PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED AT 10.00 HOURS ON SATURDAY, THE 24TH JUNE 1972, IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG WITH THE SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.

_____

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Starred Question No. 11 to be asked by Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Question  not put Members being absent)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

STARRED QUESTIONS

(To which oral replied were given)

Shri District Court premises

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir  asked :

*12.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Law be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government are aware that litigants, witnesses, etc. are not provided with rooms/shelters in the Shillong District Court premises ?

(b)

If the reply is in the affirmative, do Government propose to construct shelters for them ?

Shri  Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) replied :

12.(a)

Yes, but they are provided with seating arrangement in the Verandah, though perhaps not totally adequate.

   (b)

The District Court Building at Shillong as a whole  has all along been in a bad condition.

The overall extension of the Deputy Commissioner's Office is under the consideration of the Government and the P.W.D. have been instructed to prepare necessary plan and estimates for the purpose.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :-  Do the Government propose to construct temporary shelter as a temporary measure for the public in the District Court ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law ) :-  No, Sir.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  Will the proposed construction a answered by the Minister-in-charge be taken up within this financial year ?

Mr. Speaker :- The answer is that it is still under the consideration fo the Government and the P.W.D. are preparing plan and estimates.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  Are we understand that the Deputy Commissioner has been directed to comply with the order ?

Mr. Speaker :-  That is not in the answer.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  I would  request the hon. Members to have little patience because with the shifting of the capital of Assam from Shillong to Gauhati, it may be possible for the Government to utilise the adjacent buildings. let us not be in a hurry to provide temporary structures and spend money unnecessarily.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh ;-  May we know how for the consideration of the Government regarding construction of the building has progressed ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law ) :- In view of the factors a stated by the Chief Minister, it will be finalised when the estimates from the P.W.D.  will come

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  May we know when will the shifting of the capital actually take place ?

Mr. Speaker :-  That is the responsibility of the Government of Assam and not of the Government of Meghalaya. It may be within 3 years.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Whether the Government have received any  complaints or representations regarding non-provision of shelter of the public in the District Court ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law ) :-  As already replied to question 12 (a), we are aware of the situation prevailing all along in the Deputy Commissioner's office

Shri D.D. Lapang :-  May we know whether it is a fact that the Government of Assam allotted some amount for construction of a 2 storeyed building for the Deputy  Commissioner's office in Shillong.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law ) :-   It is not a fact. The previous Government of Assam also asked for estimates form the Deputy Commissioner and the P.W.D.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :-  So, will the Government consider to allot at least one of the rooms in the District Court for use of the public ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law ) :-   That may be examined, but it may be difficult in view of the congestion and it may be inconvenient not only to the witnesses but also to the workers in the office itself.

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us pass on to unstarred questions.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were placed on the Table)

Street accidents in Khasi Hills  Districts

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir  asked :

9.

Will the  Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of street accidents in Khasi Hills caused by motor vehicles during each of the last two calender years ?

(b)

How many persons were involved in these accidents ?

(c)

How many of them proved to be fatal ?

(d)

Whether it is a fact that majority of the accidents were caused by rash and negligent driving ?

(e)

What steps Government propose to take to curb such increase of street accidents.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

9. (a)

193 in 1970 and 171 in 1971.

(b)

141 in 1970 and 181 in 1971

(c)

26 in 1970 and 33 in 1971

(d)

 Yes.

(e)

(i) Regular checking by Police for detection of overloading and over speeding , etc.

(ii) Prosecution of offenders for violation of Motor Vehicles Act and Rules.

(iii) Regular checking by Mobile Courts for spot punishment.

Shri M.N. Majaw :-  In the unstarred question No. 9 (e), may we know in regard to reply in part (3) - regular checking by mobile courts for sport punishment whether these mobile courts are headed by the police officer or by a Magistrate ? Whether it is a custom for a police officer to head it or should a Magistrate by always present?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :-  It should be headed by a Magistrate and not by a Police officer.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not have unstarred question papers here on our table; so it is not possible for us to take part.

Mr. Speaker :-  Unstarred question papers are usually placed on the table. There must be something wrong.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :-  Do the Government consider speed-breakers as one of the effective means of checking these accidents?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :- That is a matter of opinion.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :-  In that case we can always stop or check accidents by constructing speed-breakers in most busy and congested roads of the town ?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :- In view of the opinion of the hon. Member we will have the matter examined.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  May we know what action has been taken so far by the Enforcement Officer of the Enforcement Branch ?

Mr. Speaker :- The question has been replied that regular checking has been done.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :-  Whether in these cases police have taken up investigation and how many cases are still pending?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :-  In 1970 the total number of cases reported is 894. Charge-sheeted - 66 , Convicted - 5, Acquitted - None, Pending - 61.

        In 1971 the total number of cases reported is 80. Final Report - 6,Charge-sheeted - 67, Pending Investigation -7.

        In 1972 the total number of cases reported is 36. Final Report - 2, Charge-sheeted - 17, Pending trial - 17, Pending Investigation -17.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Is it not a fact that mobile court used to go and detect cases on the road only on the last week of every month ?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :-   I am not aware of it.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :-  Sir, do Government usually grant some help or assistance or a  kind of solarium to the bereaved families, in case of fatal accidents ?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :-  This is a matter to be looked into by the Tribunal or the Court concerned.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- In view to answer to (a) and (b), the number of accidents was 193 and the number of persons involved was 141. May we know whether some of these vehicles were driven by robots or were automatically driven ? Since 141 persons were involved in 193 accidents which means that some vehicles were not drive by men ? In each vehicle there should be at least one driver. How can there be 193 accidents and the persons involved were only 141?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I  think at least, in our country we have never produced a vehicle which can run without a driver. (Laughter)

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  How does this Government account  for the smaller number of 141 persons involved in the accidents when the number of accidents is 193.

Shri Maham Sing :- Mr. Speaker, Sir,  has Government constituted this claims Tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act? 

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Sir, I have not received a reply to my question. I said how does Government account for this smaller number of persons involved when the number of accidents is 193?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :-  That is not a question, it is an argument, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :-  It is only a mathematical work. When there are 193 accidents and the persons involved either in injury or something of that sort were only 141.

Shri Maham Sing :-  Sir, my question is : Has Government constituted a Claims Tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act for the State?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  We have not constituted but we have decided to constitute one in the near future.

Shri Maham Sing :-  Sir, if this tribunal is not constituted soon, will not all cases of claims be time-barred ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  No, because  the Tribunal, Gauhati has got still jurisdiction over our area.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- How many of these accidents were due to wrong directions given by the policemen at the points ?

Mr. Speaker :-  That is not a question.

Shri Humphrey Hadem  :-  Sir, my supplementary question has not been answered. In reply to (e) it is stated that regular checking by Police for detection of overloading and over speeding etc. My question is : What action regarding the checking has been done by another Branch which is known as the Enforcement Branch ?

Mr. Speaker :-  By commonsense, the hon. Member can understand the action necessary to be taken. When cases are detected, they must be punished.

Shri Humphrey Hadem  :- Sir, I think you misunderstood my question. What I mean is that this Enforcement Branch is to enforce some acts and laws on the road. So, according to answer here at (e) (1) I want to know whether the Police Branch along is doing the checking or whether any action has been taken by the Enforcement Branch ?

Mr. Speaker :-  Not only the police but regular checking is done by the mobile courts.

Shri Humphrey Hadem  :-  Sir, the mobile courts are there, I quite understand ?

Mr. Speaker :-  I request the hon. Member not to split up the three answers because all the three actions are meant for the same question.

Shri D.D. Lapang :-  Sir, in order to avoid these accidents, having realised the congestion in the roads, whether the Government has got any plan for construction of more footpaths or whether the Government are planning the roads in such a way in order to avoid accidents in the town ?

Mr. Speaker :-  The question is too lengthy and I would request hon. Members of the House that they should always remember the rules that in an unstarred question the scope for putting supplementary questions is always limited. That is why I have to request them time and again to ask only essential supplementaries.

(Shri S.D. Khongwir and Shri Humphrey Hadem rose in their seats to put supplementaries)

        No, I cannot allow. If I allow one hon. Member, all other hon. Members will ask supplementaries.

Shri D.D. Lapang :-  In my humble opinion, whether the Government is considering the question of construction of more footpaths in order to avoid accidents in the town. This question is very much connected with the main question, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :-  That is a new question.

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir ;-  Sir, is it not a fact that indiscriminate granting of licenses is one of the causes for the increased of these motor accidents. ?

Mr. Speaker :-  That is an insinuation.

Shri Maham Sing :-  Are not many of the accidents also due to the drunkenness of the drivers  ?

Mr. Speaker :-  In the main question it was not asked about the reason.

Shri Maham Singh :- But in reply to question 9 (d), it is stated that the majority of the accidents were caused by rash and negligent driving. Are not many accidents also due to the drunkenness of the drivers and whether the Government is taking steps to check that ?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief  Minister) :-  The hon. Member has asked for the reason. But question 9 (c) is only about the steps to be taken and does not relate to reasons.

Dry terrace and land reclamation Scheme

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna  asked :

10.

Will the Minister-in0charge of Soil Conservation be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the grants were distributed to the cultivators of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills Districts for dry terracing and land reclamation Scheme during the years 1970-71 and 1971-72?

(b)

If so, under whose recommendation ?

(c)

What was the amount distributed for each District in each year.

(d)

Will Government lay on the table the names of the recipients of the said grants and the amount received by each for the years 1970-71 and 1971-72 in Jaintia Hills.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Soil Conservation) :-  replied

10. (a)

Yes.

(b)

On actual measurement of the work done by the applicant recorded in the measurement book by the Field Officers.

(c)

A- 1970-71

Dry Terracing

Reclamation

 Rs

Rs.

(i)

Khasi Hills

...

4,68,415.85

...

...

38,632.80

(ii)

Jaintia Hills

...

1,76,030.00

...

...

96,120.00

(iii)

Garo Hills

...

2,55,935.71

...

...

1,97,765.73

 

B- 1970-71

(i)

Khasi Hills

...

3,10,680.20

...

...

72,482.40

(ii)

Jaintia Hills

...

1,52,220.00

...

...

39,200.00

(iii)

Garo Hills

...

1,54,009.52

...

...

1,50,630.39

(d)

Two statements are placed on each member's table - one for 1970-71 and another for 1971-72.

Travelling Allowances and Discretionary grants of Ministers, Meghalaya.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :

11.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Finance be pleased to state :-

(a)

The amount drawn as Travelling Allowances by each Minister and the State Minister during the last two financial years.

(b)

The amount spent under discretionary grant by each Minister during the last two  financial years ?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) replied :

11. (a)

Amounts drawn as Travelling allowances by the Ministers and the Ministers of State are given below :-

Sl. No. 

Name of Minister/Minister of State.

1970-71

1971-72

1.

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister)

....

12,370.17

21,052.38

2.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister

...

6,257.90

13,015.60

3.

S.D.D. Nichols-Roy, Minister

...

9,263.90

22,291.68

4.

Shri E. Bareh, Minister

...

10,955.74

11,127.00

5.

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister

...

11,096.18

12,961.04

6.

Shri D.D. Pugh, Minister of State.

...

...

8,620.40

Total

...

49,943.89

89,068.10

 

(b)

Amounts given as discretionary grant by each Minister are given below :-

 

Sl. No. 

Name of Minister/Minister of State.

1970-71

1971-72

Rs.

Rs.

1.

Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister

...

3,000.00

2,644.35

2.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh Minister

...

2,500.00

2,500.00

3.

S.D.D. Nichols-Roy Minister

2,500.00

2,500.00

4.

Shri E. Bareh, Minister

2,500.00

2,500.00

5.

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister

2,500.00

2,500.00

Total

13,000.00

12,664.35

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Sir, in question 11 (b) for the years 1970-71, how did  the Ministers manage to retain the exact amount of rounded figures when given discretionary grants. The total amount would be something roughly put.

Mr. Speaker :-  That is argumentative, the question must be straight forward.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Does this represent the total amounts of money allotted in the budget for Discretionary Grants?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Yes.


CALLING ATTENTION :

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us pass on to Item No. 2, Mr. P. Ripple Kyndiah to call the attention of the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R&B)

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 54 of the Rules of  Procedure and conduct of Business, I beg to call the attention of the Minister-incharge of P.W.D. (R&B) to the bad condition of the main. G.S. Road which is rapidly deteriorating particularly between the Mawlai Bridge and Mawkhar Police Point thereby causing pedestrians and motorists untold difficulties and miseries.

        Sir, the calling attention motion is directed to focus attention on two things. Firstly, the bad condition of the G.S. Road particularly between the Mawlai Bridge  and the Mawkhar Police Point. Secondly, the callousness of the P.W.D. in the discharging of its normal maintenance work irrespective of the widening programmes that are in hand. Now, I will go by the facts. Fact No.1 is that the whole G. S. Road is generally  ill maintained irrespective of the difficulties created by the repairs and all that sort of things. Secondly the road particularly in the portion which I have just mentioned is in a deplorable condition. The surface of the road is eroded ; there are pot holes, there is water logging especially during the rainy season, and the pedestrians are facing difficulties as there are muddy waters on the road and pedestrians are treated to free showers of this dirty water.

Mr. Speaker :-  may I remind the hon. Member that he should not make a speech.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :-  Sir, I am not making a speech; these are only facts. The drainage is in very bad condition resulting in flood over the road and creating immense difficulties for the pedestrians. Now face Number 4 is that the foot-path of the G.S. Road in many places particularly those portions I have mentioned had been badly damaged.

Mr. Speaker :-  May I remind the hon. Member that in a call attention notice it is implied that it is the duty of the Minister-in-charge to find out all these facts which he intends to point out now and in case the Minister fails to give the reply to your question then you can seek clarification afterwards.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :-  Sir, I am only stating the facts. Now fact Number 5 is that the drainage.

Mr. Speaker :-  How do you know that the statement of the Minister-in-charge will not cover all the facts that you intend to state ? So I would request the Hon'ble Minister for P.W.D. to make a statement on this.

*Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I give reply to this call attention notice, I would like to request the hon. Members of this august House and particularly the mover of this motion to realise and appreciate that this Government has taken up the responsibilities very recently.

        The Gauhati-Shillong Road was handed over by the Government of Assam to this Government on 24th January 1972. Prior to handing over the Assam Government had taken up the widening works on this road and had almost completed the same. In widening the road the hill slopes were disturbed and existing drainage system on the road was also dislocated thereby causing slips at various places and damaging the existing road pavement at places due to hap-hazard flow of water over the road surface. The slips are being cleared promptly so as to allow uninterrupted flow of traffic. The drainage system also is being attended to so that damage to the  road surface is not caused. After taking over the road from the Government of Assam, renewal cost from mile 51st to 53 rd has been provided. In accordance with the prescribed limit of Government of India allowing only 1/3 rd length of the road for resurfacing, estimate has been submitted to the Government of India and on receipt of sanction, resurfacing work will be taken up, after the rains are over. Normal repairs, like repair to pot holes etc., are being carried out regularly.

The portion of this road, between Mawlai Bridge and Mawkhar Police point -  This stretch of road falls within Municipal limits and as such, the improvement of this stretch is the responsibility of the State Government. Repair to the road surface at Mawkhar Police point and near the Veterinary Hospital was carried out by Government after taking over the road from the Government of Assam Due to constant parking of trucks, Bazar buses and pony carts along the major portion of this stretch of road, actual road width available to the users is considerably reduced, thereby causing excessive intensity of traffic over limited width which results in quick deterioration of the road surface. Due to constant parking of vehicles the side drains get blocked by filth and mucks and it becomes difficult, may impossible to clear these. The drainage system also gets clogged and cleanliness of the road cannot be maintained very often due to dump of garbage from Barabazar area on foot paths  and the roads. Due to parking of the vehicles, repairs and maintenance of the road surface for the full width and cleaning of drains cannot be attended to properly. In order to relieve the congestion of traffic Government has already taken up the improvement and widening of Lukier road with the approval of Cantonment authority and Defence authority so that major portion of the traffic could be diverted via Lukier road. The Town Planner, Government of Meghalaya has tentatively formulated proposals to find out suitable alternative parking place for buses and pony cars. The matter is under examinations of Government.

        An estimate for improving the G.S. Road from Mawlai besides to D.C's court is under preparation and its cost will be approximately Rs. 3 lakhs. The works can however  be taken up during the next working session only if and when funds become available.

        The existing bridge at Mawlai also needs reconstruction to cater for higher loading as per National Highway Standards with two lane carriage way foot-paths on either side for use by pedestrians. The estimate for reconstruction of this bridge is under preparation and Government will take up with the Government of India for sanctioning the estimate, although this bridge is located at the boundary of the Municipality. At present is is proposed to provide footpath for the use of pedestrians on the existing Mawlai Bridge.

        As stated earlier, the improvement of National Highways falling within Municipal limits is the responsibility of the State Government. In the Fourth five year Plan for roads as finalised, no provision exists for roads and bridges within Shillong Municipal area. The roads within the Shillong Municipal area were handed over by Government of Assam to this Government on1sr April, 1972 only. Unless additional funds are allocated to take up the worked within Shillong Municipal area, funds for these works may have to be provided by reducing the allocation for other road schemes located outside the Shillong Municipal area as provided in the Plan. Government is, however approaching the Government of India (Planning Commission) for giving additional funds for taking up of such projects within Shillong Municipality.


ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE REPORT OF THE BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Mr. Speaker :- Now I will give a repot of the Business Advisory Committee. In pursuance of Rule 230 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly, I report that I called a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on the 23rd June, 1972 at 11.30 a.m. to consider the petition dated 7th June, 1972 from Mr. B.B. Shallam M.L.A. requesting me to declare 26th June, 1972 as a holiday on account of the Annual Behdien Khlam Festival of the Jowai people which would be celebrated on the 26th June, 1972. Two other petitions dated the 22nd June, 1972 were also received one from Mr. H.E. Pohshna, M.L.A. and another from Mr. K.M. Roy Marbaniang and seven other hon. Members of this august House  requesting for the same purpose and also not to have a sitting of the House on the 27th June, 1972 as the Twentieth Anniversary of Khasi Hills District Council would fall on that day. The Committee considered all the petitions taking into consideration as well the importance of this Session, namely, the passing of Budget before 30th June, 1972 and decided as follows. :-

        1. That on Monday, the 26th June, 1972 there would be a recess of the Assembly. Business, particularly, the Voting on Demands for Grants fixed for Monday, the 26th June, 1972 would be taken up on Tuesday, the 27th June, 1972 from 11 A.M. or as soon as the questions for the day were disposed of upto 1.30 P.M. and Voting on Demands for Grants fixed earlier for the 27th June, 1972 would also be taken up in the afternoon sitting which would sit form 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. This arrangement of the change of hours of sitting of the House on 27th June, 1972 was agreed to by the Committee so as to enable the members of the Assembly who are also the MDCs or Ex-MDCs to go and take part in the Anniversary of the District Council.

