Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held on 1st April, 1974 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong.

Starred Questions

(To which oral replies were given)

Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Starred Question No.3

Fertilizer mixtures

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

*3. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that the fertilizer mixtures at the farmers' godown of Shri Porshon Kharmawphlang at Laitlyngkot Nongkynrih was lately seized by the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong?

(b) If so, the reasons thereof?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

3.

(a) - Yes. 7 (seven) quintals of fertilizers were seized by the Police.

(b)-The fertilizer was seized in connection with the Shillong Police Station case No.13 (2) 73, u/s 420 I.P.C. by the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills on 6th December, 1973 relating to seizure of fertilizers to be adulterated belonging to the Shillong Co-operative Marketing Society Ltd., Barabazar, Shillong for the purpose of taking samples for chemical examination by experts.

Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know from the Minister concerned whether it is a fact that the seizure was made by the Deputy Commissioner with the concurrence of the Agriculture Department?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Government have no information.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Government is aware that a few sample bags of seized fertilizer mixture were displayed in the premises of the Deputy Commissioner?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Not to our knowledge, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Cases for assessment of Land and Properties

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

*4. Will the Minister-in-charge of revenue be pleased to state -

(a) The number of cases moved by the Public Work Department for assessment of land and properties till date, for the purpose of construction of new roads in the Khasi Hills District?

(b) The number of such cases still pending?

(c) The number of such cases still pending with the Collector, Khasi Hills District?

(d) Whether it is a fact that adequate number of officers and staffs were not placed under the Collector or the purpose of assessment of land and properties for the construction of new roads in Khasi Hills District?

(e) If so, the reasons thereof?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (minister, Revenue) replied :

*4.

(a) - Thirty-three cases.

(b) - Twenty-five cases.

(c) - Twenty-one cases at different stages.

(d) - Yes.

(e) - Owing to non-availability of personnel at present.  

Shri S.P. Swer : May we know from the Minister concerned what are the steps proposed to be taken by the Government to strengthened the staff and officers under the Collector of Khasi Hills District?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) : The Government is contemplating recruitment of Meghalaya Civil Services on emergency basis.

Compensation to the people of Border Areas

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

*5. Will the Minister-in-charge of Relief and Rehabilitation be pleased to state -

(a) Whether Government has any proposal to offer compensation, to the people of Border Areas of the State for damages caused by the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971?

(b) If so, when?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) replied :

5.

(a) - Yes. The Government of India have been moved to accord sanction to compensate the damages caused.

(b) - On receipt of sanction from the Government of India.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in reply to No.5 (b), what will be the approximate estimate of compensation? To be more definite, what is the total quantum of compensation proposed to be asked for from the Government of India?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue, etc.) : I require notice for that.

Fertilizer of the Shillong Co-operative Marketing Society Ltd.

*6 Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that the technical experts of the Government of India have drawn samples from the seized stock of fertilizer mixtures of the Shillong Co-operative Marketing Society Ltd., for analysis in their quality controlled laboratories?

(b) If so, what are the results and the observations and remark made by the concerned authorities of the Government of India on the results of the analysis?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

*6.

(a) - Yes. Samples were drawn by the Fertilizer Inspector of the State Government in presence of and under direct supervision of the Fertiliser Expert of the Government of India.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Since a case has been registered in this regard, it will not be proper to give the information in reply to question No.6 (b). We have received reports on this matter from two firms and we are yet to get a report from another firm, which I should not disclose.

Mr. Speaker : So far as No.6 (b) is concerned, it appears from the view of the Chief Minister that the matter may be subjudice. So, the existing reply to question No. (b) should be deleted from the list of questions.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Ranks and Procedure of the State

Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :

42. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the ranks and procedure of the State has since been finalised?

(b) If so, whether it has since been published in the Government Gazette?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

42.

(a) - this matter has not yet been finalised.

(b) - Does not arise in view of (a) above.

Government Grants to District Councils

Prof. Alexander Warjri asked :

43. Will the Minister-in-charge of District Councils Affairs be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the Government is aware that the Government Grants to District Councils are wrongly appropriated and utilised by the District Councils?

(b) Whether Grants for schools have been fully utilised for the Schools and whether utilisation reports have been submitted periodically?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, District Council Affairs) replied :

43.

(a) - Government are not aware.

(b) - Reply is being furnished by the education Department who have been given a copy.

Prof. Alexander Warjri : In respect of the reply to 43 (b), Mr. Speaker, Sir, where is the reply from the Education Department?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Department deals with so many subjects. On this particular matter, however, the reply will be sent later on.

State Service

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

44. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether Government proposes to constitute the State Services corresponding to that of Assam and other States, e.g., the Civil Service, State Police Service?

(b) Heads of Department post held by the State Service Officers at present?

(c) Whether Government proposes to further reserve some Head of Departments posts for the State Service Officers?

(d) If so, what are the posts?

(e) Whether it is a fact that by allowing I.A.S. Officers to hold ex-officio, a few posts of Heads of Departments, the promotion of a few experienced State Service Officers are blocked?

(f) If so, what steps Government has taken to remove this hurdle?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

44.

(a) - Government have already constituted the Meghalaya Secretariat Service and the Meghalaya Secretariat Subordinate Service. The constitution of the Meghalaya Police Service is under process. The Constitution of other State Services is also under consideration of the Government.

(b) - As mentioned above, only two State Services have been constituted. The posts of Head of Departments held by Officers other than I.A.S. and All-India Services are :-

1. Chief Engineer, Public Works Department.

2. Director of Agriculture.

3. Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary.

4. Director of Public Instruction.

5. Director of Information and Public Relations.

6. Director of Health Services.

7. Town Planner-cum- Director of Housing.

8. Commissioner of Excise and Taxes.

9. Inspector General of Registration.

10. Superintendent of Stamps.

11. Chief Public Health Engineer.

12. Director of Mineral Resources.

(c) & (d) - The matter of keeping some posts for the Officers of the State Civil Service is under consideration.
(e) No.
(f) - Does not arise.

Land Reclamation and Terracing work, etc.

Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :

45. Will the Minister-in-charge of Soil Conservation be pleased to state - 

(a) The amount so far spent for Kusimkolgiri Land Reclamation and Terracing work (Nokil Awe)? (To be shown item-wise).

(b) Whether the particular plot was over reclaimed by any other Department in the past?

(c) The amount so far spent for Samanda Chinemgiri Pilot Project for Afforestation and Samanda near Public Works Department Camp? (To be shown plot-wise).

(d) The types of plants or trees green there and the total covered by the Project?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister of Soil Conservation) replied :

45.

(a) - Reclamation - Rs.15,799.58 P.
        Terracing - Rs.980.00 P.

(b) - There was no visible sign of its having been reclaimed earlier when the Soil Conservation Department, started the works.

(c) - Chinemgiri Afforestation - Rs.3,200.00
        Samanda  Afforestation  - Rs.4,880.56 P.

(d) - Type of Plant - Ghikrassia Tabularis.
        Area - Ginemgiri - 15.38 hectare.
        Samanda - 20.00 hectares.

Construction one Medical sub-Centre at Nagapara

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

46. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that Government had proposed that one medical sub-centre be constructed at Nagapara, Garo Hills?

(b) Whether lands have been acquired for the said medical sub-centre at Nagapara, Garo Hills?

(c) When will the construction of the said medical sub-centre start?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge Health) replied :

46.

(a) - No.

(b) & (c) - Do not arise in view of (a) above.

Board for granting Licensers to the Pharmacists

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang asked :

47. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to state -

(a) The reasons the Government has not constituted a Board for granting Licenses to the Pharmacists who have been practising for more than ten years?

(b) The steps the Government has taken to constitute this Board and when it is expected to function?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge Health) replied :

47.

(a) & (b) - Setting up of a separate Pharmacy Council for Meghalaya requires approval of the Government of India. This matter has been taken up with them under correspondence. Till the constitution of the Pharmacy Council for Meghalaya, registration of Pharmacists will continue to be done by the Pharmacy Council of Assam.

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) : Is the Government aware that the Government of Assam is not entertaining the applications for license to the local Pharmacists under the Pharmacists' Council?

Mr. Speaker : I do not get your point?

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang : The answer to this question is that Meghalaya has not been able to set up the Pharmacists' Council of its own and Assam is doing that part of the job. But the Government of Assam is not entertaining the applications for license.

Mr. Speaker : Is it a fact that the Government of Assam does not entertain such applications?

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang : Is it because Meghalaya requires the approval of the Government of India ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are a number of individual applications sent to us. But we have not been able to entertain them so far. I do not know whether the Government of Assam have turned down the applications or not.

Women Police

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :

48. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that some Women Police have been appointed and deputed for training?

(b) If so, the total number of such Women Police (rank-wise)

(c) Whether any of them completed the training?

(d) If so, what are their present assignments?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

48.

(a) - Yes.

(b) - Sub - Inspector 1
- Assistant Sub- Inspector 1
- Head Constables 2
- Constables 5

(c) - None of them has completed the training yet. They are still under training at the Police Training College, Dergaon.

(d) - Does not arise.

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : 48 (c) may we know, if the Government propose to set up a Training Centre at Shillong?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We do not have the proposal to have the Centre immediately. But we will have this matter examined.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in reply to (a), whether senior police officers of the State have ever visited the trainees at Dergaon?

Mr. Speaker : This is concerned only with the women police.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : But they are being trained at the Police Training Camp at Dergaon. I want to know whether the senior police officers have visited the camp of these women police? And they are being trained at the Police Training Camp at Dergaon and I want to know whether the senior police officers have visited the camp of these women police? My point is this. Many of the other States' senior police officers quite frequently visit their presence. I want to know whether the senior police officers of our State ever visited these camp?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : According to Prof. M.N. Majaw, in other States the senior police officers used to visit the training centres. It is a piece of information to me as far as this State is concerned. I want notice.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : When did these trainees complete their training?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Some time in May and June, 1974.

Shri Maham Singh : 48 (c), whether this is the best Police Training College in the country?

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

Mr. Speaker : Whether it is the best or not is to not to be judged by this Government. But it so happens that at the time when Assam was bifurcated between Assam and Meghalaya, come sort of arrangements were made between the two Governments.

Prof. Alexander Warjri : 48 (a), whether stipends are given to these trainees, if so, how much is given for each category?

Mr. Speaker : One question at a time.

Prof. Alexander Warjri (Mawkhar S.T.) : Whether stipends are given to these trainees?

Mr. Speaker : From the reply it appears that they have already been appointed and have been sent for training.

Prof. Alexander Warjri : What pay is given to them?

Mr. Speaker : They are given the scale of S.Is, and A.S.Is.

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Whether Government propose to appoint more women police?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : That question can be considered only according to need.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Whether Government has received complaints from the trainees for the late arrival of salaries?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have no information about it.

Shri Bloming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) : Whether Government propose to have its own Police Training Centre in the State?

Mr. Speaker : That has already been replied.

Damaged Cement Mill Motor

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang asked :

49. Will the Minister-in-charge, Industries be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that the Cement Mill Motor of the Assam Cement, Ltd., Cherrapunjee, was out of order?

(b) If so, since when?

(c) What steps Government has taken to repair the damaged motor?

(d) Whether it is a fact that one local electrician has approached the Government for repairing the damaged motor?

(e) If so, what action Government has taken?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister-in-charge, Industries) replied :

49.

(a) - No. But Raw Mill Motor was out of order.

(b) - Since 27th October, 1973.

(c) - Assam Cements approached Siemens India Ltd., the collaborators of M/s Siemens Schuckertwerke of West Germany for necessary repairs to this motor. Since Siemens' charges were high (Rs.1,65,000) and as they are not prepared to give any guarantee for trouble-free performance of the motor after the repairs, Assam Cements approached Heavy Electrical India, Ltd., at Bhopal and Bharat Heavy Electrical at Hardwar. But they have decline to undertake the work. The matter is, however, being pursued through the Union Minister of Heavy Industry.

(d) - Yes, in March, 1972.

(e) - Government could not give the work to a local electrician as repair of this High Tension Motor involves considerable amount of skill, experience and technique Only  large and well-equipped repair shops with specially trained personnel can undertake such repairs.

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) :  49(b) and 49 (d) Sir, it appears that this Raw Mill Motor was out of order since 27th October, 1973. But in reply to (d), it has been stated 'Yes', in March, 1972'. Is it a fact that the electrician approached the Government before the motor went out of order?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, for clarification, the raw Mill Motor broke down on two earlier occasions in 1972 - from 24th February, 1972 to 2nd May, 1972 and from 16th May, 1972 to 1st March, 1973. It was on the earlier occasion that this particular person approached the Government offering to repair the damaged motor.

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang : It is not a fact that this local electrician had taken the plan and design to repair the motor and had shown it to the Minister-in-charge in front of the engineer present?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : There was some discussion in my room, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang :  Is it not a fact that the plan and design for repair of the motor was explained to the engineers and they also gave their consent that it should be done like that?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the engineers did not give their consent but there was some discussion how to repair the motor.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Was this local electrician interviewed and examined to ascertain whether he had the necessary skill and knowledge for such repair?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : I want notice for that question.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, what was the cost of the Raw Mill Motor?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : I want notice for that question.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : What was the nature of the break-down or damage?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : I am not prepared to answer that question now. I think it has been repaired twice before. It has broken down for the third time and the exact cause of break-down of the motor will have to be studied by the expert. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : (rose in his seat) -

Shri H. Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : On a point of order, this is the fourth supplementary of the hon. Member.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : There is no point of order. Under Rule 34, sub-rule (2), it is stated "Members shall be permitted to put any supplementary questions on ordinary unstarred questions ..... "

Mr. Speaker : But we have established a convention on unstarred questions and only three supplementary questions have been allowed in unstarred questions. So, let us try to abide by it.

Supply Advisory Board in Garo Hills

Shri Jackman Marak asked :

50. Will the Minister-in-charge of Supply be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the Government has constituted the Supply Advisory Board at Garo Hills?

(b) Whether the said Board is functioning at present?

(c) The names of the members of the Board?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Supply) : replied

50. (a) - Yes.
(b) - Yes.
(c) - The names of the members of the Board are as follows :-    

 1. The Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills

...

Chairman

 2. The Chief Executive Member, Garo Hills District Council, Tura.

...

Member

 3. The Chairman, Tura Town Committee, Tura.

...

"

 4. The Subdivisional Planning Officer, Tura.

...

"

 5. The District Agricultural Officer, Tura.

...

"

 6. Shri Plansing Marak, M.L.A.           ...

...

"

 7. Shrimati Percylina  Marak, M.L.A.           

...

"

 8. Shri Samsul Haque, M.L.A.           ...

...

"

 9. Md. Akramozamman, M.L.A.           ...

...

"

10. Shri William Cecil R. Marak, M.L.A.  

...

"

11. Shri Manindra Rabha, M.L.A.           ...

...

"

12. Shri Choronsing Sangma, M.L.A.           

...

"

13.Shri Jackman Marak, M.L.A.           ...

...

"

14. Shri Brojendro Sangma, M.L.A.           

...

"

15. The Seniormost Supply Officer , Tura    

...

Member-Secretary

Shri Brojendro Sangma (Dambuk-Aga S.T.) : May we know how many meetings of the Board have been held so far?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Supply) : I want notice for that question, Sir.

Shri Maham Singh : How often does this Committee meet?

Mr. Speaker : That is the same question.

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Supply) : To my knowledge there is no procedure laid down, Sir. The Deputy Commissioner calls the meeting as and when necessary.

Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) : When was this Supply Advisory Board constituted?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Supply) : The Supply Advisory Board was first constituted under the Government Notification dated 30th September, 1972 and it was further extended with effect from 1st April, 1973 upto 31st March, 1975 under Government Notification, dated 12th March, 1973.

The duties and functions of the District Planning Officers, etc.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

51. Will the Minister-in-charge of Planning be pleased to state -

(a) The duties and functions of -

    (i) The District Planning Officer,

   (ii) Subdivisional Planning Officers,

  (iii) Assistant Development Commissioner?

(b) Whether Government proposes to reorganise the Planning Department at all level so as to make Planning effective?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge, Planning) replied :

51.

(a) - Papers indicating the duties and functions of these officers have been placed on the Table of the House.

(b) - The Government continue to consider further measures to make Planning effective.

Zigzak Seed Farm in Garo Hills

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

52. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state-

(a) The varieties of crops cultivated during this financial year 1973-74 in the Zigzak Seed Farms, Garo Hills?

(b) The area covered under each such crop and the expenditure involved  for the production of each variety?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

52(a).

(i) Ahu

(ii) Sali

(iii) Wheat

(iv) Mustard

(v) Jute and Sunflower

(b)

Crop

Area

Expenditure

Ahu

6 acres

Rs.2,467

Sali

4    "

Rs.2,344

Wheat

4    "

Rs.840

Mustard

1    "

Rs. 424

Jute and Sunflower

1    "

Rs. 350

Co-operative Societies in Meghalaya

Shri Manindra Rabha asked :

53. Will the Minister-in-charge of Co-operation be pleased to state-

(a) How many Co-operative Societies are there in Meghalaya (Category-wise)?

(b) Whether all of them are functioning?

(c) If not, how many of them are functioning?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister in-charge of Co-operation) replied :

53.

(a) - The total number of existing Co-operative Societies is 1015. A list of Co-operative Societies category-wise is placed on the Table of the House.

(b) - No.

(c) - 795 Co-operative Societies are functioning properly.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : 53 (c), I like to know from the Minister concerned what does Government propose to do in regard to the Co-operation Societies which are functioning properly?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Co-operation) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, an investigation is to be conducted and if they are found to be not functioning properly, they have to be revived, and if not, they may be liquidated.

Shri Jormanik Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) : Is it a fact that the number of people should be 5,000 for constituting a Co-operative Society?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Co-operation) : It is not a fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Has not enquiry have conducted as yet?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Co-operation) : It is in the process.

Allotment of Money to Fire Victims in Iewduh

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :

54. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state-

(a) Whether it is a fact that the Prime Minister allotted a sum of Rs.10,000 for distribution to the recent fire victims in Iewduh, Shillong?

(b) If so, the total number of recipients and the amount received by each?

(c) The steps, if any taken by the Government to help the victims?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge, Revenue) replied :

54.

(a) - Yes.

(b) - A statement showing the number of recipients and the amount received by each is placed on the Table of the House

(c) - The Government have also sanctioned Gratuitous Relief of Rs.25 to each of the victims. Rehabilitation loans given to those victims who applied for the same. The statement showing the number of persons granted loans and the amount sanctioned is placed on the Table of the House.

Manning the Civil Administration in Nongstoin, etc.

Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :

55. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state-

(a) Whether the Government has posted the required number of Gazetted Officers such as Sub-Deputy Collector, Extra Assistant Commissioner for manning the Civil Administration in Nongstoin and Simsamggiri Subdivision? (to be shown in Subdivision-wise)

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

55(a)

The following Gazetted Officers such as Sub-Deputy Commissioner, Extra Assistant Commissioner, have been posted and are functioning in each of the following Subdivisions, namely :-

Nongstoin Subdivision

1. One Subdivisional Officers (Civil)

2. One Extra Assistant Commissioner.

3. One Sub-Deputy Collector.

4. One Subdivisional Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Officer.

5. One Subdivisional Agricultural Officer.

Sasanggirir Subdivision

1. One Subdivisional Officers (Civil)

2. One Subdivisional Agricultural Officer.

3. One Subdivisional Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Officer.

4. One Assistant Employment Officer.

5. One Subdivisional Officer, Public Works Department.

         One Sub-Deputy Collector has been posted and is yet to join. Necessary steps to post an Extra Assistant Commissioner at Sasanggirir are being taken.

(b)

No.

(c)

Steps are being taken to see that they start functioning very soon.

    As regards the Sub-Treasuries, they will start as soon as the bank is received.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati) : Whether Government considers the number of officers to be sufficient for the efficient functioning of the Sub-division or whether more officers will be appointed apart from those of the civil court and Sub-treasury?

Mr. Speaker : Put one question at a time.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Whether Government considers the number of officers at present appointed to be sufficient for the Sub-division?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Subject to availability of personnel, with the increase of work, more officers will be posted.

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether any of the officers have been given powers to try cases?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Necessary powers for trying cases will come as a matter of course.

Shri Maham Singh : Whether they have been given powers?

Mr. Speaker : Whether Sub-divisional Officers or Extra Assistant Commissioner have been given necessary powers to try cases?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : That information is not available. As I said, in due course, powers will be given to the officers.

Vacant Posts of Assistant Inspectors of Schools

Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi asked :

56. Will the Minister-in-charge of Education be pleased to state-

(a) Whether it is a fact that two posts of Assistant Inspectors of Schools are lying vacant in the office of the Inspector of Schools, Khasi Jaintia Hills, Shillong?

(b) If so, the reason thereof?

(c) When will the posts of Assistant be filled up?

(d) Whether it is a fact that the Inspectorate of Schools, Khasi and Jaintia Hills asked the Government to create some posts of U.D. Assistants and L.D. Assistants in view of the increased volume of works?

(e) If so, when will the said posts be created and filled up?

(f) If not, why?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) replied :

56.

(a) - Only the post of Assistant Inspector of Schools, Khasi Hills is lying vacant. The post of Assistant Inspector of Schools in Jaintia Hills has just been created recently.

(b) - The post in Khasi Hills is lying vacant due to the retirement of the incumbent who hold the post.

(c) - Steps are being taken to have the posts filled up very soon.

(d) - No proposal received by Government.

(e) & (f) - Do not arise.

Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi (Cantonment) : 56 (b) May I know since when the post is lying vacant?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) : For the exact date, I will require notice.

Detention of Garos in Bangladesh

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

57. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state-

(a) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that-
     (1) Shri Seinath Sangma of village Jadugiri,
     (2) Shri Pedu Sangma of village Chenguli,
     (3) Shri Skul Sangma of village Chengkali, in the district of Garo Hills, have been detained in Bangladesh since two years back?

(b) If so, whether Government has taken any action to bring them back?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

57.

(a) - Government has no information but enquiries will be made.

(b) - Does not arise.

Theft and Dacoities in the Border Areas of Phulbari and Tikrikilla

Shri Manindra Rabha asked :

(a) Whether it is a fact that frequent theft and dacoities are taking place in the border areas of Phulbari and Tikrikilla Constituencies?

(b) Whether it is a fact that telegraph wires are also frequently stolen in those areas?

(c) If so, what action Government has taken to afford adequate protection to life and property in the area?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

58. (a) -

No. Only 66 cases of theft and 2 cases of dacoities were reported since 1972 up till now.

(b) -

Yes, 8 cases were reported since 1972 up till now.

(c) - 

Government has taken every possible step to afford adequate protection to life and property, e.g., suspects have been rounded up in co-operation with Goalpara Police. Armed and unarmed-patrolling have been intensified around the villages and Village Defence Parties have also been organised for the purpose.

In-flow of Non-Meghalayans

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked :

59. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state-

(a) Whether the Government is aware of the heavy in-flow of non-Meghalayans particularly at places along G.S. Road from Umsning to Dispur?

(b) If so, whether the Government keeps track about such in-flow?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

59.

(a) & (b) - As a result of connected construction work with the industrial complex coming up at Byrnihat on the G.S. Road, and also connected with the Kyrdem Kulai Dam and Road repair work, a number of labourers and businessmen from outside have come to these areas.

Construction of Godown at Zikzak Sub-area Co-operative Marketing Society, Garo Hills.

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

60. Will the Minister-in-charge Co-operation be pleased to state-

(a) The total expenditure incurred for the construction of Godown at Zikzak Sub-area Co-operative Marketing Society, Garo Hills?

(b) Whether any additional expenditure was incurred for the construction of the said Godown?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Co-operation) replied :

60. (a)-

Rs.19,000.00 (approximately).

(b) -

The project is not completed. Hence the question of additional expenditure does not arise.

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) : May I know whether the original provision for the construction of the Zikzak Sub-area Co-operative Society was Rs.15,000 only.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Co-operation) : The original provision for construction of the godown is Rs.20,000 - Rs.15,000 as loan and Rs.5,000 as subsidy.

Mr. Speaker : During this session, I have admitted as many as 7 starred questions to which 6 have been replied and out of 135 unstarred questions, 60 have been replied to. let us pass on to item No.2 . Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang to call the attention of the Chief Minister.

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister to a news-item published in "U Naphang", a local khasi Weekly of 11th March, 1974 under the caption "Hato ka long Mo kaba shisha"?

        In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, Meghalaya is entitled to certain quota of I.A.S. Officers every year from among those who passed I.A.S. examination. Meghalaya and Assam have a joint cadre in which there are 50 per cent of the persons hailing from Assam and Meghalaya. In 1072, there were 3 Meghalayan officers who passed I.A.S. examination. None from Assam was successful. Mr. Speaker, Sir, out of 3, at least 2 are entitled to be in Meghalaya. But it came to our knowledge that these officers were not absorbed in Meghalaya, but instead, 2 I.A.S. officers belonging to U.P. and 1 to Tamil Nadu were absorbed. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, the inability of the Meghalaya Government to play its effective role in this regard is being raised by the public. May I therefore, request the Chief Minister to please give his statement?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in recruiting and allotting I.A.S. officers to various States, the Central Government follow certain established and well-defined principles. These are -

        (a) The number of vacancies to be filled up in each cadre by direct recruit every year is determined in advance on the basis of the existing vacancies for direct recruitment and replacements that may be required for retirements.

        (b) Approximately, 2/9th of the total number of vacancies each year is reserved for being filled up by Scheduled Caste/Schedule Tribe candidates, who qualify in the competitive examination.

        (c) The number of 'reserved quota' candidates to be allotted to each State's cadre during any year is determined taking into account allocation of such candidates during previous years.

        (d) 50 per cent each of the 'general quota' and the 'reserved quota' vacancies to be filled up in the year in a State cadre, will be filled up by probationers belonging to that State, if they have preferred such allotment and could get it on the basis of the rank obtained at the competitive examinations.

        (e) Persons recruited to the "reserved quotas' are not allotted to the general quota of any State cadre or vice versa.

        (f) Vacancies in a State cadre which could not be filled 'insiders' due to non-availability or unwillingness on the part of such candidates, are filled up by candidates from other States. Such vacancies are not carried forward to subsequent years.

        2. These principles have been followed by the Government of India for a long period of time, keeping in view the salutary needs of national integration, distribution of talent throughout the country, etc.

        There have been instances of cadre transfers of officers from one extremely compassionate grounds. There may be more instances of cadre transfers being refused by the Government of India than being acceded to.

        The Meghalaya Government became a partner in the Joint Cadre Authority of Assam-Meghalaya cadre for the All India Services only with effect from 21st January, 1972. Even so, during the period following the creation of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya in April, 1970, we have been taking keen interest in pressing for allotment of recruits from Meghalaya to the I.A.S., to the then Assam cadre of the service. In  fact, I had a personally taken up this matter in one case with the Prime Minister and later, after the creation of Meghalaya, for the purpose of a cadre transfer with the concerned Chief Minister as well as with the Union Minister dealing with the matter. In view, however, of the principles being very strictly applied by the Government of India. We have not been successful, I would like to assure the hon. Members that we are extremely conscious of the need to bring some of the Meghalaya recruits to the I.A.S. into the Assam-Meghalaya Joint Cadre and will try our best wherever possible, to achieve this. However, for loftier and larger interest of the country, it is not desirable to press for changes in these principles. In fact, if our young men and women are posted to bigger States elsewhere in the country, they would acquire a great deal of experience which may be of advantage to us at the later stage when, perhaps, we may bring them over on deputation to serve in our State for some time, as we have done in some instances so far. I.A.S. officers for our State allotted to other States cadres, will also go to the Central Government in due course, and there is no doubt that they will, besides looking after the interest of the State to which cadre they belong, also look after the interest of Meghalaya and thus serve our State.

        In view of what I have stated above, the hon. Members will appreciate that the news-item referred to in the Call Attention Motion actually wrong and has taken as one-sided view of the situation.

Mr. Speaker : Item No.3. I appoint the following hon. Members to the House Committee under sub-rule (1) of Rule 312 of the Assembly Rules :-

1. Shri Maham Singh, M.L.A.

2. Shri Humphrey Hadem, M.L.A.

3. Shri Ira Marak, M.L.A.

4. Shri Printington Marak, M.L.A.

5. Shri Raisen Mawsor, M.L.A.

        Shri Maham Singh, M.L.A. will be the Chairman of the Committee.

        Under Rule 259, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Rules Committee :-

1. Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs

2. Shri Maham Singh, M.L.A.

3. Shri Hoover Hynniewta, M.L.A.

4. Shri Humphrey Hadem, M.L.A.

        (Under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Speaker).

Under Rule 257, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Government Assurances :-

1. Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah, M.L.A.

2. Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang, M.L.A.

3. Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, M.L.A.

4. Shri Samarendra Sangma, M.L.A.

5. Shri H. Enowell Pohshna, M.L.A.

        Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah, M.L.A. will be the Chairman of the Committee.

Under Rule 251, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Subordinate Legislation :-

1. Shri Jormanick Syiem, M.L.A.

2. Shri Hoover Hynniewta, M.L.A.

3. Shri Winstone Syiemiong, M.L.A.

4. Shri Pleander Gare Momin, M.L.A.

5. Shri S.P. Swer, M.L.A.

        Shri Jormanick Syiem, M.L.A. will be the Chairman of the Committee.

Under Rule 246 I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Privileges :-

1. Shri Singjan Sangma, Deputy Speaker

2. Shri Darwin D. Pugh, Minister of State.

3. Shri Stanlington David Khongwir, M.L.A.

4. Shri Nimosh Sangma, M.L.A.

5. Shri Salseng Marak, M.L.A.

        Shri Singjan Sangma, Deputy Speaker,. will be the Chairman of the Committee.

Under Rule 239, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Petitions :-

1. Prof. Alexander Warjri, M.L.A.

2. Shri William Cecil Marak, M.L.A.

3. Shri Blooming B. Shallam, M.L.A.

4. Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi, M.L.A.

5. Miss Percylina Marak, M.L.A.

        Prof. Alexander Warjri, M.L.A. will be the Chairman of the Committee.

Under Rule 313, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Library Committee  :-

1. Shri G. Mylliemngap, M.L.A.

2. Shri Hoover Hynniewta, M.L.A.

3. Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw, M.L.A.

4. Shri Brojendra Sangma, M.L.A.

5. Shri Onward Leyswell, M.L.A.

        Shri G. Mylliemngap, M.L.A. will be the Chairman of the Committee.

Mr. Speaker : I have received a letter from the Governor which reads as follows :-

"Raj Bhavan

Shillong

March 28, 1974

Dear Mr. Speaker,
           I thank you for your letter dated 27th March, 1974 informing me of the motion adopted by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in regard to my address. I take this opportunity of sending you and the Assembly my best wishes.
                                        With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Sd/- L. P. Singh

Governor."

THE CONSTITUTION (THIRTY-SECOND AMENDMENT) BILL, 1973, AS PASSED BY7 THE TWO HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT.

Mr. Speaker : Item No. 4. The Chief Minister to move.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House ratifies the amendments to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, proposed to be made by the Constitution (Thirty-second Amendment) Bill, 1973, as passed by the two Houses of Parliament.

Mr. Speaker : Since this amendment does not concern the State of Meghalaya, and since it is connected with the administration of Andhra Pradesh and is only a formality, I put the question before the House. The question is that this House ratifies the amendments to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, proposed to be made by the Constitution (Thirty-second Amendment) Bill, 1973, as passed by the two Houses of Parliament.

(The motion was adopted by voice vote)

Mr. Speaker : Item No.5. The Chief Minister to move.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, I beg to move the resolution for approval of an expenditure of Rs.24,300 under the head "50 - Public Works (excluding Establishment, Tools and Plant)".

Mr. Speaker : Minister of State, P.W.D. may please explain.

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, actually there is not much left to be explained because a full explanatory note of the Government Resolution has already been circulated to the hon. members. nevertheless, I would like to add that this House is aware that there was an acute shortage of accommodation in Shillong Court and therefore it became necessary to renovate the Deputy Commissioner's Court building so as to enable us to provide accommodation for the ejlas of the District Session Judge, Assistant District Session Judge, etc. Now since no provision had been made in the relevant sub-head of "Administration of Justice", it is now proposed to meet this expenditure out of savings, as has been written at the bottom of the explanatory note. That with the passage of time we saw that the entire amount sanctioned under sub-head "communication expenditure' in connection with the border areas and other roads would not be necessary. So now we propose to take this sum of Rs.24,300 to this relevant sub-head.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, if I may be allowed to make one brief observation upon this. I think although there is always scope in the rules for the introduction of resolutions and motions, particularly when moved by the Leader of the House, I just feel that despite the explanatory note at the bottom of the resolution, Government should have tried to avoid such procedures of bringing, at a very short notice or with no notice at all, certain resolutions, to this House. We are being deprived of the opportunity to move cut motions to discuss the resolution. The note amounts to a stricture or the placing of blame upon the Accountant General of Meghalaya for the late receipt of all these figures. I do not know what the Government proposed to do in this matter.

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may add that this total amount had actually been voted by this House. It is not that we are seeking fresh sanction.

Mr. Speaker : It is only transfer of heads.

        So I put the question before the House. The question is that this House do approve of an expenditure of Rs.24,300 under the head "50 - Public Works (excluding Establishment, Tools and Plant)". Motion is carried.

        Let us pass on to item No.6. Shri Singjan Sangma, Chairman of the Privileges Committee will please move his motion.

Singjan Sangma (Deputy Speaker) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Assembly agrees to the extension of time for submission of the report of the Committee of Privileges till the 30th June, 1974, on the privilege matter moved by Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw, M.L.A., against the Editor, Publisher and Printer of a Local English Weekly "The Implanter" for publishing a news-item under the caption "Will Misa be invoked in Meghalaya"?

Mr. Speaker : Do you have the sense of the House that the time be extended to the Committee. (Voices - yes, yes).

        Let us pass on to item No.7. Shri Singjan Sangma will please move his motion.

Shri Singjan Sangma (Deputy Speaker) : I beg to move Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Assembly agrees to the extension of time for submission of the report of the Committee of Privileges till the 30th June, 1974 on the privilege matter moved by Shri Humphrey Hadem, M.L.A., against the Editor, Publisher and Printer of a Local English Weekly "The Implanter" for publishing a news-item under the caption "In Jaintia Hills Politicians prepare for election"?

Mr. Speaker : Do I have the sense of the House that the motion be adopted (Voices - Yes, Yes).

        Let us pass on to item No.8. Mr. Singjan Sangma will please to move his motion.

Shri Singjan Sangma (Deputy Speaker) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Assembly agrees to the extension of time submission of the report of the Committee of Privileges till 30th June, 1974 relating to the complaint of breach of privilege and contempt of the House moved on 8th December, 1973 by Shri Humphrey Hadem, M.L.A., against Shri Upstar Kharbuli, M.L.A. and Shri E.K. Mawlong, M.D.C.

EXTENSION OF TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF THE REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE OF PRIVILEGES

Mr. Speaker : Do I have the sense of the House that extension of time be granted? (Voices - Yes, yes).

        Item No.9. Shri Singjan Sangma to move his motion.

Shri Singjan Sangma (Deputy Speaker) : Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to move that the Assembly agrees to the extension of time for submission of the report of the Committee of Privileges till the 30th June, 1973 by Shri Hoover Hynniewta, M.L.A., against Prof. G. G. Swell, M. P., Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha.

Mr. Speaker : Do I have the sense of the House that the Committee grants the extension of time? (Voices - Yes, yes).

        Before we pass on to Item No.10, I will give my ruling on the pending privilege issue before the House. The House may recall that on 10th December, 1973, hon. Member Shri Hoover Hynniewta brought a complaint o breach of privilege and contempt of this House alleged to have been committed by Shri A. Blingstar Diengdoh M.D.C., Shri K. Mawlong, M.D.C., Shri G. G. Swell, M. P., Shri Upstar Kharbuli, M.L.A., and the owner and printer of the North Eastern Press, Shillong, was convened at Shillong on November 3rd, 1973, by Messrs Upstar Kharbuli, M.L.A., and K. Mawlong, M.D.C. The meting was said to have been addressed, among others, by Prof. G. G. Swell, M. P. who read out and moved a resolution which was subsequently printed in the form of a booklet under title "Misdeeds of the APHLC Government of Meghalaya" by Shri Upstar Kharbuli in his capacity as the Chairman of the Public Demand Implementation Committee at the North Eastern Press, Shillong.

        The portions objected to are paragraph 11 and sub-paragraph 11 (b) of the said resolution printed in the booklet which run as :

        "11. While failing to safeguard, protect and promote the interests of the people of the State, the APHLC State Government has resorted to actions which will result in further crippling the people and weakening their will to stand on their own and fight for their development and upliftment. For instance :

        (a) ........

        (b) It had the Meghalaya Agriculture Income Tax Act, and Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act, enacted by the Legislative Assembly by which unrealistic and unacceptable taxes on farmers and small tradesmen in the State were imposed. Both these measures instead of promoting agriculture and commerce in the State will have the effect of destroying both".

        The complaint has further argued that Shri Upstar Kharbuli has cast a reflection on this House that he has forwarded the said resolution to outsiders and demonstrated with them.

        I have gone through the relevant proceedings and perused the various arguments put forward by the hon. complainant and I have also carefully gone through the said paragraph 11 of the resolution with a view to cultivating its real import. I find that the impugned statement are very carefully worded and implicates the "APHLC State Government" for certain action at paragraph 11. This is unambiguous. So far as sub-paragraph 11 (b) is concerned, the essence of the whole paragraph arrests on the words "It had" at the beginning of the sentence. I am to examine the denotation of these words under the context of the said paragraph 11. The expression "It had the Meghalaya Agriculture Income Tax and Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act enacted by the Legislative Assembly ...." can safely be adduced as meaning "The APHLC State Government had the Meghalaya Agriculture Income Tax and Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act enacted by the Legislative Assembly ...." There cannot be any iota of doubt that no other agency is involved by this statement except the APHLC State Government.

        Now the question arises whether the impugned statement accusing the APHLC State Government for certain action can be construed to have cast any reflection on this House and whether circulation of leaflets containing such statement outside tantamounts to a breach of privilege of the House. There are a number of antecedents which can be guide us in this matter.

        It is an established parliamentary convention that "defamatory words against a particular party in the House are not treated as constituting a contempt of the House, since the whole House is not affected". The Speaker of the House of Commons (UK) on a case where a section of the House had been referred to as "The Crazy Tories, the wretches, the rascals, the rapscallions" as reported in the 'Daily Mail' observed :

        "My view of its is that hard words used against persons and parties are dealt with, if necessary, by the law of defamation, and it is only where the House as a whole is affected by the spoken word that, to my mind, a question of privilege arise. In this case, it seems to me that these offensive epithets are selective in their application. Therefore, of the words complained of, I could not really find a prima facie case of breach of privilege."

        As regards the term "unrealistic", "unacceptable" and "measures instead of promoting agriculture and commerce in the State will have the effect of destroying both", I may point out to the House the following test put forward by the Committee of Privileges of the House of Commons in determining contempt of the House :

        "When the effect of particular imputations is under consideration, regard must be had to the importance of preserving freedom of speech in matters of political controversy and also, in cases of ambiguity, to the intention of the speaker. It seems to them (the Committee) particularly important that the law of parliamentary privilege should not except in the clearest case, be invoked so as to inhibit or discourage the formation and free expression of opinion outside the House by Members equally with other citizens in relation to the conduct of the affairs of the nation".

        The other point raised by the hon. Complainant is whether the dignity of the House has been impaired by the action of Shri U. Kharbuli in circulating the leaflets to outsiders. I am afraid the House cannot take cognisance of any hon. member for any irresponsible action outside the House. I may as well quote the views of the Committee of Privileges of the House of Commons in a similar case :

        "On the one hand, the law of parliamentary privilege should not be administered in a way which would fetter or discourage the free expression of opinion or criticism, however, prejudiced or exaggerated such opinion or criticism may be, and that, on the other hand, the process of parliamentary investigation should not be used in a way which would give importance to irresponsible statements". The "irresponsible statements" here can also mean "irresponsible action" by any hon. member outside the House.

        I do not find any malafide intention directed against this House by the impugned statement and any any of the wordings used in the said paragraph of the resolution published in the leaflet and also by making copies of these leaflets available to outsiders by the Chairman of the Public Implementation Committee.

    Under the Circumstances I am constrained to rule out the complaint.

        Let us pass on to item No.10 of today's list of business. Hon. Member Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw to move his motion.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House does now consider the Ninth Annual Report (1972-73) of the Assam and Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited, Shillong.

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion and I will fix one and half hours for the discussion.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think so much time would be required.

Mr. Speaker : I mean, other hon. Members may also participate.

        (The Speaker at this stage left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair).

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we had in fact raised this subject on an earlier occasion then we were discussing Financial Report prior to 1972-73. We all know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that there are still a few Corporations or Boards in which Assam and Meghalaya are associated. Some of them fall within the purview of the North-Eastern Re-organisation Act. Certain terms and schemes have to be drawn up; but Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Corporation does not fall under the purview of the North-Eastern Areas Reorganisation Act. Now in the first place, I really do not know what encourages our Government, or advised it, to invest quite a large sum of money in this Corporation which originally was only the Assam Mineral Development Corporation Limited. Meghalaya later entered it. I say so because I fail to realise what our State could gain by joining with Assam in such a Corporation, when it is common knowledge to the man in the street that the State of Meghalaya contains vast amount of mineral deposits. It is well known to geologist, well-known to the people in the outside world also. That mineral deposits in Assam are much smaller than those  in our State. If we look at the last but one page, the Government of Assam hold 1,794 Equity Shares and the Meghalaya Government hold 350 Equity Shares ; almost 1/8th. That means Meghalaya's share in this Corporation is almost 1/8 the No, 1/6th. of the shares held by the Assam Government and this share has a direct relevance when we think of dividends, when we think of profit, and also of loss.

        Now, if this Corporation is well  run, as contemplated, obviously the profit raised or realised will have to be shared according to the quantum of Equity Shares held by each Government. So out of the total of say 100 only 1/6 or less than 1/6 of the profits would go to the State of Meghalaya and the remaining 5/6 would go to the State of Assam; while, on the other hand, huge and vast mineral deposits are in this State. It almost amounts to the State of Assam exploiting the mineral resources of Meghalaya for their own good or for their own profit. They will take away almost 5/6 of the profits that this Corporation may generate while we will be left with a misery sum of about 1/6 of the profits.

        Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we look also at the Directors' Report we notice that large sums of money have been given for the taking over of the Assam Glass Industries, Gauhati; for the Assam Bricks and Ceramics Private Limited; and, also, for the taking over the coal mines - I mean, they will be taken over of M/s Jeypore Collieries Limited, and the Cilli Collieries Limited. Now, Sir, how much of this work is going to be really implemented for the benefit of Meghalaya or for the benefit of Assam. that has also to be carefully considered and while deciding upon the policy matters in this Corporation, will our Members from Meghalaya on the Board of Directors be able to hold or carry the majority decision in that Board of Directors. the policy-making decisions will be taken by the Board of Directors and I am not very sure that the Members of this Board, who represent Meghalaya, will be able to prevail upon the Board as there are only three of them of course, I am speaking subject to correction. There are five members from Assam, and among these five members one belongs to the Hills, having been nominated. In such a Board, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our Members, who are in the minority, will be over-ruled by the majority. Further, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I point out that on the second page of the Directors' Report, para 5, under the Coal Mines Authority Limited, we have been told that "Your Corporation has been in negotiations with the Coal Mines Authority Limited, for taking over all the small Coal Mines in Assam area in collaboration with the Coal Mines Authority at the instance  of the Government of Assam". So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government of Assam has persuaded the Corporation to negotiate with the Coal Mines Authority for taking over of small Coal Mines in Assam. But when the words "Assam area" are utilised, I would like to know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the Minister-in-charge whether the use of the word "Assam area" included the small coal mines in Meghalaya.

        Now suppose, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these small coal mines in Meghalaya are not included in the meaning or connotation of these words, even then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it would almost amount to a clash of policies. This Government here in this House and outside also in other forums, has declared that it is trying its best to persuade the Government of India to exclude the small coal mines of Meghalaya from the purview of the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act. On the other hand, as Members of Board of Directors of the Assam and Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited they may fall in line with the other Directors of the Board for the taking over of the small coal mines in Assam by the Coal Mines Authority and that may lead to their being persuaded by the majority in the Board of Directors for the taking over of the small coal mines in Meghalaya also. So it may amount to a clash of policies. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would not want to burden this House with detailed discussions but I fell that the Government of Meghalaya will feel justified in setting up its own mineral development corporations. There are many mineral resources here in Meghalaya and I wonder with all this vast potential for mineral development why can we not have our own corporation particularly when we have such vast deposits of raw materials instead of joining hands with others, however great or noble it might be, who take away more profits out of this vast resource while we get only a small share of these profits. I feel that it is certainly time that we disassociate ourselves and set up our own corporation. Thank you.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion moved by the hon. member from Mawhati. The State of Meghalaya is rich in mineral resources and this is well-known not only to the people of India but also to all industrialists in the world, for example, we have silimanite which is scarcely found in other part of the world. We are also very rich in coal, lime-stone and so on and so forth. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not understand why our Government has consented to join hands with the Government of Assam in this Corporation. Actually, it is the right time to have a bifurcation of the Assam State Electricity and the Assam Meghalaya State Transport Corporation also. Even our people wish that the joint cadre of the services, which we have now with Assam be separated. In my opinion, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Government of Meghalaya disassociates itself from this Corporation and also from the Assam and Meghalaya State transport Corporation and the Assam Electricity Board, it will, by this time, be of great help economically and socially to the people of the State of Meghalaya.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T. ) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want only to speak a few words on the motion of the hon. member from this side. It has clearly stated that it is also high time that such a Board or Corporation be separated. We have been separated from Assam because of the fact that we want to see our own existence and maintain our identity and also we want to develop our own material resources according to our genius. So, Sir, I think, mineral development is one of the aspects of our development in its true perspective and I hope in future we will be able to develop them if we have our own corporation. For our economic stability and for better prospects of development of our State, I think we have to develop our resources because as the hon. Member has already stated, we are very rich in mineral resources. We have got large deposits of minerals, but if we look at the survey reports we will find that they have not yet done well in locating the mineral resources in Khasi Hills. We have got mineral deposits not only in Silimanite, limestone coal but also we have vast deposits of various other minerals in our State. We can see the deposit of iron-ore, in our State which our ancient people extracted in their own primitive methods. And because of the good quality of our iron-ore, I believe we will be able to export it to some other parts of India as our ancient people used before. Not only that, Sir, we are rich in clay and sand deposits. We have large deposits of copper sulphur and mica and these minerals have not been located as yet by the survey team. Even maps which have been used by students in their schools for locating the rivers, valleys, hills, etc., are not at all correct. So it is difficult for the Survey Department to claim that they have correctly carried on their work for locating mineral deposits of our State. therefore, Sir, according to our observation, we find and understand that our State is rich in all mineral resources. But Sir, our State has not much scope to develop agriculture. There is better scope to develop industries with all the material resources, so I think this is one of the major items that our State has to make plans in future for taking up these mineral development works and I think it is one of the items to be expanded in future. So Sir, without going into the details of the reports and on the very principle of the Motion itself, I think it is high time now to separate the Mineral Development Corporation from Assam and start our own Corporation right from the beginning. Let us have our own existence and be divided from the present Corporation and split it now. Let us have our own Board or Corporation so that we can also develop industries and give employment to our people and so on and so forth. So with these few words, I support the Motion.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, mineral development is a very important aspect of economic activity and more so in Meghalaya which has a vast potential of mineral resources. We have coal deposits, we have lime-stone, silimanite refractor clay and many other minerals. So I am happy that the matter has come up for discussion as brought by Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw. But to pass certain remarks and perhaps to make certain observations will not help in the economic activity of our State.

        Now having gone through this report of the Assam and Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited, Shillong and having seen its work for the last 9 years, I must confess Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that I have not been able to be impressed by the activities or by the outturn of the management for the last 9 years. It appears to me that nothing tangible has been done to develop mineral resources in Meghalaya. it is only, I think after Meghalaya came into being, that something has been done in  regard to coal-mine development. But in comparison with some other activities, it is only a minor one. As I said Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, even in Garo Hills itself, we have more than thousand million tonnes of coal deposits and our coal has a quality of high sulphur and low ash. Therefore, Sir, it can be very very well used for the industrial development in various ways in the State. I would have been struck when going through the balanced sheet as on 30th June 1973 by a particular fact. Out of 2,444 equity shares of Rs.1,000, each which is already called in full, the amount of Rs.20,44,000 found out in the liability part of it about Rs.11,00,319 is stocked up in fixed deposit which means that out of a total capital of about Rs.20,00,000  Rs.11,00,000 are lying unused. So from this very fact, there is not so much activity or outturn done by the Corporation. I am trying to look at it from the angle of the equity of the management and even I am constrained to say Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the work of the Corporation is not at all encouraging.

       Now the Meghalaya Government, as I have said by way of shares, as already mentioned by Prof. Majaw which goes to the tune of Rs.13,000 during the year under consideration and the Assam Government has only contributed Rs.50,000. I hope the Minister will be able to throw us some light on this disparity of shares contribution. It is obvious Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that if we have our own separate corporation the advantages are many. It is undeniable that the advantages of the mineral development are far better in our corporation than that of Assam and Meghalaya Corporation. But at the same time, I would be convinced if the present Board of Directors shows a certain amount of dynamism in this work. But as I have said earlier after going through the balance sheet on the report, I am not at all encouraged by its working and more so, by one very important fact. The mineral resources of our State are in great abundance while in the plains of Assam we know that they have got only a few resources. Therefore, it is up to our own advantage to think in terms of either making a Corporation and its working very effectively and see that the turn-out for Meghalaya is well balanced or we go for a separate Corporation. But in the light of what has been observed up by me in the approach to this subject, I am not very clear in my mind that a separate corporation must be considered for better development of the mineral resources in our State. With these few observations, I resume my seat.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in this motion, I beg to state that I have gone through this Report and I found that the report does not at all give a clear picture about the working of this Corporation. In the first page, Sir, it was stated that the registered office of the Corporation was in Shillong-Assam. This also does not give us a clear picture and yet it has given us a very very dark picture. Whether this registered office of the Corporation is in Shillong or Assam it is not clear. The report does not give any registered number nor the date of registration of this Corporation. If we go through this report ands also the balance sheet, I am afraid that in the statement of receipts and expenditure we will find that the depreciation upto July, 1972 was Rs.9,3041.28 paise and the depreciation for the year ending 31st June, 1972 was Rs.24,046.98 Paise and the depreciation upto July, 1973 was Rs.1,15,498.96 paise.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Shri Pohshna from what page are you reading?

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : This report has got no pages Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am afraid if this depreciation continues from year to year and in the next year depreciation will exceed the cost of fixed assets themselves. Again if we go through the Profit and Loss Account for the year ending 30th June, 1973 we find that no surplus was carried over but the deficit carried over was shown at Rs.41,084.63 Paise. Therefore, the earlier our State of Meghalaya disassociates itself from a Joint Corporation the better it would be for us. Otherwise, there will be a clash in liability between the two States. At the time when we divide the assets and liabilities, it will take years and months together to find out the actual liabilities and assets owned by the State and that State. Therefore, I fully support the contention of the hon. Member from Mawhati who moved this Motion that the earlier we have our own Corporation the better it would be. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Industries) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in this motion on the working of the Assam-Meghalaya Minerals Development Corporation, I would like to make one or two points very clear. One of the main reason why we had decided to participate in the existing Corporation was that certain minerals in Meghalaya will continue to have markets in Assam. It was also felt that the existing Corporation which was already functioning when Meghalaya came into being as a full-fledged State in 1972, should be allowed to continue and to become a Joint Corporation for certain purposes. We felt that it would be to our advantage to have this Corporation function which had already started mining of coal at Nangalbibra, the lease for which had given earlier. This coal will be finding some markets in industries and other utilities in Assam, and this is one of the main reasons why we continued this Corporation to function in Meghalaya and it would be a common forum for such purposes. But it should also be quite clear to the Members that it does not prevent us from exploiting our own mineral resources for other purposes and this has already been done. Mr. Deputy Speaker, for instance, we ourselves, through the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation had set up another company for using lime-stone deposit for marketing in Bangladesh. We have already studied the importance of limestone and other mineral deposits for setting up industries in Jaintia Hills as well as in the other two districts.

        Regarding the apprehension which Shri Majaw, the hon. member from Mawhati, had stated about coal mines authority and the statement he has quoted that there may be a clash of interest and a clash of policy, there would be no such clash. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, and the negotiation of the Corporation for having agency for operating small coal mines in Assam, will have no clash whatsoever with our policy on coal mines in Meghalaya. Small coal mines in Meghalaya stand completely on a different footing altogether and there is no clash of policies in this particular regard.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I have stated earlier, we have already commissioned a study for finding out different deposits. Utilisation of different deposits we know about will be promoted by the M.I.D.C. In the existing Corporation the profit will be shared according the share-holding. That is true but it does not prevent us from setting up of projects in which the help of Assam is not required. It is not a fact that silimanite will be exploited by this Joint Corporation which during coal mining in Nangalbibra. So far as remarks made by the hon. member from Pariong, Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, I agree with him that there is still much to be done. As far as geological survey is concerned, a great deal has to be done for detailed geological mapping and that is the reason why we are trying to strengthen the Directorate of Mineral Resources such as recruitment of staff for the Directorate to make studies for the exploration of mineral resources. But this is a long time consuming process and we have already asked the Government of India for assistance so that the Geological Survey of India and other bodies set up by the Government of India would do the main geological mapping while our Directorate would take care of certain detailed exploration. So this process is going on. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also agree that there is great scope for development of industries based on our minerals. But again this will require a considerable study and preparation of project reports, finding the know how, and the entrepreneurs that will work with us to set up these industries. There seemed to be apprehensions in the minds of some hon. Members who spoke before that by having a Corporation, it will interfere with or prevent us from setting up of our own Mineral Development Corporation. But this is not necessary and it will not interfere with the setting up of our own mineral Development Corporation. This work at the moment is being done, as I have already stated earlier, by the Meghalaya Industries Development Corporation. The hon. Member from Pariong again mentioned other deposits we have, which were known in the ancient time such as iron ore, copper, mica and so on. The Geological Survey of India had located some deposits of copper, lead and zinc and we are trying to pursue this matter. But again, as I said earlier, it is time consuming to locate the commercial quantities of these ores such as iron ore, copper and others. Only after detailed geological mapping is done we will be able to know which deposits have a commercial possibility. This process is going on.

        Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member from Jaiaw had made a remark that he has not been particularly impressed with the dynamic quality of this Corporation. I am not going to argue with him on this and I would like only to say that after Meghalaya has become a full-fledged State, we have taken great interest in the mineral development of our own State, whether it is through this particular Corporation or through our own Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation. We shall take steps and efforts to see that proper surveys are done to locate our mineral resources, the survey report prepared and to set up industries based on these deposits.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am still not convinced with some expressions given on coal mines in Assam. Assam will not certainly have coal mines and the report has categorically stated for taking up all the small coal mines in Assam and since the Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya is incharge of it and other high officials as members, there may be  a clash because one policy may go in one direction and another policy will go in another direction. It is also as identical part, that outside the Board the Secretary and other officials are officers of the Government and in the Board a Directors of the Board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is quite right as the hon. Minister says that the plain of Assam continues to require the minerals from our State, and that is the reason why they want to have a Corporation. But there should be some argument that we are able to set up our own Corporation to sell these minerals to the plains of Assam without the participation of Assam. May we have some enlightenment?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have already said that does not prevent us from setting up of our own Corporation for other purposes. But so far as this particular Corporation is concerned the Assam Government has already participated and bought a number of shares and we have also certain shares in the work that has already been taken up by the Corporation. Now we shall review from time to time the working of the Corporation. If there is any clash of policy, certainly we can review this. So far as the taking over of the management or the working of coal mines in Assam is concerned, I would like to say that this is according to the suggestion of the Assam Government. But as I have clearly stated there will not be any clash with the policy on coal in Meghalaya and we have taken up this matter with the Government of India. As regards the apprehension of the hon. Member, I will put his mind at rest that I am completely convinced of the fact that there will be no clash of interest on this particular score. As for the taking over of the management or agency for the small coal mines which are under negotiation and whether that negotiation will succeed or not I have no idea but I only say that there will be no clash of interest. We shall be very careful about it.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a further point of clarification. It is not clearly and categorically shown by the hon. Minister what real benefits this State would deprived by continuing to be a partner in this Joint Corporation. When compared, what are the positive advantages for this State? Should we not set up our own Corporation

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the basic reason why we have invested in this Joint Corporation is for the security of markets in Assam and this is the main reason why we continue in the Corporation.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Now let us come to item No.11. Minister for Power and Electricity.

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Power, etc.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the statement of accounts for 1972-73 of the Assam State Electricity Board.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Since there is no more Government business, let us take up Private Members' Resolutions.

        Resolution No.1 to be moved by Shri Stanlington David Khongwir.

        (Voice ........... Absent).

        Resolution No.2 to be moved by Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I move that this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to use only the names Umiam, Umsning and Mawlein for all official purposes in place of Barapani, Nayabunglow and Lalcharai respectively.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Motion moved.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I be allowed under Rule 123 of the Rules and Procedures and Conduct of Business to make a slight amendment to my resolution. I propose to amend the resolution after the advice given to me by the Hon'ble Speaker and I think it will be better to put the resolution in this way - "This House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to use only the names Khwan, Umiam Lake, Umsning and Mawlein for all official purposes in place of Barapani, Barapani Lake, Nayabunglow and Lalcharai respectively".

        I have added the word Khwan because the village of Barapani is actually known as Khwan. I have used the word Umiam Lake for Barapani Lake, Umsning for Nayabunglow and instead of Lalcharai Mawlein.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member has referred to Rule 123 and this is about the amendment of the resolution. Here it is stated that after a resolution has been moved, any Member may, subject to the rules relating to resolution, move an amendment to such a resolution, a copy of which shall be given to the Member moving the resolution. Here, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel that the expression "any member" does not include the mover of the resolution because in the last line it is stated that a copy shall be given to the member moving the resolution. So, this rule is not applicable and does not give any power to the mover of the resolution to make an amendment to his own resolution.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I point out that I am also a Member of the House and the rule says that any Member may move an amendment. Further, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, prior to the moving of the point of order, you yourself have allowed me to move my motion as amended.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here 'Member' does not include the mover of the resolution.

Shri Humphrey Hadem : That is my contention, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because in the last line it is stated that a copy shall be given to the mover of the resolution, which means that the mover of a resolution must have a copy of the amendment.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the substance of the resolution will be the same, it amounts to the same thing. So, I put it to you whether you allow me to make a slight alteration for the sake of a geographical name.

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here I would take it that since the hon. Member who moved the resolution wanted to make some amendment to his own resolution it implies that the resolution is irregular and out of order.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the words 'any Member' include the Member who moved the resolution.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : By implication a copy of an amendment is not to be given to others but it should be given to the mover of the resolution. What is implied is that it expects any Member other than the mover of the resolution to make an amendment and in that case a copy of such amendment may be given to the mover of the resolution.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will abide by your ruling. If the ruling be what we continue with the resolution as it stands, we will do it because the substance is practically the same. We are spending a lot of time on niceties which do not in any way add to the substance of the resolution.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : You may move the resolution as it is.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : So, I move this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to use only the names Umiam, Umsning and Mawlein for all official purposes in place of Barapani, Nayabunglow and Lalcharai respectively.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, actually this should not take so much time. I think none of us is in two minds as to the desirability of using the original and still current names of these places, which unfortunately were changed by a Government prior to the present Government to serve its own interest. As we all know, the entire area of Barapani is known as Umiam and the Barapani lake is also known as the Umiam Lake. Hence Nayabunglow is the word brought during the regime of another Government, whereas the local people of the area refer to the place as Umsning. The word Umsning has also crept into the correspondence of the Government of Meghalaya. We find also the word Nayabunglow being used for a number of official purposes. We find that at the Block headquarter a beautifully and clearly painted signboard with the word 'Nayabunglow'. The word 'Lalcharai' is not a word that originated from our Hills. It is a word coined by others and which should really be substituted by the word 'Mawlein'. So, this is my recommendation to the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, and I earnestly put it forthwith to the Government for acceptance.

        (At this stage the Deputy Speaker left the Chamber and Shri Humphrey Hadem occupied the Chair)

Mr. Chairman : So, the motion as already moved is that this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to use only the names Umiam, Umsning and Mawlein for all official purposes in place of Barapani, Nayabunglow and Lalcharai respectively.

        The hon. Member has moved the resolution and has also made his observation. So, if there is any Member who would like to take part, he may do so.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I for one fall in line with the mover of the resolution. We have fought for a Hill State and we have fought for our right to have our own Government to be ruled by our own people. We have done that actually for the one and only reason at the beginning, that is, the language problem. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that it is awkward on our part to have the names of our villages or markets or roads, etc., in foreign languages. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, not only these names which the hon. Member has mentioned but I would like to add that first of all we should do away with all these foreign names here in Shillong itself, e.g., Bishnupur, Motinagar, Lalchandbasti, Barapathar, Barabazar, etc.

Mr. Chairman : Please confine to the Subject-matter of the resolution only.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Chairman, Sir, that is by way of expression only, I would suggest that it is important to have our own local names which will nicely fit in. Our Khasi names have meanings. We do not name any village or man without any meaning. Our fore-fathers named the villages or places or even their children after they have thought properly what is there in the name. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would request the Government to accept this resolution though it is brought from the Opposition. This will also help the people from outside to understand more about the Khasis especially those important names which were given in the resolution itself as Barapani. Every tourist who comes to Shillong would like to see Barapani. On his way, he will pass through as important village or town, i.e., Umsning. But unfortunately he will be thinking that it is still under Assam or Bengal because we have the names in the languages of the plains people. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I whole-heartedly support the resolution moved by my friend. I would also like to add that Government should also consider changing of names of different localities here in Shillong it self. Thank you, Sir.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S. T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, while discussing this resolution, it is really very difficult to express our opinion regarding the names. We are the children of history and our beautiful hills have passed through many ages of history and these names somehow or other crept in the rivers, towns, villages, roads, streams and very recently, even the name of the State also. There is a controversy in the pronunciation of the name of our State. For example Lalcharai - I used to ask some people : who has given that name? Some people said that the name was given by the drivers because they used to take something there that is lal. Even the name of individual, e.g., our Chief Minister has been Capt. Williamson A. Sangma and so on and so forth.

Mr. Chairman : What does that imply?

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : His name is not Captain. But the people call him Captain. Therefore, Sir, I differ somehow or other with the mover of the resolution because we are children of history. Sometimes it is very difficult to do away with their names. But there is a strong argument to support him. For example, Iewduh. We do not call Iewduh many times. We used to call it Barabazar, and also instead of calling Iewmawlong, we call it Mawlonghat. Therefore, the very principle of the resolution deserves support of this House. If the people want to know where is the Assam State Electricity Board or where is the Umiam project and if we retain the name Barapani, it sounds as if it is somewhere in some parts of India. With these few words, I would request the Government, and with a smile I had from our Chief Minister, to at least accept the resolution.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I appreciate the sentiments expressed by the mover and also the supporters of the resolution. It is not only in the State of Meghalaya changes of names are taking place. The mover of the resolution who was born in Ceylon is quite aware of the fact that the name of that country which is close to India is now known as Sri Lanka. So it is not even confined everywhere. It will not be correct to say that since it has got foreign elements, the names should be changed. The supporter of the resolution whose name is "Francis" is an English name. So also the mover of the resolution, his name is an English name. So also Williamson. Therefore, it will not be correct to argue that because it has got some foreign elements, the name should be done away with. I will not agree to that unless we all agree to change our names. Mr. Chairman, Sir, Shri Mawlot, while supporting the resolution - though you have ruled out - gave a suggestion that the changing of names should not be confined to these three places. But the names of other places which have been named after somebody should also be changed. I agree in principle that as far as possible we should try to respect the aspiration of the people. But as has been pointed out by Shri Pohshna, I think it will not be possible  for the Government to come to a conclusion or accept certain suggestions without going into the question in fuller details. Well, accepting the principle of the resolution moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati, I would like to suggest that there should be a Committee to go into this question in detail and it should not be confined to only three places. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would not like to discuss this matter at length. I agree in principle that the names of some places should be changed in keeping with the aspiration of the local people. But such question should be gone into fuller details be the Committee. I would, therefore, suggest to the House that a Committee may be appointed by the Government to go into the question not only for these three places but also for other places.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I readily accept the very practical suggestion of the Leader of the House. So, I beg leave of the House that the resolution be withdrawn.

Mr. Chairman : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw the resolution?

        (Voices - Yes, yes).

        The resolution is withdrawn.

        Resolution No.3 to be move by Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw.

Prof. M.N Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to consider steps to reduce the incidence State taxes in view of the alarming rise of prices in Meghalaya, higher than the general price the rest of the country.

Mr. Chairman : Resolution moved. Now you may initiate the discussion.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :  The problem of rising prices is not new to the State or to any particular part of India. It is common to the rest of the country, may, in fact, to the whole world today because of economic conditions existing today. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is my contention, as far as our country is concerned, that this State of Meghalaya has one of highest price indices in the country particularly because of lack of communications. Now, Sir, as I have pointed out earlier while moving an amendment to the Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act, 1974, the only means of communication between this State of ours and the rest of the country is by road transport. Barring at very small and negligible proportion of river transport in the area adjoining the borders of Meghalaya, the principal means of communication is through road transport. We have got this great Gauhati-Shillong road under the jurisdiction of the Assam-Meghalaya States Road Transport Corporation, which was also a subject of hot debate in this House in previous sessions. Apart from this, Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have no other means of communication; we have no air service, we have no railway service. Of course the Railway Board, as we have seen in the news item, has recently asked the North Eastern Railway to make a survey for the extension of the broad-gauge line from Gauhati to Byrnihat; and at Umroi we shall be having as air-service. But these are still the things of the future. A common man of the street, going to purchase various commodities necessary for which is to large extent determined by road transport. Now again, Mr. Chairman, Sir, this road transport is under a monopoly and the rates being imposed under this monopoly arrangement are higher than those operating in other parts of the country. Then Mr. Chairman, Sir, being connected with then rest of India only by road transport has made every thing expensive. Even for the chasis of a vehicle or for certain goods like the tyres of a truck the price is so exorbitant that as an off shoot the price of essential commodities in Shillong has risen and from Shillong to rest of the State, viz., Tura, Jowai. Further, Mr. Chairman, Sir, this State is not yet in a position to generate economy. The economic condition of the State has not risen to such a level that the people are able to pay such high prices. They are still very very poor. The per capita income of our State is one of the lowest in the country whereas the price index as obtained here is one of the highest. Expecting a few privileged persons, the vast number of our people are still very very poor. But the Government does not exist for a few privileged persons, the vast vast number of people living on the borders of poverty and misery and these people form the bulk of our population. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would submit that while we should raise the revenue of the State, it is still possible to reduce the incidence of State taxes; I shall show how we can make up this loss in revenue. That is, if we try to reduce some taxes imposed by the State upon the common person. I had occasion, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to move an amendment to the Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act, 1974, when I had said that imposition of taxes upon paddy is not at all justified, however much the collection of revenue for the State is justified. Rice is the staple food of 99 per cent of the people of our State. It is eaten by the commonest man of the State as well as Ministers; in whatever form either fried, boiled or roasted, rice is our staple food in the State. Then again, Mr. Chairman, Sir, taxes have been imposed on hides and skins. As you know, Sir, almost everybody wears a pair of shoes to avoid injury to his feet. It is no more the prerogative of high level people to have shoes. Again, Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are other commodities also like raw jute on which tax has been imposed. As you know, rice, wheat, maize, dal, etc., all these things are packed in jute bags and brought to our State. So the incidence of tax upon these essential commodities or upon these items, which affect the lives of our people, should have been reduced. I failed in an attempt Mr. Chairman, Sir, in trying to move an amendment to the Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act, but I submit this is not a method, a back-door method in order to achieve same objective. My primary purpose, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is to relieve the poor to a certain extent. I have shown how although the collections from Purchase Tax would come to Rs.2,700 and odd, yet Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is possible to help the poor by reducing this tax to a certain extent, to a certain percentage-not entirely doing away with it, as after all, Government has to function. But by reducing it partially, there would be an annual loss to the State of about Rs.2,500 and odd which again will be an insignificant sum for a Government which has budget of about 40 or 50 crores of rupees. I am prepared to show today Mr. Chairman, Sir, that this marginal loss of revenue can be more than compensated for by certain measures to be taken up by the Government. I would like first to insist upon this. Whether Government is aware of the fact that the common people are suffering tremendously because of a rise in prices in the State, and whether Government is aware of the fact that the incidence of rising prices is abnormally worse in this State that in the rest o the country? I will not accept the excuse that it is all part of the general price rise as in the rest of the country. No, Mr. Chairman, Sir, in this State the price is higher than anywhere in India, for a variety of reasons as I have endeavoured to show. Mr. Chairman, Sir, one of the measures that could have been taken up by this Government to make up, more than make up for the loss of revenue that I propose through this resolution is to issue strict orders that all MLG cars of the Meghalaya Government shall be used only for official purposes. I am prepared to give photographs to the Minister-in-charge, that I have taken of a line of MLG cars outside all the schools of Shillong in the morning, taking the children of officers and Ministers to school. I have taken photograph of lines of MLG cars, and according to rules, they are to be strictly used for official purposes only. (voices : outside the cinemas also) I am coming to that. Outside the cinemas, I am prepared to take the Minister during the hours while cinemas shows are still on, to see a long array of beautiful nice-looking cars, MLG, etc., etc., outside the cinemas. You will also see MLG cars in market places with bundles of vegetables which are carried into the MLG, cars to be transported home. These are only some of the unofficial occasions when MLG cars are being used. I have not yet been able to make a careful account of the loss of petrol and expenditure incurred by the Government in allowing these MLG vehicles to move around at the cost of the Government. I do surmise that it amounts to quite a big sum, much more than Rs.2,500. This is a very insignificant margin. In addition to that, Mr. Chairman, Sir, when these MLG vehicles have been used for non-official purposes, apart from the consumption of petrol, there is also wear and tear on the vehicles; that also has not been accounted for Mr. Chairman, Sir, when these vehicles go around for non-official purposes. Then Mr. Chairman, Sir, I can only propose further that, if Government feel sure of itself, it would issue such orders that MLG cars should not be used for fraudulent or un-official purpose. I can propose that the tax upon the common man should not be imposed, but upon the rich man in this field. Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are certain persons who have foreign cars in the State. When a person buys a foreign car, he has to spend about 80,000 to a lakh of rupees. He buys it from Delhi, from the State Trading Corporation of India. If he can spend almost a lakh of rupees on a car, I am sure he will be prepared to pay at least Rs.500 to Rs.1000 per year as a tax. A tax can be imposed upon all vehicles with a higher horse power than 25. Those vehicles having a higher than 25 horse power can be taxed and you can call it wealth tax or whatever you may name it. I can assure the Minister-in-charge that these persons who own foreign cars (and the cars are above 25 or 30 horse power) will be prepared to pay tax when they are purchasing the car for about a lakh of rupees. There are some of the ways Mr. Chairman, Sir, and there are other ways also by which the Government can more than make up the loss of revenue. If it reduces State taxes, what will be the impact of the reduction of State tax upon the common persons. It will be great Mr. Chairman, Sir, economically, and psychologically. It will at least show the common man that this Government is interested in helping the weaker and poorer sections of this community. I do not have to teach the Ruling Party how it can help these people by being a public servant of the common man, but certainly this reduction of taxes would win a great deal how this loss can be more than made up by certain measures even by the ordinary economic measures or stringency measures by the Government in various forms. If this is strictly adhered to, Government will be able to save from Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000 a year easily. But whether Government is prepared to do so is another question. So I put it to the Government, if they are prepared to help the common man, let them reduce the incidence of State tax and they can more than make up for the loss by certain suggestions that I have proposed.

        Thank you, Sir

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have been listening to the arguments advanced by the Member from Mawhati and while recognising some of his remarks regarding incidence of tax on transport and the need for examining the reduction in cost of taxes charged in the transport industry, there is one basic thing that should be brought to his attention that the State taxes are on other items and not on the items of essential commodities. Foodstuffs, namely rice, dal, sugar, atta, moida, milk, salt, potato, vegetables, fish, meat, etc., are non-taxable items. Since these essential commodities are not taxable, there is no incidence of taxes in this regard. In regard to sugar, textile, cigarette, etc. Government of India levies the additional Excise duty at source which is shared with the States and therefore the reduction in the rates of taxes will not result in fall of prices unless production increases.

        Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I stated earlier, the incidence of various taxes which the State imposes on various commodities will have very little bearing in regard to essential commodities in our State. However, I may state very clearly here that our Government had already considered this whole question of taxation. In this connection, the Government had earlier set up a Taxation Enquiry Committee to study comprehensively the taxation structure in the State, where there are experts and some of the Members of this House also have been appointed to the Committee and the Committee has held several sittings and the revision of the tax structure in the State will be considered after the detailed recommendations of the Committee are known to the State Government.

        It may be pointed out also that price rise is an All India phenomenon and mere reduction of the incidence of States Taxes may not bring down the price level. I would inform the House through you Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the other day I had the occasion to represent my views infront of the Taxation Enquiry Committee regarding transport Taxes. On enquiry, I was surprised to hear that hardly any member of this House had replied to the questionnaire that had been circulated and very few representatives or no one from the Transport Organisation had represented the case before this Committee. I had requested this Committee to again approach, especially the Transport Organisation who had represented to Government at various stages, to make sure that they are fully informed about this Enquiry Committee. I am sorry that even the Member who moved this resolution had not appeared before the Committee and he has certainly had the liberty to do so, instead of raising it here, when the Government have set up this Committee. Instead of tabling this resolution here, all the points should have been well elaborated and presented before the Enquiry Committee and then the Government will take into consideration the report of the Committee.

        Regarding the use of MLG cars, these are, according to rules, used by the officers and Ministers on their own P.O.L. and therefore, according to rules they are allowed to use them for certain private purposes. However, because of shortage of petrol, there had been a request to restrict the use of cars in various ways. Regarding the other suggestions that have been made, I would suggest to the hon. member concerned to present these suggestions before the Taxation Enquiry Committee. So with this remark, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would request the Member to withdraw his resolution.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : I would say, in the first place, as far as this Committee is concerned, it is not fully represented by all sections of the people, neither politically nor commercially, and so we thought that it would be better to raise this in this House. I may also ask Sir, on a point of clarification, whether the P.O.L. paid for by officers and Ministers is reimbursed or not by the Government. And also the wear and tear of these vehicles used for shopping, dropping their children at school and the rest, whether necessary repairs are paid for by Government or not.              

        Sir, since the matter has come up for reply and the Minister has been trying to agree to a part of what he had presented, yet on the other hand, since I consider the matter so important to the Government and it will not involve a great loss but only a small loss, as a gesture of its good intentions towards the common man, I would wish the Government to give us a decision in this respect. I hope the Government accepts my resolution.

Mr. Chairman : Now, the question is that this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to consider steps to reduce the incidence of State taxes in view of the alarming rise of prices in Meghalaya higher than the general price level in the rest of the country.

        (The resolution was lost by voice vote)

        Mr. Mawlot now may move resolution No.4.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : I move that this Assembly recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to absorb all the Muster Roll employees now working under the Public Works Department as regular paid employees.

Mr. Chairman : Motion moved.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Chairman, Sir, just now the hon. Member from Mawhati has brought a resolution requesting this House to recommend to the Government of Meghalaya to consider the poorer people of the State to relieve them to the harassment of tax. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, each and every-one has to pay tax either by way of selling the produce or by way of purchasing. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the cost of living has gone up all of a sudden and beyond our expectation. This, I do not say, is the fault of the Government of Meghalaya, it is the fault of the Government of India which could not control the rise in prices. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I consider it my duty to remind the Government to think of the poor people who can earn their livelihood from hand to mouth, by working for the whole day and getting only Rs.3 per day.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : No, Rs.4 per day.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Of course, I speak subject to correction. Anyhow, the credit goes to the Minister because he has raised it by Re.1. But we must consider the position the position of a man who earns only Rs.4 per day. Supposing he is married and having children, what can he do with this amount that even a bachelor cannot live with it because he has to spend 15 paise for a match-box, Rs.1.50 for a single meal, not less than 80 paise for his tea and Re.1 for other things. So, Sir, he has nothing left for his dinner. Mr. Chairman, Sir, this is the right time to consider the condition of the poor people who are engaged in the P.W.D. as muster rolls. These people should be absorbed so that they can have the benefit of getting their pay as regular employees of the Government. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think we are all agreed on the fact that even we the M.L.As, who are getting Rs.500 per month, are grumbling and would like some increments in our allowances. So this amount of Rs.4 is almost nothing. Moreover, Sir, a muster roll worker does not get pay on Sundays also and, so, in a month he gets a much less amount of money.

Mr. Chairman : At what rate per day?

        (Voice : Rs.4 per day)

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : If a man works on Sundays, he gets a maximum of about Rs.150 per month. But these labourers do not entirely depend on day-time work; they have also to work at night in order to earn more. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think this is not a new thing and the whole House understands the position. So, Sir, I am only to request the Government, at this juncture., either to increase the wages of the Muster Roll Labourer from Rs.4 to Rs.8 per day, or absorb them as regular paid employees of the Government. If this is done, it will help them to a great extent and enable them to live a better life.

Mr. Chairman : No, Mr. Mawlot, you cannot have two alternatives in the same resolution. The resolution here is strictly for absorption of the muster roll workers as regularly paid employees. Rule 122 says that "The discussion of a resolution shall be strictly limited to the subject of the resolution". So, I would request you to stick to your resolution.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, and I will stick to it. But supposing that the Government does not agree to it because there is always a tendency that nothing brought in this House by any hon. Member of the Opposition is accepted.

Mr. Chairman : No, you cannot say like that.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : But that has been the practice.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : So, I would urge upon the Government to consider the miserable condition in which these people are living and Government should at least be kind enough as they have been in respect of other services. So, Sir, this Government should be kind enough to these muster roll workers also by absorbing them as regular employees.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support this resolution particularly in view of the fact that our sister State, in which, at one time, we were also included, has taken a policy decision, as announced by the Chief Minister a few months ago in Assam, that all those muster roll workers would be absorbed as regular employees in the P.W.D. So, Sir, I do not know why this Government also cannot do the same. Now, in addition to the arguments given by the hon. Member from Nongstoin ......

Mr. Chairman : Do you mean to say that this Government is bound to accept what Assam is doing?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : No, but there is a precedent in the sense that since others are doing the same thing and it is not a  very big problem for us we should do the same thing. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, may I point out that these muster roll workers not only get no salaries on Sundays but they also do not get paid for the days on which they are ill. No pay for him if he is absent from  work even though his absence is due to valid reasons. But the other Government servants can take sick leave for a number of days and still get pay or sick pay whereas these people, who are the poorest in the P.W.D. and who are at the bottom and often receive scoldings, these people who do the dirty jobs and onerous duties in this Department while all praise goes to the officers for the work or job done by these muster roll workers, whenever they themselves are ill, they get no salaries for the days on which they are absent in addition to no wages on Sundays. The wife of a muster roll employee has to live on Sunday but the Government says "No, do not live on Sunday you cannot get salaries for the days you are absent". So, Sir, these muster roll employees should be absorbed by the P.W.D. as regular employees.

Mr. Chairman : The Minister-in-charge to reply?

*Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hon. mover of the resolution now before the House began by saying that one of these reasons why he has brought forward this resolution is due to the fact that these muster-roll workers are expected to pay taxes. Now on this point, I would to remind that some remarks were made that taxes are paid by the employed and the unemployed. Taxes are paid by those employed in Government service who are employed as temporary or permanent employees. Therefore, I see no force in the argument put forward by the hon. mover of the resolution.

        Now to argue that the muster roll workers should be made regular Government employees just because they are today earning four rupees, that to me at least is not convincing. I do expect the hon. mover to have mentioned something about the sense of security and not only the sense of security but the actual security that goes with the fact of being regular Government employees. I am glad that the hon. member from Mawhati improved on the arguments put forward by the hon. mover when he made a mention about the reasonable of demanding for the employed the benefits of salaries or pay during leave.

        Now on the resolution, I would like to inform the hon. mover and also the hon. member from Mawhati that some time back the Government received a representation from the Muster-roll labourers urging upon the Government to make them permanent workmen in the Public Works Department. Immediately on receipt of the representation, the Department studied the facts of the case and I am glad to inform the House that for this a complete list of the muster-roll workers has already been compiled - a list of those muster roll workers who have put in 5 years of service or more. Then I would also like to say for the benefit of the mover of the resolution that in deciding this case, other departments of the Government will also be involved. For instance, the Labour Department will be directly involved. Then the Law Department may also have to be consulted before a final decision can be arrived at. I am mentioning these to justify the little time that has been taken in coming to a decision. In any case, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to be brief in conclusion that the matter is being examined and it is being looked into, and, until a final decision is arrived at in this matter, we will not be in a position to make any categorical commitment on this issue. Thank you.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Chairman, Sir, before I am asked to withdraw, I would like to seek another clarification. At least tentatively how long it will take to arrive at a final decision?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It will not be possible to give a definite date about it.

Mr. Chairman : So, according to the statement given by the Government the matter is now still under process and in view of these facts stated here what is the reaction on the part of the hon. mover?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Chairman, Sir, it seems that there is no need for further description. I hope that Government is also aware that the sufferings of the people and is already preparing a scheme to help them. So I withdraw my resolution.

Mr. Chairman : Has the hon. member leave of the House to withdraw the resolution?

        (Voice : Yes, yes).

        (The resolution is withdrawn). Now I call upon Prof. Majaw to move Motion No.2.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I move that this House do now discuss the desirability of having non-official Chairman for Government Boards, Corporations and Committees.

Mr. Chairman : Motion moved.

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am happy at the quicker pace that we have been able to finish a lot of work today. And then on this resolution also I do not propose to take much time. Before I discuss this matter thread-bare, I would like also to assure all those concerned that there is no intention on our part to disparage the role played by official Chairmen or to cast any aspersions upon their efficiency or their abilities. But what I would like to point out here, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is that there is a thing know as protocol. there is such a thing as protocol and I think the Government of Meghalaya has not brought out a protocol list. But the Government of India has a protocol list and according to that protocol list Mr. Chairman, Sir, the M.Ps. are listed as No.23 and M.L.As., on official duty to Delhi, are listed as No.24 and the full-fledged Generals of the Army are listed as No.25. then some of the Chief Secretaries of States and further below are the Deputy Commissioners and so on.

        Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, may I point out that if M.L.As., on official duties to Delhi are listed as No.24 in the protocol list of the Government of India, how much more so here in our own State. Therefore, I submit that since Members who are elected by the people according to the law of the land where democracy prevails, have certain standing in the eyes of the Government, it does not seem proper at all for them - with due respect and sympathy for those official chairmen - to sit in the meetings presided over by official Chairmen particularly in the case of Members of Legislative Assembly. Now, recently, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a notification was issued by the Government of Meghalaya to set up a District Planning and Development Advisory Council including all the M.L.As., and M.D.Cs., of Khasi Hills District barring the Minister from this District and placing the Deputy Commissioner as Chairman of this Committee. I submit Mr. Chairman, Sir, that it is not a matter which affects only their position because in that long list of names are included various members of that side of the House who are not yet the Ministers. It also included the Chief Executive Member of the autonomous District Council of Khasi Hills District and two Executive Members and all the M.D.Cs., of this District. Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, it certainly does not seem to be proper at all that the Deputy Commissioner should be the official Chairman to preside over the meetings of M.L.As. I have great respect for this particular gentleman; he is fine and excellent man. After the British regime from the point of view of protocol this gentleman assumed the right to be the Chairman of the Land Advisory Council of the Khasi Hills District. I have seen in the Gazetted Notification for Khasi Hills District that the Deputy Commissioner who is much below the rank of M.L.As., was placed as Chairman of the District Planning and Development Advisory Committee. This is not the only case. We have seen in this august House examples of how an officer of the Assembly sits as Chairman in a Commission that has got only two members who are M.L.As., and how it is possible for the two Members of the Assembly to sit below their rank under the Chairmanship of that particular officer. This is a violation of the protocol. Moreover, Mr. Chairman, Sir, for the Block Development Committee we are always having as official Chairman to sit above the rank of the M.L.As., and M.D.Cs. The Deputy Commissioner usually used to be the Chairman of these Committees. I propose in that case, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the M.L.A., should be the Chairman of those Block Development Committees by rotation. I know there are practical problems involved and I do not know that some Members of the Ruling Party also are tackling with the issue for having a non-official Chairman. I do not know the opinion of the other side but I have seen this has also exercised their mind too much. Therefore, I would appeal to them to consider the facts of the case to appoint a person elected by the people as Chairman and not an officer of the Government as a Chairman of any Government Committees of the district. I am not arguing this, Mr. Chairman, Sir, on party line - whether we are in the Ruling Party or in the Opposition that does not matter. But I would categorically suggest to this House that in the case of Planning and Development Advisory Council we would easily have an axe to grind. As my hon. friends, the hon. Members from Jaiaw and Sohryngkham have always had a chance to be the Chairman in public meetings and other Committees, why not other M.L.As., also be given the same opportunity as we are ourselves the representatives of the democratic people. I think this suggestion is quite far that they are in the Ruling Party and are holding the same view, to consider this suggestion. I would earnestly request the Government to accept this resolution.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the motion. It is really a difficult task if the M.L.A. the representatives of the people who know nothing about the office procedure, should preside over the meeting of the Advisory Council. But actually we should consider the work of the officer who also happens to be the Secretary of the Department, from that angle he will not be in a position to help to supply the information to the Chairman. Though the bureaucrats may think that they are the technical persons, that they know better than others; it is they who prepare schemes and make plans so they have the right to be the Chairman of the Committees. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is true that in public gate the officers can make plans so they have the right to be the Chairman of the Committees. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is true that in public gate the officers can do well with the plan. But it would be better and in the interest of the people, for the officers who are being appointed as Secretaries of the Departments to serve under the Chairmanship of the representatives elected by the people.

Mr. Chairman : Mr. Mawlot, the question is not for the Secretary but it is for the Non-official Chairman.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Yes Sir, I am coming to that. I for one, fall in line with the views expressed by the hon. Mover of this motion that in view of the fact that we do have here a protocol list and in view of the fact that we have not been given that, we are in a position much higher than any officer in the State. I would like to support the motion to have a non-official Chairman in the Committees. At the same time, my suggestion is that if at all the bureaucrats will be hurt as it will help the people to serve better and to supply more information and also to help the Chairman of the Committees to function effectively. With these few words, Sir, I support the motion.

Shri Humphrey Nongrum (Langrin S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to participate in the discussion of the motion as moved by the mover. Mr. Chairman, Sir, at the very outset, I would like to inform the mover of the motion that he is right in telling that we from this side of the House, the members of the A.P.H.L.C. have considered this matter since a pretty long time. Now this matter is not new to us. We have been discussing it in our circle not only discussing it  but we have also gone thoroughly into the pros and cons of the subject. To have Government officers as Chairman of every Government Committee or board we find that it is very difficult to run these boards and committees smoothly. As it is now, we have inherited or adopted this thing from the old British days. During the British time, as we all know, the Deputy Commissioner of any district is being appointed as the administrator to run the affairs of the State and he was not as busy as the Deputy Commissioner of today is. We know, as a welfare State, that we have many many developmental works and in all these works the Deputy Commissioner is very much involved. When I say this, I do not mean to cast aspersion on any Deputy Commissioner but I only state fact. The Deputy Commissioner is the Chairman of all Development Block Committees. We have got in the district of Khasi Hills 10 Development Blocks, and as such the Deputy Commissioner is the Chairman of the Committees of 10 Blocks as well as other Committees. So we have seen that though he may be working very hard, he cannot do justice to all works that have been entrusted to him. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am sure that the Government is quite aware of this fact and is very actively considering it even before the motion is brought before the House. Thank you.

Mr. Chairman : Will the Minister in-charge give a reply?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is always easy to say that to have a Chairman for a particular committee or board the protocol of a person should be taken into consideration. But whenever a particular board or committee is constituted, there is a purpose behind it. There is a definite purpose and it should be able to discharge its duties. So I cannot agree with the hon. Member, the mover of the Motion., that the Chairman of a particular board or a particular committee should be on the basis of protocol of a person. It may be possible to take that into account in some cases but not in all cases. Therefore, I would not agree with the emphasis given by the mover of the motion that in trying to find out a person to be the chairman of a particular board or committee, the question of protocol should be taken into consideration first and foremost. At the same time, we should also remember that certain boards or committees are constituted according to the provision of law. There are certain laws under which committees or boards are constituted. It has got a definite provision as to who would be the chairman. Especially in the case of technical committees or boards, it will not be possible to give importance to the protocol. If the protocol of the M.P. or M.L.As. today tops the list but if he has no technical background, it will not be possible to appoint him or her to be the chairman of the board or committee. Thereby I do not want to rule out the possibility of having them as chairmen or members of the committees or boards. But I would for the appointment of chairmen of the Committees or Boards. As for example, this House had the occasion to discuss and pass an Act for the constitution of the State Education Board. there is a provision that the Director of Public Instruction should be the Chairman of the board because of the fact that he knows about education. He is supposed to be an expert on that and this very House has agreed to that particular provision and passed that into law.

        The State Government has not finalised the protocol List of the Government of India and in this regard it may be argued that the M.L.As have got much higher status than that of the Director of Public Instruction and as such these committees or boards should be headed by technical officers. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are also certain laws and Acts under which certain corporations and boards have been constituted. It will not be possible here to appoint an M.P., or an M.L.A., as Chairman simply because according to protocol he has got a higher status, without considering, whether he knows anything about flood control or whether he has got any technical knowledge. I think that cannot be accepted. But it is correct to say that the Government is seized of the problem, as has been pointed out by the Mover of the Motion. The Ruling Party has considered the question of desirability of having, in some boards or committees, a non-official chairman. But it will not be possible to do it on the basis of protocol of a person. We should have to examine whether to man a particular board or committee, some qualification would be required to help that particular person, other than technical man. These are matters which have got to be gone into detail. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a reference has been made about the Land Reforms Commission. It has been argued that a person who has been made a chairman, being the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly, should not be allowed to be the chairman of the Commission, while its two Members are public representatives. This argument also I cannot accept because we have to find a man who is familiar with the various land tenure systems in the Khasi Hills District. This particular gentleman has got enough experience. He started his career as Sub-Deputy Collector, who is directly concerned with land matters, and at the same time, having worked for many many years in the different Departments in the composite State of Assam, he has the occasion to deal with this question. Therefore, the Government's thought is that - let us not come into the question of protocol, but let us find a person who would be able to help the Government to accept in principle that in the matter of appointment of chairman to various boards and committees, the protocol of a person should be taken into consideration.

        (At this stage the Chairman vacated the Chair and the Speaker occupied it).

        But as I said, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this question is being attended to by the Government and we will try to find out if appointment of non-official members to Boards or Committees would adversely affect the duties of particular committees or boards. A non-official chairman can be appointed, but it will not be possible to categorically say that because of protocol chairman of all boards or committees of the Government should be manned by non-officials.

        Therefore, I would request the hon. Member to give adequate time to the Government to examine this question. We will try to find out what are the Boards or Committees which can be manned by non-official chairmen, the Board or Committees which may have a direct link with the people which require the co-operation and support of the people. I can say that the Block Development Committee can be one such. It will be desirable, if every thing is all right, to have a non-official chairmen. But it may not, of course, be possible in respect of certain boards or committees which are of technical in nature to have non-official chairmen. The Government is very much alive to the question and I would request the hon. Member, the Mover of the Motion, to have more patience and not to insist on the appointment of a chairman  only on the basis of protocol of a person. It may not be too much to say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we have come here as M.L.As., or the representatives of the  people. We may have to be very frank, including myself. We may not have the technical knowledge or we not have even the requisite qualification to be a member of the Parliament, or the Assembly as may be required for efficient functioning. Again, we may have certain qualifications that are required but those qualifications may not help a Member of the Parliament or of the Assembly to man a particular board or to chair a particular committee. I think it will be wrong to say that one is qualified for everything only because he happens to be an M.L.A., or an M.P. or because he has got some particular status. I know three had been cases in the past where a few M.L.As., or M.Ps., drew their salary by giving their thumb impression. In such cases, will it be proper to make him a chairman of a particular board, specially of a technical nature, only on consideration of the protocol? An illiterate man may be an expert in social matters and he may have wide knowledge in that. But it will be possible for him and will he be qualified to chair a particular board or committee? Therefore, these are the things which have to be gone through in detail. So, I once again request the hon. Member to have a second thought and not to come with a suggestion that protocol should be the basis while appointing chairmen of various boards or committees. Let us be more practical and realistic about it so that the Government will be able to see and examine which are the boards or committees that can be manned by non-official persons or by persons who have enough background and experience in respect of a particular matter. We will certainly look into the matter and, in fact, it is the process, as has been pointed out by my colleague, Mr. Humphrey Nongrum. We shall also see if the suggestions of the Mover can be accommodated.

Mr. Speaker : The discussion on this Motion is now closed. Let us come to Motion No.3 to be moved by Shri Mawlot.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I move that the Assembly do now discuss the feasibility of having the headquarters of the Meghalaya Board of School Education at Tura.

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not very sure whether the Government has decided to have the headquarters of the Board of School Education at Tura. But certain information has been received by me that the Government proposes to have the headquarters of the Board of School Education established at Tura. Sir, the capital of the State is very much centrally located and most of the big schools and colleges are located here.

Mr. Speaker : But this Board has nothing to do with the colleges.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : But it is to deal with the process of examinations in the University. My only intention in bringing this Motion is to ventilate my own views. I wonder whether it will be feasible to have its headquarters at Tura because most of the Members of the Board will have to go down to Tura every now and then for the meetings. The officials of different institutions who have to contact the Board of School Education, will have not only to spend days together to go to Tura but they will also have to spend a lot of money. More expenditure will have to be incurred by the Members and also by different departments who are required to contact the Board of School Education at Tura. I do not see any reason why the Board of School Education cannot be stationed here in Shillong.

Mr. Speaker : Anybody else ?

*Shri Plansing K. Marak (Kherapara S. T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there has been a proposal to shift the seat of this Board of School Education to Tura on the demand of the people of Garo Hills. This is the only office we are demanding to be located at Tura. We have been all along silent on all proposals made by the Government to locate almost all offices and establishments at Shillong. I would say that this is the only cream that we are demanding for Garo Hills. Most of the institutions and offices are located in Shillong. The University is at Shillong, the institution of English and foreign languages which is sponsored by the Government is also being located at Shillong, the soil testing station is also located at Shillong and also the cultural institution is going to be located at Shillong. The Pre-Examination Centre for I.A.S. and I.P.S., will also be located at Shillong. So, I do not know why my hon. friend should grudge the sharing of other districts in the administration. I would be very happy if the hon. Member had moved that this office should be located at Jowai and we would have no objection to it. What do we have at Tura? So far nothing has gone to Tura. We never raise our objection when the Government makes a proposal to establish institutions or offices here at Shillong. My hon. friend has suggested that there will be difficulty on the part of the members of the Board of School Education and they will have to incur expenditure for going down to Tura, as if all the members of the Board are only from Shillong. I know there are also members who belong to Garo Hills. If it is located at Shillong, the members from Garo Hills also will have to incur expenditure whenever they come to Shillong. I think there will be no member from Shillong who will not be happy to get more T.A. and D.A. whenever he is required to go to Tura to attend the meeting of the Board. We are demanding to hold the Assembly session at Jowai. We shall get more T.A. and D.A. So the people of Shillong will be happy, to get more T.A. and D.A. When the Garo Members from Tura coming to Shillong get T.A. and D.A. why should the people of Shillong be deprived of this benefit. This benefit should be shared equally. I do not see any reason why the hon. Members are opposed to the establishment of this small office at Tura though small, yet it is important.

        Now, on the question of feasibility, the answer is yes. There is no difficulty. In the month of December, I requested my friend to construct a house for renting it to the Board of School Education. My only request to the Government is that they should not delay any further but transfer this office as early as possible. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, as mentioned by my hon. friend, there is no difficulty in transferring this important but small office to Tura. Once more, I would request the Government to implement the decision which has been taken so that the Board of School Education should come into being at an early date.

*Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, while associating myself with this motion, I feel that the question here is the feasibility of having the headquarters of the Board of School Education at Tura. Before Government takes a decision, I would request that it should first of all examine properly the feasibility because, as stated by the hon. Member from Nongstoin, many of the educational institutions, Higher Secondary Schools and High Schools, are mostly located in this part of the State, most of them are in Khasi and Jaintia Hills. We appreciate that there are Government schools as well as private schools in Tura, and of course, if this Board could be located somewhere, it should be in the centre but not in Shillong or Tura. It should be in the centre where al parts of the State could have easy approach and where there is no controversy. Sir, whatever it is, I say, that we should not grudge if it is located at Tura. But the only thing is that the Government should examine the feasibility of the proposal properly before a decision is taken.

*Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry that some of the hon. members do not find any feasibility of the proposal. They said that if the headquarter of the Board of School Education goes to Tura, it will be inconvenient or expensive or not feasible at all. I think the ground put forward by the hon. Members does not stand on a sound footing. Moreover, the question of sentiments also crops up here. As one hon. Member from Garo Hills spoke, when a separate State was created, Garo Hills demanded nothing. Before the separate State is created, Shillong was the capital of not only one State but of several States. After Meghalaya came into being, the Hill University is established here.

Mr. Speaker : But that is not established by the State Government. It is established by the Act of Parliament.

*Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch : Whatever it is, it is situated at Shillong and we have no grudge. This is a very small office. As a consolation prize, Government has decided to keep it at Tura. For that we are co-operating with the Government. We are also thinking that we are one and the same. If that small office is located there, I shall be very much grateful. I would rather say that the Government has taken a bold step to establish the headquarters of the Board of School Education in Tura. So the question of not being feasible does not arise at present. There may not be buildings. But buildings are not the things which are to be considered here. Buildings can be constructed. I had the opportunity to work in the Secondary Education Board. The income of the Secondary Education Board is very very high. If Government gives a little loan to this Board then within a year or two, the Board can refund the loan. Government need not give it as a grant. If this small office goes to Tura, at least some of our children may also get employment opportunities. In the Secretariat, most of our children do not want to work because the salary they expect to get is not commensurate. So if this office goes to Tura, at least our brothers and sisters will be benefited, and I earnestly request my friends from Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills not to grudge for this. With these few observations, I resume my seat.

Shrimati Percylina Marak (Rongram S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to take part in the motion moved by hon. Member from Nongstoin. I would like to make a few observations on this and I hope that the hon. Member who moved the Motion will also agree to my reasoning and help to speed up the matter. Sir, Tura is the second town in our State of Meghalaya and there have been some proposals to develop and beautify not only Tura, but Shillong and Jowai also. If this institution is set up at Tura, I am sure it will contribute a great deal to the growth of beautification of the town itself.

        Secondly, it is a well-known fact that the percentage of literacy in Garo Hills is below than that of Khasi Hills. The existence of this very institution in Tura will indirectly help and encourage our people to keep in touch with the educational values and also to improve the educational standards.

        Thirdly, by setting up the headquarters of the Meghalaya Board of School Education the unemployment problem also will be solved. It will open avenues for the educated unemployed youth and also for the qualified candidates who fail to come and serve in the State capital due to unavoidable difficulties.

        Fourthly, I think it is the desire of every member in this House to see that all-round development takes place throughout the State. As such all the institutions should not centre round the capital only. Then lastly, the establishment of this institution will be welcomed wholeheartedly by the people there, as it will fulfill one of the long cherished desires of our people. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker : Before we proceed any further let us clear our minds. It appears that the majority of the hon. Members who have participated in the discussion did not confine themselves to the points raised  in the motion. The point is whether there is feasibility or not. There should not be any ground for embitterment between one hon. Member advocating the case of one place with another member opposing the same. As correctly pointed out by some of the hon. members, I think we should avoid display of sentiments. The question of sharing the responsibility of the State or the burden of the State is not under dispute. Speaking about the feasibility, let me cite just an instance. There were occasions when I thought that we should hold some of our sessions at Tura. But when I realise that for this purpose the whole Assembly Secretariat is to be shifted there and most of the officers of the Government are also to shift temporarily to Tura I found that it is not feasible more so from the financial point of view. As to the discussion about feasibility of establishing the headquarters of the School Board at Tura or at some other places, I think the hon. Members should be more specific and more concrete in their suggestions. What is the Board of School Education? What about the organisation? What are the problems involved in the discharge of its duties? What are the financial implications? All these will have to be examined. But of course while discussing about the question of feasibility, you should restrict your observation on the feasibility or otherwise of locating the School Board headquarters at Tura and Tura alone. I would not allow anyone to go beyond the scope of its discussion and advocate the case of any place other than Tura on this or that plea. Now Mr. Syiemiong.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was going to say almost the same thing you have just said about the feasibility of having or not having the headquarters of the School Board of Education at Tura. I have been listening very much attentively and actually do not want to speak. But I find that there was an emotional touch of sentiment from those who have spoken before me. The hon. Member from Garo Hills will be saying something in favour of having the headquarters in Tura and the hon. Member from the other side will say something else. We do not actually touch from the real subject-matter. The point is, that we should understand that there should be administrative feasibility in selecting the headquarters whether at Tura or Jowai or not. If we are going to say that it should be at Tura or Jowai without considering the feasibility I think that will not be a very valid argument. I feel the first thing should be to see whether feasibility concerns administration or not. If the administrative feasibility is there at Tura and from there it can look after the administration at Jowai, Dawki and other places I think it is quite alright. After all we should feel that we are all  in the State of Meghalaya. I can cite an example that even in my constituency there is not a single water tap and not a single road. I never complained about this. I know there is a number of Water Supply Schemes in other constituencies but in my constituency there is no such scheme. But I do not feel anything about these things. Because I know there are other things to be considered. For that reason, I understand that there must be some administrative feasibility. One reason why we have felt so much against the Assam Government was that it never set up the University here while Shillong was the capital. The University was set up at Gauhati.

Mr. Speaker : Not even a Government College at Shillong!

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Yes, Sir, that is why we felt very much and fought for a separate State. I therefore, feel that we should be frank and rational and not be sectarian. Because we shall have to live for years together.

Mr. Speaker : Now the Minister of State, in-charge of Education to reply.

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State for Education) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, perhaps you know I believe in not being precise both in thought and action. Since English does not happen to be my mother tongue and also since it is far too rich a language for a man like me to be able to master, on receipt of the motion I considered it advisable to consult the dictionary to see exactly what the word "feasibility" in the motion means. From the various dictionaries that I have looked up, I found that the word "feasibility" means practicable, possible, likely to be, conceivable, probable, that which can be done, that which can be achieved and that which is workable.

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this being the meaning of the word 'feasible' I would like to reply to the various observations made during the discussion on this motion by saying that the idea of locating the Board of School Education at Tura is not only conceivable but actually conceived and decided. Therefore, on the 19th of October, 1973, the Leader of the House, our Chief Minister, while inaugurating the Board of School Education had occasion to categorically state the fact that for the present, the Board of School Education would function with its headquarters here in Shillong, but that ultimately the headquarters of the Board would be located at Tura. Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to state the idea of locating the headquarters of the Board not only conceivable but it is also possible and practicable. It is something that can be done and it is something that can be achieved. The only thing that stood in the way of implementing the scheme earlier than now is the fact that we have had to look for the accommodation that will be necessary both for the office and for the residential quarters of the officers and staff who will be serving under the Board.

        Now in the context of what the word "feasible" means, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to submit that the idea is not only conceivable, it is not only practicable, but it is also workable. At this stage, I would, crave your indulgence to allow me to remind the House that under the provisions of the Act, the Director of Public Instruction who functions as the Chairman of the Board is only a supervising authority and that it is the Secretary of the Board who is the principal Administrative Officer responsible for the day-to-day function of the Board. We, as the Government, see absolutely no insurmountable difficulty for the Chairman of the Board and the Secretary to communicate each other and certainly there will be no difficulty for the members of the Board whether they belong to Khasi or Jaintia Hills to proceed to Tura whenever a meeting of the Board is convened. I am sure that this point will be considered by my friend, the mover of the motion and those who supported him. In any case, the word "feasible" is a relative term and it is a well-considered intention that the government's decision to locate the headquarters at Tura is not something which is absolutely not feasible. In fact, it is very definitely possible. In passing, may I remind the House that the headquarters of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam was for many years located at Gauhati despite the fact that Shillong was then the capital of the composite State of Assam. Now I would also like to take this opportunity to state that this Board is not going to operate or function in a vacuum. Next to the Khasi Hills, Garo Hills has the second largest number of M.E. and High Schools upto March, 1972. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the number of High Schools in Khasi Hills was 68 and in the Garo Hills is 41. The number of M. E. School in Khasi Hills was 155 as against 100 in the Garo Hills and as far as the L.P. Schools are concerned, Garo Hills has the largest number of such schools.

        In respect of the motion now being discussed, I would also like to submit that in deciding the actual location of the headquarters, the question of desirability is much more important and more relevant than the question of feasibility. In this connection, I would like to join hands with the hon. member from Nongspung in reminding ourselves that one of the reasons which led our people to launch the Hill State movement and the ultimate creation of the State of Meghalaya was the mistake of the Government of Assam made in not seeing the wisdom of promoting the balanced development of the composite State of Assam. I recall Mr. Speaker, Sir, that during the movement and the campaigns, we had occasion to remind ourselves, to remind our friends for the Brahmaputra valley and to remind the Government of India and other national leaders that the first Medical College was located at Dibrugarh, the second one at Gauhati, the third one and only on paper for quite some time, was also located at Gauhati and very grudgingly, it has now actually been located at Jorhat, the Engineering Colleges at Jorhat and Gauhati, the Universities at Gauhati and Dibrugarh, the Forests institutions at Gauhati, then the Veterinary College at Gauhati. All these, Mr. Speaker, Sir, were done in total disregard to the aspirations of the hill people. It was because of these reasons that we had occasion to launch a movement and to also succeed in carrying out for ourselves a place in the sun with the creation of the State of Meghalaya.

        Finally, before I resume my seat, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to submit that this Government is not prepared to make this mistake. We are not prepared to make a mistake by adopting a short-sighted policy and it is precisely because of this truth - it is because the Leader of the House, the Chief Minister, realises the need for a realistic approach to all problems that he had occasion during his inaugural address to state - "In order to promote the balanced development of the State, we propose to locate better institutions and offices outside Shillong also. The Board of School Education will start functioning from Shillong for the present but eventually establish its office at Tura".

        Now in making this decision, I am quite sure that the Chief Minister did not even for a moment dream of deciding to locate the headquarters at Tura in an attempt to give a consolation prize. Mr. Speaker, Sir, to the Garos, as was stated by my friend from Mendipathar the decision was taken in pursuance of the policy - a realistic policy - that is just and wise and also a policy that is in the interest of the people. We seek to serve and these are the reasons which led Government to decide to locate the headquarters, of the Board at Tura. Mr. Speaker, Sir, through you, I appeal to the hon. Members who have spoken by way of support to the motion to kindly take these facts into consideration.

Mr. Speaker : Discussion on the Motion is closed.

        Let us come to motion No.4 to be moved by Mr. Francis Mawlot.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the need for immediate appointment of more Sub-Deputy Collectors in the State for quick and efficient disposal of pending land compensation cases

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Now you can raised a discussion.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the fact remains that the major part of construction of roads is pending or that the work got stuck somewhere is only because land compensation could not be paid in time to the land owners. There are certain difficulties which the Department used to meet in dealing with land compensation cases. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we have more Sub-Deputy Collectors they can be placed under the Revenue Department to go to different parts of the State and investigate into the pending cases to find out the reasons why these cases are pending and at the same time to make necessary assessment. There are deserving cases but because of certain difficulties in getting the land acquired the appointment of more S.D.Cs, can be done easily and without delay. As the Government has always informed this august House that there is shortage of S.D.Cs., I would suggest that the first thing our Government should do so, is to have a separate cadre. As it is at present we are having a joint cadre with Assam and that is why Government finds it difficult to give promotion.

Mr. Speaker : It is not a joint cadre but the Sub-Deputy Collectors we have in our State are on deputation from Assam.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Besides that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are persons who could be promoted those who are actually due to promotion. But I do not know why those who are actually get promotion cannot be promoted. So at present if we want to be actually constructive in the development of roads in the whole State, I for one feel that Government should should fill up the vacant posts, by direct recruitment from the open market and send them up for training. As soon as they complete the course of training they can be pointed as Sub-Deputy Collectors so as to help the State develop more rapidly.

Mr. Speaker : Any other hon. Member?

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this motion especially in view of the fact that there are a number of compensation cases pending. I distinguish between those that are subjected to dispute and those on which there is no dispute at all. I fail to see why after so many years even those compensation cases over which there are no disputes whatsoever, could not be cleared up. I can be very well understand when there are disputes, when four or five persons claim the same plot of land, Government has naturally to sort out to solve the matter and so it has to pass through the legal procedure. I would particularly refer to that famous and long-standing case of compensation of the Mawphlang-Balat Road, almost 19 years now. The claim of the Government being that it cannot do anything because the persons there, it is alleged, are involved in having misappropriated certain funds for compensation. But I would like to point out here that whether the funds have been misappropriated or not the land owners know nothing of this and it is the Government's duty to pay the land compensation.

Mr. Speaker : Are you discussing the problems of paying land compensation?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : In order to clear it up, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : This presupposes that these is need of more Sub-Deputy Collectors for efficient and quick disposal compensation cases.

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : I am coming to that, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Because of this we have referred to it three or four times in the House and I think in almost every session there is a debate on this. Why cannot the Government appoint the Sub-Deputy Collectors? If it is difficult to go through the Meghalaya Public Service Commission with its long procedure which is time-consuming, why not recommend to the Meghalaya Public Service Commission the temporary appointment of certain experienced officers on ad-hoc basis?

Mr. Speaker : The Meghalaya Public Service Commission can only nominate on the recommendation of the Government.

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : So the Government can recommend only the deserving persons who are experienced and efficient without going through this long process of advertising.

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in this motion because it touches a very important point. The point at issue is the need for immediate appointment of Sub-Deputy Collectors in the State for quick and efficient disposal of pending land compensation cases. But I would not go into the land compensation cases. the very first and foremost duty on the part of the Government is to go ahead with the progress of development in roads and communication. For many years we have seen that roads are proposed, then budgetted but actually it is a very sorry state of affairs to see that not a beginning is made in the matter of construction of such roads, not to speak of actual work. Therefore, this difficulty should be solved as early as possible by the Government.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, just a few words.

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Lyngdoh, time is already up. The discussion will be carried over to the next session. Mr. Lyngdoh will be the first to get the opportunity.

(Laughter)

        Let me now read the propagation order of the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan

Shillong.

O R D E R

        In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (2) (a) of Article 174 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby prorogue the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at the conclusion of its sitting on the 1st April, 1974.

Sd/- LALLAN PRASAD SINGH

Governor of Meghalaya"

        The House stands prorogued.

R. T. RYMBAI,

Dated, Shillong,

Secretary,

The

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly