The Assembly met at 10 a.m. on Monday, the 27th March, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker, Prof. R.S. Lyngdoh, in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Is there any other hon. Member who has not entered so far? The first item in to day's list of business is the obituary reference. May I request the Leader of the House to make the obituary references?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Shri G.M. Sadiq, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir passed way on the 12th December, 1971 at the age of 59. In his death the country has lost a dynamic and progressive leader.
Born in 1912, he was educated at Lahore. In 1930 he led Kashmir's first Students' Demonstration protesting against the Mahatma's arrest. In 1938, he was arrested for taking part in the agitation for establishing a responsible Government in the State. In 1944, he became the Deputy Leader of the National Conference Legislative Party. When the Pakistanis invaded Kashmir in 1947, he as appointed as an Emergency Officer to organise a National Militia for resisting the invaders. In 1951, he was elected President of the Jammu and Kashmir Constituency Assembly. In 1953, he was appointed Education Minister in the Cabinet headed by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed. In 1964, he was elected as Chief Minister. Shri Sadiq's belief in the irrevocable nature of Kashmir's integration with India was not a piece of political expediency but a matter of firm political convictions. He was Vice-President of the Indian Society for International Law and Founder President of the Kashmir Cultural Congress.
He had a passion for the growth of education and even when he was the Chief Minister in 1964, he retained the Education portfolio and gave top most priority to the development of higher education in technology and medicine.
He was among the valiant few who had organised the people of Kashmir in the freedom struggle. Shri Sadiq stood for the cause of a secular democracy in India and he was equally committed to the creation of a socialistic pattern in our country.
I would like to make obituary reference to the death of Shri Durgeswar Saikia. Shri Dugeswar Saikia, Minister of State for Public Works, Department, Assam passed away on the 15th March, 1972. Shri Saikia was one of the pioneer in the Trade Union Movement in Assam. He organised the tea garden workers of Assam and he held the presidentship of the Assam Branch of the Indian National Trade Union Congress. His death is a loss to the State.
Shri Maham Sing (Mawprem) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also want to associate myself with the Leader of the House in paying our respects to G.M. Sadiq and the Dugeswar Saikia. G.M. Sadiq is a great leader. He was a great freedom fighter and his premature death is a great loss to India and more particularly to Jammu and Kashmir. Regarding Durgeswar Saikia, I had the good fortune of knowing him personally and of meeting him on many occasions in Committees and also meetings. Durgeswar Saikia, a Trade Union Leader of Assam for many years was also connected with many cultural and education institutions of his area. He was a great social worker and besides his other high qualities he led a very humble and simple life. He was also a freedom fighter who had participated in the national struggle for the liberation of our country. The passing away of Durgeswar Saikia is a great loss to the country and to Assam in particular.
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House. The passing away of late Mr. G.M. Sadiq is a great loss to the country. He was an uncompromising fighter for India' independence and for maintaining the territorial integrity of the country. From the task he never wavered for a moment and it is only right and fair that we should express our deep sense of sorrow at his passing away.
Mr. Speaker :- Any hon. Member who would like to participate? I also want to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the hon. Members and the Leader of the House and also the sentiments expressed by the whole House. The death of G.M. Sadiq has led away the idol from the political field of Jammu and Kashmir. I also had a good fortune of knowing him for a short period while we were staying at Srinagar at the time when we were having the Presiding Officer's Conference. I had two occasions of discussing with him only about the political situation in but also the political situation in the whole country. As pointed out by the Leader of the House he took the greatest interest for the furtherance of technology and scientific advancement not only in his own State but in the whole country. I think India needs a more advanced system of education which G.M. Sadiq really stood for and with the death of G.M. Sadiq India has really become poorer and poorer. In so far as Mr. Durgeswar Saikia is concerned, I have not had the good fortune of knowing him from close quarters. But I learnt a lot about him that he was always the champion of the poor, and the have-nots, and perhaps as one of the hon. Members has pointed out, he always led a humble and simple life. As a mark of respect to these noble sons of India, may I request the House to stand in silence for one minute. (The House stood for one minute's silence). Thank you.
Now, let us pass on to the next item of to-day's list of business, I announce the report of the Business Advisory Committee.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE REPORT OF THE BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
In pursuance of Rule 230 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Assam Legislative Assembly as modified and adopted for the purpose of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I now report that I called a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on the 23rd March, 1972, to settle the business for the current March-April Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. A draft calendar for the meeting of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was prepared by my Secretariat and circulated to the hon. Members present in the Committee. The Committee had considered the draft calendar and the business from the different Departments and approved the same with little modifications. A copy of the approved calendar has already been circulated to all hon. Members I hope this has the approval of the House.
Let us pass on to Item No.3. I appoint the following personnel to the Panel of Chairmen under Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Assembly.
1. Shri P.R. Kyndiah, M.L.A.
2. Shri Akramozzaman, M.L.A.
3. Shri Stanlington David Khongwir, M.L.A.
4. Prof. Alexander Warjri, M.L.A.
Before taking up Item No.4, let me inform the House that I have receive 1 notice from Shri Parsvnath Chaudhuri who wants to move an adjournment motion under Rule 56 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Assembly. The proposed adjournment motion runs as follows : "The House do now adjourn to discuss the situation arising out of the devastating fire that broke out on 25th March, 1972 at about 5 a.m. at G.S. Road in Police Bazar area, Shillong".
*Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the incident was really very unfortunate and we all regret the incident. But at the same time, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to submit that the matter does not warrant the adjournment of the House as to disrupt its business. There are several other opportunities and ways in which the matter may be brought to the notice of the House either by a Calling Attention motion upon which the Leader of the House may make a statement. And it is also not a matter which is the primary responsibility of the State Government. It was an accident and in order to require the attention of the House a Calling Attention will fully serve the purpose. Therefore, Sir, I beg to oppose the Adjournment motion.
Shri Parsvanath Chaudhuri (Laban) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, my adjournment motion satisfied all the conditions laid down in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in as much as it is a matter of urgent public importance and is of recent occurrence and that the matter has not been discussed in the House on the previous occasion. Sir, fire is an accident and nobody questions it. But the question is how it occurred. As I have said in my adjournment motion we want to discuss the failure on the part of the State Fire Service. So, Sir, I think my motion is in order and with your permission, I want to move my adjournment motion.
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have heard both the Mover of the Adjournment Motion and the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs one requesting your leave for moving this Adjournment Motion the other opposing the leave being granted to this motion. At least we should have expected that the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs should base his opposition to the leave being granted on the basis of rules adopted by the House. Now, if this motion has failed to fulfill all the conditions laid down for its admissibility certainly, Sir, he will be rendering a sacred service of this House and he will be assisting you also in arriving at a decision as to whether you should admit the motion or not. But unfortunately the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs has not made any reference whatsoever to any of the conditions laid down under the rules of the House for the admissibility of adjournment motions. I agree with the Mover of this motion, Sir, that this motion has fulfilled all the conditions laid down under the rules. The matter is of recent occurrence and it is the primary concern of the Government of the State. The State has certain Fire Brigades under its control and this House is entitled to know whether these Fire Brigade has performed their duties in time and adequately. This House has a right to be satisfied on this score. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the fact that the position put forward by the Government is not based on any rules of this House and since the Mover has, in my humble opinion satisfied the House that the conditions laid down under Rule 56 has been fulfilled, I would request you to admit this Motion.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate myself with the Mover of the Adjournment Motion not only on the ground that it has fulfilled all the requirements of adjournment motion but particularly so because of certain incident connected with the subject under discussion. It is a matter of very very grave consideration that the C.R.P. Personnel who many of us consider as Criminal Police, broke open a number of shops.
Mr. Speaker :- May I request the hon. Member not to use this kind of un-parliamentary word.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- I withdraw the word, Sir. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the C.R.P broke open a number of shops. One of these shops bring the shop of a wine dealer from where the C.R.P. retained for themselves a couple of bottles.
Mr. Speaker :- May I request the hon. member to confine himself within the admissibility of the Adjournment Motion. If I admit the Adjournment Motion, then we will have to go into the details of what had happened on that day.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand corrected probably the incident will not be ignored because the incident particularly connected with the C.R.P. is really grave. The C.R.P. has taken the law into its own hands and for this reason also I am very strongly supporting the Adjournment Motion which I shall deal at length if the adjournment motion is admitted.
*Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw your attention to Rule 58 which says "Not of an adjournment motion shall be given before the commencement of the sitting of the day on which the motion is proposed to be made to each of the following -
|(2)||the Minister concerned; and|
I regret to say that my colleague the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs did not receive any notice in this connection and as such the motion should not be admitted.
Ruling by the Speaker
Mr. Speaker :- After I have heard from what one of the hon. Members has said about the adjournment motion, I would request the hon. Members concerned who proposes to move the adjournment motion to understand the real spirit of the adjournment motion. The adjournment motion is actually the motion which we can take resort to only when no other rules can really be taken resort to. In fact there are many other means through which the hon. Member can get information from the Government. Under Rule 50 the Hon. Member may be able to raise discussion on matters of urgent nature and of public importance through a Calling Attention. When I look into the contents of the adjournment motion practically I found nothing to show that there has been a failure or lapse on the part of the Government. So the motion cannot be admitted and if the hon. Member insists on getting information, I would advise him to take resort to some other measures or means because the adjournment motion is actually a motion which aims at disrupting the business of the House for the day. And as pointed out by the Leader of the House, the motion should have reached the Minister concerned and since it did not reach him, I rule it out of order.
So now let us pass on to the next item in today's list of business. May I request the Minister-in-charge of Law to lay the Meghalaya Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 1972.
LAYING OF ORDINANCE
*Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister for Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg lay to the Meghalaya Criminal law (Amendment) Ordinance, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, let us pass on to item No.5. The Minister, Finance to move the Resolution for approval of an expenditure of Rs.25,79,64,800 out of the Consolidated Fund of Meghalaya for a period of two months and eleven days with effect from 21st January, 1972 to 31st March, 1972.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whereas under Sub-section (3) of Section 44 of the North Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971, the Governor of Assam, exercising his functions as Governor in relation to the Autonomous State of Meghalaya by virtue of the Assam Re-organisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 may at any time, before the appointed day, authorise by order such expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State of Meghalaya as he deems necessary for a period of not more than six months beginning with the appointed day pending the sanction of such expenditure by the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya; and whereas in exercise of the said powers the Governor has authorised expenditure amount to Rs.25,79,64,800 shown in the schedule; now, therefore, this Assembly do hereby sanction the said expenditure of Rs.25,79,64,800 out of the Consolidated Fund of Meghalaya for a period of two months and eleven days with effect from 21st January, 1972 to 31st March, 1972 to defray charges in respect of the different Departments and under Grants shown in the Schedule -
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I be permitted to speak a little bit on this resolution of the Government. The number of heads here are as many as 97 heads and grants making the total amount of Rs.25,79,64,800 much more as it has retrospective effect from the 21st January 1972 till the end of this month. But I would like to draw the attention of the House to a certain head for example No.16, on Jails, an amount of Rs.1,83,500 has been ear-marked to be spent on Jails. If this House were to constitute small delegation to examine and investigation and look into the state affairs of the jails in the State, this delegation would realise that ultimately they would have gone back to the darkest ages, the middle ages when the people lived under sub human conditions even here in this so called Scotland of the East. We know that the members of the Government have not had the inestimable privilege of being within the precincts of the jails. Whenever we pay a visit to these places, we find the more deplorable conditions in which the prisoners live. They suffer from the results of rampant corruption, for the benefit of persons who are running the jails. Whenever a person is released on bail or is to be released from jail, he has to sign some papers which are sent to his home - a money has to be brought and handed over to the person in-charge is a regular procedure. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is need to place more stress on this specific subject as there is a definite provision money to be paid for the jails.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I have a word? The discussion on the budget as a whole will be taken up in the regular budget session which we will have very soon also in the vote of account. Here we want to regularise certain expenditure authorised by the Governor according to necessity Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest that we will have a discussion as to the expenditure and also the expected income in course of discussion in the regular budget session of this House by the end of June this year.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the resolution has to be discussed and voted by this august House. I am just bringing out certain matters of public importance before such a huge amount of Rs.25,79,64,800 is sanctioned by this august House.
Mr. Speaker :- What the Minister of Finance has said is true and partially not true. There is no bar for a Member to point certain defects so that from now till the budget session the Government will become more alert. But I would request the hon. Member to be more precise and specific.
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I draw your attention to Rule 150 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business which says.
(1) - "A motion for vote on account shall state the total sum required and the various amounts needed for each department or service or of expenditure which compose that sum shall be stated in school appended to the motion.
(2) Amendments may be moved for the reduction of the whole grant or for the reduction or omission of the items where the grants is composed.
(3) Discussion of a general character shall be allowed on the motion or any amendments moved thereto but the details of the whole grant shall not be discussed further than is necessary to develop the general points.
(4) In other respects, a motion for vote on account shall be dealt with in the same way as if it were a demand for grant."
Here I would like to point out Mr. Speaker, Sir, that no amendment has been brought and I do not know if there is any scope for discussion.
Mr. Speaker :- Rule 150 refers to vote on account and that will come under Item 6 in today's list of business.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso - Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is not a vote on account.
Mr. Speaker :- Yes, I have already given a ruling on this. The Member concerned may point out some of the irregularities if they find any. But they must be more specific and precise.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- I thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir, after Jails, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the Medical Head at page 2 of the Resolution, that is, Head No.26. The amount required for the State is Rs.4,75,000 and for the Districts Rs.46,66,000. I would like to know from the Minister-in-charge of Finance how much of this money is being spent or shall be spent on Family Planning. As you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, ours is a very small tribal community of only about 8½ lakhs and if we are going to undergo Family Planning, in about 100 years our meagre population will be reduced to only a museum specimen. The Khasi and the Garo people will go down in history only as a people who once existed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the Government is prepared to give us a categorical statement that they will employ the funds earmarked for Family Planning not for evil purposes or reducing the population but for a more desirable purpose of strengthening our tribal communities, I would be very happy to lend our support.
In the Directorate of Visual Publicity, it has been brought to our notice that an advertisement worth Rs.40,000 was given to the 'Economic Times' without having it advertised or without calling for tenders. It is rumoured that there is a particular officer, a high-ranking officer who has some relationship with the people who control this capitalistic newspaper the "Economic Times" and for that reason this tender of Rs.40,000 was given to the "Economic Times". I would very much like to get an enlightenment on Item No.46.
And then we come to Dairy Development under No.54. There is a provision for Rs.7,63,700 but we are drinking milk in the most primitive way. It will be interesting to know how such a huge amount is going to be utilised or spent by the Government.
Then we come to the Public Works Department. An amount of Rs.1,41,55,200 has been provided under this head but in most parts of the State we will have to walk. I do not really where this money has gone or will go.
And then we come to Donations for Charitable Purposes under Item 64. An amount of Rs.24,000 has been provided for the State and an amount of Rs.42,200 is given for districts, making a total of Rs.66,200. It will be very interesting to know which Charitable Institutions will receive this money or who are those lucky recipients of all this money.
Then Item No.66.- Free Ration and Rice Concession - a vote on account for Rs.26,25,700. I think I am not mistaken that the sum was made party under the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. I would like to point out that expenditure under Items 66 and 67, i.e. Free Ration and Rice Concession and Expenditure on Displaced Persons comes to a total of Rs.12,81,00,000. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a most fantastic thing that these sums have been drawn out under the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. I have here two sheets of papers in original. One is to the Deputy Commissioner, Relief and Rehabilitation.
Mr. Speaker :- How did you get the original documents?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- I have got them from certain sources.
Mr. Speaker :- If they are original documents of the Government you cannot bring them here. You have to place them on my table. Otherwise they will be treated as a piece of information only.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Then it may be treated as a piece of information and I beg the permission of the Chair to place them later on the table. Let me enlighten this House as to how these sums of money have been allotted under the Relief and Rehabilitation Department and they are sent out. The Block Development Officers who are in-charge of the various camps in various parts of the State would come to the Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Relief and Rehabilitation or magistrate and submit poor, dirty sheets of hand-written paper demanding huge sums of money. Not a single bill is attached, no details are attached and they collect the money in a sack.
Mr. Speaker :- May I request the hon. Member to have a full discussion on this subject during the debate on the Governor's Address, because in this particular motion the scope for discussion is very limited. I have already told the hon. Members to be more precise and specific. There will be more scope for discussion during the debate on Governor's Address.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I then stand corrected. I only want to bring to the notice of the House such colossal squandering of money under these heads of 66 and 67.
Then I come to Item No.93 - Loans to the Electricity Board, in which our Government has a share; it is a huge white elephant and it has been running into huge debt. Are we to continue giving loans to this Electricity Board? The loans which the Government give are being wasted and they are draining out the slender resources of the State. I would like to place before this House this question.
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- I entirely endorse the view on the discussion of this item pinpointing the attention of the Government to certain immediate task.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will now come to item No.8 - State Legislature. A sum of Rs.2,00,500 is sought to be spent or has already been spent. As the hon. Member from Mawprem had pointed out the other day to you, we the members of this House do not have even a room where we can sit together, where we can draft the amendments to Governor's Address, where we can chit chat together, where we can relax after our arduous task in this House. I think this matter requires the immediate attention of the Government and it will not be possible for us to function effectively unless we can have some space where we can sit, where we can discuss and where we can perform our legislative duties. I would like to make a reference to this Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Government should take immediate measures to meet this fundamental requirement on the part of the Members of this august House.
Now, I come, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to item No.24 - Education (General). Here is also an immediate problem relating to our District Council teachers. Many of these teachers have not got their pay for many years right from 1969 to this year. The matter was placed before the District Council but they stated that they have not received the grant from the Government which the Government is bound to pay under certain agreements entered into by the State Government and the District Council. So Sir, we cannot expect our teachers to perform their duties unless they receive their pay. So, I request the Government to take this problem into immediate consideration and take immediate steps to meet the requirements of the teachers.
Now I come to item No.29 - Agriculture. During the last paddy season a number of people had to rush to Shillong for purchase of fertilizers and they have to spend a lot of money in coming and going and also spending for their stay in Shillong in the nature of food and lodging and I feel that this problem is still very much before the State Government. The paddy season is also approaching. Unless Government take steps to immediately provide the people with adequate supply of fertilizer, I think it will adversely hit their interest. So this also requires immediate attention.
Now come to Item No.51 - Tourist Organisation a sum of Rs.7,31,400 has been spent. We do not know how this money has been spent and we would like to have a little enlightenment if possible on the expenditure of this amount.
Now I come to Item No.58 - Famine Relief - Rs.2 lakhs. This amount also we do not know how Government has spent it . As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the last paddy season the paddy crops have been damaged by pests in large extent. We do not now how this amount has been spent to aid and relieve those effected cultivation or may be for some other requirements.
I will now come to another item. This was an expenditure on displaced persons amounting to Rs.12,56,75,000. It is a huge sum, no doubt but the task was very huge. So I do not know how this amount has been really spent and whether we can derive satisfaction from the fact that our neighbours of Bangladesh had come here. We have been able to feed them and we have been able to persuade them to go back to their own beloved country. We are happy about it but we cannot ignore the contractors also. We do not know how many of them have been paid; 40% only has been paid and the rest is still pending, with the Government and so many contractors were constructing sheds and shelters for the evacuees in the border areas. They have not received full payment of the bills. So we request the Government, through you, Sir, to apply their mind immediately to this problem so that people get payment. We cannot ignore the rights and interest of the people who are still suffering on account of this influx of evacuees.
I speak on the assumption Mr. Speaker, Sir. How can we expect them to pay these bills only on the assumption. We request the Government to look into the mater so that the people are not made to suffer indefinitely and many of them have suffered due to the influx of refugees and so they require compensation from the Government for this damage. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support the motion. I think the hon. Member from Mawhati had objected to the scheme of family planning at the prospect of our population being reduced.
Now I come to item 26 - Medical - Rs.51,42,000 being allotted for this item. I hope my colleagues will also agree with me that in the interior especially many of them are without doctors and many of them do not have even medicines which will be given to the patients for different diseases. It is really a sad affair to see that the amount is being allotted here but I hope much has not been spent and part of it will has to be spent before the end of the financial year.
Shri Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T. ):- Mr. Speaker, Sir, through you, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to this particular item. The amount is to be paid to the people in the interior who have suffered very much from different diseases. At the same time, it is also a fact Sir, that doctors used to charge a very high rate for medicines and injection especially from those who happened to be the victims of such diseases. Then Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to this particular expenditure under the head 'Medical'.
Then another item No.29, that is, Agriculture. Fortunately or unfortunately, I happened to be the representative of very remote constituency where the people depend entirely on agriculture. But I am sorry to inform you, Sir, that their agriculture is of primitive nature and with primitive methods. Therefore, it is very much essential to bring to the notice of the Government so that methods of agriculture be improved and the old methods be replaced by a mechanical or modern type of agriculture. This is one of the most important factors to which Government should pay due attention to improve agriculture in future.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, now let me come to item No.56, P.W.D. have seen that a very very big amount has been scheduled to be spent under this head also. But it is a regretful state of affairs to see that some roads have been totally neglected and no repair or improvement is done so far. In this respect, I would give the example of the Umsning-Jagi Road. This road actually should be one of National Highways of the State which would provide a good source of income. I want the Government to see to this because even though this road was started 15 years ago, it is still in a stagnant position.
Now, let me come to Item No.61, Forest. The green and beautiful forests that are providing quite a good resources to the State are now bidding goodbye to us every day. I do not know whether the Government is aware of the fact that this part of the country will be a desert if afforestation and soil conservation programme is not taken up immediately. So, I would like to draw the attention of the Government through you, Sir, that this should be given due consideration and specific schemes should be drawn up.
Let me come now to another item, Housing Loan. Here an amount of Loan is huge indeed and this amount is to be spent only in towns whereas in the interior there is also a great necessity for housing loan for all the people rather greater than those residing in the towns. I would suggest to Government to remove all formalities standing on the way so as to enable people from the interior to avail of this privilege.
Now, I will come to Item No.29, Education. Here the amount spent is very very big. I don't know why the Government made no provisions for educational loan. I feel that such loan should be given to our students going for further studies. Our State needs more men of our own. Financial problem has always been a stumbling block to those brilliant and ambitious youths, why not pave the way for them. So, it is high time for the Government to see that people get proper education and also some loans to help bring about an economic change and also to encourage them. The Government should, therefore, see that such educational loans be extended them for the interest of public and for the interest of the State itself in particular. With these few words, I resume my seat.
*Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to two items of expenditure. Item No.28, Public Health Engineering. I understand, Sir, that this is a very important Department and is one of the departments which has been very much associated with social works. I have been connected with this particular Department or rather associated with it for several years together and the other day I have been to this Department and wanted something regarding the supply of water to Mawlai area.
Mr. Speaker :- What is the name of that scheme?
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir :- It is the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme and the Pynthorumkhrah Water Supply Scheme. I have been to this Department and I have had a prolonged discussion with the officer of the Department but it is rather surprising to know when the officer said that it is very difficult for this department to tackle such a problem since the Department is very short of technical personnel who were trained in the line. In this connection, Sir, immediately thereafter I have written a letter to the Chief Minister to look into this. I don't know, Sir, whether the Chief Minister has already received it. This is not so important. So the next item is No.27, Community Development Project. This is very amazing. Now, Sir, the other day I have been to one of the areas in my constituency and held a meeting there and I enquired from those people there about the name of Gramsevaks and it is very surprising that the people there do no know who the Gramsevaks are and in fact, after discussing with them, these people told me that they have not seen even the face of the Gramsevaks. So I do not know.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- What about Gram Sevikas ?
Mr. Speaker :- I would request the hon. Members to address the Chair.
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir :- So, Sir, after these undue interruption, I would like to call the attention of the Government to the Block Developments. They should not confine themselves in one particular district but should spread to many areas. But it is surprising to note that even the Gram sevikas or the Gram sevaks who are supposed to be like the philosophers, helpers to the people did not keep in touch with the people. It is also surprising that in one of the areas in Pynthorumkhrah these Government staff or workers have not been to these places. I told them about the B.D.C What is the B.D.C. they asked from me. So to their utter surprise I told them that the B.D.C. is like a big Government Committee to run the work of office. So, I just want to mention these few things to call the attention of the Government to these two problems.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know the name of this place?
Shri Stanlington David Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the name of that area is Pynthorumkhrah.
Mr. Speaker :- Now I will allot five minutes to each hon. Member who is intending to participate in this discussion so that I may be able to allot more time to the Finance Minister.
*Shri Ira Marak (Dalamgiri S.T.) :- Under Grant No.15 under the Head "Administration of Justice", Government is going to sanction a huge amount. I would like to draw the attention of the Government as well as the hon. Members to this particular head because this amount of Rs.94,500 is not included for the pay and allowances and such other things. This amount of Rs.94,500 is excessive and I do not know that the Government has to save such a huge amount under the head, "Jail" for which the amount earmarked is Rs.1,83,500. It is gathered from experience that the Government has to spend a huge amount under the Head, "Jail", - for so long as Judiciary is not separated. So, the Executive has to have its own duty in our State, specially in Khasi Hills and Garo Hills. This state of affairs will lead to great anomaly for proper administration of justice. It is also our experience that when somebody goes with the petition in the court, no proper justice is given and the court cannot perform the function of the executive. Then our democracy stands on three pillars, i.e. executive, judiciary and legislature. If such things will continue to happen then how can we expect that we will build our society on a proper footing?
Mr. Speaker :- May I remind the hon. Member once again that there is no scope for making suggestion or alternative policy now. The hon. Member can do that during the debate on the Governor's Address.
Shri Ira Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if it is so, then I will not continue further on this matter.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to Item No.83 which has been ear-marked for only Rs.17,000. Taking into consideration the present position of our State, we would have sanctioned more for this purpose.
Mr. Speaker :- So, it means that in the recurring budget, the Government may allot more.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh :- Yes, Sir. Also in item No.82 it is also a very small amount for the welfare of Shillong, which is the Capital of our State. Most of the road conditions and water-supply of this State capital are very very deplorable and most of the water supply schemes in this particular town are almost at a standstill. Almost all the people have suffered in this town. So, Sir, I would like to request the Finance Minister to spare more funds for this particular item. Now the most important point is Item No.61, i.e., Forest. As you have seen, Sir, that the forests in this district of Khasi Hills have been cut down mercilessly during the last few years. Most of the green forests have now become denuded. So, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House and particularly of the Government to see that the forests may be maintained properly, otherwise the paddy fields will not get sufficient water and the hydro-electric power will come to a stand-still.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I congratulate the Finance Minister for the huge amount for which he has got the authority of the Government. I happen to come from the constituency which is still backward. Therefore, I just want a clarification from the Finance Minister on the allocation of fund under Grant No.19.
Secondly, I come to agriculture. The one and only clarification is that I want whether under this huge amount of Rs.61 lakhs any subsidy has been provided for the supply of manure. Because it appears, at present, that those things are very scarce in the market.
Thirdly, Sir, I would like to come to Item No.37, under the Head - Community Development Projects and National Extension Service. A sum of Rs.86,47,700 has been earmarked for this Item, and it is a very very huge amount. In my opinion, Sir, during the last months' experience, we hardly could know about the existence of development blocks and community development projects. Fortunately, for our constituency a huge sum of Rs.12 lakhs has been provided. And under Item No.70, under the Head - "Civil Defence", a sum of Rs.2,26,500 has been ear-marked. But I do not know where is this Civil Defence Department. Actually we even do not know or have the sign of this Civil Defence Department. Therefore, Sir, on this I want clarification from the Finance Minister.
Now, Sir, I come to Item No.75, under the Head - "Investment in other Commercial and Industrial Undertakings", for which a sum of Rs.22,00,000 has been provided. As I am very much interested in industry I would like to know what are the investments made in commerce and what are the industrial undertakings for which our Meghalaya Government is taking so much of interest?
Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, my humble observation is against item No.33 on Co-operation. In our district I have seen that there are so many Co-operative Societies and most of these Co-operative Societies were more or less only family Societies or one-man show societies. So I feel that, if the expenditure is committed it is wrongly committed because the amount earmarked was about Rs.13,24,100 and besides that there is another item also in the form of investment for the Co-operative Societies. I would suggest that before we make any payment or if we have made any committed payment, it would be better, if the Department concerned would examine the genuineness of these Societies. Secondly, my observation is again item 73, that is Major Industries. And as we are at present, we have a Cement Factory which we are going to take over as stated by the Governor in his Address. It is learned that there is no cement in the market not only in Khasi Hills but also in Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills. So it would be better if the Government can immediately do something so that the people will not suffer for lack of cement in the market. My other observation is against item 24-Payment of Compensation to land holders etc., on the abolition of the Zamindary System. It seems that in our area there were so many lands taken over by the P.W.D. or by other Departments for public interests.
Mr. Speaker :- That is a different item. It does not come here. I would remind the hon. Member that the proforma for any expenditure of the Government to be made is according to the form prescribed by the Government. So, in so far as this item is concerned, it appears that this expenditure is not made simply because at present there is no Zamindary System. Now Mr. Nongtdu.
*Shri Onwardleys Well Nongtdu (Sutnga S.T.) :-Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I draw the attention of the Government to item No.59-Pension and other Retirement Benefits. I believe, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Government and the hon. Members of this House are aware that many old people who have been made to retire from their services not being able to receive their pension and other dues even up to this date. So, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to this. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am in the dark why up to this time no fund has been allotted for this purpose because those old persons are suffering and even now they are being neglected by our Government.
Mr. Speaker :- Perhaps they retired from service under the Government of Assam.
*Shri Lewis Bareh (Rymbai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to point out there that a huge sum of Rs.25 crores is earmarked to be spent within a very short period of two months and eleven days. I think this is per information from the Government. As the Government has to bear the expenditure I think we will bring a number of points on this. So I only want to know from the Government where so much amount proposed to be spent, can be spent and whether we have informed the electorate in the last election and in the coming elections also.
Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi (Shillong Cantonment) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to item No.24 - Education (General). Already there were anomalies in the payment of pay and allowances to the L.P. school teachers by the District Council. I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the fact that in the State also up till to-day the 27th March, there is no sanctioning order to secondary schools which is the subject matter of the State. The State has not yet made any payment up to this day though this State is a full-fledged State and if there be some delay in the distribution of pay and allowance to these teachers their hardships will be grave and it will know no bounds if the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of Education does not look into this matter. And now under item No.24, an amount of Rs.22,78,500 is earmarked and I do not think that the Government has got any proposal to spend this amount for distribution of pedigreed bulls and the buffaloes in the rural areas as those who are engaged in drawing milk from them and who want to improve the breed do not get any opportunity of doing so and practically no attention is given to improve the scope and area for the rearing of cattle in the State. And under item 50-Village and Town and Country Planning Organisation, a sum of Rs.10,40,300 is earmarked to the Municipal Administration. I have seen that item No.82 relates to Municipal Corporation and Municipalities. As I come from a Constituency which is part of the centrally administered area the roads and lanes are at the mercy of the Defence Department and I believe that it is the look-out of the State also. I feel it has an obligation to look to the convenience of the people of the cantonment area and see that the roads and lanes are not left in a very dilapidated condition and in a very deplorable condition which needs immediate attention of the Government. There are blocks put on the roads especially in the Cantonment Bazar area which I feel is a very very busy commercial area and the roads are blocked it will cause impediments to the general public as well as to the traders in the easy flow of things of daily needs and it added to the inconvenience of the customers and the people who go there for their daily needs. So I would like to draw the attention of the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department to see that the roads are cleared of these blockades and the conditions of roads are improved.
Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to item No.54 under the head Dairy Development for which an amount of Rs.7,63,700 has been earmarked. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Minister-in-charge of Dairy Development to the fact that the people responsible for the production of dairy products are grazers in the interior of these hills who have been so far totally ignored . So unless proper attention is given to the Dairy Development and no proper incentive is given to the people responsible for dairy farming and grazing from which the State can have some substantial source of income, I am afraid the Government will forfeit the right of claiming to be the Government of the people and for the people (Bell rang). Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want a little more time to finish Mr. Speaker, Sir, Dairy Farming is definitely a source of income for the State and its development. So unless proper attention given for improvement of the lot of these people, it will be a lost to the State as a whole. Therefore Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to draw the attention of the Minister concerned through you, to the state of affairs, which is prevailing in the rural areas of the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the time is very short, with these few words I conclude my speech.
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to know or just seek a clarification in the expenditure side for item No.29. There we find Mr. Speaker, Sir, that amount of Rs.61,54,300 has been provided. Whether any amount has been earmarked as a subsidy for the purchase of bone meal fertilizer?
Mr. Speaker :- I cannot give you a reply. You may seek reply from the Minister concerned through the Chair.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed to speak through you so that the Minister concerned will do the needful. Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to know about item No.36, Major Industries. As one of my hon. friend has just pointed out, we are having a Cement Factory which, according to me, it seems that we have not yet taken over from the Government of Assam. I do not know Mr. Speaker, Sir, what for Rs.2,20,300 in this respect has been earmarked to be spent upto the 31st March since there is no major industry that we are since having in our State? Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also just want to know regarding item No.38. Why no provision has been made for the local development works because according to me, the Community Development Projects and the Extension Farming are very important. But it is surprising to find that there is no provision provided by the Minister concerned. Another thing Mr. Speaker, Sir, since Rs.1,56,500 being a big amount and is a committed expenditure, may me know, what is the total amount spent so far as advance towards road construction during the first week of March, especially in Jaintia Hills?
Mr. Speaker :- May I point out to the hon. Member that all these questions raised cannot be replied by the Minister concerned immediately. In fact they should have come in the form of question and they should have come during the question hour.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Excuse me Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are having our first session and though, I actually know the Rules but since we are attending the session without notices being served to us, we have no time in giving notices of our questions. And to speak the truth, we are attending this session on the strength of the telegram sent by your office to the Sub divisional Officer a copy of which was sent to us. In view of that fact, we have every right to ask some enlightenment on what has been done or expended. And also Mr. Speaker, Sir, on item No.58, I just want to know whether any amount has been earmarked? We have heard one of our hon. friends, the representative from Nongkhlaw, wanted to know what action has been taken by the Government for the relief of pest affected cultivators? In our Jaintia Hills District Mr. Speaker, Sir, the poor cultivators, last year, were not only hard hit by pests but also from hailstorm. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not know what action has been taken by the Government for the relief of these poor cultivators has been proposed or any amount has been ear-marked for the relief of these poor cultivators of the State. These are the only few things on which I want to have clarification and enlightenment.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also associate with one of my friends in congratulating the Finance Minister, who has brought this big amount to this House for a few months' expenditure. In fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, over and above the points raised by the hon. Members I want to get only some clarification on some other provisions as have been earmarked for expenditure for a few months. Point No. one is on Education. The hon. Members have raised this question but Mr. Speaker, Sir, this provision has been made here for an expenditure of Rs.1,12,00,700 the total amount for general Education. Mr. Speaker, Sir, education is a State subject entirely under the State Government and in our District Council, the United K-J Hills District there are about 525 school teachers who have been appointed under the scheme of Free and Compulsory Education in the Third Five Year Plan. They are now to be normalised by the Government; they were scheduled to be normalised in 1967. But we are now in the Fourth Five Year Plan and these teachers have not been paid their salary as yet by the District Councils for five months during 1969-70 and for the whole year of 1971. We have taken up the matter with the District Council and they stated that it was a committed expenditure of the State Government promised as by the Government of Assam during transfer of the schools to the District Council. Just a few weeks back we had a amount was paid by the Government and the answer included also the pay of these 525 teachers of the District Council Schools. If not, then Mr. Speaker, Sir, we feel that we will not agree to this amount (Laughter).
Another point I would like to rise is regarding clarification on the provision appearing in item No.29 - Agriculture. All amount of Rs.61,54,300 provided and demanded by the Finance Minister. This amount, Mr. Speaker, Sir, was demanded and I want to know the reason why? Because during the last year in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills District the whole paddy cultivation was smashed by certain insects which permanently remained in the wet cultivation area and last year the cultivation was badly affected. We have reported to the Government about the cultivation having been smashed as the roots of the crops were eaten up by the insects and the Agriculture Department have supplied medicines to the cultivators and with that kind of new medicine supplied many cows are killed and even human beings were poisoned. In the days of election campaign I saw butterflies fluttering around the road and in the fields and I am afraid that this year also insects will multiply destroy the crops. The people have in fact reported this fact to the Government. The B.D.Os have collected data on the loss of the people but nothing has been done by the Government to help the people in the matter of supply of medicine to prevent this thing. Prevention is better than cure. So, I would like to know whether the Agriculture Department has asked the Finance Minister to include the amount of money to be made available for supply of medicine to protect the crops.
Another point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that I would like to know is, if there is provision in Item 65 involving crores of the rupees as also in connection with Item 71 if there is any provision Compensation and other Assignment.
From our experience in the last election, while on tour, found that some of the roads were blocked by the land-owners and the people said that it was because the Government did not pay the land compensation through whose land roads were constructed 4/5 years. One of the Ministers some time back frequented the Nongshken where one hundred and one people were not paid the compensation and was a clash. Now, I want to know whether the amount demanded include also provision for payment of compensation for all the roads Mawkoh-Jakrem Road, Umniuh Tmar - Lyngkhat Road, etc. for which compensation was not yet paid. So, if it is not included for payment of such compensation to the people who are due to be paid, I feel that we will never agree to the provision demanded.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I now come to Item No.21, i.e. Municipal Administration. We only hear of the Municipality of Shillong some time ago. We are members from the rural areas and we are staying at Jaiaw but I find not water at all there. I did not even wash my face today before coming here because there was no water in the taps.
Mr. Speaker :- There will be enough opportunity to discuss this matter under the Water Supply Scheme.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- But that is a long term scheme. What I want to point out now is the immediate need of water in Shillong. So, Sir, I want to know that in spite of the expenditure for these few months, why water was in plenty only during the elections? Was it because some candidate then was in authority of what? But now there is no more Water. These 2/3 months are dry and I am afraid some diseases may spread and one of my colleagues is in the hospital as he was affected very badly while he came to attend the Session because of no supply of water. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that we must get the clarification, through you, on this very very important thing from the Finance Minister. So, Sir, we feel that we have to oppose this vote for the expenditure demanded. With these few words I resume my seat.
*Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- There are two contentions advanced by the hon. Member, one is regarding the payment of arrears to the Primary School Teachers numbering about 525 of the District Council and the second is about the provision for payment of compensation to the land owners which the P.W.D. has taken over their lands for construction of roads. I can straight away reply to the hon. Member. With regard to arrear pay to be paid to the Primary School teachers of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, as he has mentioned rightly, mostly these pertain to the year 1969-70 while we were still within Assam and all the Plan schemes have been approved by the Government of Assam and the amount was made available to the respective District Councils for payment to the school teachers. Unfortunately this amount has not been cleared by the Government of Assam and we have taken up this matter with the Assam Government and uptil now they have not been able to clear the same. Recently, a discussion took place between our Financed Minister and Education Minister and the District Council representatives. During the discussion it appeared to the Government that apart from this particular amount which is payable to the District Council of K.J. Hills there is some revenue collected by the State Government the share of which should have been given to the District Council. For example royalty, profession tax etc. We tried to know the total amount payable to the District Councils by the Government of Assam then and also at present by the Government of Meghalaya. We found that it is difficult to get the allocation figures from the Assam Government and they have taken time to collect the figures. Now we have agreed to Finance to the tune of Rs.10 lakhs to the District Councils to enable them to meet the pay of the Primary School teachers and this amount is being drawn from the Contingency Fund.
Now with regard to the payment of compensation to the land owners for every road, for every furlong and every kilometer the amount was being shown against P.W.D. In this connection I would like to place before the hon'ble House to consider one every important question. Land compensation will be very expensive. For Garo Hills we do not pay compensation for the roads. Only when we had occasion to destroy cultivation of garden and some other property to the individuals then we may make the assessment and pay compensation. The hon. Members would like to have a numbers of roads constructed by the State P.W.D. Blocks and also by the District Councils. If we have to pay compensation to land owners for every inch of land it will be a very very big amount. I am not gong to suggest that we should not pay compensation but this is a matter which should be considered very seriously in order to see that we can develop the roads more rapidly in the State. If we have to pay compensation and hold up construction, it may not be possible for us to expedite development of the roads within the State. These roads will be the infrastructure for development in different fields of industries, agriculture, etc. However I would leave it to the wisdom of the House to consider.
Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, you have very correctly intervened, when you stated that Government were not able to give the specific and definite information just now. As an example, Mr. Hadem wanted to know the total involvement provided by the P.W.D. What amount has been spent from 1st of March upto date. Sir, I would request the hon. Member to come and sit in my place to see whether these informations can be given. These informations will have to be made available to the hon. Members but that can be done through the questions. My Department must be able to go through the questions to get the materials which they have to collect from the District Officers of different districts. We have got a number of divisions in Khasi Jaintia Hills and in the Garo hills and it will not be possible for me to give the reply here just now. Once we can collect the information from different quarters we will be in position to give a reply. I would, therefore, request Mr. Hadem, that he being a well versed member of the District Council of Khasi-Jaintia Hills not to press for the information. Therefore, regarding this matter on behalf of myself and my colleagues we regret that we cannot give specific and definite reply to the points raised.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, my friend, Mr. D.D. Lapang referred to the Umsning-Jagi Road. This road is being taken over by the P.W.D. This road is still under construction. Improvement is in hands . Construction of permanent bridges id yet to be taken up. So I would like to assure the hon. Members that in due course the Umsning-Jagi Road will be completed. Now, with regard to payment of arrears the school teachers I have cleared the objection of Mr. H. Lyngdoh and I think the hon. Members are aware that an observation was made regarding pensioners. According to the Reorganisation Act of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya we drew officers and staff from Assam. Now they are all still treated as on deputation. Now the Reorganisation Departments both from Assam and Meghalaya are sitting together working out ways to see whether these officers and staff which were taken from Assam and are now serving in Meghalaya can be absorbed permanently. Then only the question of giving pension and other benefits can be considered.
Another Point raised by Mr. Majaw is regarding the deplorable condition of the Jails. The Shillong Jail was so long with the Assam Government. It came to us only from 21st January 1972. I learnt that Mr. Majaw had occasion to be there and I would like him to give me a clear picture of the condition of the Jail. I can assure him that in future necessary scheme would be taken up to improve the condition of the Jails in Meghalaya. Now another point raised by him was about Newspaper advertisement. He has mentioned about a statement issued by the Economic Times. I must say very clearly that it is not so. When we have decided to issue a supplement on the eve of the inauguration or the full State of Meghalaya, the P.T.I representatives came and discussed. We have to do this because all these advertisements will be taken outside the State by the Industrialists, investors and the Universities, also should give all the informations of our Meghalaya both in this part of the country and also in other parts of the world. They still know something about Meghalaya, and they will ultimately know of the scope of developments. We have also seen that a number of industrialists and investors from outside the State and a number of agencies approved by the Government are giving particular attention to this new State of ours. We have invested Rs.16,000 for those agencies for the supplement and the same is utilised last year by the Government of Assam. It is true, that this particular agency, "The Economic Times" was really one of the best in Assam. I am speaking very clearly.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Lyngdoh, have not got something to add?
*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have appreciated the keen interest of the hon. Members as shown in this resolution which concerns with the expenditure from 21st January to the 31st March of this financial year. I believe the hon. Members are aware at this Resolution was only a sort of requirement arising out of the North Eastern Areas Reorganisation Act, 1971 for the Autonomous State. In the midnight of 20th January after five minutes the full-fledged State came into being and for that reason we have to take recourse to the expenditure as envisaged from 21st January to 31st March which was provided under Sub-section (3) of Section 44. We have also expressed our view that it is not necessary to bring to this House as per sub-section (3) of Section 44 pending the sanction of the Assembly of Meghalaya for the said quarter. Therefore, in this context, the important and urgent task for us is to bring a sanction of the expenditure that was duly authorised by the Governor before the House. So, we are also to accept a sanction for this expenditure in due course because commitments have been made already for the expenditure with effect from 21st January to 31st March. Then Sir, I am also bringing in a vote of account for the expected expenditure of the first quarter of this year. Because of the newness of the Government which was only started on the 18th of this month, newness of the Ministries and also newness of the state, we are not in a position to bring the details of the budget for the year. Our Chief Minister has promoted that full details will be brought the House during the Budget Session which is to be held in June next. Then all the hon. Members will realise and come to know all sets of expenditure and also the various activities of the Government and the various Departments. In respect of this, I may simply add a little about the seemingly huge amount say to the tune of Rs.25,79,64,800. Out of this amount, Rs.12,00,00,000 have been spent for the appointment of the Relief and Rehabilitation staff and the amount is to be fully utilised by the concerned Department before the 31st March because all accounts and pending bills will either be cancelled after the stipulated date or immediate payment should be made before the close of the financial year. Then also plan expenditure of every year always come up before the House. Normal expenditure also were spent before the end of this year so that there is no loss or lapse of any expenditure laid down in the budget for sanction. Therefore, Sir, after hearing what I have mentioned above I believe that sanction to all the expenditure referred to in this Resolution that we have so far sought will be approved. In this regard, I join hands with the Chief Minister and I would request the hon. Members to sanction the expenditure.
Mr. Speaker :- May I request the Finance Minister to move that the Resolution be passed.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I move that the Resolution be passed.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, I will put the question. The question is that the Assembly to approve the sanction of expenditure of Rs.25,79,64,800 out of the Consolidated Fund of Meghalaya for a period of two months and eleven days with effect from 21st January, 1972 to 31st March, 1972 to defray the charges in respect of the different Departments and under grants shown in the schedule.
(The resolution was adopted)
Vote on Account
Now let us come to the next item of today's list of business May I request the Finance Minister to present the Vote on Account for the year 1972-73.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave of the House to present the Vote on Account for the first quarter of the financial year 1972-73.
Mr. Speaker :- We will take up the next item at 2 P.M. The House stands adjourned till 2 P.M. to-day.
The Assembly reassembled at 2 p.m.
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
OATH FOR AFFIRMATION BY MEMBERS
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Raisen Mawsor, will you kindly come here and take the oath?
(Shri Raisen Mawsor, M.L.A. took the oath).
Motion of Thanks
Mr. Speaker :- Last Saturday I received a Motion of Thanks to be moved by Shri D.D. Pugh. So in his absence, may I request any other Member to move the Motion of Thanks to the Governor's Address?
Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether in the absence of the mover, is not authorisation by the actual mover necessary?
Mr. Speaker :- The Motion of Thanks may be initiated by anybody. When the hon. Move is absent, any other Member can move the motion and for this there is no bar. It is not necessary that he should move. In case, the seconder of the motion is present, then he can move the Motion of Thanks on the Governor's Address.
DEBATE ON GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) :- I would like to move the Motion of Thanks on Governor' Address in this House. I beg to move that "the Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this Session are very grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has made on the 25th March 1972". Sir, I am very happy and I feel I should congratulate the Government of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya for shouldering the responsibility of the evacuees and averted the tension, for those were the days where the people from Bangladesh really wanted to have our help and I feel I shall congratulate our Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, for her leadership in solving the great problem and in bringing about a political settlement which has felicitated the return of the evacuees to their home-land. Sir, I am very happy that the Governor's Address has given all the salient features of the economic programmes of Meghalaya. Of course the coming of the evacuees has brought a set-back in the development works of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya. This is because of the fact that many of the officers working in different offices had to go and help the evacuees in different camps organised by the Government. Sir, in moving this motion, I feel that I should also add a few proposals for speedy implementation by the Government of the different aspects of the economic programmes outlined by the Governor. As pointed out in the House this morning about water supply of Shillong, my constituency is also in the Shillong Town. It has also affected so very badly. Of course, I am very happy that our Government are going to take up speedy measures to solve this chronic, water problem of this town of Shillong. I am happy to learn that the Government have submitted a scheme for the supply of water to Greater Shillong. I wish that this scheme will be followed up speedily to solve the problem which all of us are facing. I am also happy to learn that on agriculture there are many ways and means which Government have adopted to increase food production in the State of Meghalaya. I am happy to learn that the Government are contemplating to have three-cropping system in respect of potato cultivation in the state. But again Sir, here I feel that all efforts will be wasted unless we can solve the marketing problem faced by our cultivators. As it is to-day, we find that most of the benefits accruing from the cultivation of potato do not go to the growers but to the middlemen, who like sharks have taken away most of the benefits that our cultivators would have derived. Therefore, I want that our Government should form a Committee to enquire into the marketing of potatoes and not only of potatoes but also of other crops which we are producing in our State. If we can solve this much of the difficulties our cultivators will be relieved and they will benefit greatly from the different crops that they have cultivated.
Again, Sir, coming to the border areas, our people in the border areas, as it is, are in great economic difficulty because of closure of the different markets. But I am happy that now with the emergence of Bangladesh many of the markets have again been reopened, and this will offer very good scope to our border people to sell their production in those areas. Again, Sir, I feel that we should also have development of roads all along the border areas not only for trade but also from other, considerations like the security of the State.
Again, I feel that on agriculture our Government should try to take advantage of the different facilities offered to the people, of loan facilities offered to the people and should try to educate the people to avail themselves of these different loan facilities. This will solve much of the financial difficulties faced by our growers.
On forests, Sir, I am sorry to hear this morning that our green and dense forests are being cleared away day by day, and, I feel I should suggest to the Government that they should not allow cutting of trees in the near future and should take up afforestation on top priority basis. This, I feel, will bring again into existence the once most loved forests of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, and, of course, of the whole State of Meghalaya. Then again, Sir, in the matter of communication and roads especially I feel unless we have structure of roads joining the different important villages which will bring the products of villagers to the markets, these villagers will be victims of the middlemen who will try to squeeze away from them whatever they have. They will try to pressurise them and thereby take away all the benefits which otherwise would have gone to our poor cultivators.
Again coming to Shillong Town, as it is, we find that almost all the roads are in bad shape. Almost all the roads need urgent repair and unless the Government speedily take up the repair of these road, I feel that they will become worse and worse, and, especially with the coming of the monsoon, the people will suffer a lot from these bad roads.
Sir, the most vital problem that is facing us to-day is the question of employment. Employment has posed a very serious problem to the Government, and I am sure that our Government is fully aware of the magnitude of this problem. Well, employment opportunities will have to be created either by allowing the people to have their own industries - small scale industries - or by the Government itself establishing small scale industries and employing people there. Again, Sir, on the question of employment opportunities, I feel that all talents should be preserved in the sense that those who have a talent should be allowed to promote their talents to bring about rapid development of the State and be useful citizens and be able to contribute to the building up of Meghalaya. Sir, I feel that on the question of reservation of seats for tribals and non-tribals the Government should try to adopt a more realistic policy to keep the jobs open for the people of Meghalaya. All of us are here to build up Meghalaya. Sir, the building up of Meghalaya does not depend upon the tribals along but also on non-tribals. Therefore, talented non-tribals must be given a chance to come forward and take the responsibility to build up Meghalaya. Therefore, Sir, I feel our Government should look into the matter and allow the non tribals also to take the responsibility to build up Meghalaya, to feel that they are a part of Meghalaya and go forward in the building of Meghalaya. Sir, further on the question of employment opportunities, we have to take into consideration the manifold problems. As I said, the Government alone will not be in a position to provide jobs to each and everybody. But then opportunities must be created for the educated youths. If they are in need of employment they should be given opportunities either in the form of getting loans to start their own business from the Government of training facilities should be afforded. Seats in respect of medical and engineering and other fields should be kept open so that many of our young men and women can qualify to meet the challenge of building up Meghalaya.
Lastly, Sir, I feel that tourism which is a very important aspect of industry should also be developed here in Meghalaya. This is more so with the coming of Bangladesh into existence. We know that many tourists will be visiting Bangladesh and from there it will not be too far for them to cross over to our State. Our State, being the Scotland of the East, will be a temptation to them to cross the border and come to our State. So it is very important for us. Therefore, we have to build up, to repair and beautify Shillong Town and also other places of importance which will attract tourists. We have plenty of hot springs; we have plenty of plateaus and beautiful rivers all these will be an attraction to the tourists to come over to our State and this will add to the economic progress, will augment the revenue of the State and also provide means of livelihood to many of the people. With these words, Sir, I move the motion of thanks before the House.
Shri D.D. Pugh (Nongstoin S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I would like to offer my apologies, to you and the entire House. Due to something that I could not overcome, some unavoidable circumstances, I arrived about five minutes too late. I ought to have moved the motion but because of my belated arrival, Prof. Marbaniang has had to perform that duty. I am grateful to my colleague, Prof. Marbaniang, and at the same time, I wish to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt apologies once again. Having been called by you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to make a observation on the Governor's Address.
At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to the Governor who has taken pains to recapitulate some major events which have taken place during the past twelve months. In fact, I note that the Governor has dwelt at length on this matter and that at least about four pages of the Address deal with this topic.
I believe the hon. Members of this House will give me the credit of being as anxious, if not more, as any-one in this august House to see that Meghalaya speedily develops and prospers not only in one particular field but in every sphere of human activities. Having made this statement, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to also make a confession. I would like to admit that there have been times during the past year when I have felt discouraged. I felt discouraged and disheartened because I say that there were some things that ought to have been done which were not done. There were times when I felt discouraged when I saw that some thing were done in a manner not up to the entire satisfaction of one and all. But when I ponder on this things in the light of the Governor's Address which he was pleased to deliver to this august House the day before yesterday, the 25th March, I see that there never was nor is there any reason today for me to feel disheartened. The Governor's Address as I have said earlier, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first four pages has reminded us of two significant things. Number one is that the Governor, in and through his Address, has reminded us of the refugees and the refugee influx into this new born State. Secondly, he has also reminded us of the life and death struggle which took place in erstwhile Pakistan. When I think of the seven lakhs of evacuees or refugees who came into this small and new born State and when I think of the manner in which the Government plunged itself into refugee relief operations, I cannot help but congratulate the Government and also the people of this State for the selfless and humanitarian service rendered to those who were in need of our help. In the process of giving temporary relief, temporary shelter, temporary refuge and in the process of ministering unto the need of the seven lakhs of refugees, we as a people, we as a State and also our Government have indirectly and obliquely succeeded in projecting the image of Meghalaya which, in my considered opinion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is one of the greatest assets we as a State have to day. We have also won the good will of the entire nation and also of the people and the Government of Bangladesh. When I think back on the event as stated earlier, which have taken place in erstwhile East Pakistan now called Bangladesh, during the period under review, I am reminded of the times of anxiety, the period of uncertainty through which all of us have had to pass and we cannot but be grateful to God, the Al-mighty, with whose help we succeeded in coming out unscathed and unharmed. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, Sir, Bangladesh has emerged as free, sovereign and democratic country. In this respect, I am one with the Governor when he expresses the hope that liberation of Bangladesh holds out the promise of a new era of progress and prosperity for border areas of Meghalaya through the revival of trade contacts on both sides of the border. In fact, I am tempted to say that the achievement of the people of Bangladesh has also been the achievement of the people of Meghalaya. I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to thank the Governor who, without making any mention of or referring to this is or that is, has placed before this House briefly, but nevertheless, very clearly his and his Government's programme for the coming year. To those of us who heard the Governor delivering his Address, it is evident that the Government plans an over-all development of the State.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to observe that in a democratic set-up such as ours, no Government can ever hope to fully and successfully implement its plans and programmes unless it also has the people's active, wholehearted and enlightened co-operation and support. I mention this fact because during the past few weeks it was brought to my notice that there are people and there are areas and places in the State of Meghalaya where the people are just not aware of the significance of 21st January 1972. People in those places and in those areas do not know that Meghalaya was inaugurated as a full State by the Prime Minister on the 21st January, 1972. In fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I regret very much that I have to state that I have been informed that there are some people in some areas who during the recent election campaign have attempted to mislead the people in this respect. They have had occasion to make statements to the effect that the State to which we were electing our representatives is not a full-fledged State. Now, therefore Mr. Speaker, Sir, if educated and knowledgeable men and women spread such incorrect information, I just cannot understand how any Government can expect that enlightened support and co-operation from the people. I, therefore, hope, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in years to come we, who are looked upon as leaders of the people, shall refrain from spreading such information to the people. With these observations, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I command the motion before the House for adoption.
Mr. Speaker :- The motion of thanks has been moved. But I have received as many as eleven amendments to the motion of thanks which was moved by Prof. Marbaniang. I will now call upon Mr. D.D. Lapang to move the first amendment. May I remind all movers of amendments to confine themselves to the points raised in the amendment and they should not exceed 10 minutes.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that at the end of the Motion of Thanks moved by Mr. D.D. Pugh, M.L.A. on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1973, the following shall be added :-
(1) "But the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no reference to the urgent need for the proper and scientific development of dairy farming in the State; and
(2) makes no mention of the importance of developing the tourist industry in the State."
In the first instance, I would like to express my deep and sincere thanks to the Governor who has made his address to this House. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is really very surprising that there is no mention in the address about proper and scientific development of dairy farming in the State. it is a very important item. But it is very unfortunate that though we have a Minister-in-charge of Agriculture who has got a privilege of going abroad to collect certain information and knowledge and to put them into force in our State, we have not seen anything applied to the programmes of the State. Neither is there any indication of any policy for taking up that subject in the coming year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, milking of the reared cows in our State is still in a primitive way. There is a good number of people rearing cattle but the people do not know how to milk the cows. I therefore, feel that there, should have been some programme in this respect.
Another point is that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, stray cattle have often done much harm to the cultivators and this could have been safely avoided, if the Government take proper steps.
I now come to another item, that is tourism. Hon. Members in the Treasury Benches have made a reference to this and this shows that it is a very important item. But it has very safely been avoided to make mention of this in the Governor's Address. We have many resources to make tourism a successful industry. We have got beautiful hills, lakes and springs. But we are sorry to see that there is not even proper office and staff in the Department. A large amount is being allotted in the budget, but unfortunately, we do not see anything done. No development is there in our State. I do not see why this amendment should not be inserted.
Mr. Speaker :- I request all the hon. Movers of amendments to move their amendments in a proper form and then they should speak it out.
My Mylliemngap to move amendment No.2.
Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I associate myself with the hon. Members from Nongpoh who has expressed gratitude to the Governor who has given the Address to this House. I beg to move that at the end of the motion of thanks moved by Mr. D.D. Pugh, on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1972, the following shall be added. "But the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the Budget urgent need for reorientation in the educational system of the State to suit the special needs and genius of the people nor makes any mention whatsoever on the technical and other education." Besides, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the Governor's Address, we have seen that there is no mention about the system of education to be adopted. The old system of education which we are still following was instituted by the British Government in order to manufacture a band of dedicated Government servants or clerks and under the present system of education through colleges and universities, thousand and thousand of qualified job seeks are coming out every year and these job seekers are plenty in the market, and it will not be possible for the Government to absorb all these job seekers, who are not willing to accept any other job except white collar job. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the present system of education which lays too much stress on the academic learning or book knowledge or memorising what has been written in the book is not suitable to the present generation and the present system of education is teaching the young people to do away with the old things and get lost within themselves while creeping over the new things and it will lead them to no end. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, our need in the Hills for the reorientation of the present system of education is warranted on two counts. No.1, the satisfaction of our artist and intellectual inspirations through fine arts, music, dramas and literature etc. For this we need special branch of Department in schools and colleges and another one is the second need to make our system of education job-oriented so that the people after coming out from schools and colleges will not run after white collar job only. They should be ready to undertake any other type of jobs. But as it is at present, after coming out from schools and colleges, the students are loitering in the street. They are not going to do any other jobs. Therefore, we need also to make our system of education to help our boys and girls who cannot afford to go for higher education. Through technical education, they can get a chance to utilize their talents in whatever way they are found fit. As at present, we have heard in the morning session that the District Council is looking after Primary Education. But Primary Education which is vested in the District Councils is not receiving proper attention because the District Councils are having different types of schemes. One of such schemes is the Compulsory Deposit Scheme and under that scheme we have heard many complaints from the teachers. There are some cases when teachers are never in existence but some people did draw the amount and make use of it for themselves and the District Council was never also in the know of such things. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this system of education which we are following at present is defective and detrimental to the mental set-up of the students and the future generations of the State as a whole. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- May I request Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh to move amendment No.3.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that at the end of the motion of thanks moved by Mr. D.D. Pugh, on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1972, the following shall be added. "But the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the need for free and compulsory education to the children upto the age group of 14 and also makes no reference to the steps to be taken to rehabilitate or otherwise to help all the local people who have been affected by the massive influx of refugees from Bangladesh." Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection, I would like to move this amendment with certain reference to primary education. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was in fact the policy of the Government of India adopted some time in the Second Plan period that primary education will be free to all children from the age group of 7 to 14 throughout the country. Many States, in view of the decision of the Government of India, have given free primary education to all children upto the age group of 14. As far as this state is concerned, it is in fact a newly born State and we have not yet got any chance to exercise in this direction. Mr. Speaker, Sir, since we have assumed the responsibility of looking after the development of our country, we should also look to the development of education in our State. In the Governor's Address, there is nothing mentioned about this, though this must be the primary thing which the State must consider. But I regret to say that in the Governor's Address there is no mention of free education to the children upto the age group of 14. The Government has to pay attention to primary education and its development. In fact, in other States of India, they have free education even upto college standard but here in our State and in the State of Assam we have not had that free education even at the primary level. We fail to understand the policy of the Government in respect of primary education in the State. While all of the private Middle English and High Schools in the State have been given free studentships and the pay of the teachers is being paid by means of ad-hoc grants and recurring grants and so on and so forth and are also provided with other facilities like equipments, etc. several primary education have not yet been given free studentships. In fact, as I have just stated this morning, here in the District Council of the (U) Khasi-Jaintia Hills District there are 2045 villages. We expect at least one primary school for each village but the District Council, (U) Khasi - Jaintia Hills, have been maintaining only about 900 schools and many of them being Aided Schools and the pay of the teachers has not been paid which was scheduled to be normalised at the end of the Third Plan. Now, we are in the midst of the Fourth Plan period. If we cannot do this now, we have no time to raise our education in this backward area of the State. Another thing Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Speaker :- Are you still thinking that we are in the District Council?
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Now I want to speak on the second part of my amendment and that is rehabilitation - steps to be taken for rehabilitation of the people who are badly affected during the influx of refugees from Bangladesh. Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the war, i.e., during the Indo-Pakistan War, in the first part of this year, the influx of refugees was so great in the State, especially in the border areas of about 110 miles, along the boundary. The damage was very great and from a radius of 5 miles from the international boundary the entire population was affected. The forest wealth of the State was damaged and many of the villagers were evacuated, their crops were damaged, cattle lost, etc. I have visited these areas during the war itself. Nearly in all the important places like Balat, Borsora, Dawki, etc., and in some of those places in Khasi-Jaintia Hills I found that many people left their hearths and homes because of influx of refugees. The Government have tried to look after these refugees not to damage and intrude into the villages but they just could not do anything about it. My colleagues and I have tried to help these people and we have tried for many months together to help representing these happenings to the Government. Only in Balat area there are as many of 600 people who have lost their homes and cultivation. I have met the Chief Minister when I accompanied the deputationists from that area and we have submitted representations from about 600 people regarding their losses incurred and damages done during the war. Many villages were vacated and some of the people from Balat area like Kharidop, Rajapara, etc., have even left for Garo Hills and some of them to the interior parts of Khasi Hills. Some Pnar and some Khasi people have come to me in a group asking me for help in the matter of representing their grievances on the Government. I have tried to help then and as they are scattered over the district of (U) Khasi and Jaintia Hills. I cannot find them now as far as I understand, the Government have not as yet attended to the of these people. So, in the Governor's Address, it has been mentioned - a mention only - that this influx of refugees has damaged very much the economic condition of our local people. But there is no mention as to how far steps are being taken to rehabilitate them or to compensate them from their losses and damages and also to help them reconstruct their villages, organise their hearths and homes. I learned from the newspapers that Government has decided to compensate them. I would therefore, move amendment that such compensation and rehabilitation must be given to the people who have really suffered during these disturbances. With this few words, Sir, I move this second amendment to the motion of thanks moved by the Hon. Member, Mr. D.D. Pugh.
Mr. Speaker :- Professor Majaw to move amendment No.4.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I beg leave of the House to move this amendment, I would like to on a point of information as to whether we should be allowed later to participate in the debate on the Governor's Address.
Mr. Speaker :- Yes, the general discussion will still be there but so as the amendments are concerned you must stick only to the points in your amendment.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move an amendment to the motion of thanks moved by Shri D.D. Pugh, on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1972. The following 3 amendments shall be added :
(1) but the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the Municipal Election which is long overdue in Shillong;
(2) that it makes no reference to the rehabilitation of the families of the Jawans now suffering as a result of the recent Indo-Pakistan War ; and
(3) that in the matter of the establishment of a Central Hill University for the North-Eastern Region, the Governor's Address has taken for granted while the matter is still pending before the House."
In the first amendment that I have moved Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out that, in my humble opinion, the entire Municipal Administration in this long suffering City of ours should be entirely renovated, re-oriented, changed. I must point out the more than half of hon. Members sitting in this House who have some sort of official resident in this City are facing enormous troubles in travelling and also in going about their daily duties. This thing can be more understood by experience that by description. I would rather think that there are insufficient words in the English Dictionary. In this city of ours there should be a 'department of dirt' rather than the department of cleanliness. Then on water you don't either get water or if you get it is solid water. The two fires that we had two days ago could have been brought under control or avoided had been liquid water. As regards the roads, the roads are in a deplorable condition. In the monsoon season there is no road instead there are stream and rivers with two centuries old dirt. How the Municipal Administration proposes to clean the refuse of generations.
Finally we come to Mawlong Hat in the Bara Bazar area, the condition of which is well known to all of us. Certain parts of the Mawlong Hat was distributed amongst certain members of the Municipal Administration and disposed of to big business men at exorbitant rate. I know that a gentleman donated that plot of land to the wife of certain persons connected with the Municipal Administration. But for all these reasons and in keeping with the healthy parliamentary practice we will not permitted to mention all this. Mr. Speaker, Sir, so I would just mention this that certainly Municipal elections are long long overdue. We do not know the reasons why the Municipal Election should not be held.
Amendment No.2 is about the rehabilitation of the families of Jawans. It is well known that for a Major or Captain in the Army there lot of hulla baloo and his wife receives his posthumous awards but the lost and sufferings of the humble Jawans go un-recorded. Something have been done by this Government to the family of such Jawans. Many of them also are now in this State and we thought that after Indo-Pakistani war a slight mention of this could have cropped in Governor's Address.
Sir, in the third amendment, in the matter of establishment of a Hill University we would like to point out Mr. Speaker, Sir, even though the Autonomous State of Meghalaya had passed a resolution very early in its life on the desirability of having a Central Hill University in the region, it appears that a fresh resolution should be passed in this august House in the new State of Meghalaya and for that reason have this Calendar which has been put up by this Secretariat.
Mr. Speaker :- That was adopted by the Business Advisory Committee.
*Prof. M. NARAYAN Majaw :- Yes, it has been signed by the Secretary. Regarding the establishment of the Indira Gandhi University-Consideration and adoption in the Governor's Address, it seems that there are two Universities. One can slightly rectify the English Dictionary . The Central Hill University and the Indira Gandhi Hill University but we take it that there is going to be one and since it is necessary that this House gives its sanction in the form of a resolution before the Central Government goes ahead with introducing a bill in the Parliament, we thought that the Governor would not have mentioned it until there has been a resolution adopted by this august House, on the 5th April next. In the matter of establishment of the Central University, as we all know Mr. Speaker, Sir, the University appears to be autonomous. What can be more autonomous than the State which has a Chief Minister. But if the Government in the Centre can remove the Chief Minister who enjoys the priority in the State, what difficulty is there to establish the University'. The Vice-Chancellor no doubt is appointed by the Centre and then to appoint a Chaprashi the permission of the Central Government would be required. It may be that the Government had no intention in bringing out the necessary details, specific details on the 5th of April about its Resolution. I hope we will not be asked to give our recognition to a vague resolution. We hope that on that day specific details would be spelled out in this august House by the Government before the sanction of this august House is taken or rather to encourage the Government Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the House Sir, that there is an Association of the college teachers of Meghalaya and this association has submitted a number of memorandums to the Education Ministry and to other Ministers of the Cabinet on the desirability of having a State University which this august House is quite capable of passing a Bill and we thought that for the State University it would have been much better if the Government can introduce a Bill for the State university. As Shri G. Mylliemngap has stated in his amendment a few minutes ago the need for orientation of the entire education system in the State to suit the special records and genius of the people. We have laboured for so many years precisely because our people have special genius and therefore have our special needs. In doing so, we require a State University which would certainly better for us. Of course there come up a question of finance. But since as per cent of the budget of this new new State is financed by the Centre what is the difficulty? It is a matter of book transfer by taking this money for the purpose of a State University. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would continue to insist of these three amendments - one is regarding the Municipal Election which is long overdue. Secondly, relief and rehabilitation of the families of the Jawans and thirdly establishment of a Central Hill University which the Governor's Address has not taken us into confidence.
Mr. Speaker :- The amendment is to be moved by Mr. H. Hynniewta. He is absent.
Shri STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to move amendment No.3 to the motion of thanks in the Governor's Address. The following shall be added :-
"(1) The House here regrets that the Governor in his Address did not make any reference to the problem and development of Youth Welfare and Sports and Games. (2) He did not make any reference to the vital necessity of urgently improving and speeding up the gear for administrative machineries with regard to justice. (3) He did not make any reference to the congestion of roads in the State especially, here in Shillong and the need for improvement in the maintenance of such roads in the State as a whole.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot understand why n the Governor's Address such important things have been left out. Firstly, I would propose to move an amendment dealing with Youth Welfare and Sports and Games. We can very well understand, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the importance of young men and women in any society in the State. It is very important Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we should pay our attention and also that the Government should pay proper attention to the development of our young men and women because these are the most vital factors of any society. Young men and women of any village or area, State or country, are the potential wealth of the nation and that is why, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I say that the Government should should have paid much attention for the development of this section of the people, the young men and women. They have to be developed in a proper manner so that this State can utilise them in quite a meaningful and proper manner. There is no doubt Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this is very important not only that it is very important but it is also complex and tangible. At the same time it is necessary that these young men and women of our society should be properly developed and that they should be given proper facilities in education and in other spheres. Because of the failure of the Government in certain States and in certain countries, there has been uprising times of the nasty students and indiscipline young men. There was agitations and demonstrations and all kinds of things. I believe, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the main reason why these things have crept in a society because our young men and women never take resort to constitution means and they lack the initiative in this regard. We also fail to understand why our youths don't take to such resorts. That is why the problem of welfare should be attended to and I urge upon the Government at least the State should offer them proper patronage and guidance and is also necessary, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there should be some youth welfare programmes taken up by the State for the development of youths. With regard to Sports and Games, it is very essential that our youth be encouraged and given a chance in improving their ability and standard of sporting. I think here many of the hon. Members of the House may have keen interest in Sports and Games and I fail to understand why in the Governor' Address this vital factor of Sports and Games not found place. Sports and Games had been popular in the past but as they are at present I think these Sports and Games receive maximum support and enough subsidy from the State.
Prof. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- Mr. Speaker, Sir,, may I point out that under Rule 275 (a) the Minister concerned is not here. He did not take part in this discussion even though he is holding port folio of Education, he was absent without the previous permission of House.
Mr. SPEAKER :- This is not a point of order.
Shri STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR :- I have here inform the hon. Member who had spoken before me that the Minister who is-in-charge of Sports and Games is not present. Therefore Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would suggest that due attention should be given to the development of Sports and Games and also proper facilities should be given to the educational institutions for the proper development of Sports and Games. Now, for the information of the House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to mention here that Shillong is a very very important town in the State of Assam and now in the State of Meghalaya but it does not even have a stadium. The stadium is a very important thing for the development of Sports and Games and I would impress upon the Government the vital necessities mentioned already which are related to Sports and Games. I would also like to say a few words more regarding Sports and Games. It is necessary that the Government should endeavour to go to the villages and explore the untapped resources of the various sportsmen. I have come across not only in town area but especially in the rural areas some sportsmen and sporting festival could be arranged in such a way that we can easily tap the resources, we can tap the sportsmen athletes and others from the rural areas. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have to come to the second part of my amendment and that is with regard to the speeding up of the administration of justice. In this respect, I would like to quote that justice delayed is justice denied". Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, always we have seen that it has been a chronic disease in almost all the places in the country. The common man feels frustrated because it will take many many years for him to get justice done.
I should like to mention in this respect and I feel that litigation should be done away with, so that at least the common man will feel that justice is being done to him. This "justice delayed is justice denied" is not only that it does not end there, but also adds to his mis cries. (Bell rang). I may take only a few minutes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Now I come to the last part of my amendment. In this connection I would only like to say a few words because two of the Hon. Members, Prof. Warjri and Prof. Majaw have already touched this point. The condition of the roads in Shillong is very deplorable and specially the congestion of roads in Shillong is very humiliating. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- I now request Mr. S.D. Khongwir to take the seat here as Chairman.
(Mr. S.D. Khongwir took the Chair).
Mr. Chairman :- Now I call upon Mr. Edward Kurbah to move the amendment.
Shri Edward Kurbah (Sohiong S.T.) :- Whether I should address you Mr. Chairman or Mr. Speaker, I do not know which is the correct one.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- "Mr. Chairman" is the correct form.
*Shri Edward Kurbah :- Sir, at the end of the motion of thanks moved by Shri D.D. Pugh, M.L.A. on the 25th March, 1972 I regret to mention here that the Governor's Address made no reference to the subject, fertilizer. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to raise a point of this subject. During the past years many permit holders and dealers in fertilizers had to move here and there in search of fertilizers. They went to the Corporation, they could not find any fertilizer. They even went to the foreign zone, but they could not get the fertilizers. (laughter).
Therefore, Sir, in order to help the people in getting fertilizers easily for growing potatoes and other crops and other things I would request the Government to see that the fertilizers should be supplied in time so that the people in our areas, who are mostly cultivators and farmers, may not suffer again. Because, if they do not get the fertilizers in time, the crops will not be produced in a better way. So, Sir, I would like to move the amendment that the Government should see that this fertilizer must be supplied in proper time. So I request the Government that next time fertilizers should be supplied not as it was done during these past year because up till now fertilizers are difficult to be obtained and so the people are suffering a lot in the absence of these fertilizers. So in this case, I hope, in future, there will be no lack of fertilizers so that the farmers and the cultivators can get it in time for planting the crops, potatoes and any other crops in time. So with these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri H.E. Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that at the end of the Motion of Thanks existing moved by Mr. D.D. Pugh, M.L.A. on the Governor's Address on 25th March, 1972, the following shall be added :
(1) "but the House regrets that the Governor makes a reference in his Address to the existing border trade between Meghalaya and Bangladesh while none is taking place at the moment."
Sir, while moving this amendment, I would like to draw the attention of the House, especially the Chief Minister and the Minister-in-charge that as a result of the greatest victory by the Indian forces over Pakistan, Bangladesh is created. Just at the moment the people of Bangladesh got their independence. If we go to the border hats along the borders of this district, I do not know about Garo Hills, we find hundreds and thousands of Bangladesh nationals coming to these border hats. It is really an encouraging sight to find the people carrying pan leaves, carrying vegetables and carrying rice to the border as a result of the revival of these border hats in the border and our people who are directly the victims economically during the last conflict in the border areas, who have lost much of their properties are very happy. I really agree with the statement made here that the liberation of Bangladesh is a new era of progress and prosperity of the border areas of Meghalaya which was created with the revival of trade on both sides. Immediately after the war, I happened to be in the border areas from the 23rd to 25th December, 1971 and I could see so many people coming from beyond the border and going to the other side of the border for two months. The trade was alright and was really a new era of trade in the history of the two borders between Sylhet and our people. But all of a sudden, Sir, on the 18th of this month when I went to Dawki having got a telephonic call from the local people of Dawki area, I found that huge quantity of pan leaves and oranges is lying there. They said that the attitude of the border people has now changed and they said that they cannot take anything from here without the permission of the Bangladesh Government. I think the constituency of the hon. member, who moved this Motion of Thanks on the Address is badly affected because I find hundreds of his people carrying bundles of pan leaves, oranges, etc. are stranded and the pan leaves are lying rotten at the Dawki Bazar. What is this unfriendly attitude. We have been feeding them at our people's cost. Our people had to leave their hearth and home during their troubled time though immediately after the emergency of Bangladesh the friendly relations developed. Therefore, Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of the Government this sudden unfriendly attitude? All of a sudden that friendly attitude disappeared. They did not even care to give any notice to the people of the border. When the people brought oranges and pineapple, they were refused entry. What is this? I rushed to the D.Cs office; I met the D.C. Jowai District; I met also the Minister, I/C, Border Trade in Shillong. I had a talk with them. Why is this sudden stoppage of market altogether when our Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was addressing the people at Dacca signing a treaty of trade for 25 years with Bangladesh? What is this doing to the poor farmers and agriculturists of our area? Some leaders on the other side came to the border and met and told them. I told them that we would request our Government to seal the border if no improvement is made to the trade. I told them that we will stop sending salt, kerosene and other things from our district. On 22nd we are having a meeting at Dawki and leaders of Bangladesh also attended on that very day for border trade. Border trade was opened but it is learnt that on that very night those pan leaves and oranges were auctioned by the authorities in Sylhet district and now after the interval of two weeks there is no more trade. What is this? In my opinion, I do not want to criticize our Government but request them to reopen the border markets. I would like to remind Government that while we are always ready to help and extend our co-operation to the people on the other side, we should also see to the interest of our people on this side, at the same time, when we are spending money for helping those people on the other side, we should also see that our people are not suffering for no fault of their own. Our people are doing business always on a very small scale. Therefore, Sir, while moving this amendment and expressing my regret, I on behalf of the people of the border areas would like to inform the Government that more than 10 lakhs of rupees have been lost last week in the border due to unfriendly attitude of the people of Bangladesh on the other side.
Mr. Chairman :- Now, I will call upon Mr. H. Hadem to move his amendment.
Shri H. Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- I do not know how to address you, Sir, whether as Speaker or as Chairman?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- As Chairman, I think.
Shri H. Hadem (Mynso - Raliang S.T.) :- Because Rule 10 says - "The Deputy Speaker and any Chairman of the Assembly shall, when presiding over the Assembly, have the same powers as the Speaker when so presiding and al references to the Speaker in the rules shall in the circumstances, be deemed to be references to any such persons so presiding". As such I would prefer to address you as Speaker being so presiding, as the rule says, and having same power as Speaker himself. (laughter).
Mr. Chairman :- According to your choice.
Shri H. Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, most of my friend shave been using Mr. D.D. Pugh's name as the mover of the motion of thanks but I shall have to change to another name. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that at the end of the Motion of Thanks moved by Mr. P.G. Marbaniang, M.L.A. on the Governor's Address on 25th March, 1972, the followings shall be added :-
(1) "but the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the specific steps taken for the immediate re-inclusion of the areas in Jaintia Hills District :
(2) makes no mention of the steps taken to relieve the poor hailstorm and pests-affected cultivators of Jaintia Hills and Khasi Hills Districts;
(3) makes no mention of the preference that should be given to the 'sons of the soil' in the matter of employment under the State Government and
(4) makes no mention of the immediate holding of the District Council Elections in the Autonomous Districts of the United Khasi - Jaintia Hills and Jowai".
Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding my amendment No.1, had been left as it is, it would have been vague. But actually my notice given to your office, I have specifically mentioned therein that it is am amendment to paragraph 6 of the Governor's Address, and as such it is very clear that this amendment is regarding that particular paragraph and in this connection if you would be very kind, Sir, to turn page 4, paragraph 6, of the Governor's Address where it was admitted that there are areas predominantly inhabited by the Pnars which were include in the Mikir Hills District since 1951. There it was also stated in paragraph 6, page 4 of the Governor's Address that "Representations had been received since then against such inclusion and the matter had been under examination by the Assam Government. This Government took up question of the re-transfer of Blocks I and II from Mikir Hills District, Jaintia Hills District with the Government of Assam". These people feel at home in Mikir Hills as they are Pnar people. According to the steps taken so far we have seen that only two meetings have been conducted between the two Governments of Assam and Meghalaya. Last of all it has been admitted that there were some refugees from Mikir Hills who came to our border and took shelter within the Jaintia Hills District. Further, it has been stated in that paragraph, that it is hoped that the matter would be amicably settled soon. This is the outcome of the cantonment since 1951, since the very creation of the Mikir Hills District. But nothing has been done since then. Previously these two Districts mean, the autonomous District of United Khasi Jaintia Hills, and autonomous district of Mikir Hills have two District Councils within the same Government, the Assam Government, that is of the same State, in that time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this matter has been left under the negotiations of the two District Councils and nothing good has come out of all after 1952 up to last year or year before last. And now after the creation of this autonomous State of Meghalaya again it seems that there were two meetings, but what was the actual result? Mr. Speaker, Sir, the only result is that our own people shall have to fly away from the so called their own home district to their neighbouring district of Jaintia Hills and it is for them that this matter will be amicably settled soon. That is the remark given at the end of the paragraph. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as no specific steps have been mentioned and no definite time had be given by the Government for the inclusion of those districts which were previously inhabited by our people who now had left their hearths and homes and become refugees in our District I have to move this amendment.
The second part, I may mention Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that we have seen something has been mentioned in paragraph 8 about the steps to be taken for improvement of agriculture, but actually nothing concrete has been done. Mr. Speaker, Sir, no action had been taken so far for the relief of our cultivators who have been hard hit last year by hail-storm as well as by pests during the harvest season. Portions of Jaintia Hills suffered, Mr. Speaker, Sir, only in one week for three times from hail-storm and the poor cultivators suffered loss of their paddy cultivation. This was during the first part and second part of October, 1971. Representations by the Field Management Committees as well as by the Circle Development Committees of the Blocks have been submitted to the authorities concerned but nothing has been turned with deaf ears. It proved to be so Mr. Speaker, Sir, as it appears from the very Address. The Government up till now had not taken any steps at al and I would request the Government to take this matter of life and death into immediate consideration and speedy action. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I take my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now I ask Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh to move his amendment.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that at the end of the motion of thanks moved by Shri D.D. Pugh, M.L.A. on the Governor's Address delivered on the 25th March, 1972, the following shall be added. The first part is that "but the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no reference to the application of the Excise Act in the State and the steps taken if any, to prevent the use of rice for distillation, and also illicit distillation in the State". Part two of the amendment is that the Governor's Address "makes no reference to the establishment or improvement of health and water supply in rural areas of the State". While moving these two amendments, I can point out Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Governor's or for that matter the Government's aims to gives in the five years should be still something. What should be the policy of the Government in this line. I mean in the excise line? There is the Directive Principle in the Constitution also which speaks about prohibition but the Governor has left out. This amendment provides where there should be prohibition or there should not be; whether the Excise Act should be enacted or adopted in the State of ours. If at all, there should be Excise Act in this State of ours I think there must be some excise policy because the Excise Department is also in existence and I personally hope that the Government should have done something for the Excise Department either to increase the revenue as excise duty or to reduce the drunkenness where the public have been suffering and have demanded prohibition. I urge upon the Government that in the policy of the Government there should have been some outlines on this part and I also urge the Government should amend to accommodate this line, I mean excise policy. So the first part is that Government should mention something about the excise policy.
In the second part of the Governor's Address, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is mention only of the scheme of water supply in Shillong and also establishment of hospitals at Tura and Jowai. But there is no mention that the Government aims at establishing any hospital in the rural areas. This is a very important subject concerning health and sanitation and they are the basic needs of the people in every constituency, not to speak of my own constituency. Health and water are important and are necessary for the people of every constituency. So, I urge that the Government should speak something on this line also. There should be water supply scheme for every area, especially our Mawkyrwat constituency, where there are places having no water at all. In the War areas also water is available only in places far away. The villagers have to go to distant places to draw water. But the Government have left out this matter, They talk only of supply of water in Shillong. Regarding health, there they mention in the Speech only about hospitals at Jowai and Tura. But in fact, it is most necessary and necessary in villages also. People in the rural areas have to go for days in search of some medicine from Government dispensaries. But then again, there is shortage of medicines in the dispensaries, also and thus the poor villagers cannot have any relief, and there should be hospitals in villages also. I, therefore, urge that the Government should include this amendment in the policy or in the aims of the Government for the Five-Year period. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- I have given a free choice to the hon. Member Mr. Hadem, to address me as Speaker. But the subsequent speaker should please address me as Chairman from now on. Now we come with the item and I call upon Mr. Upstar Kharbuli to move the amendment.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli (Malki) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, while appreciating the Hon. Member from Laitumkhrah for moving the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address delivered on the 25th instant, I be move that at the end of the motion the following be added -
"The House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the intention of the Government of Meghalaya in respect of the operation of the State Road Transport, which is at present being managed by the Road Transport Corporation.
Why this amendment was sought for, is because it is known as prior to the formation of the State of Meghalaya, Transport Section on the Gauhati-Shillong route were operated by the Assam State Road Transport Corporation and their earning capacity was very good. It was observed that this particular route used to bring huge income to the State. Our State, at present has very meagre revenue earnings, I do not know, whether we can afford to form part of this State Transport Corporation along with the Assam Government and the Railways. I feel that if the State Government can take the sole monopoly of this road, it will be very much enhance the revenue of the State Government. As I find that there is no mention of this State Road Transport Corporation, I thought it would be better to impress upon the Government to enlighten the House as to their stands in this matter. So, with these words, I take my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now we have four more Members who want to participate in today's discussion on the Governor's Address. They are Mr. P. Marbaniang, Mr. S.P. Swer, Mr. Jormanick Syiem and Shri M. Rava. Now, I would call upon Mr. S.P. Swer and I would request him to confine his discussion within ten minutes.
Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, after hearing the speeches of so many speakers and so many movers of the amendments, it has put me in confusion whether I am to reply or to make some observations on the Governor's Address. Mr. Chairman, Sir, at the very first stage of the Governor's Address, we find the following -
"The State of Meghalaya was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on the 21st January, 1972. This day will go down as a red letter day in the history of Meghalaya, for it marks the culmination of years of arduous struggle of the hill people to ensure that their institutions and their culture are safeguarded and that the people of this region take their rightful place in the life of the nation."
It was really a day of joy and happiness (At this stage, the Hon'ble Speaker took the Chair) to the people of Meghalaya and the hill people in particular. The struggle of the hill people for a separate Hill State has come to an end with the great achievement of the State of our own. The Autonomous State of Meghalaya within Assam has no doubt paved the way for a full-fledged Meghalaya State being separated from Assam. It is a matter of great satisfaction to re-collect this struggle of the hill people for their cherished goal of a separate State, the struggle which has been conducted through peaceful, legitimate and constitutional means. Had the Autonomous State of Meghalaya not come into existence on the 2nd of April, 1970, it would be very difficult for us here to be representatives of the people in this august House as a result of direct election on the 9th March, 1972. I am also very glad that in the Governor's Address, a place has been found for the liberation of Bangladesh. It has no doubt brought to us a new era of progress in our economic prosperity especially in the border areas. There was a time when a thought crept into my mind when I watched the great influx of evacuees from the other side of erstwhile East Pakistan into Meghalaya. It made me think how the Government of the young Autonomous State of Meghalaya, with its limited resources at its disposal, can handle such a situation. I thought it would be a flop, but the result was quite otherwise; right from the day of influx of evacuees upto the day of repatriation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is true that there is something wrong in respect of the border trade, at the moment. But I hope, we all should understand that trading between the two countries, two foreign countries, should be a regulated one. I hope that the Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship will, no doubt, in the near future, bring progress to the economic prosperity on both sides of the border.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like also to make one observation about the creation of one District, the District of Jaintia Hills. I congratulate the Government for the creation of a separate District, the District of Jaintia Hills. Our State is a small state, therefore, districts are also small and I hope that it will not be out of the way to create small Civil Sub divisions also. The main purpose, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is for the acceleration of the progress in the field of administration and development and it will also open up opportunities for employment (bell rang). Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want a little more time to finish. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in page 4 of the Governor's Address we find at paragraph 6 that there will be some adjustment, in respect of certain areas bordering Jaintia Hills. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a suggestion, through you, to the Government to move the Government of India for re-examination of the boundary line between our State of Meghalaya, a part of India, and Bangladesh. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to make another observation in order to express my satisfaction on the policy statement of the Government, in respect of our small farmers. I know that the main difficulty of our farmers is effectively respond to mechanised agriculture in poverty. Many of our farmers are indebted and year after year the debt is getting accumulated. Therefore, these facilities offered by the Government will go a long way to help our poor farmers to be free from debt and poverty. It is only then that our farmers will grow more food to make the State self-sufficient in food in the near future. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, I will call the next hon. Member Mr. Jormanick Syiem.
Shri Jormanick Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset I would like to express my appreciation at the interest take taken and the sentiments expressed by the hon. Members who have tabled the amendments to the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address. The Governor, in his Address, has said that he has outlined the salient features of the last years achievement. As the mover is fully aware that the attainment of full statehood is the first step towards accelerated development of Meghalaya social growth and justice. The hon. Members who have moved the amendments earlier have touched on several points for which I do not know whether there will be time in 10 minutes to cover them all. The first amendment was that of scientific development of dairy farming moved by Mr. Lapang. In this connection, I would like to say that all the Scientific development on dairy farming is absolutely necessary but we must get the co-operation of the people keeping cattle if we are prepared to bring milk to the Centre and unless that is done, Mr. Speaker, Sir, mere establishment or any installation of scientific apparatus will be of no avail.
Now, regarding stray cattle, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have all tried, I at least have tried at certain time, to see that the cattle should be attended to throughout the year. Some time back, at least in my constituency, I tried to introduce the winter crop by asking the people to grow potato in the wet cultivation area for the first time in 1951. To enable them to do that I have tried to get their cattle attended to throughout the year. They tried for one year but they could not do that. So, this also requires the co-operation of the people if we are to keep the cattle under control throughout the year so that double or triple crops may be raised on our lands. They have also touched upon tourism which the Governor did not mention but it is a known fact that tourism is being contemplated by the Government, if I am not mistaken.
The hon. Member from Sohryngkham Constituency has sought to get an assurance from the Government that the educational system should be re-oriented. Now, it is a very technical subject which, I suppose, will acquire some experts to introduce the new system for these hills because so far we have been following what we have had in the past. It is a legacy which we have not been able to shake off. Now regarding the job-oriented Education system which I also appreciated but then, at the same time, I would like to know whether the hon. Members are aware that very few Khasi students care to attend or to get themselves admitted in the single Polytechnic Institution at Mawhati. I know only very few people take interest in it; many of them take interest only in Civil Engineering but then the people of this area take interest only in Civil Engineering but then the people of this area take interest and join that Institute, I hope the Government, in due course, will see that the Electrical and Mechanical subjects will be introduced in that Institution. It is our duty to encourage young people to join such an institution; such kind of educational system so that they can stand on their own feet after having finished their courses.
Then, this free and compulsory education in the primary schools as far as I know, the Government has been giving them free education. (A voice - No.) and, in fact I think the people in the high schools are getting stipends-what more do you expect? Is there any primary institution that realising school fees? Not this I know of. I suppose the Government will be able to enlighten us better but my information is that free primary and compulsory education is available everywhere all over the State.
Regarding rehabilitation of the people affected by the influx of refugees. These are very few and far between that I know of. I do not know how many villagers have been evacuated or at least whether they have not been rehabilitated by now. If there are such cases, I have no doubt that the Government would see that all the people who have been evacuated from their villages would be rehabilitated and given every help that they can get. Some of the Members also have touched upon the Hill University or Indira University which of course is going to be a Central University. It will be a Central University but it has been proposed that it should be called, the Indira Gandhi Hill University. What is the actual objection to that we do not know. It will be borne by the Central Government. Now, if there is a necessity or if we are in a position that we can start a State University, there is no harm. But where is the money just now? We are still dependent on the Centre to begin with. I think the Hill or Indira Gandhi University will be a great boon to us. I do not see that the Governor's Address has fallen short of this proposition which, I think every member of this House will greatly appreciate.
Regarding Sports and Games - this, of course, is a subject which enquires a lot of money even to start a stadium. All of us have tried to have a stadium but there is no place. This is a place where land is very difficult to get and a stadium must have a good and suitable place.
Now, regarding discipline or indiscipline, I also agree, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that our young men and women should be guided to be more disciplined whether in the sphere of sports and games or in any other activities.
Yes, Mr. Kurbah has touched on the fertilizer question which most of us know. It is very unfortunate that such a thing has happened. If my information is correct, the fertilizers could not be brought to Shillong because the wagons were requisitioned for the relief work of the refugees in Bangladesh. The border trade that Mr. Pohshna has mentioned is a very delicate question and it is an international question. I do not know whether this House is competent to discuss it. Of course we appeal to the State Government to take up the matter with the Central Government so that the border trade can be re-opened as in the past.
Shri H.E. Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Is he a prospective Minister that he is replying to the debate?
Shri Jormanik Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) :- I am not going to be a Minister. We know that the border trade is absolutely necessary and I would request the State Government to take up the matter with the Central Government so that the border trade can be re-opened in due course.
Shri H. Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think Mr. Pohshna is correct because the hon. Member instead of making his speech is trying to reply to the debate.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is presumed that the hon. Member can reply to certain observations. Every Member in the ruling party has the right to refute the charges made by the Opposition.
Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- We thought you would be better briefed by the hon. Member in your reply.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I think there is no scope for argument.
Shri Jormanik Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) :- They have not also brought any specific instance.
Mr. Speaker :- I think every Member has a right to express views inside the House whether rightly or wrongly.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) :- The hon. Member has given a reply and stated "if I am not mistaken". Whether it is right or wrong he should be specific in his statement.
Shri D.D. Pugh (Nongshken S.T.) :- I am raising a point of order, Sir. It is the privilege of every Member sitting on either side of the House to make a statement and there is nothing wrong in doing so. He has the right to say "if I am not mistaken".
Shri H.E. Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- On a point of order Sir, I want a clarification from the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs because the Chief Minister has stated that any Member from the ruling party can give a reply, though the reply has started with the words "if I am not mistaken".
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is not a question or reply by way of debate. I would request the Members through you, Sir, to make a difference between refuting the debate and the right of reply of every Member from this side.
Mr. Speaker :- In trying to bring out the point by the Hon. Member, Shri Jormanik Syiem, he will be responsible whether he states it rightly or wrongly. The point of order that has been raised is whether the member of the ruling party can give a reply or not. This is not a point of order which should be taken up because it is only the Members of the treasury bench who can give the reply. So the statement of the Member of the ruling party "if I am not mistaken" could not be taken as a reply by the Minister.
Shri Jormanik Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) :- May I continue and come to the conclusion or they want me to conclude now? (loud laughter).
Shri H.E. Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- We request you, Sir, regularise his speech.
Shri Jormanik Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) :- I am finishing my observation by saying that we cannot expect that the Governor in his Address could include all the details that the Members can expect. He has already indicated what steps the Government of the full-fledged state is taking to make Meghalaya a happy and prosperous State. With these few words, I recommend that the motion of thanks on the Address of the Governor be adopted.
Mr. Speaker :- As there is no other hon. Member who would like to take part in other points the House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. tomorrow the 28th March, 1972.
|The 27th March, 1972.||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|
The Assembly met at 10 A.M. on Tuesday the 28th March, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.
Members of House Committee
Mr. Speaker :- Before we come to the first item of today, list of business, I would like to announce the names of the members of the House Committee. I appoint the following members of the House Committee under Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 312 :
|(1)||Prof. P.G. Marbaniang, M.L.A.|
|(2)||Shri Maham Singh, M.L.A.|
|(3)||Prof. M.N. Majaw, M.L.A.|
|(4)||Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, M.L.A.|
|(5)||Shri Ira Marak, M.L.A.|
Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang will be the Chairman of this Committee.
So, we are going to the first item of the list of business. May I request the Chief Minister to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya, Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 1 of 1972).
LAYING OF ORDINANCES
Capt. W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya) Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 1 of 1972).
Mr. Speaker :- Now, we come to item No.2. May I request the Finance Minister to lay the State of Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 2 of 1972).
Shri B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the State of Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 2 of 1972).
Mr. Speaker :- So, let us come to item No.3. May I request the Minister of Finance, to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowance Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya Ordinance 3 of 1972).
Shri B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Speaker and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance 3 of 1972.,
Mr. Speaker :- Now let us come to item No.4. May I request the Finance Minister to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance, 1972.
Shri B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) :- I beg to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 4 of 1972).
Mr. Speaker :- Then we come to item No.5, May I request the Minister to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Ordinance (The Meghalaya State Ordinance, 5 of 1972.)
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Amendment) Ordinance, 1972 (The State Ordinance 5 of 1972).
DEBATE ON THE GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS
Mr. Speaker :- We come now to Item No.6 of today's list of Business, and that is resumption of the debate on the Governor's Address. I would request the hon. Members concerned who would take part in the debate that they should not exceed 15 minutes each. So many I request Mr. Pohshna to participate in the debate.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I express my thanks to you for giving me this opportunity to participate in this debate. Sir, taking the Governor's Address as a whole, I am not at all happy to see that in the whole of the Governor's Address there has been no mention about the achievements made so far by the Meghalaya Government in so far as industrial and other developments are concerned, in the areas of the Meghalaya State. I am also to express my thanks to the Governor for the enlightenment made in Paragraph 2 of page 2 of this Address in which it is mentioned like this : - "It is a matter for satisfaction that the general election to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya could be completed soon after Meghalaya has emerged as a new State". The word "satisfaction" really deserved appreciation and regard by myself and hon. Members. Why I say like that because during the last general election, the people who are in the Ruling Party are really very happy in this election in the Jaintia Hills District. We could see District Council's cars with party flags accompanied by the Publicity and Information Officers. During the last general election the Ministers, Executive Members of the District Councils carried their party flags in their election campaign and wherever we go we find Sir, slips of irrigation grants, conservation grants addressed in the name of some people. But these papers were not distributed by the officers of the Soil Conservation Department but by the candidates. It is very rejoicing for the Ruling Party and we are glad that for the people of the Ruling Party who were contesting the election all the facilities have been given.
Secondly, Sir, regarding economy in the 2nd paragraph, the administration in Meghalaya has undergone real stress by the influx of refugees and the evacuees from across the border from East Pakistan. Sir, it has really affected the economy of the State and the people were affected by this influx of refugees and it is really a deteriorating state of affairs for all the people of Meghalaya. Help was promised to the evacuees. But the Government is doing only a lip service to our people as the whole Department of the Government is for the safety, security and convenience of the evacuees alone. The people of the border areas of this District were out of their dwelling houses, leaving everything behind them just for a place to retreat while the refugees were provided well with all the amenities of life. There was no security at all for them. I fail also to understand Mr. Speaker, Sir, why our own people were treated like this as though they are not the citizens of India. Therefore, they are exiled from one place to another and in their place the refugees came. Who is to give them security and confidence nobody knows. It is for our Government to look on this through the concerned Department so that the people of the border areas of Jaintia Hills bordering Bangladesh can be properly safeguarded as a result of the influx of the evacuees and not to allow such activities to get a place in the administration, I would like to see that our Government extends every kind of help otherwise our own people will become Khasi refugees in their own State. Actually, Sir, our Government were very glad to degrade these people by asking them to become the Khasi refugees. But everything was done for the refugees coming across our borders, we provided them with escort and what not. I do not grudge for that because as one of the Minister said we are good Samaritans. But what about our own people who have suffered on account of the influx of the refugees. Their paddy fields remained uncultivated. But instead of giving help to them we are making them refugees. I understand the then Minister-in-charge of Relief and Rehabilitation paid frequent visits to these places. But what about the officers and other staff, instead of going to see the plight of these people, they took keen interest in other things like riding in cars of contractors who happened to undertake supplies etc. to the refugees. Therefore, Sir, while talking about economy of the people which has been affected by the influx of the refugees from the other side of the border, I have not seen any mention as to what has been done for these people. On the other hand, while escorting the refugees to the other side of the borders, our officers escorted them. They were given free transport, free food and extra ration for some months to stay in their hearth and home. But what has been done in the case of our own people? Is there any record to show? Whether Government bothered to know how many bundles of pan leaves have been destroyed, hw many betelnut trees have been destroyed and how many paddy fields have been left uncultivated due to the last conflict. I do not see any mention of these things in the Address. Last time when I went to the border areas with the D.C. the people confronted him with a question, and asked him "what about the compensation for the houses that have been burnt down by the Pakistani bullets?" He could not give a reply as to what amount of compensation that has been paid for the trees and other property which have been destroyed by the Pakistani bullets. I am sorry that till to-day nothing has been done on this score.
Now, I am grateful that the Government has admitted that the economy of the people has been deteriorating due to the influx of the refugees. But the point is what has the Government done for these people? Thirdly, Sir, I will now come to paragraph 6, page 4 of the Mikir Hills District adjoining Jaintia Hills. Since there has been repeated mention about this by the Hon. Members. I would like to mention only one point. I know, Sir, that or Pnars who are living in Mikir Hills have come over to Jaintia Hills borders. When I went there I found tat the ration is not sufficient and medicines are not sufficient. What about the blankets for them? It seems nobody takes any interest in their affairs. The Pnar refugees coming from Mikir Hills to our borders were not given proper treatment. Whereas the other people belonging to other communities were given all these things. I do not envy them for what the Government has done for them. What I want is that we should at least consider the plight of our own people. Our Minister for Agriculture is here. We know how much he has to face this problem of tackling with these people who have fled from Mikir Hills to Jaintia Hills. Therefore, I want to draw the attention of this House and the Government through you, Sir, that something should be done for these people have left their hearths and home; who have left their paddy fields and who have nothing to fall back upon. At the same time Government should be seized of the matter of their demand for coming back to the Jaintia Hills District. So before taking my seat, I would say only a few words on the development programme. I would refer to Paragraph 7 which says that "I would like to refer in brief to some of the salient features of the development programme in the State. The outlay for Meghalaya's Fourth Five Year Plan was fixed at Rs.38 crores by carving out a share of the Assam Hill Plan outlay when Meghalaya was created as an Autonomous State." Of course as a new Member I do not know whether the details of the Fourth-Five Year Plan which have been made about the schemes and the programmes have been placed before this House. But at least before we discuss this Governor's Address I think the hon. Members of the House have a right to know about the schemes and programmes made by the Government in the Fourth Five year Plan of our Meghalaya Government. Sir, by just providing 38 crores we do not know how much Government proposes to spend for each scheme and so on. We are in the dark to discuss about the Fourth Five Year Plan. Therefore, in the absence of the schemes included in the Fourth Five Year Plan how are we to talk and discuss about the economy of the people.
Mr. Speaker :- Let me give a chance to Mr. Lewis Bareh. Yes, Mr. Bareh.
*Shri Lewis Bareh (Rymbai S.T.) :-Mr. Speaker, Sir, while taking part in the discussion on the Governor's Address, I would like to emphasize that agriculture is the main back bone of the people in Jowai District. But no mention has been made at all about the bone meal which is the root cause to increase the production of food grains or paddy. Sir, the amount of bone meal requirement will be not less than 10,000 quintals only in Jowai District. But up till now, so far we know, no bonemeal has been provided although the sowing season is to start very soon, say from the month of May. I want to draw the attention of the Government to this matter and to suggest that bonemeal should be supplied to the cultivators at subsidised rate to enable the poor cultivators to purchase it according to their requirement. I want also to draw the attention of the Government to the programme of development of communication and the proposal for construction of Border Roads. In addition to this, Sir, I would like also to draw the attention of the Government to take u those border roads which were constructed with the Block money as the Block Development itself could not maintain the said roads to meet the needs of the public.
Secondly, Sir, regarding the existence of the Jowai-Badarpur Road which is a highly important road to the public in Jowai District but which is not mentioned in the Governor's Address. Sir, I would like to draw the attention of this Hose and especially to bring to the notice of the Government that the said road which is running through the major parts of Jowai District was handed over to the military people for unknown reasons. Thus the local people are not getting works. Since then all the local muster roll labourers were pitilessly turned out of their jobs though they have been in service for 16 or 17 years. Hence these things greatly affected the economic condition of the people.
Regarding provision of medical facilities in the State, I am really very grateful for the proposal for starting construction of a new hospital at Tura and also for expansion of the Jowai Hospital. But Sir, no mention has been made for the construction of hospitals, dispensaries and improvement of medical facilities in the rural areas. Regarding the dispensary at Khliehriat with 12 beds indoor patients nothing has been done for the last five years. The building has been in a dilapidated condition and no facilities have been provided to the staff and things have deteriorated day by day. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Hoover Hynniewta, would you like to move your amendment?
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I move my amendment, I would like to get the information from you about the place where we can read the proceedings of the House. In the Assam Assembly it is the practice for us to go to the library and read the proceedings.
Mr. Speaker :- For the information of the hon. Members, we have not got sufficient number of rooms and this fact is well known to all of you and if the hon. Members want to consult the proceedings of the House they may come to my Chamber and read the proceedings.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have been trying to provide a suitable room for this purpose and I expect that soon we will be able to help our hon. Members. But till then, I request the hon. Members kindly to bear the inconvenience along with us.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for your kind information the Manipuri Bhawan has already been given to the Meghalaya Government and this we can use for our own convenience.
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to move the amendment No.5. I beg to move that at the end of the motion of thanks moved by Shri Darwin D. Pugh, M.L.A. on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1972, the following shall be added :
"1. The House regrets that the Governor, in his Address, did not make mention about the constitution of the Block Development Committees;
2. The Governor did not spell out the exploitation of cultivators by unscrupulous traders in the state and did not mention anything about the steps to be taken by the Government for removing such exploitation.
3. The Governor did not make any mention about ensuring regarding supply of essential commodities in the State."
As the time at my disposal is very limited. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the last paragraph o the Governor's Address. The last paragraph in the Governor's speech has given us a lot of hope for the future and for this particular paragraph, I think, the Cabinet and the Government must be fully congratulated. The last paragraph read as follows:
"For implementing the programme outlined above effectively, my Government hopes to secure the active participation of the people harnessing their enthusiasm. My Government is confident that in shouldering the heavy responsibility of promoting the welfare of the people, it will have the willing co-operation of all political parties and all shades of public opinion so that every citizen is actively involved in the task of raising Meghalaya to the level of the more advanced sister States in the country."
I for one, Mr. Speaker, Sir, would like to be guided through out this whole session by the spirit of this last paragraph. On the spirit of this last paragraph, we, the Members from this side of the House, have moved a number of amendments on the Governor's Address. So, I believe Sir, that the Governor will take our amendment in the same spirit. It will not be possible for him to accept them at least as we put them but if the spirit of what we said, what we incorporated in this amendment is accepted, then I may feel satisfied. Sir, throughout our long tenure of membership in the State of Assam, we had been trying to impress upon the Government at the time of introducing the democratic principle in the selection of the members of the Block Development Committees and it is with that spirit as has been given expression by the Governor's Address when he said to secure the active participation of the people by harnessing their enthusiasm. If the people feel that they could be in Block Development Committees not as a matter of right, or as a matter of choice by the Government, I am quite sure that they have a great part to play in the promoting the advancement of the area that they have a great part to play in promoting the advancement of the area in particular and that of the State as a whole. As it is at present, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Speaker :- 'Mr. Speaker' please, as we are no longer in District Council.
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- The other day I had your favour of making a standing correction. We had for 5 long years been as Members of the District Council; it was rather a matter of habit.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was saying that is appeared the selection of members of the Block Development Committees had been one a most arbitrary manner. The B.D.Cs simply sent some names and Government may or may not accept them. We are all aware of the procedure that Government followed in appointing the members of Block Development Committees. I can remind the House of our joint efforts in the Assam Legislative Assembly to convince the Government of Assam to accept those elected members in the Block Development Committees. I do not know, Sir. Whether they still remember those times. But I believe that i the attitude is the same, I am very sure in my mind that the performance of the Block Development Committees will not be much approved. It has come to my knowledge. Sir, that in a number of Blocks the number of members in Management Committee, the Chairman Secretary and the village Headman, Sirdar of a Circle, all to go together to represent a person in Block Development Committees. It was always done in Cherra. It was done in some other Bocks. But most unfortunately when the names came out, it was found that it was not the names of those who were represented by the Circle Committees. Therefore, Sir, unless the Government is really sincere and active, persuasion of the people is necessary. I see no other way than to have the members of the Block Development Committees elected by the people of the different circles.
Now, Sir, I come to my second amendment. This amendment, Sir, to me is a most fundamental one. For so many many years our people , our cultivators have been subjected to the exploitation of the unscrupulous traders in all fields of their work. I would draw the attention of the House to some for example, our district produces a large quantity of potatoes. They toil from morn till night and most of them labour hard all the time. But they are not the persons who enjoy the benefit of their labour. Somebody sitting on some platform or bed or resting on some round pillows earn wealth after wealth; lakhs after lakhs of rupees. Whereas our people's apparel remains in rags. They live in poverty, they sigh in poverty ; they die in poverty. But it was not their fault, Sir, they have to live as such throughout the lives of their parents, throughout the lives of their forefathers. It was not because that they lack in labour, lack in hard work. But it was because there was no proper trade to help them from the unscrupulous traders, who come from outside the State. I do not know, Sir, whether you are aware of that when the cultivators produce potatoes these traders straightaway deducted 4½ kgs while taking the weight. Another 4½ kgs are deducted they say, as a mark of respect to their duty. So 9 kgs. are deducted from the honest labour of our people and then in certain places you have to close your eyes and increase heartbeats of blood pressure, but the main cannot sell it at the price he likes. Otherwise, if you bring any produce, he will say, take your produce and go to another trader. Their fate is better imagined than described. Further he cheated you at the classification of potatoes, because there are small sized potato and medium sized potato. Now, if it happened that some small sized potatoes get into the bag, he will say 'No' No. I am not accepting this as big sized potatoes (Bell rang).
Sir, I will beg your special consideration, as I am still far behind to finish my speech. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in such classification the poor cultivators are being cheated and then at the end he will say. "I have received a telephonic call from Calcutta in the morning, and the price of potatoes is Rs.80 per quintal. "Here it is only Rs.70 per quintal". So in this way our people are being mercilessly exploited in every field of activity. Sir, time does not permit me to illustrate the exploitation in other fields. But Sir, this may be taken as an instance of the exploitation which our people are suffering at the hands of the unscrupulous traders. I may add to my amendment that the Governor's Address does not make any mention of the need to ensure regular supply of essential commodities in the State. I do not know, Sir, whether the Government is aware of the fact that last year paddy cultivation suffered heavy damage because of attack by pests and there are many areas in this district which used to be surplus in paddy but are now reduced to chronic deficit areas. So, Sir, if no steps are taken by the Government to meet the need for rice in these areas, I am afraid that our cultivation will be greatly and adversely affected. Now only that Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are aware how the price of sugar shots up from Rs.2.50 per Kg to Rs.3.50 and Rs.4.00 per Kg and this is my opinion, is the result of monopolies on the part of the unscrupulous traders. They know all malpractices. They could easily enter into conspiracy with the railway authorities of State Transport authorities and supply the sugar to other traders in the market and decrease by 10 percent or by 50 percent or 75 percent. So we have to guard ourselves against these. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we and the Government should ensure that in such event there will be adequate stock of sugar, kerosene and some other essential commodities and this can be straightaway injected into the market and artificial scarcity will be put to an end. So Sir, in view of the fact that my time is very limited and in view of the trespass on much of your indulgence I resume my seat.
Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi (Shillong Cantonment) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Address of the Governor speaks of the development of Shillong Town, but I feel, it is conspicuously silent about the development of Shillong Cantonment which is, I believe, part and parcel of the town area of Shillong. The bazar area and Jhalupara Cantonment area need the attention of the Government. In the matter of development of the Cantonments in India, taxation of buildings in Shillong Cantonment is the highest. No development is there on the roads and sanitation and other amenities essential for the growth of a healthy society are absent. The area is mostly inhabited by ex-servicemen and mostly other people who have no big assets in the society. It is strange to note that nothing worth mentioning is done by the Government towards development of that area to bring it at part with other areas of the country. In the recent war with Pakistan our Jawans and our masses did splendid job and most of them sacrificed their lives for the cause which the Government of India stood for. The Government of India and other sister States have launched programmes for rehabilitation of ex-servicemen and disabled jawans and their families here in our State of Meghalaya. So there it should be, I hope, plans for rehabilitation of these disabled Jawans and ex-servicemen by earmarking and allocating certain areas for the purpose of improving their living conditions and civic comforts and see to the improvement of their area at Jhalupara Bazar and Cantonment so that the ex-servicemen and jawans feel like honourable and dignified human beings. There should also be schemes for their proper rehabilitation and schemes for purposes of educational facilities for the betterment of the lot of these jawans. Mr. Speaker, Sir, today Paltan Bazar and Cantonment areas of Shillong town are much neglected and the conditions of the roads are so deplorable that it is difficult for the traders and customers to go and come in that area for the purpose of their daily needs. To add to the sufferings, some of the local people there have put road blocks on the roads. So it should be the endeavour of the Government to see that the blocks put on the roads are removed forthwith. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Governor is completely silent in this matter which is one of the main sources of income.
As regards grazing in our State, I think it is one of the sources of income and in the absence of any good grazing reserve in the State, I wonder how can there be any development. Grazing in the State cannot be ignored. There are hundreds and thousands of graziers living in the interior of these hills. Although we ourselves should make this State of ours patch of beauty and grace as was spoken of by one of the great leaders of the Ruling Group, there is dearth of educational facilities, dearth of medical facilities and other schemes and facilities of development are lacking in these areas while our people, our poor graziers, most of them have to pay taxes at abnormally high rates compared to other States of India. Even in this State of Meghalaya, in different Districts, taxes on cattle, (buffaloes and cows) are not uniform. In Garo Hills District, tax on buffalo is as high as Rs.15 per head whereas the tax on buffalo in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills is Rs.6 per head. So there should be no disparity on these taxes which are much more than what these unfortunate poor graziers can afford to pay. There should be intensive development programmes of the Government in respect of dairy farming. It is imperative that the Government constitutes A Commission to go into the details of improving the living conditions of the graziers and improving the breeds of their cattle from which we cannot only draw milk and other allied products but can also get the much needed fertilizer which we lose very much for growing the agricultural crops and get more benefits from these agricultural products.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, only a few months back in the Umroi area, where there are graziers living for generations together, nearly 3100 acres of land were requisitioned by the Government of India-Defence Department-for building up a cantonment there. There are schemes for payment of compensation for those people who are uprooted or removed from their land but no money has been paid to the people in the area. There are non-tribal graziers also and compensation was paid to some of them only for their sheds and plantation on the land. But nothing was given for the land on which the people were living. The people had spent large sums of money to make their lands arable. Besides, labour, they had spent thousands of rupees out of their meagre income.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the teachers, as everybody knows, play a crucial role in moulding the characters of the young generation. Every attempt ought to have been made to ensure that the teachers are given their one place of honour in the society. But they are in stead very much ignored that they did not find a place in the Governor's Address presented to this august House the other day. The teachers are ill-paid and there are no schemes for pension benefits for the teachers of the aided schools and private schools. No facilities are accorded to the teachers to bring them up to a standard where they can play and occupy a position of respect and dignity. It is a matter of great regret that the Governor's Address is conspicuously silent on this very important matter of an honourable section of the people of the State, namely, the teachers. In regard to those economically and socially backward people, as recognised by the sister States of Assam and Bengal, the Governor's Address has not at all touched regarding the improvement of their lot, particularly in matters of social service, stipends, scholarships and their settlement. Mr. Speaker, Sir, till recently we were the people of Assam. Now we are here in our own State of Meghalaya. We are proud of it and we expect that the same rights and privileges enjoyed by all sections of the people including the backward people, the Nepalis and other backward people belonging to the non-tribal community, will be enjoying in our own State of Meghalaya. But surprisingly enough, the Governor's speech is silent on the lot meted out to the people of this weaker section of the society. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has assured that in carrying out the programmes the Government will ensure that the legitimate rights of all the non-tribals residents in the state and their interest will be safeguarded. But it is surprising to find that he has referred to the enactment of the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act, 1971 under which a non-tribal is debarred from purchasing any land from a tribal and not only from a tribal but even from a non-tribal. If we cannot purchase land living in the same State and being the citizens of the same State, we are, then , destined to die out and we will being part and parcel of the State, we ought to enjoy the same rights and privileges as other brethren belonging to the tribal community of our State enjoy. (Bell rang). "Just a minute Sir. If the Government is afraid of new non-tribals coming from outside, they ought to have made proper survey of all the Meghalayans and they ought to have made them registered as outsiders. I feel that the same facilities, rights and privileges should be extended to all and everyone should be put on the same footing both tribals and non-tribals. There should not have been discrimination among the sons of the soil and non-tribals can have a rightful claim for their legitimate rights and privileges.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Grohonsing Marak.
Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Bajengdoba S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion of thanks moved by one hon. Member from this side on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1972. Sir, I am grateful to the Governor that he has taken the trouble to give broad outlines of policies and plans and programmes of the Government of Meghalaya. sir, I speak subject to correction. These eleven pages of the Governor's Address are not the Ten Commandments, where we cannot change any dot of an 'I' nor a cross of a 'T'. Sir, on the great red letter day, at the stroke of the midnight hour on 21st January, 1972, when the teeming millions of Indian people were asleep, the people of Meghalaya have awaken into a new life. We all know that such of of moment has come to us and such things come rarely in history. No doubt, every hon. Member of this House is aware of the fact that we have received power, the power with responsibility. The responsibility rests with this a gust House, and the representative body, representing the entire people of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this new State of Meghalaya is only about three months old. I remember Mr. Speaker, Sir, that on the 14th April, 1970 when our beloved Home Minister, Shri Y.B. Chavan said in the State Celebration at Tura, that there is no difference between running a new State and marrying a women. I believe every Member of this House has got married. Now, again before marrying a women, we think that we can easily build a nice house, we can easily purchase a nice Jainsem, Jain Kup, Sari and other things. But when the time comes, it is impossible to meet our needs. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe that this new state of ours can be built brick by brick and step by step. In the Governor's Address, I have a full confidence though it cannot mention every detail from A to Z. That is impossible. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to suggest in support of this motion of thanks, a few points. I would like to touch item No.3. Many of the hon. Members have spoken about the situation and the economic depression of the border areas and I also would like to talk in that connection. Due to the Pakistani Army crack-down in Bangladesh and due to heavy shelling and firing for 9 months, and due to heavy influx of refugees like flood into our land, I do not know about the K & J Hills District, but in my district, Mr. Speaker, Sir, about 35,000 of our people have under gone great hardship, they have become homeless and they were compelled to find themselves refuge in the interior. It is like that Mr. Speaker, Sir, because for 9 months there was great disturbance arising out of the Pakistani Army crack-down. These people could not cultivate their fields. Mr. Speaker, Sir, recently before I came to attend this Assembly Session, I met about 5 persons from the border areas of different villages. They protested that they possess about 100 or 200 acres of land but they could not cultivate. I would, therefore, like to draw the attention of the Government, through you, Sir, that the seeds should be supplied to them as those people could not have any seeds or seeds could not be preserved due to this happening in Bangladesh. Not only that, I know Mr. Speaker, Sir, that our Government have to help around 35,000ee refugees in my district with ration and other supplies but now since the refugees are sent back to their homeland ration system should be started to refugees to our local people also. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government at this juncture to the people living in the border areas who are suffering from a very great difficult situation. So the Government, I hope, will not fail to see to this situation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am glad that we have another district within the State of Meghalaya, i.e. the Jaintia Hills District which has been inaugurated on the 22nd February 1972 and I believe and hope that the people of this district will be benefited. But Sir, we know that there was also a demand going on for the creation of a civil sub division in our district of Simsangiri. But uptil now nothing has been done, nothing has been started for the creation of the sub division. Any way, the people of that area are anxiously waiting and expecting for the creation of this sub division which will give them some benefit. I hope the Government will not fail to do this.
Lastly Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk on education. I am not an educationist nor an academician but I am also interested in the upliftment of education in my district. I am glad that we will have a Central University, the Indira Hill University. But Sir, the University depends on the good colleges. The colleges will depend on the high schools and secondary schools, the high schools and secondary schools depend on the Middle English schools and the Middle English schools depend on the primary schools. These primary schools are the fundamentals; they are the Genesis. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this respect, I have been demanding time and again. First I have put a demand when I was in the Assam Assembly in the year 1967 and subsequently to the District Council. According to the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, the Primary Schools are managed by the District Councils in the Autonomous Districts but there is none to look after them. Sir, I have been put incharge of education for some years and on many occasions there have been many incidents between the Sub-Inspectors of Schools and the Primary School teachers. There were some tendencies among schools. It has happened in one of the villages because those Sub-Inspectors of Schools who are under the control of the Deputy Inspector of Schools could not transfer any teacher or cannot help them either. So they do not bother about them and also the Sub-Inspectors of Schools felt the same that the Executive Committee of District Council cannot do harm or cannot take action against them.
Sir, these things have been happening in my District. There are more than 1,000 Lower Primary Schools in Garo Hills today. So, something has to be done and would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister incharge Education whether these Sub-Inspectors of Schools will be transferred to the District Council or some sort of arrangements will be made. Sir, with these few words I support the motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member and resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now Mr. S.N. Koch.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a great privilege to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the mover of the Motion of Thanks on the Address of the Governor but at the same time I would like to differ on some points in associating myself with the motion of thanks to the address of the Governor. Of course, I am in the same lines with the hon. Member of the Treasury Bench, Mr. D.D. Pugh, that the Governor deserves the thanks because he took some pains to come to this august House all the way from the Government House and delivered his speech which took more than half an hour. I listened to the Governor's Address with rapt attention and read over and over again. Going through the Address of the Governor I got myself confused whether it is a literary piece of Rabindra Nath Tagore or that of Elliot. The sentence are very sweet but then the very purpose of the Governor's Address is not language, I think. The Constitution envisages that the Governor should, on the first day of the opening Session of the Assembly, address the House which the hon. Members know, with a view to giving an idea to the House as to what the Government is going to do. But if somebody reads this Governor's Address, he will find nothing except these sweet sentence and some good wordings. The Governor's Address is completed in 11 pages and out of the 11 pages, 9 pages, i.e. up to para 10, the Governor spoke about the past activities of the Government. But unfortunately, there was no Government of a full State. Nevertheless, since there was a Government of the Autonomous state, the Governor gave a graphical picture of the activities of that Government and in 2 paragraphs the governor outlined about the future programmes of his Government. In these future programmes, nothing is mentioned about the judiciary. For the successful working of democracy, three things are necessary, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary, and if we ignore one of them, no democracy can function properly. Our Constitution envisages that throughout the country Judiciary should be separated from the Executive. The purpose of Judiciary being separated from Executive is known to all. It checks the arbitrary acts of the executive and administers justice as custodians of the laws of the land. But in our State the Judiciary is not only not separated but the Government has totally failed to direct its policy towards the separation of Judiciary. In our State the procedural laws of the land are not applicable. We have to administer justice according to the Administration of Justice. Rule either for Garo Hills or for Khasi Hills. The procedures laid down in these Rules do not meet the needs of the time in administering justice. So, in the Administration of Justice there are difficulties in giving proper justice to the justice seeker. Whenever there are challenges against the decision of the lower courts, the Hon'ble High Court gives verdicts on certain points and as a result of these decisions a stagnation position or a complete halt in the administration of justice is seen to have come, because only the procedural law i.e. Administration of Justice Rules are in exhaustive and made to be laws without any regard to the need of the society. As for example, very recently the Hon'ble High Court of Assam, Nagaland, and also Meghalaya gave a ruling that no revision lies from the decision of the Assistants to the D.C. to the Deputy Commissioner or High Court because the Administration of Justice Rules do not envisages power to revise the lower court's order, by the appellate court. This ruling practically gave the magistrates or judges an unfettered discretion to pass order rightly or wrongly without any scope to correct them by the higher court. It is mot unfortunate that our Law Minister has not taken pain to go through all these things or take stock from his officers and redress the ills. This is not the end. If somebody goes to the court he will find that there is no Administration of Justice at all; the magistrates have not been coming to the courts regularly for years together and even if they come, they come only to give adjournment dates and not to administer justice on the simple pretext that they are over burdened with executive works and they have no time and, as a result, the cases which should have been disposed within a short period go on continuing for years together. For instance under Section 145 Criminal Procedure Code it is clearly laid down in that very section that proceedings under Section 145 Criminal Procedure Code should be ended within 2 months as far as practicable. But the proceedings under section 145 Criminal Procedure Code take 2 to 3 years to end it. This is a tragedy. Why the people come to the courts. They do so because they feel some wrong has been done to them and want justice from the courts of law because they do not want to take the law in their own hands, and they come to the courts for the redress of certain wrong but instead of getting their grievances redressed they are to pay heavy penalties in the form of pleader' fees, motor fares and hotel expenses and go back with what? With adjournment dates. In this way, the cases are going on for years together. All are experiencing how badly our Administration of Justice is functioning in our State and I do not know how this amount of Rs.99,000 is necessary for three months if the Administration of justice could have been administered properly, efficiently and quickly. In the important Government cases, Government Pleaders are appointed for which fees are to be paid but such cases can be finished within 1 or 2 years or even within 6 months if there would have been independent judiciary free from executive works. But these cases continue for 9 to 11 years because courts have no time and are filled up by untrained personnels. Some times Government is to provide with defence lawyer in murder cases and under the Constitution and according to Assam Law Manual accused reserves his unfettered right to select his lawyer, but the trying judge, who is under the present set up of things, an executive personnel, appoints defence lawyer whom he likes best. I am afraid, because such instances are not rare in Garo hills and if there are convictions the Court may sent back for retrial for which Government is to pay a heavy premium. And the premium is to be paid from the State exchequer which is collected from the poor masses and neither from the Law Minister, L.R. who approves the appointments of the defence lawyer, nor from the pocket of the Magistrate concerned. It is a very sorry state of affairs that our Law Minister even after getting the full-fledged State has not taken care to look into these.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- The Law Minister's absent today.
Mr. Speaker :- Although the Law Minister is absent, the Treasury Bench is present -
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the tragedy is this the officers under the Administration of Justice have to attend criminal as well as civil cases for which a man to administer justice needs proper training. If somebody can administer justice by reading the section of the Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Court and Indian Penal Code, etc. then a clerk can also administer justice instead of those Indian Administrative Service and Assam Civil Service. The result is that there are some lapses of great magnitude in the administration of justice in the State which calls for immediate overhauling of the whole judicial machinery which is possible only by complete Separation of Judiciary from the executive and to bring in a halt of the wrongs and evils being done in the name of justice at present.
So it is really very surprising that though the Government has been experiencing this difficulties and I believe, know all these things the Government has not given any serious thought to re-orient our Law Courts proper Administration of Justice in the State. This Administration of Justice Rules has come into being as late as in 19th Century. Why these Administration of Justice Rules have been made by the Britishers. The hon. Members know it very well that the Britishers have not made the law for the betterment of society but to facilitate their imperial rule.. Moreover two people of these hill areas were backward and ignorant. So under the Administration of Justice Rule the Government administer us as they like and not what laws wants to be done. 25 years have passed since we became independent and now we got our own full fledged State. One fails to justify as to why this Administration of Justice Rule should remain after 25 years of independent. During British time it is necessary for them because for appointing one man they could perform in the name of Administration of Justice both judiciary and executive because it was economic and that their (imperals) main object was to a mass fortune and not to do justice to our people. And looking from this point of view should we not adequate our present Government with those masters of the by-gone days who are still inclined to follow their footsteps at the cost of well forfeited rights and privileges of the hundreds of sufferings litigants. When we are spending crores of rupees for other developmental programmes why not a few thousands be spent for appointment of Judicial Magistrates who are trained and qualified in the line. As I have already stated the provisions of the law have been prescribed in the book and if all are content with such justice who gives justice by reading books there is no logic why we should appoint officers for Administration of Justice instead of giving the responsibility to the clerks whom I suppose know reading Law Books. In fact no justice has being done in our State rather in the name of justice, injustice in the form of paying motor fares, lawyer fees and many others are being done. This is about the Administration of Justice (bell rang) Only a few minutes more Sir. In the Governor's Address it is stated that the Government is going to ameliorate the lots of the agriculturists by reclamation of land etc. But unfortunately Government should know that land does not vest in their hands. Unless we can have the power to give settlement and allot land it is futile to talk about the improvement of the lots of the agriculturists. Government cannot say whether we can or we cannot give land to the needy agriculturists. Because whole land of our State vests in the hand of the District Council. It is high time that if they are sincere for the upliftment of the agriculturists, they come with certain concrete proposal and calculated steps so that it can look into the proper distribution of lands to the agriculturist. Moreover, mere introduction of scientific method of cultivation will not done. The lot of agriculturists in the plain areas of Garo Hills District where mostly non-Garos are living and who are cent percent agriculturist are flood effected areas and the Leader of this House who is from Garo Hills himself knows very well about the situation of the plain areas of Garo Hills District. It is very sorry that the Governor's Address is blissfully silent about the flood control measures in the State. It may be a good gesture of discrimination because these plain portions are mostly inhabited by the non-tribals.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I would like to intervene, Sir. It is very unfortunate on the part of the hon. Member to say that in the plain areas of Garo Hills only non-tribals are living. There are many tribals and non-tribals together and there is no discrimination at all.
Mr. Speaker :- It is the Government policy that no discrimination been made between a tribal and non-tribal living in the same State. We should not be so enthusiastic and think that we can perform miracles within a short period.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Flood control measures in the areas of Garo Hills are left at the mercy of the nature.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- For the information of the Hon. Members, in the Governor's Address you do not get the details with regard to the programmes of the hill or plain areas of the State. These details are not to be included in the Governor's Address. Only the board policies are outlined. If we talk about development, agriculture, proper irrigation, embankment and flood control, automation these things will come up with the schemes but one cannot expect details in the Governor's Address.
Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the particular attention of the hon. Member to what the Hon'ble Chief Minister had just pointed out ? In the Governor's Address, there is no mention about the discrimination of the tribal and non-tribals living in the border areas. Therefore it is the policy of the Government to bring such general discussion before the House. But while taking part in the discussion on the Governor Address. I would like to state that while the hon. Member is moving the motion in the form constructive suggestion he should not blame the Government of the full-fledged State which has come into existence only on 20th January, 1972. Any way, the hon. Members have a right to bring such a discussion into the notice of the Government even though, it is not the Government policy. These are my suggestions.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to raise one more point and that is regarding discrimination towards non-tribal. Sir, I found in the Governor's Address, there is no mention about the guard of the interest of the non-tribals. In this connection, I would like to give my support to Mr. Joshi on what he has stated earlier. In Governor's Address it is stated that "My Government will further ensure that the interest of the non-tribal residents in the new State will be fully safeguarded". But Sir, if it is not the intention of the Government to discriminate the interest of this Section of the people, I am rather surprised as to why the Land Transfer Act has come into provisional Government of the Autonomous State had done to discriminate the non-tribals. Anyhow, I agree to what the Leader of the House has said and pointed out.
*Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- May I draw the attention of the hon. Member to the fact that only important issues could be brought in for discussion. But in this particular aspect, I see there is no such discrimination of the non-tribal people as the hon. member has expressed before the House just now.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- But Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is stated in the Governor's Address that 'My Government will further ensure that the interest of the non-tribals in the new State will be fully safeguarded". If the Government is really interested to safeguard the legitimate rights of the non-tribals why a discriminatory Act in Land Transfer Act is there. This is laid down in the Constitution that an Indian citizen wherever he may be born, live and profess has the right to have, sell and possess and purchase land in any parts of India according to the Constitution of India. Hence the said Land Transfer Act is not only discriminatory but illegal, unconstitutional and ultravires.
Mr. Speaker :- I will give a ruling on this point, whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional, I rule it out. If you think that the content of the Act referred to is ultra vires of the Constitution, then you have to go to the Court of Law.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, but it is not the intention of the Speaker (Mr. Koch) that the content of the Act be brought in for discussion. It is clearly understood that the main intention of the hon. member is to put before the House his point raised on the discrimination of the non-tribals. So whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional is not the intention of the hon. Member but it is about discrimination.
*Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a very important thing. The Government policy is not to be misunderstood. In this connection, I would request the hon. Member who is trying to impress upon my mind and this House as a whole, about the injustice on the part of the Government to discriminate the non-tribal people. In this regard, I would again request the hon. member and through you Sir, to kindly refer to Article 19, Clause 5, in which this article has enabled us and this country to restrict to the fundamental rights. This is properly laid down under the said Article. I would also like to draw the particular attention of the Member to the rules and procedures of the national policy in respect of discrimination, injustice, criminals, political and others. You know, Sir, the Government of India has already adopted special measures for the upliftment of this weaker section of people. It cannot be further argued that even the non-tribal students are not having any free education. They were given free education and other amenities. So, Sir, this is not discrimination but on the contrary, it is a coordinated programme to uplift these people who were all the time considered as Scheduled Castes or Backward Classes. In the Constitution itself, there is nothing mentioned which will adversely affect the interest of non-tribal residents of the State but resting upon Article 19, Clause 5 one could realise that due protection has been given to safeguard their interest. Due protection has also been given to protect their lands from discrimination and measures have also been taken in conformity with the constitutional policy and the national policy. I think the hon. Member understands it clearly now, that programmes for upliftment were already implemented earlier and in which our beloved Prime Minister made it clear that while doing any social programme for the weaker section of the people, this should be done in conformity with the constitutional policy. So, Sir, with these few words, I would suggest that such statement should not be made.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fully agree to what the Hon'ble Chief Minister has stated. But the leader of the House should have understood that the authorities must not only give justice to all sections of the people, but it must also be seen that justice is being done . But Sir, I regret to say that in this particular instance though justice is being done to the minorities but it is apparent from the Land Transfer Act of doing discrimination towards the non-tribal. I, therefore, once again would like to impress upon the Government about this discrimination. Moreover Government should not look into the formality alone but the reality. In Garo Hills District there is no difference between the tribal and non-tribal. So far their social, economical and educational status is concerned for which a legislation like that of Land Transfer Act is necessary to protect the interest of the tribals from the non-tribals, I mean the non-tribals, were not born with silver spoon in their mouth so that these constitutional safeguards are necessary soon for the striking down of the Supreme Court of similar legislation enacted by the District Council of Khasi Hills.
Mr. Speaker :- No Act has been struck down by the Supreme Court.
Shri Sibenbdra Narayan Koch :- No, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mean the District Council Act, i.e. Khasi Hills District Council Land Transfer Act which has been struck down by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Speaker :- This is not within the purview of the House.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- So Sir, with these few words, I resume my seat, thank you.
Shri Manindra Rava (Tikrikilla) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in connection may I draw the attention of the House that some of our Opposite Member friends like to point out about the election rejoice an about the concise Address of the Governor. It is or course concise Address of the Governor because it should be concise. Some of our friends said that there is no detail on plan and programmes in the Governor's Address. But may I request them to look at the major plans and programmes in the Address of our Governor. We hope that our Governor has pointed out the major plans and programmes in this concise Address. So it should not be discriminated in this House about the Address of the respected Governor. In support of this motion of thanks I would like to point out that rejoicing election was the time for rejoicing. The Ruling Party made their rejoicing by fluttering their party flags. But in Garo Hills, I found, that some of the independent candidates also made their rejoicing in the election campaign. So, Sir, I like to draw the attention of the Members that election is one of the occasions of rejoicing. So those candidates who stand and would like to contest, took it as rejoicing or pleasure. As candidates belonging to a party they have their party flag and that must flutter as the party flag in their car or in their cycle and thus they get some encouragement and according to them I have found that some of the independent candidates fluttered their flag like that of the party flag with the sign of 'boat', particularly I have seen in the case of my opponent. Perhaps he tried to create confusion among the public to get their support. So I would like to say that it is a matter of rejoice and one of the Members said that in the concise Address of the Governor, there are no details about plans and programmes and it is like the sweet words of Rabindranath or some of the poets. So, I like to say that in order to find out the major plans and programmes in the Address of the Governor, the hon. Members may take some pains to go through the Address of the Governor. So, after this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out certain things which have been pointed out in the Address of the Governor. We have found in the Address of the Governor that mention is made regarding re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills. It is quite appreciable. Because re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills is quite necessary and now our popular Government is going to take some plans and programmes regarding this re-grouping of villages. And on the other hand, I would like to say something regarding agriculture. Our Governor pointed out that agriculture forms the back-bone of the economy of Meghalaya. It is certainly true that without agriculture we cannot live. So, as in the case of other parts of India, in our State of Meghalaya also, agriculture is the back-bone of our people. So, this point is highly appreciated in the case of agriculture. But the people of Meghalaya are lagging behind in the field of agriculture. It is certainly true and in this case some of our Members in the opposite pointed out that some major schemes should be drawn up regarding modernisation of agriculture and supply of fertilizers, etc. Regarding modernization of agriculture, fertilizers and distribution of seeds, etc. to the agriculturists, we have observed that the agriculturists of our state are progressing in agricultural out-put by adopting modern methods of cultivation. And we have found in the case of some agriculturists, in 1970-71, that the agricultural out-put has been increased in comparison with 1969-70. But some of our agriculturists fell into difficulty when the price of jute came down to Rs.22 or Rs.25 in comparison with the market price of paddy. At that time the market price of paddy was Rs.30 to Rs.38 per maund. So most of the agriculturists were in difficulty because they could not procure their requirement of rice by selling jute at such a low price. Of course, I again would like to support the plans and programmes of our popular Government which are going to be taken up and I would request the Government to take some steps for implementing some modernised method, and supply of manure, etc. I do not know about the cultivation of Jute in Khasi Hills but I know regarding the cultivation of jute in Garo Hills. Though we have ample land for cultivating jute, still our agriculturists are not using those lands. So it is not the fault of the Government only. It is the fault of our people also. So we cannot blame our new Government which has come into being just two months ago.
In case of education, I would like to say a few words. Regarding the development of education in our newly born State we should not bother much, because with the establishment of the Central Hill University by the Government of India there will be more scope for advancement of education.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. Under Rule 279 no Private Member can read out his speech.
Shri Manindra Rava :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think, any practice in the House may be followed by the Member to develop his points. Regarding industry, of course, in the case of industry we are much lagging behind. But our popular Government has taken up some modern plans and programmes to establish industries, and I would like to say about the cottage industry because Meghalaya is fully equipped with cottage Industry which had been from time immemorial. So I would request the Government also ......
Mr. Speaker :- Your time is over.
Shri Manindra Rava :- Thank you, Sir.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed to point out that the remarks made by the hon. Member against the independent candidate, who happened to be one of the young Members are unfair. I feel it has very much affected the independent candidates by making such remarks, and I feel it is very much un-parliamentary in making such remarks against the independent candidates.
Mr. Speaker :- But it might be in general.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- He has not mentioned any name of the independent candidate. Instead, he said in general.
Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member has not mentioned any name. So it does not tantamount to any of us here. I do not think that he used any un-parliamentary word here. It is true, any body should not be mentioned by name who is not present in the House. But when he has not mentioned any name, I believe the name must be a fictitious name.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, last Saturday, when the Governor addressed this House I was of the impression that this being the first policy statement of the Governor, the hopes and aspirations of the people of Meghalaya would be reflected in the speech. Unfortunately, even after going through the languages of the Governor's Address I find that the entire programme and Address of the Governor was not very encouraging. Rather, there was priority attached to some subjects in which there is not much importance now. For example, I may mention paragraph 3 on the topic of Bangladesh. Certainly, in 1971 and in the early part of 1972 anything that happened there concerned us and we cannot ignore the fact. But after the end of the year and after signing of the treaty with the Bangladesh Government, I fail to see why so much stress should be given to para 3. Actually the Governor's Address remains as a record of past deed only. On the other hand, I feel that the Governor's statement would have been much better if much time has been given to other topics that concern us topics where very scanty remarks have been given. For example, in para. 2 of page 7 in the case of forest. It is dedicated that the forest produce is very important. But only few lines have been devoted to it. Why there is no policy of the Government in this subject like afforestation, etc. Again in para 8, page 6, the subject about Agriculture. Everything was mentioned there about agriculture. But very little consideration was given about fertilizers. Since increase in production depends on fertilizers, all farmers have resorted to the use of fertilizers for the increase of production. But in this Address of the Governor, nothing has been mentioned so far on this. Has fertilizer lost its importance? I do not think whether it is so, it is because of artificial scarcity as occurred last year. I would request the Government to clarify it. Then in page 9, para 9, there is another point about programme for giving employment to rural people. To solve rural unemployment, the Government have given some development programmes, such as soil conservation, small scale industries, road construction and rural works. I fail to know what this rural work is. I just do not understand it. Again, in page 5, there is something about Pnar people leaving Mikir Hills for Jaintia Hills. It would have been better if the Government would have spoken about their difficulty as to why they left? Were they maltreated by the Mikirs or did they leave it on their own free will because of some other reasons. I am actually here not so much to criticise the Government but to narrate the loop holes which I feel the public should know. And I would be very glad if the Government would look into this matter more carefully. Lastly, there are certainly some schemes of the Government which the Government proposed to look into like Shillong Water Supply work which we have an urgent need, a market in Shillong and the Scheme of rehabilitation of border people. These are all laudable projects. But the scheme for water supply should also be extended to the rural areas. There are problems of water supply in villages also. People have to draw water from the streams and in the monsoon when all the rivers and streams are muddy their only source of supply of water is to tap rain-water from the roof. So I would suggest that the Government while introducing schemes, these should be extended to villages also. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I make my observation on the Governor's Address may I appeal for your forbearance by allowing me to speak for 20 minutes?
Mr. Speaker :- Yes that was already in agreement in the meeting yesterday.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Thank you Sir. As already pointed out some few minutes ago, we should give constructive criticisms on the Governor's Address. But while accepting that observation of yours Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the House, through you, that the duty of the Opposition is to oppose perhaps also to depose, (laughter) and then compose and propose and so while we sit here in the Opposition benches, we will first of all oppose the Opposition Group and then we may come to depose later and compose later. I will being with my observation on the Governor's Address and while observing it I found almost it is full of omissions and commissions in its history and the rest of it is full of polite day-dreaming in the Cabinet or nice rosy flowers with which they are able to publish in the 18 paragraphs of this Governor's Address and about 61/2 of these paragraphs are in the future tense and 51/2 are dealing with the past of which three of them were left due to many facts of omissions and commissions which are reprehensible to a good extent. Now coming to another detail, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will begin with right at the back of paragraph No.10. It is most unfortunate that this Government has not yet been able to set up its own State Transport Department, running their own buses even when it was the Autonomous State two years ago and we have the same clever gentlemen still in the Cabinet and yet we have not been able to take over the State Transport Department. We still depend more or less on the Corporation which includes Railways and Streamer Services. I suppose the Assam Government and the Meghalaya Government particularly would like to observe here Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the monopoly of this State Transport over the Shillong-Gauhati Road is most illogical because it is the only part of the National High Way whereas the Corporation has got monopoly only over transport of goods and passengers. This House is aware of the fact that the State Transport Department charges 1.25 np. per maund for carriage from Gauhati Shillong. This rate is very big Sir, in the rest of India the Government has levied charges to carry goods at the rate of 50 paise per maund and I think this was raised on the floor of the Assam Assembly. I am only quoting a little relevance in this context and it is ridiculous that they are not able to see to remove this monopoly business. This almighty Government to-day have had atleast to remove this monopoly because it is the only means of communication with the rest of India. We have no airways. We have no airways. We have only river system and we have no railways. Certainly in this winding road from Gauhati to Shillong and along this road if everything has to be carried at exorbitant rate of Rs.1.25 per mound then it is a wonder for the member to raise various other things in order to keep in touch with the rising prices in this State. I would request the Government to look into this matter and liberate the trouble of the people not only here in Shillong but also in the rest of other district.
Now the next point is with regard to page 9 of which the second paragraph deals with the Selection Board. What I mean here is that this Selection Board has become quite a big job in most hearth and homes but Government have to set up this Selection Board. In the first place we thought only for the high posts that this Selection Board has to be constituted but instead appointments in all heads of departments were made. This has created troubles to the members of the Selection Board also who have to examine the papers and then appoint. I remind that the Board knows no evil, speaks no evil, hears no evil and while this is going on the Selection Board which receives various applications should then select persons for appointments only the right persons for the right jobs but not the persons who are less qualified to be appointed. I do not know whether the Selection Board could make appointments.
Mr. Speaker :- But, this is already a practice of the Government to accept mostly the recommendation of the Selection Board and we have not found any other practice that the Board has made.
Prof. Martin N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Now, while we look at such things of administration, why not we turn our eyes to the District Offices? We have Deputy Commissioner's office here and if we look to the affairs of this office, we will find chaos and absolute chaos. If anyone enters the Deputy Commissioner's Office, which is in Shillong, the capital of the State, he will find that the office is covered with dust and dirt and the files are lost between heaps of rubbish and important documents are consigned to the bowels of rats. Then turning to the Treasury Branch of the Deputy Commissioner's office, I should say that it is a tragedy. It is an every-day happening that the bills do not move unless some money passes. A person who goes there for the bill will have to push 5 or 10 rupee note and if this is not done, his bills will not move and he will have to go away. He is promised to pass the bill next day but then his bills are just blocked there. A person who has to get his bills passed in the Treasury has to undergo unimaginable troubles and misery in order to get a single bill passed. Only this morning I was talking to one friend from my constituency. I was happy to get the news that the Government has advanced some money to the District Council to pay the arrears of salaries of the school teachers. But he was depressed. He was telling that even in the District Council office, he will have to part with some money. He will have to bring the bills to the Treasury and there also he will have to give some money. Then again, he will have to push some amount in the Bank. Otherwise, he says, if he does not do that, he will be in trouble next time and his bills will be blocked. In this way, in most of the departments where bills are paid, these things happen. I have seen these things with my own eyes in the Relief and Rehabilitation Department, which is a very juicy Department. I will come to this later on.
Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I come to paragraph 8 where the Governor at the bottom of page 8, has stated about the measures to give relief to the shortage of doctors. The scheme for giving incentives to doctors serving in the rural areas has been sanctioned. The scheme was started one and a half years ago. I would like to know how many centuries the Government would require to put this scheme into operation.
Going further up along with page 8, we come to the Rural Electrification programme, which is said to be being speeded up. All, of course, are in the future tense. I would like to enlighten up with the Assam State Electricity Board. This is a department which I referred to yesterday as huge white elephant causing damage not only to one State alone but to two States. We have already advanced loans from our State in the Autonomous State. We have advanced 23 lakhs of rupees in 1970 and in 1971-72 Rs.18 lakhs. In the budget estimates yesterday, the Government got sanction for further 18 lakhs of rupees for the Assam State Electricity Board. We are a small State, but we have already given out loans to the Assam State Electricity Board, whose current total expenditure is something more than 75 crores of rupees. For this the Assam Legislative Assembly constituted a Committee to investigate into the matter and the Committee after a very very long time, and with great deal of obstruction from the officers of the Electricity Board, finally submitted a very damaging report. Here we are giving more loan to the tune of 59 lakhs of rupees in two years.
Then we come to Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation. It has been decided to set u Cinnamon oil Industry. I do not know what is going on in this. It will be interesting to know the names of the firms which are connected with this.
At page 6 there is a reference to socio economic survey. I am very grateful to my colleague, Mr. Hoover Hynniewta, for referring to the impact of outside traders upon the socio economic condition of this State. This is a subject which can never be over-emphasised. If these people can be said to help our economy, then we can call ourselves blessed. The Government only last year appointed another gentleman to be a member of the Industrial Board as though we intend to encourage these people to draw out still more and more profits out of the State to be carried away to another State. Coming to page 5, particularly to paragraph 6 which ends at page 5, we find a reference to the problem of boundary between Jaintia and Mikir Hills. I would like to point out to this House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that some sort of a joint enquiry committee was set up as far back in 1958 and its members were Mr. Jaran, Mr. Laloo, Mr. Daolagupu, from Mikir Hills and Mr. Nongrum, Sub-Deputy Collector. The Government of Assam had accepted that Block No.1 should be retransferred to Jowai Sub division in 1958. Now, I fail to understand how the Governor in his speech still makes a reference to the transfer of Block No.1 to Jaintia Hills. This is something that had been decided upon by the Government of Assam and I do not know what happened when the Autonomous State of Meghalaya took over in 1971.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister Agriculture, etc.) :- On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the hon. Member mentioned this, a fact that he has got the information that it has been decided that the Government of Assam had decided to hand over?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- I have a copy of the deliberation of the Enquiry Committee, rather a joint enquiry committee.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I correct the position ? It was not the decision of the Government of Assam but it was the recommendation. It is being further pursued. I would request the hon. Member to be very definite about the information he obtained.
Mr. Speaker :- The information which the hon. Member has given will be helpful to the Government and I can also follow that it is only a recommendation of the Committee and not the decision of the Government.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- The Joint Enquiry Committee recommended this and since there was strong argument in support of the move to bring Block No.1 back to Jowai District, why has it taken two years for the Government to impress upon the sister State to hand over it ? There should not be any more dispute over it.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- With your permission, Sir, I can give further information. This was to be approved or agreed to by the two District Councils. It was then the District Councils of the United Khasi Jaintia Hills and the Mikir Hills. As far as the United Khasi Jaintia District Council is concerned, they have agreed to this recommendation but the Mikir Hills District Council did not agree. That is why there was no decision yet. The Government could not take decision because there is still difference of opinion between the two District Councils.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the matter has become urgent and the people have to undergo a great suffering. As a result refugee camps have to be opened. We are glad that the hon. member from that area is sitting in the Treasury Bench and we hope that he will do something to relieve the suffering of our people who have to flee from the outlay for the Fourth Five Year Plan and with reference to the expenditure. I am afraid that some of the Members in this House are not able to do Arithmetics. But this Government I think has been dealing with figures, I can say, break fasting with crores and launching with lakhs (laughter). So much of it I take the revised estimate of gross expenditure for 197-71 the gross expenditure from the capital expenditure and the revenue expenditure is Rs.30,99.25 lakhs. For the year 1971-72 the expenditure is Rs.16,75.53 lakhs and the total expenditure is Rs.47,74.78 lakhs. For the current financial year, yesterday, we have sanctioned a further sum of Rs.25,79.42 lakhs, which I know the Chief Minister would have given the figure very carefully had he not left his seat during the discussion. (laughter).
Shri W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to give the guide-lines to the hon. Member that we are talking about the Plant allocation and not about the Plan and the Non-Plan Budget allocation as he is stating.
*Prof Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request the Chief Minister to patiently listen to the argument because after all the money is there and there is no fear of its being taken back (laughter). Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I refer to the gross expenditure, I may also refer to Plan or non-Plan expenditure because the money which has been spent, is spent for the whole Plan. Whether it is Plan or non-Plan expenditure the total expenditure comes to Rs.73,54.42 lakhs. To that it should be added a little sum of Rs.20,72.11 lakhs which has been taken away in November, 1971 by the Supply Department and the grand total of the expenditure is Rs.94,26.53 lakhs. Out of this if you deduct Rs.40,76.00 lakhs spent for the relief and rehabilitation, the balance comes to Rs.53,50.53 lakhs. This expenditure is from the beginning of April 1970 till the 31st March 1972. I would kindly ask the House, through you, Sir, that if we divide this by the population of Meghalaya, we will find that Rs.580 has been spent for each person in two years, the amount spent comes to Rs.5,80,000. Mr. Speaker, Sir, an amount of Rs.40,76,00,000 has been spent for the relief and rehabilitation of the unfortunate people who came across. The Government of India has sanctioned Rs.360 crores for the relief and rehabilitation of 90,00,000 refugees all over India. If you divide the amount of Rs.360 crores by the total number of 90,00,000 refugees you will find that Rs.400 has been spent for each refugee and if you multiply this Rs.400 by the total number of 7,00,000 refugees in Meghalaya, the total amount spent comes to Rs.28,00,000 with a different of Rs.12,76,00,000. Where this money has gone. I would like Mr Speaker, Sir, to ask the Government, through you, to give to this august House an explanation about this missing money. Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed be point out to the House, about the system of working in the Relief and Rehabilitation Office. A request "please sanction at my disposal" and Rs.18,000 or 26,000 lakhs is made in a mere piece of paper which was duly signed. We do not know where this money has gone. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the officer of the R.R. Office in Keating Road went out on tour even at night with cash money or stock of money being carried away. Bills have not yet been submitted. Bills are being given to the R.R. Office though the money has been taken away and distributed in the spot. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this particular office it is also found that the same man issued orders for construction of house and for supply of food and the same man passed the bills of the contractors. The same man also made payment. What kind of a system is this? This is the most apprehensible thing that the same man issued orders for works, certified the bill and the same man gave advances. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you can better imagine what state of affairs is this.
Mr. Speaker :- How can I know?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, finally I would like to mention that the Ruling Party in the last General Election has enjoyed the vote of 1/10th of the population of the State. But if these people fail to read the writing on the wall I warn them that they will be wiped out after five years.
Mr. Speaker :- The House stands adjourned till 2.00 P.M. today when we will resume the debate on the Governor's Address.
The House resumed is sitting at 2 P.M. on the afternoon with the Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us resume the debate on the Governor's Address. Now, may I request Mr. Akramozzaman.
Shri Akramozzaman (Phulbari) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have gone through the long speech of the Governor and in the11th para he has stated the achievements of the Government of Meghalaya in the past years and also in para 12 he had chalked out some programmes which the Government of Meghalaya wants to initiate for the development of the state of Meghalaya. While the struggle of Bangladesh was going on the number of persons who have lost their lives is 40 and 63 who were injured but the most unfortunate thing is this that there is no mention about the action taken by the Government of Meghalaya about the rehabilitation or any help to the bereaved family or the persons who have laid down their lives to the bereaved family or the persons who have laid down their lives for the better cause and who are not injured. It would have been better if we could give information to the house that the Government of Meghalaya has done these things or is contemplating to do them. In this respect, sympathy and consideration should be shown so that they can lead their lives peacefully because they have lost things which enabled them to fight or struggle for, the things which we cherish. But I am sorry that has not been done from humanitarian considerations and sympathy and from this I can assume how the Government is going to give particular benefit to the people of the State of Meghalaya. Sir, our State is inhabited by the people who are known throughout the whole country as backward people and the main avocation of theirs is agriculture. 95 percent of the population of the state of Meghalaya re dependent upon agriculture and there is growth of population. Irrigation of land has also started and there is mention that the Government of Meghalaya is going to initiate some programmes in mechanisation of agriculture or in other things but there is no mention about land reforms. It has been discussed in this House previously when our State was then an Autonomous State that land capitalism has already started in the State of Meghalaya. There are two land systems one of which is permanent cultivation and the other is jhum cultivation. We have seen that the Government of India has initiated the Central land reforms by which it has laid down the National Policy with regard to the proper distribution of land by providing ceilings so that the poor sections of the people could benefit. Suppose I have 100 bighas of land. I can increase the output but the person who has only 5 bighas of land may increase 10 times but his share will not be much. So this growth of capitalism must be stopped. Irrigation and other things lie with the District Councils of the State of Meghalaya and I am not going to dispute this matter. But it is also our duty to see how we can also get the co-operation of the District Council in order to help the tillers of the soil to get proportionate distribution of land so tat they can have their own way of thinking or one way to get subsistence on agriculture and until and unless we do so, there cannot be social justice by only providing mechanism in the agricultural sector because land cannot be increased. The distribution and allocation of land must be equal and proportionate and must particularly be in keeping with the national policy which has been enunciated by the Government of India through the Land Reform Committee. The situation may differ but we should also take into consideration the different circumstances. Sir, I believe there was some sort of assurance in this House and in spite of the assurance of the then Minister for Agriculture to attend to it, it is unfortunate that there is no reference to it in the Governor' Address. However, I would request the Government of Meghalaya particularly to look into the matter of equal distribution, i.e., the economic holdings be granted to the actual tillers of the soil. Moreover, in this connection, I would like to say that in Garo Hills we are still under the prevailing system, that is, the Zamindary System which has been sought to be abolished in order to give propriety right to the tillers have not been taken. I cannot see that this Government is really keen to do social justice to the tillers of the soil. As 95 percent of the population of the state are tillers it would be my honest request to see that they get the economic holdings so that the intermediary, who is now having a way just to make extra profits, is done away with. Moreover, after the 25th amendment of the Constitution there is also a way which has been paved for the ceiling of urban land. The other day I had the occasion to hear in Shillong that previously the houses where there are small tenants were burnt and that they could not rebuild the houses. So there is also the necessity to curb the proprietorship of land in the urban area and until and unless we do these things there shall not be any social justice to the poorer section of the people. It is my earnest request the Members of this House give some consideration to this vital problem of our State so that the down-trodden who are struggling very hard get a chance to survive otherwise we shall be failing in or primary duty to ensure proper security, at least, at least of life. Sir, with these things I also want to make a reference which, I believe, some of my friends have also referred and that is about the devastion of floods. Many a time, the question of flood devastation has been discussed in this House and there were assurances from the Government and there was budget provision to the tune of few lakhs of rupees. Sir, every year at least 50,000 of the population were affected by floods which have taken away all their property, their livelihood and they have been reduced to the position of beggars. Whether we like the word begging or not, it makes no difference whether one begs from the individual or from the Government. It is the same thing. The vast portions of our State are those areas where very good cultivation can be done the soil is also very fertile. I was thankful to the Government of Meghalaya that the Chief Engineer was personally visited the area. He agreed with me when I told him that there was budget provision and a scheme for the purpose is under consideration of the Government. But no step was taken for implementation of the scheme. There was the Brahmaputra Flood Control Commission and I do not know whether this flood can be controlled. if we want that something should be done here in Meghalaya, we should seek the help of this Flood Control Commission otherwise it will take 10 to 15 years time for these things to come in. So prevention is better than cure. Whatever we give to the cultivators whether tractors, manure or good seeds the situation will remain like that this in the months of July and August everything will be swept away by the flood and all the standing crops will be destroyed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if any member or Minister visits these areas, he will see what a calamity the people are facing. They will see that not a single patch of land can be reserved for foodgrains. We have the best cultivators, I believe, not only in the State of Meghalaya but in the whole of our country. They can utilise every inch of land. But most unfortunately, the matter was not taken very seriously. Whatever might be the difficulties of the Government of Meghalaya, until and unless we take up preventive measures to protect our lands in those areas, all the fertility would be eroded away when the flood comes. I hope that the Government will take some steps I cannot say in what way but they must have some definite scheme within this financial year. Of course, after March this financial year will be ending. However, hope in the next financial year some definite work be taken up. Moreover, there is a certain project for protection of land in my area. But it has been eroded away and nothing has been done. Lakhs of rupees have been spent in order to construct the project for protecting the agriculturists. So, I particularly draw the attention of the Leader of the house to this aspect of the matter (Bell rang). I am sorry, Sir, I was not given any indication about the time at my disposal.
Mr. Speaker :- I have allotted 15 minutes for each hon. member.
*Shri Akramozzaman :- On this occasion I would appeal to the Leader of the House, particularly when he is known to these areas and when he has personally seen the devastation of flood to take some concrete step. Moreover, he is also in-charge of P.W.D. and I hope he will do something to save the people. This will benefit not only these people but it will benefit the entire people of Meghalaya.
Another thing is that there is no mention of small and cottage industries for these cultivators because our cultivators are practically without any job after the sowing season. It would have been better if the Government could provide incentives for cottage and small scale industries. As the time is very short. I would only say that there is a saying in Bengali (Bengali - ".................." which means in English "Darkness under the lamp". These things happen in our State. Now I come to electric power. What I see there is little scope for expansion during this year. Now, in the modern age whether for irrigation purposes, whether for big or small industries power is necessary. So I believe while the power is generated they must not suffer. Let us do away with the saying (Bengali) "................." This must be removed so that we proceed in a way for social justice either in the field of small industries or in the field of agriculture by creating more irrigation facilities. As there is no time, I would only mention one thing. There is no mention that the Government of Meghalaya will be trying their level best to have a clean administration, that is the eradication of corruption from the administration. Of course, eradication of corruption is a big thing but the intention should be there. That is the first thing which is required of the Government that the Government is out and out to root out corruption. I hope the Government will take all these suggestions into consideration and unless we do these things, according to me, there will be no social justice.
Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Governor for giving us this valuable Address containing many important items which the Government propose to take up in the coming year. But permit me, Sir, to point out certain observations in the Address in which these are not included and which are very important. At page 2, it is mentioned that the Election Commission had tried its best on priority basis to arrange the constituencies to enable the Government to function at a very high speed to make us possible to be here as an august House and for this the credit goes to the Election Commission for making such an urgent and on priority basis in constituting the constituencies. But it is a matter of regret to see that many more people, I mean the voters were not included in the electoral Rolls. This might be due to the fact that the Government has taken up in a very hasty manner. And it is a big trouble, rather harassment, to the people who have left their villages and home, coming miles away to the polling station, when they found that they have no right to vote. For instance, may I cite on example during the last General Election. There was one village in my constituency called Pahamrioh. I found that in that particular village, the voters are not less than 500 whereas the enrolment in the electoral rolls shows only 207. All of them started from their homes and came to the polling station and then went back home disappointed without finding their names in the roll. It is a very sad matter, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I suggest that the Government will pay a very special attention to this so as to enable people to exercise their right of franchise.
Another point, Sir, in page 12, i.e. measures along the border areas of Bangladesh, the Address deserves congratulation for making such very important arrangement and much attention is being paid to that. But Sir, we have seen, there were Razakars of Pakistani collaborations who had entered and taken shelter and it is a fact that some more Razakers and collaborators are still here in our land. This is a very dangerous thing and they may get more disciples from among our own people by getting a chance to be in our land. My suggestion, Sir, is that the Government may please pay attention to that and take some security measures and see that such collaborators should not be allowed to stay in our land and meet with our own people here.
Mr. Speaker :- It is not stated that they are in our land, they have not surrendered their arms to Bangladesh Government.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Well Sir, it is also not clear that surrender should be made to the Bangladesh Government but it is rather very much confusing. But in this case, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may congratulate the Government for giving the information that there are Razakers and Pakistani collaborators and that Bangladesh Government have not done their part to that effect. May I be allowed to slip to another point.
In the speech, in paragraph 5, it was mentioned that a separate District of Jaintia Hills was created. Yes, Sir, creation of this District was a great pleasure. It is very good chance for all of us to rejoice and join hands with our Jaintia people for their having their own administrative unit. This is the fulfillment of commitment of the Government for the local Jaintia people and we thank the Government for their action having already been completed. But Sir, there are two commitments which I have not heard to have been fulfilled. One is Nongstoin Sub division in Khasi Hills and another is Simsangiri in Garo Hills Districts. It is a fact that I have heard this from my hon. friend from Garo Hills that Simsangiri Sub division has not yet been created. This is a long pending commitment. So I request the Government, through you Mr. Speaker, Sir, to see that any commitment made to the public will not be left pending so that the people may not be suffering from such delay. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that by creating more administrative units it will be more effective for speedy work of the Government. At the same time, it will help people to avoid any undersivable trouble. In this respect, I may even come to the extent of suggesting to the Government that Nongpoh Police Station is one of the places which should have got such a preference from the Government. If justice is allowed to play its own role, this matter should have attracted the attention of the Government long before now. If three more Sub divisions are created about 500 employees will be accommodated. So about giving employment to our people, we still fail to get any remedy.
I may now come to paragraph 6 of the same page, i.e., Jaintia Hills-Mikir Hills boundary. Yes, we are also glad that the Government is well aware that such lost boundary should be restored. On seeing the statement, Sir, it is surprising to note that the Nongwah area, a land belonging to our State has long been attached to Kamrup District. This area contains not less than 50 villages and I must say one M.L.A. is enough to represent these villages. In this regard may I read the memorandum prepared by our late Rev. J.J.M. Nichols Roy which runs like this :- "Nongwah Khasi villages in Kamrup to be included in this Khasi-Jaintia Federated State. These in former years formed a small Khasi State, but for some reason they were included in Kamrup District. They are all on the border of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. These should be included in this Khasi Jaintia Federated State. The people live like Khasis and they are anxious to be included in the Khasi Hills as they used to be before." - Then the people also were pressing the Government from time to time. We have got some records and letter issued in 1962 by the then Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup to the Tribal Areas Department stating that he has referred the matter to the office of Survey Department. All these papers are lying there and there is no action. It is surprising that our Government in the Address presented to the House has mentioned nothing about this subject which shows that it has very safely been forgotten. But it is seen that the people of the area cannot forget and we cannot say that we are to forget them. Thousands and thousands of our souls are there. They want to come back to their motherland, the State of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I suggest to the Government to look into the matter and not to leave the matter to be forgotten in spite of the fact that the people there are still longing to be inside our own State. Lastly, Sir, may I refer to page 9, i.e. Selection Board which has to be made and we welcome it very much. This is very important for our youths to be employed and putting right man in right places. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, we fail to understand why when the Selection Board is being mentioned there, constitution of a Meghalaya Public Service Commission is one of the picture, I feel that this is also a problem for selecting people to the offices of responsible officers as well as offices in the lower cadre which our State should have got such a Commission long before. We do not know whether Government is planning to do it or whether it is still satisfied to see that this matter will be left entirely at the mercy of the Assam Public Service Commission? I may be allowed Mr. Speaker, Sir, to express that our Government should channelise is programme of development of the state as a whole. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Prof. A. Warjri (Mawkhar S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to speak a few words in support of the motion of thanks moved by Prof. P.G. Marbaniang on the Governor's Address to be passed by this House. I appreciate very much the move for amendments made by the speakers yesterday. Mr. H. Hynniewta this morning stated that they were not actually out and out for these amendments but they would like to bring these things to the notice of the Government. This proves that the hon. Members were really interested in the development of this new State. It is really a great pleasure to know that all of them had actually agreed on the broad principles as outlined in the Governor's Address. The amendments moved by the hon. Member of the Opposition are concerned especially with the omission side rather than with the whole body of the Address. I agree with them that if time allows the references on these various points should be embodied. But one thing which we have to remember is that if political and commercial aspects of every human activity are to be indicated I am afraid it would take days for the Governor's Address to be read through. As I understand (At this stage, the Speaker left the chamber and Shri P.R. Kyndiah took the chair) Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor's Address should actually lay out the broad outlines and broad principles of the policy of the Government and that was what the Address has sought to fulfill now. Be that as it may I cannot but make a few remarks on the amendments moved by those hon. Members in the House yesterday. These amendments were being followed by arguments which are not actually to support the amendments but are the observations on the actions or on the policy followed by the Government of the pre-full-fledged State. Some of these amendments should not actually have been brought on the floor of this House. They should have been brought on the floor of the House which was in session in the past two years of the then Autonomous State of Meghalaya which was not accepted by some of the Opposition Members or on the floor of the House in the Legislative Assembly of Assam. They were thing of the past. In order that arguments and criticism on the principles of the Government should be constructive they should have been made not at an early stage as the new State has started functioning just two months ago. The new Government has been functioning hardly a month ago. If arguments and criticisms were to be made they should be made at the proper time and the new Government should be allowed to function for some time and observation can then be made. I would like to take a few of these amendments, most of which I feel, should be brought to the notice of the Government, e.g., the need for proper scientific farming (planning) in the State, the scheme for developing Tourist Industry in the State , promotion and development of Youth Welfare, sports and games and the imperative need of planning and separation of Administration of Justice from the executive and some other matters. These should be brought to the notice of the Government with an appeal to the Government to take up these things in right earnest. The amendment moved by Mr. G. Mylliemngap on the need of re-orientation of the entire educational System of the State to suit the special needs and genius of our people and the technical or other educational system in the State, should be taken into consideration, and I agree with him that there is really a need for re-orientation of the educational system in our State. I myself feel that something should be taken up in order that our educational system should not be as in the old method and it should not be a system which could produce B.As after B.As but the one which could produce people of calibre to suit such occupations which go a long way toward development of the new State.
And then coming to the Municipal Administration, Prof. M.N. Majaw regrets that the Governor in his Address made no mention of the Municipal Elections which are long over due and he has also pointed out many of the defects in the Municipality, the only Municipality that we are now having, that is the Municipality of Shillong with the two centuries old dirt that are lying in the drains in Shillong. I do not know how he managed to count the layers of the dirt of two centuries. But one thing we have to observe here is this that this system which is being followed here in Shillong upto this time is an old system of the Government of Assam which is being worked under the old Act, that is, the Assam Municipal Act. We now need a new Act for the development of Municipal Boards not only in Shillong but in many important towns of the State of Meghalaya.
Then I would like to make an observation on the amendment moved by Shri Hynniewta regarding the exploitation of cultivators by unscrupulous traders in the State. I agree with Mr. Hoover Hynniewta cent percent on this. But at the same time, I hope that these unscrupulous traders include not only those who sit on platform surrounded by barrel-like pythons but also those who who are indulging in defalcating money from honest citizens and misusing the loans from private persons, financial corporations etc. by creating co-operative societies and marketing societies. The Government should see that such societies run by certain families or certain private individuals using the money, either from the grants from the Government or money collected from those persons, are checked properly and effectively.
There is another point on which I would like to make a mention and that is regarding the technical education. I would request the Government, through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the Government take up at once a bill for the formation of a State Council for technical education for conducting examinations and awarding certificates. I would like to cite an example here. We have here in Shillong a technical institution namely Don Bosco School, which has produced many technicians, who were really welcomed by many of the firms. But because of the lack of recognised diplomas and certificates, many of them could not get employment. I, therefore, urge that the Government take up this matter urgently, otherwise when we try to reorient our educational system and try to send those boys to various field or to various vocations those students may not find a proper place after they received technical education due to the lack of recognised diplomas and certificates. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to support the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address moved by Prof. P.G. Marbaniang and I command that the motion be adopted. (At this stage the Speaker occupied the Chair).
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Upstar Kharbuli.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli (Malki) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a matter of regret that on going through the Governor's Address I do not find any mention made about any departmental machinery to study the economic measures, which, in my opinion, are very essential and should be adopted by the Government. I think it is a popular feeling that a huge amount of public money has been wasted almost each and every department such as the Forest Department, the P.W.D. and others have not utilised the public money properly. Take for instance, the activities of the P.W. Department. Wherever we go in the town, we notice that the condition of roads, foot-paths and drains are not exactly what we would expect them to be. We have also noticed that there are places where foot-paths constructed only six months back have had to be repaired thoroughly again. This, in my opinion, is a sheer wastage of public money. Such things could have been well avoided had the Department been more alert in looking sincerely into the activities of its staff. I may say that the staff in the P.W.D. like the S.D.Os, the E.Es, Muharirs etc. are more or less meant for field work, but they seem to have forgotten their role of duty and have confined themselves to other activities. Of course, they are also meant to do such things like looking after establishment work in office and others, but I feel that if those personnel of the Government could be relieved of the administration work in the offices, they would have been able to render better and much more beneficial service to the public by going to the field. I am sorry to say that from what I could see for the last two years there has been no revised schedule of rates made by the Government. The schedules of rates which were prevailing were those of 1968. Since then the prices of materials and other commodities have gone up but the wages prescribed for the labourers are more or less the same. It is fantastic that a skilled labour, if paid according to the rates prescribed is to get only about Rs.6 or so a day and similarly for the semi-skilled and unskilled workers much lower rates of wage as prescribed. From what I know these are not the actual rates of wage are prescribed. From what I know these are not the actual rates which are being paid to the labourers by the employees. Again if we consider the fact that the estimates for any particular item of work prepared by the P.W.D. based on the existing rates which are unrealistic and much lower than the actual cost, how can it be possible for the contractors to tender and execute such works at such low rate and sometimes even far below the schedule or rates. So, I feel that if this State of affairs is not checked honest workers have no place, rather it will allow dishonest and unscrupulous contractors to thrive. So I think it is time for the Government to take into consideration all these things. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I feel is that unless proper and realistic estimate is prepared, we cannot expect standard workmanship and the quality of work will be that after 6 months or so further amount shall have to be provided in the shape of flood damage repairs or the like. However, whatever the case may be it is merely a wastage of public money. Further, unless the Government gives realistic estimates the contractors cannot be expected to perform standard workmanship but it will only compel them to become corrupted, and not only that, the contractors will instigate the labourers also to become dishonest. Mr. Speaker, Sir, another thing I want to say is that just the other day I came across the repair work of a wall by the side of the Survey Hill compound. There was a wall which has fallen down and reconstruction of the same was being done. The wall fell down and reconstruction of the same was being done. The wall fell down because it was not a work of cement or even lime mortar. As it could be seen the height of the wall is about 12 or 15 ft. but the foundation is only about 2 ft. deep or so. If the Engineer or S.D.O. has inspected the work at the time when it was first constructed, this thing could have been avoided, but I think it was not examined or looked into properly by the officers concerned and so it has broken down. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, to my mind, all these things point out to the dishonesty of the contractor being indirectly encouraged by the Department concerned. And I think it is time that our Government should consider these things very seriously so as to avoid unnecessary expenditure as much as possible. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- I now call upon Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh to speak.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate myself in this general discussion on the Governor's Address. While going through the Address of the Governor, unfortunately I find that there has not been any mention of the administration of the State. It has not spoken about the efficiency and inefficiency of the State Administration in every Department of the Government. As it is, at present there is only inefficiency. If we go to any Department we find only the Head of the Department or sometimes the Superintendent or Supervisor but many of the staff are not there and if a work is to be done sometimes even the Head of the Department blamed the clerks or to see that the Departments are working properly. So in the Governor's Address I find no mention about the steps taken to make the Government Departments run the administration efficiently. So I would like to request the Government, through you, Sir, that if should look and go into the matter of how to run the Departments and also should investigate into the inefficiency of the Departments. The officers and Heads of Departments some-times shift their responsibilities to the clerks, and the subordinates are being given the responsibility, whereas the other officers or the Heads of Departments are not being taking any steps to run their departments or offices efficiently. On this point, I would like the Government to take note. We would also like to know from the Government what they are aiming to do, what is their object in these coming five years in running and administration efficiently. There are also lots of procedural difficulties which lead to corruption on the part of the Government servants because transfers of staff from District to State are not allowed. I suggest that there should be inter-transfer of staff of District Branch and State Departments to avoid corruptions so that when we find that there is corruption in the District Branch, the staff should be transferred to the State Department. Good people should be there in the District Branches so that all corruptions can be avoided. Also in support of the hon. Member, Shri D.D. Lapang about the lapses of the Government during the last General Election, I would like to say that the Government has failed to prepare or to revise the electoral rolls as per law of the land. The law of the land provides that there should be revision of the electoral rolls when ever there is election. Thus it excludes lots of adult population who have the right of franchise. In my constituency there are about 80 houses and in each house there are three or four adult persons. Here about 30 houses are left out from the roll. That means, about 60 to 80 adult population have been left out and there had been even agitations last time, but somehow we could pacify them. So it is also a failure on the part of the Government.
Then I would like to point out also, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government, in this Session, also have failed to give correct account of the two cases referred to in the Governor's Address; one in Shillong and the other in Mailam in the border. Here in Shillong also it has made a reference to the Police having opened fire to the public but there is not mention that the public had fired back. But here it is stated in the Governor's Address that a dead body was found and tat the death was caused by gun-shots and not by Police firing. It is not true. If there is Police firing then the man should have died by Police gun-shot and not by anybody. Therefore, Government did not collect proper information because it is very inefficient. Then, about the Mailam case, they referred only to one Garo boy who died of drowning. In fact they failed to mention that there were also two Khasi men who died and they could not trace them out till today.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Shame ! Shame.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- They could not collect correct information. And I know, out of these two men, one is U Kror who was killed by somebody and thrown into the river on that day. But the Government could not collect any information and this is also a great inefficiency on the part of the Government. As I have moved yesterday the amendment motion about the water supply and health in the rural areas, I would again stress that in my constituency there are villages like Mawkyrwat, Nonglang, Mawten and Mawlangwir and Shohkhyllam. In these villages there is no water at all. There are sources of water but very far away. So I request the Government to survey these areas and provide water supply in these areas. In the border areas also where the water is very scarce, the people will have to go very far away to get the water and I again request the Government to look into this matter. And besides, there are no hospitals in that area, although it deserve to have one hospital. It is mentioned also that Government would provide fertilizers. Due to non-availability of fertilizers the people are facing difficulties because they can produce more food only with the help of these fertilizers. So the Government should contact the firms for the supply of these fertilizers. So, I would suggest that the Government would allow the private dealers to take up this matter. There should be whole-sale shops in every centre or area so that the cultivators can have easy access in these places to have their fertilizers at the original cost. I would request the Government, through you, to supply some information as to these fertilizers. Because the places of cultivation are very far from offices and Government Department. The people, especially of my constituency, have to cover long distance while going to and from Shillong Town and the cost of transport in bringing these fertilizers is very high. (Bell rang) Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to take leave of another few minutes. Therefore, at least Government should provide some percentage on the cost of transportation. And at least 20 percent or 30 percent should be provided as subsidy on transportation of these fertilizers.
Also I would ask the Government to take up with the Central Government regarding authorised routes for trade between Bangladesh and the State of ours. At present there are few recognised routes like Dawki, Tharia Bazar and Shella. But Balat being a very important trade centre is left out. It is important that this Government should take up with the Central Government and declare what are the trade centres in our border. I think we are going to have trade agreement with Bangladesh. I understand the Central Government is going to sign a trade agreement with Bangladesh. So I would advise the Government to take up the matter and declare the trade routes open to all the people. Unless the Government takes up the matter, I am afraid that most of the vital points of our border areas would be checked and sealed from having trade and business with the Bangladesh people. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Smti. Percylina Marak (Rongram S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to support the Motion of Thanks moved by Mr. P.G. Marbaniang on the Governor's Address. I congratulate the Governor and his Government for presenting a concise picture of the various major policies of the new Government. I shall be failing in my duty if I do not congratulate the Leader of the House and his colleagues on their commendable performance during the past two years when he and his colleagues piloted the affairs of the Government of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya. While appreciating the speech of the Governor, I would, however, like to make a few observations. The State of Meghalaya as all of us are aware became a full-fledged State only on 21st January, 1972. This young State started functioning as an Autonomous State in 1970. Immediately after that as a border State it had to face very testing days in the wake of refugee influx from from erstwhile East Pakistan. The commendable performance during the past one year of the Government of Meghalaya in defending the country and maintaining peace and order with 7 lakhs refugees or more need not be repeated. From the reports of the various dailies it was evident that the young State had earned admiration from all circles and leaders of the various political parties and also from the Central Government.
The passing of the North-Eastern Re-organisation Act by the Parliamentary in spite of the country at that time facing trying days seems to me that it was an acknowledgement on the part of the Government of India of the performance during the past two years, particularly during freedom struggle by Bangladesh people.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while supporting the motion, I would like to bring to the notice of the House, through you, a few things particularly in regard to the affairs in the district of Garo Hills.
Today is the date scheduled for signing of the trade agreement between the two Governments, namely, the Government of India and Bangladesh, which I believe will be the stepping stone for the promotion of mutual interest of both the countries.
Meghalaya, as a State, produces a variety of agricultural products. One such major item in Garo Hills, which requires immediate attention of the Government is the production of ginger on a large scale. My area is a singer-growing area, unfortunately, because of lack of market, the valuable agricultural crop is still remaining unutilised. Ginger in Garo Hills seems to have replaced cotton which used to be a major crop in former days. Getting the encouragement from the Agriculture Department the cultivators have taken to the cultivation of ginger on a large scale. The price of ginger was very high some three years ago and definitely people could earn their livelihood through that. It is very shocking to find that the price index of ginger has gone down abnormally during the past two years. This, I believe, is mainly due to the middlemen operating in the ginger-growing areas. When the officers of the Meghalaya Government visited Garo Hills, the local people impressed upon them the necessity of opening a new avenue to export ginger to other districts at reasonable price, helping thus, the villagers to regain their lost confidence. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will be surprised to learn that thousand and thousands of ginger are lying underground for want of marketing facilities. Something must be done to dispose of them at reasonable price, otherwise people will completely lose interests. As you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, once we lose confidence and interest in anything, it is extremely difficult to regain them and it is more so with illiterate people. I would request the Government therefore to take it up at Government level before it is too late. One suggestion I would make in this connection. The old route from Tura to Phulbari via Rongram should be further developed. At least one bus should be commissioned immediately. This is an immediate need.
At page 9 paragraph, of the Governor's Address it was mentioned that employment opportunities would be increased through development programmes, such as industries, soil conservation, etc. etc. On the same page, 2nd paragraph, the personnel policy of the Government has also been mentioned that vacancies at lower levels would be filled up by direct recruitment through Selection Boards. In this connection, I would like to bring to the notice of the House through you, Sir, that there is a general complaint about the delay in giving appointments to the selected candidates. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, Sir, slightly speedy action in giving appointments to the youths will definitely bring nearer those who have been partially frustrated in their attempt to get employment in the Government service. As I freely mix with people under the age-group ranging from 20-30, I understand fully threeing and anxiety of those who are without job.
I would also like to know as to what difficulties are there in filling up the vacancies in the development projects. There are so many posts of B.D.Os lying vacant in Garo Hills. if there are no serious difficulties, I would request the Government to appoint some young upstarts. Encouragement should definitely be given to young and efficient deserving persons in these fields.
I do not say that the Government does not have confidence in local talents, Mr. Speaker, Sir. But what I want to point out here is that no scope for suspicion and apprehension should be created.
With these few observations, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I once against thank the Governor and support the Motion of Thanks.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to disturb the hon. Member because the hon. Member is not of our sex but of female sex. But I would like to request the hon. Member and through you, Sir, the Leader of the House, to see if the rules are observed properly. In so far as Rule 279 (2) is concerned, violation of the Rules were committed by one of our experienced Members in the Treasury Benches. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request you and the Leader of the House to look into this.
*Mr. Speaker :- These rules are very important that we should carefully observe. But, it is a sad thing to see that so many have violated these Rules. I understand clearly the intention of the hon. Member. He wants me not not to allow any hon. Member to read out the speech or any portion of his speech to be read out. Generally speaking, a portion of the speech should be read out by the Member but as a matter of fact, whenever the hon. Member reads out any portion of his speech, the same should be handed over to the reporters. That is the reason why a point of order or any violation of the Rules as stated by the hon. cannot be admitted. For example, when the hon. Member beings the speech simply by reading out from the beginning up to the end then in that case it may be considered a violation of the rules.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is clearly stated in the rules that a private Member may not read out his speech, except to refresh his memory by reference to notes.
*Mr. Speaker :- This rule is very clear to all hon. Members. It is stated that any of the hon. Members could make such readings. Even in the Lok Sabha, a Member is allowed to read anything but he should pass on the speech he reads on to the reporters. So I think, there is nothing harm in it. If the rules are to be strictly observed, it is only through the Speaker that they should be done so.
Shri Pleander Garo Momin (Rongjeng S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to offer my deep appreciation and humble gratitude to the Governor for his Address, which he made on the floor of this House on the 25th instant. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to roads and communications which were included in the Address, and to my mind, they need speeding up for the development programmes in this part of the country. The road project, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the crying need of the people all over the State, and to which strategic and economic importance have been attached by the Government. In this connection, it may partly be added here that the development of roads and communications has been undertaken by the State Government of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I regret to point out that in my home Constituency there is a village. This village also falls within the Rongjeng Constituency. This village consists of more than 1,000 houses and having about 3000 acres of land. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to state before this House that no transport and suitable communications have been constructed to link up this village with the rest of the District up-to-date. Again Sir, I feel that this village is of great strategic importance in this part of our Meghalaya State and from the point of view of social, economic, political and commercial developments emphasis should be given by the Government. But Sir, it is a matter of sorrow to express before the House this particular village in my constituency in spite of being the most important place in the districts, had been totally neglected so long. Even it was cut off from the suitable communications and motorable roads and as such, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe the Government will pay proper attention to this deplorable village in the near future. Even the inhabitants in the semi town areas are facing a lot of similar difficulties due to lack of transport communication. Of course in the semi Town there is a kutcha road now under construction.
Sir, secondly, I would like to refer to the Governor's Address with regard to health and medical services. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has already been pointed out by the Governor in this Address that a new hospital is going to be established in Tura. Sir, I wonder if this hospital is to be built a new or to be taken up side by side with the existing one already there. If this could be done, I believe and I hope Sir, quite a wide range of medical and health service scheme will be extended in future. Also in the Governor's Address, it is stated that schemes for inviting Doctors and Medical Practitioners to serve in the rural areas, have been already sanctioned by the Government of Meghalaya. But I have already pointed out earlier, in my home constituency, where I was born and brought up, 15 years back, there is a hospital already in existence. Thereafter, the Government lifted this hospital up and turned into a dispensary which is functioning up till now. But it is rather surprising to find that the Doctor in the said dispensary have failed even to perform their requisite duties expected of them. This is due to shortage of medicines. I happened to enter into the dispensary but I regret to say that I have to come out from the dispensary without any treatment or having got even any medical help. So, Sir, this is the state of affairs which is going on there. It is a shame to express before the House and through you, Sir, that there is not even any stock of medicines at all in the dispensary. In this connection, I would like to go back to what our hon. Members has already spoken regarding the medical facilities in the rural areas. This personnel of the rank of doctors have not been posted in any place. As such, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the prevailing condition of the Government to the prevailing conditions of the Rongjeng Dispensary. No stock of medicines, no experienced doctors, no other essential equipments were ever made available to this dispensary. In this connection, I would again request the Government to see that necessary steps are being taken immediately so that such a state of affairs should not prevail anywhere in future. Such dispensary requires immediate revival. (At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and Prof. A. Warjri, took the Chair). As matter of fact, we are all aware of the fact that inhabitants of the rural areas have been long suffering due to lack of medical facilities. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would now like to come to agriculture.
As the Governor has already said in his Address, agriculture is back-bone of the economy of the people of Meghalaya and I fully agree with him. However, the Governor of Meghalaya has further declared at the production of foodgrains in the State of Meghalaya is very poor. It is mainly because of two things : one thing is because of the production could not be increased due to the shortcoming of monsoon and secondly, the standing food-crops in the field shave been devastated due to attack by pests. Apart from that, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that there is a main cause why production of food-grains or agricultural wealth is very poor, especially in the Garo Hills the fertility of the soil at the surface has been damaged by the presence of huge number of cattle being reared by the Nepali people, who are called "'Khutiwalas". This is also one of the causes. I do feel Mr. Chairman, Sir, that this is one of the reasons why and have the fertility of the soil is being destroyed. So, I would like to request the Government to take appropriate and immediate action so that the number of huge cattle should not be allowed to increase. On the other hand, the cattle rearers should be driven off and only limited number of cattle should be allowed by the Government so that we can meet the requirements.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would now come to the field of employment. As the Governor has stated in his Address, the problem of unemployment is a very difficult task to solve not only in the rest of the country but also in the State of Meghalaya. I fully agree with the Governor. In this Address, the Governor has stressed that the scope of employment can be initiated by bringing about developmental works such as soil conservation, rural health, and so on. I would even like to suggest to the Government that some Heads of Department Offices may be established at Tura so that the local people in Garo Hills can also get employment. Offices of Officers to the level of Joint Director may also be established at Tura and this will not only help the problem of employment prevailing here but will also accelerate the progress of the Government machines. As we all aware, though Assam still has its capital at Shillong many Heads of Departments have been already been shifted to Gauhati for their own convenience. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, though I want to speak on a few more points but due to limited time I resume my seat and conclude my speech.
Mr. Chairman :- Mr. W. Cecil Marak. The hon. Member is absent. Then Mr. Plansing Marak.
Shri Plansing Marak (Kherapara S.T.) :- Do I address you as Speaker or as Chairman?
Mr. Chairman :- As Chairman, please.
Shri Plansing Marak :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand to support the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address moved by my hon. friend, Mr. D.D. Pugh. Mr. Chairman, Sir, while expressing my gratitude and thankfulness to the Governor for his coming here and addressing this House, I would like to make certain observations and suggestions. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor in his Address at the very outset has mentioned that the first year had been an eventful year for the State of Meghalaya. What the Government means by 'eventful' I do not really understand but there are two events, eventful years, when we were struggling for the achievement of a full-fledged State of Meghalaya and an eventful period when we were faced with the dangerous situation of ever flowing refugees from Bangladesh. On both occasions, we have come out successful and victorious. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have achieved our goal, we have got our full-fledged State and now we can try to make Meghalaya a model State. But there are certain qualifications and certain qualities; we are to forget ourselves as Khasi and Garos. If I think myself to be a Garo or a Khasi, then the Garos will think only about the Garos and the Khasis will think only about the Khasis. So, Sir, I think we have to feel as Meghalayans and not as Garos or Khasis. Then only we will be able to make a model State. Now Sir, we have to apply ourselves to the task of toning up the efficiency had quality of administration which we have promised to the people, to our villagers and to that end we have to take steps to work towards the fulfillment of our pledge Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the last General Election we have promised to our people to fulfill three important things. What are those three important things? To drive away poverty, to drive away illiteracy and also to remove all sort of disease. Now, I am definitely sure that with the co-operation and the help of our people we shall be successful in taking up all these programmes. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor in his Address has mentioned about the re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills. I fully support the idea which will bring about social, economic and educational development of my District. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as mentioned by the Governor in his Address, agriculture is the backbone of Meghalaya's economy. So in order to get more food production we are to introduce various improved methods of cultivation in my District. What is now necessary in my District is that we want good agriculturists, i.e. persons who will work hard with their own hands like Mr. Bhupendra Sangma, retired Agricultural Inspector of Garo Hills. If an Agricultural Inspector like him is there, we shall be able to have more food production Mr. Chairman, Sir, if irrigation, embankment and various other improved methods of agricultural implements are introduced in my district, I hope more food will be produced and today I can tell that we have been fortunate to get three or four experts in our district who really want to develop our district to be able to increase food production. From want of funds, for want of implements and for want of improved seeds, those people are hampered and they cannot progress at the time. Therefore, I would request the Government to see that more funds are provided for the Agriculture Department so that they may be able to take up all these irrigation implements and other agricultural activities. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am sorry to see that certain Agricultural Demonstrators are not doing full justice to the villagers who expect that these Demonstrators will go from village to village and demonstrate to them how to utilise agricultural implements, how to use improved seeds, how to cultivate and how to apply manure. All these things are to be demonstrated in a proper way. But many of these Demonstrators are lying idle like Maharajas and I wish that Government should make them really work so as to meet the needs of the villagers of all these villages so that they may be able to get more food production. So, I request the Government to take active steps so that we shall be able to increase production and be able to live a prosperous life. Now, in Hindi language (Kani walla ham, deniwalla Ram).
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I also would suggest improvement of the roads and communications, particularly, in the border areas so that trade and commerce can be continued with the Bangladesh people after liberation of Bangladesh from the hands of Pakistan and I can definitely say that the Garo people living in Garo Hills will be benefited because last time, when I went to the border areas market I was surprised to see that some articles which were actually purchased at the rate o ten rupees were purchased at rupees three and such things are found in the border markets and border trades. I would request the Government to take up schemes for improvement of roads and communications in the borders. Mr. Chairman, Sir, lastly I would like to say something about the development of Garo Hills also. Yesterday my hon. friend Mr. Peter Marbaniang has spoken about Shillong and he has said that Shillong is the Scotland of the East. If Shillong is Scotland of the East, Balpakram is also equally famous as heaven and home of the dead. Who has planted those beautiful flowers all over that beautiful hill; come and see those beautiful flowers in May. You will lose yourselves by the charm of those flowers. Therefore, I would request the Government to develop that place into a tourist centre giving me opportunity to visit that place once in my life time and again when I am dead and gone. With these few words, I support the motion of thanks moved by my hon. friend, Mr. D.D. Pugh and resume my seat.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, first of all I take the pleasure of participating in the discussion on the Governor's Address in support of the motion of thanks that has been moved by the hon. Member Mr. D.D. Pugh. As one of our friends has stated this morning about dairy farming in the rural areas I appreciate it and of course it is very important and that we have to improve it. But I see that in the rural areas, especially Nongpoh area and in my area in Nongstoin Constituency and other areas along the borders of Bangladesh, the people are of course encouraged to rear cattle, sheep, and buffaloes but still it is yet to be improved. They are still rearing cattle in the old system without this diary farming to some extend. And regarding this matter, I would like to bring to the notice of the House in some places there are Nepalis who have harassed our border people, our innocent people in the rural area and I am very sorry to say that from the side of the Government no step has been taken to prevent the harassment to our local people. These people do not eat rice as we eat and they have caused great damage to the cultivation of the Khasi people living in these areas. So I would suggest to Government through you, Sir, that in promoting dairy farming the Government should take proper steps to prevent those people who are not rearing cattle, who are not having this dairy farm, from staying in the area by keeping some proper place for dairy farming.
Another point, Sir, which, I would like to bring to the notice of the House is that in the Governor's Address I found no mention of the creation of a new Civil Sub division for Nongstoin has been made. This actually has been surveyed by the Assam Government for pretty long years and I am very sorry to say that upto this day nothing has been done. It has been left like that as it is. From the side of the Syiem, as well as the people of Nongstoin they have offered land for creation of the Nongstoin Civil Sub-division. They have also allowed the Assam Government to acquire a big plot of land for the purpose of creation of this Sub-division. We have moved, we have been crying to the Government for the creation of this Sub division, but nothing has been done up till now. Through you, Sir, I request the Government to see to it so that this Nongstoin Sub division should function as early as possible.
Another thing, Sir, I have not seen anything mentioned in the Address of the Governor about the State Transport. Meghalaya has become a full-fledged State. It has all the powers as other States in India have. Being full-fledged State, I am not going to criticize but I am going to give a suggestion to the Government at least they should try their level best to improve our administrative machinery, improve our economy, agriculture as so many hon. Members have already suggested. Regarding State Transport, well, I do not know much about Garo Hills; but here in Khasi Hills District up till now we have only three lines of communication taken up by the State Transport i.e., Shillong-Gauhati, Shillong-Dawki and Shillong-Jowai. Cherrapunjee is one of the most important centres in Khasi Hills and Meghalaya as a whole. Mawkyrwat, Mawsynram have a line which very important for the growth of economy of the State of Meghalaya. Nongstoin is another most important line of communication to improve the economy of the State. With your permission, Sir, last year I went to the Minister in-charge of PWD and brought to his notice the necessity of the State Transport functioning in the western area of Khasi Hills, that is, Nongstoin and the reply I got was "We have no vehicles, we have got no money to purchase vehicles". Well, last year Meghalaya has not yet been made a full-fledged State and he has got all the power to do what is necessary. But now being a full-fledged State we should try to see to the necessity of the area for the improvement and upliftment of the people of that particular area as well as for the welfare of the State as a whole. So this time I suggest to the Government, through you, Sir, that Nongstoin Sub division should be created as early as possible. The State Transport from Shillong to Nongstoin should be taken up seriously by the Government. As it is now, the line of communication is being monopolised by one or two vehicle owners of that particular area. As most of the hon. Members excepting those from Garo Hills, know very well that if one has to go to Nongstoin you have to pack up yourself as pieces of potato packet up in sack. I would suggest to the Government through you, Sir, to take special steps to ensure that the people travelling from Nongstoin to Shillong or Shillong to Nongstoin are safeguarded, as at any time the vehicle may fall down and that may lead to the cause of death and injured to hundreds of people.
Another three minutes, Sir, if you don't mind. One of the hon. Members, Mr. D.D. Lapang, has stated and he has quote one proper name of one proper village that is, Nongwah. I strongly support him and I am going to add two other villages in that particular area, that is Patharkhmah and Kyrshai. These villages are inhabited by our Khasi people since a number of years but it is surprising to see and to find that these people have to pay taxes and that too to the Kamrup District which is under Assam. They have to suffer a lot from the torture of those Assamese. The Assamese have encroached more than three miles from the border. They have cleared all the forests, dense forests of Nongwah Patharkhmah and Kyrshai of Khasi Hills. But due to the slackness of the administration in the District Council and the State Government, these areas are being eaten up, are being divided and being , so to say, separated from us and they have gone to the Kamrup District. I would, therefore, suggest to the Government through you, Sir, to take precaution against these aggressive policies.
With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) :- Well Mr. Chairman, Sir, our hon. member from Mawkhar has suggested to the members that all the suggestions and criticism could have been made in the Provisional Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya and also in the Assam Legislative Assembly. But I am sorry, Sir, that we have never had a chance to do so. If I am not mistaken, you also did not have such a chance to raise all these suggestions, and to show to the Government to carry out things according to what we have suggested. Sir, we are standing on the same floor. So, we are here like the handyman to the truck drivers who shows the direction so that we do not fall into the ditch. My humble submission here, Sir is that in para 3 of the Governor's Address regarding the influx of evacuees from across the border, it has certainly caused a strain on the economy of our State. But the same could have been reduced had we been a bit serious in tackling this matter. We know that we have spent a lot of money purchasing things giving medical facilities, blankets, etc. I must say that the year 1971 is memorable in the history of Meghalaya. Memorable in the sense that many people became richer and at the same time, some people became poorer. Some people became rich because there were many loopholes in the administration which we have seen. We cannot just let things go unaccounted for. It is said that we have transferred all these paraphernalia across the border. It is just because we want to wash our hands and sins? Can we just let things go on like that? So, I would like to bring to the notice of the Government, through you, Sir, that was a blanket scandal and one tribal officer was arrested. Is it the only isolated case for which only one of the officers was arrested? has the Government done anything to dig further on this? It is mentioned in the Governor's Speech that there were cases of fire. According to my personal information, not less than a dozen such cases occurred. It is very doubtful, Sir, that all these cases were mere accidents. There may be some good or bad intentions just trying to tally the accounts of tarpaulins and to report that some were gutted by fire. It is said that they were duly enquired into by Police. We would like to place before the House that such report be placed on the Table of the House.
I would also like to bring to the notice of the notice of the Government that there were clashes and I do not know what the Government has done to the bereaved families, who had lost some of their members.
Another point to which I would like to refer is para 6 at page 4. In this context, Sir, I would like to suggest to the Government that our State is adjoining not only Mikir Hills but also other districts like Kamrup, Nowgong and even Bangladesh. Here I would like to suggest that before the Government finalises the boundaries of the State, it would be good and proper if they consult or take help from all sources available such as Syiems, Sirdars and other institutions, which can help in this respect.
Then, another point, which I would like to bring to the notice of the House is para 8. Sir, many hon. Members have spoken on this particular head. The Government agencies have taught the cultivators alright for adopting improving methods of cultivation and for using fertilizers. They have taught against and the cultivators had already adopted those methods. But I am sorry to say that the Government now failed to supply fertilizers and other implements which the cultivators require. To cite an example, in my constituency at Mawryngkneng we have been trying for bull-dozer but instead of giving to us, it is being utilised at Umroi for months together when it is fully known tat the area is going to be taken over by the military authorities. These are the things which are going on.
Then, we know that the banks have been nationalised to meet the requirements of the rural people. It would have been very helpful to our rural cultivators if banking facilities are extended to the rural areas. I would also like to refer to the last paragraph at page 7 where it is stated that a proposal for construction of 130 kilometers of border roads has been submitted to the Government of India for approval. This may be for border roads. But there may be some other roads also which are not mentioned in the Governor's Speech. In this connection, I would like to bring to the notice of the Hon'ble Minister who was in-charge of P.W.D. in the past year that there is a particular road which is very much in the know of the Minister. That is the Shillong-Diengpasoh road. The people in India as a whole had attained independence since the year 1947. But the people of this area are still being exploited by a particular man. It has become chronic trouble to the people and a time may come when they will lose all patience. Therefore, it is urged on the Government to take immediate steps on this road, lest the people will lose all their patience and confidence.
Lastly, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to say something on education. You see, Sir, on education, there are teachers of aided schools. These teachers were governed more or less by the same rules which the Government of Assam had adopted. The retiring age of these teachers is 63 years and now it has been reduced to 60 years. Most of the teachers of the aided schools, you will find, are those people who continue in service till the retiring age. They are dedicated teachers and these dedicated teachers could hardly be found nowadays. The people come and go to start the genesis as one of the hon. Members stated whereas dedicated teachers spent the whole of their life in service but they are not rewarded anything. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Government of India is observing the "Teacher's Day" every year but that programme is meant only for these people who are in distress and for the people having ailing health. Mr. Chairman, Sir, from the humanitarian point of view, I would like to suggest to the Government that the period of retirement of these people can be extended till they consider themselves unfit for service (Bell rang). Also I would be encouraging enough to give first preference to the qualified children of such teachers in giving appointment in the Government offices and also to extend to give gratuity, pension or whatever the Government thinks proper to these people. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now I call upon the Mr. Pritington Sangma to speak.
Shri Pritington Sangma (Kharkutta S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I take this opportunity to speak something in support of the motion of thanks moved by Prof. P.G. Marbaniang on the Governor's Address. I consider the Address of the Governor to be impressive for clearly giving a broad outline of what the Government has done during the past few years or what the Government is going to do in the near future. But I am sorry to note that some of the hon. Members of this august House are trying to find some loopholes, saying that these things are not mentioned or not inserted and not taken up by the Government and even they went to the extent of bringing some amendment motions to the House......
Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Chairman, Sir, on a point of order, the hon. member is challenging the right of the Members of the House to move amendment on the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address. This should not be allowed Mr. Chairman, Sir. This right has been conferred on us by the rules of this House itself. We have a fundamental right to point out the defects committed by the Government. These rights are denied if the Member is allowed to express a sense of sorrow as the hon. members of this House are doing their duty. I think using such kind of words is un-parliamentary and so the hon. Member should be set right.
Shri Pritington Sangma :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand corrected. But Sir, what I want to impress upon this House is that the Government is in the infant stage and it making earnest efforts for promotion of the welfare of the people. Many references have been made to the refugee problem and here also I would like to say that the Government has dealt with the problems very effectively and in a sympathetic manner. Prior to liberation of Bangladesh due to Pakistani military atrocities the people were compelled to come over to our State and our Government did not fail to restore the disturbed economy of the border areas. It is found that the Government is doing the needful to solve the border problems. Mr. Chairman, Sir, today I want to bring out one issue. Many of the hon. Members have referred to the people of Mikir Hills who have come to the Jaintia Hills District. In this connection, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of the House through you, one thing and that is the Garo people living in the contiguous areas of Goalpara and Kamrup Districts who have been trying for their inclusion in the State of Meghalaya. This movement for inclusion in the Meghalaya State is not a new thing. It is as old as the movement for an Autonomous District Council and also as old as the movement for a separate Hill State. These brothers of ours, living in the contiguous area of Goalpara and Kamrup Districts and these very people have been working shoulder to shoulder with our Khasi and Garo brothers living in Garo Hills and Khasi Hills for the attainment of a separate State.
Whereas, here, after the birth of the full-fledged State, we rejoiced, enjoyed, sang and danced leaving those people in disappointment. I appeal to the Government, through you, Sir, that measures should be taken at a high level for the inclusion of these contiguous areas of Goalpara and Kamrup Districts.
I now come to agriculture. Many hon. Members have pointed out that agriculture is the back-bone of our State. I admit that ours is essentially an agriculturist country though we are not good cultivators. Agriculture can be improved in Meghalaya as many hon. Members have pointed out, by applying fertilizers and improved method of cultivation. But that is not the end. I feel that major irrigation and minor irrigation are to be given more importance. Because I have seen in Garo Hills that there are plots of land but streams are not available for irrigation. In such cases, lift irrigation, by means of electricity, can be done Sir, in the interior places where there are many willing cultivators but one thing, they do not get improved seeds and seedlings. So, here, also I would like to suggest to the Government, through you, Sir, to establish Government seed and seedling from farm in the State. Many hon. Members have referred to the potato cultivation in Khasi Hills. Many hon. Members have referred to the potato cultivation in Khasi Hills. But would like to point out one very important thing, that Garo Hills is the only district in the whole of Eastern Zone of India for producing cotton. But today we see that this cotton cultivation dwindling day by day. Its reasons may be due to lack of market. There is no market. This cotton cultivation is apparently replaced by the cultivation of ginger. If one will go from here to Tura he will see ginger and nothing but ginger. But here also cultivators are not getting proper attention. So I would like to suggest to the Government through you, Sir, that in order to encourage the cultivators, in order to get more production of ginger and cotton, it will be good if we can open a few markets. Also we can establish factories, cotton-spinning and ginger dehydration centres. If these things are done, I feel that the production will be improved and the cultivators will be encouraged. So, with these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Edward Kurbah (Sohiong S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I also being the representative of the people from Sohiong Constituency, would like to make a few observations while appreciating the Governor's Address which was delivered to this august House on the 25th March, 1972. So, from my part also I will have to express about the needs and necessities of the area concerned and of the State as a whole. Seeing and hearing from other hon. Members of this House expressing the thoughts and expression of every part of the Governor's Address, I also have great pleasure to bring to the notice of the House the shortage of water supply, specially in these two villages-Marbisu and Mawngap falling under my jurisdiction. For the last few years people have submitted their petitions and so many promises have been made from the Government side for taking up scheme for water supply in these villages of Marbisu and Mawngap. But so far I have not seen that the water supply scheme has been taken up for these two villages. So, I would like to bring this problem to the notice of this House and through you, Sir, to the Government and to request them to please see the urgent need of these two villages for having their drinking water supply; because in these two villages the people have suffered a lot and especially in winter, for getting water from a distant well which takes about two to three hours for one trip of water. So I would like to request the Government through you, Sir, to take up schemes immediately for the good health and welfare of the people of the villages concerned as we have now got our full-fledged State.
The second thing which I would like to bring to the notice of the House is mentioned in the Governor's Address at page 7, paragraph 8 is about the development and improvement of the roads in the hills areas. I have seen many times and I have also approached the Minister in-charge of Public Works Department regarding opening the road from Sohiong upto Nongbsap and also another road from Mawmaram through Nongthliew up Krang. Of course, the roads have already been opened but it appears as if nobody is taking charge of them and many times the agriculturists and cultivators, whenever they produce agricultural goods from these areas, could not bring their goods from Shillong because of shortage of vehicles due to the roughness and muddiness of the roads. This is a very great problem for the people to carry goods from Shillong to their places and take their agricultural produces to Shillong. So I would like to bring to the notice of the House the necessity of development and improvement of these two roads. I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to take care to them and look deeply into the necessities of the people by improving immediately these two main roads, namely, Sohiong through Weilyngkut to Nongbsap and then Mawmaram through Nongthliew upto Krang. Sir, as a representative of the people from this area I would request the Government deeply to try and see carefully to the welfare of the people for their easy going and taking their necessary things back from their places right upto Shillong and taking their necessary things back from Shillong to their respective places. So I would like the Government to take proper care, specially, during this time so that the people may be able to make use of these roads for carrying their agricultural goods, and for their safe going and coming in the future.
I would also bring to the notice of the House the question of improvement of agriculture which has found mention in the Governor's Address. As we know, agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the State. We have seen most of our people are cultivators and farmers. But you see, even if they are cultivators and farmers, nowadays the land needs the use of fertilizer at the right time and right places. So during these past years what I have seen, was that the supply of fertilizers was very short and many people are running here and there in search of fertilizers. But they did not get even up till now. As we know, sowing of potato starts from the month of January upto 15th of March, but the people are still to cultivate the potatoes up till now due to the inability of the Government to supply fertilizers in time. If Government would not care and could not supply fertilizers at the right time the potatoes will not be able to grow well and people will not get good return. We should remember that agriculture is hand in hand with fertilizers now-a-days. So regarding this aspect of agriculture and in the matter of supplying fertilizers, I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to see that fertilizers now onward should be supplied to the people in time.
Sir, another thing I would like to stress upon is regarding the Block Development Committee. As one of the friends has suggested that the representative to the B.D.C. (Block Development Committee) should be elected by the people of the area concerned. So far, I have seen that in many Blocks, members of the Block Development Committees were elected many only by those persons belonging to the Block itself. As a consequence, many corrupt practices took place in the distribution of grant, seedlings, etc. So regarding this case, also in order to get rid of these troubles, the members of the Block Development Committee should be elected by the people of the area concerned. Sir, with these few words, I thank the Governor for delivering this Address before us so that we may be able to discuss on it for the welfare, improvement and development of our newly born State. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Parsvanath Choudhury (Laban) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor in his Address has stated. 'My Government pledges to ensure that effective steps are taken to build up prosperous Meghalaya". Sir, I have the opportunity of being in the rural areas. From my experience, Sir, I find tat whatever little bit of amenities, whatever little bit of help the Government wanted to extend to our rural brethren, have not reached them because of the administrative defect and corruption in the administration. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have of course, dispensaries here and there. But the dispensaries in some cases are without doctors. if there is a doctor, there is no medicine and if there is medicine supplied to the patients, these are nothing but colour of water. Such a state of thing is going on in the rural areas.
In the educational sphere also what we find is that if there is school, there is no building. And if there is a building, there is no qualified teacher; and if there is a teacher, he does not get his salary regularly. So how can we expect better education in such a state of affairs. For the improvement of the condition of our agriculturists Government promised to make arrangement for supply of improved seeds, modern implements, fertilizers and so on. But, whether these benefits had reached the people or not? Sir, same is the case also with water supply. Most of the places are deprived of drinking water. I wonder, how we can build up a prosperous Meghalaya in such conditions, unless steps are taken to improve our administrative machinery and ensure a clean and efficient administration. Sir, with these few observations in general I would like to make reference to the Governor's Address. Sir, the Governor, in his Address, has mentioned about the growing unemployment problem in our State. But Sir, the Address does not throw any new light as to how the Government proposes to tackle this unemployment problem. Mr. Chairman, Sir, most of the people of our State live in the villages and the unemployment problem in the rural areas is so acute that unless a definite programme is chalked out to provide employment to our rural folk, how we can solve this baffling problem, I do not know, Sir.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, what we see in the rural areas where thousand of our people are unemployed, and living in abject poverty only a few are possessing enormous wealth. Sir, it is no good speaking of unemployment problem unless we can find ways and means for solving it. Now, the need of the hour is the basic re-thinking in our economic planning so that, it can generate gainful employment opportunities to our unemployed youths. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the unemployment problem is menacingly increasing in our State due to slow pace of development in the industrial sphere, because, we have no industry worth the name in our State. Sir, that is the most important item and the need of the hour is to utilise the available potentialities for starting industries in this State. It is only by using these potentialities, that we can expect industrialisation. Coming to another point, which I think, is the most vital factor I find that we have no authentic records of our unemployed we have in our State. only a few of the thousands unemployed population could get registration of their names in the local Employment Exchanges. Many have been left out. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have information regarding our unemployed population could get registration of their names in the local Employment Exchanges. Many have been left out. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have information regarding our unemployed people having registered their names in the Employment Exchange how they have to wait even for years altogether for a call for job. So, Sir, it is no use to get themselves registered while it is not possible for them to get a job and at the same time, Sir, many people have not been able to register their names with Employment Exchange; it is not possible to get the authentic figure as to how great the problem is. Sir, before the Government takes up any scheme for the solution of this gigantic problem of unemployment in our State, I would suggest and would impress upon the Government to set up a high level Committee to ascertain the actual employment; position in the state and go into the details of our unemployment problem and suggest remedies to enable us to help solve this problem.
Sir, coming to the agricultural aspect of the State, I am sorry to say that very little has so far been done to free the cultivators from the clutches of unscrupulous money lenders, middlemen living on their labour. This is the state of affairs and I hope Government will find the remedies to eradicate this evil. (Bell rang).
Now, Sir, I would request you to allow me a few minutes more. I have got one more item. Sir, we want to build up a Welfare State but in the Governor's Address I am to constrained to find that there is no reference made about the welfare of our youths, labourers and Harijans. Sir, quite a huge number of labourers both organised and unorganized are in our State either in agricultural or industrial sectors. Sir, there is no mention about their welfare in the Governor's Address and how our Government proposes to give them amenities of life. This was not mentioned at all. Many of them have got not even a house to live in. They are deprived of all the basic amenities of life but living under debt and poverty. Sir, apart from this, in our State, what I find to my surprise, is that we have got no Labour Department set up. Uptil now, the Government has not appointed any Conciliation Officer under the Industrial Dispute Act. Unless the appointment is made and unless an Inspector is appointed under the Motor Transport Workers' Act, Sir, these poor labourers cannot get redress of their grievances. Sir, these poor labourers have been deprived of their rights and privileges to get redress of their grievances. With reference to the development of Sports and Games in our State the hon. Member, Mr. Stanlington Khongwir, had already spoken. I will not touch the details of it except one point. There is no provision for the construction of playgrounds. We find in our State, there is not enough place which our youths and students could use as a play ground. Most of the school students are deprived of playgrounds. The Laban Cricket ground, which is known as the "Garrison Ground", is at present under the the Defence Department of the Government of India. If this field is made available to the civilians, I think Sir, the needs for providing Sports and games; facilities to our youths will be solved to a great extend. I hope Sir, Government will take note of this point. (Bell rang).
One more point, Sir. There is one thing in the Governor's Address; it is about the special development schemes for Shillong. Many of the previous speakers have revealed the very appalling condition existing in the capital of ours. Sir, we are proud of this city which is called the Queen of the hill stations. But now we find that this beautiful city has been turned into a city of dirt and filth where the roads are quite congested and underdeveloped and are in need of repairs. Drains are totally blocked and are turned into a breeding place for the mosquitoes and flies. We have got several market places; these are veritable hells. There is no plan for the development of these market places. So the poor citizens were deprived of the basic amenities. Sir, in this connection, I would like to mention about one area in my own constituency. That place is called 'Lumparing' which is adjacent to Laban and many of the residents are low paid Government servants. But Sir, after years of Independence, these poor people have been deprived of all basic amenities of life. There is no motorable road to connect this place, Lumparing, with the rest of the city. The doctors are reluctant to attend to the patients and the expectant mothers are to be carried by the people to the hospitals. Such a state of affairs is exciting there. So, Sir, I would request the Government and through you, Sir, that Government should look to the needs and the interest of these helpless and poor people so that, they may get at least the minimum basic amenities of their lives.
Then Sir, coming back to Shillong I suggest a matter plan for greater Shillong should be taken up early, so that Shillong City would one day become a better Shillong, providing better roads, providing playground, better transport and communication system, better medical facilities, better marketing places and so on and so forth. I hope the Government will look into it and take early steps. Sir, one sentence more before I shall resume my seat. Mr. Chairman, Sir, (Bell rang).
Mr. Chairman :- I think you have taken enough time.
Shri Parsvanath Choudhury :- I am coming to the last part of the Governor's Address. The Governor has said "My Government will further ensure that, in carrying out its programme, the legitimate interests of all non-tribal residents in the new State will be fully safeguarded". Sir, it is very good that we have been so assured but, at the same time, we find that there is some discrimination. There is some contradiction under para 11 where we find that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Act has been passed where we find that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Act has been passed where a discrimination has been made. Regarding the transfer of land, firstly, I for one am for providing and giving more benefits and more privileges to our tribal friends, but, at the same time, Sir, I wish that the non-tribal residents of Meghalaya should be given the minimum facilities at least so that they can get a land to live in and also get equal opportunities of employment, equal opportunities for other business and contracts. If this is done, Sir, only justice will be done to this section of the people of Meghalaya and they would then feel as equal partners in the welfare and development of Meghalaya. If everybody who lives here extends his co-operation, we will be able to build up a prosperous Meghalaya, build up the State of Meghalaya as a patch of beauty. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now Mr. Jackman Marak.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am very luck today because now I have got the chance. I am very glad and also grateful to you for allowing me to speak a few works and I take this opportunity to support the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address moved by the hon. Member, Mr. D.D. Pugh, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want to speak ...............
Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of information, may we know to whom we should ascribe the honour of moving the motion of thanks? Some members have ascribed it to hon. Member, Mr. D.D. Pugh and some to Professor P.G. Marbaniang. We are completely in the dark. So, Sir, we would like to know because it is our turn to speak ...... (interruption). May we have the information, Sir, for our guidance in future.
Mr. Chairman :- I think we should ascribe the honour to Prof. P.G. Marbaniang since Mr. D.D. Pugh moved it in paper but actually Prof. Marbaniang moved it in the House.
Shri Plansing Marak :- Do you mean to say that the other addresses are all wrong?
Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- They stand corrected then.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand corrected. Many hon. Members of this House have spoken about the border problems which occurred in 1970. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that due to too much influx of refugees from Bangladesh the border areas had been doubly distressed last year. They have lost their cows, goats, etc. as they left their sweet homes in search of suitable shelters without cultivation. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, when they come back to their respective places they find nothing. Mr. Chairman, Sir, they are poor and needy. Moreover, these people are now trying to find out what to do and what not to do. Nor, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a sense of insecurity and a sense of fear are always in the minds of the people of the border areas. With such a feeling of insecurity how could these people live peacefully? Therefore, Sir, I would suggest that the Government should at least look into the matter and do something so that the people in the border areas will not be too much panicky.
Now, Sir, I wish to come to the supply position in Garo Hills, especially in the border areas. This year's harvest may fail. Of course, we are not prophets; after we are human beings. But, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a great famine may occur in these areas also. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to mention one thing that once I went to the border bazar and I made local enquiry about the price of paddy, I myself also purchased 5 maunds of paddy at the rate of Rs.30 per maund.
Now it was shooting up to Rs.35 and I do not know because I am also living at Shillong and at present it may go up to Rs.35 of to Rs.40. This is a very big amount. So Sir, regarding these distressed people of the border area Government should consider and do something. Mr. Chairman, Sir, another point is about road communication. Just now one of the hon. Members has spoken and that is about Simsanggiri Sub-division which has been started. Of course the Government of Meghalaya fortunately started functioning only recently but another road from Chokpot to Simsanggiri, this road is necessary, because Chokpot to Siju road has been started, and Chokpot to Sibbari one road has been started in the border area. Sibbari in the border of Sibbari Emandora Border to Simsanggiri one road is necessary so that in future such trouble may not come and from the security point of view this road should be developed ...................
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, whether the House will continue after 5 O' clock or whether the Clock on the wall is running fast?
Mr. Chairman :- May I know how much time more will you take ? I think we can adjourn the House now and continue next day.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, next day may I request you to give me more time?
Mr. Chairman :- The House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. on 30th March, 1972.
|The 28th March, 1972||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|