PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY HELD AT 9 A.M. ON FRIDAY, THE 23RD JUNE, 1972 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG WITH THE HON. SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.
QUESTION AND ANSWERS
(To which oral replies were given)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us start with to-day's list of Business, i.e. Starred Questions.
Starred Question No. 8 (Not put Member being absent.)
Starred Question No. 9 :
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :
Will the Minister-in-charge of Veterinary be pleased to state -
How many Veterinary Hospitals are there in the State (District wise) ?
How many of these are in the rural areas ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary ) replied :
There is only one Veterinary Hospital in Shillong in the Khasi Hills District, in the State.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know as to how many such Dispensaries the Government proposes to establish this year, i.e. 1972-73.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary ) :- The Government proposes to set up 2 more such Dispensaries.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Sir, may I know. the locations where these will be set up ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary ) :- One at Sutnga and the other at Nongpoh.
Starred Question No. 10 -
Visit of Central Government High Officials for Rural Credit Programme :
Shri Francis K. Mawlot asked :-
Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state
Whether it is fact that some high officials from the Central Government have visited Shillong for discussion with the State Government relating to Rural Credit Programme in the month of May, 1972 ?
If so, whether it is a fact that programme of entertainment has been made by the Department in one of the days during their stay in Shillong ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary ) :- replied
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, of State i/c of P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have to reply to yesterday supplementaries.
Mr. Speaker :- Since the hon. Member is absent, you may place the replies on the Table of the House.
Mr. Speaker :- Now let us proceed with the Unstarred Questions
(To which replies were laid on the Table)
Mr. Speaker :- Now let us pass on to item No. 2 of today's list of Business i.e. the call attention notice given by Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- I want to call the attention of the Chief Minister under rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and conduct of Business to a news item published in the Democratic Review of the 16th June, 1972 under the caption "Retrenched Personnel of Relief and Rehabilitation Department of Meghalaya facing acute hardship". In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am to say that I have submitted this call attention notice because some of the retrenched personnel of R.R. Department had the opportunity to meet me and the Chief Minister. So I shall be satisfied to have a statement from the Chief Minister on this matter.
Mr. Speaker :- Since the item is on the floor of the House, I will call the Chief Minister to make a statement.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are aware that there was a huge influx from the then East Pakistan and now Bangladesh and the State of Meghalaya had to look after this huge number of refugees from across the Border. The Relief and Rehabilitation staff of the Government of Meghalaya to cope with the exigencies arising out of the sudden and massive influx of refugees in 1971 from the then East Pakistan were appointed purely on a temporary basis subject to discharge without notice and without assigning any reasons whatsoever. The influx started from the end of March, 1971 and by the end of September-October of that year the refugee population in the State was nearing the enormous figure of 7 lakhs. A number of officers and staff had therefore to be appointed hurriedly to cope with the various problems of relief operation. With the successful end of the India-Pakistan war in December 1971 the refugees started going back to their homeland since called Bangladesh. With their return the qu4estion of retrenching the staff arose. The Government realising the difficulties of the R.R. personnel thrown out of employment as a result of the closure of relief camps made the following decision on the 11th May, 1972.
"It was also decided that the names of eligible candidates who are retrenched from R.R. Department will be circulated to al the Departments and Directorates of the Government and also the concerned Districts with the direction that preference should also be given to them while filling up vacancies in respect of posts carrying a maximum of pay not exceeding Rs. 500. In such cases, it will not be necessary to make a reference to the State Selection Board or District Selection Board as the case may be. Personnel Department will issue orders intimating this position."
"The retrenched personnel of R.R. Department will be given age concession for one year for competing in any competitive test held to fill up future vacancies".
The Deputy Commissioners were requested on the 29th last to submit the particulars of all categories of relief staff employed in camps during the 1971 influx of the refugees from the then East Pakistan and also of those who have since been retrenched.
I also contacted the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills, in this regard and the break-up is also follows :-
The head-quarters staff consisting of 1 Head Assistant, 3 Accountants; 2 Upper Division Assistants, 5 Lower Division Assistants, 2 Typists and 1 Godown Accountant and from other Grade IV staff are being retained.
The position as regard the field staff is as follows :-
Assistant Camp Commandant : Out of a total of 22, 18 have been retrenched. Out of this 18, 9 have been reverted to original posts and three have got fresh appointments in subordinate positions.
Upper Division Assistants : Out of a total of 2, all of them have been reverted to their original posts.
Accountants : Out of a total of 3, all have reverted to their original posts.
Lower Division Assistants : Out of a total of 19, all have been retrenched. Of this, one had been reverted to the original post of Lower Division Assistant in another Department.
Office Peons and Chowkidars : Out of a total of 37, all have been retrenched.
Drivers : Out of a total of 45, 40 have been retrenched. Among Handyman, out of a total of 32, all have been retrenched. Some of them might have not got employment by private employers. This is for Garo Hills. The break-up for Khasi & Jaintia Hills is as follows :-
Headquarters Staff :- Head Assistant - one - Released one. Accountant- One- he is still being retained. Accountant-cum Store Keeper- One - he is being retained. Upper Division Assistant - One , he is still being retained. Lower Division Assistant - Two, they are still being retained. Accounts Assistant - One, he is still being retained. Typists - One, he is still being retained. Peons - Three, 2 are retained and one has been released. Chowkidars cum-scaleman-One, he is released.
Assistant, Camp Commandant - 38 appointed, 32 released and 13 have gone back to their parent Departments and 6 have been retained.
Accountants - 16 appointed, 15 released, one is still continuing,
Upper Division Assistants - 33 appointed, 32 released, one is being retained.
Lower Division Assistants - 3 appointed, 3 retrenched.
Store Keepers - 26 appointed, 25 released, one is being retained.
Peons - 59 appointed, 55 released, four are being retained.
Drivers - 68 appointed, 45 released and 23 are being retained.
Lady Welfare Officer - 4 appointed, all have been released.
In the Secretariat and in the Directorate, as per decision of the Government out of 13 vacancies for Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills in the Lower Division Assistants cadre, 4 posts will be made available for the retrenched personnel and 5 for the Garos. In the Directorate out of the total vacancies of 16, 12 will be reserved for the Garos and 4 for the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. For the posts of typists in the Secretariat, out of 5 vacancies, one for Khasi Jaintia Hi8lls and 4 for the Garos. Typists in the Directorate, Khasi and Jaintia Hills 3 and for the Garo 6 out of the total vacancies of 9. Selection of retrenched personnel will be done initially by the R/R. Department whose recommendation will be normally accepted by the Government. Apart from this the Government is also considering the question of absorbing all these officers in the new posts to be created for the implementation of the Indo-Bangladesh Trade Agreement along the border. We are submitting our proposal to the Government of India for this machinery and once these posts are sanctioned, it is expected that some more of these personnel can absorbed. But since it is still under correspondence, I do not want to go into the details but I would like to inform the hon. member of the House that the Government is equally anxious to see that these retrenched personnel are absorbed as far as possible. I would like, through you, Sir, to request Prof. Majaw and other hon. Members of the House to appreciate that in spite of the best attempts on the part of the Government it may not be possible for us to absorb all the retrenched personnel. In this connection, I would also like to request the hon. Members to appreciate the unemployment problem. Only in the last two days when the hon. Members have been participating in the general discussion on the budget, I have had the occasion to mention about a huge number of staff belonging to Meghalaya who would be required to go down to the plains as result of the shifting of capital. Now, these are the problems; it is not only the problem of giving employment to the retrenched personnel of the Relief and Rehabilitation Department, but in some other Departments also there has been temporary entertainment of staff. We have to look to these unfortunate personnel and to see how best it will be possible for the Government to absorb these personnel. Therefore, while we are all anxious that there retrenched personnel from the R/R. Department should as far as possible be provided with alternative jobs some other cases will also have to be considered by the Government.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Sir, I am sorry to raise questions. There is one part of the statement which perhaps is not there and that is regarding the arrear salary of these persons. None of them has received salary since March, 1972. This is part of their hardships.
Mr. Speaker :- In fact, it is not mentioned here. But if the Hon'ble Chief Minister thinks that it is very necessary to give a statement he can do it.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker sir, I would not be in a position to give the hon. Member a definite and detailed information regarding this. But I know there are certain difficulties, as for example, a number of A.R.R.Os who were later on known as Assistant Camp Commandants, have been appointed on emergency basis and these posts have been filled up more or less under Regulation 3 (f) of the Assam Public Service Commission and according to the provision of the rule, subject to correction, these appointments have to be regularised within a period of six months. So, these A.R.R.Os who were appointed right from the beginning have completed the period of six months during their tenure of service. For that period they got their salary. But for the excess period there has been objection from the Accountant General and unless and until these appointments are regularised by the competent authority, the Accountant General has refused to issue pay slips to them. There is another category of personnel for which some further informations are being awaited form the district administration. However, these are the things which I can just remember. But it is a fact that a number of these personnel have not been able to get their pay due to certain technical and other difficulties.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to item No. 3 May I request the Minister Revenue to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) bill 1972.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) bill 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- The motion is moved. The question is that have be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 1972. Two motion is carried and leave is granted
Shri Edwingson Bareh ( Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- The motion is moved. The question is that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 1972, be introduced . (The motion was carried)
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill)
Mr. Speaker :- Now let us pass on to item No. 4 but before we resume the general discussion on the Budget, may I have the sense of the House that to-day being Friday and according to rules, the House is to sit from 9 A.M. to 11.30 A.M. But since there are 11hon. Members who would participate today, if we sit upto 11.30 A.M., I am afraid that each hon. Member will have only 10 minutes to speak. So may I have the sense of the House that today the House may have its second sitting from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. so that each and every hon. Member will have 20 minutes each to participate.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate that 11 hon. Members will participate in the general discussion on the Budget. But today as you have correctly said is Friday and in order to give facilities to our Muslim friends in the Assembly and also here on Friday the House usually sits from 9.00 A.M. to 11.30 A.M. So I think it will not be nice and does not look good without taking the opinion of our Muslim friends. And on the other hand we have some other engagements. But in spite of insufficient time all the hon. Members should be given the opportunity to participate in the general discussion. (Voice from all sides - yes, yes).
Shri Akrommozzaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no objection if the House resumes its sitting in the afternoon from 2.30 P.M. to 4.30 P.M. because by that time we have finished our mosque prayers.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since usually on Friday, the House sits from 9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. we have to-day some engagements - official works to do in the office. So it will be difficult for us it the sitting of House is extended in the afternoon.
Shri H. Enowell Pohsna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no rest. For the whole week we have to sit without any rest and it is really a very great strain for us. If you extend the sitting of the House to another day for the general discussion on the budget, it will greatly relieve us from this great strain.
Mr. Speaker :- No other day is left. Tomorrow it has been fixed for the Ministers to intervene and the Finance Minister to reply to the Budget Speech and I hope all the hon. Members will like to hear the reply of the Hon'ble Finance Minister.
Shri S.D.D. Nichol Roy (Minister, Industries , etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if it is possible the sitting of the House may be extended by half an hour as our Muslim Members had stated just now that they have no objection if the sitting of the House is extended in the afternoon. So in order to enable the other hon. Members to participate in the discussion, the sitting of the House may be extended upto 12.00 noon.
Shri Akrommozzaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in summer the mosque prayer starts at 12 noon, so it will be difficult for us if the sitting of the House is extended upto 12.00 noon.
Shri Dethwelson Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to the opinion of hon. Members of this august House, the programme for the sitting of the House should go as usual as some of them have got engagements and as one of the hon. Members has said that we do not have even a little rest for the whole week.
Mr. Speaker :- Since there is no unanimity, I take resort to my own that today I will only allow 10 minutes for each and every Member to speak but for Shri Maham Singh and Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, I will give 15 minutes and in case we cannot finish within these time limits I will give half an hour's time tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, I request Mr. Besterson Kharkongor to participate
GENERAL DISCUSSION ON THE BUDGETS
Shri Besterson Kharkongor :- Mr. Speaker, Sir at the very outset I must congratulate the Hon'ble Finance Minister for having presented a very progressive type of budget estimates of this new born State of ours for the current financial year 1972-73. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to examine or to X-ray the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister, but my intention is only to focus the attention of the Finance Minister, and of the Government on some of the most vital problems in my constituency in particular and of the State in general which need immediate solution. In the first place Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to inform the House that I represent a Constituency which is considered as one of the most backward area in the State. I must congratulate the Government that it has come forward with a concrete scheme to start the construction works of Smit-Mawkynrew-Mawlat Road which will be considered in future as a life-line of the people of this area. I am also very glad to see that the Thangsning Thynroit-Mawpyrshong road will be completed very soon. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to say that there are need for more roads in the area i.e. my constituency. If this area is to become a part in terms of development with the rest of the State, I hope the Government will come forward to survey the possibilities of constructing a road from Mawkynrew to Jaiahlakadong upto Nohron and the other from Jongksha to Nongjrong. Secondly in spite of the backwardness of the area which I represent yet the people have to travel 50 miles away from the Block Development Headquarter. So, Sir, I would request the Government to take away all the villages with in Dienglieng constituency and all the villages within Lyngkyrdem and Nongkrem Constituencies on the North East of Umsong River from Pynursla Block project and tag them to Mawryngkneng Block. Personally I would prefer that considering the backwardness of the area the whole area known as Phra Blang area can be constituted into a separate new Block. Thirdly in spite of the backwardness of the area I am glad to inform the Government and this august House that in certain villages like Jatahlakadong and Nonlyer and many other villages, there are a number of artisans who are experts in bamboo and cane works with a little bit of encouragement from the Government these people may be able to produce more furnished products with many designs which will find good markets inside and outside the State. Fourthly since the area is backward different kinds of diseases like leprosy and T.B. are still rampant. I would earnestly request the Government to select a dispensary at a centrally located site for the construction of a dispenpreferably at Mawkynrew village, so that many of the patients will not die without medical attention. In this connection, I may urge upon the Government to expedite the construction of a dispensary at Smit. In fact, the decision for constructing a dispensary at Smit was made long long ago, by the Government of Assam. Fifthly, I fully agree with the view expressed by the hon. Member from Sohryngkham that the Government should take keen interest in the cultural activities of the people. For so long the Government have given grants to many clubs in the name of culture. But instead of making or purchasing our own traditional instruments, those clubs have purchased Western-musical instruments. Sir, it is a well known fact that the Khasi musical instruments are still very popular in Khasi Hills. Yet there are only few who can still play the drums or the flutes or for the matter, any other string instruments. It is only in the Khyrim Syiemship that there are still few persons who can still play all kinds of tunes for different occasions. But Sir, I am afraid if these people pass away a part of the Khasi culture will be damaged. So, Sir, I would now urge upon the Government to start some sort of a Cultural Institute, preferably at Smit and to employ those surviving talents as teachers so that Khasi music and dancing will not pass into oblivion. Sixthly, Sir, I think I fully agree also with the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat when he said that the people of the upland region in the Khasi Hills are the most neglected. The soil in the upland region is not fertile but the people are hard-working. In this connection, I think it will be wise on the part of the Government not to emphasize the problem of one area and to forget the people of the upland region who have not time to bring forward their problem before the Government. If they miss one day's wages they may miss two meals. But it is the people from more prosperous areas who can have more times to come to Shillong and try to exaggerate their problems to the Government, Usually, it is the naughty by who gets more favour from the parents than an innocents (Bell rang).
Just a few minutes, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- That is only a warning.
Shri B. Kharkongor :- Now, I will come to education. Sir, in my constituency there are only 4 M.E. Schools but there is no High School at all and the pupils whop want to attend a High School will have to walk abut 20 miles or more to the High School at Smit. For the last few years the District Council could not even run our Primary Schools in a way that we it should have done. There are only a very few District Council Primary Schools and Government Aided Schools and in most of the villages there are no schools at all. As a matter of fact, the villagers cannot afford to pay for teachers to open schools by themselves. For the benefit of the people, I would, therefore, urge upon the Government to examine this state of affairs and also to see that some more schools are opened and also establish high Schools in my area. Lastly, I will come to agriculture. As well all know, Sir, agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Meghalaya. So also in my area, the people are all cultivators. In fact, a large number of the people are dependent on agriculture produce for other necessities of lie. In my area, there are people who produce and sell potato nearly the whole year. So, Sir, in this connection, I would like to urge upon the Government to see that some sort of store like house is set up so that these people can store their potato which could not be sold in the market at Shillong. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. W.C. Marak ? (Mr. Marak is absent.)
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, you have given me time but I would like to speak later on.
Mr. Speaker :- Or if there is time towards the end. Now, I will call upon Mr. Akrommozzaman.
(At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker, took the Chair)
*Shri Akrommozzaman :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are only ten minutes for me to participate in the general discussion and although my time has been cut it appears that there is no cut in the budget in many development projects. Whatever had been said on the past occasions by the Leader of the House and the Finance Minister that the desire of the Government is to remove poverty illiteracy and disease and to bring the backward areas to be at par with the rest of the State, the Government should also endeavour to raise the standard of living of the people in Meghalaya to an All India basis. While we are thinking about the standard of the people in other advanced States of India we should also think about the standard of our people within the socio-economic integrity in the State level. But I must say that these words should not be confined only to this House and I would ask the Government to instruct the Departments concerned to prepare details on projects. But we see that there is no appropriate sanction on any desire has been shown for developing the backward areas ; the areas where the per capita income is far less or where illiteracy is greater than that in other parts of the country. Sir, if we go to the districts we shall see that there are cuts and particularly in our districts we find there are these cuts in the Budget compared to the previous years. We do not see that there are no cuts in the year 1972-73 as compared to the years 1971-72. In Jowai Hills only Rs. 1151 thousands is less, in Garo Hills 27336 thousand is less and in Khasi Hills Rs. 4212 thousand is less. So as compared to other districts, Sir, I must say a word here that injustice is done to the people of Garo Hills by allotting such amounts with such drastic changes in the budget. I think this change should not be there because the Leader of the House and the Finance Minister have assured that the backward areas should have appropriate opportunities. Also they have laid emphasis on the development of this area to raise to the same level with other advanced areas of our State. So, Sir, if these things continue, how can we deliver our goods or how can the socio-economic integrity of the State be maintained or brought in. Sir, I therefore, appeal to the Government to look into this matter properly and I also request the Government to insist upon the department concerned to see that justice is done to our backward people of Garo Hills and help should be given without loss of time so that there should not be disparity in the standard of living with other developed areas of the country. Sir, here in the Budget, I shall bring out some important questions in so far as the deficit budget is concerned which was prepared according to the principle that has been laid down in this House both by the Leader of the House and the Finance Minister. Besides of course, a deficit budget is necessary particularly in the State where the resources are very limited. here also we find that a deficit budget will be a drastic one if there is no provision to make the capital assets. Because in the budget speech, I have seen that there is no programme to create possibility for assets which can fill up the deficit. Moreover, Sir, one thing I wish to put here is that Rs. 30 lakhs are going to be taken by the Government of Meghalaya from the Life Insurance Corporation as a loan but we have not seen how this loan will be utilised. Sir, we can have loan but there should be projects or some schemes for which we can to utilise this loan and by which we can get extra benefit out of this loan. But so far there is no such proposal for utilising this loan which we have taken from the Life Insurance Corporation.
Another thing, Sir, is with regard to passengers tax. Many passengers have been evading tax while traveling by motor vehicles. This is due to the fact that though they pay the money as bus fare, tickets are not issued to them. So, Sir, I feel that proper check should be made by the Government in running these motor vehicles to see that passengers are paying taxes imposed on them while paying the bus fares. Otherwise it will be a great loss to the State. Sometimes Police people are checking on the over-loading by motor vehicles but they always fail to detect the passengers have evaded tax payment and do not check properly about the issuing of tickets to the passengers. Sir, in this way I believe that if this sort of things continues then our State will not get any benefit from motor vehicles or passengers tax. I therefore request the Government to take proper steps through the District Council at Garo Hills for running motor vehicles and see that this tax is paid so that the benefit will accrue to the Government. This I believe will bring more benefit to the State Exchequer and also to the District Council. Now, Sir, another thing which we can derive extra income. In other States there is Lottery and our people are purchasing lottery tickets from other States and in this way we have lost much of this benefit. So why not create our own Stated lottery and allow our own people to purchase our own State lottery tickets because I have seen many people are interested in State lotteries. If Government could take up this matter by stermitting a State lottery in our own State. I hope it will be of great help to the whole of Meghalaya.
Moreover, Sir, I want to refer to another item namely electricity I am glad to see that some friends have laid much emphasis on this subject but I am sorry to say that out of 42 villages only 6 villages have been selected for electrification. I do not know what is the difficulty in electrifying all these 42 villages. I am asking the Treasury Bench as to what is the efficiency or deficiency in the department concerned that they cannot look into this matter.
Another thing is industrialisation. When there is power industrialisation follows but power does not follow industrialisation. In our State we should mobilise industrialisation practically to develop ourselves in this field of industry. We should size of the opportunity to do so if we are to fight against what the Government of India ahs declared the whole State as being backward both in the public and private sectors. But how long this opportunity given to us by the Government of India will last, I do not know. (Bell Rang). I do not wish to go into more details of the picture. Now we want mobilization of land reforms to create more facilities for those landless people, the land labourers. But I am sorry that even in the budget prepared by the Finance Minister for Meghalaya nothing has been done to help the land-less people and labourers. I wish that in the near future the preparation of the budget will be better made in consultation with the departments concerned because there is definite increase in agricultural labour and I wish that Government will check up and find out the defect and improve it in future.
Then one thing more is with regard to Election Department whose work is not satisfactory at all in a democracy world of ours today. I believe Government will do justice to this department by checking and looking into its working and making it up to-date and not lagging behind. With these few words I conclude my speech and resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Maham Singh.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the time that has been given to us for discussion is very limited and short, I will try just to give the points without elaborating on these points. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Budget that has been presented by the Finance Minister presents a deficit of 732.42 lakhs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I believe that this cannot be avoided by this State of ours because when we consider about the State of Meghalaya, we find that it is a State which has been newly formed, we find that it is a State which is under developed, we find also that it is a State which is situated in that part of our country, which has always been neglected. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, besides being a State which has been neglected for generations together, which before independence there were practically no means of communications and no programmes of economic development taken up, I wish further to add that we have become more unfortunate especially partition of the country. Partition has completely shattered the economy of the best areas of our State. I mean the economy of the border people living in the border of East Pakistan, at present Bangladesh. Up till now also the Border people have not been able to overcome this economic hardship - they are still living in extreme difficulties. Certain schemes have been taken up to improve their condition or in order to bring again an economic stability of these areas that they will able to regain their trade but these schemes up till now have not been completed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to say in this connection that we expect the Central Government to take a sympathetic view towards giving of grants to this new born State of ours and to take into consideration also the difficulties that we are at present facing. I find that there are certain loans that have to be paid, both principal and interest I consider the Finance Minister has been quite correct to say that he will negotiate with the Government of India in writing off the liabilities. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Finance Minister has also sought the co-operation of al the people of the State and also the Members of this House to cooperate with him in order to put in all efforts for developing this new born Stare. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Sixth Finance Commission. I believe, will be constituted soon to consider the requirement of the State for the 5th Year Plan. I hope the Government has prepared schemes and plans in order to place them before the Finance Commission. Nevertheless, in this connection, I agree with what has been stated by one of the Members of this august House that a Planning Board is very much essential in order to advise or to give suggestions regarding various projects and schemes that are to be taken up in this State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, two months ago when we me here, we had brought to the notice of the House certain difficulties that are experienced by the people of our State. At that time, you may remember that there was a general grievance from the Member of the House and also from the public from the major part of Shillong regarding shortage of water supply. Now this shortage of water supply at Shillong has caused a very great hardship to the people. When you move about in the evenings and mornings you will find long queues of people waiting at the water taps with their buckets in order to get the minimum requirement of water for their daily use. Now this water problem. What is most unfortunate is that Mr. Speaker, Sir,...........
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- May I request the hon. Member to address the Chair as Deputy Speaker ?
Shri Maham Singh :- I am very sorry Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Now what is most painful with regard to the water supply, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is that sometimes when I go even to the Hospital I find that there is not a drop of water in the hospitals. At least in the hospitals it is expected they should get water regularly throughout the day. This time during our session., the heavens have come to our rescue and we are getting a lot of rain. Further when we consider the problems of Shillong we find that there is shortage of everything that the people require. There is shortage of water, shortage of electricity which is not being supplied in correct voltage. We find it difficult to read and write at night. The shortage of electricity. I believe, is due to the fact that licence has been given to a Company which is very inefficient. During the past many years the Shillong Hydro Electric has found to be a very in efficient company. Most of the time we are having power failure. One hon. Member mentioned that there should be street lights at Mawlai. It will not be possible for this Hydro Electric Company to supply this light. There are places which have applied for electricity, for ordinary household use like at some parts of Nongkseh where I am living and also at Umlyngka. For one year they have not been able to supply electricity. To meet the requirements of the people, I believe the Government should itself take over some of the areas for supply of electricity by restricting the area of supply of the Shillong Hydro Electric Co. and to limit their area of supply only to the extent they can function efficiently. When we think of the condition of Shillong, it is a great shame on all of us that this place which previously was one of the best Hill Stations in India, was so clean, has now become the most unhygienic and most unsanitary town. Then again as has been remarked by many of the Members of this House when dealing with the condition of Shillong and it market places they mentioned Bara bazar which is the biggest bazar of this area or may be the biggest bazar in the whole State that it is very unsanitary. It is in a most deplorable condition in which you find gambling, you find illicit sale of liquor, you find brothels and all other evils. There may be complication in reconstructing and improving Bara Bazar as it is a Syiemship market. In any case there should be an attempt for improvement of this Bazar. But there is one thing that I may say here is that Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, municipal bazars are equally bad. There area number of municipal bazars in Shillong. It was about 10 or 15 years ago I had made a proposal of covering the Laitumkhrah bazar which is a Municipal bazar into an ideal and modern covered bazar in which the people can do their marketing during rain and sun freely inside the premises of the bazar. At that time, I believe, as far as I remember, the estimate for making such a bazar would cost only 3 crores. At present it may come to about 5 crores. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, this will be a very good investment because there will be a return for the money invested. (Bell rang) Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, can you give me some time more ? Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I want to say another thing that is, we find that a lot of schemes have been envisaged by the Government according to the Budget Address of the Finance Minister. I want to mention in this connection that conditions must be created which will be conducive in order that we may be able to implement these schemes in a proper manner. Now, some of our friends have spoken about land reform. I will touch about that point only I will leave the other points. On land reforms the Hon'ble Finance Minister has also mentioned that it is very difficult to identify the right and title of the ownership of land in Khasi Hills. This I agree is very true when we, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, consider the right and title of ownership of the land owners in Khasi Hills especially of Raj land. There were many land acquisition cases in this District and in many of these cases it has become very difficult to know who is the actual owner of the land. As a result the people have been subjected to many litigations. We are living in a very confused state and we find people claiming land belonging to others or land which they have never occupied, owned and possessed before. There are three systems of land tenure in Khasi Hills namely Ri Kynti land which belongs to an individual or a family, Ri Kur which belongs to the clan and Ri Raj land which belongs to the community. Now Sir, in the past, ownerships of property does not belong to an individual but it belongs either to the clan or to the community. This is a wholesome custom but it has been distorted. At present we find that, whereas previously the main consideration was the common good of the society, at present most of our people have become individualistic in out-like and are attempting to grab as much land as possible. We find that it has become very essential that there should be proper survey of land and there should be a record of land tenure. Unless this is done, we will not be able to avail the loan proposed too be given to the agriculturists. Now, with regard to the fact that there should also be a ceiling of land, I believe that this also is necessary. We cannot allow only a few people to own land while other people are landless. Land ceiling is actually a policy that has been adopted in other parts of India in order that there may be progress in the filed of agriculture and other spheres. I hope in our State also the Government will take a bold step in this connection and they should have a proper survey of land. Changes should be made if they are for the progress and welfare of our people. We cannot allow distorted customs which have be come absolute customs which are obstacles to the progress of the society to obstruct the implementation of our plans and programmes. With these words Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Lewis Bareh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before taking part in the discussion of the Budget Speech, I would like to pay gratitude to the Finance Minister for having been able to place a Budget of the State. Sir, I want to make a few observations on certain items. One of the items I want to discuss is in connection with agricultural production. One of the main districts for paddy cultivation is the Jaintia District and our Jowai people are fully devoted to the paddy cultivation. In addition to this, Sir, there is one fact to be considered for the cultivators, in connection with this paddy production, that is bone meal to be supplied to the cultivators in due course. Now Sir, this year the supply of bone-meal has come very late and besides that, the rate is very high ranging from Rs. 25, Rs. 27 and upto Rs. 29. Our poor people, Sir, who are not in a position to get sufficient bone-meal to meet their requirements, will have to decrease their paddy production in the next coming year. The additional failure of jhumming cultivation is due to the constant heavy rain from 15th March, 1972. The poor people who are wholly depending on this particular cultivation, especially the border people, do not get sufficient cultivable land even to cultivate millets for their immediate needs of their own families. These things have been brought to the notice of the Government also (at this stage, the Deputy Speaker, vacated the Chair for the Speaker) as our people have been facing immense difficulties due to the failure of the Government to supply rice, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will come to the Border Transport Subsidy. Sir, as we all know that opening of the roads in the border areas is one of the essential needs for those people living in the interior of this State. Then Sir, we are very glad to see that we have got our own State Transport Authorities to look after the interest of the villagers. In the past, we had lot of experiences of the high transport charges to our people who are badly in need of transport facilities to transport their cash crops and other produces. The transport charges are too high, especially for the poor people who are also petty traders. In this connection, the opening of the border Transport Subsidy always has given an opportunity to the middle class people to take a lion's share of profit. I am very glad, Sir, that our State beings new State has got its own State Transport Authority. I would like Sir, to request the Government to look after the need for an overall control of this department which has entirely come within our State's jurisdiction, I am also very happy to not that Government opened the road to immediately transport their local produce and not to allow the bus and truck owners to charge the high rate of transport on those people who have got their facilities of communications and also if possible to supply other similar facilities so that they can get rid of the manipulation and exploitation of few unscrupulous owners of trucks and buses. And in that way to free them from the dirty clutches of the unscrupulous Mahajans.
Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come now to community development. Sir, I have seen a lot of things in the Block Offices. The officers of the Blocks never paid attention to the prayers of the people who approached them with their grievances. We found most of these officers never care even to see to the real needs of those people who are really deserving to get some benefits because many things that happened last year, were not fulfilled up till today for the poor people of the intention areas. So, they were deprived of many opportunities. And only a few people of the richer section who would get some benefits and they have also some inner link with the said officers to get the benefit. Sir, in support of this I have asked the B.D.O. concerned of our Development block to supply me with a list of the schemes before payment is made for necessary action. But even then Sir, in spite of several reminders during the last few week, before I came here these requests have not been complied with. Before I come to Shillong, I have learnt that the said list has been forwarded to the S.D.O. Agriculture to get his recommendation for immediate payment in order to comply with their purposes. Therefore, Sir, we could not understand what is the policy that Government is adopting. In connection with this Community Development Block, Sir, there is no direct incentive mainly for those victimized sections of the community who were being hard hit by calamities. (Bell rang)
With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now I will call upon Mr. E. Kurbah.
(At this stage the Speaker, left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
Shri Edward Kurbah :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, while participating in this budget discussion placed by our Hon'ble Finance Minister to be discussed in this House. I congratulate him that he has been able to prepare these budget estimates for 1972-73. Sir, I have many things to say but knowing that the time is very limited, I have to be brief so as to enable me to cover the points. I cannot remain here without speaking a few words about the damage of the roads in Shillong, especially, if we go round through the whole of Shillong, we find that the road conditions are very bad and so the Government should take immediate steps to improve and develop the roads in Shillong. Besides Shillong being the capital of our own State, should be cleared of all rubbishes and made it a really beautiful place. And with regard to the sanitation of the places here in Shillong especially in the market place, or what is called Barabazar we find that there are many dirty things rubbishes and so on. So I would request the Government to take keen interest to see to this most important aspects of the matter so that those people who come from outside to visit Shillong or any other places round Shillong will find that our places are well cleaned and well developed. As many hon. Members have spoken about their respective Constituencies, I myself also have to come to the point and I am going to say something about the improvement and development still to be done in my Constituency. I have seen and even the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. had seen the conditions of the roads in my area and so I would request the Government to take initiative to improve the roads as soon as possible and to develop the road from Sohiong to Nongbsab and the road from Mawmaram to Krang. These two roads are very important to the people who are living in those places, and as you know, Sir, all the people there are living on potato cultivation and so the Government should take measures and necessary steps to improve these roads and other roads which are of strategic importance to those people living there, as they have to bring their goods and other produces to the marketing centres. During the summer months it is very difficult for the Bazar buses or even the public carriers or private trucks to go there. In this connection, I would request the Government and especially the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. and also the Minister-in-charge of Industries, if it is possible, to please arrange somehow or other to send capable vehicles to go there to carry the goods this year, so long the roads are not yet constructed in a proper way. At least for this summer, I would again earnestly request the Government and the Hon. Minister-in-charge of Industries to send some four wheel drive vehicles which can go there to carry the goods from the people. Sir, there are also big villages in my area in which roads have not yet been constructed. These two villages are Pyrda and Nonglyput. But up till now no roads have been constructed for the benefit of the people living there. So I would request the Government, if it is possible to open and construct a road from Laitarted upto Nonglyput via Pyrda as soon as possible.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to another point, i.e., education. I have seen myself that there is a big school building at Sohiong which is meant for the Basic Training Centre, a centre for imparting training to teachers teaching in the Schools. This school building is a big one and its construction is nearly completed, but up till now this centre is not functioning at all. So I request the Minister-incharge of Education to give his attention to this teachers' Basic Training Centre, and to see that this centre is opened soon. This will be of great help to the people of the area and of the State and at the same time will, to some extent, solve the unemployment problem in the State.
The next point I would like to bring to the notice of the House is with regard to primary and M.E. Schools. In my area there are many Schools, especially primary schools which have not received grants from the Government. These schools, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, were in existence for so many many years and have been financed with the support of the people living in their respective areas. For example the Mawpun Primary School which has been in existence for about 20 years or so, has not been able to get any grants-in-aid from the Government. So I request the Government to take immediate steps to help this school and other schools in this area to encourage education to the children living in this part of the State.
Now I come to P.W.D. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many people who are land owners in my area have not yet received their land compensation uptil now, and many times they have come to meet and request that I should keep contact with the Government so that land compensation is paid to them. I have heard from many contractors and many people and even from the P.W.D. staff of the Nongstoin Division talking about the necessity of shifting the office of Nongstoin Division to Shillong. The reason is because it is very difficult for them to go to Nongstoin to get their immediate requirements. I also feel that this demand of the people is reasonable, but I do not know whether the hon. Member from Nongstoin will agree with me on this. In fact, there are already a number of contractors who have submitted their representation to the Chief Minister for shifting of the P.W.D. Division to Shillong as soon as possible, so that they can draw their bills or cheques without any difficulty. So I would request the Government if it is possible to shift the division from Nongstoin to Shillong at the people's request.
The next point I would like to bring to the notice of the House is about health. The present primary health centres in the State are quite inadequate to cater to the needs of the people. I would suggest that primary health centres should be opened in many parts of the State and especially in the rural areas. (Bell rang).
Please give me some more time, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I have some more important points to put before the House. Now come to water supply. The people living in the Mawngap and Marbisu villages, I have seen, have been facing difficult due to scarcity of water there. I am glad to see that the Minister-in-charge of P.H.E. has gone there himself to see the source of the water for construction of the water supply. So I would request the Government to include the water supply scheme for Mawngap-Marbisu in the priority list of 1972-73 and also see that such a scheme is implemented as soon as possible.
With regard to electricity, Sir, I would like to request the Government to supply electricity to the interior villages also, such as the line from Sohiong to Mawpun and then in another area from Mawmaram to Nonglput. We also know that our State is industrially backyard. So I would like to propose one thing to the Government, if it is possible, to open a paper pulp factory in our State, because this is a very important industry. Besides we have abundant supply of raw materials required for such industry in our State. If such an industry is taken up by the Government, it will greatly help in solving the unemployment problem in the State. As there is no more time i have to resume my seat, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I would request Mr. A. Warjri.
Prof. A. Warjri :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with the very limited time at my disposal i do not know how to start and how to put all my points. First of all, while appreciating, the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister and at the same time while observing that this being a very long speech, the Finance Minister comes to very important conclusion which is really a sad conclusion and that is a deficit Budget. The year will end with a deficit of Rs. 732.42 lakhs. While many hon. Members, actually have expressed great regret for this, I think the amount that has been shown as deficit and the explanation offered by the hon'ble Finance Minister is quite satisfactory especially in the context of a new State wedded to different developmental works to be undertaken and particularly for Shillong being the Capital of a full-fledged State. Now at page 4 of the Budget Speech, in the last but one para it is very encouraging to note that there "has been marginal increase in production of foodgrains over that of 1969-70". I believe that Meghalaya itself can be self-sufficient in respect of rice if effort is made to utilise all those low-lands all over the State by reclaiming and developing them because only Meghalaya has got this advantage over the other hill tracts of Assam. Therefore, our State, I believe, can be self-sufficient if the Government make every effort to take up especially the task of reclamation of lands and bring them under cultivation all over the State.
Then Coming to the subject of community Development Blocks, I am very sorry to note the remarks made by the hon. Member from Mawhati during discussion, that the Government has put some block-heads as the head of Blocks.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of order, I may remind the hon. Member that the Hon'ble Speaker has already given a ruling that the word block head' is unparliamentary and as such it has been expunged from the proceedings. So I think it is of no use to refer to it again.
Prof. A. Warjri :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am sorry that I was not present at that time. So I do no0t know anything about it. However, I withdraw the word. Now, regarding the proper working of the Blocks, I agree to the suggestion of the hon. Member from Nongpoh regarding appointment of non-official Chairman. This non-official Chairman may be either an M.L.A. or M.D.C. and he will act as a link between the Block Officers and the people.
Now, coming to Municipal Administration, Sir, I really expected that with the term of last Board coming to an end, the Government would not continue the life of the Board. I feel that if the present Members of the Board are still to continue then it would hamper the work of the Executive Officer who had been appointed by the Government and I feel that proper administration would not be possible. So my suggestion is that Government should supersede the Board for some time and the administration should be run by the Government so that when the new Board would step in it will be able to hand over a clean administration with a disciplined staff.
Then coming to Tourism, I remember what has been pointed out by one hon. Member that when a tourist arrives Shillong he will go to Tourist Lodge but what he will see there nothing but slums. Not only that. The Government had passed an Act prohibiting gambling. But still this gambling is rampant there. It is a well-known fact that some cases had been detected by Police but I believe the police could not bring about any arrest. So I request the Government, through you that if we went to develop tourism, we must remove these slums first. As for example if a tourist wakes up in the first morning at the Lodge he will have such a shock to see such a sight.
Then regarding electricity I am quite in agreement with the hon. Member from Mawprem. The Shillong Hydro Electric is a private company and I think its services are not at all satisfactory. Every now and then there are breakdowns and power failures to the great inconvenience of the people. So I would request the Government not to extend its term and longer and this company should be taken over by the Government and nationalised.
Then I come to the question of unemployment which is burning problem particularly at Shillong.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Only in Shillong
Prof. Alexander Warjri :- There are many of our own people who have gone to plains and who are about to go to the plains. I understand from the Assam Secretariat itself that about 350 of our people, and many more it seems from the Heads of Departments also, would be going down to Assam. We must realise Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that we have fought for the separate Hills State especially on the question of language problem. Many of these people had contributed and had helped us and if we fail now to help these people, I feel that we would be doing injustice not only to these people but also to ourselves. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest to the Government, through you, that, especially for the unfortunate ones who have to go to the plains to see to their amenities and also to see that they have a proper house to stay because so far those who had gone to the plains have no house to stay and they are staying in the offices and have to cook their food by night and in the morning.. They have to roll their beddings in the morning. So I would appeal to the Government through you, Sir, to look after these people and relieve them of their difficulties. One of the most important things by which the Government has been made incapable of employing more people is the introduction of the single file system. I would like to appeal the Government to have the old system (A voice- double files). This system, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, on the other hand, has deprived many persons of getting employment and also there is a great danger in it. Suppose one file is lost, the whole case will be lost. Therefore, I would appeal to the Government, through you , Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to see and look into this and try to employ more people (Bell Rang) and do away with this single file system. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have many more points to raise but since the time does not allow, I would resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Francis Mawlot.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as many hon. Members have expressed their grievances that they have no time to speak, I will not spend my time in expressing that sorrow but I just want to raise some pints on which I have to speak. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, right form the first page of the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister, we have seen and we are to feel proud that we have succeeded in serving those friends coming from Bangladesh to our State. But I am sorry to note that there are upto this date ration suppliers who did not get full payment of their bills. So in this regard I would like to request the Government,, through you, Sir, to take immediate steps in paying those bills.
Now I come to agriculture and Block Development Offices. As far as I have seen, these Block Development Officers here in Khasi Hills especially, are useless offices in which the staff of these office spent their time in drinking, gambling, loitering here and there and fishing.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- All of them ?
Shri Francis K. Mawlot ;- Most of them. So, Sir, in this regard, I request the Government to please take steps if we are to develop our country through these Development Blocks, I request the Government to see that those offices who have been deputed to different Blocks should understand to do their duties first. They have to finish their duties first, of course, they should have time for the leisure. In so far as the farmers in villages are concerned they used to receive grants in cash, i.e., Rs. 200, Rs. 150 or sometimes Rs. 40 only. What is that, Rs. 40 ? If they have to spend two days to come from their villages to the Block headquarters and two days to go back to their villages from the Block headquarters. And besides that Rs. 40 they received as grants, they will have to spend Rs. 20 more for their stay and for the journey. So in this regard, I would request the Government through you Sir, that if grants are to be given to the farmers, they should be given in kind rather than in cash. That means instead of giving grants in cash to the farmers, it is better to open jeepable roads to important cultivable areas and send tractors and bulldozers to these places to plough the fields for the grantees, and I think that will be better. Now, in this regard, I would again like to request the Government to please give us the list of grants given by the Blocks to the farmers for the last 2 years.
Now, I come to Corporation. Co-operation is, of course, most essential but as far as I have seen I think there is not a single Co-operative Society upto this date which is really working properly or functioning in a proper manner. They get grants from the Government and distribute those grants among the members and grants were spent just like that without any improvement at all. In this regard also, Sir, I would like to request the Government through you, to be a little bit strict in the matter of registration of these Co-operative Societies. I confess that there are corrupt practices right form the members to the Secretary and Officers and even the higher authorities of these Co-operative Societies. These people formed the Co-operative Societies with one or two members but increased the names of members by giving false names just to get their co-operative societies registered. I do not know whether all these people are the right persons who formed that co-operative society. In this regard I would like to point out as an example the Lawdidoh Co-operative Society. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to health. Sir, let us not go far; let me pint out what I have seen here in Barabazar if you go form Barabazar to Mawlai or from Barabazar to Garikhana, you will see what is happening there.
Just a few yards away from the Mawlai Bridge you will find that the sweepers throw the night-soil collected from the houses there and when you pass you will get the sweet smell of the night-soil dumped by the side of the river. In this connection, I would urge upon the Government to take necessary steps if we are to keep the head of our young tones. Actually, the rubbishes from all over the town should be thrown far away from inhabited places so that the town will put on an appearance of cleanliness.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I now come to education. It is a fact that we have many Schools like M.E. Schools and High School, but it is a sad thing that we find no technical school, especially in the rural areas up to this date. In Shillong, of course, there is the Don Bosco Technical School. I think this is the only technical school. Sir, I may also mention that we are facing unemployment problem. I should think that with the opening of technical schools we will be able, I think, to some extent to solve this unemployment problem. I also want to say something with regard to the Shillong Municipality on which, I think, two or three hon. Members, have already spoken especially on the condition of roads in the Shillong town. Then there is, Sir, the problem of congestion and traffic blocks.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am now passing on to hotels. There is a pamphlet entitled "general information on Shillong", issued by the Directorate of Tourism. In this very pamphlet, a long list of restaurants and hotels has been given for the information of the tourists who come to our State. I do not know how many of your have entered these restaurants and hotels but I have entered many times (Voices- Very good)
Now, Sir, in almost every room there are writings on the wall; writings like "Wine is strictly prohibited". But the funny thing is that one cannot sleep during the night.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- They may not drink wine. (A voice - 'Ka Kiad).
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Sir, I should think that the Municipal authority should see that cleanliness is kept in these hotels. Whenever, while taking food in these hotels one frequently finds that a plate of rice contains hair and even stones. In shorts, Sir, the hotel or restaurant, as a whole, is very dirty and I am sure it would be very embarrassing and awkward if tourists happen to be there and notice these things. Yesterday, two of us entered the Oriental Restaurant, and I would like to say that the fish item that was served to us was such that it almost looked like raw fish with a smell that was unbearable and for that particular item the bill amounted to Rs. 12/-. This was not the only occasion that we experienced. As a matter of fact, there are my instances. That is why I have to bring it up in the House. So, Sir, if we are to keep the prestige of our Shillong these things should not be there. It is also mentioned in the pamphlet that there is no prohibition of liquor, which is available in the open market without any permit. As many Members have already spoken on this subject, I feel, Sir, that I should not speak any more about it. Another one thing which I would like to speak is what Prof. Warjri has just said regarding language. In this pamphlet, there is one sentence which goes : Language spoken ; English, Bengali, Hindustani and Khasi. Since this is the general information on Shillong and I feel that in order to preserve our dignity, Khasi language should come first and English second.
(A voice - No Garo ?) ( Bell Rang)
I am sorry , Sir, please give me two minutes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I will give me two minutes.
Shri F.K Mawlot :- I will not come to Public Health Engineering. In the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister he said that 8 water-supply schemes are being executed last year and in that I think Nongstoin, that is Pyndengrei Water Supply scheme was also included. It is also not correct. I would like to request the Government through you, Sir, to see and check up what is happening there. regarding absorption of officers and staff from Assam in Meghalaya. I need not dilate upon it as many hon. Members have spoken. But will only point out one small item and that is about the congestion in the Deputy Commissioner's Office. We all have seen how crowded and congested the rooms are and how the Officers and staff are suffering. I would request the Government to see to it and improve the condition there.
I would now pass on to Post Office Service. If a letter is posted from here, say, on the 1st June it will reach Nongstoin on the 31st (laughter). So I would request Government to take appropriate steps in regard to postal services especially in the western area.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It may reach on the 1st of next month also - (Laughter).
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Yes, correct. Now regarding land compensation by the Public Works Department I beg to say that compensation to the land-owners of Sonapahar-Nongshram Road has not been made up till now. So I request the Minister incharge or the Government through you, Sir, to see that these land-owners are given payment of compensation as soon as possible. So with these few words I resume my seat.
Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while congratulating the Finance Minister in his efforts to bring this realistic budget of this new State to the House, I would like to make only a very few observations because most of the Members had already made their own observations from all quarters. So I will only refer to certain portions on which I would like to give some suggestions. The first thing, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is about agricultural production. The first thing, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is about agricultural production. It is gratifying to note that agricultural production has increased to some extent. Yes, because green revo9lution is the order of the day, we in our backward State where we are backward in respect of communication and transport, have to consider in these respect how far we can develop and propagate this idea of green revolution so that we can increase agricultural production. This increase in production, I believe, will be a great blessing to the people of Meghalaya. But there are bottlenecks in transport facilities in our State. I had a dialogue with certain people about transportation of their perishable crops like potato, ginger, oranges and the rest of the agricultural produce and they told me about their difficulties in transporting their crops. I myself thought that this difficulty will continue because we have got no agency in outside places like Calcutta and elsewhere. But the complaint of these people is that they are always at the mercy of the middle-men who again are at the mercy of the transport authorities. So this is the result of such bottle necks which the people are facing and unless the Government finds out means how to get these cash crops or perishable commodities reach their markets through proper transport in time or else it will not be a real blessing to the agriculturists even if they produce more than they are producing now. This point, I hope Government will take into consideration when they take up the transport administration, or the State Transport Corporation or whatever it may be. Till then, we must find out ways how to transport the agricultural produce in time. Also unless the Government see to the difficulty, our cultivators will suffer at the mercy of the middle-men and also on the transport authorities. Now coming to soil conservation I would say that it is really necessary for the State of Meghalaya which is now to prosper day by day. This subject i.e, soil conservation will go hand in hand with terracing cultivation but unless these things are followed up even at the hill side, terracing will be useless to the cultivators. So also reforestations; unless proper care and follow up programme is adopted, it is going to be burnt up nest winter. So let us not waste money without proper reforestation and try to adopt follow-up programmes, for the sake of conservation of soil and afforesting our demanding forest.
Now I come to education which is the thing that we all like to have. But there must be different kinds of education; not only general education which is bringing unemployment to many who have go no change of educating themselves in different fields for want to training in technical institutions. As some of my friends have just now said, I also feel that some technical or vocational training institute should be started in the rural areas so that people may avail of the opportunity of educating themselves in different lines of education and if they are trained up in such trades they will remain in their own places and as such be useful citizens of the country. So I think we have got sufficient schools primary, middle and high schools. Can we not consider starting some technical schools in some central area in the rural villages? We have heard also about the University scheme and that is the Central University. Of course this is a subject of the Central Government but I was expecting that some mention should have been made in the Budget Speech of the Hon'ble Finance Minister as to whether we are going to have the University or our own very soon. We cannot wait too long because other Universities are going to adopt regional languages in various colleges even in their Universities. So unless the Government of Meghalaya take sup this matter with the Central Government. I am afraid the long-cherished University for the Hills will be sleeping for number of years.
Now there is the question of unemployment everywhere. There is the Labour Department which is being opened. If I could understand correctly from the budget speech the department will cater to the needs for training in craftsmanship and other trades. This is, I understand, a Centrally-sponsored scheme which is at present located at Gauhati. Now that we have been separated, I want to know whether it will not be advisable that necessary steps be taken that all tools and plants and machineries and whatever we have under this scheme be brought over to our State of Meghalaya as we cannot leave it remaining at Gauhati because we do not know what difficulties we may encounter on what we actually need here. Things may get lost, things may be displaced, it is advisable that Government should see that whatever equipments, whatever staff, whatever tools and plants that have been put at Gauhati should be brought up to Shillong or to any place in the State of Meghalaya.
Now, the Public Works Department is opening up new roads. It is gratifying to note. But in taking up new roads or new schemes I think the old roads also should not be neglected. Now we have seen in Shillong, bad roads have been neglected. Bad roads everywhere and pedestrians are very much annoyed with the splashing of water by the running vehicles. If we think only of new roads and forget the old roads I do not think it will be good for the State. Again the people also will be benefited just by opening new roads and neglecting the old one. So in this regard, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would appeal to the Government, through you, that the old roads also should not be neglected and that schemes that have already been taken up should be implemented without further delay. (Bell rang). Now, power and electricity. Regarding power and electricity we have heard quite a lot spoken on this subject. What I would like to observe here is that in the new set up, under the North Easter Areas (Reorganisation) Act, I think there is no provision that any two States can have a joint Board, Electricity board. Even if there is, whether it will be feasible for the State of Meghalaya to join with the other State in running the Electricity Board which has been running into the debt and which has given no real benefit expect to spend. Of course, the time has not arrived. Two years after the 21st January, 1972 that means, by the 21st January, 1974, our State will have to take up electricity supply either by the Government itself or by a new Board. Now before that time arrives, we should take necessary steps to prepare ourselves whether we can join in with the other States. So should we take up in our own hands ? It is very risky. Now to continue with the present Board, as I have said before is not giving a very good impression to the people of Meghalaya and also to the rest of the country. That this Assam State Electricity Board I am afraid, has not been working properly. And therefore we should be prepared by 1974 whether we should continue to be with this Board. (Bell rang). Just two minutes Sir. Now I would like to mention some political matters which we are very happy to have the Armed Police Battalion. But I think the armed personnel is meant to quell riots and perhaps to escort the V.I.P.s but not to go and threaten the villagers, not to terrorise the people in the villages. (Mr. Speaker, in the Chair). Only recently a few unarmed suspects were to be arrested in a village and the Police took the full truck-load of armed guards to terrorise the people of that village and the children were crying and hiding behind their mothers.
Mr. Speaker :- I think you can approach the Government for that.
Shri Jormanick Syiem :- I am just placing these facts for information of the Government because the people have come and asked me 'why for an unarmed suspect in a small village should a full truck-load of armed guards be taken to terrorise women and children in the village?
Shri Speaker :- Your time is up. Mr. Hadem you have 14 minutes.
*Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Sir I think I will not be able to complete my speech within the time allotted but anyhow. I will have to distlink my speech. First of all, I will ask your excuse if there is any unlinked part here and there. In the the first place, I would like to say that I as a Member of the District Council, have had a chance to discuss the budget pertaining to the Jowai Autonomous District in the District Council there at Jowai. We were made to understand there by the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of Agriculture who happens to be a Member of that Council that the Budget presented and discussed there is to be finalised after the discussions of our Council will be placed at the reach of the Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, perhaps you may want proof form me. But when I am here I find both the Budget are of the same size, same colour and same way. Here is a rotten one, because I have got it there at Jowai, and here is a new one which I received here. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have seen no change in it. I am not really astonished about that because I know very well from that very time that this is not a correct statement, because the Constitution provides that the synopsis only shall be attached separately with each of the district budgets pertaining to that very autonomous district. But excuse me Sir, probably I will have to point out one defect in this Budget. That is is an incomplete one, and if I may say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because the discussion of each and every Council was not attached along with the respective budgets of these Councils which we have here. If we look at page 16 of this Address in the 4th line we have seen what the Hon'ble Minister Finance said that the comments of the members of the District Councils which were received have been considered by the Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, excuse me, for pointing out some provisions of the Constitution to show that the remarks made by the Hon'ble Finance Minister are irrelevant . If we turn to paragraph 13 of the 6th Scheduled, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we can see where it was stated that the estimated receipts and expenditure pertaining to an autonomous district which are to be credited to, or an to be met from the Consolidated Fund of the State shall be first placed before the District Council for discussion and then after such discussion be shown separately in the Annual Financial Statement of the State to be laid before the Legislature of the State under Article 202.
Perhaps I would like to suggest that the presentation of the Budget being incomplete according to the Constitution, is a contempt of the Constitution, itself. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir,
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to intervene. The hon. Member has correctly pointed out that according to paragraph 13 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India, it is stated that budget pertaining to the districts should be sent to the respective districts. This obligation has been complied with by the Government and then the second necessity was that the budget estimates of each of the districts should be shown separately. The hon. Member has said that District Budget has been prepared for the Jowai Autonomous District. So this condition has been fulfilled. There is no specific mention that the comments and suggestions of the District Councils which have come up during the course of the discussion of the District Budget should be also a part of the Budget Speech or should form part of the District Budget. There is no mention of that in paragraph 13 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and as such, it is not a contempt of the House or of the Constitution.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is probably a different interpretation. My humble submission is that the House has every privilege to see and find out what discussion took place separately in each of the Autonomous District Councils. Sir, I think this has taken away the privilege of this House for looking into the discussions of each of the Autonomous District Councils.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- As the hon. Member insists I would read our paragraph 13 of the Sixth Schedule - "Estimated receipts and expenditure pertaining to autonomous district to be shown separately in the annual financial statement - "The estimated receipts and expenditure pertaining to an autonomous district which are to be credited to, or is to be made from the Consolidated Fund of the State, shall be first placed before the District Council for discussion and then after such discussion be shown separately in the annual financial statement of the State to be laid before the Legislature of the State under Article 202". The Budget which the Hon'ble Finance Minister has presented to the House in which separate estimate is shown for each district has also been complied with. There is no specific mention that comments and suggestions should be placed in the present Budget and the Hon'ble Finance Minister has correctly stated that we have sent for the proceedings of the District Councils in which certain comments and suggestions have been offered. We have taken into consideration and since the time for disposal was limited, the Government has decided to accommodate as far as possible the suggestion with regard to the increase of grants in certain activities. But these cannot be brought to the main Budget for want of time. But I would submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there is no violation or there is no failure on the part of the Government in fulfillment of this paragraph 13 of the Sixth Schedule. This can be done by supplementary demand also. In fact I had occasion to discuss this, Mr. Speaker Sir, when I was in Assam, I myself have raised this same point but it is of no use. In fact I quoted this paragraph 13 of the Sixth Schedule and the Assam Assembly discussed this matter. The idea was to give an opportunity to each Autonomous District who has some suggestions to give as to how they would like to develop their areas and in what way the funds should be divided and provided. Therefore, in the speech of the Finance Minister, indication has been given that this will be taken into consideration and Government will try to accommodate them. I do not think, as the hon. member has said, that this is a failure on the part of the Government and is violation of the provision of the Constitution.
Mr. Speaker :- After the clarification made by the Chief Minister, I think the hon. Member will kindly withdraw the words "that it is a contempt of the Constitution", as these words may lead to a serious matter. Will the hon. Member take resort to some to other means ?
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already said that it is subject to interpretation and that according to me may I know if this is your ruling, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- I have already given a ruling but if you think it is a contempt of the House, there is some means or method by which you can take resolve to.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since I have to submit to the ruling of the Chair, I have not other way but to submit to your ruling.
Mr. Speaker :- Before continue your speech, may I have the consent of the House to extend its sitting upto 11:35 a.m. (voices - Yes)
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the second part, I would like to remind and recall the remarks made about the repetition of the Address of the Governor as the sincerity or the determination on the part of the Government to fulfill what has been stated there in the Address. But I would like to point out at this juncture, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there are some portions where there is no such duplication and may I come to the conclusion that this indicates the insincerity on the part of the Government. I believe the policy is laid down during the Address last time and that is regarding paragraph 6 of the Governor's Address regarding some of the village or areas proposed to be retransferred from Mikir Hills to Jaintia Hills. But what we have seen is only a few lines that have found place in the last line of page 18 and the first part of page 19. Whereas it has been stated in the Address that law and order situation has generally been normal except the influx of a number of Pnars from Mikir Hills to Jaintia Hills due to the present treatment meted out to them. The Government has taken up the matter with the Government of Assam so that the condition may be created for early return of these Pnars to their own villages and homes. This has got a different meaning with the previous Address of the Governor in the last session. Mr. Speaker, Sir, anyhow, I would request the Government that if by chance they are going to present again a Supplementary Budget and if that is within this year atleast a duplicating Address of what has been addressed by the Governor is given. I would, Mr. Speaker, Sir, urge upon the Government to please find out ways and means how to implement the provisions of paragraphs 4 to 7 of the Sixth Schedule which have give scope for the Government to find ways and means to re-include again the Pnars which predominantly belong to the Jaintia Hills Sub-divisions.
Mr. Speaker :- These are two separate issues. The influx of the Pnars into the territory of Jaintia Hills and the one in the Governor's Address refers to something else.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the origin is the same. They are happy there. According to the speech here, they were meted out with ill-treatment.
I would like to refer to the grants-in-aid given to the District Councils. One of the hon. Members from Jaintia Hills yesterday had even suggested to the Government through his speech that he would like some grants for the developmental of a particular Autonomous District by transferring to the District Council. I am not agreeable to what the hon. Member has suggested but for some other reasons, I would like to suggest that the Government would at least review the position as obtained in the previous years and I would like to know whether all the grants given for development were fully utilised or not by the District Councils last year or be the Blocks. Secondly I would like to know from the Government, I mean the Finance Minister, if these District Councils also have utilised those grants, for instance, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there was a little damage of 2 to 3 kilometers in the road form Raliang to Mawkaiew and in 1970-71, the District Council had allotted an amount of Rs. 6,000 in the first instance, Rs. 2,000 in the second instance for the improvement of the road but without proper supervision and afterwards it was found that it was not improved at all. Therefore, I would request the Government to let us know the amount granted for the construction of this Road and the schemes for the construction is worked out either by the District Council or in the Block level. I think before changing the policy, the Government shall have to review all the figures as stated in the Budget speech of the Finance Minister. Because if we go to the budget speech at page (Bell rang)
Please give me five minutes more, Mr. Speaker, Sir,
Mr. Speaker :- I will give you one minute.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- We can see that Rs. 25 lakhs have been earmarked this year to the District Councils by the Government. Not only that. You will also be surprised to know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that even before passing all these District budgets by this House fo the District Councils, the Government is kind enough to sanction the above amount for improvement and development of roads and communications.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to the other part of the picture, i.e. the amount form the development of forests to the tune of Rs. 26,606 lakhs under the present budget and that has not yet got the approval of this House. But I would request the Government, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this amount has already been sanctioned by the Government under the Forest Schemes.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- I think this has been sanctioned from the Vote-on-Account.
Mr. Speaker :- Actually the vote-on-Account has been passed in the last session. I think the Government cannot go beyond the amount already provided under the Vote-of-Account. But the time is up. We will have only one more participant on the budget discussion and that is Mr. Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, then the Ministers will intervene. I will not be partial to him being the leader of the party , but as I have allowed others 15 minutes time so also he will have to stick to 15 minutes.
Mr. Speaker :- Now the House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. tomorrow the 24th June 1972.
The 23rd June, 1972
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.