'please do this and do that'. This cannot be recorded and we cannot prove it but only thing we can prove is from the action. For instance, Government will give only the names of people who are allotted contract work and we shall have to take is as we do not have access to official and confidential files. Any way, since our Chief Minister has stated that he is ready to take any action if we can prove the allegation, so I will try do so, Sir.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-I repeat I want your protection, Sir, the Member should be asked to prove the allegation.
Mr. Speaker :- The allegation as brought out by the hon. Member is a very serious thing and the hon. Member had spoken in a different tone that some of the people from the Ruling Party are trying to talk. These are friendly talks perhaps which every Member of this House would always try to get something for the people of his own constituency. This is a regular practice done every where. But when the hon. Member stated that the Government had given instructions to the Executive, Engineers S.D.Os. and overseers., the Member himself must take the responsibility to prove before the House that there is such a case. And if there is such a thing, the Member can even table a vote of no-confidence against the Government. But, of course if the hon. Member wants to say something else, such serious allegation can be withdrawn also.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- I do not remember to have said that Government has given instruction.
Mr. Speaker :- Ministers mean the Government.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Then Sir, what I mentioned is about the statement made in public meetings and so long I do not have the papers here. I have to withdraw, Sir, (Laughter).
Now, Sir, it has been stated in the budget speech of the Finance Minister that "with the influx of refugees in an almost unparalled manner in the history of the world and its consequent repercussions, the economy of this poor State of ours was put to a severe strain". The refugees have gone back to their hearth and homes. Excuse me, Sir, if my English is not correct, that with the out-flux of the refugees, what has happened to our people in the border areas? What have they left within the boundaries of 10 miles of Indo- Pak conflict? Our people had to leave their homes, and their lands are lying uncultivated and they have to stop all their cultivation work altogether. For the refugees Government, has been able to provide shelter and give relief but what about relief given to our people? Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the last session of the Assembly the Chief Minister said that something will be done for rehabilitation of our people in the border areas, people whose houses have been burnt, people whose gardens have been damaged as a result of the conflict. These people have not been able to get any relief uptil now from the Government. I have seen that whatever relief that has been given by the Government is of little help, here and there. So I request the Chief Minister to see that some relief can be given to these people, I mean, the border areas people who have been affected by the out-flux of refugees, and whose economic conditions have become worse since then. On the influx of refugees I would like to say that I agree with what Finance Minister has said in his budget speech when he said that the year 1972 is the most notable year for the people of Meghalaya for the people of the border area, because of the Indo-Bangla Trade Agreement has been signed. And we do nto know when the Agreement will be implemented. The border people within a radius of 10 miles from the border areas are asking when will the permit be issued? We could not give them any answer. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would urge upon the Government that whenever there is any agreement, it should be implemented as early as possible in the interest of the people of the border areas. The year 1972 also has been the year very notable in so far as the creation of the Civil District of Jaintia Hills is concerned. Our Chief Minister went to Jowai and inaugurated the civil District the S.D.O. and other staff. I am glad to tell that the Chief Minister had inaugurated the District of Jaintia Hills but I would also like to say that this is only a Sub- district which has come into existence only before the last General Elections. After the declaration of the full- fledged State, after the inauguration of the Civil District nothing has been done to show the people of the existence of the Jaintia Hills District. The only thing by which we know of its existence is that the D.C. is there in place of the S.D.O. Another notable event during the year 1972 is the creation of the Assam-Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation. I would like to point out one thing in this connection that this Assam-Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation simply reveals the failure of our Government to take over the G.S. Route. Even though there are beautiful Buses plying in the Shillong-Cherra road and some of the beautiful buses are plying here and there, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is regretted that the key road, i.e., the G.S. Road is still under the management and control of the Government of Assam especially with regard to the issue of permits. Another even and most notable events of the year 1972 as the Hon'ble Finance Minister has stated is the creation of the Meghalaya Armed Police Battalion. It is no wonder at all to say that this is still an Assam Police Battalion. It was known as the Meghalaya Armed Police Battalion only in name but not in reality. This creation of a battalion has aroused the feelings and cheerfulness in the mind of all our youths that the Meghalaya Armed Police ahs come into existence with a mind really to find a job. That it should at least extend employment incentives to our young me. Some of them being overjoyed with the coming of this new Department, have already measured their height weight, etc., and checked up themselves for joining into the Meghalaya Police.
But it is a matter of grave concern to know that the Battalion is created only in the name of Meghalaya but none of the Meghalayans were taken in. I would like that our Hon'ble Finance Minister takes a serious note of this by giving chances to our own people first so that it may really become our Meghalaya Police Battalion. Now, I would also like t come to another important point of the notable year, 1972, i.e., the Government of Assam is going to shift their capital away from Shillong;. This idea of shifting of the capital from Shillong has been welcomed by the people of Meghalaya and as it has been welcomed by the people of Assam. But there are so many unhappy people also there has developed a sense of uneasiness in some parts of Shillong.
Sir, I am afraid to say that there are about 50 percent of the Assam Government employees from the Khasi, Jaintia and other Hill communities remaining under the Government of Assam since the Government of Meghalaya can not absorb all of them and I cannot say whether they will be absorb in the departments of the Meghalaya Government in the coming days or not, I am not sure. And Mr. Speaker, Sir, I dare say that with the shifting of the capital from Shillong these Hills employees would form part of the Assam population. I believe the Finance Minister should pay proper attention to t his very very urgent matter.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is my honest request to the Government nto to neglect our own people, our own people who had given active participation in demonstration, took part in Hartals and rejoicing in the fight-for a separate State. I do urge upon this Government to see that while shifting the capital they should nto shift the population.
Please give me another 2 minutes, Sir, I promise I will not speak any more in the next session.
Mr. Speaker :- I have given you chances yesterday and day before but you have not spoken. Now, I cannot give you any more time.
Mr. Speaker :- I now request Prof. P.G. Marbaniang to speak.
*Prof P.G. Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the achievement of a full- fledged State was really a great event in the history of the Hills people. It has also aroused great expectations for the amelioration of their lot and development according to their own genius. I am very happy to see that the budget speech of the Finance Minister has spelled out different schemes which will develop this very backward region. But what is the great importance, I feel Sir, is nto only to spell out these schemes but also to spell out how these schemes are to be implemented because people do nto believe in schemes only; they want to see that goods are delivered because here.
(A voice: Yes.)
mere display of schemes will not help us because, people will judge us by our performances and not by writing of platitudes in the budget speech. What we need is a strong Development Department. As it is, I am sorry that such department does not exist here in Meghalaya because in the absence of a strong, efficient and forceful central machinery to co-ordinate and integrate the department in a planned manner, the performance of the Development Department become desultory, haphazard, disorganised and will lead to waste of resources and materials. This, I feel, is what the Government should do; planning both to co-ordinate and integrate different schemes so that there would be no overlapping in different schemes to be put up to the Government.
Sir, we know that the Gauhati University has adopted Assamese as medium of instruction for the next academic year. Of course English is there, but in spite of that, I am sure our students will be put in adverse position to compete with these people who have to answer in their own language. Sir, I am sorry there is no mention about Hill University, but I am sure our Government must have expedited the different machineries to bring about our Hills University. This is what we need. Let us not be too complacent otherwise we may be drawn into the clutches of complacency. I have also seen in news papers Sir, that many of the students are crying for not receiving their scholarships. It is really very unfortunate. I known that from the Government of India, there are special scholarships, but it is very unfortunate that some of the non-tribal students reading in colleges and universities have not received their scholarships right from 1971. I wish that Government should go into this matter and try to do something for these suffering students. Also Sir, what I would like to suggest to the Government is to have a better Excise Department. It is really shameful that in Shillong itself, there are more than 200 illicit liquor houses. I do not know whether there is any Excise Department at all Meghalaya. In my area only, in the main road, if you go you will find about 80 of these houses selling liquor. It is a pity that students and small boys go to these restaurants and forget their duties as students. I wish that the Government should really look into this matter, take strong measures and try to do something in order to uplift the morality of the people here.
Next Sir, I am very happy to see in the Budget Speech that there has been a progress in the production of potato. In my last speech I suggested that much of the benefits are not derived by the people who grow. There should be some sort of Department to enquire, to find out ways and means to solve this exploitation by the middlemen. Sir, I know that from potato starch, glucose etc can be manufactured if the Government is really serious to help our people. Sir, through you, I would request the Government to go into the feasibility of introducing these factories which will help the potato growers and will also offer employment opportunities to many people. Then Sir, coming to the much talked bank loans from the banks. It is very unfortunate that banks do not extend loan facilities to people beyond 10 miles from the area of operation. Who really need these loans are the people in the rural areas but will they really get the benefit of only within 10 miles the banks can give the loans? Most of the people come from 20 to 25 miles away, therefore, I would suggest that branches of different banks, nationalised bank should be established in different areas so that loans will be given to our poor farmers and to our industrialists who really need these loans. Sir, it is true that with the shifting of the Capital we will have a great problem because most of our own people are working in the Assam Government I wish that our Government should enquire into this very serious problem. We should try to create employment opportunities to absorb these people who have to go down, and Sir, I would suggest to the Government that merit should be the basis of taking these people. In absorbing these people on merit, Sir, no other consideration, if a man or a woman is meritorious, he or she will be taken and no other consideration. This is a very serious matter which I would appeal to the Government to make a through study so that when the time comes, it will not be a difficult problem. Sir, it is very disheartening to see in the Budget Speech that establishment Industries is lacking far behind in the State. Here mention is made about a Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation, but I do not know how far this Corporation has taken up the work till today. This is the department which can create employment opportunities, this is the Department which can train up young men and women. Now we are nto facing this problem of unemployment very much but a time will come when many more educated young men and women will be there, unless we think of them right from now, when it comes it will come like an avalanche. Therefore, I appeal to the Government especially to the Department of Industries to think of the future programmes and of immediate programmes as well. Unless we do this, I see that the future does not look very good for us. I have heard for quite some time now, that the Meter Factory will be taken up by the Government here to convert it into precision factory, making of watches etc. I was very happy to hear about that, but I do not know how far the Government has progressed in this field. This, I am sure, will train our young men and women and will give them employment opportunities. Sir, we know that now most of the planning undertaken by the Government of India is to decentralize so that they will not depend much on one body. When the Planning Body is given the different schemes these are forwarded to the different to take up, and therefore, I agree with the hon. Member from Jowai when he demands that there should be another Civil Subdivision in the Bhoi areas. This, I am sure, will help those people very much because people from the remotest part of the Bhoi are having nothing, have to come all the way to Shillong. This is time consuming, energy consuming, money consuming etc. But if we can create another subdivision, much of the trifling matter can be taken up in the Subdivision itself. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now I would request Mr. Joshi to speak.
Shri D.N. Joshi (Cantonment) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset I would like to congratulate our Hon'ble Finance Minister for his observations in the Budget Speech for the year 1972-73. His observation is very notable for the people of Meghalaya in that we got our full fledge State and I feel that it is also notable in that there has been apprehensions in the minds of the people living here especially those who are serving under the Government of Assam that they would be dislocated or dislodged economically due to shifting of the capital; the inevitable result of the division of the State. Now, Sir, everybody knows that the Government of Assam has proposed to take the Capital from Shillong to Gauhati within this year and nothing effective has come out from the Government of Assam has proposed to take the Capital from Shillong to Gauhati within the year and nothing effective has come out from the Government of Meghalaya though assurance was given to the people of Meghalaya serving in the Government of Assam that they would be retained here and they would never be allowed to be dislocated or dislodged. But it is evident that the children of the people of Meghalaya serving under Assam will have to leave Shillong and would have to face starvation on account of the division of their establishment. All Government servants are not highly paid most of them are low paid employees. But I am afraid, the children of an immense magnitude due to division of establishment. Now Sir, in the second paragraph, our Finance Minister has rightly observed "in the world of today, Political developments in one country cast there inescapable shadows on the others". In support to his observation I admit that the recognition of Bangladesh has cast a shadow or impact on the socio-economic structure of ours today. But nowhere in the Budget speech I could find any shadow or impact allowed to be cast on the socio-economic structure of our State from the development taking part in other parts in our own country.
(At this stage the Hon'ble Speaker left the Chamber and the Dy. Speaker took the Chair).
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Members of the august House are aware of the fact that great changes are taking place in India in the matter of land ceilings. Land Tenure Act, Urban Property Ceiling Acts, etc., have been enforce in other States. But in the Budget Speech of ours the Hon'ble Finance Minister is silent on this score. I need that Political development taking place outside our country could cast its shadow on us but the developments taking place inside our own country of which we are a part and parcel and being an integral part of this great country India of ours, could not have any shadow or impact on the socio economic structure of our State. In other States in India legislations are being enacted to curry the trend of getting prosperous by a handful of people at the cost of others. The Government of India as well as the other sister States have realised that something tangible must be done to create an egalitarian society in the country and they have taken up some measures to put a ceiling on lands of rural and urban areas and also on the urban properties so that a few people may not widen the gap between the richer and weaker section of the people. Ours is a country dedicated to socialistic idea and a socialist society. The gap between the richer and poorer section should be bridged and measures ought to have been taken here also in that direction. But I fail to notice from the Budget Speech of our Finance Minister that nothing has been thought of in that light. In Meghalaya there are peculiar land tenure systems. In Khasi Hills especially lands, it is said, belong to the clans and to the people and in Garo Hills lands belong to the (Nokmas). But the facts are different in Khasi Hills. So far as I could gather from some of my friends who are in the know of things that about ¾ of the population of Khasi Hills and more than half the population of Garo Hills are landless. Now, in the Budget Speech we found that the Government has envisaged different plans to extend loans to the farmers but unless a man or a so-called farmer gets a plot of land of his own what he or she will do with that loan to be given by the Government for the development of his or her land and agriculture, because I feel, Sir, it will go to the Zamindars or Headmen of the clan and the benefits would accrue to them and as much the poor farmers would always be deprived of their legitimate share of the earnings if they do not get the lands as their absolute property.
On account of the peculiar land tenure system and on account of the Land Transfer Act a fair section of the people of Meghalaya do not have and can not have any ownership over land and subsequently they cannot get any benefit out of the schemes drawn up by the Government to provide loans for development of the farmers. This is how even the Meghalayans themselves, the children of the soil, are deprived of the benefits extended to them through such development schemes.
Now, Sir, I am coming to the subject of price rise. The Government itself has confessed that the price index has gone up and that they are trying to curb it as they did promise to try curbing it during the Provisional Assembly of Meghalaya. In spite of the State Government trying to do their level best to curb the price rise, the price level has reached such an extent that it has gone beyond the reach of the common people. Our hon. Ministers from their high pedestals; they have to come down below to enable them to see day-to-day way of life of the poor people to see how they are suffering. So, Sir, something must be done to curb the price rise.
In the matter of agriculture the Government ahs started to bring agriculture of the State on a scientific footing. But unless- I again emphasise the point-unless all the people, who are taking to agriculture as their avocation in life, have their own plots of land any scheme of the Government, however elevated and noble, would not be of much help to the farmers in particular and the people in general. As such, the gap between the rich and the poor instead of being bridge will be widened. Although ours is a hilly place, it is good that tractors and bull dozers could be provided and we welcome it. But simply by saying that the Government has undertaken to welcome it. But simply saying that the Government has under taken to educate the farmers in the matter of terracing and conserving of soil for better output from the fields will not do. I think, Sir, that in addition to holding of seminars and symposiums in the District headquarter we must also have some schemes like field publicity through which our cultivators could be educated properly in their own areas. I have been to Himachal Pradesh and the Garhwal District of U.P. and I saw that the nature of the soil there is somewhat similar to that in our hills in Meghalaya. But the extensive terracing taken up in those places yields greater return. Therefore, simply by applying bull dozers and tractors, I feel, Sir, will not solve the problem if our farmers in the fields are not properly educated and that also has to be taken up very soon.
Sir, in the matter of animal husbandry we know from the hon'ble Finance Minister's Budget Speech that in order to develop the livestock farm and breed of cattle, some good breeding bulls have been acquired and for this purpose some blocks have been set up. But I should like to point out to the Government, through you, Sir, that there are graziers in our hills and that it would be very wise on the part of the Government to supply these bulls to those existing graziers of the improvement of their cattle especially in the Bhoi area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Bhoi area, particularly in Umsning, a large number of graziers reside and carry on their profession but the Government has uptil now failed to come to their aid to augment milk production and to make them scientific minded and educate them especially in the matter of scientific dairy farming. The Government has totally failed to give proper education to the children of the graziers. Although some officers have been sent for training to foreign countries, I am sure, none of the graziers has been picked up to get higher education in the sphere of scientific dairy farming. There should be endeavour on the part of the Government to see that the children of the graziers are trained up so that they may become better graziers and better dairy farmers. But now the Government is adding to their difficulty by starting extensive cultivation schemes. It is quite good that extensive cultivation is promoted, but, at the same time, we must not ignore the lot of the graziers. As a matter of fact, in Assam and in other parts of the country there are grazing reserves. The Government should make effective steps in creating reserves in our State too, and by bringing up these measures any clash between the cultivators and the graziers could be avoided (bell rang). Please give me a few minutes as I have more observation which I consider are very important, Sir. So, I feel, that the Government should take up the matter of having grazing reserves in the hills.
Sir, the Government has earmarked a sum of Rs.1,50,000 to be given to the Shillong Municipality for development and beautification of the Shillong Town so that the metropolis of Meghalaya may be worth the name. Besides the municipal area the Shillong town consists of the Cantonment area also (laughter) and here Government has rightly said that the Government has taken over Shillong Cantonment also from the Government of Assam for administrative propose. But I feel, Sir, that they are thinking in their heart of hearts that development of Shillong Cantonment is under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. Now Sir, we want Shillong town to be the centre of tourists attraction. It is a fact that Shillong Cantonment forms part and parcel of Shillong Town. If it is allowed to remain as it is under the whims of the Government of India or the Defence Ministry, then, I feel, Sir, the image of Shillong will be like an one-eyed man or a handsome man limping on one leg and certainly a patch of beauty will become a part of horrible hell.
Captain W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Then you require a heart specialist or an Eye Specialist (Laughter).
Shri D.N. Joshi (Cantonment) :- So, Sir, I want that the Government should take up this task of acting as a heart specialist or an eye specialist to cure the disease. In the matter of health (bell rang), Sir, I find that Government is silent. (bell rang). A few minutes, Sir. A few minutes ago one of my friends from Laitumkhrah ahs very rightly stated that there are about 200 illicit distillery houses in Shillong town but this malady will surely have its impact in Cantonment area also. I being a representative of the Cantonment area cannot do any justice to my electors and since there is no scheme for development of Cantonment area in the budget speech therefore the people say that I am half an M.P. and half an M.L.A. So something must be done to see that Shillong gets rid of these social evils and the Cantonment area also is developed simultaneously. Sir, in the matter of Road Transport, the condition of the Shillong-Diengpasoh road is such that no car goes there even in times of emergency and people from villages have to bring there sick people to Shillong on the back of some other people because they do not get any conveyance. The condition of the road is such that even a jeep cannot ply and Government during the inaugural session of this august House had assured that they would take up the matter of improving this road. But up till now nothing has been done. Sir, in Shillong, taxi drivers do not use meters though taxis are fixed with meters. Sir, if you or anybody else wants to move by taxi you will find that they do not use meters. So here in Shillong it is indeed a problem and I do not see any reason why should Taxi owners be taxed for putting meters which are not used at all. So I want Government to take up effective measures to make all the drivers use meters for the convenience of the people. (bell rang). Thank you, Sir.
Shri Plansingh Marak (Kherapara S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to speak in support of the budget speech presented by the Finance Minister. There are points raised by different speakers suggesting that their needs for their own constituencies. We cannot but appreciate the Finance Minister for his attempt to give financial allotment to various departments under different heads. One cannot but appreciate the Finance Minister for his budget speech when he remembers that Meghalaya is only an infant State. When Meghalaya is today a State, we have to get from the Government of Assam only 38 crores as our share and it is really a sad thing to learn that we are not getting our due shares from the general Plan of Assam. These and other factors compelled us to run the day to day administration of our State with a deficit of 732.42 lakhs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also a sad thing to learn, as suggested by my friend, Mr. Marbaniang, that an amount of 4.23 crores to be paid to the Government of India was to be shared by Government of Assam also.
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- This is our share.
Shri Plansingh Marak (Kherapara S.T.) :- Now I may request the Government that instead of paying this money to the Government of India why not appeal Government India to write it off and instead make it available to be utilised for various developmental works. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while appreciating and supporting the Finance Minister for his budget estimate, I would like to make a few observations.
I now start with Agriculture first. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in our last general election, we pledged three important things to fulfill for our people. We promised to fulfill these three most important things and these are to remove poverty, to remove illiteracy and also to remove disease. Now to remove illiteracy our number one problem is to improve Agriculture and Industry. I think the Finance Minister for providing 1.14 lakhs 56 thousand rupees for Agriculture Department. It is true that this amount is too small for all developmental purposes, but considering the financial position of our State we cannot but remain satisfied with this amount. This amount is distributed to three districts under different heads. Various Development schemes I would like to give top priority to land reclamation. Unfortunately, when I look at the Budget, I fail to find any provision for this particular Department to improve it. So if there be any scope, I would appeal to the Government especially the Finance Minister to allot some amount for this particular Department. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, land reclamation is one of the most important problems in Garo Hills. People came to me to ask if there is a scheme for land reclamation. So far, I have not been able to tell them whether the scheme for land reclamation is there or not. Now, Sir, there are many wet cultivable lands in Garo Hills. These lands remain untouched for hundred of years. I am grateful and also proud of my people who are keeping their old traditions and customs in the form of Nokmas. Yesterday and today I have heard in this House that hon. Members are speaking about these Nokmas and that no developmental works can progress in Garo Hills because of them. Actually, the Nokmas are keeping these lands as custodians. Had there been no Nokmas in Garo Hills, all the wet cultivable lands would pass on to the outsiders. Even today, there many outsiders who are looking at these lands with covetous eyes. They want to possess them. But because of the presence of the Nokmas, the outsiders cannot exploit all these lands. So I would request the Government to allow the Nokma system to continue for ages to come. If once the Nokma system it abolished, then the valuable lands will definitely go to these unscrupulous people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have nto seen any Nokmas refusing to give any land when asked for. For construction of the residences of B.S.F. it is not the land given by the Nokmas? For Agricultural Research Station, is it not the land of the Nokmas. For construction of the Women Social Welfare Centre, is it not the land of the Nokmas? No Nokmas have ever refused their lands for the welfare of the State. Therefore, I advocate that Government should do something to preserve the Nokmas system instead of abolishing it. But Government should do something for the betterment of the Nokmas and for the welfare of the State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding land reclamation, I would like to say about one particular place. Before I came to this Assembly, I went to a particular place and the name of that place is Amindagiri. I was surprised to find in that place that there are vast and flat lands, but are nto utilised for the purpose of agriculture. If these lands are converted into wet cultivation, I am sure that in these lands about 500 families can be brought to those land and production will be increased. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many lands are lying untouched. So now, I request the Government to come forward with various schemes for development and to convert these waste lands into cultivable lands so that food production will increase. In my constituency, Sir, I have seen suitable lands for terrace cultivation. In my area in Kherapara about 12 miles from Chokpot, there are suitable places which can be used for wet cultivation and also for terrace cultivation. But these are left uncultivated for want of technical assistance. If various schemes are introduced then I am definitely sure that Garo Hills will become a self-sufficient District in food production. I would also like to bring to the notice of the Agriculture Department that there has been a great demand for power tillers. I would, therefore, request the Government to give more more power tillers to my district so that the people can improve cultivation. While speaking about this, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would, like to say that under the Agriculture Department, that there is a wing called the Land Use Survey Department. Some amount of money has been allotted for this wing. But I do not know what action this Wing has taken. I do not find any report from the Land Use Survey Department. If they had actually surveyed, there would have been reports on reclamation. But so far they have not done anything. So, I request the Government to see that this particular Wing do something for the development of Agriculture. Another thing I would like to mention is about the Marketing Society. I do not know what sort of Marketing is being done by this Department. There are trucks and personnel of course. But they are doing nothing neither they are bringing food grains from different places to this Marketing Society to improve the agricultural products, e.g., ginger is lying idle. If the Agriculture Department particularly the Marketing Society, help the ginger growers to transport ginger to different places, I am definitely sure better price would be coming for the ginger growers. The ginger cultivators are selling ginger at Rs.4 per maund. It is disappointing and I appeal to the Government to take up this matter also. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, much has been said about potato cultivation. I regret to say that nothing ahs been mentioned regarding improvement of ginger growing and also no provision has been made for improving the price of ginger.
I would also like to draw the attention of the Government to the cultivation of tapioca also, which is sold at very negligible price. If the Government can help, it will be of great help to the cultivators of tapioca also. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since my time is limited, I will come to Public Works Department. I have nothing much to say regarding this Department. In the Budget, I fail to see any provision having been made regarding the road from Kherapara to Rimnangpara I would request to the Government to take up this road, also, as it is a very important road. If this road is improved, I am sure that the lands which are suitable for cultivation can be brought under cultivation.
Next, I would like to suggest regarding local contractors. I was surprised to see that contract works are not given to the road people. Many educated young persons came to me in order to give them financial certificate to register as Public Works Department contractors. Many of these young boys are desirous to take up this contract business. But unfortunately, the contract works are given to Marwaris, merchants, big contractors and rawas coming from outside the State. But the local people are not given works.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- What do you mean by Rawas?
Shri Plansingh Marak (Kherapara S.T.) :- Rawas are those people coming from Bihar. May I request the Government to provide ample opportunity for contract works to the local people. I would request the Government to allot work for ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 rupees to be executed by the small contractors. Next I would like to speak about the immediate completion of odd Dalu- Baghmara road. Now that Bangladesh has signed a trade agreement with India, I think this road has assumed great importance. I would request the Government to improve this road at an early date so that the trade with Bangladesh can be facilitated. I would like to mention that an amount of Rs.21,13,000 has been allotted for rural water supply. I would request the Government to extend the rural water supply scheme to Amindagiri area also. I was surprised to find that there is no water in that area, and it is very difficult to get water. People of that village are getting water from Daru river which is not suitable for domestic purpose. So I would request the Government to look into this and extend water supply to that village.
Coming to employment, I find that employment of the local people in the Public Works Department is not made. I am sorry to say that in the South Division not a single Garo employees is employed. It is surprising because there are many local p0eople who are suitable to be appointed as clerks or drivers but instead some Shilhetia people have been recruited in this particular Department. This state or things is very objectionable. Our local Garo people or Meghalayans should be given opportunity of employment and I do not mean only a Garo, Khasi or Jaintia, but let it be weather he is a Nepalee, a Bengalee or Assamese so long he is the one who was born and brought up in Meghalaya. Why people from outside the State should come? This is the most objectionable thing. So I would like to appeal to the Department to supply statistics to the Government and also I would like to request the Government to give ample opportunity of employment to our local people. I would also like to request the Government to direct the Department concerned to construct the Normal School building because last time I approached the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department of Tura North Division to execute the construction of the Normal School building. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since there are other hon. Member who will speak, I do not like to take their time. So with these few words I resume my seat.
Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to participate in the budget discussion because many of the hon. Members have spoken already and actually I have nothing more to say. However, I would like to express my thanks of our Finance Minister that in this year's budget there is no proposal for new taxation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, primarily I want to put before the Government some of the grievances of my area and some suggestions. First of all, Sir, I want to say a few words on Agriculture. At page 4 of the Budget Speech, in the last portion it has been said that "production of jute and mesta is expected to register a slight increase this year as against 1970-71" Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether our Meghalaya Government really wants to encourage the growing of mesta in Garo Hills. This mesta jute was not cultivated in our areas before. It was brought from East Pakistan long before. It was brought from East Pakistan long before, 30 years back, and at that time, the cultivation of this crop was banned by the Pakistan Government. This crop eats up the fertility of the soil and as a result the agricultural production is lessened. It effects the fish, their growth and annihilates them. Some Nokmas have banned its cultivation understanding it serious after effects and the disastrous economy that they may face and the Government should see into this matter so that this "Mesta Jute" cultivation is discouraged. Its cultivation in the jhumming areas or in the plain areas is now spreading to my area and the entire District. Our is a deficit State in food production, the lands are also limited, population is increasing every year and the trend of increasing cultivation will affect our State seriously. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would request the Government that immediate measure be taken to diagnose whether it is really harmful and I would request the Government to ban its cultivation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to refer to the Denginagiri pucca Bund in Garo Hills near Boldamgiri Village which was constructed at the cost of about one lakh. But just after the completion the said Bund was broken. By incurring one lakh of rupees the poor cultivators could not get a drop of water for their cultivation and it actually created a resentment and helplessness on the part of the poor cultivators. I think Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you had also visited the area and at that time people of that area had given you a memorandum complaining of the Dengginarigiri irrigation project. I think the bund was constructed improperly by the contractor and now this bund is damaged. In some portion of this bund, boulders have been used and I think cement proportion of this bund, boulders have been used and I think cement proportion was very very less. So I would like to request the Government to repair this bund as the cost of repair will not be very high, only a small sum will be sufficient for the repair of this bund and on completion of this bund the cultivators will have water supply for their lands.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to propose to Government that 2 Nos. of irrigational projects be taken up in my constituency by the District Agricultural Office and by the Block Development Department. We can only take up schemes respectively an amount of Rs.10,000 or Rs.5,000 alone. But for bigger one we can not. And so I approach the Government with the hope that the Government will consider for constructing the 2 Nos irrigation projects in my area, the particulars of which I am giving below. I am very grateful to Rev. Gadasingh Marak of Kalaicharpara who has taken the initiative to lead the local people in this area for agricultural purpose and to construct a katcha bunds across the Kole streams 1 mile apart from Boldamgiri Village. This has greatly helped the people to bring more areas under cultivation of paddy and help increasing production of food- grains. But the difficulty is that every year they had to construct that Katcha Bund at Kole stream because during the rains due to over flow of water and it got damaged. By District Agriculture Office or by Block, we cannot construct it because the amount is more. So pucca bunds should be constructed across the Kolestream by the Government which is a perennial stream. There is a particular small river in my constituency. It is Rangkai river. This river can be made useful by constructing bunds for irrigation purposes. If the work is taken up it is expected that the cultivators will be greatly benefited and production of food-grains will increase by two or three times. It is a drought affected area and many Tribal Villages with some several thousand acres of cultivable lands are on both side of the said river. By taking an irrigational project here, poor cultivators of that area will be in a position raise crops ¾ times in a year.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to draw the attention of the Government to the fact that six or seven years back 10 (ten) lakhs of rupees was given as grant to the Garo Hills District Council for land reclamation and to distribute it to actual re-claimers. But I am sorry to say that in rural areas so many cultivators did not get a single pie. Though they have actually done the reclamation work as per the instruction and order of the Council. I think our Government should send direction to the District Council of Garo Hills that this amount should be immediately disbursed to the actual re-claimers and then Sir, this long pending payment actually created a very bitter resentment in the entire district. I would touch now on Animal Husbandry I would like to inform you, Sir, that improved varieties of poultry, pigs, goats, etc. are being distributed by the Blocks for supply to the interested people and actually some villagers are doing well in rearing the improved varieties. Some of them are really good varieties. But I would like to point out in this respect that these improved varieties of pigs, goats, hens after having reared and brought up by the people, the Blocks should come forward to purchase them for breeding from these tribal people. I think this will encourage our people because there is a saying in the villages that Government always purchase these improved varieties through the Government Agencies from Government farms only and not from our own local rearers who have adopted improved variety. If the Government purchase all these things form the villagers these tribal people will get much encouragement and will be interested in these improved breeds. I therefore, wish that the Government should pay proper attention in this respect.
Now I will observe something about Community Development Project. Many of the hon. Members and my friends have spoken about the Block Development. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point is quite different from those that were already spoken by them. I would confine myself not to all the Blocks but to my own particular Block in my district, that is Zigzag Development Block. I don't know about the other Blocks-what is going on there. Of course I am also not fully satisfied with what is going on in my road projects, land reclamation works etc., which are the developmental activities to the Block are being worked out by the Department to the extent possible. I think in this way out of hundred per cent of our expectation at least 60 or 70 per cent are achieved. There are also some defects on the public side and if we actually intend to have some good things we should be honest and a bit industrious and hard working. It is also a fact that some officers are also not working sincerely and properly in the Blocks. I therefore don't like the idea that the Block should be done away with as some of the hon. Members have pointed out.
Then Sir, I would like to come to P.W.D. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to draw the attention of the Government to the following facts and so far as my information is concerned I know that the Government had asked the preparation of 2 Nos. of linked plans and road estimates with regard to the link road from Kalaichargimbilgitim to Dhoramchase on the Ampati- Mohendraganj P.W.D. rd linking through the following villages, Garagiri, Makdual, Konapara, Kuddhowa Boldamgiri and Mohendraganj P.W.D. Road, and another road linking the Ampathi to Mohendraganj P.W.D. Road and Baldamgiri-Mohendraganj P.W.D. Road and thus linking road through the Nogonpara village. I was informed that the estimates were asked for by the Government but could not be furnished as these are lying on the table of one S.D.O. f the P.W.D. Mohendraganj sub-division. So I would request the Government to direct the S.D.O concerned.
to submit the estimates immediately Sir, again the Road from Ampati to Mohendraganj has not been properly metalled, and gravelling ahs not been properly done. And there is a danger that buses fully loaded with passengers might slip don to the hill slopes. So, Sir, I would request the Government that proper gravelling be done on this road as soon as possible. Sir, on the Magurmari to Dorgapra Road on the Ampati Mohendraganj P.W.D. Road there are some culverts and these culverts have already broken. Though there was plenty of time for repair by the department but no action was taken by the department only some planks and slippers were placed upon those broken culverts and any time accident may occur. I would therefore request the Government to take speedy measures in his respect. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, every year at least 2/3 times District sub-development Meetings are held where district heads of all department and public representatives assembled for discussion and suggestions etc. But the Executive Engineers seldom come to attend these meetings. As a matter of fact, huge amounts are spent on road Communication and I feel that our responsible P.W.D. officers like executive Engineers should also join in the discussions for the sake of speedy measures to be taken in the Road construction.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Your time is up.
Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) :- Yes Sir, I do not like to take the time of the House and now I will resume my seat though I had some other important points to mention. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The House stands adjourned till 9 a.m. tomorrow, the 23rd June, 1972.
|The 22nd June, 1972.||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|