Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.00 a.m. on Monday, the 17th June, 1974 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong.
Mr. Speaker in the Chair
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
(To which oral replies were given)
Irrigation grants to Agriculturists
Shri Kisto M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
*2. Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture be pleased to state-
(a) Since when irrigation grants to agriculturists have been discontinued?
(b) The number of irrigation projects taken up departmentally since then in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills Districts?
(c) The principle on which the projects were selected (area- wise and district- wise) ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :
- Since the beginning of the culture year - 1974-75.
- Nil. But survey investigation is in progress for a few projects.
- Selection of projects is based on the availability of both irrigation potentials and agricultural resources?
Shri S.P. Swer : Will the Minister-in- charge give the reasons for the discontinuance of irrigation grant?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : The reason, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that this usual practice has no impact on the development. That is why we thought it will be better that the Department should do it by itself.
Shri Jermanik Syiem : May I know what is the criterion for giving grants for irrigation?
Mr. Speaker : No, the answer is that it has, been discontinued. Let us pass on the Unstarred Question No.11.
(To which replies were lain on the Table)
Sub- Inspector of Schools in Garo Hills.
Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :
9. Will the Minister- in - charge of Education be pleased to state-
Whether the services of the Sub- Inspector of Schools in Garo Hills have been placed at the disposal of the District Council, Garo Hills.
If so, when?
If not, the reason thereof?
Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, in-charge of Education) replied :
- The matter is being negotiated with the District Council.
As soon as negotiations are completed.
The terms of deputation suggested by the Department have not so far been agreed to by the District Council.
Chowkidars in Ganesh Das Hospital
Prof. Alexander Warjri asked :
10. Will the Minister - in- charge of Health be pleased to state -
The number of Chowkidars in the Ganesh Das Hospital at present?
Whether Government propose to provide more security for the Hospital by increasing the number of Chowkidars especially for the night watch?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister- in- charge, of Health) replied :
10. (a) - 2 two.
Posts of Radiologist and Anaesthetist
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :
11. Will the Minister- in- charge of Health Services be pleased to state-
Whether it is a fact that the Government proposes to create one post of a Radiologist and another of an Anaesthetist to look after all the three Government Hospitals in Shillong.
If so, whether they will be able to attend to the needs of three hospitals at the same time?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister- in- charge, of Health) replied :
11. (a) - The posts of Radiologist and Anaesthetist for the three hospitals at Shillong, viz., Shillong Civil Hospital, Ganesh Das Hospital and R.P. Chest Hospital have already been created.
(b)- The Radiologist or the Anaesthetist is not to attend all the three hospitals at the same time. They are to attend each hospital on every alternate day of the week.
Shri M.N. Majaw : 11(b). What is the work of the Anaesthetist?
Mr. Speaker : I think that is modified.
Shri M.N. Majaw : Does Government envisage that a time may come when the Anaesthetist may be required at the same time in all the three hospitals for operations?
Mr. Speaker : That is argumentative. The Anaesthetist is used for....... (laughter)
Shri M.N. Majaw : The Anaesthetist is used for operations, Sir.
Mr. Speaker : In other words, you mean to say that in case of emergency happening in all the 3 hospitals?
Shri. M.N. Majaw : Yes, Sir, what will Government do?
Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health) : We have to fix the priority in that case.
Shri M.N. Majaw : Does Government propose to increase the number of Anaesthetists later?
Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health) : This may be considered. When the time comes we will consider the question of increasing the number of Anaesthetists.
Prof. A. Warjri : What is the number of radiologists in the State?
Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health) : There is only one.
Shri P.N. Choudhury : May we know whether the Radio- logists in every hospital have been appointed?
Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health) : I cannot follow the question.
Shri P.N. Choudhury : Whether the posts of Radiologists have been filled up.
Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health) : No.
Shri M. N. Majaw : Has the Anaesthetist been posted?
Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health) : No.
Mr. Speaker : Let us come to Item 2. Our Chief Minister is not here today. He had already informed me to inform the House that he is giving the work to his colleagues. Any of his colleagues may reply.
Shri M.N. Majaw : I beg 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 letter appearing in the column "Letters to the Editor, entitled "Sanatorium" at page 4 of Assam Tribune dated 15th May 1974.
Mr. Speaker : Yes, you can elaborate your calling attention.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : The need for this Calling Attention motion arose Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of the use of certain words by a well known lawyer of Assam. In the last paragraph of his letter he has referred to the legal right that Assam has to the Earle Sanatorium. He has also referred to sentimental values. He has traced the history of the building from 1953. He that that Assam has legal right over the Earle Sanatorium. He also used in the second paragraph the words that the Government of Meghalaya is trying to usurp this property. Now, it seems strange that even after we have taken over the State, including Shillong that there should still be a place to which Assam has a legal right and hence I feel that it was important enough to draw the attention of the Chief Minister to this.
Mr. Speaker : The Hon'ble Minister for Parliamentary Affairs may answer.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : From the records available with us, it appears that a Deed of Trust was executed on behalf of the Governor of Assam in respect of the "Earle Sanatorium". The purpose of the Trust was to make available a suitable place of sojourn for the visitors to Shillong, which is one of the best health resorts of the country. Under the Trust Deed, Government have rights of supervision and also the power to approve the Trustees elected in place any Trustees who may have ceased to be members of the Trust by death, retirement, resignation or refusal to serve as Trustee or otherwise. After the creation of Meghalaya, the position of Earle Sanatorium was considered by us. Our Chief Secretary took up the matter with the Chief Secretary of Assam and the Chief Secretary, Assam was informed that after the creation of Meghalaya, the powers and functions of the Governor of Assam under the Trust Deed are now to be exercised by the Government of Meghalaya as a successor of the Government of Assam. The matter is under consideration by the two Chief Secretaries. It came to our notice that the Trustee - in- Charge of the Earle Sanatorium convened a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Earle Sanatorium on 23rd February, 1974. We asked the Trustee- in- Charge not to transact any business in the meeting of the Board till the matter is finally resolved.
The Government of Assam requested us to allow them to retain Nava Bhavan in the Assembly Complex for the exclusive use of the Assam Government for providing accommodation to the M.L.As. However, it was agreed that we would leg Government of Assam use same buildings in the Stony Land area.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, do we take it that it is the contention of our Government that the Government of Assam has no legal right to the Earle Sanatorium?
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : this is, as I have said, a matter to be considered and it is being considered between the two Governments.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : That is not so. May I point out that this is not very clear. Can we have a categorical statement as to the legal right to the Earle Sanatorium because if this is matter under consideration it admits of two possibilities.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we should consider this very carefully. We have stated that the Government had the power to approve and appoint trustees.
Mr. Speaker : May I seek a clarification from the Minister -in- charge of Law? Is it not a fact that the Government of Assam continues to enjoy the same privilege of the Earle Sanatorium till 1975 according to the North Eastern Areas Reorganisation Act? After 1975, the Government of Meghalaya will have full right.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : That is our stand.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : What is the name of the Trustee -in- chief?
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : There are a number of trustees. We have the names of trustees here, about 11 of them, and whether any one of them is trustee -n- charge is not known?
Mr. Speaker : Trustee -in- chief or trustee -in- charge?
Prof M. N. Majaw : There was a reference to the trustee -in- chief. Whether it is the trustee -in- chief or trustee -in- charge. In his statement the Minister said that a meeting took place between the trustee -n -chief and the Government.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : We have a list of trustees and one is mentioned as trustee -in- charge.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : How can the Minister mention the Trustee -in- chief?
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : I regret the information is not readily available here.
Mr. Speaker : Let us pas on to item No.3. General discussion of the budget. Mr. P. N. Choudhury.
Mr. P. N. Choudhury : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is really it is really heartening that the Finance Minister has not proposed any new taxation in the current year's budget, and this is a correct step considering the prevailing economic condition of the people of the State. Sir, the Fifth Five Year Plan allocation of Rs.84.21 crores is really disappointing because of the fact that this nascent State of ours is yet to go along way to catch up with the other developed States. Meghalaya even requires a bigger allotment in the Fifth Five Year Plan because this small undeveloped State of ours is to make the leeway of the neglect of decades and to accelerate the pace of development and to make up for this backlog, if the State is to play its vital role in the all -India sphere. This is a strong case for the Government to take up with the Planning Commission for a bigger allocation for the State. And not only that. The Central Government should take the responsibility of accelerated development of this State and they should also allot more central schemes for this small State. So, I would request the Government to take up the matter with the Planning Commission as well as the Central Government in right earnest so that the case of this State is not gone un-represented. Sir, I would like to point out one thing about the budget provision, i.e., mere allocation of fund is not enough, the implementation and execution part of the schemes is the most vital factor in any developmental work.
Sir, our past experience has been very sad in this respect. The past experience is not very encouraging. Sometimes we find that due to project reports not having prepared or shortage of manpower the execution of the schemes is not being carried out properly. There were surrenders of money in some cases for failure to implement the schemes, and this has hampered the development meant by these schemes. I will mention few instances how the implementation part of the scheme is not satisfactory. Sir, there is a lack of coordination. As one hon. Member said the other day that there is also duplication of work. This lack of coordination and political consideration in development work is the cause of this duplication. For example, it has been noticed in one particular area many roads have come up while other areas where no roads exists have been neglected and thereby giving scope for discontentment among the people. Sir, about lack of coordination, I would like to mention one instance which I have come across. In Cherrapunjee there is a hospital but there is no water in the hospital because the Public Health Engineering Department has not been able to supply water. The lack of coordination between the various Departments of Government should be removed. There are many other instances where these things are happening. So what is needed is that there should be coordination among all the Departments - specially those who are engaged in development works so that such lapses do not hamper the progress of work.
Sir, while speaking about this lack of coordination and political consideration in development work, I would like to refer to one particular instance in my constituency. I think most of the hon. Members know fully well that there is a place known as Lumparing composed of five small hillocks. The people who live there mostly belong to the low -income group having no influential member in their locality who can influence the Government to get the things done. So this area has been neglected for a pretty long time. Even in the case of emergency to take an invalid person or a maternity case to the hospital they cannot take the benefit of taxi because there is no motorable road connecting that area. They are to carry the patient on head load. Even when there is fire accident they are deprived of the fire service. But in other areas we find that the Municipality, the District Council, the Development Block and the P. W. D. are doing the same work. There is duplication of work and I do not understand the reason why the people living in this areas which falls within the Municipality of Shillong and paying tax are being neglected. This has caused great discontentment among the people living there. Government should take immediate step to redress their genuine grievances. I am not only citing this example to show the existing state of affairs. These things should not happen in the development work. There should be justice and fair play and more attention should be paid to backward areas so that there can be balanced development of this State. This is my contention, Sir.
Regarding planning I have got one suggestion to make. There should be the Engineering Wing at least in departments like Medical and Agriculture for expediting the execution of construction work. Sometimes funds is allotted for certain buildings but the buildings could not be constructed by the P. W. D. due to over work and could not expedite the work properly. The Government should look into this matter and I suggest that the Medical Industries and Agriculture Departments and the like should have a wing of Engineering so that they can take up the work to themselves. The delegation of financial powers also should be made to implementing agencies. This is very important because these Department have to wait for sanction of funds for a long time thereby delaying execution. Delegation of financial power to implementing agencies is necessary for speedy and timely implementation of the work and this is the Government should take into consideration.
Sir, I now come to transport. The hon. Members have already referred to many ills of this Department. I do not like to touch those points again but I shall confine myself to the city buses and taxis. City buses are less in number and are overloaded and the condition of the buses is also not good. About taxis the less we talk the better. We hear occasionally that the Government has fixed the taxis fares but this not being honoured by taxi drivers. The metre is there, this is only for decorating purpose. It is never used by the drivers and Government it seems is not in position to enforce it. It is used at all and the result is that the poor passengers are forced to pay exorbitant rate charged by the drivers of the taxis. They charge the rate according to their own sweet will, there is anarchy in city transport system. I therefore urge upon the Government through you, Sir, to see that the rate of the taxi fare should be fixed at a reasonable limit and that should be enforced strictly.
Sir, Meghalaya is hardly in the transport map of India. We are glad that Meghalaya is going to be in the air -map soon and a railway line extended to Byrnihat in near future but it is no enough. We have to travel a long way to cover the backlog of so many years. This State must have a net-work of transport system. We have got mineral resources in Nongstoin area of Khasi Hills and in Siju area of Garo Hills, there must be harnessed so that we can generate employment avenue for our unemployed young people. Government cannot employ all of them in the Government services. So some alternative avenues must be found out so that there may be not any frustration in the minds of the young men. Every year graduates are coming by thousands. The employment for them should be found out I feel that if we can harness the industrial resources of our State we can at least generate an industrial base for this region and for this, Sir a network of the railway line in Meghalaya is a must. This railway line should not come to Byrni Hat only but it should go upto Siju in Garo Hills too. The mineral produce of our States must be expedited for the better return of the people living in these areas. In addition to Burnihat there should be railway line upto Siju. This is a case where our Government should rise to the occasion; they must exerts themselves to wrest the State from what has been denied so long to it. I hope the Government will take note of it.
Sir, now I come to tourism. If my memory has not failed me I read somewhere in the papers that our Minister in charge of Tourism said that tourism will be one of the industries of Meghalaya and I am very glad to hear that I personally feel that tourism and education should be the industries of Meghalaya. For these two we have got the resources to develop. I reality I find that during all these years since Meghalaya has come into being tourism has not developed to our expectation. Last year, in the Budget Speech, the Finance Minister referred to the Barapani scheme. Recently when I was coming from Gauhati I noticed that there is no visible sign of improvement there. Barapani is the same as it was during the last two years back. The take, I noticed was covered with darkness. There was no light there. There is not enough plant development to attract the tourists for coming into our State and more over the areas where electricity is generated are in the darkness, Sir, tourism in Meghalaya should be developed based on the scenic beauty of the hills and our landscape. These can attract the tourists from outside. We should develop the natural beauty if the State. There is no officer in district level in the Department of Tourism. There should be district level officer not only in Shillong but also in Tura and Jowai so that they can look after the Shillong but also in Tura and Jowai so that they can look after the tourists in a better way. Last year in the Budget Speech, we are told that the target would be 400 tonnes of Fish production in the State. So, I would like to know from the Minister -in- charge whether this target has been achieved or not. (Bell rang).
Mr. Speaker : You have one minute.
Shri O. N. Choudhury : Sir two minutes please. So, Sir, I want to know whether the Government has taken steps to produce more fish or not. Eighty per cent of our people are fish caters. There should be enough for them.
Sir, I now come to Health. I want to know what has been done in regard to the appointment to of a Radiologist in the Civil Hospital. I saw the advertisement for this post may I know from the Minister -in- charge whether the appointment has been made or not, and whether any applications have been received or not.
Mr. Speaker : Appointment is in the hands of the Public Service Commission, Government has nothing to do with it.
Shri P. N. Choudhury : Sir, but the appointment is in has not been made for a long time. So I want to know form the Minister -in- charge why why the posts have been not filled up, so long and what the Government propose to do about this.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : We seldom delay appointments. As soon as the Commission finds suitable candidates they are immediately appointed.
Mr. Speaker : I think your time is up. If however you continue I will deduct the time of your colleagues.
Shri P. N. Choudhury : Sir, one more point. We have got an officer in the department It is a very vital department and the post was created in 1962. But Sir, it is very strange that this lone officer is working with no L.D.Assistant and no peon 'I wonder how this officer can discharge his duties even though he may be sincere. This Department is a vital and useful one which is working for collection of materials of life culture of the tribal people. This Department has been very much neglected. How can any research be done in this manner. This Department exist only in name. I want that the Government should implement all the schemes they take up with all sincerely and not haphazardly.
Mr. Speaker : Research Officers usually prefer to work alone and do not want the company of others.
Shri P. N. Choudhury : That is why I said Sir, (Bell rang)
Mr. Speaker : Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang, you can have 15 minutes.
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I take this opportunity in discussing the budget speech as placed by the Finance Minister in this august House. I cannot but appreciate the Finance Minister that he has given no proposal in the budget for fresh taxation even with a deficit of Rs.94.75 lakhs.
Now, I will touch some points. First of all I will take up agriculture. Agriculture is the backbone of our State and country in the whole world. Here, Sir, I m glad to know from the the reply of the Minister-in- charge of Agriculture that the process of giving grants to individuals has been stopped and that the Irrigation Department has been started by the Agriculture Department for the betterment and improvement of agriculture from this year onwards. There are many places, Sir, in our State of Meghalaya which could not be cultivated throughout the year under cultivation. If proper irrigation is there, I know Sir, that the new system to be introduced by the Agriculture Department, stated by the Minister -in- charge of agriculture in reply to my question, and in the next 5 years we should be able to overcome the shortage of essential commodities like rice, wheat and mustard seed which at present, we have to depend solely from outside the State.
And now about the Soil Conservation Department. I think this Departments also deserves congratulations because since the time of the Assam Government they used to give grants to individuals which according to me does not contribute to development of soil conservation by stopping of jhumming and proper terracing. So I congratulate this Department, also Sir, for stopping the individual grant and the improvement of the soil conservation of the areas for way of doing collective terracing. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a result of the work which this Department has started at present, I hope in the near future we can overcome this terracing programme in our State. I would also like to stress on the present strength of the Engineering wing of the Agriculture Department. It should be adequate so that the vast areas, as stated by others, in our Meghalaya which are at present without proper cultivation except jhumming, can be brought under cultivation. I am glad to note in the speech given by the Hon'ble Finance Minster that many areas have improved after the attainment of Meghalaya with the introduction of high yielding varieties of paddy. This has improved to a great extent that as much as 1840 hectares to 8 thousand hectares of land in a short space of time have been covered, and I hope within the next few years we shall improve more and more to the extent as I have said before so that we do not have to depend solely on the supply from outside the State.
As it is at present, our State depends on supplies from outside the State. But I m very glad to note that the Supply Department, specially in this District deserves congratulation because, as it is today, in many parts of the country, people are facing lots of difficulties in respect of essential commodities like rice, flour, atta, etc. But here, in our State, through the tactfulness and dedicated work of the Supply Department we are not facing such troubles as the people in other parts of the country are facing today. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, we should not be contented with only that. We should try our level best to create a State Procurement Department or, if necessary, it may be handed over to F. C. I. or to private agency to procure paddy from our State - the paddy which goes out side the State of Meghalaya during the harvesting season. I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that if the Supply Department cannot undertake this procurement programme they should hand it over to F. C. I. or to private agency to handle this procurement especially in the Bhoi areas contiguous to Kamrup and Nowgong Districts. The paddy grown in these areas usually goes to Assam side because we do not have procuring agent in this areas. Besides, the people are anxious dispose of or sell their paddy soon after the harvest. So, Sir, I would urge upon the Government that this procurement department must be run either by our State Government or handed over to the F. C. I. or private agency so that we shall not depend solely on supplies coming from outside the State. There are lots of mustard seeds in our State, specially in the Garo Hills go outside the State. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would once again urge upon the Government to come with an open mind to appoint this Procurement Department in our State also.
Mr. Speaker : Procurement Department for all agricultural produces?
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang : I mean for rice and mustard seeds because these are going outside the State.
Now I come to the Border Areas Department. This is a chronic disease in the Border areas for the last 25 years. Yet I am glad to note that the Government has created a special Cell for the border areas; but if the same type of administration, which has been followed by the previous Government, is continued I do not see that the chronic disease in the border area could be overcome.
Mr. Speaker : Why put the blame on the other Government? Come out with your suggestions on what Government can do.
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang : I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this Border Areas Department, which has been created recently should try to get all the date of the border areas so that they get first hand information and understand the difficulties of the people. The main, difficulty of this people is to market their pan leave which they use to sell during every hat day. But now the pan leaf finds no market in other parts of the country except in Bangladesh.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Marbaniang, don't you agree with me that pan leaves are mostly grown in those areas which are not covered by the Border Area Development? In other areas also they are growing pan leaves.
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang : Of course, Sir, in the highlands and sloppy also.
Mr. Speaker : Not in the highlands but in areas in between the highlands and the so called border areas.
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang : No, in the highlands also Mr. Speaker, Sir. That is why I suggested that the Agriculture Department should provide for s good irrigation system in the border areas because at a stretch an area of about 40 kilometers from Balat to Shella could have been brought under wet cultivation.
I mean Sir, that we would be able to cultivate and plough for almost the whole year. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding the Border Areas Department, I would urge upon the Government to appoint dedicated and responsible persons in order to check thoroughly and acquaint themselves with the prevailing conditions of the people in the border areas so that they can come up with the means to cure the chronic disease which has been there for the last 25 years.
Lastly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will come to a very important Department. That is communication. As it is at present, we do not have good communications in many parts of the borders areas to transport their produce to other parts of the State. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in spite of the improvement which has been made during this short period, as we could see form the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister, still I would request the Government to construct more roads in those missing link areas.
Mr. Speaker : That is what the Finance Minister has stated.
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang : But I want to emphasise on what has been stated by him so that he will not forget.
Mr. Speaker : Your time is up. Now, Mr. Joshi.
Shri D. N. Joshi : How much time am I allotted Mr. Speaker, Sir?
Mr. Speaker : Fifteen minutes; not more than that.
Shri D. N. Joshi : With 20 minutes I would have been able to do more justice.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister has been printed in a very fine paper leaving so much margin not to be utilised any other purpose .......
Mr. Speaker : This is not the work of the Finance Minister. This has been done by the Government Press.
Shri D. N. Joshi : Anyway Finance is very much involved here. From this it is evident that the Government is not having any economic drive in our State when the people are languishing under abject poverty.
Now coming to electricity in this North Eastern Region of India, we know, Meghalaya is the State which generates the maximum electric power but unfortunately we are given to learn that the rate of electrification in our States is only 17 villages per year. So it is a very sorry state of affairs and I would urge upon the Government to speed up the implementation of the programme so that these thousands of villages under total darkness for lack of power should be brought under electric map of the country and lift irrigation could be taken up and cultivation which is the backbone of our State could be developed properly.
Coming to Agriculture, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I find that huge money has been earmarked for improving the lot of the farmers but the pattern of cultivation practically remains the same for the last four years. We have observed that either due to the fault of the Government or for the non- co- operation of the people the jhum cultivation is eating into the fabric of the development of the scientific method of agriculture which is in a very sad state. So Government must see that the Jhum cultivation is done away with as soon as possible and instead incentives must be given to educate our people to take up terrace cultivation so that instead of having one crop they may get two or three crops in a year of course, if proper irrigation is there. So it is the bounden duty of the Government to see that irrigation is encouraged and agriculture is brought on a scientific footing so that the vast tracks of lands of Meghalaya may be brought under wet cultivation.
Now coming to Animal Husbandry, Sir, we have seen that this Government has come out with a plan as in the last year when they spent a lot of money under this Indo - Danish Project and this year also huge money has been earmarked but nothing practically has been done and no proposal is there in the Budget Speech that has been presented for the improvement of the lot of people thousands and thousands of families in the Bhoi areas, or in the interior of the State who are already in the trade. The Government has come out with a statement that 4,000 litres of milk is being chilled in Bhoi area, more than 1,400 litres of milk is produced every day and more than 10,000 litres of milk goes down to Gauhati to flood the Gauhati market at the very nose of the Government. But no steps have been taken by the Government to check this outflow which could have been a source of income had it been checked and brought under the scheme of chilling or at all if it is to go down to Gauhati, it should have gone through Government agencies thereby bringing some revenue to State exchequer. Now I do not find any scheme under Animal Husbandry to create grazing reserves or grazing colonies where these people who are already in the trade could carry on their trade on more scientific basis, under modern method of daring and grazing and with proper incentives for fodder cultivation as is done for the Indo - Danish Project at Kyrdemkulai. But there is no such scheme for Bhoi area namely Nongpoh, Nongstoin etc., where there are thousands of families who are already in that trade.
Now coming to Co- operation, Sir, I am constrained to say that there is a Union of so many co- operative societies during the days of the composite State of Assam in the Bhoi area. Here I would like to mention about one Milk Produces' Union - a Union of 12 societies. But while implementing various schemes that have been taken up by the Government, these Unions were never consulted nor entrusted any work to these co -operative societies. I feel there should be co- operation, there should be spread of co- operative societies but it appears that the Government itself is non - co-operative towards co-operative societies which have been serving the people very much for the last several years in the State. So I would urge upon the Government to see these co-operatives who had been doing their yeomen service to the State are authorised to handle this particular trade fully and completely.
Now in the matter of health, Sir, I find Government is occupied with opening of more Health Centres and for increasing the number of beds in different hospitals but for the training of doctors, it seems, Government is not very much interested. Two years back, Sir, five students were sent to Regional Colleges of Medicines but uptil now no scholarship, excepting one, has been given to the students......
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Sir, let me explain the position. So far stipend are concerned Government has given 5 but scholarship cannot be given to every student.
Shri D. N. Joshi : Last year 4 students were sent to Imphal Regional College for post graduate studies but they were not given any seat in the College in the College at Sambalpur. So unless some arrangements are done by the Government they will be stranded and their career will be doomed. In the matter of Education.
(The Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair)
Sir, much money is earmarked for the development and progress of education in the State for imparting education to the uneducated sons of the soil. But I m very much astounded to find through the whole budget speech of our Hon'ble Finance Minister that allocation of fund for the particular purpose of giving higher pay to the College teachers by the implementation or acceptance of the University Grant Commission Award is completely silent. As you know Sir, the University Grant Commission Award is an All India policy accepted by the Government of India for giving aids to the various States to uplift education and to facilitate a decent living for the teachers. The Government of India in order to implement the schemes which may be taken as an onerous job for the States has accepted a broad policy and has come out with a promise that about 80 per cent of the total expenditure of the State would be borne by the Centre for a period of 5 years. If our State Government is willing to accept the University Grant Commission Award, I think there will be no difficulty in implementing the scheme for the benefit of our children and the teachers as well. If my information is correct, some States in India had already accepted and agreed to go ahead with this scheme given by the University Grant Commission Award. It does not matter much if finances that will be required in this respect would be borne by the Central Government for 5 years. Other States have gone ahead for the implementation of the same and the Government of India which is the Government of the people and for the people is at the top, it will never lag behind for any particular State to enable and to flow all necessary fillips for a proper and smooth functioning of thin scheme. As such, I do not find any reason why our Government hesitates to avail this chance and to come out with a statement of acceptance to implement this scheme soon as possible so that our teachers would be satisfied and contented with better living standard and devote heart and soul to impart learning to our children in a more serious and scientific manner. We have got our North Eastern Hill University here and the Central Universities are prescribing attractive emoluments to all the teachers so that the teachers are encouraged to give the best benefits to our children and for the welfare of the students, and the State as a whole, who are to be the masters of the State in future. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I urge upon the Government for a speedy implementation of this scheme as soon as possible. Coming to employment Sir, I have found that the Government has promised that more avenues would be created and employment would be given to as many people as possible. We have seen the Government had given more employment to our educated youth under the Half a Million Job Programme but I find that this scheme also was not implemented properly but a haphazard way. I believe that the people who have got employment under this scheme would be able to stand in their own legs through the training they have received in their own trade and out of their specialisation. But to my utter dismay, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the case is quite contrary. After they have been given training, to cite an example, there was one school here where the medium of instruction was a community language and not English Language. A teacher after having got a job under the above mentioned scheme was deputed to that particular school. Poor fellow, he was a pre -university passed teacher knowing nothing of the language of that particular school. Since English is not the medium of instruction there and since he has no idea of the language which is the medium of instruction in that school he was at a loss as to what to do inspite of his training imparted under the scheme. Therefore, I feel that a teacher to be sent for such schools having a medium of instruction not of English language, should be first of all trained to specialised in the language of that particular school and I also feel that only such school get the teacher who have placed requirement of additional teachers so that the student may reap the maximum benefit in course of their learning and such trainees also become able citizens and self -reliant so that they would be able to contribute their might for the development of the State in the days to come. Sir, there is a suspicion in the minds of so many that the Government is not doing justice to the minority community of the State. The Government is not going to give proportionate employment to the people of the minorities of the State to have a share in the day to day administration. They feel this is as an act of nepotism, favouritism to deprive the minorities of their fundamental and democratic rights in the State. So in order to distil this doubt from the minds of our people especially of the minorities their due share of employment should be given under the Government. During the days of composite State of Assam there was a minority cell called the tribal Areas Department to look after the interest of the tribal minorities in the State and it was also the practice in some other States and in the Centre. It is also the broad policy of the Government of India to look after the interest of the minorities and therefore, I would urge upon the Government to create a Minority Cell under the State Government and to place it under a Minister so that they may feel safe and this will go a long way in bringing about a social and national integration in the State and in the country which here, in this State, it is lagging behind. I also find that up till now there is a surcharge charged on the transport vehicles. I do not see any reason why this surcharge be retained as the refugees from Bangladesh have gone back to their respective places. Refugees from Bangladesh and even the POWs in other States of India have gone back to Pakistan or were repatriated and so other State in the country do not have this surcharge any more except in our States of Meghalaya. Therefore, Sir, I think this is not at all justified and realistic to have this surcharge in view of the spiraling rise of prices and other problems faced by the people in the State. Coming to the Road Transport Corporation Sir, I have got a ticket here with me and for the sake of example, I will show to the House. Some lady coming from Dibrugarh by bus was asked to get down at Jorabat and to wait for the next bus that was to come from Gauhati to Shillong. She was waiting there for five hours and that bus did not come and finding no other alternative she had incur an additional expense of Rs.18 and come to Shillong by a tourist taxi. I feel Sir, there is no need of our continuance of this Joint Transport Corporation and we have to get our own Corporation. We should have no truck with Assam in this matter. Next Sir, I have to say something more very important regarding Municipal Administration. I found there is no proposal for holding the Municipal Election when I went through the whole volume of this budget speech. There is no provision for this Head. I therefore, feel that if the democratic rights of the people are to be properly safeguarded they should be given chance to exercise their fundamental rights as soon as possible. Since there is no more time, I will resume my seat. Thank you.
Shri G. Laloo : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many of the hon. Members of this august House very well know that I represent the people who have been hard hit due to partition of the country. For the last 26 years these people were not able to improve their economic condition. In the last few years, the people living in these areas i.e., in the slopes of Umsong and Umngot rivers, on the eastern part of Pynursla Development Block, have had to leave their homes and migrate to various parts of Khasi Hills in our own State and to Cachar and Mikir Hills district of Assam, and many of them to Bangladesh. I may inform the Government through you, Sir, that the main occupation of these people living in these areas is growing of betel -leaf. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these areas and the people whom I have spoken do not cover only my constituency alone but also the people living in the War area as a whole. I am grateful to the Government for their awareness and realisation of the economic condition of these people. Therefore, they are being given the benefit under the Border Transport Subsidy Scheme for all the essential commodities. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very gratifying indeed to note that the Government has recently established a new department by the name of Border Area Development with a Senior Secretary. This is a clear proof of the sincere intention of the Government to help the people of the border areas to improve their economic condition. I know also that many students of those villages included in the list of the border villages are being given border subsidy. This border subsidy scheme will surely benefit both the students and their parents. I also know that this department has already initiated various plans, schemes and projects for the benefit of the border people. Therefore, I am naturally grateful to the Government for the genuine concern it has for our poor people in the border. But I would like to caution the Government in respect of actual implementation of these various schemes. It is just possible that due to the genuine ignorance of the people living in the area that the most deserving people of the area may not get the benefit of the scheme at all. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just a few days ago I saw a list of the border villages prepared by the Development Department, and I was shocked to find that not a single village falling in the Langkyrdem and Dienglieng constituencies has been included in that list despite the fact that these same villages are being given the benefit of border transport subsidy scheme. I do not admit that some of the villages of these two constituencies fall outside 10 kilometre belt and therefore, they are, not included in the list. Nevertheless, through you, Sir, I would urge upon the Government to re -consider the matter to improve the economic condition of these people, that is to say, these people living in the slopes of Umsong and Umngot rivers for the simple reason that these people living in these areas in which their main occupation is growing of betel leaves have had their trade since time immemorial with the District of Sylhet where they used to sell their produce. But Sir, after the partition of the country there has been no more trade with the district of Sylhet for this particular produce. For that I would like to inform the Government through you, Sir, that these people would like to switch over to some other cultivation, plantation and other trades. But the question is how best can the Government help them when they are not included in the list of the border villages. Therefore, I would urge upon the Government to re -consider the matter in question with due due sympathy because these people do not know where to migrate in search of food except Bangladesh. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Mr. E Kurbah.
Shri Edward Kurbah : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the time allotted to me is very short, I shall have no time to praise or criticise the budget speech. But I would like only to place before the House some observations. Now I will come directly to education. Of course, Sir, I do not have much to speak on education but what I feel is that there is a mention in this budget speech about the establishment of Government High School at Jowai which is under examination. But in this budget speech there is no mention about the establishment of the Meghalaya Board of Secondary Education in the State. As far as I know this Meghalaya Board of School Education is proposed to be established at Tura. I do not know what is the reason behind the proposal to establish this Board of Secondary Education at Tura. Why not establish it here in Shillong since Shillong is the capital of the State? Secondly, the number of colleges and schools set up here in Shillong and Jowai is more than in Garo Hills and we also know that the Central University is also to be set up in the State. So it is quite justified to set up the Meghalaya Board of School Education here rather that at Tura. Otherwise, Sir, how can the students from this part of the State go and meet their needs right up to Tura. Besides that, they are also poor and have to travel a long way, at a distance of about 250 miles away from here. This will take them a long time and they will have to spend a lot of money for going and staying at Tura, for their studies. Therefore, for all these reasons, I would like to suggest to the House that the Meghalaya Board of School Education should be set up here in our district and not at Tura. If it is not possible to be established here in Shillong, at least, as one of the hon. Members has already proposed last time, it should be established in a place like Nongstoin which is now a Civil Sub -division of the State.
Another point, Sir, I would like to come now, to employment, I am very glad that this Government is trying its level best to absorb those employees who were employed under the Government of Assam. But now, as every body knows, all their petitions for absorption in the Government of Meghalaya have been submitted, most probably, to the Chief Minister for consideration and necessary action. Sir, we know that even some employees from Arunachal Pradesh Secretariat also have been submitting petitions to the Meghalaya Government for absorbing them in our State Government service the Arunachal Pradesh Secretariat will soon be shifted to their own capital at Itanagar.
Then Sir, now I would like to come to community development. I am very glad to see that in the budget speech of the Finance Minister has proposed to give more schemes to the Block agencies. But I am afraid if more schemes are given to the Blocks, then the money meant for the welfare of the people and the public is blocked in the Blocks. Some of the members have already mentioned that there is duplication of work in the construction of roads and water supply by the Blocks. I have seen that there is no maintenance of the roads constructed by the Blocks. At the time of taking over of the roads by the P. W. D. has to do the work again. In this case, there is duplication of work and also wastage of money. Besides, the money given to the blocks is very little and, therefore, there is no maintenance. I would, therefore like to suggest to the Government that before the construction of the roads by the Blocks, proper survey should be done by the P. W. D. so that the P. W. D. takes over the roads from the Blocks, there is no duplication of work in respect of survey and alignment.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to distribution of grants by the Blocks, some of the members have already mentioned that corruption is going on right from the top to the bottom. We know that there are some people who applied for grants for the development of irrigation and terracing. But the grant given to them is very little, and besides that, it takes months and months together for the people to get this little amount. With this little amount, it is not enough for the people to improve their lands for better production. It is very strange to see that the Gram Sevaks, Accountants and Overseers have got a hand in the distribution of grants. By the time the people get the money, half or most of the grant has already been spent for those people working in the Blocks. So I would request the Government to look into the matter and enquiries should be conducted by the higher authorities. I would also suggest that proper persons should be appointed to see whether those people who apply for grants really deserve to get grants. If they are really deserving to get the grants, they should be given without any cost or harassment.
Sir, I come now to industries. We know that the Industries Department is trying its level best to develop the cottage industries by supplying sewing machines to the people. But it is very strange that this year, the Government propose to give the sewing machines only to those people who pass the training. We know that there are very few people who have passed the training on sewing. What will happen to those people living in the rural or urban areas who do not pass the training but have experience in making clothes. Sometimes when judging the art of sewing, we find that those experienced people can do much better than those who passed the training. Therefore, it is not proper that the Government should distribute the sewing machines only to those who passed the training, but should give also to those untrained but experienced people so that they can support their families. Since there is no more time, I resume my seat.
Mr Deputy Speaker : Shri Jackman Marak .
Shri Jackman Marak : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to participate in the debate and I also thank the Finance Minister who has presented the budget for 1974-75. Sir, I am not here to dilate the points, but I want to continue myself to a few observations only regarding the Supply Department hoe to improve it all over the State of Meghalaya. It is very very difficult to improve it in my own district in Garo Hills. On 23rd April, 1974, there was a meeting of the Supply Advisory Board. In that meeting, we heard of the allotment of rice to Garo Hills. Some wrong information has been supplied by the Department that it was 900 quintals of rice (interruption).
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Incorrect information.
Shri Jackman Marak : I am very sorry to hoar that sugar quota and paddy quota is allotted by the Central Government. Two quintals of sugar not enough even for one centre as there so many centres in Garo Hills. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to suggest one very important thing, in regard to improvement of the works of the Supply Department. The District Officers of the Supply Department should at least go to every centre every forthnight, to the wholesalers and retailers in order to prevent them from resorting to black -marketing of rice and paddy. This will be a very very good idea if only Government could do it.
Now I want to speak on the question of border areas. What is going on in our border areas? Last February, March and April, the price of paddy per maund was ranging from Rs.35 to Rs.45 but at present, the price of paddy per maund has gone up to Rs.50 and Rs.55. This is not possible. Sir, the price of rice per kg. in the month of March/April was Re.1.75p, but at present, it is Rs.3 per kg. and even this price also, the people of the border areas are not getting rice. Why? I would like to request the Government humbly through you, Sir, that it should give some test relief works and other works to the people of the border areas, even if thousands of quintals of rice are taken to the fair price shop centres, people have no purchasing capacity until and unless Government give works to people. I have visited many border bazars like Sibbari, Garobadha and others; there, rice comes from Bangladesh, but last month it was strictly prohibited by the Police of Bangladesh. That is why rice is not coming, paddy is not coming and everything is not coming now. So Sir, considering all those things, Government should send more rice and essential commodities to every Districts.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now I come to P. W. D. Here I must say that when there is no road, there is no food. This is the life of the people of Meghalaya as well as the people in every part of India. P. W. D. has done something, I believe, but I would like to point out one thing. In my area from the 12th mile of Tura - Dalu road to Chockpot no work has been done uptil now. The Chief Minister himself went to Chockpot on February 24th last and told me in the I. B. in the presence of the Executive Engineer to improve this road and that we are really in need of this road. Now, this year of 1974 is coming to a close but nothing has been done to improve this road. I want to request the Government to speed up this very important work on this road. I happened to see one P. W. D. Muharir of Gamchichalak P. W. D. Camp while was touring in to all my areas. It was on the 20th May evening. All villagers and coolie themselves came to me and reported to me against the road muharir. They said, ' who will save us from this trouble'? 'What do you mean by that' I was asking them., and they told me that this road muharir instead of sending them to work on the road, he always sent them to work in his own jhum cultivation.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. Mr. Marak, did you bring that to the notice of the authorities?
Shri Jackman Marak : Yes, Sir, I have sent letters to the Executive Engineer, but nothing has come out.
(Voices : shame, shame.)
If the road muharirs are doing this how it is possible to improve the road? Why not the Baghmara road why not the G. S. Road? So, Sir, I request the Government to take serious action in the matter. And moreover about the Sibbari and teju road. These two roads should be improved for the betterment of the people of that area. Just now I said if there is no road, there is no food.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I now come to transport Department. I am very very sorry, Sir, specially in regard to the services on the Shillong - Tura Road. On this road buses do not run properly. Why? Whether it is due to the shortage of tyres or engine defects, we do not know. Frequently, on Tura road, we have seen buses run one hour late. Always, the Tura - Shillong buses after going for 10 or 20 miles a break down took place. This month also while we were coming by the State Transport Bus, after going for 25 miles there was a break- down at Snalgiri. Then one Nepali friend was asking me 'Kia Ho Kia'? I told him, 'Kia Ho kia, Ham bi Malum Nei' (laughter). I am not also a mechanic, and I am also not the authority. So, Sir, for this reason, passengers experienced great inconveniences and difficulties. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I request the Government humbly, through you, to improve the Transport Service. Moreover, I want to bring out one point. For this purpose, sufficient number of State Buses should be placed for the benefit of Baghmara because only one bus of Garo Hills District Council is running to Baghmara.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I now come to Education. I have seen that education is doing the good works years together, and I have been talking about education from 1972-73 and this year also 1974. I request Government to improve the system of education. I will bring out one point in this regard. If the Government wants to improve the functions of Education Department at least a Director should go to every districts once a year. And also the Inspector of Schools should go to the Schools. There is no inspection of any schools. That is why all the teachers and students are careless. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this year I have seen the border subsidy for students being given by the Government. But most of the border students do not get this border subsidy. Why? How this money is being utilised? This should be examined. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to cite the example of one school. This is under my area, an M. E. School. This is Metapgiri M. E. School. It has received this year onlyRs.2,000 as building grant which amount is very meagre, compared to the other M. E. Schools which received bigger amount. So, Sir, I request then Government to see that this this poor M. E. School at Mitapgiri also receives adequate amount of grant. How many times Government granted non recurring grant for construction of school buildings. I have seen that every year Rs.20,000, Rs.10,000 and Rs.12,000 were given supplied to this M. E. School. This M. E. School is situated on the road side and when any Minister or M. L. A. is going to Baghmara and coming back from Baghmara he can see that not a single post has been erected. This should be examined by the enquiring officer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, please let me have two minutes more. I will now speak on agriculture. Sir, I will not take much time of the House. Agriculture Department is the main stay for the people of Meghalaya. This is very important. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are vast tracts of lands to be reclaimed in my area. This should be done departmentally. Moreover in these reclaimed area so many tracts of land had been eroded by the Netai river. Nevertheless Government considered the question of constructing the embankments in this area. There are two embankments to be constructed, one at Bangri at Chokpot and at Rongrikingiri. So, Sir, I request the Government through you to construct these embankments and reclaim the land. If the Government does not construct these embankments then there will be no substitute lands for the people.
Since my time is up, Sir, with these few words I thank you and resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Now. Mr. Koch.
Shri S. N. Koch : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think you for allowing me ten minutes times to take part in the Budget discussion. I think all the hon. Members are aware of the fact that there is shortage of food stuff and there is no common medicine to cure the common diseases also. Sir, I again thank you for good understanding and giving me time not more than ten minutes are beyond which we cannot be expected to speak where there is neither enough to eat to keep our body and soul together nor medicine to cure our diseases. Sir, while I have been listening to this discussion of the budget speech during the last few days I got confused hearing of the hon. members from Treasury benches or the Members of the Royal Dynasty who had been showering compliments to our Finance Minister as to whether we are here for the obituary references of the Finance Minister (may God grant him many more years) or taking part in the general budget discussion out of curiosity I went to my room in the hostel and opened the budget speech and read out carefully. I am really thankful to the Members of the Treasury benches for their quick understanding of the Budget Speech made by the Finance Minister which gives a picture what Government is going to do during the current financial year. Actually I would like to begin my observation with the beginning stanza of the budget speech which reads "The Budget which I am privileged to present to this august House, today, marks the completion of the Fourth Five Year Plan and the beginning of the fifth Five Year Plan which in my opinion has not suited well with the Philosophy of the Government and substance of the budget speech in either way of negation by silence or assertion by so many words about its doing. With the permission of the Finance Minister I would like to correct the stanza in this way " The Budget ......... marks the completion of the Ministers and Officers towards misrule and the beginning of the rule of darkness, confusion, corruption and discrimination. And it is for this misadministration, confusion, darkness, corruption and discrimination which the budget speech speaks so presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister for which he was showered with the volleys of compliments. to point one of many, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the conspicuous absence of some of the vital and important schemes in the budget speech of the finance Minister such as separation of judiciary in the State. Of course I am not surprised for such omission which only natural for this Government which is all out not to give justice to the people for whom I have been speaking.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Finance Minister to Article 14 pf the Constitution which says all are equal in the eyes of law. I would also like to refer to Article 50 of the Constitution of India which says "The State shall take steps to separate the Judiciary from the Executive for the public services of the State" I will also refer to Article 44 which says "The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizen a uniform Civil Court through the Judiciary of India" So it is long over due that Judiciary in our State should have been separated from the Executive and whenever they got the chance to speak in this august House. I stressed once again on this very point. The law prevailing in our State is the law given by the foreign rulers and that was exactly hundred years ago in 1874 when the Scheduled District Act came into operation and the people of this part of the Land were treated as uncivilised, jungle men and kept this jungle law to us by the foreign rulers. After 27 years of Independence and after 4 years of the existence of our State the Government is determined to retain the jungle law to commemorate the name of Williamson the Conqueror of Garo Hills who burnt down hundreds and hundreds of houses and tons of food grains in the process of enslaving the freedom loving Garos in the Garo Hills at whose instance present Law of administration of Justice in this part of the country came into being. The Hon'ble Finance Minister who also hold the portfolio of Law was the idol of high hope of the people, he being one of the members of the Shillong Bar store who shone like morning star for a considerable period. He had the opportunity to traverse with the legal technicalities and also to know the opportunity to traverse with the legal technicalities and also to know intimately the nerves and the pulse e of the large members litigants. But the Hon'ble Finance Minister dashed the high hopes of the people by not taking any steps to reorient the State administrations of justice by separating the Judiciary from the Executive. Now, Sir, why we have came out or the parent State of Assam? Because we consider that there were injustice done to us by the people of Assam valleys and of the injustices by allowing continuance of the existing State of administration of justice law which is one which we rightly exercised and we have to come out of Assam. Under the Constitution we have right to assert our rights. During the period of Assam there is injustice and this continued till now this administration of justice as was done by the British, the same rule of jungle Law Sir, we have got our own State and power is in our own hands to mould out destiny. According to Article 14 of the Constitution, all men are equal in the eye of the Law. But it is equal to the people living in Shillong and other part of the State and Khasi Hills District itself and C. Y. P. C. is in operation in Shillong, but if we go beyond five miles of this area, the C. Y. P. C. is not applicable. Is it equality? This is a clear violation of Article 14 am 44 of the Constitution. After then election we have to take an oath and the Ministers too to protect the Constitution, only to violate it soon after assuming office. As I said before, Williamson who subjugated the Garos by burning, looting and arson and burning hundred of food grains and without pity for women and children we are still following the same jungle Law, even after 27 years of Independence is an indelible scar marks on our national life.
Shri Reidson Momin : He is not a Garo. He has no right to defend the Garo. He is the Chairman of minorities.
Shri S. N. Koch : I am not elected only by the minorities but by others also. Sir, as once of the hon. Members stated, the Hon'ble Finance Minister in his budget speech has mention about the physical achievements of the Fourth Five Year Plan in such a way so that the members do not get any real picture of the actual achievement. As for instance, the Hon'ble Finance Minister has shown the achievement in educations by mentioning the number of schools but has not shown the exact number of students benefited within the period. So also the achievement of food grain. Instead of furnishing the noted output the budget speech speaks about the acreage and confused the members as to the actual achievement. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, 2 or 3 days before I came to Shillong, a group of people came and reported to me that at Rangsadonga the people used to draw Government grant in the name of Rangsakonga High School but there was no such high School. So, there is nothing wonder of course to show the achievement is of the education in the State by the Hon'ble Finance Minister in terms of number of Institution as there may be in the Government record such great number of Schools which may be more than the number of students to which regular grants are being sanctioned though there is no such Schools in existence and that is why the Minister showed only the number of institution without showing the beneficiaries.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Do you know what year it is ?
Shri S. N. Koch : I do not Sir, they have not given me date or years. Also, I would like to come to the question of Border subsidy. These grants are given without proper verification and I as told that some students enrolled themselves is more than one than one school and they used to draw these Scholarships through the different Schools. So I would request the Minister -in -charge to look into the matter and cause an enquiry (bell rang) Thank you.
Shri Pritington Sangma : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in the general discussion of the budget speech made by the Finance Minister, I consider this budget presentation to be very important because it marks the end of the Fourth Five Year Plan and the beginning of the Fifth Five Year Plan. It is important because we are going to spend our State fund for the first time as a full -fledged State. It is really a land mark or I may say the first milestone in Meghalaya's march towards the progress and prosperity. I am happy, Sir, to note that our Government has embarked upon many developmental and promotional programmes to make our Meghalaya State a State of prosperity and progress. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I congratulate the Planning Department of our Government because they have made a right approach to give the highest priority to agriculture and road communication. Agriculture being the main back bone of the State and 80 per cent of our total population being dependent on agriculture for their economic life, it is the responsibility of the Government to do everything to develop agriculture to its fullest extent. Our Government did well to take up many irrigation schemes specially river project schemes including lift irrigation in different parts of the State for this year. Here I want to request the Government to implement the schemes with sincerity and I hope that if these schemes are fully implemented, it will go a long way to make our State self- sufficient in food grains. I would also request the Government to find out different river valleys. I think there is a vast river valley somewhere on the border of the Khasi and Garo Hills which we call Ryndi river and also there are vast valleys in different parts of the State and also in Garo Hills. If all these are brought under cultivation with irrigation I have not the slightest doubt that our State will be self- sufficient in the near future. Sir, we have such agricultural potentialities but it is a sad thing that today we are facing a critical time, especially Garo Hills is passing through a critical moment as many hon. Members have stated. There is an acute scarcity of food stuffs as a result of natural calamities which occurred in the two cultivation periods of 1972 when I remember there was an unusual drought in the Garo Hills as a result of which the crops were damaged by flood water. Damage was also done by wild boars, rats and pests. So, Sir, because we are dependent on nature and entirely at the mercy of monsoon , I appeal to the Government through you, Sir, to take precautionary measures against the natural calamities. If we are really able to make perennial irrigations by using the perennial streams to cultivate our paddy lands, I am definitely sure that we shall be able to fight the natural calamities. Sir, today the people in Garo Hills are facing difficulties because the prices of essential commodities and other commodities of essential commodities and other commodities are sky- rocketing as a result of which the people are not having the purchasing capacity. The test relief given to the people is not at all justified because some Blocks have been excluded, I remember that Rongjeng and Resubelpara Blocks been omitted in the matter of giving test relief schemes on the pretext that these are under the SFDA Scheme. Actually, Sir, the people in these Blocks are like other people in other Blocks and so they should not be let to suffer whether they belong to this or that Block. Sir, at Resubelpara the S. F. D. A. had taken up poultry farming but this failed because the hens did not lay eggs and there was shortage of supply of feed and the hens died. So I would request Government to start at least some feed mills in Garo Hills also to help the people there. Regarding the banana scheme I would like to say that the banana plantation is there in the Garo Hills, specially in the northern parts of Garo Hills. I have been hearing and seeing the encouragement given to the potato cultivation but it is pity that there is no such encouragement in the case of banana cultivation although trucks of banana go outside Garo Hills to Bihar and Bengal. There are going from Dorranggiri market on the border in Goalpara district because there is no marketing organisation for disposing of the banana in Garo Hills. As such the produce of Garo Hills goes to the benefit of Goalpara. Moreover, our cultivators are subjected to unscrupulous exploitation by the 'mahajons' and middlemen. I think the Government should take some steps to help them.
Regarding the fruit scheme at Dainadubi I do not know what is going on but this I do not know that the preservation is not progressing. I very much doubt whether there is a marketing wing and whether there is publicity wing attached to it. And the farm is doing nothing to purchase local products to encourage to the people and thus the produce of the people has become wasted instead of earning revenue. So, I would request the Government to take a serious note of it.
Regarding road communications I have not much to say but to congratulate the Government because the Government is really keen to link up every village with roads and it is gratifying to note that the Government has taken up some roads in my area also. Mine is the area where there has never been ever and inch of the P. W. D. road. For the first time in the budget I have seen, except one road that all the road proposed have been taken up.
(A voice : How many inches?) I do not know how many inches but I feel that when the road is completed, communication difficulties will be overcome in the near future.
Regarding Education. I want to touch one very important point and that is about the Nursery Stage. In the Khasi Hills, in Shillong specially, the people have the advantage of sending their children to very good schools and even in the interior there are Catholic Missions which are rendering very good services by opening schools in the kindergarten stages. But in the Garo Hills there is no such advantage because even the L. P. Schools there are of third or fourth rate schools not be speak of Nursery Schools and that also only two or three in the whole of my constituency. Besides, Sir, the teachers are ill -paid, untrained and most of them are Matric - plucked without any knowledge on teaching. So they are not in a position to give any guidance to the children. As it is today, there is no use of running these Nursery Schools. So, I would request the Government either to close these Nursery Schools altogether or to give them more importance. Even in Assam where Assamese is the medium of instruction they were opening High Class Montessory Schools. So why can't we also open better K. G. and Nursery sections also in Meghalaya and regarding the payment to teachers I would say that only Rs.50 per month would not do. Besides, the recruitment of teachers from among those passing only Classes VIII or IX or X would be very bad for the students. So the Government should select only those with qualifications like B. A. trained or M. A. and they should be given salaries according to their qualification.
Coming to sericulture I would like to say that it is a paying concern; it is a revenue earning concern but except this time I have not seen anything that Government is giving importance to this very good paying Department. So Sir, I would like to say that if it is encouraged and given the importance direct or indirect employment revenues will be open to the people of Meghalaya. I know there is one advantage that the work can be taken up a part time work. It is necessary to attend to this job only in the morning and the evening then on the market day they can sell the eri cocoon at a price ranging from Rs.15.00 to 25.00 per kg. It is quite a good profession and I feel the Government will pay attention to this Department also.
Now coming to education I have got one point which I left. It is indeed a very sad thing. I have learnt the other day that the Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs.20,000 to the District Library of Garo Hills to purchase books. But I am sorry to learn that a bank draft was sent from the Directorate to the Inspectorate and when it was encashed the money was taken back by the Directorate again. We do not know for what purpose it was done so and also we do not know for what purpose it was done so and also we do not know who is the proper authority to spend that money. So I would appeal to the Government to see that justice is done to this also.
Sir, regarding the P. H. E. Sub -division at Mendipathar, I would like to say that in the S. D. O's office appointments have been made but I do not know whether this posts were filled up through the District Selection Board or by the head of the Department concerned. But so far my knowledge goes, these appointments were made not though the District Selection Board. Of course, these posts were for grade IV and III employees - I do not day anything about the technical post. I do not know why those posts were filled up by the candidate from here and there depriving the local candidates from the Garos, Ravas. So I wonder how the reservation of 40 P.C. for the local candidates is maintained. I do not know whether it can be decided in the district level or not. If it is at the district level I hope this reservation will be maintained for the local candidates in respect of employment.
Now I come to Medical. I actually appreciate the Government for setting up Primary Health Centres. But in this respect I would like to point out here that the Primary Health Centres are proposed to be set up only in Block Headquarters. We know Sir, that the Block areas are far-flung from the Block Headquarters and there is no direct road for coming to Block headquarters. As for example, Tikrikilla is far from Resubelpara. If people from Kharkutta or Adokgiri are to come to the Primary Health Centres at Rongjeng they will not be benefited out of this. Therefore, I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to see that Primary Health Centres are located suitably at places where there is necessity.
Now, Sir, in the Budget Speech I have seen something mentioned about border issue also. I do not know what is the attitude of our Government. Any way the Central Government in the Parliament declared that an Enquiry Commission will be set up to go into the question of border dispute. Sir, personally I welcome this move on the part of the Central Government . But I do not know what is the attitude of our Government. So far nothing has been done from this side as to whether we welcome these Garo and Khasi people who are living in the adjacent districts of Goalpara and Kamrup. We must take the initiative to influence the Government of India to come forward and enquire into the matter as soon as possible.
Lastly, Sir, I would like to come to a very common subject on which many hon. members have dwelt at length, i.e. Transport. On this subject I would like to refer only to Shillong - Jowai Road and Shillong - Cherrapunjee routes. There is heavy rush in the buses plying along these routes; man upon man sitting at the roof, on the goods, beddings, etc. Moreover there is no queue system for purchasing tickets; men and women are struggling for tickets and there is only one law i.e., might is right. Only the stronger are getting the tickets and the weaker are facing difficulties. I think this difficulty can be avoided if instead of a single bus in one timing, more buses are placed in a single timing say, No.1 Bus, No.2 Bus and No.3 Bus as is dome by the Assam State transport Road Transport Corporation. If this could be done we can avoid heavy rushes at the stations. Also Sir, I have carefully observed that there is a writing in the buses "No Smoking". Once we sit inside the bus we are so scared of this and we thought we cannot smoke. But at the first instance, when the bus starts to move I find that the conductor and the driver of the bus are smoking leisurely. How is this possible? How can they prevent others from smoking as they themselves are smoking. I think this is quite unfair on the part of the conductors and the drivers of the buses. There is no discipline and good manner, Sir, I think it is our anxiety to make our State a beautiful model State. So, it would be better if we can appoint our ladies as conductors of the buses plying in different parts of the State. Ladies are generally sincere and honest in the service. And as such, I advocate this system very strongly before the Government because we all know that this is the land of women. Thank you, Sir.
Shri Jagabandhu Barman : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the time is very limited, I would speak a few words only. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am rather glad to know that during the Fifth Plan period, agriculture got a top priority but if those schemes as proposed are not sincerely and rapidly implemented by the Government, then only giving of priority will not give us the desired object of obtaining self -sufficiency in food grains. In Garo Hills, Sir, I understand there are many resources for development of agriculture. But I am sorry to point out that the Government and the Department of Agriculture could not tap these resources in a manner expected. Therefore, Sir, I would request the Government to gear up the pace of development in Garo Hills in so far as agriculture is concerned as early as possible. To this effect I wish to mention here that there is dearth of staff in the agriculture department in Garo Hills as a result of which the Department cannot cope with the situation at the time of necessity. Sir, I may inform the House that a major part of my constituency is "Sali" paddy growing area. Once this area had been considered as the surplus area of the region but due to non -availability of proper irrigation facilities in the last few years, this area which was once a surplus area has become now a deficit area. Sir, not only that, even fertilizers cannot be used in the field as there is no proper supply of water. On the other hand, it has been found that fertilizers caused bad effect on the lands without adequate water supply. Hence, I strongly suggest to the Government for an arrangement of lift irrigation in my constituency in Betasing by installation of deep tube well or filter points. Besides these I would like also to emphasise the need for creation of one Basic Training Centre for imparting training to the non Garo L. P. School teachers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the time of inception of the Autonomous State to the full fledged State of Meghalaya on facility was there for imparting such training to the non- Garo L. P. Schools teachers in Garo Hills. Previously, these teachers were deputed by the then Assam Government for training at Dudnai in Goalpara District. As such, I believe the Government would appreciate the difficulties and open up one training centre for the non - Garo L. P. School teachers in Garo Hills. If this is not dine, I think the standard of education in the non -Garo L. P. Schools shall never be improved. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with all the emphasis that I have, I think the Government should take up construction of a dispensary building at Ampati at a very early date and also construction of Primary Health Centre at Betasing as soon as possible and no further delay should be made in the interest of serving the people in their illness. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat. Thank you.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while going through the budget speech of the Hon'ble Finance Minister, the first thing that strikes my mind in the reference to the successful test of a Nuclear Device for peaceful purposes by our Indian scientists. Sir, I am proud of the achievement of the country. But not for the achievement alone but also for the bold step they have taken in this direction. Sir, I wish that they should take bolder steps in solving the economic difficulties of the country and the curb the inflation that existed in our country. Sir, it is contented here in the budget speech that inflation and high in Meghalaya than in other States of India from this growing inflation and high prices. I do not know it may be due to the geographical location which has affected the State to get regular supply of food and other essential commodities.
So, I find that the with deficit financing to the tune of Rs.94 lakhs the Government may no help us at all to curb the inflation that our State now experiencing. I thought that the State Finance Ministry would have brought a realistic budget for the year with a view to combating the present rice in prices prevailing in the State.
Sir, coming to the State Fifth Five Year Plan it is really unfortunate that the Planning Commission has sliced down our proposals from Rs.203 crores to Rs.84.21 crores. I join hands with the Finance Minister who has said that it is totally inadequate. It may be due to this fact that many of the proposed schemes for road construction and such other development works are not included in the P. W. D. schemes and P. H. E. schemes for the year. Sir, I have a little suspicion and apprehension that the Planning Commission might have thought something bad or cast a bad reflection on us because of the failure of the State Government to keep proper account of the expenditure during of 1971-1972 especially in connection with the unaccounted expenditure incurred on the refugees during that period. These we have seen in the Advance Report of the C. A. G. which has been place before the House. Therefore, Sir, my apprehension is that we might have been able to convince the Planning Commission to give us more money during this plan period of ours.
Then Sir, as many hon. Members have said about the implementation of various schemes, I also want to press more on these matters. It is not enough to know how much money was spent, how many schemes have been taken up and how many plans and programmes have been taken up. But the real test of achievement of the State is to aim at the happiness and prosperity of the people. These should be the real tests and the intention of our Government. But as far as the people are concerned Sir. I have not seen that they have been really benefited by these schemes and from money spent by the Government. Sir, crores and crores of rupees have been spent each year for these schemes which are meant for the benefit of the people and another few crores of rupees as budgetted this year, but I don't see that these have benefited the people of our State.
Another point, Sir, Human factors play a very important role in the implementation of schemes. In other words, the success or failures of these schemes depend mainly on these human factors. It is the human factors that are directly involved in the implementation of these schemes and these human factors are mostly the Government officials. Unless certain basic principles or policy to guide and control these Government officials are brought about by the Government for their proper service to the people, I do not think it will help the people at all. If the services of the Government officials are not dedicated to the welfare of the people and if no sincerity of purpose is shown by the Government officials in handling the implementation of schemes and money I don't think it will be of any value to the State. Therefore, I would request the Government to try to bring about certain guiding principles for the Government officials in order to guide them to avoid misappropriation and misuse of the funds allotted under these development schemes by the State Government.
Another point Sir, which I want to say here is that I apprehend the budget of this year might as usual, benefit the richer section of the community rather than the poorer section o the community. The benefits never go to the poor -deserving people, to the common people, but go always to the rich and wealthy people. This has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. In this connection, I would like to refer of the saying of some authors who say " The haves are more vocal and know to ask for more and get more but the have-nots are left to their own fate". So Sir, I strongly advocate here that the Government should see that the benefit should really go to the common men and poor section of the community in the State. Otherwise the poor people's problems will not be solved.
Now I come to agriculture. I would like to remind you, Sir, that agriculture is the backbone of the country. Here in the budget speech the Government have said that almost all the schemes are going to be taken over by Government. But Sir, you will agree with me that agricultural products that are being produced in the State are not coming from the Government farms but from private cultivators. Sir, I do not want to contend for or against the principle adopted by the State Government or against the management of the Government. But what I am thinking now is to suggest to the Government that more encouragement and help should be given to the private farmers and cultivators with whatever scheme the Government may bring out. In this respect Sir, I would say that fertilizer is one of the major items which is more and more required by our farmers today. Our private cultivators will not be able to produce more food without adequate supply of fertilizers to help produce crops even from their barren fields. Therefore, Sir, I would request Government in the Agriculture Department to kindly ensure adequate supply of fertilizer to the cultivators especially during the peak growing season. Thus we will be giving more encouragement to them to grow more food in the near future. But we have seen, Sir, generally cultivators use to purchase and are being compelled to purchase fertilizer from the black market and at a higher rate. They are not receiving fertilizer at Government rate or cheaper rate and they are getting fertilizers from the middlemen who, in collusion with the licensed firms, are distributing fertilizer at higher costs to the people. These middlemen received good quantity of fertilizers from the licensed Firms to be sold at Black market rates. These licensed Firms are making indirect benefit from the common cultivators by selling fertilizers at higher rates in the black market through these middle men. And also there is a lot of adulteration in the fertilizer now a days as we have seen in the newspaper about this. Sometimes they mix sand with fertilizer and then distribute to the people. I request that the Government should see to all these things and save the poor cultivator from the whims of those middlemen.
Then Sir, regarding horticulture, I advocate that encouragement should also be given to horticulturists of the State. I know for a fact that in the slopes of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills and also in the Bhoi areas people used to grow fruits like oranges, pineapples, bananas etc. But Sir the soil may soon be eroded due to its being located in the slopes. So unless certain schemes of terracing or soil conserving is brought about by the Government, in no time the soil will be washed away and the products will be dying and the cultivators will suffer. Moreover irrigation works either by pipes or by some other means should also be extended to these areas to help the individual in growing more fruits.
Besides that, good seeds, I mean fruit seeds, should also be supplied to the cultivators free of cost. Therefore, I would like to give all these suggestions to the Government to help our poor cultivators to produce more and more agricultural and horticultural produces in the State.
Coming now to dairy development, I would like to say that this diary development is really a matter of pride our Government have established a veterinary complex at Kyrdemkulai. But I am sorry to hear when some of the hon. Members have asked some questions in this respect, that the reply was that only three contractors are now doing construction work in the complex. But I understand that the tenders were not invited for works involving lakhs and lakhs of rupees. The contracts were simply settled with some of those favourite contractors. Moreover, Sir, it was mentioned in the last session that there is no scarcity of milk. But I learnt that the Government purchased milk from Garampani I mean from the Government of Assam and brought to Jowai. By the time it was brought to Jowai, the milk got spoiled on the way. Besides, the milk tanker meant for Shillong and a chilling Plant meant for Jowai, for carrying milk, and bottling of milk were taken away by the Government of Assam. But no action was taken by the Government to replace them. Sir, regarding the distribution of milk in Shillong, we find that the percentage of supply by the Government is less than that supplied by the individuals. Therefore, the Government do not feel that there is any scarcity and also the public do not know that the Government is supplying milk. I would like to suggest that milk tanker for Shillong should be brought back to bring milk from all parts of Khasi Hills so that milk can be supplied to all parts of Shillong.
Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, now I come to Health. We appreciate that the Government is going to open more Public Health Centres in almost all the Blocks. We find that some of the hon. members have stated that the Civil Hospital in Shillong is very congested and there is also lack of response from the staff working there and there is also a lack of medicines. Recently, I learnt that there is a case of cholera in Raitong and other places in the Bhoi area. I understand from the people of that area who have come to Shillong and requested the Civil Surgeon to supply the medicines and also invited him to go there. Four people had already died, but the Civil Surgeon did not go there. I would, therefore, request the Government to look after these things, to supply more medicines and to provide staff to visit the suffering people. As I have said that one of the achievements of the Government is hoe to bring happiness to the people. But there is no happiness if the people are suffering.
Now I come to administrative reorganisation. I am very happy to know that the Government intended to create more districts and subdivisions. Some of the hon. members have last year moved in the form of resolutions that the new elakas of Khasi Hills. I think that also be established soon within this Fifth five Year Plan as mentioned earlier. Thank you. Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Mr. Shamsul Haque
Shri Shamsul Haque : Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, as I rise to participate in the discussion of the budget presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister, at the very outset of my speech, I would like to say that we have gone through the budget speech and I am satisfied with the plans and programmes of the Government. So I would extend my gratefulness to out Hon'ble Finance Minister. Next Sir, many of my friends in this House made so many criticism on the implementation of the schemes. But I am not so serious on that point. I recollect here one English Proverb saying that "Rome was not built in a day". The other day, one of my friends from Garo Hills, Mr. Plansingh Marak, made some criticisms on the implementation of the Government schemes by saying that Government is very much irregular in the implementation of every work or every scheme and that it is going 'lahe - lahe' or ' piche - piche'. Sir, this is so only because we achieved out full fledged State only the other day. I can say, and I find that in the meantime, so many departmental works have been done. So I cannot criticise the Government so seriously. However, Sir, I would like to say something on some heads. First of all, I would like to say that our Government should take keen interest in agriculture, Sir, we know that 82 per cent of the population of our State are agriculturists but the progress of agriculture development is not so satisfactory. So I request our Government to take keen interest in agriculture so that we may be able to produce sufficient quantity of food grains in our State. That, Sir, in my constituency, in Mahendraganj Constituency, there are suitable lands for producing jute paddy, wheat and mustard seeds, etc. If the Agriculture Department can help the agriculturists of that area. I hope that the people of that locality will be much benefited and development of agriculture will be satisfactory and will produce satisfactory results in that area as well as the State as a whole, thus our State will escape from the clutch of food scarcity. So Sir, I request the Government in the Agriculture Department to help the people of that area by providing some lifting irrigation schemes or by constructing bunds and dongs, etc., wherever necessary and for this purpose, Government should send officers of technical persons to the agricultural field to make a survey and take up schemes for implementation.
Now, Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, I would to say something on communication also. In my Mahendraganj Constituency, the people are badly suffering from road communication. During the rainy season, the main road which leads from Mahendraganj to the District Headquarters. Tura, becomes unserviceable. This is the moist important road, providing or developing this road. I recollect here, Sir, a very funny thing. One road, namely the Ampati - Mahendraganj road has been taken over by the Public Works Department, but a little portion of this road from Mahendraganj Thana to Mahendraganj embankment via Mahendraganj Bazar, whose distance is about 2 furlongs, has not been taken over. I do not know what is the reason for it. So, I suggest that Government and the Department concerned to take over or adjust this portion also with Mahendraganj - Ampati road as soon as possible. I remember Sir, that once I reported the matter to the minister -in-charge of Public Works Department and I even enquired into the matter in the office of the Chief Engineer. I remember he noted the matter, but no action up till now has to been taken. Now, I like to mention here one road which is proposed to be taken over by the Public Works Department but, still there is some anomaly. I proposed that Mahendraganj Mahendraganj Thana to Bahadurkata via Majherchor and Karlpara villages, this road should be taken over by the Public Works Department, but it is found that from Mahendraganj Thana to Bahadurklata another road is found to be taken in the scheme. I spoke of more important one than the others. So, for the sake of clarifications, I would like to request the minister -in- charge to note that this road from Mahendraganj Thana will lead to Bahadurkata via Majherchor, Tungrirchar and Karipara villages. Sir, while I visited Katuli area, the people of that locality reported me that one road from Kamakhtabari to Zikzak via Katuli has been surveyed by the Public Works Department. But this road is not found within the schemes of the Fifth Five Year Plan. So, I request the minister -in- charge to take note of this road also. Sir, I would once again request the Government to improve the Mahendrasganj - Ampati road. I am requesting for the improvement of the road, and would also like to have black -topping of the road within a year or two. This is the most important road. So, on behalf of my people, I demand here in this august House that our Government must not neglect this proposal.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to another point now; that is education. Sir, I have been elected as member of this august House from the minority community. Not only that, I am also one of the M.L.As belonging to the border areas. I think, Government is aware of the fact that some amount was sanctioned last year as subsidy for the students of the border areas and the amount has been disbursed also. But I regret to say here that this subsidy has not been disbursed or distributed properly. To make my point clear, I like to elaborate a little on this, in order to give a clarification to the Government through you. That Sir, the Education Department invited some applications from the students of the border area and prescribed forms also in this regard have been supplied to the students concerned. Accordingly, the students filled them up and submitted them to the authority of the Education Department through there their respective Headmaster. But at the same time of disbursement, Sir, I am sorry and I am ashamed also to tell the truth (laughter). Since the students have submitted their applications they were awaiting for the subsidy money. But unfortunately about 80 percent of them got nothing. Where has the amount gone (laughter) ? I demand that the Government should enquire into the matter and take serious steps if the money has been mis-used.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, then I would like to say something about health. Sir, in my constituency, I find that thee are three dispensaries (laughter), viz Purakhasia dispensary, Kalatchar dispensary and then Mahendraganj dispensary. But Sir, all the dispensaries are going with out doctors. Not only that Sir, although there is a pharmacist in each dispensary, unfortunately it is reported that there is no stock of medicine. One Pharmacists from Mahendraganj dispensary reported to me that he got no stock of medicines. So, Sir, I report through you, to the Government to see to all these things properly (bell rang)
Sir, I like to inform the Government that my Constituency, Mahendraganj, is the most thickly populated area in Meghalaya. I like to express in this august House. Sir, (bell rang), that more than 22,000 to 25,000 people are living here but these people are most unlucky, as they are getting no medical facility. Sir, since some months back I have been reporting and insisting on the medical department, for posting one M.B.B.S doctor in Mahendraganj Dispensary, Kindly let me speak for 2 minutes more, Sir, Sir, I once again request the Department concerned to post at least one M.B.B.S doctor in Mahendraganj as early as possible (bell rang).
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Shri Raison Mawsor.
Shri Raison Mawsor :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I congratulate the Finance Minister for placing the budget before this House and I would like to make some observations. Firstly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to medical. In my Constituency, the Lyngngam area is the most backward area in all the Districts of Meghalaya and there are no dispensaries. Every year , many people from that are affected by cholera, malaria, small pox, chicken pox and leprosy. And as a result of that many people died annually. There is only on dispensary at Nongstoin where my people have to go by spending 4 days for the journey, I would request the Government to look into this matter sympathetically and open two dispensaries in my Constituency (Lyngngam) with Doctors and medicines.
Secondly, I will come to another point, that is communication. Many Members from thin side as well as that side also have spoken. This is regarding the Shillong - Tura Road. I request Government to complete this very important road. During the last few months two bridges were completed. But I wonder where 2 bridges, one at 12 Km and another at 24 Km were not completed at all. I went to the office of the P. W. D. to say that this bridge is not completed. The Executive Engineer said what to do because the contractor is from outside the State. We cannot meet him. We cannot do anything against him because he is a friend of the Chief Minister. Because of friendship with the Minister nothing can be done.
(The hon. Members of the House would like to know the name of the Contractor).
The name of the contractor is M/S Lahoti Company.
So the people from Sunapahar travel to their villages in a very pitiable condition due to bad communications. Last time, before the by-election took place in my constituency it happened that two Ministers came there to see the villagers and during that time one of Ministers promised the people that he would improve the road conditions of that area and not only roads but also in connection with dispensaries. But Sir, I am sorry to say that up till now no improvement has been made and even no Minister came to visit my place since that time. I requested the Minister to do something to improve the communication in my constituency which is up till now still a backward area but the Minister had only promised to do it and he never kept his promised to do it and he never kept his promise (laughter).
Now Sir, I come to agriculture. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my constituency (Lyngngam, area) is the most backward area. Up to these days 98% of people are un- educated. So I request the Government to send any officer from the Agriculture Department to educate the cultivators so that they can at least improve their means of cultivation with the introduction of scientific method or mechanised cultivation.
Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to water supply. In my constituency there is no good drinking water. People have to go to places too far away to get water for their drinking purposes, they have to spend a lot of time just to get even a bucket of water. Applications have been submitted to the Block Development Officer but it is only a waste of time of the people in coming and going. So Sir, I request the Government to make a special scheme in my constituency for drinking water supply as I have seen in the Budget Speech that schemes for water supply were sanctioned only for the Garo Hills and Khasi Hills but no mention has been made of my constituency. Sir, natural calamities come every year to our places and you know every year jhumming cultivation was damaged to a great extent. So I request the Government to take up a special scheme for my constituency. Sir, before I resume my seat I once again request the Government to come and visit us sometimes to see the aggrieved condition of the people in my constituency. So with these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Mr. Warjri ..........
Prof. A. Warjri : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the very outset I would like to congratulate the Finance Minister for his Budget Speech, and as indicated in the Budget Speech, much progress has been made in spite of the odds that we were facing. During the past few years the State had lots of achievement especially in the field of communication, in the field of education and also in the field of electrification. But I am pained to be informed that our Fifth Five Year Plan allocation which was Rs. 203 crores has been slashed down to about one -third. I do not know the reasons why so much has been slashed down. Most probably it is because we have not been able present our case clearly and convincingly before the Commission or most probably because the people who manned the Finance Department were not experts or were not convinced themselves as to the way they present the case and to demand in the way the other Governments have demanded for their respective States. If so, I would suggest that the Finance Department should be manned (At this stage the Speaker took the chair) by proper people, more capable people, people who know better financing. Because it is upon these people and upon their very arguments before the Finance Commission that the success of these five years of our State depends. I am happy to note in the budget speech of the Finance Minister, that the Fifth Plan for Meghalaya will pay great emphasis on the development of agriculture. This is of utmost importance to our State, a State that does not produce enough food. But this State can be made a State to produce food - a self -sufficient State, if not in full but at least to a certain extent. Money allotted to the Agriculture Department should be properly utilised, as the previous Speaker before me had stated. I would go further. I suggest that this money can be properly utilised by accommodating these proposals that I am going to make.
First of all, there should be introduction of Agricultural Schools, at least one in each Block. The Schools will educate the students not only in the learning of the three Rs. but also to learn the modern and scientific way of cultivation. They will not be students who will look forward to become Directors or Officers in the Agriculture Department but students who look forward, when they have finished their training to be good farmers, farmers who will cultivate their fields according to scientific methods.
Secondly, Government should try their level best that all the low lying areas within the State should be reclaimed and used for paddy cultivation. I believe we have ample low lying areas where paddy fields could be converted into wet paddy fields in Jaintia Hills, Khasi Hills as well as Garo Hills. I am glad also to hear from the Minister of Agriculture in the beginning of today's sitting in answering to the question that agricultural; grants have been stopped. Petty grants here and there will not help the farmers.
Thirdly, I also suggest that there should be an introduction of full scale terracing all over the State. This terracing should be for the purpose of horticulture for production of raw materials for agro - based industries like ginger, sunflower, topioca wild pepper, solanum khasianum and others and such other things because these re very valuable even for export.
Fourthly, the most important, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the development of roads It is useless to develop all these low lying areas to open or introduce full scale terracing for horticulture if roads are not opened. These roads should penetrate into several agricultural places where those produces from the fields can be brought to the centres. For example, the Umsning - Mawhati road has been completed upto the border of Assam. There are, however, many bridges still to be constructed. I understand that this road will be taken up by the NEC, but God knows when will this road taken over by the NEC. There are so many bridges that can be easily constructed even within a few hours. I even suggested to the Member from Mawhati to take away some of the hume pipes which are lying unused on the G. S. roadside for years and fit them on the culverts so that they may at least serve the interest of agriculturist of the area. Of course this is wrong (Laughter). But that, Sir, is the indication of the need for bringing the agricultural produce to the centres.
Another point which I would suggest is that government should avoid destruction of forest or prevent the destruction of both private and reserved forests because these forests serve various purposes. Especially those in the high level are necessary for the purpose of irrigation.
My last proposal for this is to avoid wastage. I think every one that goes along the G. S. Road will notice the wreckage in the area near Mawlai gate, whether it is dumping area or workshop of the Agriculture Department, I do not know. I have seen the workmen are sitting idle and playing cards because there is nothing to do. This is a waste of money. One day I had a talk with a workman there and he told me that they just have to pass the time till a new tractor came when they would open it and fit the parts to the old ones, which are not working. In this way they utilised the time. Therefore such wastage should be avoided. Simply because we have to spend the amount before the end of the financial year does not mean that we have to waste it. We have to spend it in a proper way.
My next observation is on the field of education. I am happy to note that 250 teachers in the "Half a Million Job Programme" are being trained and have been sent to schools to teach. But here also we have to see to the quality of the teachers. Our future generation will depend much on the quality of the teachers as the quality of the students depend much on the quality of the teachers we sent to teach in the schools. The future of our Schools, High Schools and Colleges, will depend very much on the present quality of Primary teachers and Middle School teachers. Here in the budget speech much has been said about revising the pay of the Government employees. What about the teachers who never had any rise for several years? What about the pay revision for teachers? Not only teachers for Colleges, but right from Primary Schools, middle Schools and High Schools? I want to know from the Government : what has the Government done with regard to bringing certain schools under the deficit scheme. There is no mention regarding the break -up. I think all schools which have got students about 500 should be brought under the deficit scheme. In this way although they are private schools they can have the advantage of this scheme.
Going through the budget, I find that there is very little amount of grant provided for private schools and private colleges for playgrounds, library, building and laboratory etc. There are two or three Government colleges and most of the money is given to them. What about the private Colleges that have done yeoman service to the State for so many many years?
I think most of us and most of the officers are the products of these colleges. So I cannot understand what the Government should give a step- motherly treatment these private colleges. Therefore, I press upon the Government that a more liberal policy should be towards the private colleges.
Then my third observation is on the Police Force. I find here, in this page, there is no mention about the improvement of the Police Department. We have inherited from Assam a Police Department. I do not know whether we have tried to give these policemen better training. But we find that most of them are of the same category, dame kind and of the same quality. It reminds me of two incidents that took place in the Bara Bazar just before and after achievement of the Hill State. One Assam Police constable caught hold of a pickpocket at Bara Bazar and when he was about to be taken to jail that the boy told the policeman that he wanted to go to get his cap. The policeman told him to come back quickly. But the boy never returned. At another time, the some policeman caught the same fellow after the full State has come into being this fellow tried the same trick. But the police man said 'Not this time' you wait here and I will get your cap for you".
( Laughter )
So, if we leave the Police Department just as we have inherited from Assam, what will become of our State with these kinds of custodians of the law? There is need for modernisation of Police Department and we should equip them with modern equipments, e.g. forensic equipments, finger print bureau, etc. For these we have to depend on Assam. I remember there was a murder case which took one year to be taken up by the court because of forensic tests which had to be done in Calcutta. Therefore, these modern things are very necessary for our Police Department.
( Bell rang )
May I have a few minutes more, Sir ?
Mr. Speaker : No, only one minute. I cannot be partial.
Prof. A. Warjri : Then also the housing for the policemen. If this is the way we treat the guardians of the law I do not know how our State can run. It happens that the Police Reserve is in my constituency. I was hoping that some improvements would be made after these two years; but I was horrified to note that even pigs could not stay there. The condition was horrible. So I would request the Ministers to go and see for themselves to believe that there is such a condition in the Police Reserve.
Then, Sir, I shall come quickly to another point, i.e., jail. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the condition of the jail is really very bad. Originally, the jail was meant for not more than 100 but now it houses more than 300 inmates - some convicts, some under -trials, some lunatics and some boys of the age - group of 10 to 15 years. There are some of the under trial prisoners who have been there ranging from 1 to 10 years. I do not understand why their cases have not been decided uptil now? Then what I am most concerned with especially is this, that those young boys have been mixed up with hardened criminals. How we do expect the to came out as good citizens?
So I would request the Government to look carefully into this also to improve the conditions of these people in the Jail. Thank you very much.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Fuller Lyngdoh. he is absent. Now, ......Mr. Nimosh Sangma.
Shri Nimosh Sangma : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy that I have got this opportunity to take part in the 1974-75 budget discussion. At the very outset I must congratulate the Hon'ble Finance Minister who had devoted so much time and labour to prepare this voluminous budget showing a deficit of Rs. 94.75 lakhs. I would also like to thank the Finance Minister for adopting new methods in the presentation first time in the Assembly. As we embark upon the Fifth Five - Year Plan a deficit budget, I think, is but a natural phenomenon in a newly born State like Meghalaya. Now taking part in the budget discussion I would like to emphasise on some points only.
Firstly, I would like to begin with development of the birder areas and its problems. The economic condition of the people of the border areas is becoming worse day by day. The economic condition of the people had been badly shattered since the influx of the refugees from the erstwhile Pakistan, now called Bangladesh. This is known to the whole country. I am glad that our Government have also realised the problems and difficulties of the border people. The Hon'ble Finance Minister had rightly mentioned in the last year's Budget Speech, i.e. 1973-74, where he statet5d that "the State Government are keenly aware of the sufferings and distress prevailing in the border areas due to the suspension of the border trade and it is and acknowledged fact that the development programmes in the border areas have not kept pace with the requirements. The economic condition in the border areas is generally deteriorating and this has a combined effect of all these factors. Again the Finance Minister in this year's Budget Speech also has said : "The Government of Meghalaya have always been alive to the special needs and problems of the border areas and steps taken in this regard have already been intimated to the honourable members".
It is now after a lapse of about 2 years that the Government has come forward to take some steps. It is something like giving medicines to the patient who is already dead. It is a very very sorry state of affair that the Government is doing nothing to relieve or help these distressed people of the border areas. Government is doing nothing in this respect but it is like shedding crocodiles tears. The distressed people of the border areas have been demanding compensation for their damaged properties and crops during the war and they hoped that they would get something, some help from the Government but no thing has been done uptil now. Therefore I would like to request the Government to think and try to pay this war damage compensation. If this compensation could be given, it would have been of great help to a large number of families living in the border areas. I am very very happy, however, to note that the Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech, stated that steps have been taken . Sir, in the respect I should like to say that the schemes taken up should be pragmatic and realistic ones. It has also been reliably learnt that the Government has appointed about 16 B.A.D.Os i.e Border Areas Development Officers, and as such, four posts are likely to be created in Garo Hills. But it is a very surprising to learn that only one Garo Officer will be taken from among the Garos of Garo Hills. Why cannot appoint all the four officers from among the Garos?
Mr. Speaker : Don't you feel that Garo officers should be posted in Khasi Hills and the Khasi Officers be posted in Garo Hills?
Shri Nimosh Sangma : That is up to the Government Sir. In this matter I would like to request the Government to see that the case of those officers who are already holding the posts of the B.A.D.Os may kindly be considered and retained in their original posts. I do not know whom the Government is going to appoint in Garo Hills. Similarly, we the Garo M. L. As from Garo Hills are not very happy.
Mr. Speaker : What do you mean by "we the Garo M. L. As"?
Shri Nimosh Sangma : In respect of appointment in the Taxation Department also, I was informed that about 45 Garo candidates appeared before the Selection Board but they have been made to fail.....
(An hon. Member :- They have been made to fail)
Mr. Speaker : Who made them fail?
Shri nimosh Sangma : That I do not know.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Sangma, when you bring a charge against the Government you must elicit the information. Otherwise you cannot charge like that.
Shri Nimosh Sangma : Now, coming to the border areas question, I would like to request the Government to help rehabilitating the displaced people of the border areas. Government should come forward to help them by giving loans for purchase of cattle, high yielding seeds etc. and other long - term loans for purchasing tractors and machineries etc. Now Sir, I am very happy to note that the Government have been keen interest to develop agriculture and increase food grains production in the State. Agriculture being the main stay for the people of Meghalaya, I would like to urge upon the Government to introduce modern technique of cultivation among the farmers. In addition to this, I would like to request the Government to take up more major and minor irrigation schemes with bunds etc and supply of fertilizers and pesticides on easy terms.
Now coming to Transport, I am very happy with the management and running of the Meghalaya State Transport. There is regular break down on the road and that is a unique feature along the Shillong - Tura route. As the hon. Members have already discussed I would not go into the details but I do hope that the Government would take definite steps to improve the transport management and appoint a Garo Asst. Superintendent at Tura Station who knows better about the local conditions. Again I would like to refer to the budget proposal for the year 1974-75 under this Transport Department. In the proposed budget estimate it is found that money allotted for the Shillong-Cherra-Mawsynram road is Rs.11,50,600. However, I do not know the length of the road. For Shillong-Tura-Dalu-Baghmara route-the length of which is about 500 k. m. and the money allotted is only Rs.9,37,900 again for Shillong-Silchar-Khliehriat-Dawki-Garampani route they have allotted Rs.12,38,800 and for Shillong-Gauhati road they have allotted Rs. 46,02,100. Here also I would like to show the disparity in the allotment of funds. This is how the Government is behaving.
Mr. Speaker - Your time is up.
The House stands adjourned till 9 a. m. on Tuesday the 18th June, 1974.
R. T. RYMBAI,
The 17th June, 1974
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.