        Mr. Secretariat has also circulated accordingly the addendum to the Calendar of the current sitting of the Assembly separately to all the hon. Members I hope the House will agree to these changes in the programme (Voices-Yes-Yes-Yes). so let us pass on to item No.3 general discussion on the Budget. Yesterday I told that I would give change to Shri H.S. Lyngdoh who could not have a chance to speak yesterday To Shri Hoover Hynniewta who reported to me that he was ill for the whole week, I will give him also a chance to speak today. My I request Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh to speak ?


GENERAL DISCUSSION ON THE BUDGET

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I take this opportunity to take part in the general discussion on the Budget as placed by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Finance Minister has delivered before this august House, a very long budget speech and I am really very very thankful to him because the budget which he has placed before the House, is full of promises and efforts; it gives us the picture for the future of this newly-born State of ours. The budget, as has been placed by the Finance Minister, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is a deficit budget of 78 millions and for that he has sought the co-operation of all the hon. Members (A voice - 72 lakhs).

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Correct, 73 millions.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Finance Minister has expressed his extreme unhappiness in presenting the budget to this august House. As such I do share with him in his extreme unhappiness but on the other hand I will also Mr. Speaker, Sir, give encouragement to the Finance Minister. That in a new State like this as in new houses naturally and generally the people must at least have certain investments though it may be in debt. Also I hope, as expressed in the last part of the lengthy speech, the Finance Minister has sought the co-operation of all the hon. Members and especially when the big amount will be shared by the parent, I mean the Central Government. So I think the people also will not mind for this Mr. Speaker Sir, if we calculate the burden that the people of the State will have to bear it is Rs. 82 per head. I am really thankful to the Finance  Minister because of the fact that after all this extreme unhappiness he has rightly expressed that he wants the co-operation of all the Members of this august House and the people of the State as a whole. He wants us to co-operate with the Government for the implementation of the budget. Proposals But Mr. Speaker Sir, the co-operation that we can give, the co-operation that the people can give must be and will be in a way that the Government also must at least have regard or seek the cooperation of the people while initiating the policy of implementation of this budget. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to refer to certain items which have been left out totally by the Finance Minister in his speech and that is, while we the hill people or the people of the State have demanded for separation from Assam, we have been striving with certain hopes, certain outlook and certain aspects for the future of the people; that we must exist and we need a place to exist as minority, as tribal people in this great country of India and must develop ourselves according to our genius and ability. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the long and lengthy picture of the hill people of the State which has been placed before the House by the Finance Minister gives us a very uncertain base to stand and a gloomy prospect. In the last Session, I think it has rightly been mentioned by many hon. Members who had spoken regarding the territorial jurisdiction of the State. This I consider is a basic need which we must have an exact place to stand and develop. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the boundary of the State is not yet demarcated and there are lots of troubles in the border. On the very day the State of Meghalaya came into existence the people in the border faced the troubles. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to one of the incidents in the border of Mikir Hills and the State. In the Tyrso area there is a village called Mawlasai and there are other surrounding villages where the people are facing trouble all along and last year there were many people who were arrested by the Armed Forces from Mikir Hills and that the whereabouts of those people are not known in spite of  the fact that it was reported to the Government. But the Government never cared for their lives and no action was taken. As embodied in the Fundamental Rights in our Constitution, Sir, the State should protect the life of its own citizens. Let me mention the name of one person Mr. Prington Thabah of Mawlasnai and four others who were arrested in December 1971 and although this was  reported to the Government but no steps have so far been taken to find out the whereabouts of the person arrested. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a place which we have all along shouted about and that we have even brought on the floor of the House and that is a place at the boundary between Kamrup and Khasi Hills. In the village of Mawtamur there is great doubt and unrest among the villagers who are being threatened to be evicted by the Kamrup authority and I am afraid. Sir, that the whole population will be evicted form that village. The authority from the other side has given to some contractors the permit to exploit our forest wealth by cutting down trees, etc., and the villagers for miles and miles around are thereby threatened to be evicted. But actually this village is rightly within Khasi Hills District.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, the District Council of United Khasi & Jaintia Hills have already written to the Assam Government protesting such provocative action. I have got the papers here. According to the letter dated 17.1.1972 Mr. H. Lyngdoh, Secretary Executive Committee of the District Council has demanded that the Meghalaya Government should take necessary steps to find out the persons captured by the Police of the Mikir Hills, Districts, and also to press the Government of Assam for earlier settlement of the boundary. Mr. Speaker Sir, this matter of boundary demarcation was taken up by the District Council, United Khasi Jaintia Hills with the Government of Assam  since 1963 and it was agreed to make the demarcation in 1965-66 but nothing has been done up till now. I would also like to say  that the Government of Meghalaya is not take any steps on this because  there are some people who have some connection with officers and Ministers and they are more interested in exploiting the forest wealth of this State for their self interest. I would, therefore, request the Government through you, Sir, to settle this boundary problem immediately. Another thing  Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that in the Budget Speech placed by the Finance Minister about power development in the State there was no clear statement as to what will be the future while there are 'nil' 'nil' 'nil'  against the receipts under the head last year. I do not understand how there is no mention at all as to what is the present arrangement that has been arrived at on  this subject as provided under the North -eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. As a matter of fact, Sir, the Electricity Board is functioning and carrying on power generation in certain areas. The other day, we heard from the Minister-in-charge of Industries that a place in Tyrso will be dammed and that certain areas there will be submerged because of hydel power Dam. Sir, we must consider the outcome of this project. If the State needs to develop power generation Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are plenty of rivers which we can easily tap and we should also take advantage of the potentiality of the rivers and the falls like that of the Sunapani where pipes are used with not much expenditure. If a dam is set up at Tyrso a large part of it may be submerged and probably the whole eastern part of Bhoi area.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :-  May I interrupt, Mr. Speaker, Sir? The Government have not committed and there is nothing to show that we are determined to submerge the village or the area. The proposal was simply under consideration.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  If that is so. Mr. Speaker, Sir, then thanks to the Government for the information. But survey work is still going on there in spite of the fact that the local people have protested from year to year.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Power etc.) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to intervene here. There is no mention in the statement of the Power Minister that the valley would be submerged. It is not a statement of fact and the Member may examine  that statement more carefully.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Speaker Sir, I have a statement here and it does say that 5 sq. moles of land in the Tyrso valley will be submerged.

Mr. Speaker :-  But not Tyrso Valley.

Prof. Martin N. Majaw :-  I am afraid, Sir, the Minister had no knowledge of the topography of that area but we know that it must from a part of the Tyrso Valley.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, if that is the statement of the Minister then I am not at all convinced because I have gone to every nook and corner of the area and I find that Umpohwin and Tyrso are the same. It will affect not less than 14 villages and about 5000 people who depend on cultivation in their own lands. If the Government has not yet decided to construct a dam I would suggest to the Government, through you, Sir, that this survey work should be stopped so that cultivation of the people is not disturbed. Another thing, Sir, that I would like to mention here is about the frequent mention about Bangladesh in two or three pages of the Budget Speech. I cannot understand why so much consideration has been given to the refugees from Bangladesh even after their repatriation. I do not grudge that as these people are suffering very much. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as far as I have seen these people need further help and ways should be found out to extend further help by Meghalaya Government. But, Sir, I may inform the House through you, that there are people in the Western parts of Khasi Hills District who are cultivating potato, paddy and other crops and who are facing great hardship because their harvest fails totally and now they do not have anything to eat. Moreover, rice in the areas also is very costly. During the last few months Sir, about two, three four and five Ministers visited that area and they were kept informed about the situation prevailing there but no help has yet been given up till now to this poor people. This, in fact is against the basic spirit of our demand. So far we have demanded to get a State of our own but even now when we have attained this full-fledged State the Government did not make any attempt even, in such a condition, to help and serve its own people, but more help is given to Bangladesh.

Mr. Speaker :-  That cannot be; in which place?

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  In the whole north western area of this State, Sir. Now, the economic condition of the people of the whole State, Sir, the Government did not take any definite step to improve the economic condition of the poor in general. Another point, Sir, which I also now want to refer is the case of the Government servants who are still under the Government of Assam, for these Government servants I suggest that they should be brought to serve under our own State. The Minister concerned has said that the officer and staff now serving under the Assam Government should be taken back through negotiation with the State of Assam and our State Government. I suggest Sir, that there should not be any condition at all. The Government servants who are still with the Government of Assam and willing to serve under the State of Meghalaya should be brought now in order to accommodate them without any condition. The people of this Hill area were allowed to opt and serve in the Meghalaya Autonomous State and why not now when we have got a full-fledged State ? I would therefore, suggest to the Government that there should not be any condition and Government should not treat them as on deputation. So those people serving now in the Government of Assam should be taken without any pre-condition if they are themselves willing to come and serve under the Government of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, (bell rang) I have got  to speak for a few minutes more on the Budget speech of the Finance Minister. I have got many things more to say but now as the time allotted to me is very short, I conclude my speech and than you.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must express my deepest sense of appreciation for the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister. I am referring to a number of portions in this budget Speech in which the Finance Minister has correctly depicted the picture i.e., the financial picture and the policies of the Government. Now at page 22 of the Budget Speech, in the last paragraph, the Finance Minister said : "The requirements of the State for running normal administration are yet to be assessed". We have seen ample evidence of this fact in his Budget Speech. Now again at page 23, he said "we look forward to a sympathetic, equitable and just treatment from the Government of India in this regard considering the peculiar conditions of the State and also in view of the fact that our non-Plan revenue gap has still to be assessed". In addition to this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, he has assured in the House that there are proposals as to how to make up this huge deficit of Rs. 732.42 lakhs and he has of course raised a question that the Government of India should be requested to exempt the State from payment of 40.13 crores of rupees being the principal and interest to the Government of India. But still Sir, we have a gap of 320 lakhs of rupees yet to be covered. We must congratulate the Government because during the last financial year, it has been estimated that a huge deficit of Rs. 200.86 lakhs and in the revised estimates this figure has been brought down to Rs. 55.4 lakhs. I believe, Sir, that the Finance Minister guided by this experience, is having this gap, and he will see his level best to bring down this level of deficit at least in the same percentage as he did last year. Sir, I must also at the same time confess my deep sense of happiness on the allocation of funds that the Finance Minister has put  in his budget. Now for example, Mr. Speaker, Sir, he said that we are  having about 3,450 kilometres of roads in the new State but he has not informed the House as to how much of these are for the fair-weather road, how much are for the old metalled road and how much for for the black-topped roads and we should have been given also the district-wise breakup so that we can know how many miles of roads we have in Khasi Hills and  Garo Hills. Although we have got in the Budget Mr. Speaker, Sir, an amount that the Government will be spending on road development in the various Hills Districts. Now  we have also a grant of 79 lakhs outlay on the road and water transport schemes, i.e., development schemes under the Fourth Five Year Plan but Rs. 12 lakhs will be spent. We have spent a lot of time. Mr. Speaker, Sir,  to find out the details of the schemes and eventually we got all these figures. For Cherrapunjee-Gauhati Rope-way Rs. 25,000. We do not know Sir, whether  a new ropeway line is sought to be constructed between Cherrapunjee and Gauhati and if so, why this paltry sum of rupees 25 thousand. If the Government thinks of getting old liabilities, the House also should be taken into confidence regarding this 25 thousand. We are completely in the dark as any body outside the House can feel and we come to a provision of Rs. 11,25,000/- and this sum is made to cover 7 items, e.g. lands, buildings, purchase of vehicles, tools, petrol, lubricants and so on and so forth - 7 items are there. So we are also in the dark as to how much of this amount will be taken by petrol consumption,  lubricants and purchase of vehicles. At least we expected, Mr. Speaker Sir, that Government should have given more information.

        We come to grant 75 Development Schemes. The amount is Rs. 22,30,000 Here also Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are in the same darkness and an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs is set apart fro development of industrial area. How, where ? we do not know : even where the area will be located, we do  not know how this amount of 5 lakhs is going to be spent. Now an amount of Rs. 10,30,000 is allocated for share capital in Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation. Where is this corporation, who is the Chairman, who are the Members, what are its function ? We are also in the dark. You see, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if one father, however much he loved his son and if the son comes to him and says, 'Father' give me ten thousand rupees'. With all his love for his son, he would have asked his son "what would you do with this ten thousand rupees?" His first born son whom he loves more than his own life, he cannot but put this question "how are you going to use this amount?" Now, we are asking.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) ;-  Now, you are asking !

Shri H. Hynniewta :-  So I am, asking. I am already in the midst of a mystery. However we may love the Government, we may say you are a daring of the majority of the people of Meghalaya, otherwise we would not have elected you, but in spite of our love for you, we still want to know how you are going to spend this money. And the most surprising thing Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that this amount is set apart under one head ; it is a lumpsum provision. This Mr. Lumpsum provision we will find all through the budget, this is quite a popular figure in the budget. You see, Sir, especially works and buildings, give a lot of home works for me to get these figures. Not that I get them from the Hon'ble Finance Minister readily but I have to do a lot of addition. Sir, for works and buildings there is a lumpsum provision of 6 lakhs, well it sounds big. You wail till you hear the next figures which are for roads and projects. We have a huge sum of 1 crore 24 lakhs and 5 thousand simply lumpsum provision for new roads and incomplete roads. For communications we have 40 lakhs for Garo Hills, 50 lakhs for Khasi Hills and perhaps for Jaintia Hills 20 lakhs. Sir, I do  feel that we should heartily request the Government the next time when they come with another budget to give us more information and to get rid of this Mr. Lumpsum provision. If it is contingency, of course it is a small sum. But here it represents Sir, nearly 10% of the total budget funds of the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, now we would like also to know what will be the income that the Government will be getting from the various schemes and when we go through the budget we find no income from Road Transport and Road and Water Transport Scheme of 12 lakhs of rupees. Then from  our various State Transport undertakings, from the Assam Meghalaya Road Corporation, there is no contribution to our income and form the Assam  Cements last year we made a share capital contribution of 12 lakhs of rupees to Assam Cements and then we find that there is no amount given as a contribution towards the State income form the Assam Cements. There are many other items, Mr. Speaker, Sir, Although  we have made a provision of a loan of Rs. 22 lakhs to the Assam State  Electricity Board, there is no return mentioned in the budget. This electricity is being sold to the consumers and at least some income must come to the State which gives a loan.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, again I want to come to the district wise allocation of funds. During the regime of the Assam Government all of us belonging to the A.P.H.L.C. were members in the Assam Legislative Assembly and there was an Advisory Council where the C.E.M.s and M.P.s were members. What we adopted was the rational basis for the allocation of funds to the various hills districts, that is area cum population basis, that is 50%  for area and 50% for population. I think this is a sound basis. I do not know whether this basis has been followed by the Government. I remember, Mr. Speaker, Sir, at that time the then leader Capt. W.A. Sangma based area cum population for the determination of amounts for the respective districts and certain heads. His districts gets more but he insisted that this base should be used although the figure came down.

Shri  W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Since my name has been mentioned, the basis that I followed as Minister-in-charge of Tribal Areas is not only area cum population but it was area cum population cum backwardness. These things were taken into consideration. It is not pure and simple on the area cum population basis but consideration is given to the backwardness of the area also.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-   Sir, that is a new basis which I am hearing from the Chief Minister. It is too sudden for me to agree or to disagree. Since it come from him, it deserves all considerations and I do not think that responsible Members of this House as we are, can come to a hasty conclusion, whether this basis is acceptable or not. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have to work out and I have added the figures. For development, we have Rs. 8,59,59,491 for Khasi Hills and for Garo Hills, we have Rs. 7,19,68,467, for Jowai District, has got a major share of the funds form the State which may even exceed the area-cum-population-cum backwardness basis, if we take into account some figures which were added in the Khasi Hills like Myntang bridge between Nongbah and Nongjiri which is also included in Khasi Hills and the investigation on the construction of a bund at Dawki which comes to 2.75 lakhs as that also is included in Khasi Hills. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we come to police. Here I cannot but be shocked beyond all description. Of course, I will try to describe my shock. Mr. Speaker, Sir, last year under the Head  of Police Khasi Hills got Rs. 7,22,200 but this year, let me pause a little while so that we will all understand about the sense of my shock. Last year, 7 lakhs but this time Rs. 74,94,600. It is 10 times more than the previous one. Then I asked myself. How we people of Khasi Hills were so criminal-minded ?  It is beyond our anticipation that for Police we had to raise from 7 to 74 lakhs. Certainly Sir, we deserve a more convincing explanation from our Finance Minister. Garo Hills, Mr. Speaker, Sir,  last year it was 7,18,000 but this time it has been raised to 18 lakhs, three times more than in the previous year. It is a considerable sum, no doubt , but it is still comprehensible. But 10 times, I think, it has exceeded all bounds of comprehension. I think that Garo Hills should receive at least 20 lakhs. If Garo Hills has got 18 lakhs then if I roughly take into account most of these figures, 20 lakhs is meant for the Armed Police. But I believe the the Armed Police will not be able to use this amount but it will be used to accommodate other departments also under the State level expenditure. Now, I will come to this amount of Rs.2,56,54,600 and the expenditure under this head, in the previous year was Rs. 94,13,600. If we add up all these figures it comes roughly to Rs. 1,00,93,000 taking aside the expenditure of Rs. 9,00,291 for Garo Hills. Again if we take away 55 lakhs proposed for Garo Hills then we get Rs. 6,95,07,291 for Garo Hills. If we take this 50 lakhs of rupees to be spent on the displaced persons by this State Government, we come to 6 crores 68 lakhs. So we have this 95 lakhs in Garo Hills and in this way if we can take 5 lakhs as the amount for the displaced persons we come to the tune of Rs. 33,71,000.

Mr. Speaker :-  But will you note that amount meant for Myntang Project?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-  Yes, Sir, now, if I will come to the expenditure meant for Dawki, it is Rs. 28,256 which, when added together, will come to Rs. 2,27,00,346 roughly. So these are the break up of expenditure on the district purposes. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the opinion of our Chief Minister that Government has emphasized the criterion of area-cum-population cum-backwardness. Now, Sir, from the general discussion on the budget we find that all subject should be centred round these broad questions of policies. Therefore, I would like to draw the attention of the House to these broad questions of policies.

        Now, the crying need and the great problem in the country is Land Reform and the Finance Minister in his speech has mentioned abut the Land Reform, but he has not done justice to this by allotting adequate funds for this purpose. I will  not straightway jump to the demand that there in Meghalaya we should have a land ceiling on urban property and ceiling of our lands in the rural area. But first before we consider this question we must have a Land Survey to find out how much land is best reserved for forests, how much is best reserved for horticulture, how much is best reserved for horticulture, how much is best reserved for agriculture and how much for terracing how much for industrial purposes and so on and so forth. As such, we can allocate the funds on the basis of the situations prevailing in the district. Without knowing what is the problem and its magnitude I think allocation of funds will be more or less on a piecemeal basis. We must also know Mr. Speaker, Sir, how much land is best reserved fro irrigation. By joint efforts, the Government should take up certain big projects which will bring more land sunder cultivation. To implement this it will no doubt take 3 to 4 years. We have to cheat the people and I doubt if this word 'cheat' is not parliamentary. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will inform the House and through you, Sir, about what we are doing now. The Government fixed the rate at Rs. 120 per acre either in the Khasi Hills district or for that matter in the Garo Hills district. The poor cultivators can do nothing with this bare amount, they cannot even improve their 2 or 3 acres of paddy fields. Here, Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will find that people never get Rs. 50. One man from my Constituency met the Minister and the officer concerned. He told me that he has got 57 acres of paddy land. In fact if there will be only one or two persons who have got such big lands then we find that 120 rupees multiplied by 57 acres the amount will come to about 5 or 6 thousand of rupees on grant basis. This is a wrong basis. How can you reclaim land and turn more lands into paddy cultivation by investing only 120 rupees. Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, I feel that our policy deserves re-examination, review and it should be brought in conformity with the actual conditions prevailing in our districts. This is the principle that was followed in the plains of Assam where much lands were being brought under paddy cultivation. But here in the hills, only those people who have go 1/4 acres of land would have invested 120 rupees, and then the other aspect, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the industrial policy. We must limit our industrial policy as best as we can, we simply allocate 2 to 3 lakhs of rupees in this budget as industrial loan. We know there are people who are applying for industrial loan for industrial activities or to widen  their potato cultivation. But Sir, as you are all aware, there is no proper checking or control on the part of the department to expedite necessary action. There was even a sharing on the fifty-fifty basis between the officers and the loanee. I cannot imagine about this state of affairs which has found a deep root in this department. I cannot substantiate other charges but this charges but this charge is very much in the air. I have worked out the details with one of my friends. I took a loan of 1,000 rupees from the Government as industrial loan and then I give it as loan again in the villages at the rate of 3 rupees per hundred per month as interest. 5 years after paying the interest and the capital. I will still be granted 1,770 rupees, Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, we have to reassess, we have to find out whether the money that we are investing is really fixed for the intended purpose. 

(Bell rang)

        Only one minute, Mr. Speaker, Sir. We have to modify our policy as far as practicable in matters relating to industries and mineral development as well. I am grateful to the hon. Member from Mawhati and many others who have spoken very very eloquently on the handling and taking over of paddy trade from the hands of the monopolists and therefore, during the regime of the Assam Government, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we came across one high official known as the Director of Evaluation and Assessment. The function of this  officer is to assess the achievements done by the various Departments with regard to the scheme adopted and implemented  by them. I do not know, Sir, whether our Government has any intention to appoint such an officer to look after the performance of the various Departments, and to see whether the money allotted to them has been used properly or not. 

(Bell Rang)

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, please give me some time more.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know how many minutes more you will give to the hon. Member, because you have decided to give him only 15 minutes.

Mr. Speaker :-  22 minutes, because it is really unjustified to stop a Member when he comes to the end of his particular point.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- But unfortunately the other day one Member has been stopped before he came to the end of his speech.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-  In order to please the hon. Member, I am coming to the conclusion in two minutes or so, and in order to do justice to him I will be resuming my seat as soon as possible. 

(Laughter).

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- We just want to know the time Sir, but we have no objection to the hon. Member speaking.

Mr. Speaker :-  He has stated that he wants another two minutes.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-  I will finish in two minutes, Sir, if there are no interruptions, of course.

        The Finance Minister has said that the machinery for collection of data regarding State income and per capita income in Meghalaya is being built up and I am inclined to agree with him on the need to set up a very strong machinery for the collection of Data. But at the same time he said also that the Government is not in a position to give accurate figures relating to the per capita income. Is this not contradictory with the previous statement ? I am really surprised that when this machinery is still in the process of being built up, how can the Finance Minister come to the conclusion that there is a marked increase in the production of potato. How he comes to this conclusion ? I do not know. The amount of potato production this year is very very small, comparatively speaking. The Finance Minister has stated that potato output is expected to be better in 1971-72, as if the year has not ended.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- The  figures have not yet come.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Then the food-grains production during 1971-72 is 145,000 tonnes and in 1970-71 it was 1,23,700 tonnes. This I think is not a very dependable figures, because there was widespread drought in 1971-72 and many people in the areas like Nongpoh, Mawhati, Nongkhlaw were facing starvation because of this failure of the potato crops. I fail to understand how can the Finance Minister come to the conclusion that the food grains production this year would register a rise of 23,000 tones over the year 1970-71. So I think these figures are not very dependable, but some-how it was courageous attempt on his part to supply that information. We do not correct if there is no mistake and we will join with him in his attempt to have a strong machinery for collection of statistics.

Mr. Speaker :-  May I now request the Minister of State, P.W.D. to intervene ?

*Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, before the Minister replies, I would suggest that the Chief Minister may make an overall statement on the Budget Speech as a whole.

Mr. Speaker :-  No, this is not the convention. In fact, during Budget discussion, the Hon'ble Minister should reply. But if the Chief Minister wants to clarify anything on the policy of the Government well he has got every right, as the Leader of the House, to do so.

*Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  As has been correctly pointed out, reply to the various observations of the hon. Members should be given by my colleague, the Finance Minister and also by other colleagues. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there has been criticism voiced by some hon. Members during the discussion on the Budget to the effect that the Budget does not reflect the objective of eliminating poverty, ignorance and disease which has been the main plank of our developmental programmes. I would like to make a statement with a view to clarifying the position in this regard.

        At the outset let me make it clear that the problem of developing the backward State of Meghalaya is a colossal one and the elimination of the three evils of poverty, ignorance and disease is not a task which can be achieved in one year or even in a span of five or ten years. It may require a period of several decades to achieve this objective. In this connection, I would also like to point out to the hon. Members that currently attention is being given to the formulating of the next Five Year Plan which would be operative form 1974-75. The attack on poverty will be the main objective of the next Plan. The Plan would aim at undertaking programmes for removal of poverty simultaneously with achieving the development in various spheres..

        The number of people living below the basic minimum standard of consumption is considerable in the country. It has been estimated that the absolute  number of people living below the poverty line in the country is approximately 220 million. In a backward State like Meghalaya the percentage of population living below the poverty line would be much more than the average of the country. The per capita income of the State at current prices for 1969-70 has been tentatively estimated at Rs. 381.00 which is about 70 of the all India average. The lack of industrialisation is another aspect of poverty. Contribution of industries and mining to the per capita income has been estimated at Rs. 17.00 as against the all India  average of Rs. 34.00. The percentage of industrial workers to the total population is also comparatively low.

        In his Budget speech the Finance Minister has stated that our objective is "not only to bring the level of development of the State at per with other advanced States but also to keep up with the temp of development in the rest of the country"- The detailed estimates of expenditure for the plan Schemes for 1972-73 as well as the revised estimates for 1971-72 and actuals for 1970-71 have been indicated in Volume III of the Budget. From the next year we propose to circulate to the hon. Members detailed summary of the plan achievements and to the programmes for the financial year for which the Budget is presented. For the current year, I would like to high-light certain  aspects of the developmental programmes which have a bearing on the removal of poverty, ignorance and disease.

        The elimination of poverty would require raising of the standard of the people and increasing the rate of growth in agriculture and industrial sectors. Our expenditure on agriculture and allied sectors including minor irrigation, soil conservation, animal husbandry, fisheries constitutes 9.42% of our total budget and 20.73% of our Plan Budget. The schemes for agricultural development included in the Plan number more than 40. These cover the various aspects of agricultural development including demonstration in improved agricultural practices, improvement in agricultural experiments and research, plant protection and lift irrigation programmes. The schemes for Small Farmers Development Agencies and Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers are not reflected in the State Budget, as the Agencies set up for the purpose are getting allocation from the Government of India direct. The two projects taken in Meghalaya involve a total outlay of Rs. 100 lakhs each for the entire Plan period.

        One of the ways to attack poverty is to ensure employment to those who do not have work. In this regard, apart form generating, employment by various development programmes, special programme for generating employment have been taken up outside the State Plan. The crash programme on employment involved an outlay of Rs. 25 lakhs during 1971-72 and the proposed outlay for 1972-73 is also Rs. 25 lakhs. Apart from these, a special employment scheme is being undertaken during the current year outside the Plan. The total outlay tentatively allocated by the Planning Commission is Rs. 5 lakhs. We have represented to the Planning Commission to raise the allocation to Rs. 10 lakhs and to waive the condition of matching contribution by the State Government. Subject to the approval of the proposed to Planning Commission, and depending upon the final allocation of funds, it is undertake the following schemes :-

1.

Schemes for Minor Irrigation costing Rs. 50,000.00 offering direct employment for 6000 man-days.

2.

Schemes for Rural Housing costing Rs. 4,50,000.00 offering direct employment for 20,000 man-days.

3.

Schemes for Rural Transport costing Rs. 5 lakhs offering direct employment of 13,500 man days.

        In regard to the industrialisation of the State, I would like to make it clear that the role of the Sate Government is promotional and the major effort has to come form the local entrepreneurs. The plan allocation of Rs. 59.30 lakhs for the industrial sector which forms 7.19% of Plan budget may be considered in this context. A part from setting up of Meghalaya  Industrial Development Corporation, the State Government have decided to offer a package of incentives to industrialists who are willing to set up industries in Meghalaya.

        Now, let me come to the problem of ignorance. The percentage of literacy in Meghalaya is 28.43 which is less than all India average of 29.35% and we have to make efforts to catch up with the progress of education in the country. A part from consolidating the achievements in the educational  spheres, we propose to improve the quality of education also. Mention has already been made in the Budget  Speech of the Finance Minister relating to the appointment of a Commission. During the current year the State Government will be giving grant-in aid of Rs. 55 lakhs from the non-Plan Budget to the District Councils for the maintenance of the primary educational institutions under their control. During the current Plan 452 new Primary Schools were opened  in Meghalaya and a provision has been made of Rs. 8.90 lakhs for giving grant-in-aid to the District Councils for maintaining them form the Plan Budget. Under the Central programme outside the State Plan, an outlay of Rs. 2 lakhs has been made for appointment of 200 Primary School Teachers in the State. These teacher will be appointed through the District Councils during the current year with a view to reliving the unemployment among the educated unemployed. The Union Minister of State for Education has also assured to consider the question of sanctioning 100 more L.P. School teachers. Another main item of  the educational programme for 1972-73 is the provincialisation of 6 M.E. Schools. Our expenditure on education roughly amount is to 9.64% of the total State Budget and 9.09% of the plan Budget.

        In regard to elimination of diseases, I would like to point out that the total proposed expenditure  for 1972-73 on medical including Public Health Schemes is 7.05% of the total Budget of the State, and 8.49% of the Plan Budget. During 1971-72 the work relation to the setting up of 4 Primary Health Centres was started and is in progress. During 1972-73 another 5 Primary Health Centres are proposed to be opened. It is proposed to start work on a hundred bedded Hospital in Tura. During the current financial year, a scheme is proposed to be undertaken to increase the number of beds in Jowai Hospital by 36. We are aware of the shortage of doctors to man dispensaries as well as the shortage of other medical and para-medical personnel. Steps are being taken to improve the staff position. At present in Khasi Hills there is a shortage of only 3 doctors against sanctioned posts. In Jaintia Hills 9 posts are vacant and in Garo Hills quite a number of posts are vacant. At the moment 19 applications for appointment to the posts of Assistant Surgeon I are being processed, out of whom 11 are earmarked for Garo Hills. Vacancies for nurses, pharmacists, Sanitary Inspectors have been advertised by the State Selection Board and will be filled up in due course. 4 Doctors have been taken on deputation from Arunachal Pradesh with a view to relieving the shortage. 5 scholarships were awarded last year and it is proposed to award 5 more scholarships during the current year to the students after taking bonds form them to serve the State Government for 5 years after completion of their course.

        One of the recognised methods of preventing diseases is the provision of improved water supply. For water supply scheme in rural areas, the outlay in 1970-71 was Rs. 42.40 lakhs. Though the outlay in 1971-72 was Rs. 37 lakhs due to paucity of funds and other reasons, this has been put at Rs. 43 lakhs during 1972-73. Besides the Government of India have offered Rs. 50 lakhs outside the Plan for a centrally sponsored programme for rural water supply during the current financial year for which schemes are under preparation. I have also been assured that during the current financial year a sum of rupees one crore will be made available to us for rural water supply. Since  the inception of the Second Five Year Plan, 99 villages have been covered in Meghalaya with Rural Water Supply Schemes covering approximately total population of 1,50,000. During 1970-71, 8 villages were covered under the Rural Water Supply Schemes. During 1971-72, 5 villages were covered buy 29 Schemes for the benefit of refugees from Bangladesh were undertaken. During 1972-73, it is proposed to extend Rural Water Supply Schemes. to 14 villages, extending the benefit to 40,000 persons approximately, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this brief statement of mine, I have tried to indicate very broadly the salient features of the programmes of the State Government which aim at removal of poverty, ignorance and disease. I have high-lighted only a few Schemes which have a bearing on the Programmes. The detailed schemes are  contained in Volume III of the Budget with this short statement I would like to invite cooperation of al the hon. Members of the House towards achievement of our goal in rising the living standard of the people in Meghalaya and fighting the three enemies of poverty, ignorance, and disease. With the cooperation of al concerned and the best efforts of the administrative machinery, we propose to make some progress towards the achievement of our ideals though it may be little compared to the colossal task which we are facing due to financial limitation and constraint of resources.

(At this state the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair)

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now I will call upon the Minister of State P.W.D. etc, to intervene.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very thankful to the hon. Members who have given valuable suggestions regarding the Public Works Department of our State. Sir, I would like to intervene only in some of the points raised by the hon. Members in this august House. The hon. Member, Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang has suggested that the P.W.D. should complete the incomplete roads before taking up construction of new roads. In this connection, in the 4th Plan emphasis has been laid on completion of incomplete schemes but new roads are also necessary to link up areas which are hitherto not connected by roads. It is due to unavoidable circumstances that we could not complete all the existing incomplete roads. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member, Shri Onwardley. Well Nongtdu has pointed out the slow progress of Sutnga Saipung Road. The hon. Member knows that this road is under taken by the District Council , Jowai and the Jowai District Council is the agent of the Government. The Government gives money and execution of the work is being done by the Jowai District Council. Recently we have received information from the Jowai District Council in the months of February and March, 1972, and the progress of the work is indicated below :-

(a)

Jungle Clearing

...

85%

(b)

Earth Work

...

83%

(c)

Road side drain & catch water drain.

...

77%

(d)

Slab drains & culverts

...

85%

(e)

Hand packed stone walls

...

65%

(f)

Temporary logged Bridge

...

70%

        Shri Nongtdu has also suggested that Dikhia-Sutnga road which is at present a graveled road should be metalled and blacktopped. In view of the meagre provision in the Fourth Plan for roads, it has not been possible to provide for construction and improvement of roads in the State to the extent required. However, the suggestion to black-top Dikhia-Sutnga road may be considered by the Government as and when funds are available. As per estimate framed by the Department, the cost involved in metalling and black-topping of this road will be approximately Rs. 8,00,000.00 only. The hon. Member, Shri Nongtdu, also wants that some more roads should be constructed by the P.W.D.  beyond Saipung as this area has very poor communication system. Due to paucity of funds it will not be possible for the Government to take up more roads in this current financial year. But this will be considered, as I have already said, when funds are available. The hon. Member, Shri G. Mylliemngap, observed that though administrative approval and technical sanctions are accorded to the projects, estimates do not appear to be drawn up after proper survey and investigation as the estimates had to be revised several times for most of the projects. Estimates are prepared always after proper survey and as per prescribed rules and procedure of the department. In certain case due to unforeseen reason beyond control, like delay in obtaining lands as per normal procedure, rise in prices of building materials like cement, steel, bitumen and increase in labour, wages, the cost of construction goes up and estimates originally prepared have to be revised in consequence. However, every endeavour is being made to frame realistic estimates after proper survey and investigation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member, Shri S.D. Khongwir, has pointed out that the existing Mawlai Bridge is too narrow and unsafe for cars and pedestrians. He suggested that a bigger bridge should be built and separate foot-path for pedestrians should be provided. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out that estimate for reconstruction of this bridge is under preparation and will be submitted to the Government of India for sanction. At present it is proposed to provide a footpath for the use of pedestrians on the existing bridge.

        Hon. Members, Mr. B.B. Shallam, suggested that better communication must be made in Meghalaya. He observed that no feeder roads are available and unless these are made we cannot reach the main roads or exploit the mineral resources. The State of Meghalaya has much less road length compared to other parts of the country. In the 4th Plan due to meagre allocation of funds, we may be able to reach a total road length of roads of 3759 kms. Only whereas as per All India Plan finalised by the Indian Roads Congress, the State of Meghalaya should have 6289 kms. of road by the end of 1981. Unless more funds are available, i t may not be possible to build roads according to the All India Plan. In the 4th Plan, within the limitation of funds, attempts have been made to provide roads to connect interior villages with the main roads as far as possible.

        Hon. Member, Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, has observed that P.W.D. takes a long time to complete the projects. He suggested that to solve unemployment in rural areas the local people should be engaged in P.W.D. works. Though every endeavour is made to complete the projects as early as possible certain factors are there in the way like delay in in obtaining lands, shortage of materials like cement, steel, blasting materials, etc. Which are entirely beyond the control of the Department.

        Mr. Jackman Marak also suggested that on Chockpot Road works on bridges and culverts should be taken up. Recently I had also been to Chockpot and according to his suggestion. I think 12 km. of this road is being graveled and that the sharp turning is being constructed, of which I have spoken yesterday. The culverts are almost completed. He also suggested that a link road be constructed linking Gasuapara with Chockpot. This should be included in the Fifth Five Year Road Plan.

        Hon. Member Mr. Joshi, complained that the Shillong-Diengpasoh Road was in a very bad condition and no vehicle can run on this road. So, Sir, it should be improved. Of course, this road is not P.W.D.  road but only a private road. It is proposed to take over the road by P.W.D., for which an estimate has already been prepared and administrative approval accorded. But the actual execution of the work could not be taken up for not getting possession of the land for which land acquisition proceedings are pending with the Deputy Commissioner.

        Hon. Member, Mr. Planning Marak, also suggested that improvement works on Dalu-Baghmara Road should be expedited. The work is financed by the Government of India under strategic road programme. The work of collection of soling stone and metal is in good progress at the work of laying soling and consolidation of metal in the portions where collection has been completed is being started shortly. Recently I went to Baghmara and found that most of the soling work had already been started on a point where the Dalu road goes towards Baghmara. The collection works of gravels and stone-boulders were also almost completed. He also suggested to split the works so that more contractors can be accommodated in the contract works. Sir, he has also suggested that within the values of Rs. 5000 and Rs. 10,000 works should be split up so that Garo contractors would be able to take up contracts. This will speed up completion of the works as much as possible.

        But there are certain works like construction of bridges and culverts which cannot be thus split up. Further, there are other works such as collection of soling stones and metal in huge quantities for major improvement schemes which cannot be expediently split up into very small groups in the interest of expeditious completion of the works.

        As regards his observation that there is not a single Garo employee under Tura South Division the total number of Garo employees under Tura South Division is :-

L.D. Assistant

...

...

...

3 Nos.

Section Assistant

...

....

...

7 Nos.

Peon

...

...

...

2 Nos.

Chowkidar 

...

...

...

2 Nos.

Tracer

...

...

...

1 Nos.

Overseer Grade II

...

...

...

1 Nos.

Trained Section Assistant

...

...

...

2 Nos.

Duftry

...

...

...

1Nos. 

        This is an existing permanent Division transferred from Assam Government with the existing staff.  A Building Sub-division has already been set up in Tura to look after the building works in Garo Hills District under one SDO who has to look after that building which is being constructed. Now, Mr. Samarendra Sangma has also suggested improvement of the roads from Kalaichur to Mahendraganj and Ampatigiri to Mahendraganj and that through his village. Necessary gravelling  will be done to maintain the roads. The broken culverts also will be repaired. Government is considering to include some link roads in the next Fifth Five year Plan. There is also complaint that the Executive Engineers do not attend Sub-divisional Development Board Meeting. It is not understood which Executive Engineer he meant as there are three Executive Engineers in Garo Hills. I will look into this matter so that out Executive Engineer will attend such meeting of the Sub-divisional Development Board. Then as to the questions put by Mr. Pritington Sangma, by which he has mentioned that not a single PWD  road is existing in his constituency. It is correct that his constituency lies in the corner-most of the Districts of Goalpara, Kamrup, Khasi Hills and Garo Hills. As the hon. Member  is aware that there are two roads already proposed to be constructed i.e. one from Kharkutta to Wageasi and another from Rongjeng to Adokgiri via Mangsang 48 kilometers. Survey estimates from these roads at an estimated cost of Rs. 22,700 and Rs. 33,000 respectively have been sanctioned  during June and July 1971. Then No. 2. the work on the above roads will start within the Fourth Five Year Plan. We have recently a sanction of Rs. 5 lakhs. He has also mentioned, about improvement of the road form Darugiri-Rongjeng and Damra to Mendipathar. In fact this would have to be black-topped and stone-soling like other roads. I think this also has to be looked into in due time. Then as regards Shri Reidson Momin's questions, he complained about Tura Water Supply Division that there is partiality in respect of supply of water. I would like to point out that Tura Water Supply work is under the Public Health Engineering Department and there was already a discussion between the Garo Hills District Council and the Public Health Engineering Department and since there is no Municipality in Tura the District Council will take over the Tura Water Supply scheme for the Tura town but certain contractors have not taken over the work of water supply in Tura. Sir, in this connection, I would mention that there was a resolution passed by GDC and PHE  regarding private connection to the private houses as other people of other States are doing where there are Municipalities. But private connection will depend on the value of water and the size of the pipe and what rate they will charge for private connection, the people shall have to pay Rs. 100, besides they should bear the expenditure on pipelines. One who applies for private connection will bear the expenditure. I would like to inform the hon. Member that in Tura one water tank is yet to be constructed at Babupara area and I think sanction has already been given and also I would like to inform the hon. Member that in every 400 metres there is a public tap. So if the District Council takes over this Tura Water Supply, I think most of the citizen of the Tura town will be benefitted. So these are the things on which I have to give my clarification to the hon. Members so far they are concerned with my Department. Thank you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Minister of State Education

*Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister, of State Education) :-  Sir, I rise to speak on the points raised, the suggestions offered, criticisms, fears and apprehension as expressed by the various hon. Members of this august House during the general discussion on the budget. I propose Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to be as brief as possible. I shall make an attempt to be brief because I realise that it is a prerogative of the Hon'ble Finance Minister to reply also. What I have to say will be something like a prelude to the reply to be given by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. Secondly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I propose to deal with the matter subject -wise and not member-wise. Therefore, through you, Sir, I would entreat upon the hon. Members not to take it amiss or feel aggrieved if I do not mention the name of the particular Member in reply to whose speeches my statements are directed. Having so stated, the line of approach I propose to take, I shall now begin with the subject of education. During the past 3 days quite a number of Members have spoken on the Subject. In the first instance, some voiced their doubts about the efficacy of the system of education which has come down to us as an unfortunate legacy from the erstwhile British regime and, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with only a few minor changes or modifications it is still in vogue in the country to this day. While expressing dissatisfaction on this account, an hon. Member has had the occasion to say that the present system of education will only help (a) to create a shortage in all manual labourers in the villages (b) to increase a number of educated unemployed young people and (c) to produce a class of ill equipped that means educational young people who cannot be usefully employed and with the intention to resolve this  unfortunate state of affairs, the hon. Member has gone to the extent of suggesting that the Government evolve a system of education which is job oriented. Secondly, one hon. member has also suggested that education be so graded that only those who have a requisite attitude should aspire for and be provided with the facilities for higher education. Thirdly, some of the members have expressed their apprehension of the fact that the much talked Education Commission which  has recently been appointed may take into account the needs for education, only in respect of Secondary and Higher Secondary stages of education and not taking into account or study our educational needs in the lower primary school level. Then another Member has advocated the need to appoint the Text Book Committee and the need to appoint a Board of Secondary Education. An hon. member has opined that he is not satisfied with the inspection of schools and he has also very graciously assigned two reasons for the failure of the existing staff to inspect the schools in the State. He has stated that in the first instance, inspecting staff is innumerably inadequate, secondly he has stated that because of the fact that these officers have to tour into  the interior on foot, they have not been able to cover much ground as he would wish them to do and there he has suggested that Government consider the possibility of increasing the number of inspecting officers and he has also suggested that jeeps be provided to the Deputy Inspectors. The last observation made in this class of observation is a statement made to the effect that the District Councils appoint teachers who in the opinion of this particular Member are, not really qualified to teach. One particular hon. Member has gone to the extent of suggesting for consideration of Government that only matriculates or those who have passed High School Leaving Certificate examination are to be appointed as teachers in the Schools. The lower primary school (At this state, the Deputy Speaker left the Chamber and Mr. P.R. Kyndiah, Chairman took the Chair). When this particular point is being made by the hon. Member concerned, another hon. Member sitting close to me passed a remark . He made a comment and in whispering of course, Mr. Chairman, Sir, he has said "why not stand up and tell him that the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the District Council and it has nothing to do with us, that is with this august House. But as the House knows  very well, Mr. Chairman Sir, I did nothing of the kind for the simple reason that it is my very considered opinion that one and all, we who are in this House today are very deeply concerned and very deeply involved even in the matter of primary education. As far as I remember Mr. Chairman Sir, these are some of the major points raised by the various hon. Members during the general discussion on the budget in connection with education. I have classified these points as being major because they raised constitutional matters; they also raised matters involving policy and in replying to these points, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would seek your permission to read one of the extracts from the Inaugural Speech delivered by the Leader of this House before the Education Commission about two months ago. The Chief  Minister said : "We are all aware of the problems that beset the present system of education in the country and we are also conscious of the many  frustrations; difficulties and aspirations that are experienced, felt and cultivated by our youth to-day. Some of these problems and frustrations can perhaps be attributed to the fact that we have a somewhat outmoded system of education that is no longer attuned to the world of technical advancement in which our youths are living. Later on, he said, it has occurred to me that another difficulty with the present system of education is that it tends to divorce the student from his immediate cultural environment.

        We cannot at this state of growing internationalism encourage anti-minded provincialism and we cannot at the same time adhere to make the students suffer. These are the principles of the Education Commission. The Commission is also going to examined the problem of Secondary Education, it is considered necessary that where Meghalaya is concerned, the problem of Secondary Education should be studied and immediate measures should be adopted for its implementation and consideration. I consider this to be the most important principles of the Commission because we would see the emergence of this Educational system that takes cognisance of the needs and resources of the State as well as the national heritage of the people of Meghalaya. We have not evolved in educational system that is to create a new sense of mental and physical abilities to our students, like it was done in other countries, and in which the Chief Minister in his note for reorientation of the educational system in Meghalaya has stated as follows :- "I am confident that this Education Commission will come forward and give recommendations and suggestions. I feel also that these will be remedies to removed our present more of our education.

        This policy of educational system made by the Chief Minister as stated by the Education Commission, to my mind form the very beginning shows that the Government is fully aware of that (a)  the present system of education is a different mode, it is defective and it is not according to the genius of the people of Meghalaya (b) that there is a new change of system as to start with the lower Primary Schools. (c) It shows that our schools are to work for a re-oriented system of education. It shows also that the Government is aware of the fact that our educational system today is a small progressive system of education. They will produce educated young men and women who will be willing to serve their people and serve their country. I hope this policy of education collected by me which was made by the Hon'ble Chief Minister will adequately coincide with the points raised by the various Members. I would also like  to take this opportunity Mr. Chairman, Sir, and for the information of the House that steps have already been taken for the appointment of a Text Books Committee and that similar steps are being taken to constitute a Board of Secondary Education. This constitution of the Board of Secondary Education, I must say, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is likely to take a little more time because it is under consideration  of the Government that it would be in the interest of all concerned and it would be in the interest of the  Education Department also to have one Board of Secondary Education for all the states in the North Eastern Region. It was also felt that English should be the medium of instruction. Therefore,  we are now in the process of advancement and in the same status of the various State Councils in North Eastern Region. At the same time I would also like to inform the House, and through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that all savings will be made expeditiously for the constitution of a Board of Secondary Education. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to the hon. member who has expressed his dissatisfaction with the inspection to the various schools through out the State, I would like to take the opportunity of giving him assurances that the Government is fully aware of this fact. In fact Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have already taken steps to create the post of Additional D.I. of Schools for Garo Hills. The Department is also making its very serious efforts to make these Inspectors of Schools more mobile by providing with a jeep for them. The Government is considering the possibilities of further appointment of inspecting staff by making fresh personnel. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to emphasis the fact that it is still in the process of consideration. In additional to the more elaborate points placed by the hon. members which I have already enumerated earlier, one hon. Member has stated that the same set of text books has been used every year as we did in the past 20 years. In this respect, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would only say that this matter will be taken up accordingly.

Mr. Chairman :-  The time is up. The House stands adjourned till 2 P.M. today.

The House met at 2 p.m. with the Deputy Speaker in the Chair.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Mr. D.D. Pugh, Minister, of State, Education, will resume his speech

*Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister, of State Education) :-Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to continue I would like to recall that another hon. Member of this august House has stated that he is not very happy with the proposed allocation of an amount of Rs. 10,000/- for grants to non-Government colleges. I would like to drawn the attention of the said hon. Member to grant No. 24 at page 3 in volume II and though I have carefully gone through the figures provided in the budget, I find no where recorded that Rs. 10,000/- are proposed to be allocated for grant to non-Government Colleges as such. What I find is grant to non-Government professional colleges such as B.T. College; whereas grants for non-Government Arts Colleges, the amount is Rs. 40,000 under State and Rs. 19,00,000 under district bringing the total to 19,40,000/-. Therefore, I presume, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the hon. Member might have not seen the words 'professional colleges'. The biggest complaint that has been made against the Education Department, seems to me, to be non-payment or delayed payment of scholarships and grants. This mater is being looked into and I assure the House, that if there is any lapse on the part of the Department, it will be rectified with the least possible delay.

        I note, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that during the discussion on the budget one hon. Member has expressed his desire to know on the working of the Basic Schools. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with the limited time at my disposal, I would not venture to say a discourse on it but all I can say is, if the system of basic education has failed or is failing it is certainly not due to the step motherly treatment meted out to them by the Government. That is all I have to say on the subject of education and the debate therein.

        On Social education, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in the discussion on the budget one hon. Member had said something to the effect that social education is to be looked into in order to provide general education for the grown-ups or adults as well, in order to help them improve their lots. While listening to him I got an impression that he was not very satisfied with the Government efforts in this direction. If the impression I got is correct, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to draw the attention of the hon. Member  and the House to Volume III, page 10, wherein we will find that an allocation of Rs. 80,000 has been made for a pilot project staff for educational survey work. Out, of this Rs. 80,000/-, Rs. 65,000/- is allocated for a pilot survey work to be undertaken with the intention to eradicate illiteracy in the State, and this scheme forms part of the 17 lakhs rupees scheme, which is a Centrally sponsored scheme.

        Then in the matter connected with the District Councils, one hon. Member during the curse of his speech has suggested that Government should review the utilisation of grants-in-aid received by the District Councils. In this respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to state that before sanctioning grants-in-aid to the District Councils, Government. has always insisted that the Council submit utilisation certificates in respect of previous grants received by them. On the same subject, another hon. Member while referring to page 16  of the Finance Minister's  budget speech has pleaded that Government should increase grants-in-aid to the District Councils so as to enable them to carry on their developmental activities. In this respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to read a brief extract from the Finance Minister's budget speech, because I feel that it explains the position clearly.

        At page 16 - the Finance Minister has stated : - "Efforts are made to make adequate provisions depending upon the requirements and availability of funds. The State Government are working under financial limitation and constraints both on the Plan as well as non-Plan side. The allocations have to be made within the limitation of overall resources position of the State. The provisions for Plan schemes are fixed in consultation with the Planning Commission.

        Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say a few words on the observations made by the hon. Members in connection with the Department of Information & Public Relations. It has been said that this Department seems to have the habit of purchasing second-hand equipments. This statement is not correct. Secondly, it has been pointed out that the appointment of the P.P.S.  to the Chief Minister as Joint Director of the Department of Information and Public Relations does not look very proper. I agree hundred per cent with the hon. member who has made this observation. And therefore, the Department is making serious and frantic effort to find another incumbent not only because it does not look proper but also because the present incumbent is far overburdened with work. Thirdly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Hon. Member has also contended that traditional and indigenous artistes were not going given due recognition and encouragement. As a solution, he has suggested the creation of a Cultural Wing in the Department of Information and Public Relations. I welcome the suggestion because I agree with the Hon.. Member that something more tangible, something more concrete should be done for the development of our traditional art, our traditional music and our traditional culture. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not too sure that mete creation of the proposed Cultural Wing in the Department of Information and Public Relations would solve the problem at all. I propose to hold further discussions with the hon. Member concerned and I am confident that as a result of these discussions with him and with others we will be able to evolve a better and a more practical plan to ensure that we can develop our art, music and culture.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Now, Minister-incharge of Medial

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister Medical) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to the hon. Members who in course of the general discussion on the budget, have raised certain points in their observations. As stated by the Minister of State, it is the privilege and prerogative of the Finance Minister to reply to all the points raised. So, I will try to be brief. I will straight away go to the points raised by some of the hon. Members on various matters concerning my Department. Point No. 1 raised by Prof. Majaw is about the refugees. He wanted to know whether we have some more refugees outside the State of Meghalaya. I have tried to collect the statistics from both the districts and the position is like this. Out of a number of nearly 7 lakhs of refugees who came  to Meghalaya in 1971, all those who were given shelter in the camps have since left for their homes in Bangladesh. According to the reports dated 15.6.72 and 21.6.72 from the Deputy Commissioners of Khasi Hills and Garo Hills, the total number of evacuees who were still staying with their friends and relatives in the State is 394 and 7 respectively. Necessary steps are being taken by the Deputy Commissioners concerned for their repatriation to Bangladesh. So, the question of rehabilitation of evacuees in our State does not arise.

        Sir, another point raised is about some steps to be taken in connection with payment for the construction of camps during the last mass influx of refugees in the State. Sir, construction of camps for providing shelter to the refugees had to be taken up on emergency basis but subject to observance of rules and procedure governing such construction. Due to certain technical difficulties involved in the observance of those rules and procedures payment for certain camps, the construction if which was not strictly in accordance with these rules and procedures, could not be made last financial year. Payment for such camps also can be made only with the prior approval of the Government of India. The Government is now actively examining those cases for submitting a report to the Government of India.

        Regarding the repair and construction of school buildings, hostels etc. in Garo Hills said to have been damaged on account of their occupation or use by and for the refugees the estimates for Rs. 2,765,575 had been submitted to the Government of India for necessary sanction. The Government of India had raised certain queries relating to those estimates and the case is under correspondence. This point was raised by the hon. Member form Garo Hills. The Government is very much keen and I have seen a number of schools which were damaged in the border areas and we are sympathetic with the difficulties and the plight of the students. We have taken steps to give some sort of a subvention to the School authorities. That will take time, but I hope the Government of India will approve of it.

        Another point raised by other hon. Members is about the lepers. One hon. Member, Mr. Lapang, has pointed out that the are some lepers even in Shillong. We are trying to create a sort of colony for leprosy patients. On a  number of occasions I have mentioned on the floor of the House about these leprosy patients in both the districts. Unfortunately, we have no place to keep these lepers. I hope after some time we will be able to find a suitable place so  that a leper colony can be established. At present we have one at Garo Hills and another one at Nongpoh. But in both these colonies there are no seats for admission.

        Then another hon. Member, Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah, raised the question of development of Shillong Municipality. I am sure he himself being the Chairman of the Municipality once, knows the position thoroughly well. We are trying to improve this Municipality and the first step that we have taken is the appointment of an Officer on Special Duty. He is attached to the Shillong Municipality and he has taken over charge only recently. I do not know whether he has started the work. But I hope the condition will improve.

        Yesterday some of the hon. Members raised the question about un-cleanliness of the Shillong Restaurants. Well, let us see how this new officer on special duty undertakes the job of cleaning thereby making these restaurants a  little bit clean.

        Another hon. Member, Prof. A Warjri, mentioned about taking over of the Municipal Board by the Government. It is not very clear whether the hon. Member wants the Government to take over the Shillong Municipal Board for some time. If so Government have got no intention to do so. Another hon. member, Shri Khongwir, has raised some points regarding scarcity of baby food. I would like to inform the House that so far there has been no report about this. However, the matter is being looked into. As regards opening of Dispensary at Pynthorumkhrah I should say that opening of new dispensaries in Meghalaya depends on various factors which need a through review. There are petitions for opening of Dispensaries, Primary Health Centres etc. in as many as 49 places in Khasi Hills. Just now I was told by the Secretary that the post, of Health Assistant, Pharmacists have been advertised. But time and again, I told in this House that it was extremely difficult to get the requisite number of trained  Pharmacists have been advertised. But time and again, I told in this House that it was extremely difficult to get the requisite number of trained Pharmacists of Health Assistants. Now as regard sanction of increased rate of Dhobi allowance to Nurses, as has been pointed out by Mr. Khongwir, it may be mentioned here that we are following the rate of pay and allowances as admissible in Government of Assam and consideration for revised rates has not yet been contemplated, since they are still under deputation. Regarding confirmation of temporary Nurses with long years of services. I would like to inform that this relates not only to the Nurses but to all categories of staff as well, but no action could be taken in view of the existing service  conditions with the Government of Assam. I would like to inform him that we have already appointed a Matron in Reid Chest Hospital. This is for the information of the hon. Member.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is not so much about Health this time and most of the points have been covered by the Chief Minster's statement. I am very glad to listen to all the suggestions that have been put forward by various hon. Members and I would like to inform the House  that we have taken note of all these suggestions and Government will try to implement those suggestions as far as practicable. With these few words I resume my seat. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  May I request the Hon'ble Minister for Agriculture to speak.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the beginning I though that I should not give any reply to this debate because I am afraid lest I introduce upon the right and privilege of the Finance Minister. As per convention, the Hon'ble Finance Minister has to reply. However, as there are certain observations relating to my Departments I will have to give my clarification  on them. Mr. Deputy Speaker,  Sir, being a new man to the Departments during all these four days of my sitting here in this House, I consider myself to be in a training class or in an information centre. Lots of information I have collected from the discussion of the hon. Members regarding my Departments. But I emphasise the word "but"- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Sir, it is up to my common sense to judge as to which information is correct and which is not, which advice is sound and which one is not. I found that some of the information has got no basis at all; as for example some of the hon. Members alleged that there were some starvation cases at Umdohkha but on enquiry we found that there was no such incident taking place as there was no case of starvation. We have got a report from the village headman of Umdohkha. He confirmed that there was no such thing.

        Now, I am coming to another Department under me i.e. the Community Development Department. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you heard, most of the speakers had thrown bombshells on this Departments  but I do not share their contention. Rather instead of blaming the Officers and staff  of this Department, if I may say so, I should say that if there is anybody, serving under the Government who deserves reward or gold medal, it is only those officers and staff working under the C.D. Department. These people have sacrificed a lot for the sake of their duties. During the last influx of refugees into our State it is they  who spent nights in the camps to which we were not able to go as there was foul smell even 3 miles ahead of the camps. So it is very unfortunate that these staff and offices are to be blamed mercilessly. It is human nature not to look at their own faces; but to look a other faces and they can not see their own faces.

(A  voice - through a mirror they can see)

        For that also they will have to come back home. (laughter)

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also unfortunate that when I took over P.W.D. the Department was under fire. Now I have taken over the Department of agriculture & C.D. and C.D. Department is now under fire. It seems I am to act as a fire extinguisher (laughter).

        However, I would assure this much that so far as this Department is concerned, I will try my best to reorganise it, to set it right and to put it in a position so that good services can be extended to the people of Meghalaya.

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir  :-  At the moment it is in a wrong position.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,  there are also a serious charges against the Government regarding land at Upper Shillong which has been said to be a good Research Centre. So I would like to tell the hon. Members regarding this Upper Shillong land, i.e. the Livestock Farm at Upper Shillong. The Farm was originally established as a model experimental station for potato cultivation in the year 1897 on a land covering an area of 462.00 acres.  During the year 1952 the Farm was re-organised and divided into Agricultural Farm and Livestock farm as follows :-

(a)

Livestock Farm

...

301 acres.

(b)

Agricultural Farm

...

161 acres.

        Again in the year 1964, a plot of land measuring 175 acres was handed over to the Defence Department by the Government of Assam. Now the total area available with the Livestock Farm is 126 acres only. During our time, we have not given even an inch of land. This 175 acres of land which was handed over to the Defence Department is due to the fact that the previous Government the Assam Government had already decided and agreed upon and compensation determined and we have no other way but to hand-over this 175 acres of land to the Defence Department.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was also a great demand form the Members for a major change in the policy and that is to reorganise the Development Blocks by providing or putting a non-official Chairman in the Blocks. It is a sound policy, if we really want to decentralize the power and moreover it is a departure from the existing rules and procedure which I think is not fair on my part to be in such a hurry to say yes or no to this demand. It needs minute examination and minute study, it needs a through study of the whole process and then only the Government will come to a decision. Because I am, afraid lest a clash, or misunderstanding might be there. And for this non-official Chairman the allowances to be paid to him and the source, from which we can meet his allowances, all these things will have to be considered and at the same time it is too early for me to say anything on this point. Many of the hon. Members have also spoken about the late arrival of fertilizer or the non-availability of fertilizer. For the information of the House I may say that for the year 1972-73 we have already got the allotment of fertilizer from the Government  of India and now we are appointing agents to lift the fertilizer. With regard to bone meal this year, it is unfortunate that bone meal has not yet been made available to any are in our State. Se have to get the bone meal from U.P. and the late arrival of this bone meal is due to  non-availability of wagons in the Railway for bringing this bone meal to our State. But I think we will be able to cope with the requirements of the agriculturist. Then, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was also a talk regarding Land Reform and record of rights. This I think is up to the Government to consider because we have got here in our State a peculiar land custom.

        Moreover, this is a matter to be dealt with by the District Councils because according the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, lands are with the Districts Councils. Any-way if we do anything on the policy of land-reform and record of rights, I think we cannot do it independently, we have to d it in consultation with the respective District Councils.

Shri Maham Singh :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the District Councils only deal with allotment and use of lands and with regard to land reform the District Council has to do only 3 things namely location, occupation and certain use of lands.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, any way as I had said earlier, this has to be done with the consent of the District Councils so that everything runs smoothly. and peacefully. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of the hon. Member have suggested also to change the lengthy rules and procedure of weights and measures. I consider that this is also a major policy. They want that we should have Mobile Court in Weights and Measures. Well, we will certainly try to look into this matter. If we have to change the Act. - the original Act. and Rules we will certainly give serious consideration for getting it passed.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. May we know whether this Act has not yet been passed by Parliament. ?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr.  Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Act is there put to implement it. They said that they want certain provision in the Act so that a Mobile Court can be established. For the information of the House, I would like to say that this is a major issue and needs careful study before we come to any conclusion. Then, Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, one hon. Member has mentioned that we should start tea Plantation in Meghalaya Yes, we have consulted with experts and they said that the condition of the soil is good for tea plantation but I am afraid once we start tea plantation or tea gardens in our State, the labour problem will come in especially when we see that at the moment we are short of labourer and if at all we are to have tea plantation, labourers will  have to be brought from outside, from Bihar or Orissa or elsewhere and my colleague in-charge will have a great headache to solve this problem. However, we have an idea that we should cultivate tea on family basis i.e. each family will have 2 acres of 1 acres of land for cultivation of tea.  This matter is under consideration and if it is found suitable I  will bring up the  scheme before the House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding irrigation in agricultural areas, one Hon. Member has pointed out that there are recipients of grants of only Rs. 40/-. In this connection I would like to say that there are also recipients of Rs. 20/- only. It is so because every payment was based on measurement  and measurements Book is there. I do not know whether it is right or wrong but there are cases like that. As far as irrigation Scheme in the Agriculture Department, is concerned our policy is  to survey the whole area of Meghalaya so that we will be able to know whether the land is fit for irrigation. Whatever irrigation we would like to have it would not be for small schemes but for a big area of lands of 200 or 300 acres. Our intention is to get big irrigation and that will be taken up by the Agriculture Department itself. If we want to strengthen our endeavour whether for this or that thing it should be dealt with in a proper manner. In implementing the scheme of irrigation we sometimes blame the local officers for this or that, Why ? ..Because somebody (At this stage the Deputy Speaker, vacated the Chair for the Speaker) get something and somebody else gets very little. But, Sir, for the information of the House I would like to say that we are likely to blame only the officers without considering one aspect of the matter I remember to have once checked up with a member of one Block on some fishery schemes and when KI asked how this amount was arrived at for which an amount of say, Rs. 500 or Rs. 600 was spent and they replied. : You see, Sir, we invited some applications an then the Sub-Committee would give this fellow Rs. 500 and the other fellow Rs. 600." In this way, Sir, without proper survey the Sub-Committee would give any amount asked for and if it is refused, the applicant would go to any public leader and start shouting with the officer of the block or even with the Inspector of Fishery. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is how the blame is put on officers. I think  I will not take any more time.

Shri  P. Ripple Kyndiah :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, just on a point of clarification. I would like to know whether someone is sent to help the B.D.O.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir the scheme as approved by them is implemented cent per cent. But I should think that there are certain things  done according to the measurement and the actual work. If a man does not work how  do you expect him to get that amount. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I have already said, right from the very beginning, I think I am not here to reply to all the points raised by the hon. Members because otherwise I will be introducing upon the rights and privileges of my friend, the Hon'ble Finance Minister. With these few words, Sir, and before I sit down I feel that it is my duty that I should thank and congratulate all the Members of this House who took part in the discussion. As I have said earlier and may I repeat, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that it is really a training camp for me or even an information centre form which I learn so many things.

Mr. Speaker :-  This Assembly is not merely an information Centre or a training unit. It is the highest body in the State.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :-  I know, Sir, that this is the highest body but that was what I feel because I get so much information. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- May I now request the Minister in-charge of Industries to give his reply.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to make a few observations in reply to some of the remarks made during the course of the budget discussion by many of the hon. Members. First of all I shall deal with transport. The Members form Mawhati, Nongtalang, Laban and Cantonment had made  certain remarks on transport and I would just briefly give the replies in so far as they deal with the remarks made by the Members concerned. Regarding the State Road Transport Corporation, an agreement had been reached some weeks after the 21st January that for a period of six months it would function as a Joint Corporation and a number of decisions are still to be made in connection with the Corporation. I would like to read out a note

        "The State Road Transport Corporation has been functioning now for over 5 months as a Joint Corporation even after the creation of the full State of Meghalaya. The question regarding the future of the Corporation is under consideration of the Government since it deals, in so far as the inter-State routes are concerned, with the Government of Assam. The question of having an independent Corporation will have to be decided keeping in mind the interest of our State and also the over-all transport problem of this area. Starting of a new Corporation involves enormous raising of funds and it will definitely take some time to take a decision on such matters; even the process of division of assets and liabilities would require some time. The Government of Meghalaya has a Department which has started its own bus services on two routes on experimental basis".

        Now, the Member form Nongtalang had asked why the Government has not taken over. This is in the process of considering the whole question of nationalised routes within the State which involves the inter State routes.

        The Member from Laban had suggested shifting of the Motor Station. This is also under the Joint Corporation and we cannot take that decision at the moment. The suggestion to make the road one-way traffic, however, will be examined.

        The Member from Cantonment had drawn the attention of the Government to the plying of taxis in Shillong Town stating that the taxis do not use the meters. He has requested the Government to take effective measures to see that the meters are used by taxis.

        This is certainly a very important mater which the previous Government had examined but still this difficulty is there regarding repair of taxi meters. But Government will look into this problem and steps are being taken by the Deputy Commissioner to enforce the use of  taxi meters. The hon. Member from Mawhati has alleged that there were private trucks running illegally on the Gauhati-Shillong road and Enforcement Staff of the Transport Corporation and so on and so forth. We sent an Officer to enquire into this illegal running of the trucks on the G.S. Road and form the enquiry of that Officer it is found that about 70 vehicles  were plying without authorised  permits on the G.S. Road. So part of the allegations is found to be true. But regarding bribery, it is very difficult to ascertain quickly and so the matter has been referred to the Superintendent of Police, Shillong. It seems that these 70  vehicles that were plying were carrying FCI rice and sugar meant for Shillong from Gauhati, were given movement permits or rather movement certificates as required by the Supply Department. So these truck owners used these certificates authorizing movement as required by the Supply Department and used them as road permits. Unfortunately, this has confused some of the staff in the gates and this will be carefully looked into and corrected. 

        Now, I come to Industries. The Members from Sutnga and Cherrapunjee have referred to the press reports on Assam Cements and the member from Sutnga stated that it seems that the Management Agency or Agents  have handed over the factory to the Cement Corporation of India. he also stated that it would affect the economy of the State causing unemployment. The Member from Cherrapunjee also had referred to a recent press report which had created a sensation among the workers and the people of Cherrapunjee as a whole, and requested the Government to look into the whole affairs of Assam. Cement. So since this matter has been reported in the press recently, I feel Mr. Speaker, Sir, that it was my duty to place the facts and make a statement before the House regarding the affairs of the Assam Cement. I will read this Statement. The Assam Cements came over to the Government of Meghalaya soon after the 21st January, 1972. The authorised, capital of the companies Rs. 700 lakhs. The total value of the subscribed shares is Rs. 538.95 lakhs (Public equity - Rs. 11.45 lakhs. out of which the calls in arrears are Rs. 7.80 lakhs, Government equity Rs. 427.50 lakhs and Government preference Rs. 100 lakhs). The Company has also taken a loan of  Rs. 152.86 lakhs (IFC - Rs. 95 lakhs, Government of Assam Rs. 55 lakhs and Housing Board Rs. 286 lakhs). It is estimated that a further sum of about Rs. 300 lakhs may be required to complete the expansion project. The present Directors are the Financial Commissioner-Chairman, Secretary, Industries, Government of Meghalaya, Director, incharge Shri Maham Singh, and Smti. A.M. Roy, Steps have been initiated to transfer the shares in the name of the Government of Assam to the Government of Meghalaya, which involves amending the articles of association, etc. The Assam Cements is in the process of expansion from 250 tonnes per day to 930 tonnes per day. The expansion programme should have been completed long ago, but was not pursued vigorously. This is being done and it is hoped that by the end of the 1973 or the beginning of 1974, the expansion programme would be completed. The financial affairs of the company are very bad. The accounts are in arrears for the years 1969-70 and 1970-71. The financial year 1971-72 will also be soon over on the 30th June, 1972. Steps have been taken to bring the accounts upto date as quickly as possible. Thee is no costing. Inventory control has not been introduced. There are several important vacancies in the management cadres. There is no proper purchase policy. At long term sales policy has also not been evolved. The transport problem has still to be satisfactorily solved. At present, the Factory is passing through some difficulties. The motors for the slurry and kin plants have been giving troubles. These  were repaired by a reputed workshop at Calcutta, but the defects have not been completely rectified. Because of the break-down of these motors, the Factory had to be closed down for some time and production reduced by almost 50  percent. In addition to this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will read out another statement regarding the press report. The attention of the Government has been drawn to the news item published in the weekly "U Pyrman" dated the 16th June, 1972 regarding Cement Corporation of India and Assam Cements. As already clarified in the Government Oress Note dated the 8th June, 1972, there is no decision of the Government to hand over the factory to the Cement Corporation of India. The Industries Department however, has been exploring possibilities of the Cement Corporation of India being approached to provide necessary finance for completing the expansion programme of Assam Cements. It may also be necessary to consider availing the services of some professional personnel form the Corporation or some other organisation fill up certain gaps in the managerial cadre of the Company. The letter dated 10th, May written by the Industries Secretary in his capacity as Director Incharge is of an exploratory nature. It is not an offer to the Cement Corporation of India to "take over" the factory.

        The Department has also advertised  for a Managing Director and Controller of Finance and accounts with a view to strengthening the management of the Company. A. A. Recognised Consultancy Group, Personnel and Productivity Services of Bombay, has also been asked to advice the Government regarding measures to be taken to improve the functioning of the Company. The report is awaited.

        The final decision regarding improving the management of the Company can only be taken after the report of the Consultancy Group has been received and examined by the Department and Board of Directors. Government is not considering to hand over the Company to the Cement Corporation or any other agency. Government are fully aware of the need for ensuring maximum local employment and its decision in improving the Management would definitely take into account this aspect.

        This matter of financing the expansion programme was taken up with Mr. Mohon Dharia, the Union Minister of State for Planning who has given an assurance that the request of our Government will be taken up with the Planning Commission and the Government of India."

        The Member from Mawkyrwat had referred to the loans of cottage and small industries being delayed perhaps intentionally to get money from the loanees by the staff of the Department. This has also come to my attention, Mr. Speaker, Sir, and we are carefully looking into the matter which is very much regretted. I will take action if any specific cases are brought to our attention. The Member from Nongpoh had referred to the taking over of the meter factory and this has also been referred to by Mr. Peter Marbaniang, Member from Laitumkhrah who wanted  to find out what was the progress of taking over this factory. The Government has invited technical expert from the National Industrial Development Corporation of India to examine all aspects of the meter factory  including the actual value of the machineries. The expert tem has recently left Shillong and the report is awaited. This was under our consideration for some time to take over the factory and diversify the manufacturing  and bring it into full production as soon as possible. But it will require some careful study to be sure that it will be an economic and feasible working industry. The member from Darengiri had given some suggestions for examining the large reserves of limestone and coal in Garo Hills. This matter has been under active consideration of the Government in the Industry Department and the statement was made the other day in the House regarding the possibility of setting up Cement and Clinker factories including supply of clinker to Bangladesh and West Bengal from Garo Hills. This is under active consideration and study. The Member from Sohiong had suggested that the Government should study the opening of a paper factory. This has been under active consideration of the Government since 1971 and we have already had the offer from a business house which has given a preliminary study of setting up pulp and paper factory in Meghalaya and it is still under consideration by our Government. The member from Dalu had referred  to the possibility of setting up a ginger dehydration plant in Garo Hills. The Government is examining the feasibility of setting up a ginger dehydration plant but I may mention for the benefit of the member concerned and the House as a whole that we have sent one of our Officers to C.F.T.R.I. in Mysore for looking into the Ginger dehydration and its technical aspects and he had taken with him also a quantity of ginger for actual experimentation. Unfortunately his report is not very encouraging as far as ginger dehydration is concerned, with  this particular species that we have in Garo Hills However, the Government is also examining the setting up of essential oils industry using 5 to 6 different raw materials which we have in Meghalaya including the distillation of aromatic oils that come out of ginger and this is one of the industries which is being investigated at the moment. The Member from Dalu had also suggested subsidy for the handicrafts factory at Mendipathar. We do not have a scheme for this kind of subsidy. However the case can be examined for financial assistance on the receipt of application from the party concerned. The member from Dalu also referred to the castor oil crushing in Garo Hills. This has been established a long time ago by the Government of Assam and, at the moment, it is lying closed due to non-availability of castor oil seeds in Garo Hills. Government is examining the scheme to reorient the same as it was established by the previous Government and these factories at present are facing technical and economic difficulties. The Government had requested the Small Scale Industries Service Institute of the Government of India at Gauhati to examined the factory and give their report and recommendations. They have completed the investigation and the report is awaited. Coming to the suggestion of the hon. member form Laitumkhrah for utilisation of surplus potatoes. Sir, potato is largely carbohydrate. Starch, Glucose and Industrial Alcohol can be produced from potato as the raw material. This has been done in some countries; but the feasibility of establishing these industries in our State has be examined carefully, keeping in mind, that, especially in the case of industrial alcohol it is a question of diverting a food product into essentially an industrial raw material used primary for the production of non-food products.

        Industrial alcohol is generally prepared from molasses, waste product of the sugar industry and from low grade grains. However, a detailed investigation  by Government will first have to be conducted on the surplus production, etc. before a commitment can be given to undertake these industries. However, the use of other raw materials, such as tapioca and corn together with potato for production of starch, glucose and industrial alcohol can be studied by Government.

        Coming now to power. The Members from Nongpoh,  Umroi, Mawlai, Laban, Phulbari, Mawprem, Mylliem and Rongram had referred to the different aspects of power production, the distribution of power and rural electrification and so on and so forth. As you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assam State Electricity Board continues to function for Meghalaya as it did before the full State was formed and the Government is considering getting technical advice for examining advisability of setting up a Board of our own for doing whatever is  necessary for the production, transmission of power in our State. In the meantime, the Assam State Electricity Board according to the Reorganisation Act will function up two years or until other arrangements are made which ever is earlier. It is, therefore, not correct as stated by the member from Nongpoh, that Government is in the process of taking over the Electricity Board. It is all under study of how the Government  of Meghalaya should do. So far as this is concerned since the financial statement of Assam State Electricity Board will be placed before the House, I have requested for a note from the Secretary, Power who will get  it form the Electricity Board. On some of the points raise by the Members in so far as the State Electricity Board is concerned, I would request the Members to be patient and within a few days' time I shall make a statement dealing with power in Meghalaya when that financial statement will be placed on the Table of House. However, I would like to refer to some of the remarks made in so far as electricity is concerned. The Member from Phulbari had correctly  stated that power comes first then industry follows and we should set up industry in our State, while incentives are being given by the Government of India for removing the economic backwardness of our State. I agree with him. I would request the member to look at the entire picture of the industrial tempo of the North Eastern India as a whole  and more particularly, of the Meghalaya State to see that power production consumption and uses in this State are very very low. While appreciating some of the remarks questioning why some projects should be put up we will have to strike a balance if we generation of power is for use in industries, irrigation and other uses so that our State will be placed on the industrial map of India. The members from Mawlai and Mawprem had referred to street lighting, inadequacy of voltage and the lack of street lights in certain areas round about Shillong. I would like to inform the House that so far as street lighting is concerned, it is to be given through Municipal Boards, Municipal Committees as Town Committees and if these Committees have a control over  the neighbouring areas of Shillong within the licenced areas of the Company concerned and if such authorities are ready to pay whatever the lighting cost them street lighting may be given. Now so far as proving correct voltage is concerned, Sir, I would like to read a note on the present licence, the Shillong Hydro Electric Co. Ltd. For the information of the House "A decision was taken by the previous Government as early as in 1861 to the  effect that the State Electricity Board should take over electricity undertakings in certain towns of Assam including Shillong.  The State Electricity Board however, could not take over the Shillong Hydro Electric Company due to lack of funds and other technical difficulties. Government  of Assam therefore, granted a licence to the said Company upto 22nd January 1967. But by that time also the Assam State Electricity Board could not take over the said concerned  and hence Government of Assam granted another licence for four years with effect from 21st October 1967 and the licence expired on 21st October 1971. The Government of Meghalaya took a decision to renew the licence of the Shillong Hydro Electric Co. Ltd. only for a period of three years. The licence  has not been issued as yet. Government  has to resort  to such decision due to the circumstances that the Assam State Electricity Board is still unprepared to take over the said concern, and the future of the board is also not know. In Clause 8 of the draft Licence the following conditions are proposed for the purpose of improvement of electric supply.

        1. The licence shall within two years from the date of granting the licence improve the condition of supply of energy so that all reasonable demands for the same within the area of the licence can be met and shall provide electrical energy of the prescribed voltage by maintaining adequate plant and machinery required for regular, constant and sufficient supply of energy for all purposes. Again, another thing I have to mention here is regarding low voltage  this is produced by small diameter wirings that were used to supply many consumers many years ago. Low voltage in certain areas in the town is caused by main lines of too small size.

        2. The State Government shall if it decides to nationalise the concern in the public interest, have the right to purchase the same i.e, the lands, buildings, works materials and plants of the licence after serving due notice on it for the purchase.

        3. If the licence fails to comply with the provision of sub-clause (i) above, the licence may be revoked.

Shri Maham Singh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, the question now is whether the supply policy of the Shillong Hydro Electric Co. Ltd. is borrowing the power from the Board to enable the Company to supply power adequately and according to the correct voltage.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, of Industries) :-  The hon.  Member from Rongram had  referred to black coal and while coal referring to the swift flowing rivers and suggested that the Government will look into the possibilities of establishing Hydro Electric Power Stations in Garo Hills and she also referred to the irregular supply of power to Tura. The late problem of irregular supply of power to Tura has been taken up by the Government and I would like to inform the Member from Rongram and any hon. Members that our Government has recently set up an Electricity  Department which under the Electricity Supply Act. it is this Department which is to revive any complain regarding the inadequate supply of power or irregular supply of power or any problem referring to the supply of electricity. It is this Department of Government which will have to look into the suppliers whether they are the Hydro Electric Company or Assam State Electricity Board or any other supplier. But I would like to inform the hon. member form Rongram that it is not the swift flowing rivers which will necessarily produce power. The condition for the generation of hydro electric power, in Meghalaya particularly where the rivers often are reduced in winter, is for adequate storage of water at certain  heights from which water is dropped  and in the drop power is generated. Therefore, it is not just the swift flowing rivers from which power can be generated but enough storage capacity. And this brings a conflict sometimes in the valley where you wish to have storage. Farmers have already occupied the land for cultivation. So this conflict between the need of power and the needs of flat land for farmers in the valley is one of the conflicts which the people all over the world have go face.  We will have to solve this problem if we are to get proper agricultural production form the valley as against large power potential

        Now, I would like to come to forests. The hon. Members from Nongspung and Mendipathar referred briefly to the need for forest control and I very much appreciate that some of our  Members  have tried to do whatever they can to educate the people not to cut the trees. But it has been correctly stated that an Act for control of private forests is necessary. But as already stated by my colleague the Minister-in-charge  of Agriculture we will have to take into confidence the District Councils. As the House knows that Government controls only a very small proportion of the forests. We have been trying to evolved a method by which management of private forests in consultation with the District Council  may be brought about. The District Council have already been addressed in this matter and the discussion in this matter has been planned with the three District Councils concerned. The Government  have also been examining the prospect of creating a Forest Corporation to develop forest wealth in the State as a whole so that adequate funds could be obtained from financial institutions for large scale development. A definite policy on the issue of management of private forest  cannot be spelled out at this moment as the proper evaluation of various Private forests Acts is still under examination. So three or four different acts. within the country and outside the country are under study. Conditions in this State as regards ownership of land and other respects are quite different form others and these Acts cannot be applied directly as they are. From the study of the various Acts on private forests of some Sates in India the following observations are noted. 

        1. In every private forest Acts there are sections dealing with the preparation of working plan and penalty for violation of the working plan prescription.

        2. In some State provision has been made for complete taking over the  management and control of private forest either by declaring them "vested forests or controlled forests. In such case only the ownership remains with the individual. The Government conducts the management and control right from planting to harvesting. A percentage of the revenue is given to the owner after deducting  the cost of management and control.. 

        3. Almost all the Act also provide for the grouping of the forest for harmonious management and control. In respect of Forests Acts of Norway and Denmark also it is seen that all forest whether privately owned or state owned are to be managed according to sound sericulture principles under the supervision of the appropriate authority of the Government

Mr. Speaker :-  May I request the Hon'ble Minister to shorten his clarification.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister of Industries) :-  Regarding the loss of forest revenue  I would leave that to the Finance Minister to reply.

        I now refer to the Sericulture and Waving Department . The hon. member form Rongram had made a suggestion that the Training-cum-Production Centre is needed and this has been noted. But the condition in our State is that there is a long need for such development and to shorten it I would like to bring to the notice of the Member concerned that the time is not yet ripe for us to start the Training-Cum-Production Centre due to lack of raw materials and this will be taken up in the appropriate time.

        There was a complaint from two members regarding delay in postal communication. Although postal communications come under the control of the Government of India, but I have been asked to look after it, so far as our State  is concerned. The complaint made was  by the Members from Tura and Nongstoin that it takes a long time for letters to go to Tura and Nongstoin respectively. I hope this will be solved when the new buses arranged by the Transport Department of our Government on an experimental basis, for running buses to Tura and eventually we hope to take up carrying the mail to Tura and Nongstoin also.

        Regarding Tourism and Town and Country Planning, as they are somehow inter-related. The hon. Member from Nongspung has stated that not much importance has been attached to development of  tourism in the State. In this connection I may refer to the attitude of the Tourism Department, Government of India that very little importance is paid to development of tourism in the whole of North East India. Unless this approach by the Government  of India, changed we will not be able to develop tourism much in this part of the country in the near future. The hon. Member has also referred to the conditions obtaining in other countries of the world, like Switzerland, Thailand and others where tourist industry flourishes, he mentioned that as far as Shillong is concerned it is no longer the Queen of hill Stations. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as stated by my colleague the Hon'ble Minister for Municipal Affairs, it will be the endeavour of our Government to do something in their regard. There is no doubt that Shillong has become dirty and grown in congestion over the years. However the Government are trying to  clean up the town and beautify a few selected spots like the Lady Hydari Park  and the Ward Lake. The maintenance of a town certainly involves the active co-operation and participation of al the citizens and the members and, as such, we hope we will succeed in this direction with their active co-operation.

        Permit me, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to put in a word of hope that it is not only in the western countries like Switzerland which are so clean and also some other beauty spots of the west. I would say that even Singapore which was one of the dirtiest cities in Asia has now become one of the cleanest cities with the passage of time. This has been done with not much expenses and modern equipment but mainly with the co-operation of the people and also the passing of rigid legislation. I do not want to take the time of the House by reading from an interesting article from the Readers' Digest April, 1972, but those who are interested in cleaning our town of Shillong and other towns in the State. I would urge upon them to read this article "Singapore Comes Clean". If we in this House composed not only of the Government, but all the hon. Members, and all our citizens are really keen to make our State a clean State, it can be done with the determination of the Government and endeavour and co-operation of the people, because it is cheaper to be clean than to be dirty. So with the public co-operation, we hope we will be able to improve and maintain the sanitation of the town.

        Another thing, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are all very interested in developing the tourist spots that we have in the State, but Members must realise the limitations of developing the industry in an area which has been left out of the tourist map of the world. In this connection, we have taken up with the Government of India the question of restricted area permits for tourists. I would, therefore, urge upon the Members also to support the Government in its effort to remove these restricted area permits so that tourists can come easily. On this also it requires a  lot of provision of basic facilities to the tourists and we are helping to give a start in the process as soon as possible.

        On Soil Conservation, the hon. Member form Rongram has suggested that the Department should provide machinery and equipment like tractors and bull-dozers, but I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, Sir to inform the Member that the Department  does not have tractors and bulldozers of its own and we just hire tractors form the Agriculture Department. Only this year we are staring to purchase a few of them and when they become available, they will be used for the purpose of helping the shifting cultivators or jhummias as they are called, to take up permanent cultivation. I would like to inform the House that to demonstrate to the shifting cultivators, the benefits of permanent cultivation as well as to demonstrate soil conservation measures two pilot project centres covering about 75 acres each were taken up in Garo Hills during 1971-72 In this, as far as possible, the entire village households were taken up and land developed for them both reclaimed land and terraces by the Department. On these developed lands, the Department have shown growing of the some crops as they grow on jhums, using the villagers as labourers, paying their wages. At the same time the slopes on the hills adjacent were taken up for afforestation. Facilities such as irrigation seeds,  manures and fertilizers are also supplied. Though it is too early to judge the results, this seems to have attracted the erstwhile jhummias and promises to be successful. The Programme would be continued on a bigger scale this year and such projects are proposed to be taken up in Khasi and Jaintia Hills also during this year if we can get suitable areas.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to the sweeping remarks made by the hon. Member from Mawhati against the Soil Conservation Department that it is the most notorious avenue of corruption.

Mr. Speaker :-  I have already ordered expunction of those un-parliamentary words made by any hon. Member form the proceedings of the House.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, of Industries) :-   I would like to give a reply, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to such a remark against this Department and that if definite charges against any officer of this Department brought to the notice of the authorities, appropriate action will be taken,  if found correct.

        About the alleged selling of forms by the officers of the Department, made by the hon. Member from Mawhati, I have been informed that the Department has no such forms or application forms for grants or other help, and whatever forms the people might have, are not the forms supplied or sold by the Soil Conservation Department. Some unscrupulous persons might have sold such forms and therefore  the question of selling forms by the Department does not arise. I would also request the hon. Member to publicise this fact so that people are not misled.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, this morning the hon. Member from Nongkhlaw had made reference to some clarifications that he wants to have. I would like to clarify some of  his questions. He referred to details in the budget. He said that no details had been provided  in the Budget and he wanted to know the reasons why no details had been given in respect of capital grant of Rs. 12 lakhs that had been earmarked for transport development. In this connection I would like to say that the details would be worked out depending upon the decision of the Government as to whether these should be a State Transport Corporation or it would be given to the private operators and so on and so forth.

        Now, as regards the allocation of Rs. 25,000 for the Cherrapunjee-Gauhati rope-way, I would like to say that this amount has been made as a token provision for feasibility studies for this rope-way. Indications are already there, in the preliminary report which we have received that it would be of very great advantage to our Government as well as to the Assam Cement Co. to have this rope-way. This amount of Rs. 25,000 is a token provision for the feasibility study.

        The hon. Member has also mentioned about the Industrial Area and the amount earmarked for that. He asked why no details had been given. In this regard, I may mention here that no details could be furnished because the economic survey has not yet been done. Moreover, requisition of land for the Industrial Area, development of land and so on and so forth are yet to be done.

        He asked about the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation. For information of the hon. Member, I want to mention that the Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya is the Chairman and we are looking for a General Manager of the Meghalaya Industrial Corporation. In reply to a question of the hon. Member from Malki on the Master Plan for Shillong Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to make it very clear that we have started this Department only very recently and we have not got the requisite staff yet. We trying to get the advice from the Government of India's technicians and Master Planners. We will consider whether there should be an Advisory Board to examine this Master Plan when it is prepared.

        I would like to make some references, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you kindly allow me.

Mr. Speaker :- I will not mind if you continue but the Hon'ble Finance Minister may mind because he is to give his reply yet.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister of Industries) :- However, I would like to conclude my intervention by saying that while some of the hon. Members have stated about corruption in the various Government Departments, they should not make sweeping remarks against any particular Department without proper ground. If specific charges against any officer of the Department are brought to the notice of the authorities, I may assure that appropriate strong action would be taken, if found true. Finally I appreciate all the valuable suggestions form all the Members and I hope with my colleagues that we will get their full co-operation in implementing all the programmes of the Government for the improvement of the State.

Mr. Speaker :-  May I request the Hon'ble Finance Minister to give his reply ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all I would like to express my deep appreciation of the manner in which the hon. Members from both sides of the House had participated in the discussion on the Budget during the last four days. Also the keen interest which all the hon. Members have shown in all aspects of the Government decision and in all matters relating to the welfare and prosperity of the people of our State. Now in order to reply to the various points and suggestions made by the Members, I would like to say that so far at the suggestions are concerned, the reply may not be necessary in that I hope these suggestions are being noted thoroughly by ourselves here and also by the officers of the Department. All these suggestions will be considered and taken note of for necessary action and even due consideration will be given to those criticisms various criticisms voiced by the hon. Members on various matters. Because judging from the spirit in which the Members have participated, I feel that those are indirectly questions rather than attacks which need a reply on the question of broad policy especially on the statement made earlier by the Chief Minister that this Government is all out fighting the war in three fronts poverty, disease and ignorance. The Chief Minister has again made a clarification as per outline to cover the observation made by the Members on these points. Again on various works and various Department my colleague, the Minister in-charge of those departments had given the replies which I hope have gone a long way to satisfy the Members. Anyway it will not be possible to reply and I see it is not necessary to reply as points have been noted down for taking necessary action as far as possible. Now, so far as the need for clarification is concerned, it may relate more to the high financial position referred  to by various Members on the budget which I will try to clarify as far as possible because of time element. Before I come to that question I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the sympathy and understanding shown by all the Members of all sides on the financial position of the State, about the last deficit that we have to face and also I would like to thank the Members for their support to the just claim of the State for exemption of the loan liabilities of the past by the Government of India considering the financial position of this new State, this backward State, the neglected State for so many years. They support that the Government of India should come forward with special attention and  special aid and especially to come forward to give us the aid that we have already demanded for the 5 special schemes that we have been moving in the last 2 years before the Government of India.

        Now I will come to the points, the financial points as have been referred to by all Members. The hon. Member, Shri G. Mylliemngap from Sohryngkham wants to know whether this liability is only cash liability or whether it is liability or assets of the State. The reply in brief is that this liability is cash liability. Then he has also suggested that the over-lapping grants specially of the same area, for the same people from the three sources - the Government source, the District Council source and also the Block source may be removed. While there is a point for the  suggestions, in fact we are now examining as to how the three  Departments would co-ordinate or co-relate in such a way that overlapping may not occur. Then Shri Koch who is not present now has raised a very surprising statement doubting about the sincerity of the Finance Minister in showing the figures in the Budget especially the figures showing the last deficit. Well I do not know whether any sincerity or insincerity can arise on account of facts and figures. Sincerity, I should say, might have arisen on the question of intention or feeling. Therefore. I would strongly say that the figures of the budget on the financial position as shown in the budget papers are really the financial position and no manipulation of figures or facts has been made. So I would say that the remark is very uncalled for. Then just now my colleague, Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy, had also referred to Mr. Koch's remark about the fall of revenue on forests. This is not true. In fact the revenue on forests is expected to increase about 2 lakhs this year. Shri Rowell Lyngdoh from Mawkyrwat has asked a question why funds are still being shown in the budget for payment for the relief of refugees as the refugees had already left our State. On this I would reply to the points raised by Prof. M.N. Majaw who has said that large number of bills are kept pending for clearance and for those bills necessary provision had to be made in the current financial year and also there are still refugees left behind. Not those Bangladesh refugees of 1971-72; they were refugees who came to our State in the year 1964 and they are entitled still for certain relief and rehabilitation. They are Muslim Garos of tribal origin from Mymensingh District. Then again Prof. M.N. Majaw raised the question because in my speech I had stated that we are continuing to raise additional resources for refugee relief. This is so because of the instructions that we have received from the Government of India and this will not end  within this financial year. We have to raise additional resources because the Government of India is now contributing towards the aid of Bangladesh.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, a very important subject which many Members  have been seriously raising is about the credit facilities to our farmers and agriculturists form the nationalized banks. This is so  because it was very much publicized that there is vigorous drive for aid of credit to the agriculturists from the nationalized banks. Now on this question we are also facing great difficulties of land tenure system that is prevailing in our State. Whenever the agriculturists would take  credit from the banks he has to mortgage any interest that he has got  in his land and for this as Shri Maham  Singh has pointed out the other day, it is very very difficult especially in Khasi Hills District to identify the owner. It is also very difficult as there are very few Ri-Kynti lands and  largely we have clan lands and also community Raj Lands. How to identify a single individual as owner having interest in the land. It is very difficult. So the Government for the last 1 years had tried to take up the question very seriously in consultation with the District Councils and we have decided now that we will bring comprehensive legislation wherein the ownership of land will be identified in such a way that even people who are not considered as owners may be declared as owners provided they have interest over that land. This legislation, as has been suggested  to us by the Reserve  Bank of India, will have to acquire the assent of the President and to facilitate the matter, the Government has decided that first a draft bill should be sent to the Home Ministry and when we receive this from the Home Ministry, if it is passed, it may perhaps be brought in the next Session of the Assembly. In the meanwhile, realizing the urgency of this matter the Government after consulting with the District Councils will bring in a notification to facilitate the credit facilities for the agriculturists form the banks. Likely within a month we will issue that notification.

        Then Prof. Marbaniang also raised the question of limited operation of the nationalised banks. Now, Sir, according to their policies the nationalised banks cannot extend their area of operation beyond 10 miles radius from the centre and if the centre is in Shillong no farmer living beyond 10 miles from Shillong will get any credit. But recently the banks had agreed that even beyond 10 miles wherever there is a group of farmers interested in getting loans they may do so. Instances are already there that the policy has been implemented. So now farmers from beyond 10 miles can approach the banks for loans.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on point of clarification. What does the Hon'ble Finance Minister mean by a 'group' of farmers ? Does he mean by 'group' to be a co-operative society ?

(At this stage the Speaker, left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker, occupied the Chair)

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  No. It must only be sufficient number of farmers.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-  On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, May we know the maximum number of farmers acceptable to the bank and secondly, whether these loans are given individually or collectively ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  By  sufficient number I mean that it must be a reasonable number. But the loans may be given individually.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may we know who will determine this number; whether the banks would do it ? This is important, Sir, because this is the crux of the whole matter.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- I am informed that there is a Co-ordination Committee and this Committee will settle these questions.

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap :-  I am sorry to interrupt the Finance Minister. In the memorandum on the budget estimates I have made three observations against page 23 on Expenditure and Disbursement side. It is stated by the Hon'ble Finance Minister that the loan to be granted to the Electricity Board amo9unting to Rs. 22 lakhs is the money coming from the Central Government and referring to the revenue and receipt side shown against page 16, this amount has no bearing at all on the receipt side. Another observation that I have made is that, at the same page, the amount of Rs. 2,94,50,000/- is shown against 'O Public Debt, as loan from the Central Government. This loan, as it has been stated by the Finance Minister, we have  at present agreed upon on cash liability only and then this big amount we are to pay against which loan ? And the third observation is that on the same page against 3 loans from the Central Government an amount of Rs. 9,64,500/- has been shown against the Expenditure and  Disbursement side, and this amount is not shown against 'O. Public Debt on the receipt side. These are minor observations on which I want some clarifications.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  I would request the hon. Members that if they want to raise a point of clarification, let the point be in short form.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- On this Electricity Board, we have stated nothing about the receipt side because the receipt side will begin on after the sixth year of the loan in question. So, there will be no receipt side preceding the sixth year. Then, this question of Rs. 9,64,000/- was raised because we have shown only in the expenditure side and not in the receipt side. These are the loan that we received from the Government of India for our Plan scheme which we have to repay. Now, Rs. 9,64,000/- is shown as the amount that we are to pay to the Government of India for the loans we received in 1970-71. Therefore, in this year the receipt side was not shown  there; it can be shown only in the budget for 1970-71 and 1971-72 and  that will be at page 16 of the memorandum. So, these are really very complicated and we have had to go through a lot of papers and then sort them out I believe the hon. Member does not raise this question with any suspicion of manipulation of the figures. However, we are prepared to sit and look over the papers. 

        Now, Sir, apart from the financial aspects of the matter I will come again to the question which was remarked with a forceful plea by the Member from Nongpoh Constituency, that there is need in the Bhoi area both for development and proper administration of the whole area. He has very strongly pleaded that a Sub-division must be created for the Bhoi area. For that Sub-division, I do not know whether he has canvassed because I found many Members also had given support to this plea. Anyway, I heard also about the movement simultaneously for a separate District Council for the Bhoi area and this matter will be taken up very seriously. Actually, we have been able to convince most  Members about the movement for a Regional Council which is really not relevant to their problem. Now with regard to a Sub-division, the Government is quite sympathetic from the point of view of being a far-flung area and from the point of view of the financial position of the State  and I would assure the Member that the Government will be considering these things very seriously. But of course there are suggestions  towards this end. First of all, creation of administrative units for facilities of soil-conservation, etc. Now, Mr. Akrommozaman, who is not here has said that there is a very very strong feeling for the cuts in the District Budget. Anyway for the benefit of   the hon. Member, I would like to assure that is not the correct position because if we look at the budget for 1971-72 and 1972-73, though it is a fact, but part of  the cut is due to provision for refugee relief. In 1971-72 of the District budget large sums of money have been incorporated for the refugee relief and if we remove this cut we will find that there has been an increase in the budget for 1971-72 and 1972-73. He has also raised a very pertinent point about the capital assets. He said that there is no mention in the budget to show any indication of allocation for capital assets for without which he said there will be a deficit financing. However, in this connection I would like to state  that according to the principle of budgeting followed at present the Government is sympathetic towards the expenditure relating to allocation of capital assets on which depends the question of development and raising the standard of living of the people and their prosperity in agriculture, trade and industry, so that the State can share in the form of  revenue from these capital assets. Then this will help the State as a whole to be able to derive such revenue from the people and this will help the State towards repayment of loan and debts. So I should say that we hope that we can implement fully all the schemes and plans that we have proposed to complete in order to bring about enough prosperity into the State from which the Government will raise revenue for repayment of loans and liabilities. Again Mr. Akrommozaman has suggested that there should be State lottery in our State. It is true, as he said, for having a State lottery. But it is not useful if we consider from the moral or spiritual point of view. Lottery tickets of other State are sold here in our State also which our people used to purchase. So in this connection, State lottery is also essential no doubt in our State and so there is no point for not having a lottery when we are having it. Instead of letting our revenue go into other States, we might take revenue into our own over the States of India are increasing. Therefore, it will be worthwhile if we can go in for a State lottery and this matter will be carefully considered by the Government.

        Now, I come to the question raised by Mr. Ripple Kyndiah. He has said that he is very much concerned about expenditure of the Government. He has mentioned only one instance and that is for restriciti8ng the tour of the Ministers. Yes, this is correct on the one hand because there is always suggestion for restricting the tour of the Ministers or leaders who are taking excessive tours unnecessarily. But I understand that tours are required to be made especially when the touring programme is meant for the interior places where a Minister or leader could understand better about the problems of each area in person. Thus by touring to those areas, Ministers will be able to contact the local people and have talks or discussion or consultation with those people regarding the grievances and problems. On the other hand there is a demand for improvement of the economy of the State as a whole and it is true that the tours should be restricted as far as practicable. But I would also like to say that the economy is not to be effected by only restricting the tours of the Ministers. The Government is also concerned with the whole economy of all the departments in all spheres of work and the activities that are to be carried on according to Government's policy. So improvement of the economy does not mean only restricting the Minister's tour.

        Now, Mr. Hadem has said something on two budget papers which he has received. One paper that he has received is a District Council budget which was sent to the District Council and another, as an MLA  in this House. He said that there is no clear statement made by me that the Government considered the principles of the District Council Budget or the District Budget and that it is a mere statement without really any substance in it. In fact, as the Chief Minister has said on this very same budget, that earlier when we were in Assam, we had always made some attack on the Government that whatever they sent to the District Council they had no intention of considering anything that was connected with the District Council and in fact many District Councils did not consider or discuss on the budget papers because it was useless. Therefore, it is a commonsense to understand that such discussion in the District Councils will not enter into formulation of the budget, but the hon. Member might be aware that this Government had realised this position and had taken care to send the District Budget long before the Budget Session at least a few weeks and months before the Budget Session at least a few weeks and months before the Budget Session is convened. In fact those comments made on the District Council Budget have been taken note of and we had tried to revise many things relating to the Budget that is being presented here. Now one specific instance of these two papers is that there is apparently no difference between the District Budget provision that was given for the district before sending to the District Council and the one that is placed  here. If we look into the State Budget we will find that this is because of printing difficulties and it is more practicable to include the accepted suggestions from the District Council in the State Budget rather than in the District Budget. As for instance, the Thadlaskein and Tura provisions were made at least in the District budget. As we are going to print too many provision in the State we have tried to consider seriously to accommodate the suggestions and comments made by the District Councils while discussing the District Council budget. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the difficulty to accommodate the rights of the District within this Budget Session in the Budget of the State as suggested today will be considered in the next Budget Session because are not living only for a year but we are working for many years and we are planning and are making efforts to do so for many years to come. Any way I hope that the hon. Member will agree with me that this Government will seriously take not of the suggestions and comments made about the District Council. Anyway you have got an assurance that if the agency is there with provision, we can bring it in the Supplementary demand.

        Now, Mr. P.R. Kyndiah again has brought the question of economy in a reverse way, that is tax evasion. Here is one problem that is commonly faced by the Governments and I would assure the hon. Member through you, Sir, that the Government is alive to this problem and we are now trying to organise and improve the machinery for tax collection. Prof. Marbaniang had raised the question of illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. He quoted an example in his own constituency, the Laitumkhrah Constituency, where he said that there are over 200 illicit shops. We in the Government are aware of this problem. In Shillong specially, not only Laitumkhrah locality but in all localities. We have in the whole of Shillong 3 licenced shops only for country liquor, one is in Police Bazar, another at Mawkhar and another one at Laban. Well, illicit shops are over 300 all over Shillong, and more than that, illicit sale in restaurants as mentioned by Mr. Kyndiah is there. This is a very serious problem because we have certain psychological and political problem so far as this question is concerned. Now that it comes from the hon. Members of this House, and from all sides of the House, I feel emboldened to consider seriously to take appropriate measures in these mattes. With the co-operation of the hon. Members of this House who would bring also with them  the co-operation of the people then and thee, I hope we will be able to tackle this problem thoroughly because it is not a question of revenue-that is a small matter it is a question of health and of the welfare of the people that we are most concerned in this illicit sale of liquor. So I would, in the next few days, consult with various leaders of this House as to how best we can tackle this problem and if necessary, even legislative measures may be brought for tackling this problem in  all parts of the State. Mr. Mawlot, the hon. Member form Nongstoin,  referred to the postal delay in his area. Yes, I have also been apprised of this delay whenever I visited that area, and in fact, I have taken it up several times with the postal  authorities. Now again, the delay arises because of the lack of transport facilities e.g. letters from here to Nongstoin, first of all, will go to Upper Shillong Branch Post Office, from there it will go to Kynshi and from Kynshi to Nongstoin. Mails are being carried by runners though it is surprising to note that the buses are running regularly. They said that the buses are not willing to carry mails. I have now taken up with them that perhaps we will try to get in some way or other the co-operation of the transport authorities to carry the mail by buses from here to Nongstoin, and if I understand aright, the Transport Department is thinking of running certain percentage of transport  from here to Nongstoin. It is essential to have the co-operation of the Transport Department from here to Nongstoin. In that case, you will have the mail delivered right in the very evening or next day of posting the letter from here.

        On development of Shillong, Tura and Jowai, the hon. Members Mr. Kharbuli, Mr. Kyndiah, Mr. Choudhury and Mr. Joshi had very pointedly discussed the urgent need for improvement of the conditions as soon as possible, in Shillong specially, and the Barabazar most of all. Now Sir, so far as improvement of Shillong is concerned, it is a major mater. Out of the limited resources of the State, we will find it difficult to do so and for that reason, we have included it as one of the 5 special schemes for which we have demanded special aid from the Government of India which will run into crores of rupees. In this matter, there are also political and administrative problems like Barabazar in which the 3 administrative authorities are involved. There is the Syiemship of Mylliem, the District Council, Municipality and the Sate. Well we need the co-operation of all these agencies before we take any step. (Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Cantonment also falls within Barabazar).

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance ) :-  Yes, Cantonment also falls within Barabazar. So it is really a very difficult problem but well I believe that what have been sated here in this House may be felt by these authorities and that will help in getting  their co-operation to do something for the Barabazar. It has also been mentioned by many hon. Members about the road condition and also regarding Jowai and Tura. We know that they are now developing towns that in  few years' time, without our knowledge we will see that these towns will gradually spring up into big towns. For this, the Government have now appointed a Town Planner and now that the Department is going into deep study and enquiry into all these 3 towns we hope that we will be able to bring out a Master Plan for the development of Shillong, Jowai and Tura. Over and above, the Town  Planners of our Government who have been recently appointed, are having a contour plan and survey and have  started to chalk out programmes for development. Besides, we have pressed upon the Government of India for sending more Planers from the Central level to help work out plans in this State of ours. Some of them have already left Delhi on way to Shillong, to bring about real god schemes and master plans for the development of this town. I therefore believe these town planners will do well and I hope that within a period of 2  months they will be able to draw up schemes of different nature in the field of development. I would therefore like to request the hon. Members who have made observation in this aspects of the matter to appreciate that the Government is aware of the fact that development of our towns and cities is the crying need of the day. I also hope the concerned department and the appropriate authorities would be conscious enough as to extend their whole-hearted co-operation to this team of works which I think in so far as town development is concerned the Government of India will come forward sympathetically with its popular consciousness to extend more help with sanctions under this particular head. I hope that all the Members in this House also would give this same co-operation and consciousness as was reflected during the discussion on the floor of the House in matters relating to the improvement of this town.

        Now, Prof. Marbaniang and Mr. Maham Singh have observed the important point to coordinate the various development departments of the State. In fact, it is for the information of this House that the Government of India has decided to grant every assistance under Centrally Sponsored Schemes to help develop this State and we have also decided to accept the decision of the Government of India. Again we have formulated schemes and we have just taken the idea of constituting our  own Planning Board. We have seen the various schemes envisaged by  the Planning Commission for the year 1972-73 under development and we were happy to know form the Member of the Planning Commission, Mr. Mohan Dharia when he visited this State some time during this month. He has assured us when he came here that so far as expenditure on planning for this State is concerned, the Planning Commission will bear the expenditure up to two-thirds of the total expenditure.

        Now, I will come to the observation made by Mr. Joshi. He is a Member of the House and the representative of the Shillong area. It is really a separate are though it happened to be in the same district. This area which he represents is known as the Shillong Cantonment for which the Member had pressed upon this Government to look into its condition. In the matter of development or expansion of the developmental activities in the State I beg to inform the House that the Cantonment area is under a Separate administration which falls under the Defence Ministry of the Government of India. But anyway, this Government will extend all the essential facilities like water supply, etc. for this Cantonment area also.

(Applause by the members).

        Now, I will come to the observations made by Mr. Akrommozaman when he made very strong points and stressed to remove the regional disparity in the different districts of this State. In this connection, I would suggest that the Government should fall in line with the developments i.e developments that were initiated in the Planning Boards for these Autonomous Districts in order to remove all these disparities and to bring equal spheres of development in the State as a whole. In fact, when considering those special schemes that we have envisaged in our budget like grouping of villages in the Garo Hills District, the jhumming problem in Garo Hills, Government should render every assistance to remove those disparities in the district and the different areas.

        Now, I will come to the observation made by Mr. H. Hynniewta this morning. He has stressed about the the District-wise allocation of funds. That so many crores were earmarked for Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and also so many crores for Jaintia Hills. I don't know why the Member raised these pints. I had a little feeling of embarrassment and unhappiness about his approach that this Government had split up a huge amount under the provision for the district expenditures. But let me come now to the fact that splitting of funds in this Budget provision means to gear up the development machineries very speedily for the districts, Sub-Divisions, to achieve an all-round development of the State. Therefore the question of districts-wise allocations will include  taking up of the various schemes and by the splitting up of funds in the budget we can arrive at the different targets only with a small amount of funds. Now, if we go into the statement made by the hon. Members a little further we will realise that with the district-wise allocation of funds which he has stressed during his observation this morning, no project which the department undertook during the Plan period, could be  accomplished. From the point of view of the effectiveness of the scheme one will also find that at this initial stage nominal funds as provided for each  district would prove sufficient to meet any unforeseen events. In this connection, I would request the departments to formulate schemes not for the district allocation but fo the general development aiming at a stretch and also to include more and more areas as far as possible under operation. Hence from the point of view of efficacy and effectiveness of the schemes we are proposing this budget provision for the year 1972-73. At the same time this Government is also aware of the observations made by Mr. Akrommozaman and it taking steps of remove the disparities from the backward areas in the State. The State also should act as a guide to the districts in the execution of plans and schemes and also to allot the funds for developmental activates. Well, the Member ahs enumerated the points that expenditure for the Armed Police for the Khasi Hills should be diverted from the total expenditure of 70 lakhs to a provision of 7 lakhs in the Garo Hills. Last year I will inform the House that the Police Department has not been handed over to us. Still  then this Government have been able to contribute  a little share for this scheme as we proposed to set up a Subsidiary Force for the Autonomous state. So for this scheme we have earmarked a little amount of expenditure because in the Meghalaya Reorganisation Act, 1969 all other administrative machineries had been entrusted to us except law and order. Therefore, this State should make a separate provision for this head as it has fully come to us for implementation during this plan period.

        Now in Khasi Hills we include Rs. 30.5 lakhs for raising for Subsidiary Forces under the head 'Police' and we put it in Khasi Hills district because perhaps this is the headquarters. Anyway it does not really matter as to whether we draw the amount as district budget or we draw it as State expenditure.

Shri H. Hynniewta :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is some legal significance on this because in the budget there are two heads i.e. State and District. So when it comes under the State Budget can it be put under the District budget ? If so, there is no significance in the division of State and District allocation. If it is alright to be put in the in the State let it be put in the State. I think there is no significance in this division.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  In case of the State budget and district budget it does not matter very much whether we put it as Jowai or Garo Hills because  for this Police Battalion you may say that the definition should be of State. Well I do not see that it matters very much but for the time being it has been shown as district because of its headquarters being in this district. In any case I do not think that there is any point that we shall bear so much in our mind. Now this question of showing either as district expenditure or State budget does not really matter very much and I shall show how it will be fixed because as far as finances are concerned they remain the same. If the Members are very doubtful about it perhaps I will see that the Department will be more strict so far as showing of district and State budgets is concerned.

        Now, Sir, on the Community Development Blocks I would like to join with the Minister-in-charge, Mr. Bareh, that the Members of all sides have but a one-sided view of the matter. In the discussion about the Community Development Blocks almost all the Members who spoke on this have very severely criticised the working of the Blocks and have also attacked the officers of the Blocks. I feel very strongly on this question and I do not know whether all the hon. Members have pondered about the scheme of the Block Agencies; what they are meant for ? These Block Agencies are mainly meant not really to develop. There are departments to develop the country but they are meant to be brought in the midst of the masses in the rural areas to generate that development consciousness in the minds of the people to diffuse and inculcate the ideas of better living, better housing and better methods of agriculture. These are administrative advices. They are not the Agencies really to create development but they are to create development  consciousness in the minds of the people. This to me, is the main function of the Block Agencies. Well in this matter any degree of success or failure on the part of the Block Agencies is a reflection on the degree of the co-operation. The responsibility, the apathy and the awareness of the people, specially I should say, reflect on the above and it also reflects on the non-official leadership in the Block areas. If the Block agencies had failed to an extent I would say it was largely due to the non-official leadership in the areas.

Shri Maham Singh :- Why the non-official leadership be blamed for the failure of the C.D. Blocks when they are not selected in the Block Development Committees?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  In the selection there had been some suggestions for the election of these Committees and I agree to what Mr. Maham Singh has said about the non-official leadership and therefore we cannot blame the public. I say any success or any failure is also largely shared by the non-official leadership in the area and the responsibility  and the apathy of the people concerned. I would say this that whatever you may say on the Block staff or officers they are human beings as all of us are. First of all with the short-comings, I would take that they are equally interested in their work as we are here and they are equally glad and happy about the success of their work and equally disappointed as anyone here when the work fails. In any case I would definitely make a statement that whatever awareness, whatever consciousness in the masses in the rural areas these are are for better living for everybody and I would definitely say that this is due largely to the working of the Block Agencies. I do not know whether we can have this contact with the masses through the Secretary or through the Headman in Shillong or in Jowai or in Tura. Of course defects are there and short comings are also there on the part of the staff and officers of the Blocks. Therefore, I can state with emphasis that I for one have been grateful for the schemes because they are the Agencies to bring all the Government programmes in contact with the people. Another factor, as I have already stated, is the lack of leadership. Some suggestions have been made about the selection of the members of the block Development Community. It might sound ideal that these members of the Block Development Community may be selected by popular election.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Whether all the members of the block Development Community are always nominated by the Government.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Yes, at present all the members are nominated by the Government. Well I do not know what you may have against the Government or any Government because they have no motive for the success or failure of the Blocks. You may say that the Government may not know the right leadership in the village. You will find first of all, all the M.L.As are being taken, then the M.Ps, then the M.D.Cs then the Sirdars. If these people are not public leaders of these arrears then I do not know who are the social leaders. This is the aim.

        In this case we will entertain a special controversy because with the increase in the number of M.L.A. and M.D.Cs., i.e. the number of M.L.As being 30 and total number of Blocks are 10 in our District and two-thirds of the M.L.As are also M.D.Cs, there will 3 M.L.As and 3 M.D.Cs   for each Block along with other leaders viz., Sirdars and Syiem. We will still have some grievances again and in that case instead of blaming the Block Officers we will have to blame ourselves.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I know from the Hon'ble Minister as to whether there is alround demand for the abolition of the Blocks ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- No, I did not mean to say abolition. Rather I want to point out the manner in which the criticisms or attacks launched against the Block Officers. On Wednesday some of the hon. Members uttered some unparliamentary words, which were later on expunged, against the Block Officers. It is human tragedy that whatever we want to achieve we may not achieve but for that matter we should not single out a particular member or members of the society.

        Therefore, in view of the suggestions made by some hon. Members, that there should be non-official Chairman of the Blocks. I would like to assure the House that serious consideration will be given to this suggestion. I hope with the co-operation of the new leaders of the public we will be able to mitigate some of the grievances against the Blocks, if not all, because grievances will, be always there ; even in a family there are grievances.

        Now, Sir, some of the hon. Members, viz., Shri P.N. Choudhury, Md. Akrommozaman, have raised the question of giving credit facilities and distribution of lands to the landless farmers in our State and for that they have made a plea for land reform. Just now also Mr. Maham Singh as proposed fixing a ceiling of both rural and urban land distribution of lands among  the landless farmers all over the State. For one thing it  may be stated that the question of land is very much within the purview of the District Council, and in this if the Government wants to do anything, it has to be done, of course, in consultation with the District Council and with their co-operation. Also I believe it will not be very difficult for the hon. Members to take up the matter with the District Council authorities and see that lands could be made available, as far as practicable, to the vast majority of landless agriculturists of the State  who have got no land to cultivate.

        Now, the hon. Member, Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, has raised many questions this morning and as most of the questions have already been replied to by my colleagues, I want to clarify his one question, i.e., that demarcation of the territorial boundary of our State. Well so far as the territory is concerned he will have to go through the Reorganisation Act creation this State wherein  he will see what is the territorial State. The territorial State of ours comprises the Garo Hills District, Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills District. This is the definite territory of this State.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :-  I think, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in time is up. 

Shri Maham Singh :-  How long will the Minister continue to speak because it is now 5 O'clock....(Voices... there is time...)

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Whether we can continue beyond 5 O'clock or not I do not know.  (Voices...'Yes, Yes we can continue up to 5.30 P.M.)

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  I think I will take about an hour more and we can extend it up to 5.30 P.M. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is possible that we should extend up to 5.30 P.M. as I am coming to the conclusion.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to get a clarification regarding boundary demarcation of our State.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said earlier, I would like to inform the hon. Member that definitely the State consists of the Khasi Jaintia Hills District and Garo Hills District as a whole. So we have to scope for dispute for demarcation of our State since these Districts were already created for the last so many years. So I believe and I am happy that there will be no scope for controversy now. Of course this question arises sometimes when there are some incidents in connection with the defence of the territorial integrity of the State. But demarcation dispute will therefore, arise only in connection with Mikir Hills District as far as this District boundary is concerned. This demarcation of boundary will be determined very soon as mentioned by Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, a question as mentioned by Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, a question may arise as to what will be the exact boundary between the Khasi Hills District and Kamrup District, and as to why some people were arrested in that District while they actually were the Khasi people working in Mikir Hills. Now the authorities may arrest them for any reason and it is better therefore, in such cases that the authorities of that district or this district should make a detailed study practically on the contours of demarcation for such boundary dispute. The demarcation was already envisaged as per the definition of the British Government during those times. So far as the boundary is concerned, I assure the hon. Member that the authorities of the District Council of our State and also the authorities of the District Council of Mikir Hills and the corresponding Districts of the State of Assam, will look into this matter and study carefully and work out details of survey work and demarcate definitely on the areas of dispute so far as demarcation is concerned.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  On a point of information. Sir, is it true that the Finance Minister has said that there is demarcation all along the border between Kamrup and Khasi Hills but dispute is always there ? And one of my questions is regarding those people who were arrested by the police at Mikir Hills and sometimes, also by the Kamrup District Police and even these police authorities from Mikir Hills never informed our Police here in our District that certain people were arrested and also their whereabouts were not known at all in our District. So what is the exact police jurisdiction between our entire State and Mikir Hills District in order to settle the district Boundary or State boundary dispute.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  Well , Sir, as far as these areas in Kamrup District are concerned, the Kamrup Police authorities have jurisdiction and in so far as Khasi Hills District areas are concerned, the District Police of this District have jurisdiction. But disputes and incidents may occur out of some unwanted clashes amongst the border people of our district and the people of Mikir Hills District regarding this boundary line. As I have said earlier, this matter will be taken up by the Government with the concerned District authorities over the areas of dispute and I also once again assure the hon. Member that this boundary demarcation over the area of disputes will be done as soon as possible.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have got to refer to two more cases i.e., one is that on 28th January, 1970 there was the Mawtamur dispute to which I would like the Hon'ble Minister, to give a reply and another is........

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Well, Sir, it is difficult to have time to reply to all these questions. Anyway, I would like to inform the hon. Member that we will have a place to meet for this. Let us have a meeting in any place where we will discuss and take up these questions as soon as possible.

        Now, a question was raised about the Meghalaya Police Battalion. For the information of the Members I would like to reply that so far the total Battalions are 7 and the percentage of Meghalaya Gazetted officers is 25 and the total strength of the Battalion is 1,028. The percentage of Meghalaya in the subordinate rank is 21. Then there is also a remark by the hon. member from Mawhati whether beyond this percentage the Government is pursuing the question of exchange of Meghalayans with non-Meghalayans from other Battalions. In the 7th Battalion of Assam which has come to us now none of the Meghalayans are being exchanged with the non-Meghalayans. This process is adopted on mutual arrangement. Prof. M.N. Majaw had also made a very very strong remark about the continuance in office of one head-clerk of the Police Department.  He said that the head-clerk has continued for 19 years in office. This is not a fact. The head clerk was in the office for 9 years only and not 19 years. We have recently taken over the Police Department and it will be very difficult for us to have experienced man as head-clerk of this Department just now. Anyway, for the information of the hon. Members, I would like to say that whenever they bring allegation with specific evidences, the Government will enquire into and if the case is proved action will be taken accordingly. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member, Shri Hadem has alleged that the new District of Jaintia Hills is only in name. Except the Deputy Commissioner there is no sign of a separate district. Well the Jaintia Hills District was created on 22nd February, 1972. It is for the various Departments now to examine the needs of the officers and they will propose the creation of posts. The Police Department will have to study and give proposals for the  creation of the post of S.P. or D.S.P. or this or that. So  also the Forest Department will have to examined and propose whether a separate D.F.O. is necessary for Jaintia Hills or the D.F.O. Khasi Hills will look after the two small reserved forests in Jaintia Hills and it will take some time for the Departments to study their requirements. Therefore in due course all the requirements will be met.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta  :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this statement is conflicting with the earlier statement when he said that for the two small reserved forests in Jaintia Hills, we may not appoint a D.F.O. and subsequently the Finance Minister has said that all officers will be appointed.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  Only those which will be required. Now with regard to the problem of shifting the, perhaps many of the hon. Members know that most of the people in our State had joined hands in the demand for the creation of a separate Hill State which involves naturally shifting of the capital of Assam from Shillong which means the shifting of offices of the Government of Assam form Shillong. And at the same time we cannot also ignore the feelings of the people who are affected by this shifting of offices. The Government is very much aware of the problem especially of the difficulties that our women-folk will have to face while going down to the plains especially in getting accommodation because the Assam Government  will shift their offices without thinking how their employees can be accommodated. We are very much concerned and we have issued orders to various departments that whenever there are posts in those departments the employees who are being shifted should be accommodated or appointed and first preference should be given to lady employees. At the same time, I may say that all Members are aware of the difficulties of this problem and we also know that the offices of the Assam Government will be shifted by the end of 1972 or next year or at any rate at the end of three years from the day of inauguration of the full fledged State of Meghalaya. In any case all offices of the Assam Government will be shifted from Shillong and we have roughly estimated that about 600 Meghalayan employees will be affected. You can just imagine how we can accommodate all these 600 employees as at the same as at the same time we cannot also ignore totally the demand of unemployed people who have not been able to get a job anywhere in the State. The Government will try of course in genuine and difficult cases as far as possible to absorb in various departments of the Government the employees affected by shifting of the capital to Gauhati. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, about the single file system, a reference was made in the Session and in the last Session.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the point that the Finance Minister was replying to the House, he must have calculated earlier the requirements of the State namely the assessment of requirement and if the Government could expedite the assessment of requirements, they can determine also the number of employees that are to be taken over from the Assam Government.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this has been done by the Financial Commission appointed by the Government of India but my colleague has informed that the Government is very much aware of this problem. In the event of shifting of the Assam capital from Shillong about 600 Meghalayan employees will be affected. I am sure that the hon. Member will agree with me that it is not possible to absorb all these employees in spite of the fact that we have got our own State and we cannot incur unnecessary expenditure. However, it is decided that as far as possible and whenever there is scope to accommodate these employees we will do so and we will first give preference to ladies. Suppose in cases where both husband and wife are working, they can go down to Gauhati but it will be very difficult in the case of a lady, alone, and as has been correctly pointed out by my colleague, we will try to accommodate these 600 employees as far as possible as we must also think about the educated unemployed youths seeking jobs under the Government. Since the North Eastern Council will be at Shillong we are exploring ways and means to arrange with the authorities concerned to employ these people in the vacancies in their offices and we have also tried to correspond with the Central Government offices in this regard. In shifting of the offices of the Assam Government from Shillong, the Meghalayan employees will not only find difficulty in getting accommodation but also because of the language problem. They will find difficulty in corresponding in Assamese and very soon they will be counted as illiterate. We have realised the problems and that is why we are trying our best to absorb them and we have pursued the Government of India and the Central authorities so that al these people can be accommodated.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, about the single file system, Prof. Warjri has raised some points. In this connection, in the last session of last year in reply to the discussion I had said that we have adopted part of the single file system on experimental  basis and now we have appointed a Committee consisting of 3 senior officers of the Government as assured by the Chief Minister last time to examined the working of this system and it is for them to report or to make recommendation perhaps in the next Session.

        We know it is not possible to make a decision and give a definite statement in the House. Sir, I have taken much time but I hope the hon. Members will bear with me because, as I have stated earlier, of the keenness of all the hon. Members in all aspects of matters of administration which we must appreciate. In conclusion, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would again express my gratitude and  appreciation for the spirit in which the hon. Members have participated in the discussions and this, I am sure, will be responsible for a constructive approach. With this approach inside and outside the House and the co-operation of the people  I believe that this new State of ours will be able to realise the hopes and aspirations of our people of these areas for a rightful place in the life of the Nation.

Shri D.D. Lapang :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I seek your permission to extend our sincerest and deepest gratitude to the Government for giving its assurance that a  Sub-division would be considered for the Bhoi Area and I, on behalf of the Bhoi people, can assure the Government of our fullest co-operation to enable the Government to make this assurance a reality within a short period of time.


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The House stands adjourned till 10 A.M. on Tuesday, the 27th June, 1972.

Dated Shillong,

R.T. RYMBAI,

the 24th June, 1972

Secretary,

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly