Proceedings of the fifth Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled after the First General Election
The Assembly met at 9 a. m. on Friday, the 16th March, 1973, in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong.
Prof. R. S. Lyngdoh, Speaker in the Chair, five Minister, two Ministers of State and fifty-five members.
(To which answers were laid on the Table)
MR. SPEAKER :- Let us take up Unstarred Question No.1.
Re : Election to the Jowai Autonomous District Council
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA asked : Will the Chief Minister be pleaded to state the amount spend by the Government in respect of the Election to the Jowai Autonomous District Council held in February, 1973?
CAPT. W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) replied :- Does not arise. The expenditure on the District Council Election is borne by the District Council themselves.
Discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants
MR. SPEAKER :- Let us pass on to item No.2.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while discussing on the Supplementary Demands, I would like to mention some of the points in which some of the Heads of Development have been mentioned. Sir, under Grant No.1, Rural Development, there is demand of 5 lakhs.
MR. SPEAKER :- May I remind you that you may come forward with the cut motion when individual demands are taken up the general discussion is mainly on the principle of how the Finance Minister comes forward with the demand for supplementary grant.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while talking on Supplementary Demand, I would like to say that it is very surprising to find that in the course of one year the Supplementary Demands have come twice before this House.
MR. SPEAKER :- It is not surprising.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T.) :- It is surprising that a big amount has been spent while considering the volume of work done. It does not appear that this demand is so much necessary. Sir, now I am coming to Rural Development side. I have not seen any development drinks the first few months and we also could not differentiate as to which grant is made under this Rural Development and which one is made under Public Works Department and which other grants are made under different Heads. Therefore, Sir, I would request the Government at least to come forward with some specific schemes and enlighten the Members as to what are the schemes to be implemented under the Rural Development Department. Secondly Sir, I am very glad to find here that with the creation of the Jowai Autonomous District Council, I mean the Jaintia Hills District, some provision has been made by the Government for the District Information and public Relation Officer, Jowai. But Sir, I would like to point out that for the last two years our people in the rural areas are not at all benefited and even if they want to see any cinema show in the rural areas when they approached, the Public Relation Officer told them that the machine is out of order Sir, we have also seen that pamphlets and press notes circulated by the Government thorough this Department were very scarce and could not reach the rural people. Therefore, Sir, I would request the Government to see that while marking this demand they should also see that this particular Department really works for the benefit of the people of Jaintia Hills District especially those in the rural areas Sir, I would like to come to another important subject i.e., the demand for 8 lakhs of rupees which was advanced from the Contingency Fund in connection with the Test Relief Scheme in the Border Areas. I do not know what action our Government has taken so far as this Test Relief Scheme is concerned. So far as Jaintia Hills is concerned, the Members representing the border area in this Assembly and the District Council have been constituted into a sort of Relief Committee. They prepared the schemes and submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, but I do not know why these schemes have been changes. Why these schemes have been hanged in spite of the fact that these Schemes have been suggested by the Committee which the concerned M.L.As. and M.D.Cs. have attended in the Committee meetings. Usually there were no changes when they suggested such schemes. So it appears that because of the District Council election these schemes have been changed. Many schemes have been changed, and, therefore, I would like to request the Chief Minister that he should see that these schemes which interest of the people and to see that the benefit does not go only to the Ruling Party.
MR. SPEAKER :- So the election propaganda is still ringing in your mind (laughter).
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mean this scheme has contributed a lot to the success of the Ruling Party. I think the Chief Minister who has been kind enough, when I happened to be in his room that he rang up the Deputy Commissioner telling him that there should be no party spirit in implementing this scheme. But, Sir, I am very sorry to find that the people living in the rural areas who belong to the opposition did not really enjoy this Test Relief Scheme, and so they have complained to the office of the Deputy Commissioner and the Block Development Officer, Khliehriat that many of them who belong to the Opposition Party are allowed to enjoy this scheme while those who belong to the Ruling Party are allowed to do so.
MR. SPEAKER :- Are you referring to the regular Members of the Party or to the masses of people when you said that Government comes forward help only the Ruling Party?
Shri H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- The Government comes to the help of people as a whole but while implementing the scheme some instructions have been given to see that these schemes give the benefit to people belonging to the Ruling Party alone.
CAPT. WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I can not understand. But the hon. Member was kind enough to refer to the up the D.C. to tell him that while drawing the schemes and implementing them there should be no Party spirit. The benefit of the schemes should go to the people.
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- Sir, the implementation of these test relief schemes was done after the election and not before the election.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- I agree that the Chief Minister has given some instructions. But my point is this : while implementing these schemes these instructions had not been followed. I do not agree with the Agriculture Minister when he said that these schemes have been implemented after the election. Actually, Sir, some candidates belonging to the Ruling Party - some of them have been asked to carry the work order to the respective villages and many schemes have been implemented before the election although the people up till now have not their wages.
MR. SPEAKER :- Mr. Pohshna, this is not the forum to bring any charge-sheet against another candidate. I think there is another forum for any illegal practice by any candidate and the aggrieved party may go to the court of law for redress.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- I fully agree, Sir.
SHRI BLOMING SHALLAM (Jowai, S.T.) :- I do not agree to with what the non. Member, Mr. Pohshna, has said that such schemes have been implemented before the election took place. Let him give the examples.
MR. SPEAKER :- You will have your turn, Mr. Shallam.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- I can cite the examples of test relief schemes.
There are - (1) Amlarem-Dawki to Umtapoh village, (2) Ummulong Pomtadong Approach Road to Panu-Amlarem Road and (3) Pdengshakap to Tmar and to so on and so forth and these are the complaints which have been submitted to the Deputy Commissioner. Sir, it appears that I have displeased many friends by saying all these things. (Laughter).
MR. SPEAKER :- I am pleased to get some information.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- Then, Sir, I come to the schemes of test relief. Over and above the fact that out Government is giving very serious attention towards relief of the border people, I would like to acquaint and enlighten the House especially the Chief Minister, that implementation of these border relief schemes appears to be not in a way or not in conformity with what the Government is expected to implement them. For example, the purchase of the border trucks. But these trucks are now plying in the border areas. If someone wants to carry goods to Gauhati, the people who are in-charge and even they carry truckloads of passengers. But they are not serious to carry the goods of the border people. I do not know up-till now what account the Government have got so far in the shape of benefit derived by the border people in respect of utilisation of the border trucks.
Sir, before taking my seat, as I have said, I feel that the Government should seriously see to this matter especially when they know that whatever we say we know that all these demands will be granted by the House. But at least, whatever demands that have been made by the House these should go to the people and implementation of the schemes should be in such a way that will benefit the people of the State as a whole. Thank you, Sir.
SHRI ROWELL LYNGDOH (Mawkyrwat, S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, looking at the list of these Supplementary Demands, we find that there has been large amount spent but no development in the State. With the money that is being spent there is no visible sign of development and instead this has led only to frustration in the minds of the public. We find that while implementing the development schemes, an amount of nearly 246 lakhs was spent during the Current Financial year. And now the Government has come forward to ask for an additional grant of Rs.27,49,000. So, it seems that this amount is too much for the current year to be spent when we compare with the extent of development, and as I said, there is no development at all. As the hon. Member from Nongtalang has said especially in the border relief schemes, there is no sign that the people are getting an help whatsoever from the Government when so much money has been spent. Therefore, Sir, my observation is that this huge amount should not be granted and the Government should examine properly to see that the amount that cannot be spent in other Head of Account, such amount should be diverted to other heads. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a general observation, I see that this amount is too much to granted as an additional amount. Thank you, Sir.
SHRI SAMARENDRA SANGMA (Salmanpara S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Supplementary Demands, particularly under Grant No.4. I am very much thankful to the Government for trying its level best to help the border people by giving test relief works. But one one thing, Sir, I want to bring to the notice of the Government that so far I know in the district of Garo Hills it is also only in Baghmara Block that such test relief work sanctioned by the Government and that is also partly. But in other Blocks of Garo Hills, so far I know no sanction for such test relief works are given. Although we have submitted our schemes two or three times, all those schemes were rejected and this has created much disappointment among the border people.
So far as I know, the Block Development Officers have been asked for test relief schemes from all parties consisting of all M.L.As., and M.D.Cs., but when the schemes have been so prepared, they were all rejected by the district authority. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think there should have been proper and definite instruction from the Government at to how these scheme should be formulated. Because, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think there was no such instruction from the Government side in the past as to how the should be prepared and submitted in a proper time. I have heard that only yesterday sanction was passed by the Government. All these things are very much discouraging indeed and I hope the Government should sanction the remaining schemes as soon as possible.
MR. SPEAKER :- Finance Minister to reply.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not agree with my friend who said that it is surprising enough that we been to make demands in a year.
MR. SPEAKER :- Two supplementary demands.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in so far as these demands are concerned, I wonder how they were justified to be supplemented from time to time. You know, Sir, demand are not like our health which requires to supplement ourselves with the different vitamins, say 'A', 'B', 'C' and like. So far as I could see from the list of supplementary demands, I don't have any comment to make on Statement (B) but in so far as the Statement (A) is concerned, the total demand under this particular head is about Rs.27,49,230. This will supplement the demand for some special programmes for the District Information and Public Relations Officer, Jowai and also for some important social development works by the Social Development Officer. Bur, Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding subsidy schemes and also border transport I would to point out that the amount meant for these schemes has already been utilised and the demand at present is only to refund the outstanding amount taken as loan from the Contingency Fund Regarding the Contingency Fund, Sir I think that the explanatory note, according to me, does not give us any clear and definite understanding how these amounts have been utilised. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this reason, I feel that Government while formulating those schemes and giving the explanatory notes should give us a very vivid and clear picture with a septic note how to spend the amount in future.
MR. SPEAKER :- Nothing is left for the Finance Minister to reply?
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I, don't prevent the Finance Minister to reply but before he replies let me elaborate the points so that it will become easy for him to reply.
MR. SPEAKER :- In other words, he will reply to you with better weapons to examine the supplementary demands more wisely.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM :- With such weapons, Sir, I do not like to examine the demands grant by grant. But what I want to point out here, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is regarding grant No.6 which was given particularly for the storage of water in case of fire accidents and other emergencies. But I would also like to point out here that storage of water is not necessary for only fire accident but for drinking purpose also. Sir, during these two days we say in Shillong, we face a lot difficulty for not having sufficient water to take bath. I think there is no essentiality for storage of water for fire services when we don't have even enough water to drink.
Now, I will refer to Grant No.7. It has been noticed and experienced every now and then that by giving loan to the District council there is no adjustment to recover the outstanding dues. Particularly for the District Council in Jaintia Hills, the outstanding dues were still not recovered uptil now. These dues were not unpaid since the previous Assam Government which during that time, this Government is always saying 'lahe' 'lahe' and the outcome is fruitless. But what we find till to day is that the Government instead of settling the outstanding dues and arrears giving to the District Councils, is issuing fresh loans to them without any adjustment. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out that the dues of the District Councils should be cleared first and if fresh loan is required by them, the same may be granted provided they pay within a definite scheduled time.
SHRI MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- Mr. Sir, I want to refer only Grant No.3 i.e., "Town and Country Planning Organisation". A supplementary demand has been made for it to cost about Rs.1,05,650. Out of this amount, a sum of Rs.50,000 for contingency alone. I believe that to have an amount of Rs.50,000 for contingency out of a total demand of Rs.1,06,650 is inconceivable and very high indeed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not know for what purpose this huge amount is to be spent. It may be spent at the discretion of certain officials, it is just mentioned as a contingency, I consider it must be mentioned more specifically for what purpose it is to be utilised.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in this general discussion on the Supplementary Demands. Sir, first of all I would refer to page No.1 pertaining to "32-Rural Development". The amount that has been required for this purpose is rather huge. It is to the extent of Rs.5 lakhs and with this magnitude I would humbly submit the Explanatory Notes given at the foot do not make it very clear. I would like to say that the Finance Minister so to be more specified and give us more details so that the amount involved will be passed by the House. I would particularly refer to Grant No.4 relating to "64-Famine Relief". I would like to express a few words regarding the implementation of this Supplementary Demand of Rs.8 lakhs.
MR. SPEAKER :- This does not give relief for relief works. This scheme is under Famine Relief.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- In the Explanatory Note it has been mentioned that an amount of Rs.8,00,000 was advanced from the Contingency Fund for meeting the expenditure in connection with the implementation of Test Relief Schemes. So with regard to the implementation of Test Relief Schemes, I would like to bring to the notice of the Government through you that the amount was supposed to be expended for Test Relief Schemes in the border areas. Whereas, Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to our administration there has been some misunderstanding. I would rather like to say something so far as our border areas are concerned. There are some areas lying immediately to the border of Bangladesh. But so far as there particular areas are concerned they are not considered to be border areas. Most of the border areas have been defined as concentrated areas and in few particular areas of the district of Khasi Hills and Garo Hills, for instance, there are border areas in the Constituency of hon. Member, Shri Rowell Lyngdoh. He has mentioned about this. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I like to bring to the notice of the Minister, in-charge of Transport and Industries that in giving aid to the border areas are also to be included. These border areas have been left out and on Test relief has given in order to save the people. So, I would request the Government to kindly do justice to the people of border areas of this State. I would like to say something on Grant No.6. This is pertaining to water storage. Sir, I fully subscribe to the attitude and the intention of the Government, to repair these water storage tanks because it is high time, that Government should immediately do this job because without these tanks being repaired water cannot be stored. The amount is required very urgently as the dry season has already started in different parts of Shillong and the reservoirs are required to meet fire accidents. The storage of water in the existing tanks cannot be made unless these tanks are repaired and cleaned first. We have very bitter experience in the past when we could not have any water storage. We had had to fight the fire in some localities where there are no water tanks. We had on two or three occasions to fight against fire without fire-fighting equipments. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in such circumstances we from our locality informed the fire-fighting centre to come to our rescue, but unfortunately the Department could not provide as with the immediate help as the Fire Service has gone-where fire broke out.
MR. SPEAKER :- You can suggest. You can describe the supplementary Demand and the amount is given purposely for this.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- Sir, at the outset I mentioned the intention of the Government. So with these words I resume my seat.
MR. SPEAKER :- Finance Minister.
MR. BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH (Finance Minster) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you have already observed that the purpose at this state of discussion is only about the necessity for bringing about this Supplementary Demand and not much to be delivered in this portion of the scheme under discussion. So, as far as the explanation for the need is concerned, the Explanatory Notes at the bottom of this very clear that this amount of Rs.5,00,000 was not provided in our Budget when we passed in the last year because this was sanctioned after the budget was passed.
MR. SPEAKER :- The sweeping remarks of the Member from Mawkyrwat needs modification.
MR. BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH (Finance Minster) :- Regarding the sweeping remark of hon. Member from Mawkyrwat that there is no visible sign of development is I thing most uncalled for, I would only appreciate that we all desire to have very rapid development in our State. If he opens his eyes and thinks he could not but realise that the development in the last 2½ years compares will with the last 20 years.
SHRI ROWEL LYNGDOH :- It is not my intention ...................
MR. BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH (Finance Minster) :- Sir, Shri Samarendra Sangma has referred rightly that the condition of he border people is now very very acute because of the closure of the border trade, for which Government has decided to sanction a scheme of Rs.25 lakhs of Test Relief work for the Border Blocks. This scheme was decided three or four months ago. The schemes was prepared by the Deputy Commissioner in consultation with the Block Officers had the M.L.AS. and M.D.C. concerned and it took 3 or 4 months to complete the scheme during the last week. Most of them have come during the last week of February and by now all the Scheme were sanctioned.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether any M.L.A. concerned was consulted either by Block Development Officer Deputy Commissioner.
CAPT. WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a very clear-cut instruction from the Government that for any detailed scheme, the local leaders, either M.L.As. or M.D.Cs. should be taken into confidence by the officers. I know in many places the Deputy Commissioners have taken into full confidence the local leaders, as Shri Samarendra Sangma has stated, when the Government decided to sanction Rs.25 lakhs under test relief scheme for the border areas. Also I remember when I went down to Baghmara I was very much pleased to see that the Deputy Commissioner had sent for all the local leaders and the scheme was finally sanctioned after having thorough consultation with them. So it depends upon the local leaders. It is a question as to how much initiative the local leaders are taking in this matter. In this regard I would like to tell the hon. Members that they should not express their anxiety only on the floor of this House. Instead they should show their anxiety in the field. We must take the initiative. As such if a Block Development Officer, Deputy Commissioner, S.D.O. or for that matter any responsible officer does not act in conformity with the instructions of the Government it is the duty of the local leaders to bring it to the notice of the Government. And they should not use this forum only for discussion and post mortem examinations.
SHRI FRANCIS K. MAWLOT (Nongstoin S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel the Chief Minister has rather changed us.
MR. SPEAKER :- Your remark is quite uncalled for. The Chief Minister has changed nobody but he has requested every responsible public leader to take the initiative in any constructive work for the benefit of the people.
SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, so far as this is concerned, the activates of the Government have been carried on in a hush hush manner, how can we take the initiative in this matter. Just now the Minister for Finance has said that the Deputy Commissioner or the B.D.Os. had already contacted the local leader, i.e., M.L.A's or M.D.Cs, then how is it that we were left out. It is not an act of discrimination?
MR. BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH (Finance Minster) :- The Mr. Speaker, Sir, the instructions from the Government are very clear to the officers concerned. For example there was a complaint in the Mawsynram area that the M.L.As and M.D.Cs were not taken into confidence while preparing the scheme. So we have instructed the M.L.As and M.D.Cs and the concerned officers to come here to examine the scheme.
SHRI WINSTONE SYIEMIONG (Nongspung S.T.) :- I was a member of the Sub-Committee of Mawsynram Development Block. But I was not at all called.
SHRI EDWINGSON BAREH (Minister for Agriculture) :- But you are not from the border area.
SHRI FRANCIS K. MAWLOT :- As far as the Blocks are concerned, if we are entitled to speak something about Block Development Committees, the question does not arise whether he is representing the border area or not.
MR. SPEAKER :- Before the situation becomes worse, I must remained the House that in the last Session there was a demand especially from the Members representing the constituencies in the border areas that the Government should come forward with more and more schemes for the relief of the border people. Even today I think quite a number of hon. Members have appreciated the attitude of the Government. But what they are criticising in about proper implementation of the schemes for the border. In fact, since the officers concerned might think that consultation with the members representing the border might not be necessary. Of course, a if members representing the Border areas were not consulted, this should have been brought to the notice of the Government and Government must also do something about it.
SHRI ROWELL LYNGDOH :- Only yesterday I came to know that a scheme was sanctioned and rupee two lakhs have been given to the B.D.O. without any consultation with us.
MR. SPEAKER :- Mr. Lyngdoh, you may discuss this matter with the B.D.O.
INTRODUCTION OF THE MEGHALAYA FOREST REGULATION (APPLICATION AND AMENDMENT) BILL, 1973
MR. SPEAKER :- Let us pass on to Item No.2.
SHRI STANLEY D. D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Forests) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1973.
MR. SPEAKER :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1973. The motion is carried. Leave is granted.
Now the Minster Forest to introduce the Bill.
SHRI STANLEY D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Forests) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1973.
MR. SPEAKER :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Application and Amendment) Bill, 1973.
The motion is carried. The Bill is introduced.
(Secretary read out the title of the Bill)
DEBATE ON GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS
MR. SPEAKER :- Let us pass on to item No.4. Yesterday Mr. Jormanik Syiem has moved a motion of thanks on the Governor's Address. Now I call upon Mr. Jormanik Syiem to initiate the discussion.
SHRI JORMANIK SYIEM (Mylliem S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in commending my motion of thanks which I moved yesterday for the acceptance of the House, I would like to elaborate and illustrate certain items. In the first place I congratulate the Government for the phased programme that has been drawn up in spite of limited resources of the State. It cannot be denied that the Government have made considerable headway during the current Five Year Plan and I hope that the Government will be able to augment to implement the national policy during the Five Year Plan when it comes into operation to eradicate the three evils such as disease, ignorance and poverty.
Coming to the tribal areas which are now in the State of Assam it is gratifying to note that the Government are seized of the position of our people who are now living in Assam where they should have been in Meghalaya because they are tribal people, Khasis, Garos even Mikirs. I have had the occasion some time ago to represent the people of Nongwah called Mawtamur which area is actually a Khasi area but for some reasons the British Rulers tagged it to Kamrup District. On several occasions I have had to take the people from this area to the Chief Minister and also the the D.C., Kamrup and they were prepared to consider the prayer of the composite State of Assam. Late Mr. Chaliha was more sympathetic but before he could do anything it is unfortunate he fell ill and then passed away. This area, I hope the hon. Members also know that it is a Khasi area inhabited mainly by the Khasis, there are some Garos and Mikirs also but some how about 100 years ago British transferred it to Kamrup District to be administrated from Gauhati. So it was only for administrative convenience that these people who are adopting and following their respective customs, languages and dialects had to be administered from Gauhati. Now under the present set-up if they are left there they will have to learn Assamese they will have to educate their children in Assamese which is quite a foreign language to them as it is to us. The other areas which I happen to know is the area of Jaintia Hills which was transferred to Mikir Hills. I have had occasion also to see this area in the old days when I was in Government service and I can see the plight of these people. Now that area is known as Khyrwang, I think the village name is Rumphum. The people there especially Jaintias who weave endi clothes which are used not only here but by the Shella people. The other area which is still more sympathetic will be Nongphyllut Doloiship. Nongphyllut is so far away from Diphu and if any-one would like to go through Halflong and through Shillong. So also Nongjngi area. I hope the Government will be serious about this end endeavour to get these area re-transferred to Meghalaya otherwise the plight of the people of Mawtamur, Rumphum and Nongphyllut can better be imagined than described. I would also like to refer to the programme envisaged in the speech about the absorption of the employees who have had to go to Assam. It is a very big problem indeed because apart from those people who have been transferred to Assam Valley, as it is now, we have also to realise that so many young men and women are coming out of colleges every year. So the Government now is faced with a very gigantic task how to provide employment for the new entrants as well as to absorb those people who are already employed but who have had to go down to the plains of Assam. The Government has promised to consider this set of people under the phased programme which will be taken up by and by.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the speech of the Governor which effects the programme of the Government is to be congratulated. Further I would like to refer to another point regarding transport which also the Government in ready to take up in a plased programme. This also we can realise that it can not be done it once but it will have to be done gradually and according to circumstances and conditions which may be favourable to it being taken over by the State. When this is done, we hope that the avenues of employment will be opened to our people in hte state of Meghalaya and I hope that the Government will take up this matter early so that we can see how things can be operated. Now the transport on the Shillong-Guwahati Road as also other routes can be operated by the Government and also some permits may be given to some private people.
The last point to which I would like to refer is about the land reforms which I also appreciate the attitude of the Government that they are not going to ride rough-shods on the tribal customs, the land tenure system of the Khasis which is so complicated and so difficult. We understand now the Government are going to set up a Commission to study the land problem and to make necessary recommendation on the records of rights which, of course at present we just say we have got land we claim. So this Commission is absolutely necessary in order to grant people the records of rights on land so that the land will be really an asset to them so that they can say before any authority that they are the owners of the land and get the benefit after getting the records of right. So with these few words, I commend my motion of thanks and I congratulate the Government for having drawn up this programme.
(The Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
MR. Deputy Speakers :- Now Mr. P.R. Kyndiah.
SHRI P.R. KYNDIAH (Jaiaw S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in the debate of motion at of thanks, I am quickly reminded the last year in the address of the Governor we have a different type of address which at a glance was merely an attempt to define the goods and objectives and also to lay down broad plans and programmes and policy of the Government. I would think that at the time, since we just started the State and we were meeting for the first time we were not very sure of the stand that we took and it was some kind of approach a serious kind of exercise to find out ways and means how to push ahead the programmes laid down by the Government. To any discerning person, the address at the time did also reveal the note of certain hesitancy and difference although as I recollect now that there was a flush of confidence as a result of this State coming into being after long political struggle and also because of the fact that comparatively this House has been able to bring a Government which is not unstable and that was the State's scene. On the national scene, we had the flush of confidence because of the magnificent victory of the Armed Forces over Pakistan and the victory of which gave the nation a new-born confidence not only affecting the morale of the forces but on the morale of the people at large. Then again, the emergence of Bangladesh as a free sovereign public. That added to the situation. But then the question before us is that after one year of existence where do we stand today? I will be very frank about my observation on the matter. Within this period of one year there has been a lot of changes, a lot of rethinking, a lot of redefining the objectives and programmes of the State and on this account, I must congratulate the Governor for having given the address which is not only well put, but I think it has encompassed the mind of the Government on various burning issues of the State. Generally speaking, I am impressed by one single fact and that fact is that the address this time is marked by the clear goals and objectives and then there is a vein of confidence running throughout this address, the vein of confidence, optimism and realism whether it is on the agricultural sector, whether on the communication sector, whether it is on the reforms sector, whether on the administrative level, there has been clear indication from the side of the Government of how they will proceed. I will be dilating later on some points. Bu and large, I feel that the most important aspect of the economic development of the State is that we should be able to assess the resource of the State and after assessing the resources of the State, we should be in a position to equitably distribute the resources. Now on this, I will draw the attention of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a very important policy statement which is in line with my thinking and this is for the first time, the Government has come up with a bold clear statement about the acceptance of the concept of planned economy. I know that it is in line with the national objective, but we have not had the occasion in the previous years to discuss this very important matter in this House. Therefore, the acceptance of the concept of the planned economy is very basic. Now I have gone a little bit into the question of planned economy and I think any public leader who has gone into the past history of the economic development of the State will agree with me that this State is one of the most economically backward State, and more than that it is one of the smallest State and the most isolated State in the country and I have certain figures with me which will go to show that in the past 20 or 25 years, our economic condition is in a very backward state and neglect. From the accepted indicator of economic development of 1969-70 the per capita income of Meghalaya is only Rs.327.00 as against the all India average of Rs.548.00 while that of Punjab which is the highest is Rs.948.00. There is a big gap of economic development. Now I have gone a little bit into the details of the industrial backwardness and I think that you will agree with me Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that we are far behind compared with other States. Now here also the accepted indicator of economic development has shown that while our per capita income is only Rs.17.00 ; the all India average is Rs.34.00. Then of course we have got-back-log of transport and difficult terrains, etc. I am just trying to place these things before the House so that we many have a sense of of prospective for the economic backwardness we are in for so many years. What do we expect of this one year old Government? The question is not so much of visible development, not so much development that we see. The question is whether we at this stage are preparing the machinery to undertake these various development programmes to become effective and benefit the people. This is the big question mark. In this connection, I must congratulate the Government for having been able to pin-point priority. I think from time to time we had occasions to discuss in the august House about priority of road development which we consider as an infrastructure of any development in the State and this Government has done well in this regard. I think Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that if there is anything visible is on the road sector. Now, that is why we should have sense of prospective not so much of what we can do but it is the question of how we proceed. This is the most important point. Now, here there is a statement in the Governors, Address which I think is the basic thing that is in regard to two things. We have basic administrative units like the District Councils. Then of course we have the Syiems and Sirdars. But I think Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that there is a need implement to bring the administration closer to the people. It is no use of trying to implement schemes or programmes unless the people are involved and when the Government has come forward to create two Civil Subdivisions, one at Simsangiri in Garo Hills District and the other at Nongstoin in the Khasi Hills District, I think, this is a most welcome, it is a move in the right direction, it is a move on the right line. Now I am happy that this Address of the Governor has contained almost all the facilities of bringing the administration closer to the people. We have now three District, the Garo Hills District, the Khasi Hills District and the Jaintia Hills District. Now the Government has come forward with a clear policy statement after having considered the backwardness, the difficult terrains and taking into consideration various other economic factor that our people are facing. The Government has come forward with a bold policy decision to creates two Sub-divisions in the two Districts of the State. I for one welcome this but more than that what is important is that the administrative benefit should reach to the last man in the street and this is what the Government has done. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it would be right and proper for me to say that the Government should try to prepare a very good case when the Sixth Finance Commission comes to take up this issue. I am sure there is a good case in spite of financial difficulties of the Government which everybody knows, inspite of budgetary stringency, I am happy that this Government today has taken note of a very important speech in the last Assembly of Mr. D.D. Lapang who had requested the Government to set up an administrative unit at Nongpoh. This is a very good thing indeed and I am very happy to note that the Government has come forward with a clear statement that a new administrative unit will be set up at Nongpoh. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, creation of administrative and technical machinery in order to implement various plans and programmes is very important and necessary and I have had occasion to be a Member of the last Assembly / of the Autonomous State. At that time one of the main problems we had was not so much of funds, funds were there but we did not have people to use it. I am happy today, wherever we go in different Department of the Governments of the required machinery has come forward progressively. This is the aspect of the question and I feel it is the basic and important thing. I fully appreciate what the Government is trying to do. Now, I would like to congratulate the Government for having taken very important, concrete and positive steps with regard to education. You will remember Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that in the last Assembly Session, if I remember correctly, on the 1st December 1972, we had discussed the motion for setting up of the Central University moved by Mr. Maham Singh. We then discussed about the University in the context of the apprehension that the people feel about the question. It is not the question of the feeling of the Hills people but it is the question of all people involved ; the student community, the people, the teacher community and the member of the House. I remember to have made one remark in this very House when I said that Capt. Sangma today will go to Delhi not only as the Chief Minister of the State but also as the Leader of the House in order to convince the Government of India that the Central University Bill has to be modified in order to bring about the Hills character in the Bill and I am very happy that apprehension we have had at that time is no longer there. Here I would congratulate our Chief Minister who had flown to Delhi in the midst of the Assembly session to discuss with the Central leaders about the Bill of the University. As you all know very well, along with the movement for a separate State we were also seized of the basic problem of rendering educational facilities to our young men. We left very strongly that political salvation has to be based on the understanding of the people, based on the educational consciousness of the people. Therefore, when we fought for a separate Hills State we alongside we fought for the creation of Hill University. We felt very strongly, about it but, unfortunately, because of the constitutional provision requiring two States to give their opinion in favour of it we were left in the dark, we were left in the lunch, because while Assam was agreeable, Nagaland was not at that time. Now, in this case, the situation has changed completely because of the agitation from Assam on the question of the medium of instruction and, therefore, they were not in favour of having to include Assam, as a result of which they backed out. We then had need of another State come to our aid in order to till up this constitutional requirement. On this score, Capt. Sangma, our Chief Minister, had gone to Delhi and we had tired to know about his movement very much because of the apprehension we had in our minds and we were happy because immediately after, he had gone to Imphal and Kohima and, as a result of the talks with the leaders of these States, particularly with the Nagaland leaders, the Nagaland Government had come forward to our aid to pass a resolution urging for introduction of the Bill in the Parliament. I think it is a great achievement. For me personally, after creation of the Hills State, this action by the present leadership of our State has to be written in letters of gold. I want to emphasise this point because after so many years of persuasion, the Nagaland Government had given, at last, its word to work together and to have a University in the Hills. The other important matter which I like to bring home here is about the character of the Bill. As you very well remember, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the main subject of contention at that time was about the jurisdiction and the Bill will include only four units as originally stipulated by the Committee. I understand the Bill will include Meghalaya, Nagaland, then Mizoram and Arunachal ; and also, that the words "Hill Areas" will come before the words "North-eastern Region" which are the subject of contention at that time. Now, all these have been done by the Chief Minister who has been able to meet the people there and I am really very happy that this thing has come through at last. Now, the other point which I would like to bring home here is in regard to the name of the University. At that time, some of our friends in this House and outside also were very much sensitive to having a name after our reserved Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. I was one among these who were in favour of having her name as the name of the University. Now it has come to our information that the name of the University will be the "Indira Gandhi University" which I welcome very much.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government for having taken some progressive measures. Ours is a welfare State and it is the duty of the Government to see that welfare goes to every citizen of the State and that we can do so only by creating conditions in order that services will go to the last man. In a democracy with a socialistic set-up that we have in India to day, we cannot shirk our responsibilities - the difficulties and miseries that the people face. Some of the measures that we have many look unpopular by them, ultimately if it is for good of the people, I think we should face the problem boldly. Therefore, it is in this context that I welcome very much the statement in page 12, para. 22 which is in connection with the subject of land reforms. I know for sure, since I am one of those leaders who were present in the meeting convened by the Chief Minister on 11th September 1972, that this is purely an economic issue, that this is an issue - land reforms which is required to be for the ultimate benefit of the people. But then there are some friends of this House and also outside who have misconstrued the whole object of the thinking ; who have misunderstood and some of them have gone to the extent of politicalising the whole economic issue. I remember some years ago when (late Dr. B.C. Roy was the Chief Minister of West Bengal, a lot of problems cropped up. They were processions and agitations and people went to meet him personally and discussed with him how to solve the civic problems of Calcutta. Well he said the problems of Calcutta were economic and if you want to tackle them in an economical way you can do it so. You have to take some economic measures but you can not bring in any politics in tackling the problems. So also land reforms are basic economic and social problems and therefore, let us not bring in any politics here. It is not a question of party politics and not a question of politicalising for some vested interest. But it is a question of whether by taking any action on it, we can deliver the goods to the last citizen of our State. The question before us is the understanding of the need of our people. I am happy to see that the Government has realised and given due consideration to it because this is a sensitive issue and concerns the whole State of Meghalaya. But the Government had not yet gone even an inch forward in matter of land reform of the State. If they have to do so, it is through proper understanding and thought and in the interest of the people as a whole. I remember clearly when we had a meeting on the 11th September 1972, when the Chief Minister placed the subject before the members of the meeting and did not say that this was to be done or not to be done. It is a question of finding out whether there have been difficulties or impediments in bringing benefits to the citizen. Now, I bring a banker for some years, will tell you something from my own experience. One of the greatest drawbacks of the agriculturist or farmer in any part of Khasi Hills District is his inability to get financial aid from the financing institutions for development and improvement of his land because of the fact that he does not have any record of his right over the land. So this is one of the greatest drawbacks of our farmers in getting financial assistance. I must congratulate the leaders of Garo Hill for having for having gone very much forward in this respect. I do not advocate for any revolutionary step but I do advocate for a step that will bring benefit to the people, to the last man of the State. I think the Member from Mawlai will bear me out since he has got problems at Mawlai because I know our zaminders and landlords are taking full advantage of the land tenure system. When you possess any plot of land and want to sell it to another, at least 10 per cent has to given to the landlord. Even in Bhoi area where there is a vast area of Raj land, there are some persons who with certain authority derive benefit out of these Raj lands by coercion by way of unscrupulously claiming large tracts of land in the form of 'Skud' a Khasi word of putting pegs for boundary. The main idea is however, how to do away with all these obstacles for the interest of the people and I appreciate the definition of the Chief Minister when he said that a man or a person who depends on economic issue at present and so I appeal to all hon. Members irrespective of patty affiliation that we should approach this matter in economic way. Therefore the Government have done very well by not taking any step but the only step taken after consulting all leaders is to have a Commission which will go round the District of Meghalaya and get the opinion of the people, know their difficulties and problems project and then try to give some recommendation and then discuss the matters threadbare. That the Government has the courage to grapple with this problem with a view to talking up progressive measure in matters relating to land for the interest of the people is indeed a welcoming move. I am happy that this question on land reform has provoked this thinking which our people, I believe, are now conscious. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to another important matter which this Government has done very well and that is the Assam-Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation. We have had occasions on the floor of this House to discuss about the problems arising out of the working of this Corporation and one of my friends has expressed this very strongly about the inefficiency and inability and inadequacy in its working to day. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here we are all full aware that the monopolisation of this route, as it is, is not desirable. But at the same time even it is not desirable, we must be very very careful about it. Supposing I put the question that this whole route is de-monopolised then there are two factors which we should take into consideration. Firstly, there will be the question of unemployment to those who are already working in the Corporation, our own people who are working there, who are always trying to get some avenue for employment. The other factor is that the de-monopolisation of this route may bring in vested interests - capitalists, who will control the whole transport operation. Our own tribal people will have to depend for capital and money given by other people and in turn, there will be a stranglehold on the poor small transport operators. These are the two factors which we have to consider. I don't know if we are to continue the operation, as it exist today, we may not meet the situation. So whatever the Government do, it is to be done in a balanced manner. Therefore, we have to do it with caution. It has taken about one year for this Transport Corporation and I am happy that at the long last this Government have decided to take over the present Transport Corporation in a phased manner.
Prof. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW (Mawhati S.T.) :- When?
SHRI P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH :- You should ask yourself as a public leader.
SHRI MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- You want another State to run?
SHRI P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH :- I fully appreciate the Government, decision to take it over in a phased manner but my opinion on the subject is that irrespective of monopolisation or otherwise I believe for any action Government is going to take it should not be drastic because there is a lot of repercussion. This is what I mean ; we have to be very careful about it.
SHRI MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- In other words, you still want another State to run this State Transport Corporation for you?
SHRI P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH :- My point is that Government of Meghalaya will take over the Transport Corporation from the joint venture.
PROF. MARTIN NARAYAN MAJAW :- When? Ten years?
SHRI P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH :- That is what you want.
SHRI H.E. POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T.) :- That means you agree with the policy of the Assam Government, it is not?
SHRI MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- I have spoken very simple and frankly but yet the members have not understood my point. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to say a few words on the unemployment problem. Now, this problem is not peculiar to Meghalaya it is an All India phenomenon. This problem has become more or less acute perhaps in the last few years because of the fact that the young people have come out from their colleges in larger numbers that are not in keeping with the employment opportunities. But here I would like to refer particularly to the absorption of the tribal employees now serving under the Government of Assam. In so far as employment of educated youths is concerned, I think I have a different occasion and time to speak. I have given a motion on Assam Government is concerned, I have a few remarks to make. As it appears to me, the Government have taken up 6 measures in order tackle this problem. This problem is not a easy problem. It is quite big problem. We are all aware of it. It is not possible on the part of a small State like ours to absorb all of them although we know about the difficulties which are beyond description. But I am happy that the Government today have decided to expand the administrative machinery. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it will take a long time yet to solve this problem.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- How much time will you require to conclude?
SHRI P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH :- I will take another 5 or 10 minutes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Government have taken some area steps to expand the administrative machinery and to create few additional posts at various levels. There are about 150 or 200 people that can be absorbed. Of course, this will only partially meet the problem even though we shall not be able to absorb all the tribal employee of this State by accommodating them in the General offices of the Government of India. I know the Government had been trying to get some of these employees to undertake training in Accounts for the purpose of getting their services in the Defence Accounts. But somehow, the scheme for giving training to these employees had not attracted any response from the employees. Of course, there are difficulties. In the first phase of getting the time to go for such training. The Assam Government has also taken up this matter but it appears there is a snag with the Assam Government. The Assam Government does not allow its staff to leave the office during office hours to undertake training in Accounts. The second question is the scale of pay. The pay scale there is very different and the employees if they are to join, due protection should be given for their pay scale. However, it is well and good that the Government offer those opportunities. Well it is upto the employees themselves to make a decision. Now, I remember some time ago there were a few posts in the office of the Assam Rifles in which those employees in various offices, Central offices, Assam Rifles, Defence Accounts and then if we can implement the Crash programme for increasing the avenues for employees, which the Government has stated here, I think it can go a long way to solve the problem. But in any case I would like to say that this problem is so big and vast. I do not expect Government will be able to get cent per cent result. But then it is worth trying. I would also like to say that those employees now serving in Gauhati today, will face tremendous difficulties and it is right and proper that the Government is seized of the problem. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have much to say since I would be speaking on the budget discussion also and with these words, I resume my seat.
SHRI SALSENG MARAK (Resubelpara S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to participate in the Motion of thank on the Governor's Address. Sir, going through the Governor's Address I feel elated at the clear statement of the Government's policy. I wish I could have expressed my appreciation of Government's efforts in all spheres of activities mentioned in the Governor's Address. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to begin by stating that it is most gratifying to have hard the Governor as recorded in paragraph 5 on page 3 of his Address referred to the anxieties and concerns of the Khasi and Garo villagers in the District of Kamrup and Goalpara in Assam living in the areas contiguous to Meghalaya. Now I would refer to the Address "the Khasi living in the area contiguous to Meghalaya have expressed concern over their educational institutions in Assam". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the fact that the problem has found a place in the Governor's Address is a clear indication that the Government is fully alive to the difficulties, the problems and the aspirations of the Garo people living in contiguous area. I have considered it my duty to speak on their behalf in the august House. Because represent a contiguous to Goalpara District in Assam inhabited by the Garo People. I am fully alive to their struggle for survival and continued existence. Sir, I have found that last December a delegation under the leadership of Professor Milton S. Sangma had called on the Prime Minister and other central leaders to place the Khasi and Garo problem before the Government of India. This representation has clearly shown to us how deeply concerned are our people about their future. Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of this august House some of those suppressive measures meted out by the Government of Assam. The official language, Assamese has been extended even to the Garo Primary Schools, where our children are supposed to be taught in mother tongue. The Garo Schools are compelled with the use of maps, text books, etc., made in Assamese. Even some lands of our people are encroached. Many young educated people are made illiterate because of the use of official language. They have found it difficult to find jobs at the Government offices and many of them have to come to Meghalaya in search of job. Well Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy to note that Government people living in the contiguous areas of Meghalaya. I only wish our Government should take one further step and also give some help to all these people. May I therefore, suggest for consideration of our Government to take a more active interest in the matter just in the case of Jaintias living in the border areas of Meghalaya.
I would now refer to the second part of para of 5 on page 3 of the Governor's Address where it is stated—"My Government have been making earnest efforts to settle the question relating to the boundary between the Mikir Hills and Jaintia Hills border my mutual consultation with Assam". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am making it clear that I am confident that our Government will take up this question with the Government of Assam, if not with the Government of India, for inclusion of these contiguous areas of Kamrup and Goalpara in Meghalaya, especially the areas predominantly inhabited by the Garo and the Khasis.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have another point, which I want to refer to. This is paragraph 6 a page 3 of Governor's Address. Sir, the last sentence started with "With a view to enabling better contact with the people and extending the administration to interior areas and in view of sparseness of population and difficulties terrain, my Government propose the creation of 4 new Sub-Divisions, few more administrative units and tow more District in the State during the next five years' period and the Sixth Finance Commission is being required in this regard to give its due consideration while marking its recommendations".
Our Government have proposed to create more Subdivisions and more Districts in our State and it is encouraging to note that this will definitely help to achieve the objectives of a Government to eradicate poverty illiteracy, and disease I therefore, offer my humble suggestion and proposal for a new Sub-division comprising northern area of Garo Hills making Mendipathar as its Headquarters. I also proper to include the contiguous area in Kamrup and Goalpara of Assam in territory of Meghalaya of that a District may be created in future with Mendipathar as its Headquarters. With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Mr. Nimosh Sangma.
SHRI NIMOSH SANGMA (Dalu S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I, feel it a great privilege for being given this opportunity to speak in support of the motion of thanks of the Governor's Address moved by my hon. friend, Mr. Jormanick Syiem. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the very outset I think I must thank the Governor for the trouble he has taken to come here and address this august House. The address is most comprehensive one, and he has taken a great care of enlighten all the important points and schemes taken up by the Government. He has outlined the board politics of the Government for the all-around development of this infant State of Meghalaya. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Governor has also pointed out some of the important features for more developmental plan and programmes proposed to be taken up in the near future by the Government with special attention to education, agriculture, transport, communication and so on and so forth. I sincerely hope that Government will be kind enough to take necessary steps to implement them soon. And I hope the development activities will not be confined to one particular area or district only, but it would spread over the whole of Meghalaya. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to confine myself only to some points. First of all I would like to touch a little more about the contiguous area of Meghalaya with Kamrup and Goalpara Districts of Assam. Secondly the economic rehabilitation of the border areas. The Government has been pleased to make a brief reference on some unpleasant situations prevailing among the Khasi and Garo villagers living in the area contiguous to Meghalaya. Large number of our people who are living in these contiguous area expressed their concern over their educational and cultural interests. The people there are forced to read Assamese from the primary stage onwards and the books and maps supplied to the schools are written in Assamese. So I personally feel that we must have sympathy with our own people. These unfortunate people are our own people, and from the humanitarian point of view, I think we should help them in getting their rightful place to live in, and get their interest properly safeguarded by the Government.
Secondly I would like to deal with the problem of development of border areas. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the development of border areas and the rehabilitation of these areas is most important and immediate. The economic condition of the border people has become worse than even before the influx of refugees from Bangladesh in 1971. The Governor has rightly mentioned that the development of border areas has not been met adequately. He has also stated that the economic condition of the border areas showed serious deterioration with the suspension of border trade with Bangladesh. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you know my constituency stretches over 70 K.M. along the border line and the people living in these areas were badly effected by the influx of refugees. Some of them have lost everything they have. They have lost their houses, properties and even lives. So some people were demanding for grant of compensation to the lost and damaged the properties. Now one year has already elapsed but nothing has been done by the Government uptil now. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would strongly like to request the Government to take every possible measure effectively to facilitate the rehabilitation of the economy of these effected border areas.
I am very happy to learn that the Government have sanctioned about 5 lakhs for the development of the border areas. I hope the amount will be properly utilised for the purpose. Sir, with these few words I support the motion of thanks to the Government Address moved by the hon. Member, Shri Jormanick Syiem.
SHRI WILLIAM CECIL R. MARAK (Selsella) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to speak on the Governor's Address. But as I have very little time to go through the Address I will confine myself to certain important aspects which appear in the Governor's Address. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would expect that Government is going to follow the general policy of implementation of the programmes which have been entrusted to the Block agencies. Here in the Governor's Address mention has been made about the crash programme. It is mentioned that a crash programme will be taken up for increasing employment opportunities in the State. Sir, I think we are receiving the fund from the Central Government for this crash programme and for what purpose this grant has been given. I think this grant is given to the Blocks for various development purposes and accordingly we submitted some schemes which are very productive but in spite of such productive schemes the Government has taken up only a few schemes which, I should say, can be given to the P.W.D. instead of taking up as a crash schemes did not find place here in the Address. At the Block level it has been decided to take up these schemes but finally these schemes have been dropped at the State level. So I would like to request the State Government to kindly see include these schemes.
Another point on which I would like to speak something is about industries. Here also there is a provision for small sale industries like Sericulture and Weaving and Cottage Industries. I think this scheme is to encourage Sericulture, Weaving and other Cottage Industries by Government. Last year they have given a general notification to the people that those who are willing to take up and those who are in the line, that means those who are experienced in those industries, may apply for Government loan. One year has elapsed and till today there is no sign of receiving any industrial loan even for small scale industries not to speak of major industries in the district.
SHRI STANLEY D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. Does the non. Member mean that these has been no loan given to the whole district or to his particular constituency?
SHRI WILLIAM CECIL R. MARAK :- I am not speaking only for my own Constituency, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am speaking for the whole district. There is no loan given for these small scale industries even for those people who can utilise the loan.
Then I come to another points Sir, and that is favouritism sown during 1960s in respect of rehabilitation loan, etc., especially in my area. I can tell the name of those villages, Sir. They are Jizawari, Simalgiri, Alina, Chandrapathar, Chobelwhir, Balachanda, Sampaligiri Kotchugiri, Salbilla etc., and these places are inhabited by the refugees who come in 1960s and they got rehabilitated there by the Government. But they just live in such pitiable conditions. I think each family has received 2 to 3 bighas of land and with that piece of land low can we expect them to live especially during the flood have at that time they could not do their cultivation. Therefore, Government should help them by way of test relief or any other kind. They applied several times for immediate relief but till today, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, they have not received even a single pie from the Government. I approached the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills and asked him at least to give them some kind of immediate relief or if families at least for their one day meals, morning and evening meals would be given for two or three days instead of giving them one day. In spite of my suggestion to the Deputy Commissioner at that time he asked me to submit productive schemes. That is why I have submitted productive schemes as per suggestion of the Deputy Commissioner in order to help these people.
Now I come to primary education. Our primary education is very much insecure in the sense that the teacher are getting their pay annually. I would request the Government to kindly regularise their pay so as to pay them monthly and to see that the schools are given some grants. Regarding rural health, one thing I think I can mention about my constituency, Selsella Primary Health Centre. Whether it has come to the notice of the Government or not, but I have already informed the Civil Surgeon, Garo Hills, to kindly see that the main building can be repaired in the time which got totally damaged during the last 6 years storm. This Primary Health Centre at Selsella has about, I think, 2 or 3 beds. Though these are inside the hospital building but no roof to protect these beds and only one room is used. According to the Government's decision last year, the doctors ought to have gone to that place, but there are not doctors there. Sir, this time I think, the Governor's Address has dropped the family planning. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to take much time of the House, but on some important matters I like to again Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my constituency, I do not see any kind of rural electrification scheme. Sir, in Garo Hills, I do not see any mention in the Governor's Address about the national food emergency scheme. I think it is done through the Block Agency and how far it is successful, that I would like to know.
Now regarding agriculture, in the Governor's Address, mention ha been made regarding the programme for improving agricultural production in the State. I would like to know the result whether bad or good result that the Government has got. Thank you.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- The debate on the Government's Address is closed now. The House stands adjourned till 9 a. m. on 17th March, 1973.
|the 16th March 1973||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly