Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9 a.m. on Friday, the 14th June, 1974 in the Assembly Chamber Shillong.

        Present : Mr. Speaker in the Chair, 5 Ministers, 2 Ministers of State and 52 Members.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies are laid on the Table)

Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Questions.

Eggs in the Naya Bungalow Poultry Farm

Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :

3. Will the Minister-in-charge of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that a large number of eggs are lying undisposed in the Naya Bungalow Poultry Farm?

(b) If so, the reason thereof?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary) replied :

3  (a) -

No.

   (b) -

Does not arise.

 Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) : Reply to 3 (a), my we know from the Government how these eggs are disposed of and where are they disposed of?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary, etc.) : All over the State.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : May we know what are the centres where these eggs are being sold or where are they disposed of?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary, etc.) : In Shillong and Umsning.

Mr. Speaker : Any more question?

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know from the Minister-in-charge the particular locality in Shillong where these eggs are disposed of?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary, etc.) Near the Veterinary Hospital compound.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that a number of eggs which are being hatched were damaged because of the failure of electricity in Umsning?

Mr. Speaker : That is a piece of information. Since the hon. member has passed the information, Government will take note of it.

Reservation of seats in the Lunatic Asylum at Tezpur

Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :

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

(a) Whether there is any seat reserved for mental patients from Meghalaya in the Lunatic Asylum at Tezpur?

(b) If so, the number of seats reserved?

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

4. (a) -

Yes.

   (b) -

4 (four) seats each year.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Yes, 4 (b). Are these four seats sufficient to meet the requirements of Meghalaya?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc.) : They are not sufficient if the number of patients is increased.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : May we know whether we have any reserved seat in Ranchi?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : No.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Are some of the patients who could not be admitted in Tezpur kept in the local jails?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Yes.

Pharmacist Training School at Tura

Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :

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

(a) Whether it is a fact that Government proposes to start one Pharmacist Training School at Tura?

(b) If so, when will it start functioning?

Shri Sand ford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of Health) replied :

5. (a) -

Yes.

   (b) - 

As soon as a Special Officer is appointed.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : Yes, Sir, 5 (b) - may we know the reasons for not appointing the Special Officer?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc.) : It is in the process because in the reply it is stated as the Special Officer is appointed.

Mr. Speaker : May I know from the Minister whether the Special Officer will be the head of that institution?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc.) : This Special Officer will organise the institution.

Border Area Development Officers

Shri Singjan Sangma asked :

6. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) The duties of the Border Area Development Officers?

(b) Whether they have been provided with separate offices of their own?

(c) If so, when?

(d) Whether their own offices have been adequately staffed?

(e) If not, why?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Border Areas Development) replied :

6. (a) -

(i) To collect field data for systematic assessment of the economic condition of the Border Area;

(ii) To collect relevant information from various Departments and to effect co-ordination, wherever required;

(iii) To prepare monthly and other Progress Reports in respect of schemes implemented in the Border Areas;

(iv) To assist the Deputy Commissioner in undertaking a comprehensive, quantitative and systematic study of the Border Areas and their economic problems; and

(v) To work with the Agriculture Department for implementing the Border Areas Marketing Scheme.

   (b) - 

No, Sir. The B.A.D.Os are presently functioning under the administrative control of the Deputy Commissioners. 

   (c) -

Does not arise.

   (d) -

It is purposed to place the B.A.D.Os under 3 Senior Officers who will be posed in the border areas with supporting staff.

   (e) -

Does not arise in view of (d) above.

Veterinary Complex between Kyrdemkulai and Umsning within the Ri-Bhoi Administrative Unit

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

7. Will the Minister-in-charge of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that Government have decided to start a Veterinary Complex between Kyrdemkulai and Umsning, within the Ri-Bhoi Administrative Unit?

(b) If so, whether Government propose to consult the B.D.B.Os local leaders and public representatives of the area before the work is started?

(c) If not, why?

(d) The number of local contractors and labourers employed for the construction of Government quarters and for terracing schemes in the Veterinary Complex so far?

(e) The total amount sanctioned for the said Veterinary Complex?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, etc.) replied :

7. (a) -

Yes.

   (b) -

Yes.

   (c) -

Does not arise.

   (d) -

There are three contractors working in the project. They are local tribal people. There are over 300 (three hundred) local labourers engaged in the project.

   (e) - 

The total amount sanctioned for the Veterinary Complex is Rs.6,55,000 (Rupees six lakhs fifty five thousand) only.


Calling Attention

Mr. Speaker : The questions are over now, let us pass on to item No.2

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to a news - item published in the "Shillong Times" of May 4, 1974 under the caption "SEIZURE OF TRANSCEIVERS" .

Mr. Speaker : You can explain in a few sentences if you like.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a matter of fact the caption, as appearing in the newspaper under review, is not very correct; but since our calling attention motion can only refer to what is actually published in the Newspaper it has to appear with the very peculiar caption of  "SEIZURE OF TRANSCEIVERS". The fact is there is no English word in the dictionary of this kind; but the News - item has to be correctly read through to understand the extent and seriousness of what took place some time ago, when some persons were arrested with transmitters. Now this News - item has become quite important so much so that it figured in the debates in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. And as it pertained to persons from outside this country or beyond the boundaries of the State, I considered it very important and felt that we should draw the attention of the Chief Minister to this to learn all the pertinent details in this matter.

Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister to make a statement?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the basis of the information received by the special branch of the Police, Shri Trilok Singh Chauhan and Srilal Lama were arrested by the Police, and two Trans-receiver sets were recovered from them on 19th April, 1974. These sets appear to have been manufactured in Japan. They are of the Walkie-Talkie type and can be used for wireless conversation. Experts from Police Radio Organisation examined the receivers and found that the sets were receiving wireless transmission in an unknown language. Tape-recordings of these broadcasts have been sent for examination by experts outside the State. A report is awaited.

        During the preliminary investigation, it appeared that the arrested individuals were trying to sell these equipments. It has been claimed by some accused that the Radio sets were originally obtained from Bangladesh in the latter part of 1971-72.

        A case under Section 43 of the Defence of India Rules have been registered and investigation is in progress. Altogether six persons have been registered and three of these were released on bail by the Court. On appeal by the State, the Sessions Judge ordered cancellation of the bail but his orders have been stayed by the High Court on the basis of an appeal by the accused persons.

        The House can rest assured that every effort would be made to make a thorough investigation into these matters. Since the matters is pending before the court, it would not be advisable to make any further comment on this matter in the interest of the justice.

Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to item No.3 in today's list of business. May I have the information from the H.S.P.D.P. Group how many of its Members would like to participate in the general discussion of the Budget today.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Actually the leader also would like to participate today but he will come a few minutes late.

Mr. Speaker : I will fix 16 minutes for each member today. First of all I will call Mr. S.P. Swer to initiate the discussion.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. According to paragraph 13 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution we should have a synopsis of the discussion or the views of the District Councils on the budget pertaining to the District Councils before the budget is presented.

Mr. Speaker : This is not a point of order but since this is a very interesting case I allow you to say something.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Special provision has been made in the Constitution to allow the District Councils to discuss in camera (without any visitors in the gallery) that portion of the Budget pertaining to that District, and since upon these budget proposals the District Councils have given some views at least to the Government, I feel that before embarking upon a detailed discussion on the budget we should be provided with the detailed synopsis of the views of the District Councils.

Mr. Speaker : That we should sit in a close Chamber is a different matter. But if the Budget proposals known to the public what will happen? What has the Chief Minister to say on this since the Finance Minister is not present.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make an observation on the practice with regard to this particular issue while we were in the composite State of Assam. it is a fact that there is a demand on the part of the hon. Members to know what are the observations or suggestions made by the respective District Councils on the budget proposals pertaining to their respective Districts. But in practice it was found difficult to print separately the synopsis of the discussion of each and every District Council and place it before the House. I remember an occasion when I was myself the Minister-in-charge of Tribal Areas Department in the Government of Assam and I agreed that it was difficult to print separately the synopsis of the discussion of each and every District Council and place it before the House for their information. Now, I would request the hon. members, through you, Sir, to recall a portion of the speech of the Finance Minister in which he made an observation that they have received by way of suggestions and recommendations from the respective District Councils and the Government has taken a stand to the extent possible and has made an attempt to accommodate this suggestion, if necessary, by going in for supplementary demand.

        Sir, you yourself talked about making a portion of the budget pertaining to each autonomous District available before introducing it before the house. So, the matter is yet to be further examined. Since the legal and constitutional interpretation is yet to be suitably amended  till then, we have no other alternative. Unless a portion of the budget pertaining to each and every District Councils of the respective district is made available whatever is provided should be only in the proposal form. Therefore, I would request the hon. Members, through you, Sir, to realise that unless constitutional provision is suitably amended the budget proposals pertaining to the District Councils are in a proposal form only.

        In the course of his speech, the Finance Minister said that though we have placed the budget before the House under Article 202, it would not be possible for us to accommodate all the suggestions which came from the respective District Councils. But we have made it very clear that we will take up the suggestions and if we find that the suggestion of the District Council needs proper consideration and accommodation, then we will try to meet their requirements by means of supplementary demand and other ways.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you will permit to make one observation. In the first place, when the Hon'ble Chief Minister had the privilege of sitting on this side of the House in the Composite State of Assam, he himself make a strong demand for such a synopsis to be given before the budget was discussed. Para 13 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution says very clearly that the estimated receipts and expenditure pertaining to the autonomous districts or civil districts which are to be created be met from the Consolidated fund of the State, shall be first placed before the District Council for discussions and after such discussions, be shown separately in the annual financial statement under Article 202. While we expect difficulties for the Government in preparing printed copies of the synopsis made by the District Council we would have at least expected the head of the Government, the very same person who made a demand in the Assam Legislative Assembly in this very same Chamber to at least provide us with a synopsis or at least a synopsis be read out by the Finance Minister who is unfortunately absent. that would have given us the views of the District Councils on the District budget. Besides, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the District Council met in an emergent session about 15 days back, about 2 weeks ago but this session was only for one day. I think it would not be a Herculean task for the Finance Minister to read out a portion of the synopsis of the views of the District Council.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I do not agree with the observation made by the hon. Member that it is mandatory to place the synopsis of the District Councils' discussions under Para 13. As I said, that would only help the hon. members to know the opinion of the respective District Councils with regard to the budget proposals pertaining to the respective districts if the synopsis can be printed and placed on the Table of the house. But it is not mandatory. What is mandatory is this : The district budget pertaining to each autonomous district must be shown separately and that has been shown separately. The hon. Member from Mawhati made a reference that I myself demanded that the synopsis of the discussions of the District Councils should be placed before the House before the budget is presented. it is not a question of demand. I did it as the minister-in-charge in order to help the hon. Members to know what are the opinions of the various District Councils with regard to the budget proposals pertaining to the respective District Councils and we could do it only once. But it is not because it is mandatory, that I have done it. I have had the occasion to discuss it when there was a notice served on the time schedule which was fixed for presentation of the budget in this House and it was done before the District Councils were given a chance to discuss the budget proposals. But, unfortunately, later after getting the hint that there would be criticism from me and my colleagues that the Government of Assam took a very hurried action, and they could somehow change the time factor.

Shri H. Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this question has been raised by me in the first session of the Assembly and it was made clear that it is not mandatory that the synopsis be placed before the House. Sir, this matter has already been raised in the first session and it has been made clear that it is not mandatory.

Mr. Speaker : In paragraph 13 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution you will find nowhere stated about the synopsis of the discussions in the District Councils but the substance of this paragraph is that the receipts and expenditure pertaining to the Autonomous Districts shall be shown separately, and on a careful study of the Budget papers it has been found that it has been shown separately. The hon. Members may recall that during the last session of the Assembly I expressed my doubt whether the portion of the budget pertaining to the Autonomous Districts be sent first to the Autonomous District Councils or not and I did observe, at that time, that any disclosure of any part of the Budget papers may tantamount to a breach of privilege and thereafter the Finance Minister did have occasion to discuss the matter with me and we agreed, in our views, that only at the time of the proposal stage the Government should send the relevant portions of the estimated receipts and expenditure to the District Councils and then the District Councils would give their own opinions to the Government and the Government would take note of it and that is how the Government would come forward with separate allocations of the estimated receipts and expenditure in the Autonomous Districts. I think, at present, we must be content with that position; and here is no necessity that the synopsis of the discussions that this House may be placed before the House. That is a different matter altogether. So, the matter is closed now.

        Let us pass on to the next item. Since there are as many as 8 hon. Members who would like to participate and since the time is running out, I allot 15 minutes to each hon. member. Now, Mr. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to participate in the general discussion of the budget. While listening to the speech of the Finance Minister, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I observed that there is absence of details when compared to the previous Budget Speeches of the Finance Minister. I thought that on the receipt of the budget documents I would be able to read and understand but I found it very very difficult to understand. However, I must be thankful to the Finance Minister though unfortunately he is not here. In a meeting where he and the experts explained about the salient features of the re-classified form of the Budget ............

Mr. Speaker : Where was that meeting held?

Shri S.P. Swer : In the Secretariat, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : You mean the Finance Minister and the experts were explaining to the hon. Members?

Shri S.P. Swer : To all the M.L.As.

Mr. Speaker : It is a news to me.

(A voice : Same here)

Shri S.P. Swer : It did happen Mr. Speaker, Sir. When I first received the Budget documents, as I used to do, I first looked at the memorandum of the Budget and tried to locate the spill-over schemes and the new schemes. I also tried to locate one scheme, a people's most beleved scheme, that is, the Cherrapunjee 20 bedded hospital. I did not find it mentioned anywhere. This hospital is now under construction and is nearing completion but there is no mention of this hospital.

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

        Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would not like to highlight my grievances but just to refresh our memories that there is such a hospital under construction at Cherrapunjee. This hospital, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is going to be completed but there is only one difficulty, as I have observed, in which the Health Department is being sandwithched by the P.H.E. and the P.W.D. on both sides on the question of water supply. When there is no water how is the hospital going to function? From the P.W.D. side, water connections inside the hospital, are to be done by them and when and the P.H.E. cannot bring water, water connections cannot be done. the P.H.E. could not find the water source for supply of water to the hospital;. Now, there is a little story about this. There was sanctioned for the Water Supply Scheme for the Hospital and unfortunately it was announced in such a way that it incited the interested parties to pull strings. What I mean by "pull strings" is that as you know, at Cherrapunjee there are more than one Water Supply Scheme to have the schemes combined with the hospital is the condition to be imposed so that the hospital authorities should bear the maintenance cost of the water supply scheme right from the source to the main tank. Since the interested parties are pulling strings in such a way as created by the P.H.E, it is very very difficult for the hospital authorities to have the water supply scheme completed. Nor, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest that the hospital should have its own separate and independent water supply scheme.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to highlight my grievances but I would like to refresh our memories and to suggest to the Government to see that this hospital be completed as soon as possible.

        Now, I come to Public Health Engineering. Here I cannot but appreciate the Government policy when we see in the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister that special mention has been made of the provision for supply of drinking water to villages which are suffering from chronic scarcity of water. This shows that the Government has the first and foremost duty to perform while implementing its programme. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are to see how to implement the policy of the Government in the best possible way. There are villages in our State where there is chronic scarcity of drinking water. I may cite here the name of one village - a very big village, i.e., Laitryngew, where, in the driest part of the year, one bucket of water costs Rs.1.50. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would, therefore, suggest to the Government to constitute a Board or Committee, if it has not been constituted already for selection of schemes to achieve the cherished goal of the Government to help the people who are suffering from chronic scarcity of drinking water. As you know, Sir, in the P.H.E. Department, the greater part in the allocation of fund is for purchase of materials, and I would suggest that the Government should constitute Purchase Committee to see that substandard materials are not supplied while implementing water supply schemes.

        Now I come to industries. We know about the industrial policy of the Government. We know that the Government is anxious to boost the economy of the State through industrialisation. But we may argue Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, or we may even criticise the Government for the show progress in industrialisation of the State. We may even ask for the factors responsible for this slow progress.

        In any case Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would lie to suggest to the Government that cautious steps be taken while setting up any large scale or major industries in the State. You may argue what we are the reasons? There is more than one reason why Government has to be very cautious in setting up large scale or major industries. We may also criticise the Government that through industrialisation of the State, by setting up large scale and major industries, we may repeat the history of Tripura. in this regard Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to narrate my personal experience when I recently visited one newly constructed road, i.e., Dympep-Mawbeh road where I found that our own tribal contractors are employing labourers from outside the State as we all know that the cost of labour in our State is very high. I appears that cheap labour can be had or labourers can be procured from outside the State at a comparatively lower cost. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the Hon'ble Finance Minister in his Budget Speech has very correctly stated when he said that 80 per cent of our people are cultivators or farmers. These people had been from time immemorial living a life of farmers and as such, industrial life is foreign to them. We know also that the remaining 20 per cent o these people are not in the field of industries. Out of these 20 per cent some are shop keepers, some are traders etc. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we are to change the life of our people, I mean the life of a farmer to that of a worker in factories or industries, we shall have to create conditions. An atmosphere or consciousness of industrialisation has to be created among our people. The farmer works and stops whenever and wherever he likes. the life of a farmer is not a regulated one. But an industrial regulated one. The worker in an industry has to work under some regulations. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now the question here is how to create this condition. I would like to suggest that industrial consciousness should be cultivated in the minds of our people; in the head and heart of our people. Only when our people are industry - conscious that we can expect entrepreneurship investment of capital, etc., and also man-power. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in order to make our people industry-conscious, or to bring about industrial consciousness, I would like to suggest that while setting up the industrial the Government should see that these industries are based on the raw-materials locally available where direct and indirect participation of the local people can be had, which is also one of the be processes of solving the unemployment problem in our rural area.

        In our State we know that industry can be an agro-based industry or mineral-based industry or forest-based industry. In agro-based industry, we have great potentialities and I cannot but appreciate the Government's endeavour in trying to bring out an industry based on Tezpata, the process of which is now almost completed. Here we will find that people's participation directly and indirectly will be good enough to create an atmosphere ....... (Bell rang)

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Your time is up.

Shri S.P. Swer : Give me one minute more, Sir, I just want to bring home one point. it is with regard to creation of an atmosphere of industrial consciousness amongst the people or to make them industry-conscious. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to suggest that in the field of cottage industries the Government should identify themselves with those traditional industries where there is no need of introduction but to further their development and expansion (Bell rang).

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Whatever the case may be, your time is up.

Shri S.P. Swer : Give me a few minutes more, Sir, I have got one vital point about bee keeping industry. This is a traditional industry. To further develop this industry, Government should pay keen attention to the people who are interested in this industry, who need no introduction but to further develop in a modern scientific way. With these words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very difficult for me, within the very short time allotted to us today, to do justice to this monumental work of art which the Finance Minister has produced. But we must congratulate him for the immense labour he has had to undergo to bring out this voluminous big bundle, where even the total weight is 2 kilo more than the bundles that we have been given in the past as MLAs of this House to carry home. it was quite hard to carry home such a bundle.

        In this budget speech there are works where appreciation is due to the Government. The division of the budget as now presented has a certain degree of improvement from the point of view of economic development and general services. Besides, the reduction of the Central Government borrowing from 5 crores 37 lakhs in 1972-73 to 5 crores 25 lakhs in 1973-74 and now to only 89 lakhs is commendable. So also the achievement in getting quite a handsome sum of money out of the Sixth Finance Commission Award totaling 95 crores of rupees, if you also include the debt relief of 7.64 crores given by the Commission. Although certain have not been covered, as stated by the Finance Minister, nonetheless while compared to the terribly disappointing allotment we have received from the Planning Commission we find that some measure of justice was done to this infant State and this is commendable. Sir, I would like to add a little appreciation of the Sericulture and Soil Conservation departments. Both the departments have introduced a number of features and achieved as fair measure of improvement in their developmental activities. So also with the Passengers Goods Tax Act, I feel some praise is due to the Finance Minister. I had some doubts on this Act and of the ultimate results; I shall show this in the course of my discussion later on but apparently, it appeared that the reduction of surcharge is commendable. Now when we talk of deficit, as pointed out by the Finance Minister, it is 94.75 lakhs. But I may humbly submit Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this is not a correct picture of deficit. 

        Now, when we look at the memorandum on the budget estimates we find that this deficit has actually come about only because of the ways and means advances from the Reserve Bank and also because a large sum of money was cleared only in the beginning of last year; and so last year's cash balance is expected to end with the deficit of 165 lakhs. Now, in the budget estimates of last year it was supposed to end with a much smaller opening balance. But, in the revised deficit it is expected to appear as 1 crore 65 lakhs. So that is the reason why the expectation of actual accounts for 1973-74 would amount to a deficit of minus 1 crore 65 lakhs. The Government has shown a deficit of 94.75 lakhs. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the first place it does not take into account the sum of rupees 32 lakhs which is outstanding from ways and means advance by the Reserve bank, as admitted on page 3 of this memorandum, in the last two lines. Besides an amount of 100 lakhs would remain outstanding as ways and means advances from the Reserve Bank in the year 1974-75, by adding this we come to a sum of the tune of 226.75 lakhs deficit. The Government, I submit Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, must take it to consideration this provision of one crore of rupees as advances from the Reserve Bank, and this ways and means advance will have to be cleared as soon as possible. On the receipt side, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was shown that we are going far ahead. But apart from what the Finance Minister has shown, we have made no provision for the temporary ways and means advances by the Reserve Bank amounting to one crore of rupees. I feel this one crore should be added to this deficit so that it comes to Rs.2 crores 26 lakhs because it is to be cleared as soon as possible. I will give you an example to substantiate my argument. In the year 1972-73, at page 2 of this memorandum, we read "The year 1972-73 opened with a surplus cash balance of Rs.141.36 lakhs which was mainly due to an overdraft of Rs.111.53 lakhs and outstanding liability of Rs.21.00 lakhs towards way and means advance afforded by the Reserve bank of India in the previous year. These two amounts were cleared in the month of April, 1972. the closing cash balance for the year 1972-73 stood at (-) 136.60 lakhs of rupees as per actual accounts and having an outstanding ways and means advance of Rs.66 lakhs afforded by the R.B.I ." That is, when this balance has to be cleared, an amount of one crore should have been incorporated in the receipt side as part of the deficit, so that the total comes to a 2 crores 26 lakhs deficit. In fact, I would also include the loans given by the Government of India and also be added the total amount of such loans from Central assistance, from market loans and the L.I. C. All these together come to a tune of 5 crores 77 lakhs. If we are not prepared to add all these amounts advanced by the reserve Bank then Rs.94 lakhs plus 32 lakhs which is still outstanding from the R.B. I. and the ways and means advance, must be added to make together a grand total of a 2 crores 26 lakhs deficit. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in addition to all this I would like to say that there are some points which we would like to examine in volume one of the budget. Here we have matters relating to taxes under the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, and I was trying to find out how Government propose to reduce the incidence of surcharge on vehicles. I feel however that while they might reduce the incidence of taxation and surcharge, the total amount that they might collect does not seem to be correct. For example, at page 11 of volume one total receipts under the Indian Motor Vehicles Act in the Budget estimate of 1974-75 come to 1 lakh 23 thousand rupees as against last year's total receipts, that means the "State" and "District" columns which added together come to Rs.54,000. Now the total comes to 1 lakh 23 thousand rupees. That is the estimated collection. Then, from the receipts under the State Motor Vehicles taxation Act, there is a big jump, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. While last year, after adding the State and District columns together, the amount came to 12 lakhs 9 thousand rupees; this year the estimate comes to 19 lakhs 37 thousand rupees. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know how the Government proposes to reduce the incidence of surcharge while the budget estimate for the year shows an estimated increases collection. Government is also well aware that a larger number of vehicles will be registered in the State. We know for a fact that big companies producing motor vehicles in India do not have registered agents here in the State particularly for scooters and for trucks. The T.M. B. trucks are sold in Gauhati and so the taxes that should come to the State are collected by the State of Assam. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was intrigued to see in volume one of the budget proposals, at page 37, when I studied it late last night, that suddenly State Lotteries for 1974-75 would be introduced for which Rs.7,40,000 was expected to be collected. I do feel it proper that the Finance Minister should have announced such a momentous amount in his speech on the budget estimates wherein Rs.7,40,000 was meant for State Lotteries. this means that Government has decided to start its own State Lottery which I hope the entire cabinet has agreed to. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to point out one or two things in this Budget Speech of the Finance Minister. One of them is with regard to achievements. We do not give praise where praise is due, but while talking on this, let not the Government forget what was the original scheme and how much was achieved of that target and how much did Government intend to achieve and what was actually achieved last year. That would have given us a correct picture of the amount of work that this Government has done. But it matters little to have only schemes, big plans and programmes without being able to fulfill their targets. You may hold a meeting in the Secretariat and discuss all these matters and explain to the hon. Members that such and such plans and programmes were taken up. But the point is whether Government will be able to achieve them? Whether Government will be able to bring the greatest measure of prosperity and happiness to our people? Whether they can achieve these targets for the interest of our people? It is the responsibility of the Government to see that all these plans, programmes and schemes are fulfilled.

        Then there is a reference made here on natural calamities, and I am very sorry to find out that the Khasi Hills District has been ignored in making reference to natural calamities. Only today in the corridors of this Assembly, many persons from my constituency came to meet me, narrating their own harrowing hardship. They are people from Bhoi area and I also hope that our Chief Minister will give a patient hearing to them and help them in their sufferings.

        Then Sir, in my constituency, there are 13 Test Relief Schemes which have been passed by the Government, the B.D.O. and the Deputy Commissioner; but for lack of funds nothing has been done so far. In the budget proposals we find that out of 17 lakhs of rupees meant for Test Relief Schemes only 7 thousand rupees go to the Khasi Hills District. There are really places in the Khasi Hills at least in my constituency, where people are really suffering till now. There are cases of fire accidents also here in the Bhoi area, and only a few months ago, the entire village of Lumshyiap of 23 houses, was gutted by fire and turned to ashes and I hope something was done to help those poor villagers.

        Then, coming to the Community Development Blocks, I am not satisfied with their work and I am surprised how Government have decided at page 12 of this Budget Speech, to hand over more responsibility and more functions to these Blocks. I only hope it will not mean further "blocking" of development. So I would suggest that these Blocks should be re-organised so that funds placed at their disposal should really go to the people. It has been my experience that these Blocks are fond of marrying people who were never married and of bringing to life those who were dead; they are even creating people whom God did not create. At the Umsning Block, I had a chance a few days ago of watching the names of people from Umsohlait village who never existed at all, the names of those who had never been created by God. All the fictitious names are appearing in the list ......... (bell rang) ........ So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to trouble your fingers any more by ringing your bell for me, but I would only like to place all these points before the Hon'ble Finance Minister.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Now, Mr. Dlosingh Lyngdoh.

Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh (Umroi S. T) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to thank the Hon'ble Finance Minister for his wisdom and ability to present now a budget of modern classification as recommended by the Economic Research Department of the United Nations and which is adopted by the different countries of the world today ... (laughter). I am also very grateful to the Government for their far-sighted and dynamic approach containing in this Budget Speech, which is according to the Meghalaya style. I, therefore, have a high hope for better achievement and valuable performances in the Fifth Five Year Plan for the interest of the common man. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the time is very limited, I want to say a few words about Power, which is mentioned at page 16 of this Budget Speech. Sir, Power is unavoidable and a must in this age as without it, no scientific research of general development can be achieved. Now the State Government have decided to have a separate Meghalaya State Electricity Board. therefore we can generate electricity from waterfalls and rivers.

Shri U. Kharbuli (Malki) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of order, under Rule 279, sub rule (2), a private member may not read his speech but my refresh his memory by reference to notes.

Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is nor a written speech. It is a note. The Member himself has done before by reading a long statement. (Laughter) ... I am very thankful to the hon. Member from Malki who reminds me and this august House about his last statement which he reads for hours and hours together and I also hope that he will do again during this session also (Laughter) ... Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that power is very important for the development of the State, especially for a small State like ours. So, Sir, in order to meet the local and commercial demands, we have to take up different projects. But at the same time, we have to think carefully and examine properly whether we can sacrifice our cultivable lands or potential cultivable lands for electricity. Sir, as stated by the hon. Member from Mawhati whether it is wise and proper to take up power projects in the Tyrso valley and the Kynshi river where the people have to sacrifice hundreds and thousand acres of cultivable and potential cultivable lands. This question has to be properly examined and properly surveyed as this will effect the food situation in our State. We know that roads and communications in our State are very difficult and that food has to be brought from outside the State.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say a few words about tourist industry as stated in page 15. Here also, I am very grateful to the Finance Minister who is able to express in one single sentence about this particular Department - 'Tourism'. In this sentence, the expression has been made about the past, the present and the future activities of tourist industry in our State. I think Tourism Department is the most ineffective department in comparison with other departments. It is mentioned here that three mini-buses have been procured for the purpose of tourism in the State of Meghalaya. But I am afraid whether these three mini-buses have been used as their private cars. In these hard days of high cost of POL, it is very uneconomic and it will affect the State economy. I would, therefore, suggest to the Government Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to revitalise this department at all levels. All the approved schemes should be executed and these three mini-buses should be properly utilised so that it will not affect the State fund and public money. Special training should be given to some of the officers of this department so that they can have humanitarian behaviour and fair dealing with the people. So far, I understand, some of the officers of this department have not understood the meaning of tourism. Tourism is like a looking glass of the State that every outsider can see the picture and the people of the State of Meghalaya. Some foreigners whom I met told me that it is better not to come to Meghalaya due to the harassment by the Tourism Department. This is very bad.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say something about industry. Industry is a very very important subject. We understand that two industrial complex have been started in two different districts of Meghalaya - one at Byrnihat and the other at Mendipathar. Some of these industries solely belongs to some capitalists or private individuals where Government has nothing to do in this regard to employment. Those individual companies have their own banks outside the State and also brought the employees from their own States but from the State of Meghalaya. I think this may be more harmful than beneficial to the State of Meghalaya and its people. I, therefore, suggest to the Government ...... (Bell rang) ....Just one word Sir, due to the interruption. I have a few suggestions as regards industries in order to give employment to the people of Meghalaya in the industrial projects. (1) Prevention of the influx of people from other States which may hamper or damage the socio-economic condition of the people of Meghalaya and (2) encouragement of setting up of local industrial projects in Meghalaya. With these few words, before you press the bell again, I resume my seat. (Laughter).

Shri William Cecil R. Marak (Selsella) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have heard and gone through the Budget Speech made by the Finance Minister in this august House. In the first observation, I would like to speak about the people living below the poverty line. Our State has put the per capita consumption at Rs.20 per month whereas at a National level, it was Rs.40 per month, as far as practicable some restraints should be put on the growth of non-plan expenditure. Towards the approach of the Fifth Five Year Plan, the State Government has determined to play the part of development at international level per head since a reference was made to the other States of the world considering the economic conditions of other countries here in the Budget Speech. The Government had mentioned about the achievements made during the Fourth Five Year Plan period and in this regard, Government is very very satisfactory in their achievement; but I say that it is not satisfactory to the common people. Government has achieved only in road, education, hospital, water supply, rural electrification and they have not achieved any thing in the field of agriculture. If rural electrification means to electrify the villages and does not extend to the fields for irrigation purposes then the purpose is not fully served. Regarding land reclamation, Government has shown that some 8,000 hectares have been reclaimed during the Fourth Five Year Plan; but what was the production. it was not mentioned here. If we actually want the State to be self-sufficient in food then the Government should at least show some progress in the field of agriculture also. Agriculture is stated to be the main stay of Meghalaya and it is stated that 82 per cent of the people of Meghalaya are agriculturists.

        Regarding this plan also, I would also like to point out the transport management of this Government. it was quite funny to know that those who came to Shillong on the 10th of this month, reached here at 6 A.M. on the 11th June, 1974. It took 24 hours from Tura to Shillong. Is it not a gross negligence on the part of the Transport Department not to check the buses before coming from Garo Hills to Shillong. We have 30 buses and 5 trucks in the State Transport Department. But only two buses are put as standby in the District Council Workshop. Suppose one bus is coming from Shillong, then there are three buses but one bus is without tyres. that is the management of the transport Department. Transport Department should see that Transport services from Tura to Simsanggiri also should be considered as one of the essential schemes in order to bring the passengers and also to achieve better collection of passenger taxes. I do not know the transport service which was previously running from Tura to Baghmara, for after a few months it was stopped and till today it was not re-opened yet. In this regard, many of the hon. members are also requested the Government to start operating on this same route as far as practicable.

        I will come to Industries now. Government is truly intending to industrialise our State and to make every farmer and agriculturist industrial-minded. It is very high aim where there will be no scope even for a small scale industries, it medium and large-scale industries are introduced first. In Meghalaya, there is one pottery industry located at Mendipathar and the Board of Directors has already recommended to open the  Pottery Industry at Mendipathar. But now it is suddenly closed down and this has not yet been opened till today. What is the reason of its closure all on a sudden, just after the recommendation was made by the Board of Directors? This should be thoroughly examined by the Government.

        Now I come to the unemployment problem. This is one of the most important subjects in our State. The Government has very often announced that 40 per cent is carried over and only in theory Government used to speak of this laid-down principle. Let Government think over it and say whether 40 per cent reservation has been equally given to the actual local candidates or not.

        Regarding regrouping of villages under the Soil Conservation Department it has been stated by the Finance Minister in the Budget Speech that it is doing its best. But what kind of achievement they have attained in the Fourth Plan regarding regrouping of villages through the Soil Conservation Department? Do they achieve to regroup of villages through villages through the Soil Conservation Department?

        As far as the percentage in Minor Irrigation Works, we would also like to know the money spent for this purpose - what is the actual production made out of this scheme by the Government in the last few years?

        I would also like, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to pose a question in the field of education or whether Government will be pleased to take over the primary education from the District Council?

        In case of flood control, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had made various correspondences to the Department concerned regarding embankment and other things but till today no practical work was done. It is quite essential but if it is to be done during the heavy rains, I don't think it will be a practicable one. I have seen the purpose of the Government in Finance Minister's Budget Speech towards its approach to the Fifth Five Year Plan. But will it serve this purpose without determination?

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Shri D.D. Lapang he is absent. Now Shri Akramozzaman.

*Shri Akramozzaman (Phulbari) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very difficult to observe on the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister when so many new things in the preparation of the Budget were involved. I am not going into the details of the matter but only on what has been referred in the speech of the Finance Minister. He referred to the planning of our country as a whole, the growth with reference to rise in prices in other advanced countries of the world. I was almost anxiously waiting for a reference to be made on the impact on the State of Meghalaya on the growth of income of the people of the State and of the soaring prices, but nothing has been stated in the budget speech itself that people in our State, the majority of whom, are living under poverty line. So I just like to know what is the yardstick by which the Government of  Meghalaya is making the assessment I went through a book on the Fifth Five Year Plan, Volume No.I, where I found that it has been estimated by the Government of Meghalaya, Planning Department, that consumption level of Rs.20 per capita per mensem is necessary to ensure a reasonable economic standard. I believe, that Rs.20 per capita consumption per mensem is above the poverty line and so it is a reasonable standard. But if I go to the Planning proposal of the Government of India then the picture is different. There, it is based on the price prevailing in October 1972, and the per capita consumption of Rs.40 per months is put and this is the barest minimum standard of the people living under poverty line. What is the marginal disparity in the mind of the Planning Department for the people who shall be in the standard of living. Whether the Government will be taking into consideration that the money is more than doubled the purchasing power of Meghalaya. Otherwise how it is possible for the Finance Department to go to that surplus when the Fourth Five Year Plan, with reference to the purchasing power, as indicated in October, 1972 that Rs.40 shall be the barest minimum needs for the people living under poverty line. But our Finance Department has shown  only Rs.20 as the barest minimum needs for the people living under poverty line, to ensure reasonable standard. So the reasonable economic standard, in the eyed of the Government and the Planning Department is half living in this part of the country. It seems that this has been done because the Statistics Department and the Planning Department have no paper work, and that is why, there is this confusion this contradiction, this mis-interpretation. If the Statistics Department cannot come with a clear picture about the per capita income of the people, I think the whole plan of our State is not properly prepared. The Statistics Department has to be properly organised so that it can function in the right way and guide the different departments in different spheres of activities. Here also it may be mentioned that the difference in the per capita income of the three districts, namely, Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills has not been shown. If this had been done, it will help the Planning Department to be in a reliable position to flow money for the development in these areas. So these are the pre - requisites. I believe, that the Planning Department should consider. Until and unless these are fulfilled no Department will be receiving money based on miscalculation. Sir, now there is hope and aspiration, as shown in the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister, that we are going to achieve the growth rate, as indicated in the Planning proposal of 9 per cent in the agricultural sector and 10 per cent in the industrial sector. Taking Rs.360 crores as capital outlay of State, what is the present growth in the agricultural and industrial sectors with reference to the total amount of Rs.194 lakhs. That was not shown.

        So, we are not yet sure what amount of money will be coming and the Government is not sure what will be the total growth after the Fifth Five Year Plan. And they cannot say even the total growth of Meghalaya per capita income during the Fourth Five Year Plan. There is only assumption but there is no clear indication. It must be verified on the fact of the targets achieved.

        Then we come to the agricultural sector. In the previous year' Budget Speech, we have seen that there was mention of the total output of the agricultural produces but this time, this has been nicely turned over to the hectares-wise area and not production-wise. But how many hectares heave been brought under improved varieties. So those are the variations of targets. These are the misleading not only to the people but to the Government in which they are producing the things and placing them before the Government. So it is misleading. I would request the Finance Minister to take a very serious view of this matter, why this Department cannot give a referential indication or a consequential representation of the produces of the respective Department and the targets achieved. Why there was a turn over from one platform to another platform. Sir in our State 82 per cent of the population are agriculturist. 18 per cent are not of course out of this 82 percent.

(At this stage the Hon'ble Speaker occupied the Chair)

        There are some industrialists, agricultural labourers and other labourers also. But the main bulk of the population, according to me, are agriculturists. I am glad that this consideration has been given in the Budget Speech giving agriculture and allied matters a top priority. In some improvement in the lot of the agriculturists, there will be no definite improvement of the lot of people of our State who constitute 82 per cent agriculturists. Sir, there are few things which are usually connected with agriculture. Our hon. Members made a comment on electrification. I quite agree with them. And on this very floor of the House also, on a previous occasion I said that so far as we are concerned, I am not in favour of making statements only in the House. But what I am more concerned is about the electrification of the irrigation projects in the agricultural fields. Sir, though we have the highest rainfall in the country, but as soon as the rain is over, what is the position of our fields? Practically they become barren without water. So if we can utilise electricity for lift irrigation, I am confident that the fate of our agriculturists will be as that of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and the Punjab. Because in our State, I believe there are some portions of land which can be compared with any land and not speak of the whole of India but even to some extent, to some lands in the world because the best jute produced in the State of Meghalaya particularly the belt of the Jinjiram river in our State is one of the best types in the world. And it also gives substantial help to the nation to earn foreign exchange. So, if these things can be tapped, I believe there will be all-round development. But unfortunately, what I have seen is that the progress of electrification is very slow. Only 87 villages during the last 5 years have been electrified, that is 17 villages per year, and we have got about 4569 villages or something like that. If only 17 villages can be electrified in a year, then I pose a question to the Government. Let the Government judge its own deeds. Sir, Meghalaya appears to be one of the best generators of electricity. But Sir, I would say here that electricity is connected with agriculture particularly in Garo Hills. I am glad that the Government is also attaching great importance to it and the Planning Commission also have given emphasis on the regrouping of areas has not been done and the Government cannot say the target that has been fixed, or in other words, by which year all the villages of Garo Hills will be grouped. So, in that respect, I should say that justice must be done to boost up the economy of the people of Garo Hills by accelerating the scheme of regrouping of villages. Sir, in this connection I would also say that, as we desire to improve the condition of the agriculturists, we must take a very bold and immediate steps to improve the lot of the agriculturists. This matter has been discussed and a division has been created but up till now no measures have been taken even by the Government. it is stated that so many crores of rupees in terms of production have been spent to improve the lot of our people, but it is not so. Four years have gone. This year the working of the Department has been very such handicapped due to the frequent changes of the Executive Engineers. After one or two months one after another Executive Engineer comes and visit the place. These things are going on. So if we really desire to improve the lot of the people and improve their per capita income, we must consider this as an allied matter with the flood control measures. Sir, in this connection, I would say that there is a proposal and it was mentioned that so far it relates to the improvement of the lot of the backward area there is an expenditure areas and most backward areas. For this purpose one thing has also been considered by the Government of Meghalaya to create new Administrative Units. I believe that in Garo Hills there is more necessity and I may point out here according to the plan papers of the Government of Meghalaya that there are areas which are termed as backward and most backward These are the Block areas of Dadenggiri and Salsella. I would request Government to give special treatment to these Commission. I would suggest that the whole area of Dadenggiri and Salsella should be tagged together.

Mr. Speaker : Has the Government defined these areas as 'backward' and 'most backward areas'?

*Shri Akramozzaman : Yes, there is a proposal because our Plan money is going to be spent on the backward and most backward areas. Dadenggiri is the most backward area and Salsella is a backward area. Of course, that is the contention At page 65 of this booklet it is shown that Dadenggiri is the most backward area and a portion of Rongreng and Salsella Blocks as backward areas. this is a booklet published by the Government. So I suggest to the Government to kindly consider the question of creation of an Administrative Unit in the form of a Subdivision or otherwise. There is a statement made to the Finance Commission to give the modern administration to the backward areas. My suggestion will be like this. Sir, now I am coming to a point ......

Mr. Speaker : This is a very important question, you have brought before the House the information about the declaration of the Government of certain areas a s backward areas and you are yourself a member of the Planning Board. This House has come to know about the information. That is why I am asking.

*Shri Akramozzaman : This booklet has been circulated to every Member of this House and I am sorry for that information that you are asking.

        So far as employment is concerned I am really perturbed by some news. Sir, the Government declared on the floor of this House to give equal share and opportunity to he people of Meghalaya in matters of employment and the policy has been laid down that 40 per cent of the share should be given to the Garos, 40 per cent to the Khasis, 5 per cent the Scheduled Tribes and the other percentage to the rest o the people. I have heard that the Government cannot implement this policy now but it will be carried over in the future. So I cannot exactly understand what is the necessity for making this reservation there is one instance which strikes me very much. There is one advertisement from the E. and D. Department. The interview took place, written interview. Some of the candidates were qualified in viva voce  examination and their letters of appointment have been forwarded by the Selection Committee for the Garos. Unfortunately appointment could not be given. I enquired into the matter and I was told that as there was no Garo candidate the post could not be filled up. So the post should be re-advertised. Practically I have no word to argue but if that be the case, the policy for recruitment should have been made clear in advertisement itself that such and such persons should not be called for the interview as no appointment could be given to them. So I request the Finance Minister to give us a clear picture of the employment opportunities to minorities in order that the interests of the minorities are safe -guarded. This will be in conformity with that the Government declared that the people will have equal opportunity in every sphere of appointment. If these things continue I am afraid there may be misunderstanding among the people in our areas. there is a special sanction for the border areas because of their economic situation but unfortunately we have seen no measure of employment in one year during the Fourth Five Year Plan. I am doubtful whether this money has actually been spent for which it was meant. I have some complaints to place before the House about this free lodge border subsidy awarded to students of the border areas. Sir, if the Government Aided schools the Managing Committee is empowered to administer the amount to be received. But I may inform the House that the Free Lodge Subsidy which was given without the approval of the Managing Committee should be returned. So I believe that there must be something wrong here. I do request the Finance Minister and the Minister-in-charge of Education to cause proper enquiry into this matter to find put why the Managing Committee did not enquire into the expenditure meant for Free Lodge Subsidy to the border areas. if it is so then the concurrence of the Managing Committee was not taken into account. So I shall be grateful to have the information from the Government and also if the Government will issue orders for a through inquiry into the affairs of the schools in border areas in Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills and give u the information as to the outcome of the enquiry. if in this way the money is spent I suggest that Government must have a machinery to see that money should be spent at the grass roots for which it is meant otherwise whatever may be the flow of money or the endeavour of the Government to help the people will certainly make no improvement as we desired. So I request the Government to appoint a Committee to see that the money spent in the grass roots is spent nicely for the purpose which it is meant. I believe, as one of my friend said, that the Development Block will block the money.

        Sir, I had the occasion to go to some areas (bell rang) in Garo Hills. Sir, there is a reference to the increase of beds in the hospital, but I have learnt from the people that there is no medicine in the hospital and dispensaries. I had the occasion to enquire into the matter in the presence of the Civil Surgeon,  and right from Garobadha, Baghmara, Phulbari and Tikrikilla the doctors admitted that there are no medicines. What I the procedure of purchasing medicine? It is admitted that medicines are purchased on the requirements of the doctors. The doctors made a list of medicines required, but still the purchases are not made. In this way, I believe, the patients have to go without medicines. What is the economic condition of our people? Many people live in poverty line and they cannot purchase medicines in the open market. So the purchase policy of the Department should be re-examined in the context of the needs of the people. I also believe that Government will definitely take into consideration all these points which I had made. During my tour as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, it has been revealed that there should be an enquiry as to how these medicines were purchased. Sir, with these few words, I conclude my speech with the hope that the Finance Minister will be very kindly consider the points raised by my friend and by me. I believe that if we sincerely work, no problem cannot be solved and I also believe we can solve any problem  that is standing in the way of progress and prosperity of our State. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri Salseng Marak (Resubelpara S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to participate in the general discussion of the budget. I congratulate the Finance Minister for presenting this budget to this august House with a deficit of Rs.94.75 lakhs for the year 1974-75. I welcome this deficit, because this means the Government has been trying to put in maximum efforts to accelerate the tempo of development in our State. This year is the beginning of the Fifth Five Year Plan and we are going to spend out of this Plan for development works. It is found that there is an increase in the allocation of funds for each department so as to accommodate development programmes and schemes drawn up for the year. The Government has drawn up wonderful and impressive schemes for development of our State. But all these wonderful schemes, Sir, I feel will be useless unless they are sincerely, earnestly and speedily implemented to the letter. it is my earnest request to the Government to see that all the schemes are implemented.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the field of agriculture, I am happy to note that Government had embarked upon scheme of increased agricultural production, diversification of agriculture and improvement of horticulture with added emphasis on animal husbandry and poultry farming. The Government has also embarked upon schemes of integrated programme for control of jhumming and regrouping of villages. Mr. Speaker, Sir, agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Meghalaya. About 82 per cent of the population of the State solely depend on agriculture and other allied sectors. It is agriculture which controls the economy of the country. Therefore, in order to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains, I would request the Government to encourage the people to adopt scientific methods of cultivation and take up intensive cultivation by way of multiple cropping in the same plot of land and also to use fertilisers and high yielding varieties of seeds. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I came to know that more an more cultivators have started taking keen interest in the modern methods of cultivation through the use of tractors and power tillers. These are very popular now especially in the plain regions of Garo Hills. But these farmers are too poor to buy even one  of such power tillers. So I would request the Government to take steps to make these tractors and power tillers available to the cultivators even on hire basis, and for this purpose I would suggest that the Agriculture Department should purchase sufficient number of tractors and power tillers and also open up centres and sub-centres for maintaining and servicing them and to place them at the Block Development headquarters.

        Another important point for improvement of agricultural production is reclamation of waste lands for wet cultivation and intensive cultivation by way of multiple cultivation and also development of irrigation facilities. I agree with the hon. member from Phulbari when he said that lands are lying uncultivated for want of irrigation. that is true. It is also known that irrigation projects have been drawn up by the Agriculture Department for Garo Hills, but these schemes were not implemented. This may be either because of non-approval of the schemes at the higher level or because they have not got financial concurrence from Finance Department. Such delay, I feel, in execution of the schemes is against the interest of the people. I am glad to know that Government has proposed to take up irrigation schemes departmentally and I hope this will serve the purpose for giving the benefit to the people.

        Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to another matter. I congratulate the Government on its grand achievement in the construction and improvement of roads within a short space of time.

        It is a remarkable achievement of the Government. But, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to some of the important roads in my constituency. One such road is the road from Anogiri to Rongrong and another is from Rongrong to Resubelpara. Now, every year allotment of funds has been made by the Government and the construction of the Anogiri-Rongrong road has been started since the Autonomous State of Meghalaya. But the works have been left half done. So I would request the Government to see that such an important road should be completed, because this road passes through the interior parts of the district and connects some of the interior villages. As such this road, when completed, would serve as a lifeline to the people.

Mr. Speaker : What particular road are you referring to?

Shri Salseng Marak : I am referring to the Anogiri-Rongrong road which passes through the interior parts of Garo Hills and this road will serve the need of the people. Another road which I want to mention here is the Bajengdoba-Resubelpara road which is good only for light traffic but what the people want is plying of public buses. So I would request the Government to take up this road for further widening and also if possible, black-topping. Another road is the Resubelpara-Mendipathar road which is very important road. I may inform the House that one popular demand of the Resubelpara people is for a P.W.D. Rest House and there have been a number of representations to this effect.

Mr. Speaker : A P.W.D. Inspection Bungalow or a P.W.D. Rest House? The P.W.D. as a matter of practice, does not construct the rest House for the people of the State but they construct Inspection Bungalow for their inspecting staff.

Shri Salseng Marak : But the people of Resubelpara demand Inspection Bungalow.

Mr. Speaker : I do not understand when the people demand roads but I do not understand when they demand Rest House from the P.W.D.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forest) : For the convenience of Ministers (Laughter)

Shri Salseng Marak : Then I come to transport, Sir. I regret to say that the State Transport Bus Service in the Garo Hills District is not to the entire satisfaction of the people.

(A voice : Hear, Hear)

        The State buses are inadequate in number, and we know that most of the buses are put in service in the Khasi Hills District. Why not we send them also to Garo Hills and place them on important routes like Tura to Williamnagar, the headquarters of Simsanggiri Subdivision and Tura to Mendipathar and Mendipathar to Williamnagar via Songsak and Tura to Rongjeng and such other places.

Mr. Speaker : Here also the hon. member must bear in mind that the Government considers the volume of transactions and the number of passengers and not on the importance of the roads. The roads may be important but the number of vehicles to ply depends on the volume of loads and the number of passengers.

Shri Salseng Marak : Sir, that I know. But the road that I have mentioned has a public bus which is usually over-crowded. So we need more buses to ply.

Mr. Speaker : It appears that the hon. Members does not understand the implications. The Government does not think to give preference only to one district but from your remarks it seems that the Government shows preference only to Khasi Hills. Anyway, please continue Mr. Marak.

Shri Salseng Marak : Alright, Sir. I would like again point out the fact that the Transport services in the northern parts of Garo Hills are neglected. We know that public buses are plying on these roads but, as I have stated before, they are overcrowded, and dangerous to the life of passengers. One important road, a revenue-earning road, is the Shillong-Tura Road. The buses which are plying on this road also give troubles to the passengers and  frequently there is break-down of the vehicles. Bursting and punctures of tyres are regular occurrences. So Ii would like to suggest to the Government to at least provide new spare tyres to buses plying on important roads and also adequate number of tyres should be stocked at Tura and proper maintenance workshops should be established at Tura, Shillong and Jowai. When new buses arrive I hope some of them would be placed at Garo Hills also.

        Then, Sir. I would like to say a few words on employment. This seems to be true that delay in appointments creates more problems and complicated situations. In order to avoid such unnecessary problems and situations, vacancies should be filled up when eligible candidates are available. In matters of appointment, I would request the Government to strictly follow the policy of 40/40 per cent reservation for Garo Hills and Khasi-Jaintia Hills and 15 per cent for general and 5 per cent for other scheduled tribes.

        Then, I will come now to electricity. Sir, this is another disappointment to the people of Resubelpara. We have been asking for extension of this line since the beginning of the new State and the Minister-in-charge of Electricity assured that light can be extended within 1973-74. But this year has already passed and still the line has not been extended. So, I would request the Government to take early steps in this matter in view of the importance of electricity not only for lighting purposes but also for lift irrigation especially in areas of Resubelpara, Mendipathar and some portions of Soinang. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker : Any other hon. Member who like to participate? Since there is nobody to participate I will give a chance to Prof. M.N. Majaw.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to you and to those hon. Members who did not come forward to participate thus giving me an opportunity to point out certain matters to the Finance Minister. If you go through the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister there is one portion here Mr. Speaker, Sir, at page 10 wherein a reference to the Indo-Danish project is very commendable in certain respect I wonder what impact it has got upon our people who are mainly agriculturists and not very much accustomed to rearing cattle. Even it ahs been admitted in the Budget Speech that 82 per cent of our people are agriculturists. But those who are rearing cattle also follow the old habits of allowing their cattle to roam about from one place to another, from one hill to another. I do not know how long it will take for them to learn that cattle should be kept at one place where they must provide fodder. Then I would like to point out that due to some reason or the other, the marriage between Indian and European cattle does not always yield good results. (laughter)

        Sometimes it is found that divorce is better than marriage.

(A voice - You are concerned with the product and not with marriage)

        Now a mention has been made in the Budget Speech at page 10 regarding the Chilling Plant at Umsning. It is a fact that quite a large quantity of milk is produced in the Bhoi area. But does this Government have any means to check the collection of milk? I know for a fact that when the vehicles come to my constituency to gather milk the cans are filled up not filled up but quite a large quantity of water is collected at the bottom of the cans. Then they go further on to pour in the milk.

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, does the hon. Member see this thing himself?

Prof. M.N. Majaw : I was informed personally that large quantity of water is put at the bottom of the milk cans before they are taken to collect the milk from Mawhati.

        Now that milk, which is meant for the Chilling Plant, goes down to Gauhati. Unfortunately this Government does not get any revenue from this milk.

        Then another matter I would like to point out is with regard to the "Half a million Job" programme. It has been stated that under this scheme 250 posts of schools teachers have been created. But in this respect I have had the occasion previously to discuss it sometimes these teachers are sent to villages to teach without informing the headmaster of ascertaining whether there is any vacancy there or not. He will simply go there and say I have been sent by the Government. And thus it so happens that the whole routine of the School has to be changed to accommodate that teacher. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the Government should collect information as to whether any vacancy exists or not, and then send the teachers.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, can the hon. Member cite a specific instance?

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Hadem you will have the opportunity to counteract the hon. Member tomorrow.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, on page 13 a reference has been made to some major bridges that have been constructed during the Fourth Plan Period. But I would like to emphasise here that on many occasions we have seen that there are good roads without bridges and as such we are to use helicopters to bridge this gaps (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker : Prof. Majaw if you go to the speech minutely, you will find that the P.W.D. is more concerned with bridges.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : But some terrible mistakes have been committed with regard to the names of villages. There is no Umpani Bazar. I have roamed all over the area but I do not know of any village as Umpani Bazar. Probably this should be Umpowin.

Mr. Speaker : That can be corrected.

Prof. martin Narayan Majaw : With regard to Mawbri also, there was a bazar there six years ago but now there is no bazar. Now at page 30 it has been said that the Government has decided to procure paddy and mustard seeds. I know that there are vast areas in the Khasi Hills especially in Lalung areas of the Bhoi country, and Amjong, where vast acres of land fall under mustard seed cultivation. But these mustard seeds do not come to Meghalaya. They go to Jagi Road bazar for lack of communication and transport. Therefore, I would suggest that the Government should open one procurement centre either at Umsiang or at Amjong, rather than allow the market of Assam to consume all our produce.

        Now coming to the Tourism Department, I would like to say a few words. When foreign tourists come to Shillong they do not want to see Wards Lake or the Golf-Links, etc. They have already seen thousand of Golf course and lakes. Rather they would like to see the typical house of a Khasi or a Garo, in the village; they may like to have the taste of our original tribal food and culture. I would, rather suggest that Government should pay more attention to our local tribal life for foreign tourists. Then, finally Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the Komorrah Mining Limestone Company Ltd. As you Know Sir, long before this Company was founded we had the A.B. C., the Assam Bengal Company, in British days and then later.

Mr. Speaker : When you have started with A.B. C. you must end with X. Y. Z.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : This Company (the A.B. C.) was to be taken over by the Forest Department as it owed more than Rs. 1 lakh to Government. Proposals for taking over of this company by the Forest Department were then pursued so as to try to run this limestone quarry through the Forest Department and not by setting up a Company. In fact, if we carefully go through the proposals made by the Forest Department  in those earlier days we will find that there was a practical proposal by which more than two thousand rupees of profit per day would have accrued to this Department had the mining of limestone at Komorrah been entrusted to the Forest Department. Instead the Komorrah Limestone Mining Company Ltd., was set up, a mere private Company with Government aid. It is a fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that for two years the balance sheet was produce by this Company. they have not been able to to produce any balance sheet and we do not know their exact financial position today, we do not know whether they have made profit or loss, for the Company as a whole. Whether the Company is running at a  loss or at par or profit, no body can claim to be in the know of this. But as for the Forest Department, I will give an example, at Shella. where it is acting as the handling and distributing agent for limestone. It takes limestone from private owners at Rs.15 per tonne and sells the same to Bangladesh at Rs.18 per tonne, making a profit of Rs.3 per tonne per day, and an average of Rs.150 per day. I feel Sir, that had not this mining of limestone at Komorrah been entrusted to a private party and had the State Government taken the initiative and interest in the establishment of the mining quarry, as well as sale of limestone, we would have brought in more revenue to the State Exchequer.

Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, since the hon. Member has come forward with the information and suggestions which will better help the Government, I would gladly surrender to him. (Laughter)

Prof. M.N. Majaw : It is quite a great distinction to speak thrice on the same subject, Sir, and I offer my heartfelt thanks to the hon. Member from Sohra for his hand of friendship. may this kind of friendship extend from one border of Meghalaya to another. Mr. Speaker, Sir, at page 16 of the Finance Minister's Budget Speech there is another reference to the Public Relation Department. I feel Sir, that this department should be thoroughly overhauled, apart from carefully considering the pros and cons and of the working of this department. A few officers do perform their duties; but some others perform their work in a most formal manner. Sometime they just come to office and then are not traceable. In spite of the fact that this department is vitally important, some officers and personnel are always in the habit of neglecting their duties, all they do is to simply issue press-notes, etc., while the real information comes very often after one month, or after weeks together. I would like to cite an instance, Sir. I had always that proposal for terracing by the Soil Conservation Department should have come through the Development Blocks. But it is a very long process in trying to persuade the Gram Sevaks, through various methods, to accept a proposal into this august hands, and then to persuade the Senior gram Sevak and the Agricultural Extension Officers through various means, sometimes, dubious. unless there is sufficient publicity on the better functioning of Government machinery from this Department, through its headquarter at Shillong, it is feared that even the new schemes of the Soil Conservation Department incorporated in the package programme, may not attract the attention and interest of a man living in a far-flung village or in an uncivilized area. If a village has an uncultivated area, then the people can make a proposal direct to the Soil Conservation Department's office in Shillong to suggest that this Department should terrace their areas and even arrange irrigation facilities. I would therefore, earnestly suggest Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this Directorate of Public Relations and Information should be properly staffed and better disciplined so that information and wide publicity may be given to the people in all parts of the State from time to time. Had the Publicity Department better undertaken its task, our people could have been better informed of the latest developments in our State. Other schemes to be implemented could have been also publicised and better advertised for the benefit of our own people so as to encourage our State.

Mr. Speaker : While blaming the Public Relations Department you must also take into consideration the difficulty of the Department to get the information in time from the concerned departments.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : I think Sir, it is the primary duty of the Public Relations Department to collect information and distribute information. their first task is to get the information, and I feel, I may suggest to the Government that this Department should go around to all the offices and collect information so that our people can be benefited in a much more practical way. We are all Members of the Legislative Assembly, barring a certain numbers of Ministers, and we could be well informed of any new schemes that has been coming up. I am sure we can better help our people whom we represent. I may also say in this respect, that this Directorate has a tendency of merely glorifying the Government. I remember there was an occasion (I will give as an example the one which I had already cited during the last Session of this august body) when a new M.E. School was opened at Umlaper even the hon. members from the Ruling Party who were also present there on that day were ignored. The Press report released by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations stated only the Minister opened the school and said this and that etc., and then a full stop. There was a beautiful dance presented by the people; there were even cordial relations between the Ruling Party and the Opposition; but nothing was said about all this. (Loud laughter)

        It was reported simply that the Minister stated this and that, and the other V.I.Ps were all ignored. What is this? I would suggest Mr. Speaker, Sir, that some vaccine or injection should be put into the blood-stream of this Directorate to make it dynamic so as to not merely reproduce stereotyped statements of ministers.

        Finally, Sir I come to poultry farming on which an interesting discussion took place when we began the business of the day this morning. I would also like to close the proceedings of the day on poultry farming by referring to poultry production in the State. Somehow or other, it seems that these hens which were being popularised as "High Line" hens some time ago, did not lay any eggs for at least 6 or 7 months.... (Laughter) .....

        Recently, I met the Secretary of the Poultry Development Co-operative Society at Umsning, and he claimed that after buying 200 fowls, for seven months no eggs have been laid. He wondered how this is possible. The next week he went to the bazar in the village, and on the advice of his wife he bought a country cock and allowed the cock to play around with the fowls. (Loud Laughter)

        After that, he watched and watched but no result was forthcoming, no eggs were laid. So he thought there was something wrong in the poultry management and egg production campaign in the State, for which a whole lot of fowls refuse to lay egg. With this humorous information, Sir, I resume my seat.


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Speaker : Since the time is up, the House stands adjourned till it meets again tomorrow at 9 a.m. on Saturday the 15th June, 1974.

R. T. RYMBAI,

Dated, Shillong,

Secretary,

the 14th June, 1974.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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