Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled after the General Election, 1972.
The Assembly met at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, the 27th March, 1974 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong.

Prof. R.S. Lyngdoh, Speaker in the Chair, five Ministers, two Ministers of State and fifty two members.

Starred Questions

(To which oral replies were given)

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Starred Question No.2.

Mawkdok - Khadarshnong Road

Shri S.P. SWER asked :

*2 Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department be please to state-

(a) The date of according administrative approval for the construction of the Mawkdok-Khadarshnong Road (Sections I and II) ?

(b) When did the P.W.D. move the Collector, Khasi Hills District for assessment of land and properties including handing and taking over charge of the land for construction of the Mawkdok-Khadarshnong Road (Sections I and II)?

(c) Whether it is a fact that land has not been made available to the P.W.D. for construction of the Mawkdok - Khadarshnong Road (Sections I and II)?

(d) Whether it is a fact that the amount of money provided in the Fourth Five Year Plan could not be utilised for the purpose of construction of new Roads due to non-availability of land in the Khasi Hills District?

Shri DARWIN D. PUGH [Minister-in-charge Public Works (R. and B.) Department] replied :

2. 

(a) - Section I - on 11-11-1969.
       Section II - on 7-7-1972.

(b) - For Section I the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills was moved on 28th January, 1972.
        For Section II no reference has been made to the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills as detailed drawings for the land involved in implementing the project is still under preparation by the S.D.O., P.W.D., Cherrapunjee.

(c) - Yes, Sir. The land has not yet been handed over to P.W.D.

(d) - Yes, Sir.

Shri S.P. Swer :- (Sohra S.T.) Under Question No. 2(a), may we know from the Minister-in-charge whether the construction works of Section I and Section II of the Mawkdok - Khadarshnong Road will be taken up section-wise or both the sections at a time.

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D) :- They may be taken up section-wise.


Unstarred Questions

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to Unstarred Question No.10.

Central State Library, Shillong

Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :

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

(a) Whether the Government of Meghalaya had taken over the management of the Central State Library, Shillong from the Government of Assam?

(b) If so, when?

(c) If the answer to (a) above is in the affirmative whether the Librarian has been retrained by the Government of Meghalaya?

(d) If not, whether a new Librarian has been appointed?

(e) If the answer to (d) above is in the affirmative (i) who is the incumbent (ii) whether he is qualified and (iii) what is his educational qualification?

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

10.

(a) - Yes, Sir.

(b) - 19th January, 1974.

(c) - No, Sir.

(d) - No, Sir.

(e) - Does not arise.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Answer to Question No.10(c) is 'No'. But I think Sir, somebody has been appointed. I have seen in yesterday's Gazette wherein a notification came with the name as the Librarian.

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) :- No Librarian has yet been appointed. An officer serving under the Tribal Research Institute is holding the charge meanwhile.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- May we know the name of the officer, please?

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister of State for Education) :- Miss M.D. Pugh.

Shillong Polytechnic at Mawlai

Prof. P.G. Marbaniang asked :

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

(a) Whether it is a fact that the Shillong Polytechnic at Mawlai is running without adequate teaching staff?

(b) If so, what are the Departments that are running without teaching staff?

(c) The reasons why Government have not been able to recruit the necessary staff?

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

11.

(a) - Yes, Sir.

(b) - No Department is running without teaching staff.

(c) - On the recommendations of the M.P.S.C. appointment orders have been issued in respect of the posts of -      

    1. Lecturer in Civil Engineering.
    2. Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering.
    3. Lecturer in Mathematics.
    4. Senior Instructor in Mechanical Engineering.

        In respect of the remaining vacancies, steps are being taken to re-advertise as no applications were received for the same in response to the original advertisement.

Shri Peter G. Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) :- It is not a fact that the First Year students of the year 1972 have no Professor or Lecturer in mathematics and drawing.

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) :- No, it is not a fact.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Reply to question No.11(b), which are the departments running without adequate staff?

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) :- Sir, total number of sanctioned posts are 11 - Lecturers 10 fulltime, 1 part-time. Senior Instructors 5, Junior Instructors 7, and the number of post vacant - Lecturer 2, Civil Engineering 1, Chemistry 1, Senior Instructors 4, Junior Instructors 3.

Mr. Speaker :- But the question in which are the departments running without adequate staff.

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) :- In the Chemistry, Lecturer 1, Civil Engineering, Junior Instructor 1, Painting 1, R.C.C., 1 Mechanical 1.

Shri S. P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is there any proposal to upgrade the Shillong Polytechnic to a full-fledged Engineering College?

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) :- That is a new question.

An Indian shot dead at Baghmara

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

12. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that the dead body of one Indian who was shot dead by some miscreant at Baghmara in the month of December, 1973, was taken away by the Bangladesh Police?

(b) Whether the dead body was returned afterwards?

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

12. 

(a) - Yes. The person was shot dead inside Bangladesh Territory.

(b) - No.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- What is the name of that Indian in reply to Question 12(a).

Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Shri Malindra Hajong.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- In reply to Question 12(a) it has been stated that the person was shot dead inside Bangladesh Territory. May we know whether Baghmara falls within Bangladesh?

Mr. Speaker :- That is argumentative. The incident took place inside Bangladesh.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- What action has been taken by the Government?

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, we have referred this matter to the Government of India.

Shooting of one Garo by Bangladesh Reserve Police

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

13. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that one Malindra Hajong a Grade IV employee of Sibbari State Dispensary was lately shot dead while out for hunting by Bangladesh Reserve Police within 80 yards inside Garo Hills?

(b) Whether the deceased Malindra Hajong had a shot-gun with him?

(c) Whether Government is aware of the fact that one Lagon Marak was there with the deceased Malindra Hajong, and he was captured alive by the Bangladesh Police?

(d) If so, what action Government has taken to bring him back?

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

13. 

(a) - Yes.

(b) - Yes.

(c) - Yes.

(d) - The facts of the incident have been reported to the Government of India for taking up with the Government of Bangladesh to take deterrent action against culprits responsible for the crime and also to make necessary arrangements for the release and return of Shri Lagon Marak. Matter was also taken up by the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills with the Deputy Commissioner, Mymensingh and a joint enquiry at Deputy Commissioners level was held on the spot on 7th September, 1973. The matter was again discussed in the Deputy Commissioners' meeting held on 16th October, 1973.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Under Question 13(d), may we know what was the result of the meeting that took place on 16th October, 1973 between the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills and the Deputy Commissioner, Mymensingh District?

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The facts of the incident have been reported to the Government of India for taking up with the Government of Bangladesh to take deterrent action against culprits responsible for the crime and also to make necessary arrangements for the release and return of Shri Lagon Marak. The matter was also taken up by the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills with the Deputy Commissioner, Mymensingh and a joint enquiry at Deputy Commissioners level was held on the spot on 7th September, 1973. The matter was again discussed in the Deputy Commissioners' meeting held on 16th October, 1973.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- A third supplementary, Mr. Speaker, Sir, what steps does Government propose to take to prevent such incidents in the future?

*Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- This is a matter which cannot be finally settled between the State Governments. The matter has to be referred to the Government of India for taking up with the Bangladesh Government, and this is being done.

Forest Training School for the Officials

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

14. The Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state-

(a) Whether Government proposes to create a Forest School for training of the Forest Officials?

(b) Whether Government is aware of the fact that the programme of annual tree planting week is not enough to educate the people apart from preservation of forest wealth?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Forests) replied :

14. 

(a) - A school for training of subordinates of the level of Foresters has been opened at Byrnihat in collaboration with the Soil Conservation Department.

(b) - Yes.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, how many students are there at this Forest Training School?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- I want notice of that question, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) :- Supplementary to 14(b), what are the other steps taken by the Government to preserve the forest wealth?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- Sir, a new scheme under the name of Farm Forest has been proposed to be implemented during the Fifth Five-Year Plan, and an allotment of Rs.45,000 for the purpose has been made to encourage the people to grow trees in their own land in the villages.

Wanton killing of wild birds and animals

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

15. Will the Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that there is wanton killing of wild birds and animals in Meghalaya during the close season?

(b) Whether it is  a fact that the Chief Secretary has issued circular letter cautioning the Government servants killing wild animals during off season?

(c) Whether the Government contemplates to create a wild life sanctuary for preservation of wild life?

(d) If so, the place where such sanctuary will be situated?

(e) If not, why?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Forests) replied :

15.

(a) - Not to the knowledge of the Government.

(b) - Yes.

(c) - Yes.

(d) - The Balpakram area in Garo Hills is being surveyed for the purpose.

(e) - Does not arise.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) :- Supplementary to 15(d). When the survey work is expected to be completed?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- Next winter, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri M.N. Majaw :- Again 15(d),. Is Government thinking of any sanctuaries in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills Districts?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- We are now looking for places in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts.

Shri H.E. Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Supplementary to 15(c). Whether wild boar is included in the list of wild life?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- Wild life includes wild boar also.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Supplementary to 15(b), why such circular is necessary particularly for Government servants?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- I want notice for that question.

Supply of building materials to Bangladesh

Shri H. E. Pohshna asked :

16. Will the Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state -

(a) The quantity of building materials such as ballies, sawn timber, planks, etc., supplied by the Forest Department of the Government of Meghalaya to Bangladesh during the year 1972-73?

(b) The total amount spent for the same?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Forests) replied :

16.

(a) - (i) Ballies - 1,35,545 numbers.    

    (ii) Sawn Timber - Scantlings 62,195.71 Cft.
      Planks 47,535.80 Cft.

(b) - Rs.29,62,467.00 (Rupees twenty-nine lakhs sixty-two thousand four hundred and sixty-seven) only.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Supplementary to (a). What is the district-wise distribution of ballies?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- I have no such information of district-wise distribution, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- But you can collect it and if the hon. member insists then it can be placed on the Table of the House on some other day.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I do insist, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Construction of culverts along the G.S. Road

Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :

17. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that the Government proposes to construct culverts along the G.S. Road?

(b) If so, how many culverts are going to be constructed?

(c) When does the Government propose to start construction?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) replied :

17.

(a) - Yes. There is a proposal to reconstruct the weak culverts.

(b) - Three hundred and eleven numbers.

(c) - As soon as the Government of India's approval is received.

Shri S.D. Khongwir - Supplementary to 17(a) and (b) - Does it mean that there are 311 weak culverts?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- That is implied.

Construction of 100-bedded Hospital at Tura

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

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

(a) The reasons for not starting the construction of the proposed 100-bedded Hospital at Tura?

(b) When does the Government propose to start the construction work?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) replied :

18. (a) & (b) - Administrative approval has since been accorded and the work will be taken up soon.

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) :- What is the amount for which the administrative sanction has been accorded?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- The amount is Rs.18,59,100.


VOTING ON SUPPLEMENTARY DEMANDS

Mr. Speaker :- We pass on to the next item. - Discussion on the Supplementary Demands of Grants. But since I have received a large number of cut motions, I think it will be better with the permission of the House, that I skip over the item No.3. Is that the sense of the House? (Voices - yes, yes) Grant No.1, Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.44,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1974 for the administration of the head "9-Land Revenue".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received four cut motions standing in the name of Prof. M.N. Majaw, Shri F.K. Mawlot, Shri Rowell Lyngdoh, Shri W. Syiemiong and Shri H.S. Lyngdoh. Let me call upon Prof. Majaw to move first.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.44,000 under supplementary demand No.1, Major Head "9-Land Revenue". minor head G - Land Records, sub-head (C) - Land Reforms Commission at page 1 of the list of Supplementary Demands be reduced to Re.1.00, i.e. the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.44,000 do stand reduced to Re.1.

Mr. Speaker :- Now you can speak on the policy of having the Land Reforms Commission.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a matter of fact had the rules permitted I would have moved for the complete reduction of this grant not even allowing one rupee. But as the rules do not permit that we have to allow one rupee. There is no provision of the rule by which the whole grant could be wiped out. But I feel that even allowing one rupee is contrary to certain principles. In the first place I would like to point out that it is my firm belief that even the appointment of the Land Reforms Commission is ....

Mr. Speaker :- Before you proceed further, I want to remind the hon. Members that all these cut motions deal with one and the same question. So I will bracket all the four cut motions.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I will take only a few minutes so that other Members can speak. I am opposing this in principle and it is my firm belief that the Government did not have the legal sanction because in view of the Instrument of Accession no Commission can be appointed in Khasi Hills. The Instrument of Accession was signed between the 25 Khasi Rulers and the Government of India on the 17th of August, 1948. It was a conditional instrument and nowhere in India there was such a conditional instrument but only in Khasi Hills whereas in other parts of India the instrument of accession was absolutely unconditional in all legislative and administrative fields. The instrument is conditional in certain respects among which was land. Land was one of the exceptions; it was excluded from the purview of the Instrument of Accession, and if the State Government wants to make any radical change on land, the consent of the rulers of the Khasi States had to be obtained. This is my firm belief. I know for a fact that the consent or the permission of the rulers of the erstwhile Khasi States was not obtained at the time when the Land Reforms Commission was set up. It is clearly stated in the Instrument of Accession that any changes to be made shall be through mutual consultation. So any changes be made in the implementation of the Instrument of Accession as the permission of the rulers of the erstwhile Khasi States was not obtained at the time when the Land Reforms Commission was set up in the Khasi Hills? I feel that the Government does not even have a locus standi in respect of the setting up of the Commission. As a matter of fact, some of the rulers of the erstwhile Khasi States including some Members sitting in this august House also signed a resolution where - by they stated that they had not been consulted in the setting up of this Commission, therefore, they could not agree to the setting up of the Commission. The people had not been consulted nor had the rulers of this erstwhile Khasi State been consulted. So I oppose the very setting up of the Land Reforms Commission. 

Mr. Speaker :- May I know from the hon. Member whether the Instrument of Accession was signed by the individual rulers or at the same time by the President of the Federation of the Khasi States and all these instruments themselves are details of the agreement signed.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker Sir, as a matter of fact, the Instrument of Accession was signed on various dates by various rulers of the different erstwhile Khasi States and on behalf of the Government of India, it was accepted by Rajagopalachari, Governor General of India on the 17th August, 1948, thereby making it a kind of treaty between the Government of India and the erstwhile Khasi States.

Mr. Speaker :- With the Khasi States individually?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Individually and collectively, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Further, Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I point out that, if I am not mistaken, except for the Khasi Hills and Nagaland, lands in other parts of India are under direct control of the Government whereas here in this district, barring the formerly called British villages which were directly under the Crown. Barring those villages, in the Syiemships, the land belongs to the people either private or public lands. Therefore, this is one of the reasons why they oppose the setting up of the Land Reforms Commission. They said that the people who are real owners of the land in this District had not been consulted. Barring those so-called British villages.....

Mr. Speaker :- Then who should be consulted in your opinion?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- In consulting the people, it is a huge task. But I should say even before setting up of the Commission, the people should have been consulted. I will give you an example. Whereas all over India, 500 and odd Native States signed not only an Instrument of Accession, but also merge and after the conditional  Instrument of Accession was signed here between the Khasi States and the Government of India, great effort was made by the then Home Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of India to persuade the Khasi rulers also to sign the Instrument of merger but they flatly refused to do so on the ground that they were not the owners of land but were only its custodians.

Mr. Speaker :- It is a very constitutional issue. I think this House will be glad to hear about it. When the Khasi States did not sign the instrument of merger, the Constitution on the other hand, in the first Schedule, stated that Assam shall include the Khasi States. What action did Khasi States takes against the inclusion of Khasi States in the erstwhile State of Assam?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I was coming to that but for being interrupted. As a matter of fact, it is now a fact of law that constitutionally and legally, the lands under the Khasi syiemship have been merged although no instrument of merger was signed.

Mr. Speaker :- The lands were merged!

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Ownership was not merged. I am coming to that Mr. Speaker, Sir. What I want to bring out was that the Government of India could not persuade the Khasi rulers to sign the Instrument of Accession and it was allowed to lapse without any action being taken when the Constitution was passed in 1950.

Mr. Speaker :- It was adopted in 1949.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the point is this. When such a great power as the Government of India had conquered even the Nizams of Hyderabad who had their own armies, their own troops, their own stamps, their own coins, when such great people were humbled to the power of the Government of India, here in this petty chieftain or syiemship, they stood firm defending the rights of ownership of the people on land and refused to sign the instrument of merger because they were the custodians appointed by the people. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, in spite of that, the Government of India humbled itself and acceded to the wishes of the people here in this place. We would have thought that the Government of Meghalaya also would not have set up this Land Reforms Commission until it has consulted the people and also the Syiems.

Mr. Speaker :- May I ask you another question? Is it a fact that atleast one ruler of one Khasi State did sign an agreement with the Government of Assam and according to that Agreement, that State was merged with Assam and the Syiem drew a salary of Rs.2,500 per month.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Yes, yes, it is a fact. If you want the detail Mr. Speaker, Sir, one Syiem did sign the instrument of merger but what happened later, when he brought it to the Durbar of the Myntries, it was torn into shreds and thrown out to the Mawkhar Main Road from Durbar Hall and now it has become null and void.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, these are the two points I have brought out. (1) I do not think any law governing any constitutional authority can set up a Commission (interruption) (2) Secondly, people were not consulted and the erstwhile Khasi States were also consulted, and thirdly, we could stress on the whole background but we are short of time. The whole thing started when there was a move from the Government of India to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of India's Independence and in keeping with that, this whole thing started when a particular meeting held in the Chamber of the Chief Minister where so many things wee discussed. One point was the all India action on the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of our country. I must submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, that at the time perhaps the Government had a change of conscience for at that time, Government's intention was to fall in line with the all India picture of reform. I think some of the intentions have remained so much so, it has appeared in the speech of the Governor, the speech given a few days ago to us, where I had pointed out how at least the Government confessed truthfully by making certain minimum adjustments and tied up with the tie of institutional adjustment made in the agreement. I will say Mr. Speaker, Sir, that to the last, we will fight against this, we will not allow the Government to interfere with the customs. Even the minimum adjustments. These are the things which the people can do by themselves. There may be defects, drawbacks, weaknesses and complaints, but these are matters which people can do themselves. Government is not the owner of the lands in the vast areas of Khasi Hills and in most of the areas Government is not the owner of the land where Government has no locus standi. Therefore I submit that we are going to fight against the idea of having a Land Reforms Commission. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat. 

Mr. Speaker :- Please dwell only in the principle of Land Reform. Do not go into the details.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, had it been given the name Land Record Commission to collect and not to change the custom of the people, and if it will not be in the context of the All India Land Reforms, the picture which was coming up, there would have been so many to cooperate. And if the terms of reference also there is a proposal that the Commission may suggest certain changes, if necessary, then at once I cannot insist that the Commission has violated the terms of Instrument of Accession and I would point out to the hon. Members in this august House that in view of the protocol list - which has not yet been made of course in this State - but the protocol from the Government of India, and that would be taken up in another motion on the 30th, and in view of that how can a person who is a person of this Assembly ....

Mr. Speaker :- I cannot allow you to enter into the composition of the Commission but as you have stated clearly, you are only to oppose the policy of the Government to continue it, because the Commission itself is a reality.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- So, Sir, I disapprove of the honorarium, the policy, and the setting up of this Land Reforms Commission. I consider it a matter of principle. It is a principle that touches the customs and ownership of the land, as to what can be done. The Government has no right to touch the ownership of the people on land.

Mr. Speaker :- Now I would call upon Mr. Mawlot.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) :- Do I have to move?

Mr. Speaker :- No, it has already been moved.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I take this opportunity of supporting the cut-motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is our opinion, and as rightly pointed out by the Member who has spoken before me, the Khasi Syiemships have not signed the instrument of merger.

Mr. Speaker :- No, the hon. Member has already told that one had signed.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- No, Mr. Speaker, Sir. We are not concerned with only one who has signed, we are concerned with the 25 Syiemships of Khasi Hills and these 25 Syiemships did not sign the instrument of merger. They signed only for administrative convenience.

Mr. Speaker :- I do not know whether the hon. Members are challenging the First Schedule of the Constitution which has come into force since 26th January, 1950.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- We are not opposing the Constitution. Only because the Khasi States are automatically merged. Whatever the case may be, it is only for administrative convenience that the Syiems accepted to be under the Dominion of India, but the right of ownership was not merged.

Mr. Speaker :- Yes, the right of ownership over land. That is different matter.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we thought that the Government of Meghalaya which composed of the Hill people will not deny the rights or will not go against the will of the people but we are shocked to leave that the Government come forward with the proposal to set up the Land Reforms Commission which is not all necessary. If this is asked for by the people themselves then of course, the Government or the representatives of the people have the right to do so.

Mr. Speaker :- The only trouble here is that the Government met only those people who demanded for the constitution of the Land Reform Commission and perhaps the hon. Members met only those who opposed it.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Then hold a referendum.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Whether the Government have met only those people who wanted Land Reforms Commission or not, actually the people who are living here in Shillong, very few of them, want this Land Reforms Commission and most of those who wanted Land Reforms Commission were outsiders. But if we come to the real owners of the land, we will find that none of them wanted to have any Land Reforms at present. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do stand here today not because I am also a land-owner but on behalf of the people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the hon. Member from ....

Mr. Speaker :- Yes, by custom in Khasi Hills, no man can inherit the land. (laughter).

*Shri F.K, Mawlot :- As pointed by the hon. Member, Mr. Nongtdu, the Government is to give certain protection to the man who will be given a plot of land. That clearly shows the real intention of the Government but what is Government going to do? Mr. Speaker, Sir, in my opinion, if Government had come forward with the proposal to have proper records of land for the administrative convenience, difficulties like paying of compensation and acquisition of land and all that, would not be there. If this is the case, Government should come forward with a proposal for proper maintenance of record of rights.

Mr. Speaker :- This is the one of the terms of reference in the appointment of the Commission and I don't think that responsible hon. Members should speak on the basis of supposition; it would be better to go into the details of the terms of reference; whether those terms of reference are in conflict with the wish of the people or not.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, of course I am not suspicious but from the very word itself we do not want reforms at present.

*Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- On a point of clarification, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request the hon. Member to recall that he has agreed to the records of right and that the proposal on the records of right would have been accepted. But, at present, there is no record of right and records of right should be registered. That means some sort of reform.

Mr. Speaker :- Indirectly, Prof. M.N. Majaw wants to change the name of the Land Reforms Commission to the Land Records Commission.

(Laughter)

        And he being a Shakespearean remembers the line "Call a rose by any name".

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- As regards the Land Reforms Commission I am not interested even to change the name. If the Government proposes to have land records, there is no need of setting up a Commission because there is already an officer to deal with land records. The only necessity is to have cadastral surveys. But it appears that the Government does not want only records as stated just now by the hon. Member from Sutnga. He has also stated in his speech that the Government should also think of the ways and means to protect the man who would be given a plot of land and also to help him.

*Shri Onwardleys Well Nongtdu (Sutnga S.T.) :- I said "who may be"

Mr. Speaker :- But it is the duty of the Government to protect the right of ownership; to protect him in his land. That is a fundamental right.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Thank you, Sir, but I am not dealing with that. But I say that the hon. Member from Sutnga has said that ....

Mr. Speaker :- No, it is only his suggestion.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Yes, Sir. But as it came out in the House and as I am concerned with the whole House, I may refer to any statement made in the House.

Mr. Speaker :- It is an individual statement of one individual Member.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at this very juncture, I would lime to express my own views. I am bitterly opposed to this setting up of the Land Reforms Commission; and, in my opinion, not even a Naya Paise should be given for this purpose.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we oppose the principle of setting up of this Land Reforms Commission because .......

Mr. Speaker :- I think here we must remember the procedure. The Commission here does exist; it is a reality. You should disapprove of the policy and in order to deprive the Commission of is functions, you would have to vote it out. But it is not the time for you to say or assume what the Commission does not exist.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Yes, Sir. Since we are opposing the Land Reforms Commission, we are not in favour of the supplementary demand the grants to the Land Reforms Commission or the setting up of its office.

        Sir, as we all remember, since our struggle for a separate Hills State or a separate administration for the hill people, one of the issues was to protect and preserve the customary rights and the traditions of the people of this part of the country and ....

Mr. Speaker :- You are in favour of retaining the customary rights?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Yes, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Then are you aware that there have been certain changes in certain areas in the Khasi Hills?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Yes, Sir, but that should be with the consent of the people. But as it is, not even a year passed when the ruling party had thought it fit to throw away the above issue. Because since September, 1972 the idea of a land reform was mooted out by the Government.

Mr. Speaker :- No, that it is not in the terms of reference.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- But, Sir it is one of the aims of the Land Reforms. In fact for such things a longer time should have been given to see whether the prevailing land tenure system would be practicable, or to examine whether it should prove good or bad. Actually, Sir, the people should have been given a proper chance to study the whole customary law and the practicability of a change in the land tenure system prevailing in the Khasi Hills District - nay in all the Districts. But, as it is now, it seems that the Government is not even giving a chance to the people to observe and understand whether this present system is going to be workable or not. Sir, this is, I think, not a good principle on the part of the Government. Therefore, Sir, we say that we are against this principle of bringing about the Land Reform as it is not in conformity with the preservation and protection of customary rights and traditions advocated during the Hills State Movement.

        (Mr. Deputy Speaker in the Chair)

        So, we would suggest that we should have set up a certain branch of the Government to work or study and to find out whether this existing system of land holding is beneficial to the people of the State or not and see whether this system is in keeping with the customary, traditional and cultural rights of the people of this north eastern part of the country. Therefore, it is too early up any Land Reforms Commission to study the land system in our Khasi Hills District. Sir, the Land Reforms Commission is well understood throughout the country, it means something that certain rights over land are conferred on the people by the Government. In this connection, Sir, we should have first of all studied and examined whether the people are having any right at all in the prevailing system. Then Sir, give the existing system a fair trial and see whether it works or does not work. Sir, in fact, if we go deep into the matter in Khasi Hills we see that all people have got certain right over land. So we do not understand what type of right should the Government confer upon the people when all people have already got a right over their land. The existence of certain clans, certain Kurs or certain Chiefs of elakas, or certain Syiems and Lyngdohs does not mean that the people are not land owners; it does not mean that under those chiefs and headmen, people are not having a right over their lands. All are having rights over their lands. But we are in a hurry to bring about this Land Reforms Commission which aims at a radical change. We have first to study, as I said, whether the people of Khasi Hills District are having right over their land or not. Sir, my contention is that all people have get their right over their land since time immemorial. Therefore, due to this, Sir, we are very much against the setting up of the Land Reforms Commission and thus we are against granting of any money to this Land Reforms Commission. Furthermore, Sir, the Land Reforms Commission, if at all the Government has set up and if its intention is to help the people, it should not cost much money because its function as we have seen is from Shillong. The Commission is not going to all parts of the District or to all villages to meet the people but generally they collect information in Shillong or only in some Block Development Headquarters, and therefore, this money is too big to be granted to this Land Reforms Commission. Therefore, Sir, I support the Cut Motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati and thus we are against granting any money to the Land Reforms Commission.

        Thank you, Sir.

Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Cut Motion.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) :- On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I must say something first because I am also the mover of the Cut Motion.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Lapang will get a chance afterwards. Mr. Syiemiong first.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- (Nongspung S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will take only a few minutes. The hon. Member from Nongpoh, as my friend who has spoken earlier said, has said almost everything. Anyway, I feel that I must impress upon the Government on certain points which my friend has already said and that is on Land Reforms Commission. Before setting up of this Commission, I think the Government should first of all see whether there is such a need at all. If there is no such need and if people do not want it I do not see any reason why it should be established at all because from time to time immemorial there has been no problem, no difficulty as far as Land Reform is concerned in our State. In other parts of the country or in other States people have started agitation for Land Reforms because there were many loop-holes in the land tenure system obtaining in their State. There were Maharajas, there were Zamindars and petty  Rajahs in other States. These people have got the power to collect taxes from the poor people who were almost like slaves. Then naturally those poor people demanded that there should be some land reforms so that the fruit of the land or the benefit of the land be given to them also. But here in our State, especially in the District of Khasi Hills, there is no such demand. It is only that the Government want to introduce or impose the land reforms on the people so as to make it uniform with the conditions obtaining in other States. Therefore, I feel that the setting up of this Land Reforms Commission will not enable the poor people of our State to reap any benefit. If they demand more land or so then the Government should take up the demand more land or so then the Government should take up the matter. But I have seen Members of the Land Reforms Commission going here and there to preach the gospel of land reforms so that the people may get more loan. We are very much loan-minded. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel, as the hon. member from Mawhati has said, that if the Land Reforms Commission aims as regularising the land tenure system in our State, then we do not oppose it. There is also a land record office for the people and everybody has got the right to register their right over their lands but that should come from the villagers and not from the top here in Shillong. Nobody here in Shillong would be able to do anything or say anything on the recording of land records. It is the Myntris, the Headmen who will be able to help them and unless the officials go to the villages to get the records, I don't think from here they can manage things. Are we doing things correctly from here by directing the people to do something for us and then impose on them things which they do not like? I do not understand, Sir. Another point, I feel that, if the Government insist to have this land reform system, as it is already there, it should first give the people a chance to express their views and if they certainly want it, we will certainly agree. We shall abide by the result of any referendum otherwise we shall be here to fight tooth and nail. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you refer to the circulation given by the Chief Minister, in a small book published in September, 1972, you will find that there was another point that was supposed to be raised and  that is on ceiling. After having this Land Reforms Commission there would be certain ceiling and any person or everyone should not have land beyond certain acres in the District of Khasi Hills. I would like to impress upon the Government, through you, that there is a vast land unutilised in the Khasi Hills District and that there is no question for land ceiling to be there. Every Khasi gentleman and lady for that matter, is an owner of land or a potential owner of land. There is no danger for him or her to acquire land from some other places. But as the Government has appointed a Land Reforms Commission to have certain ceiling on the ownership of land. I would also urge upon the Government to please inform the House that consequent upon ceiling and the distribution where would the excess land go. But I am afraid Mr. Deputy Speaker, that this excess land- that portion of the land that shall be excess, shall be given to whom - we never know. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, I, therefore, with all the command in my power, very much oppose the Land Reforms Commission. 

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the motion that has been moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati. I will make another observation besides those that were spoken by my friends. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose the Land Reforms Commission by disapproving the policy action of the Government in setting up this Commission for the Khasi Hills district. The hon. Member who had moved this motion, has clearly stated that the basic objection from this side of the House is that land reforms is not necessary at all. We oppose to the very fundamental policy of creating this Land Reforms Commission because of the constitutional provision. Sir it was categorically stated that Instrument of Accession that those Khasi States, we may call them Syiemships or call them a spade a spade, they are still Syiemship - they are still the Khasi States. We the Khasi people were represented to the Syiems in signing the Instrument of Accession for administration into India and we did not sign a merger of the Indian States which means merging of land etc. By saying so I do not challenge Article 1 of the Constitution. We are within India, Bharat or Indian Union. Sir, territorially, we are within India but administratively though the provision of the Instrument of Accession stands as it is today, there is no question of the non-inclusion of Khasi States within India or that we are outside the Indian sovereignty. The fact of all these is that we must have our own administration and local self Government. The Instrument of Accession is still standing and within the entire procedure when we achieve independence, there was nothing superseded upon the Instrument of Accession as it was due to the merger with Indian States. But the proceedings as regards the Khasi States in that we did not sign the merger of Indian States even though we were merging into India. But administratively our right over land was categorically stated in the instrument and proceedings of this Instrument of Accession have not been changed or ratified by our people. But the Constitution of India, which may supersede those Instrument has provided the fundamental rights which citizens can enjoy. 

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, whatever may be the case whether we are within the Central Government or Provincial Government or we may call ourselves Provincial Government, we have absolute right on our land. We are of course within the Indian territory but administratively our rights on land was never interfered with by the State Government. Sir, in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India it has been stated that the subject land of Entry-18 is being vested with the State Government which means the right over land, land tenure including relation of landlords and tenants, collection of rent, transfer of land, Agricultural land, land improvement, Agricultural loan and colonisation, but that is for the other States in India. In Khasi Hills the position is different as land belongs to the individual or groups of individuals because of that Sir, it seems that Government is convinced with the advocacy from this side and now they said that they are intending only to bring land records within the purview of the administrative jurisdiction of the Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our right on land as envisaged in the Instrument of Accession and as affirmed by the Constitution is absolute, the State Government has no right in the Khasi State areas. Therefore, appointment of the Commission or setting up of its office over the jurisdiction of the Khasi States is not acceptable at all. It is wastage of money only. As such I feel that the intention of the Government is not only to serve the demand of the people as they have stated to bring land records, Government can do that by the Directorate of Land Records. Should do away with this land records department. If the Land Records Department cannot do it Government should do away with the Land Records Department first. What is the use of maintaining that Land Records Department.

(Prof. M.N. Majaw - 'Hear "Hear',)

        So Sir, the attempt of the Government as per reference for appointing the Land Reforms Commission to bring about a radical change in the land tenure system is not required at all. The Government has no right over the lands in the Khasi States areas and as such I oppose this provision. We should not waste money. We are aware that we are representing the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, if the ruling party says that consequent upon the demand of the people to bring about a change in their land tenure system of this district, I mean the Khasi Hills District, this demand should certainly be the demand of the majority of the people of the Khasi States. If there is such a demand for appointing the Land Reforms Commission or for passing a resolution, it must be according to the relevant procedure. If we want to rectify the Instrument of Accession because of the demand of the people we should go according to the procedure of the law. We cannot just start from the top and appoint the Commission and thereby ignore all these proceedings of the law. So, Sir, I would lie to inform the House that we are here  representing not 50 percent but more than 60 per cent of the people of Khasi Hills and I claim that I represent the people who are against this Lands Reforms Commission. Let us go for a referendum and  you will find Sir, that 90 percent of the Khasi people will be against this Land Reforms Commission or any move for changing the land tenure system in Khasi Hills. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose and disapprove the policy of the Government to have the Land Reforms Commission. So Sir, we from this side of the House would like to point out that the Government should not waste the money or make any provision for this Land Reforms Commission and with these few words Sir, I resume my seat. Thank you.

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang (Mawsynram S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the Cut Motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati and supported by his colleague. I congratulate the Government for setting up of this Land Reforms Commission which has been long anxiously waited by the Khasi people since 1923. In 1923 there had been a decision in the Khasi National Durbar Hall and 25 Syiems at that time including the Khasi Leaders like late Rev. Nichols Roy, the Syiem of Nongkhlaw, the Syiem of Cherra and many others. They were so conscious of their rights over land since that time and they wanted to modify this land tenure system in the Khasi Hills. I also congratulate the present Government for having come up with a bold step and in a proper direction in appointing the Land Reforms Commission. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many of the speakers who spoke before me have said that the people of erstwhile Khasi States are opposing to the setting up of the Land Reforms Commission today. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the House that even the people of the erstwhile Khasi States which have now actually merged with the Indian Union are anxious to to modify the land tenure system as after the signing of the Instrument of Accession we are all Indians and that is why we are now in he Indian Union.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, land does not belong to the Government. 

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- That is your contention only.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- It is a fact, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that land does belong to the Government.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Do not use your non-tribal tactics.

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, personally I feel that we are not afraid of the challenge made by the Opposition Group who wishes to have a referendum at this juncture. The setting up of the Land Reforms Commission is right and proper for the fulfillment of the long awaited wishes of the Khasi people and to get codified the existing land tenure systems in the Khasi Hills. Sir, I do not want to lengthen my speech but what I feel is that I would like to urge upon the Government, through you, Sir, that the Land Reforms Commission should go ahead with its working procedure and systems which have been given under the terms of reference. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to oppose the Cut Motion moved by my friend, the hon. Member from Mawhati and the question of merger of erstwhile Khasi States does not arise now. With these few words, I would like to request the Government to go ahead with its policy and to complete this work as early as possible so that the wishes of our people are fulfilled. Thank you.

Shri Jormanick Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in this motion. The mover of the motion has touched upon the constitutional question of merger. In this connection, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say or rather I would like to inform the House that the Instrument of Accession was merely a standstill arrangement made between the Government and the then Khasi States, 25 Khasi States before inauguration of the new Constitution. I happened to be the Secretary of the Federation which entered into an agreement with the Government of India and it was mutually agreed. So there was a standstill agreement which formed part of the Instrument of Accession. This is merely a standstill arrangement and then the Federation of the Khasi States was asked to constitute a constitution making Durbar in which the Syiems and representatives of the people were elected and they have decided that the Khasi States would be within the Indian Union. They were brought under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Khasi Syiems were never the land owner like the Maharajas and the Nizams. Therefore, the question of merger in order to give them compensation never arose. So there was no necessity for any instrument of merger. When the Constitution came into being the Khasi States were placed under the then Assam State under Article 1 of the Constitution. So, Sir, it will not be correct to say that the Instrument of Accession is still in operation at this juncture and the Khasi Syiemships still because of the District Council.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. I remember there was a court case as because the Instrument of Accession is vague, the case went to the Supreme Court.

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- In this connection Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the House that there was a case before the Honourable Supreme Court and the Syiem of Mylliem was a party to that case. The Instrument of Accession was modified and I would like to inform my hon. friend from Mawhati and this august House that the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that if under Instrument of Accession, the Syiem of Mylliem is still an independent Ruler, he has no business to come before the Supreme Court (Voices : yes, yes), Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to hear from my friend from Mawhati if he can quote a specific instance that the Instrument of Accession is still in operation.

Prof, M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. There was a Sales-tax case which concerned Shri J.N. Bawri who has got a shop in the Bara Bazar area and the case went before the Supreme Court for its verdict two years ago.

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the advise of the Secretary, Home, who is now the hon. Governor it was given to the Supreme Court and it is said that the Assam Sales-tax Act which extended to the Bara Bazar area should get the permission of the Syiem and his Durbar and Shri J.N. Bawri was subjected to taxation. The ruling of the Supreme Court on this case was that the lands extended to the Bara Bazar area must get the permission of the Syiem and his Durbar. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that would be an ancient history. Of course, I am not conversant with the facts of the case, but my impression is that Shri Bawri got the exemption because the Syiem of Mylliem gave the permission to him when the Constitution was not yet in operation or rather had yet not come into force. Therefore, that permission which was required, was there, given by the Syiem of Mylliem who was still then the independent Chief. After the commencement of the Constitution, all these powers had been taken away and vested on the District Council.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We can hold a debate on this, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We will bring the relevant records on this matter.

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Yes we can do that. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to say that the argument advanced by the Mover of the Cut Motion is untenable.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On a point of clarification. Was it not a fact that the Government of India persuaded to sign the instrument of merger?

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- That had been a stand-still agreement and that had lapsed with the coming into force of the Constitution like all other treaties and engagements entered into with the British Crown. 

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I am not mistaken, in the White Paper, the condition was that though the Khasi States had acceded to the Government of Assam or Dominion of India, land, water and forest are under the administration of the Syiems.

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, land, water and other rights - all these are under the stand-still agreement. If the stand-still agreement has lapsed, the Khasi Syiems have no right to this and. It is the people in the Khasi Syiemship. Syiems are not the Zamindars and they are not the owners of the land. But it is the people who are the real owners.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under Article 363 there is a bar to interference in disputes arising out of treaties. It is clearly stated that those treaties, agreements, covenants, engagements, sanads or other similar instruments which are entered into or executed before the commencement of the Constitution by any Ruler of an Indian State and to which the Government of the Dominion of India or any of its predecessor Government, all these things will continue. Now, this Instrument of Accession was signed in 1948, that is, prior to the commencement of the Constitution of India.

        (At this stage the Speaker occupied the Chair)

Mr. Speaker :- When the Constitution of India was signed, the Khasi States were a party to it. They had a representative in the Constituent Assembly.

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, now coming to the Land Reforms Commission as the hon. Member from Mawsynram has stated, there has been a general desire many many years ago, since 1923 for it. The Khasi Syiemships or the people of the erstwhile Khasi States wanted that the land rights should be recorded and in fact, the National Durbar tried at that time to codify the customs. The present Government is also trying to find out the existing customs of land tenure system in the Khasi States or the Khasi Syiemships and therefore, they have set up a Commission to enquire and put on record what different systems are being adopted in various areas of the Khasi Syiemships. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Commission is not going to make a law, but it is going to make enquiries into various existing systems.

Mr. Speaker :- They are to enquire and assess the minds of the people as was demanded by all the hon. Members.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- And suggest remedial measures. 

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- There is no mention in the terms of reference about the land ceilings. It is purely an enquiring body. The Commission will make enquiries about the different systems and evidence will be recorded and placed before the House. Then it is for this august House to decide whether the land tenure system can be codified. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I oppose the Cut Motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati.

*Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in opposing the Cut Motion, I have only a few things to observe. From the very motion, I find that all the four movers intend to disapprove the policy of the Government for having a Land Reforms Commission. But contrary to that intention, they have all expressed that they need some records of land or the record of rights and preservation of the customary rights. All these hon. members want to get the existing land tenure system codified, and I think at this stage, the Government had done the right thing by making an attempt to preserve all these rights which the hon. Members want  to be put under black and white. I do not see any reason why the hon. Members should disapprove of the policy since they themselves indirectly, if I may say so, agreed to have. With these few words, I strongly oppose the Cut Motion.

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Mairang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Cut Motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati. As it is in the Khasi Hills the land does not belong to the Government nor to the Syiems but it belongs to the people.

Mr. Speaker :- Are you sure of it? Do you mean that the Syiems have no right to own land?

*Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- Sir, the Syiem, of course can own land but the whole and in the Syiemship does not belong to him. In case of Nizam of Hyderabad or Maharaja of Jaipur, the land belongs to them. But here in Khasi States, the land belongs to the people and I wonder why the Government wants to bring about land reform when it does not have any right over the land.

Mr. Speaker :- Actually whatever opinions have been expressed by the hon. Members here inside the House should have been given to the Commission to record them.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We do not approve of the Commission. So, how do we talk to it?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Several times in several places the people have chased them out and they have not been allowed to get down even from the vehicle.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We will.

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as it is with the case of the Nizam of Hyderabad ...

Mr. Speaker :- I think before Mr. Lyngdoh continues, the wording of Prof. Majaw that ** should be expunged otherwise it becomes a matter of law and order. It means that he is responsible for man-handling the members of the Commission.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Verbally chasing.

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as it is with the case of the Nizam of Hyderabad and other independent States in India when they signed the Instrument of Accession, they were paid privy purses as the land belonged to them. They surrendered everything to the Government of India. But it is not so with our Khasi Syiemship or elakas. The Syiems of Chiefs were not paid purses.

Mr. Speaker :- Here again, it appears that you have accepted everything hat exist today. The head of the States signed as rulers of Khasi States. It is only under the Act of the District Council that the Khasi States wee termed as Syiemship or Lyngdohship. In other words, they have accepted the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

*Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- They have also accepted as Magistrates.

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- Because the Syiem or Lyngdoh is not the owner of the land and that the land belongs to the people of the elaka, the Syiem has no right to surrender the land to the Government.

Mr. Speaker :- Can you say that in the case of the Phatepur and Ankarjur now in the so-called Bangladesh in relation to the Syiem of Sohra?

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- I am referring to the Syiems of Khasi Hills at the Commission was set up for Khasi Hills. So, we the Members from this side are opposing the policy of the Government for bringing in land reforms in this District because the land does not belong to the Government but the people are the owners of the land.

Mr. Speaker :-  So, let me sum up. it appears that the hon. members who have spoken from the Opposition side are against the very principle of having the Land Reforms Commission, and since the Land Reforms Commission is functioning they will not co-operate with it although they would invite the Government to take steps on the record of rights and cadastral survey.

*Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- Sir, there is already a Land Record office of the Government. If the Government wants that land records should be maintained, let the Land Record office do it.

Mr. Speaker :- So you are in favour of land records and to maintain customary rights of the people. It appears as if the Land Reforms Commission will have the power to bring about a radical change and not the Assembly. But it is only this Assembly that can bring about the change.

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D., etc) :- On a point of clarification, I would like to know whether the hon. member from Pariong has the intention to get Land Records Department of the Government to go in for records of rights as against the wishes of the people and without consulting them?

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I was saying after consulting them. There is no wish of the people now.

*Mr. Speaker :- There is no recognised body to assess the minds of the people except the Commission. Nobody can claim a right that he can assess the minds of the people throughout the areas to be covered by the activities of the Commission. I do not want to pass any more remark at present. I would invite Mr. Mylliemngap.

Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the Cut Motion on this Land Reforms Commission. Actually Rs.44,000 is only an additional amount to supplement the amount which we have already voted, and that was Rs.3,69,000 and I feel that the hon. members from that side are penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- He signed against it on 30th September, 1972. I have his signature with me.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was one of the member who opposed the Commission because we thought that the Government was going to bring radical changes in our land tenure system. But having come to understand the Commission is not a body to make any decision or to make any policy, I felt that the Commission should be appointed. The Commission will be only a fact-finding body which will go to the places and asses the minds of the people. This will not be an ultimate body to bring any changes in our land tenure system. That is why, Sir, having come to understand the intention of the Government to find out the prevailing customs and traditions in land tenure system, we welcome the decision of the Government to set up this Land Reforms Commission. I think in the heart of hearts even my friends in the Opposition would like to have the Land Reforms Commission.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  We were opposed to the appointment of the Land Reforms Commission from the very beginning.

Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw, do not forget that at the beginning, you were sitting in the same row with him and both of you have changed your seats.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I am still in the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- You are still in the Opposition, but you have identified yourself differently.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- But not with the Land Reforms Commission.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Our hon. members on the other side also know very well the complications and difficulties which our people are facing in the matter of their rights over the lands. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the practise and customs prevailing over our Raj land, which is quite vast in the Khyrim Syiemship and especially in the Mawhati constituency, are such that nobody knows in which way the land is being managed and how the people can claim or establish their rights over the land. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are hundreds and one Basans.

Mr. Speaker :- According to customary law, it is the Basan Mawshai who looks after all the Raj lands in Bhoi area.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Your observation is quite correct, Sir, the Basans Mawshai are supposed to supervise all the lands in Bhoi areas. But as you know, there is no-body who can say that he is the man who has control over the land; the land has become no-man's land everywhere ....

(A voice - No, No, No)

Mr. Speaker :- Order, order. The hon. Member is only referring to lands of Bhoi area within Khyrim Syiemship. Prof. Majaw, it appears, has no knowledge about the customary laws.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- The contention of the hon. member is that the land has become no-man's land. It is not a statement of fact.

Mr. Speaker :- Since you are trying to insinuate the hon. Member, may I point out here that the hon. Member himself being a Lyngskor knows better about the legal implication of the land system than anybody. Because he has to deal with a large number of cases.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, our hon. Members have talked about land records. But are these documents recognised by law. Of course our Syiem's office is doing registration of these documents but is there anybody who can say that these documents have the sanction of the law. Is there anybody who can say that these documents are accepted or recognised by law.

(A voice - it is accepted)

    So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you know, what happened in most of the places in Bhoi areas. Whenever the Government is going to have any project like Barapani or Tyrso valley the people there do not know actually what rights they have got over the land. As such they do not get the benefit.

(A voice - then who gets)

        The benefit goes to some people of Shillong or those who knows the land system or have the control of land over there. So this is the position. The people who are supposed to get the benefit out of their land, are deprived. It is because our existing land tenure system is very much defective. Unless they have the records of rights over the land ....

(interruption)

        So it is only through this Commission which can assess the prevailing systems and give its recommendations to this august House and here we, as representatives of the people, will have our say in this matter. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Now, Shri S.P. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the Cut Motion moved by my friend in the opposite. We know that from time immemorial the people are the owners of the land. It is the people who own the land and not the Syiems, Lyngdohs or Wahadars. There are different land tenure systems in different parts of our District. We know, as far back as 1923 and 1929, there was a need felt by our Khasi leaders to codify the different land tenure systems prevailing in the district. Even at that time the people feel the need to have a codified record of the land tenure system in the district.

        Now if you go through and read carefully the terms of reference under which the Commission has to perform its duties you will find that it is very clearly stated that the Commission will only record any suggestion or any remedial measure, whether it should be or not according to the wish of the people. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, from what the hon. Members who have brought forward the Cut Motion I can say that it is only an attempt to twist the good intention of the Government in appointing the Land Reforms Commission to perform the duties according to the terms of reference....

(Voices - yes, yes)

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Forests) :- Because they are expert in English.

Shri. S.P. Swer :- Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Land Reforms Commission is only to find out the truth about the land system. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fail to understand why the hon. member from the other side was so scared or afraid of finding out and knowing the truth.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Do not interfere with my private property.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as stated, the Commission's job is to find out the truth. Therefore we should not be scared or be afraid to allow the Commission to function and find out the truth and let the Commission's work be completed as early as possible so that we can have a codified land tenure system in which we can say this is our codified land tenure system. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I oppose the Cut-Motion.

*Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not like to take the time of the House. Much has been said on this question which is a very sensitive one. I have been very sensitive to land as all the Members in this House are, apart from the parties, and let us say, the expressions which have just been made a moment ago. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I feel is that we should take the whole question in these two perspectives - why the cut-motion? This question had been upper-most in my mind all these months since the Commission came into being. I happen to be connected with certain financing institution. I have come across cases in Khasi Hills in which to the detriment of the people, to detriment of the land owners and the farmers of not not having financial assistance just because there is no record of rights. This is happening everyday in Khasi Hills, and as things stand today, if this matter is not finalised, I am afraid a time will come, after a few years, that there will be lopsided development in the State. This practical difficulty that our people are facing is because of not having the records of rights over the land. Apart from the other arrangements presented by the hon. Members from both this side and that side, we have to be very careful in dealing with the customs and usages in land, I feel that the Commission is basically an investigating body. I had thought that this question will come up when the Commission presents the records to the House and then we can have the discussion, but since this matter has come up today, I am happy to note that even the Members of the H.S.P.D.P. group have come out openly in favour of having the land reforms and rights of having the .....

        (At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri H. Hadem occupied the Chair).

(interruptions)

        It is also a fact when today the Members from the H.S.P.D.P. group have come up to us and said that there is need of land records .....

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On a point of clarification Mr. Chairman, Sir, we did not say there is need, but it could have been arranged in some other way.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- There is a Land Record Office and that office do the work.

(interruptions)

Mr. Chairman :- No confrontations please.

*Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I am just facing because the cat is out of the bag and they are all out for having the Land records and they do not mind having .........

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, are we to understand that Land Record does not exist today in Meghalaya?

*Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- In any case Mr. Chairman, Sir, I find that Land Reforms Commission can be interpreted in many ways. Land Reforms we know very well. To make it better, to make a change is a question you may like to do better than that........

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- What is better is a matter of opinion.

Mr. Chairman :- This Commission will have better opinion also.

*Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- There is one thing which Mr. S.P. Swer had clearly brought to the attention of the House. Even in the terms of reference which have been clearly stated there is nothing that has been done without the wishes of the people. The Commission is to determine. But it is not for Mr. Majaw, Mr. Kyndiah or Mr. Lyngdoh to find out the facts. I do not understand why we do not want the land reform here and there. But as Mr. S.P. Swer has correctly pointed out that the Commission is only to find out the truth.

        Now let me put a question, Mr. Chairman, Sir, when the land was acquired for A.S.E.B. in Barapani?

(Voices : Umiam, Umiam)

*Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Yes, Umiam. In this land there are 5 claimants.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- This would depend on the Syiem's Court, after that the District Council Court, the District Commissioner Court and the High Court and each process a Law.

*Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Then you like our people to spend a long time in litigation?

(Interruptions)

Mr. Chairman :- Order please, order please.

*Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- In fact  Mr. Chairman, Sir, my stand here is only to congratulate the Government for its policy of having the Land Reforms Commission.

Mr. Chairman :- May I request the Minister-in-charge to reply.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the question of tax in the State as I have already indicated in earlier sessions the State Government of Meghalaya have first to adopt the laws and rules that have come into existence in these areas during the composite State of Assam. But immediately after the formation of the State of Meghalaya we had appointed or constituted a Taxation Enquiry Committee to study afresh and not to follow blindly what has been going on for years together. The Committee is functioning now is full progress and we do invite the opinions and suggestions. Questionnaires were sent to the business organisation, political organisation and the voluntary organisation and also the members of this august House to give suggestions and to come discuss also. As a matter of fact last week we were sitting with the representatives of the business organisation and individual members who appeared before the Committee and gave the valuable suggestions. Therefore, it would have been very much better if the hon. Members would have given suggestions and opinions and discuss with the Taxation Inquiry Committee, it would be really best today to look into all aspects of taxation in the State. Therefore, I would request that we may wait and the question may be left to the Committee to make its recommendation and the House will have full opportunity to discuss the report and the recommendations of the Committee. In view of this I would request the Hon. Member to withdraw the amendment.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is true no doubt that there is a taxation Inquiry Committee but even so since the loss of revenue to the Government amounts to 2,500 which can be easily met through the economic stringency I am sure it is like as angle, one point of it is so narrow and at the end it is very wide. 2,500 makes the economic condition of the people very grave though the incidence is small. I do not see why the Finance Minister or the Government cannot accept the amendment.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Even the crime must be considered. In view of the fact that I have stated that the Committee is about to complete its job, it will serve no purpose for the Government to do it now.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I do not see any reason why the Committee which is something else will do this in future. I an sorry Mr. Chairman, Sir, I cannot convince myself to withdraw it only for political reason or for real economic reason. Sir, I would like again to emphasise my humble request to my colleagues of this House who have been sent by the people of the State to search the hearts whether this prompted by genuine conviction for the economic good or for political reasons.

Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Sir, whether we have made all the speeches here for the advantage or disadvantage of the people and the State or we have made these for party advantage or disadvantage. As the statement goes - "even the devil does not know the mind of the man". However, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would just make an appeal to the Hon. Members that in order to perform our duty to the State we should search our hearts on these very vital questions. Then Sir, I would come to the point raised. The legal, constitutional question raised by Mr. Majaw, hon.. Member from Mawhati Constituency. He had again raised, in the language of the most authoritative person in the House, the dead document of the Instrument of Accession. I am not making any comment on this though I am in-charge of Law. I will simply read out the decision of the highest body in the country - the Supreme Court of India.  India is a land of law in which on any question of law, the Supreme Court is the highest authority and as long as we accept that we are citizens of India we are bound by the decision of the Supreme Court. I may have the indulgence Mr. Chairman, Sir, of reading the decision of the Supreme Court. The fact leading to that has been very clearly stated in this House by the hon. Member from Mylliem, Mr. Jormanick Syiem who is personally involved in that case being the Syiem of that State at the time. The fact has been earlier stated but now I will just read out the concluding portion of this case. This is the decision of the Supreme Court, which is reported in the case - Cajee versus U Jormanick - reported in AIR 1961, SCp 276. Now in the judgement, the Court came to this conclusion - 

"There was no merger as such of the twenty-five Khasi States in India before January 26, 1950. But the Constitution by the First Schedule, in which the territories of the State of Assam were defined, merged the Khasi States into the State of Assam, as that State was to consist of the territories which immediately before the commencement of the Constitution were comprised in the Province of Assam, the Khasi States and the Assam Tribal Areas but excluding the territories specified in the Schedule to the Assam (Alternation of Boundaries) Act, 1951. Thus by the Constitution the Khasi States were merged in the State of Assam and any power of the Chiefs so far as the administration was concerned, came to an end.

        By Article 244(2) of the Constitution however, special provisions contained in the Sixth Schedule thereof were to apply to the administration of the Tribal Areas in the State of Assam. The position, therefore, after the coming into force of the Constitution was that the Chiefs lost whatever ruling or administrative powers they had by the merger of these twenty-five States in Assam and the governance of these States was to be carried on according to the provisions of the Sixth Schedule. "It is so clear and whether we feel that it is right or wrong, so long we are in India under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India, this is final and it should have stopped all talks on this. But I wonder that, again and again, some hon. members raise it. Perhaps they are living under the illusion of their dreams but in their heart of hearts the educated hon. Members - those who really read - should know, it is simple and they ought to have been convinced.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- When did the final judgement take place?

Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- That was in 1960. It is nearly 14 years now. It was discussed and acted upon and the Syiems had co-operated fully under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution in fact, in deeds and in action, and worked smoothly with the District Council according to the provisions of the Constitution as interpreted by the highest body in the country - the Supreme Court. Therefore, I hope that this question, whether it would serve themselves personally or whether it will serve any part of the country or any people would not be brought up again but just by harping and harping (laughter).

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Minister has asked the question on our contention and I would also like a clarification, as expressed by the Minister, that we do not have the authority to interpret the order of the Supreme Court. I may point out Mr. Chairman, Sir, that as far as that order of the Supreme Court is concerned land was an exception in the Instrument of Association.

Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am speaking only of the challenge of the hon. Member from Mawhati - that the State Government has no jurisdiction on lands. It is listed in the Schedule to the Constitution as land being the subject of the State. In the Constitution it is there. But the hon. Member from Mawhati, whether in his dream or against his own knowledge has raised this question in this House. I would have understood it had he raised it in the platforms where most of the people do not know law but to have raised it in this august House is an insult to this House.

(Voices - Shame, Shame)

(Interruption)

        Sir, we can read the whole decision of the Supreme Court.

(Voices - We will read it together with the Bawri case)

(Interruption)

Mr. Chairman :- Sir, there may be stray cases of this or that but this is, I would submit, Sir, very very definite and clear and that, apart from the fact that the decision was there and action also was taken since 1952, the District Council was inaugurated in June, 1952 and from that date the Syiem had fully co-operated. I do not know on whose behalf the hon. member from Mawhati had spoken and it seems that he cannot completely accept the legal decision. I am not saying that we are happy or not over this decision. When there is any change, naturally some advantages and disadvantages are there. For example, we were discussing the other day, when the full State came into being, that the Capital would be shifted and that would affect a certain portion of the population and economic setbacks and so on would be there. But for that reason alone the people of the State or the hon. Members should not say that the coming of the State is bad. As I have appealed to the hon. Members of this august House to really speak and act responsibly and with true convictions, I would also like to request them that this question should not be agitated again in this House. However, it may be taken in a court of law or the Supreme Court. There is full opportunity for any person, we being the citizens of India. What I mean is that India is a land of laws. Now Sir, coming to the subject-matter on the need for the appointment of this Commission. The behaviour,  (At this stage, the Deputy Speaker took the Chair) the acts and the speeches of certain  Members inside and outside this House really surprise me. It is not for the first time that our Khasi Hills District has the Commission. There was a one man Commission called Herbert Commission, This Commission had gone round various Khasi States and met the Syiems, the Myntris, the Lyngdohs, headmen and ascertained from them about the system of election of Syiems. Hon. members may be well aware that the reports of the Commission consisted of two parts one is the record of statements of the Chiefs and public leaders. This was just a record and then the Commission made a suggestions which were accepted by the Government. Then the second Commission came in the year 1923. The hon. member from Sohryngkham has referred to the Khasi National Durbar which was formed by the Khasi rulers at that time. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, they appointed the Commission in 1923 to go into the very same question of land tenure system in Khasi Hills and they published a very small proceedings in 1926. Sir, they really made a great attempt. Thanks to them but they are not Government bodies. So they did not have the facilities, the funds as the State Government would have. They did make a nice attempt and they visited various places of Khasi Hills District to enquire about the land tenure system. Soil is not at all new to the people and if the hon. Members would claim this 90 per cent opposition from the people it is not a justified claim at all. I remember in one meeting in which one gentleman said that the people opposed the Commission. Then some members of the meeting said it is not the people who oppose, but you oppose but said that the people oppose. When I oppose I think others also oppose. That is wrong and then as Mr. Kyndiah has stated that we are the best persons or agency to know better the minds of the people. We may go and discuss with the people. But are not people who come and sit for some time and then stand in the Barabazar or Motphran and meet people and then say that the people oppose. This attitude is wrong.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I object to the statement of the Minister. We are representing the people and it is wrong to say that we have come only to meet the people in the Barabazar.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- If any person standing on the street and collecting people there and talking to them and claims to possess all knowledge, is wrong notion because I believe it is the Commission to ascertain the people's view. It is clear if the hon. Member reads the terms of reference where it also stated according to the wishes of the people. As a matter of fact this House has got the power to bring any legislation without any consultation with the people. But because of the Government's democratic approach that we need to consult each and every one, every citizen of the State. As already remarked by friends in the H.S.P.D.P. side, it is true that we have Land Records Department which was already there. According to the State list under the Constitution in entry 18, land is subject to this list where reference to the right of land, land tenure including relationship between land-lords and the tenants and collection of rents, transfer of land were made.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- This should be done by means of laws.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Yes, it should have done by laws. Under the terms of reference, the Commission is appointed in order to get the will of the people, to enquire from the people their wishes in this matter and so on and so forth. therefore, Sir, the appointment of this Commission is really a response to the need of the State in a democratic process and the people are given the opportunity to express their opinion and give recommendation to the Commission. So the aim of this Commission is to ascertain the will of the people.

        Sir, the question of not doing anything in any matter either land or forest or water is not conceivable. I would say there is a need for doing anything whether on land, forest or water. There is a constant need for water as a natural gift of God to man to use it for washing of clothes or to use it for generating power or for irrigation purposes. God has given man with all these things to use. It is all the more necessary for man to make the best utility of the gifts given by God. Therefore in the usage of land also if you say that we do not need any more change, well I would say that your approach is stagnant and without any principle. If we come here and simply sit tight without doing anything then we will not be discharging our duties that we are supposed to do as the elected representatives of the people. We are not doing anything on forest or land or water, that were given to us. This sort of approach on the part of some of the hon. members is a stagnant and timid approach. May I draw your attention to the complete emptiness of the Congress benches? I would emphasise that they as Members having been in the All-India Party, know fully well about the definite policy in this matter; they having been also in the States Party in certain definite matter, should not vacate their seats but they should do something about it. Therefore I may say that this is a wrong approach to problems and affairs of the State by avoiding or sitting on the fence. I am afraid this is really very strange and if this kind of approach would really mean the rule of the day, I cannot say what will happen to our State as a whole. There is no one in the Congress benches and I fear that they are lagging behind in their moral courage and all that. Let us do our duties with a sense of responsibility and righteousness and let us not take advantage of the people whom we represent. As somebody used to think that the people do not understand anything and having a feeling that they themselves know better than them. I will request the hon. members not to have such superiority complex by taking advantage of the people we present. Therefore, let us not have that sense of misunderstanding and thinking that the people are ignorant. We have heard of these problems on several occasions. We have this problem of conspiracy in the conference. Some members said we understand but the people will not understand but I believe this is the argument of some negative people who suffer from superiority complex. I had one occasion and I hope the hon. Member from Mawhati will not mind. In the discussion with Mr. Chavan for a full-fledged State, we had some sort of discussions that people in the plains are very simple. In any political activity they just follow their leaders but the people of the Hills are so democratic and they understand much in every question.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I still believe in it.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- I remember Mr. Chavan made a statement that "Simplicity is the greatest wisdom" therefore, it is not correct to say that your people do not understand. They understand they have got their own wisdom and conviction and they cannot be easily deceived. Don't think that we can convince anything we like because as we have that courage of our own conviction, the people also have the same.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Our people are following this same conviction.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the functions of the Commission are very very clear and Mr. G. Mylliemngap has the real authority on the question as he is a man closely connected with the management of land in his own Khyrim Syiemship in which he was stated about the need to do something because of the confusion, problem and hindrance that is prevailing there. Now may I draw the attention of the hon. Members to the publication issued by the Government  in October, 1973. It was published in Khasi and I can say that prejudice had gone to the extent that our hon. Members will not even read it because it contained land reforms. It may happen sometimes that the opposition was so strong that even misinterpretation of the publication may occur. If you refer to page 3 of the said publication, the need for setting up of a Commission was clearly explained and under para I it is being given as the hon. member from Sohryngkham has stated that confusion is prevailing in certain parts of the State in the Raid Land, in the community land. I had a personal experience as Mr. Mylliemngap also had when I was a representative in the Assam Assembly. I have come across a lot of confusion and hardship and this happened because of the non-existence of a definite land laws in our areas and also the land records have not been properly defined. For the acquisition of land for the Umiam Project there was an agreement and Mr. Jormanick Syiem was the first party of the Agreement, as the Syiem and the District Council including the Electricity Board that while a dam is constructed, a fish lake will automatically be formed as it stands now as one of the beautiful lakes in the world. This project was then executed in view of the agreement between the Syiem, the District Council and the Electricity Board and no demand for compensation is required since this is a waste land. There was at that time an assessment of about 2/3rd of waste lands to be submerged and what happened after that. Because there was no definition of the waste lands, the demand for compensation came in and the required portion of caste lands could not be taken as there were pegs what we called in Khasi "skut" or putting marks and this lands belong to A, B, C and D and so on and in this way from 2/3rd of waste lands it has become zero waste lands - Shillong people go there and put the pegs what made records - a slip of paper was brought from the headman, another will bring for the same plot from Syiem Raj and another will bring from the Syiem himself. So confusion is there. It is the same with the military acquisition of land at Umden and Umroi Airfield. There were compensation cases and I remember a case where a truck load of people went to pout pegs just to get a claim over the land, whose pegs the requisition officer was confused. So reform is needed and not a mere mark or records of ownership. In this connection we can either authorise the headman to settle the same or the Syiems, the District Council and the Government. Here reform is very much needed and if the hon. Members like the confusion prevailing in the district or want to turn this district into the lawyers' paradise it is up to them. Therefore, any Member here who does not need reform is in favour of the confusion and wants to take advantage out of the confusion. Only those who are interested in confusion do not want reform because they want some benefit out of confusion and try to oppose this reform. Another confusion is with regard to Ri Kur Lands and the clan lands. What happened now, you have seen off and on in the Democratic Review, the Assam Tribune, U Pyrta U Riewlum and U Nongsain Hima that let be known that, I so and so the owner of this land so and so, one will say I am a Khadduh, another will say I am the Paduh, etc. So there is a great confusion over the ownership of lands. One will say I will occupy, another will say I will cultivate it or sell it. There is a confusion and that is really a disgrace not only to the lands and waste lands but it is a disgrace to the people who see and know what is going on among the people of this district and then this will become another lawyers' paradise.

        (At this stage, the Speaker occupied the Chair).

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We have got four lawyers here.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the benefit of our lawyer colleagues, let us sit tight and do nothing.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is my contention that the Government should consult the people always.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- What will happen, after consultation with the people, you say that consultation is not needed and you chased away the consultants. As a matter of fact in appointing the Commission, the people will be consulted. Be true to yourself and to your conviction. 

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- In appointing the commission, we want that people should be consulted.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Before appointing the Commission to consult the people, you will chase them by organising demonstrations. So this is not the way that we should conduct ourselves as the people who will go and say please send us there and we will do the right thing and good thing for you. That is not the attitude Sir, another matter we have already written as Mr. Kyndiah read. I am sure that all hon. Members from the H.S.P.D.P. side are being pestered by the people who want to improve their lands. Whatever you say here, you are bombarded by the people who came for improvement of lands, their agricultural lands, industries and other business. We know that people are not rich, they are not born from the Maharaja family but there were born with nothing. They need capital for improvement either in business, industries or agriculture. Under the British Regime they went to the money lenders to get capital and what they have to pay, they paid legally on the surface value upto 48 per cent of interest and illegally it came to much more than that. In the month of February they need fertilizer, they need bullocks for ploughing their fields and sometimes they have to go to some people to sell their paddy in advance and in this way the standing crops were sold before the harvesting time. At the time of harvest, the actual cultivator will have to pay more than 40 percent. It is sometimes 50 percent, even cent percent. This was the condition at that time. Is this a welfare State? The people were exploited by the money lenders who snatched away everything from the people who actually cultivate the lands. For that reason they will come to you and to the Government for Bank loan or Government loan which is only 6 or 9 percent rate of interest or even 12 percent at the utmost compared to 48 percent. But the problem here I that, as explained, we cannot deal from the Government side or banks in vagueness. In the absence of any record to show that a person is actually the owner of the land and he wants to cultivate or he wants loans or advance. This is the need, and if the hon. Member from Nongspung who argued that we are going to make people loan-minded, I am sorry that is an irresponsible statement. It is not the question of loan-mindedness, it is the question of need mindedness. Are we going to make the people interested in improvement without capital? Are they to get that capital from heaven or from the earth? They need capital and for that capital, should we force them to go to the money-lenders or should we ask them to go to the Banks or to the Government financial institutions. We talk of loans and make the people loan-minded. I want to make people loan-minded and you and we on our sides should look after their interests. The people should have the incentives to improve the land. But for this they need the capital. they should also be in the position to know about their rights over the land. They should have the proper records. Otherwise, today they will improve the land and tomorrow somebody will take away that land. Therefore, as responsible people who have declared that we are to serve the interest of the people, let us be true to ourselves. Mr. Speaker, many members have spoken and I need not elaborate on the various points. Anyway, this discussion has helped a great deal and it will help the Commission a great deal. It is really like giving an evidence before the Commission. I would not go very much into the detail because it may prejudge the findings of the Commission. But as stated by Mr. Kyndiah, this august House is the supreme body and the Commission is just an agency to serve the House. This august House will get the report and the recommendations of the Commission and this House will then decide whether this is right or that is wrong or whether it is good or bad to be done. There is nothing to be afraid about it. It is perhaps the private motive that has moved some of the hon. members to raise this question. It may be a private motive or a political motive. I would only wish that we should avoid thinking about the political gain which may be short-lived. This is what I want to emphasise and with these few words, I would request the hon. Member who moved the Cut Motion to withdraw. Let us help the Commission to perform its duty fully without any hindrance so that we can have the facts not only of one particular area but of the whole district. Then after having those facts we will have the opportunity to discuss and thrash out and decide what we have to do.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, I am claiming to have a right of reply according to Rule 83. I am very sorry, Mr. Speaker, that one or two very important matters have been conveniently avoided despite our constant repetition or even interruption.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- May I know that so that I may reply? I am not afraid of replying and I would like to know what are those points. Any point that he thinks important, I am ready to reply.

Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, in the first place, this whole trouble started not from our side, but because of the action of the Government in appointing the Commission. We did not appoint the Commission. But it is the Government which appointed the Commission. Now Mr. Speaker, the point which I have raised was about the working of the Commission and at least half an hour has been spent explaining it. It was the appointment which the hon. member from Sohryngkham referred. I do not know why he has changed his stand. When the Chief Minister convened a meeting on the 30th September, 1972, the people were not consulted before.

Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw, this is not a forum where there should be charges and counter-charges. The only chance that you may have here is that you may seek further clarification if you are willing to withdraw. But if you are not willing to withdraw, I will put it to vote.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy that you have come. Mr. Speaker, Sir, some of our points have not been replied- and one point was why were not the people consulted before appointing the Commission which we have urged upon the Government. I challenge the Government .....

Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw, I think you should speak like a responsible Member. There is no provision in the Constitution for holding any referendum. You should at least be aware of it if you are not willing to withdraw.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, may I reply? I think I may concede that all the members who have just spoken are new to the Legislature. Now, can he quote any example in the world where a Commission is appointed after consulting the people or after getting their recommendation first? This is very strange indeed. So far as the constitution of this Commission is concerned, we have gone very far indeed and we have the record here that on the 11th September, 1972 the Chief Minister had called all the M.L.As and the M.D.Cs of this District and consulted them thoroughly and discussed with them and in fact the consensus was for appointment of the Commission.

        Secondly you have stated that the Syiems were not consulted. But you are wrong in stating that the Syiems or the rulers were not consulted. There is no compulsion to do that. But the 30th September, 1972 they were invited to my office including the hon. member, who attended it as one of the attendants of the Syiem. They were consulted fully and it will be wrong to say that before the appointment of the Commission people should be consulted or a referendum should be held. it may be necessary on certain issues to have referendum and it may be helpful. But here we are in a parliamentary system of Government or democracy in which the people elect their representatives - 500 and odd in parliament and here 60 Members out of the population of 10 lakhs. This means that the people entrusted them for five years to decide things and programmes. Or shall we go back to the old Greek City States? I am afraid that we have to go to the people and hold a referendum before appointing a Commission.

*Mr. Speaker :- May I point out that there here is not the place for discussing the merits and demerits of referendum or challenge whether the Government is afraid. It is the usual charge that the Government is afraid and that you may expect from any Opposition. But the real test is always in a general election. I will now take the liberty of holding the referendum .....

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On a point of order. Rule 233 says that the Member who is to move the motion may speak again by way of reply.

Mr. Speaker :- That is not in Cut Motions.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I bow down to your ruling Mr. Speaker, Sir. The opposition throws the dust and that we are afraid and are trying to do this and that.

Mr. Speaker :- One accusation is equally matched with another accusation.

        Now I put the question before the House. The question is the total provision of Rs.44,000.00 under Supplementary Demand No.1, Major Head "9-Land Revenue". Minor head 8 - Land Records, sub-head (c) - Land Reforms Commission at page 1 of the list of supplementary demands be reduced to Rs.1.00, i.e. the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.44,000.00 do stand reduced to Re.1. The motion is negatived.

The Cut Motion is lost.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- May I refer to Rule 292? The rule says : If the opinion of the Speaker as to the decision of a question is challenged, he shall order that the Lobby be cleared, provided that, if in the opinion of the Speaker, the division is unnecessarily claimed, he may ask the members who are for "Aye" and those for "No" respectively to rise in their places and, on a count being taken, he may declare the determination of the House".

Mr. Speaker :- If you press for that, I will do. Those who are in favour of the Cut Motion, please rise in their seats. Those who are against the motion, please rise. The result is -

Noes - 33

Ayes -8

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On  point of order, I think one member is not allowed to participate and I would invite your attention to Rule 296- Objection to vote of a member.

Mr. Speaker :- That is unnecessarily claimed. Even if you minus 10 the cut motion is lost. So I put the main question. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.44,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1974 for the administration of the head "9-Land Revenue". The motion is carried. The demand is passed.

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.2

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, Sir, to move that an additional amount of Rs.1,00,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "18-Parliament, State/Union Territory Legislature-B-State Legislatures".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut Motion, I put the question before of the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.1,00,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "18-Parliament, State/Union Territory Legislature-B-State Legislatures".

        The motion is carried. The demand is passed.

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.3

Sri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.20,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "19-General Administration-I-Heads of States and Ministers".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question. The question is that an additional an additional amount of Rs.20,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "19-General Administration-I-Heads of States and Ministers".

        The motion is carried. The demand is passed.

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.4

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.53,390 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "22-Jails."

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received one cut motion in the name of Prof. Majaw.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir I rise on a point of order here. Now this demand relates to the special jail at Mawlai, Shillong in which the under-trial prisoners from Nagaland are being kept. But here in the cut motion, it is stated to ventilate the grievances of under-trial prisoners in the Shillong Jail. There is no Shillong Jail. We have got District Jail and Special Jail and therefore, I cannot presume what is going to be discussed.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- The word "Shillong' means the place where the Jail actually is, and Mawlai is in Shillong.

Mr. Speaker :- We should be more technical on this though I would like to respect the hon. member who would move the cut motion. But since on technical grounds, it does not state specifically the points which he wants to discuss, I rule it as out of order. Now I put the main question before the House.

        The question is that an additional amount of Rs.53,390 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "22-Jails".

        The motion is carried. the demand is passed.

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.5

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Planning) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.10,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "39-Miscellaneous, Social and Developmental Organisation-Other Miscellaneous Organisation-III-Planning Organisation, etc."

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received three cut motions in the names of Prof. M.N. Majaw, Shri F.K. Mawlot and Shri H.S. Lyngdoh. I call upon Prof. Majaw.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.10,200 under supplementary demand No.5 Major Head "39-Miscellaneous, Social and Developmental Organisation-Other Miscellaneous Organisation-III-Planning Organisation, etc." sub-head Development Schemes (4th Five Year Plan) at page 5 of the list of supplementary demands be reduced by Rs.100 i.e., the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.10,200 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I have only two points to raise, Mr. Speaker, Sir, One of them is to add a word of caution in the implementation of this Half-a-Million jobs programme because of the grievances of one section of persons who were under the implementation of the programme, were sent to Umsning the Block headquarters for training in poultry farming. There are about 19/20 persons getting training in poultry farming under this Half-a-Million Job Programme. They are being trained for a month and a half. The proposal is that after their training, they are given five hundred rupees to build a large shed for fowls. They are given 250 fowls and some medicines and some feeds and they are supposed to return to the Department at the end of the year rupees two thousand.

        Having taken the fowls it is assumed that they have earned money by selling eggs and hens which normally should have been multiplied by this time. But had the Department looked into the economies of the programme, it would have discovered that by this planning the people have been plunged into indebtedness. Because this amount Rs.500.00 which is given to the people is not at all sufficient for constructing a large shed for keeping 250 hens in keeping with the standard of training imparted to them. Actual requirement for constructing a large shed would be Rs.1,500 and not Rs,500 for 250 hens.

        Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if there are 250 hens you can suppose or imagine 150 or 200 hens are laying eggs. Even taking the rate per day the total cost of feed comes to Rs.50 per day. So now if Rs.50 is spent only for the feed alone per day then the return from 200 eggs per day ultimately will come to Rs.2,000. At the end of the year they will be indebted to the tune of Rs.13,000. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a valid grievances and I would request the Government to look into the matter and see that the unemployed youths are not plunged into further indebtedness. Thank you.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- I rise to support the cut motion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have some grievances under this Half-a-Million Jobs Programme. It seems this programme is a failure, because we have seen that even after advertising and promising to give vehicles to the unemployed youths of the State, but after the interview they are offered training for sewing machine. This is quite contrary to what has been envisaged in the scheme. It is also shameful for the Department that after circulating to all M.L.As that there are 60 vehicles meant for the educated unemployed youths and after applying for trucks, training should be given for sewing machines.

(loud laughter)

        And it is also not very sure whether they will get these sewing machines or not. Therefore, Sir, I would like to say that there should be proper scrutiny of this Half-A-Million Jobs Scheme before any advertisement is made. With these few words, I support the cut motion.

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion under Half-a-Million Jobs Programme. There is also a provision for appointment of teachers and the Government has already appointed some teachers and these teachers were sent to the Schools without proper intimation to the Managing Committees. Whether there is any vacancy or not, the Government is not aware. The Managing Committee is simply shocked when somebody will approach them and say that he has been appointed by the Government as a teacher in that school. This is also for only 2 or 3 months. Now if that man is allowed to teach in that school the whole routine of the whole calendar year has to be changed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would lie to request the Government in this matter that if  these teachers are at all to be appointed, they should be sent there to serve for not less than one year otherwise this will disturb the whole teaching process of the school. Also I would request that if the Department wants at all to send teachers to schools, they should give prior intimation to the Managing Committees so that they may make proper arrangements for that. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker :- Now I would ask the Minister for Planning to reply.

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister for Planning, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate and welcome the criticisms and suggestions made under this scheme. This is a Central scheme we are implementing in the State, i.e., the Half-a-Million Jobs Programme. Now we had the difficulties in that scheme. Firstly, even after advertisement we got very poor response. We had to re-advertise for getting applications even for the post of teachers and others. Then time is very short for examining all those applications and so on. Secondly, about the vehicle we have also to get the co-operation from the Banks, because money has to come from the Banks. We pursued the Banks to realise the difficulties of the people. Therefore, I do welcome all suggestions and I assure that the Department concerned will look into the matter.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with the assurances given by the Minister-in-charge, I beg leave to withdraw the cut-motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. member leave of the House to withdraw his cut-motion (Voices-yes, yes). The cut motion with leave of the House stands withdrawn.

        Now Mr. Mawlot to move his cut-motion.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not understand what happens. I have submitted a cut-motion on Demand No.6 which appears at page 6 of the list of Supplementary demands but I do not know how my name appeared in cut-motion on Demand No.5.

Mr. Speaker :- I do not think that the words tally with this demand. It must have been a mistake, let me check up with my office.

So, Mr. Mawlot will not move

Nor Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh will move.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- I will not move, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- The question is that an additional amount of Rs.10,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "39-Miscellaneous, Social and Developmental Organisation-Other Miscellaneous Organisation-III-Planning Organisation, etc." The motion is carried. The demand is passed.

        Will the Minister-in-charge of Town and Country Planning move Grant No.6.

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.6

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Town and Country Planning) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, Sir, to move that an additional amount of Rs.45,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "39 Miscellaneous Social and Developmental Organisation-VIII-Town and Country Planning Organisations".

Mr. Speaker :- Grant is moved, Mr. Majaw to move his cut-motion.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.45,000 under supplementary demand No.6 Major Head "39-Miscellaneous, Social and Developmental Organisation-VIII-Town and Country Planning Organisation" Minor Head-Quarters Sub-Head Pay, etc at page 6 of the list of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.100 i.e., the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.45,000 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can raise a discussion to ventilate the grievances of tribal employees in the office of the Town and Country Planner.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I will be very brief, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The grievances is this, that there is a great gentleman who is a Town and Country Planner who sometimes behaves discourteously with his employees in the office. There has been a specific example that Christian employees were asked to work on Sundays ..........

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Majaw that is more or less a social problem and not an administrative problem. May I ask the Minister whether such a complaint has been received by him?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Town and Country Planning etc.) :- No Sir, I have not received any complaint. If this is brought to our notice, it can be solved administratively.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- They are afraid to go to the higher authority as they have to pass through proper channel and the proper channel is the very man himself and so naturally they had to come to us, particularly those who had to work on Sundays.

*Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- They, being the Government servants, have to approach you then for this purpose, Mr. Speaker, Sir!

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We are servants of the public and we are servants of all .......

*Mr. Speaker :- Let us try to be more reasonable here. To bring this kind of problem inside the House means an act of discipline on the part of the Government employees and I do not know what will be the fate of these people.

*Prof. Majaw :- We hope the situation will not be worse after this.

*Mr. Speaker :- If there is any such kind of things, advise them to approach the higher authority to look into the matter.

*Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Has this been brought to the notice of the Minister-in-charge?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We have advised them to go to the Minister but of course they are shy to go to the Minister.

        The basis of the cut-motion is to ventilate the grievances of the tribal employees ......

(interruptions)

*Mr. Speaker :- There are grievances of the people at large, but when it comes to the Government servants they are the people who were appointed on certain rules and conditions. So, it is the duty of Government to improve their conditions, it is up to them to see to that. But if they want to go outside the Government, then of course I am sorry they will have to face the music.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Town and Country Planning) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I make a definite assurance here that our Government will always continue to try to see to the best interest of our employees. There have been many problems that have been brought to our notice and were being corrected. We are human beings and so there many mistakes; but they are corrected. So we welcome any M.L.A., or public leader to bring this to our attention.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- In view of the very fine assurance given by the Minister I wish to ......

*Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- I support the motion of ventilating the grievances. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to add something here in this Town and Country Planning. You see, the Nongstoin Civil Sub division has come into being one year back and also the Simsanggiri new Sub division has come into being almost at the same time, but it is a fact that Simsanggiri Sub division has come into existence 3 days or few days later than the Nongstoin Sub division, the planning authority of township .....

(Interruption)

Mr. Speaker :- That is a subject to be brought in another cut-motion and not for the grievances of tribal employees in the office of the Town and Country Planning.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just support the cut-motion.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I think, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Minister has already replied to my cut-motion and in view of the reply, I beg leave to withdraw my cut-motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Has Prof. Majaw withdrawn it?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Yes.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. member leave of the House to withdraw his cut-motion? (Voices - Yes, yes)

        The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.

Mr. Speaker :- Now I put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.45,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "39 Miscellaneous Social and Developmental Organisation-VIII-Town and Country Planning Organisation".

        The motion is carried and demand is passed.

        Somehow or other, Mr. Mawlot said that he could not move his cut-motion on Grant No.6 Actually he wanted to move the  cut-motion on Grant. No.5. Here is the original and the amount is actually the one which is included in Grant No.5. I mean it is the genuine mistake on his part and not on the part of my office.

        Now, the Minister-in-charge Industries (Power and Electricity) to move Grant No.7.

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.7

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy, (Minister, Power, etc.,) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation ,of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.40,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "45-Electricity Schemes, etc".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received one cut-motion in the name of Prof. M.N. Majaw.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy, (Minister, Power etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to intervene that the cut-motion is supposed to deal with the Hydel Project but the demand is simply for Thermal Project in Meghalaya and it is not dealing with the Hydel Project at all. Therefore the cut-motion is not in order.

Mr. Speaker :- Yes, Prof. Majaw. You cannot raise a discussion through the cut-motion to ventilate the grievances of those affected or about to be affected by the proposed hydel projects.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- May I point out, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that my intention was since the main head is common, I think we would be able to raise a discussion.

Mr. Speaker :- Not on cut-motions. So the cut motion is out of order. Now I put the main question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.40,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "45-Electricity Schemes,- etc".

        The motion is carried and the demand is passed.

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.8

*Capt. W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.60,000.00 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "50-Public Works (excluding Establishment Tool and Plant) etc."

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received as many as four cut-motions. The first one stands in the name of Shri F.K. Mawlot, the second one in the name of Shri R. Lyngdoh, the third in the name of Shri L. Bareh and the fourth in the name of Shri H.S. Lyngdoh.

        I would now call upon Mr. Mawlot to move first.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.60,000 under Supplementary demand No.8 Major Head "50-Public Works (excluding Establishment Tool and Plant) etc.", at page 8 of the list of supplementary demands be reduced by Rs.100 i.e. the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.60,000 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

Mr. Speaker :- Cut Motion moved. Now you can discuss the grant to ventilate the necessity of immediate construction of one Police Out-post at Markasa.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a known fact to most of the hon. members of this august House that Markasa is a central place where most of the crimes are committed and the criminals are jailed here in Shillong.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Second to Mawhati.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Of course, I do not know about Mawhati, but Sir, it is very important to have one Outpost in Markasa which will cater to the areas in Mawiang Syiemship as well as the Nobosohphoh Syiemship where it is very suitable to establish a Police Out-post. For the information of the House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, one Sub-Inspector, of Police Nongstoin, had visited the place and he has also consulted the land owner for the construction of a house to house the Police personnel in Markasa. I do not know whether the Government has got any information about this. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, the land owner has agreed to give a plot of land and also the local people welcomed this and I only want the Government to see to this matter and action should not be delayed in any manner.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, by way of supporting the cut-motion......

Mr. Speaker :- You do not like to move your cut motion?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Sir, in supporting the cut-motion I found that many Government Offices, many Government servants sent to the interior are not provided with housing facilities. Police is one of the organisations which the State Government used to provide with housing facilities. But at Mawkyrwat Out-post, the police personnel have not been provided with housing facilities till now in spite of the acquisition proceedings having been completed since the time of the Assam Government.

Mr. Speaker :- No. That is also a new point, because in the cut-motion of Mr. Mawlot it is specifically mentioned about Police Out-post at Markasa.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- But Sir, I am referring to this as I am not going to move my cut motion separately.

Mr. Speaker :- You are only trying to substantiate.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Yes Sir, and I am also giving the main point which is in my cut motion, that at Mawkyrwat the Police personnel require a building since the Police out-post there is now occupying some quarters in the Block Headquarter which is inconvenient- to the public and the locality of that area. So I would request that Government should, as far as possible and with the money voted by the Assembly, see that not only at Mawkyrwat and Markasa but all over the State Police should be provided with housing facilities. With these few words Sir, I support the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Shri D.D. Pugh, Minister of State in-charge of Public Works Department to reply.

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State P.W.D) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the hon. Members of the House know very well the demand now under discussion by this House concerns the construction of certain Police Housing Schemes. It is unfortunate that in the Explanatory Notes, we did not specify the exact schemes that we have in mind and, therefore, I believe that the hon. Members have raised the question of the need to have one Police Quarters constructed at Markasa and another at Mawkyrwat. In this regard, I would only say that when the Government as such does decide to construct these Police Quarters in the two named villages, the Public Works Department will very definitely have the plans and estimates prepared and on the completion of the plans and estimates and other formalities, the construction work of these Police Quarters will be undertaken. In view of this assurance given. Mr. Speaker, Sir through you, I would request the hon. members to kindly withdraw the cut motion.

*Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the assurance given by the hon. Minister of State that this case would be taken up or looked into by the Government, I withdraw the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion?

(Voices - yes, yes)

        The cut motion is, with leave of the House, withdrawn.

        Now, Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, will you move?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- No, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Lewis Bareh.

Shri Lewis Bareh (Rymbai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.60,000 under Supplementary Demand No.8 Major Head "50-Public Works (excluding Establishment Tools and Plant) etc.", at page 8 of the list of supplementary demands be reduced by Rs.100 i.e. the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.60,000 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can raise a discussion on the failure of the Department for payment of house rent being occupied by the Police Out-post at Khliehriat and to raise a discussion on the failure of the Department for payment of land compensation on the proposed site for construction of Police Housing Scheme.

Shri L. Bareh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in moving the cut motion I beg to state that the Government when established a Police Out-post at Khliehriat and because of the Department's failure to construct the building for occupation by the Police personnel, these personnel have had to occupy a rented house from the local people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has come to my notice that the house rent for the year 1972-73 has not been paid. Actually, Sir, at the time of taking possession of the house, the owner had been assured that rent would be paid from month to month. But that could not be fulfilled and the house-owner, a certain local lady, has had to suffer due to the non-payment of rent since 1972-73. Therefore, Sir, the Government or the Department has totally failed to make payment of rent for the house already occupied by the Police Out-post at Khliehriat and all the following months of the current year 1973-74. Another point that I want to raise here, Sir, is that very recently they have started constructing a building on a building site allotted for this purpose, if I am not mistaken, since 1963-64. The site is in a very convenient area but the construction work has been carried out progressively. It seems, however, the work will be completed very soon. But. Sir, the Police personnel are encroaching outside the allotted area without the knowledge or consent of the people and, as such, there is an ill-feeling among the people there that even our own Government do not take care of the rights of the public. With these few words, I move my cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Nevertheless, though the cut motion stands automatically withdrawn yet, for the benefit of the House, I invite the Minister of State to give a clarification.

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, three points have been raised by the hon. Member though, in the cut motion, he has given notice of only two. Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you have asked me to reply despite the fact that the cut motion stands withdrawn ....

Mr. Speaker :- It is only for the interest of the House.

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- I shall also take this opportunity to reply to all the three points. On the question of non-payment of house rent in respect of the Police Out-post at Khliehriat, I would only like to inform the House that we have no information whatsoever until the cut motion was received and immediately on receipt of this information in the form of a cut motion, we have taken steps to have the matter looked into and it is my firm belief that the matter will be settled in due course.

        In respect of the second point raised concerning the non-payment of land compensation, I would like to remind the hon. Member the fact that land compensation in respect of any land, acquired by the Government, a certain procedure has to be gone through with the co-operation of the Revenue Department. These formalities are at present being gone through and processed and at the moment these formalities are observed completely and compensation will be paid.

        Now the third point that was raised was the question of encroachment of some people to the site selected for the construction of Police head-quarters. Now, as I said earlier, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member who has moved the Cut Motion did not give notice even in the Cut Motion of his intention to raise this point. However, I will only say that the Government has taken note of this fact and the matter shall be looked into.

Mr. Speaker :- Now, Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh to move his Cut Motion.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.60,000 under supplementary demand No.8 Major Head "50-Public Works (excluding Establishment, Tools and Plant) etc.", at page 8 of the list of supplementary demands be reduced by Re.1.00 i.e. the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.60,000 do stand reduced to Re.1.00.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can raise a discussion to disapprove the policy of the Government in implementing the schemes.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in fact I do not have any more to say here now in this Motion, but I just want only to say something that another demand within this supplementary demand is being demanded on the same subject for the same scheme as will be seen on page 13 of the list of supplementary demands. Sir, this demand is for the Police housing scheme.

Mr. Speaker :- It is quite different Mr. Lyngdoh.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- Any way, under this demand it is stated very clearly for the Police housing scheme. But there in demand No.12 there are two things - one is that Rs.1 lakh 15 thousand was sanctioned for the scheme by the North Eastern Council and then another is that a total amount of Rs. 4,05,000 was demanded which is quite a big amount under demand No.12.

Mr. Speaker :- You can discuss when we come to the demand.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- No. Sir, it is related Sir, to provide double grants for the some scheme from different heads of expenditure is very much objectionable. This Sir, will lead to the misuse of one of the amounts because only for one scheme. If this is the policy of the Government in implementing the grants under two or three heads for the same scheme, then it make us to think that there may be scope for corruption or misuse of the the money.

Mr. Speaker :- So far as heads of accounts are concerned they are based on the whole proforma prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and this procedure is followed everywhere. Let us confine to one demand now.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- So Sir, under demand 12. I just want to make a reference that to provide money from two heads may lead to misuse or corruption of the money.

Mr. Speaker :- I have already pointed out that the classification of the head of accounts is not the policy of the Government. It is a technical matter based on the proforma usually prescribed by the Comptroller and the Auditor General of India. So any body to support the Motion?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I rise to support the Motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department to reply.

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, actually I would like to admit and confess before the House that I was completely flabbergasted when I see the intention of the hon. Member in which he says that he wants to raise a discussion to disapprove the Government policy in implementing schemes. I would like to know whether he expects the Government not to implement the schemes. Of course, English is not our mother tongue and that being the case, the hon. member is dissatisfied with implementing the schemes by the Government itself. I would only like to say for the benefit of the hon. Member who has moved the Cut Motion that these schemes that are being effected now are required for the construction of the A.S.I's quarters.

Mr. Speaker :- May I inform the Minister also that the hon. Member raised the question as to why this demand was put under two heads.

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- I would like to inform the hon. Member, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that provision for Police Housing Schemes has been sought for under two different Demands. The principles adopted by the Finance Department for exhibiting correct classification of the schemes upto Rs.1 lakh and above 1 lakh, demand for Rs.60,000 has been placed under Revenue because the other scheme has been separately demanded as it exceeds one lakh in value.

Mr. Speaker :- Now it is one o'clock. I put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.60,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "50-Public Works (excluding Establishment, Tools and Plants) etc." (The Motion is carried and the Demand is passed).

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.9

        Let us pass on to item No.9. I put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.1,05,350, only be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "71-Miscellaneous-VIII-Civil Defence, etc."

        (The Motion is carried and the demand is passed).

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.10

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to item No.10. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.3,000, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "77-Extra Ordinary Charges".

        (The Motion is carried, the demand is passed)

SUPPLEMENTARY  DEMAND No.11

Mr. Speaker :- Let us now pass on to Demand No.11. I put the question before the House; the question is that an additional amount of Rs.27,70,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "96-Capital Outlay on Industrial and Economic Development".

        (The Motion is carried, the demand is passed).

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.12

Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to Grant No.12. I put the question before the House; the question is that an additional amount of Rs.4,05,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "103-Capital Outlay on Public Works outside the Revenue Accounts, etc."

        (The Motion is carried, the demand is passed).

SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND No.13

Mr. Speaker :- Let us now come to Grant No.13. I put the question before the House; the question is that an additional amount of Rs.76,700 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1974 for the administration of the head "Q-Loans and Advances, etc. -VII-Loans to Displaced Persons".

        (The Motion is carried, the demand is passed).

Mr. Speaker :- Now let us pass on to item No.4. Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister-in-charge of Finance.


The Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House; the question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974.

        (The motion is carried, leave is granted).

Mr. Speaker :- Before I ask the Finance Minister to introduce the Bill, let me read a message from the Governor.

"Governor's Secretariat

Raj Bhavan

Kohima"

24-3-74

        "In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974.

Sd/- Lallan Prasad Singh

Governor"

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Finance Minister to move.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the main question before the House; the question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974 be introduced.

        The motion is carried, the Bill is introduced.

        (The Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, read out the title of the Bill)

Mr. Speaker :- The Bill may be distributed to the hon. Members now.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I enquire if the House sits beyond 1 o'clock?

Mr. Speaker :- According to Rule, it will have to sit till the whole financial transaction is completed. Before I ask the Finance Minister  to move that the bill be taken into consideration, let me read out a message from the Governor.

"Governor's Secretariat

Raj Bhavan

Kohima"

The 24th March, 1974

    "In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (3) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the consideration of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974.

Sd/- Lallan Prasad Singh

Governor"

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974 be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House; the question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974 be taken into consideration.

        The motion is carried.

        Since there is no amendment to the Bill, may I ask the Finance Minister to move that the Bill be passed.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974 be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the main question before the House; the question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 1974 be passed.

        The motion is carried, the Bill is passed.

        Now, there are three items to be taken up. May I have the sense of the House that we may extend the sitting till the three other items of business are disposed of. Shall we sit now till we complete all the business listed for the day?

(Voices ; Yes, yes).

        Let us now come to item No.5. The Meghalaya Finance (Sales-Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1974 Minister-in-charge of Finance.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales-Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1974 be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House; the question is that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales-Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1974 be taken into consideration.

        The motion is carried.

        Since there is no amendment to the Bill, the Finance Minister may move that the Bill is passed.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales-Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1974 be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the main question before the House; the question is that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales-Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1974 be passed.

        The motion is carried, the Bill is passed.

        Let us now come to item No.6.  Minister-in-charge of Finance.


The Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1974

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1974 be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the main question before the House; the question is that the Meghalaya Finance  Bill,1974 be taken into consideration.

        The motion is carried.

        But I have received notice of amendment to Clause 2 which stands in the name of Prof. M.N. Majaw, you move your amendment.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that in Clause 2 of the Bill, the words "Three paise" appearing against the column in respect of items 1, 2 and 3 in line one shall be substituted by the words "One paisa" and in Clause 2 of the Bill, the words "Two paise" appearing against the column in respect of item 4 in line one shall be substituted by the words "one paisa". Mr. Speaker, Sir, I admit that this may appear as a mere formality of announcing the rates for Purchase Tax every year. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to point out that the conditions prevailing in the State are so special that I feel there should be a reduction in the incidence of the Purchase Tax. According to the Schedule, the items that are being taxed are raw jute, raw hides and skins, bones of animals. reptiles, fishes and paddy. In all of these four items Mr. Speaker, Sir, three of the effect the life of many people of our State. Almost all of us eat rice which comes from paddy and many of us wear shoes which come from raw hides and skins and the rice that comes to us is packed in woven jute. In that way, Mr. Speaker, Sir, tax on these items-on raw jute, hides and skins and paddy-has affected the life of the common people in the State. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, the incidence of taxation is not much. Of course the total annual collection may not need a sum of Rs.4,700. I know that the sum fluctuates between Rs.4,000 to Rs.5,000. It is a small sum, Sir, to the Government that has a budget of crores of rupees. But to our people Mr. Speaker, Sir, even one paisa is equal to hundred rupees. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we should realise and I would like to request the Government, through you, to realise that we have no other means of communication for travel except through the Gauhati-Shillong Road. There is no air service, no steamer service as yet in this State. The exorbitant cost of tyres for motor cars and also the petrol has thereby raised the cost of living not only in Shillong but everywhere in the State of Meghalaya. The price here in Shillong reflects the price index in the rural areas of the Meghalaya State. This Purchase Tax, although in the first place, is paid by the stock-keeper or person in the trade but ultimately the tax is pushed on to the consumers which is not finally paid by the trader. The trader pays the money in the first instance but realises it from the common man. Let us now request the Government to realise that it will not involve a large sum of money if they reduce it from 3 paise to one paisa. I know the Government has to function. It is really a token tax and since it is a token tax and since reduction would not amount very much - it will be only Rs.2,500 or Rs.3,000 - yet it will be a good gesture on the part of the Government to the people of the State who are now suffering from high price index particularly in Shillong, where the price indices have been registered as in India. So I feel that this Purchase Tax may be reduced from 3 paise to one paisa in the first case and in the second case from two paise to one paisa, this may be a great help to the people in shouldering the burden of this tax at least for those who belong to the poorest section of the community. So also for paddy, hides and skins and raw jute, I feel the incidence of taxation should be reduced. Thank you.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the question of tax in the State as I have already indicated in the earlier sessions the State Government of Meghalaya have first to adopt the laws and rules that have come into existence in these areas during the composite State of Assam. But immediately after the formation of the State of Meghalaya, we had appointed or constituted a Taxation Inquiry Committee to study afresh and not to follow blindly what has been going on for years together. The Committee is functioning now in full progress and we do invite the opinions and suggestions Questionnaires were sent to the business organisation, political organisation and the voluntary organisation and also to the members of this august House to give suggestions and to come to discuss also. As a matter of fact last week we were sitting with the representatives of the business organisation and individual members who appeared before the Committee and gave their valuable suggestion. Therefore, it would have been better if the hon. Members would have given suggestions and opinions and discuss with the Taxation Inquiry Committee; it would be really best today to look at all aspects of taxation in the State. Therefore, I would request the hon. Member in view of the constitution of the taxation committee - I would request that we may wait and the question may be left to the committee to make its recommendation and the House will have full opportunity to discuss the recommendations of the committee. In view of this I would request the hon. Member to withdraw his amendment.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is true no doubt that there is a Taxation Inquiry Committee but even so since the loss of revenue to the Government amounts to Rs.2,500 which can be easily met through economic stringency, I am sure that it is like an angle, one point is so narrow and at the end it is very wide. Rs.2,500 make the economic condition of the people very grave through the incidence is small. I do not see why the Finance Minister or the Government cannot accept this amendment.

Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh :- Even the crime must be considered. In view of the fact that I have stated the committee is about to complete its job. It will serve no purpose for the Government to do it now.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I do not see any reason why the committee which is something else will do this in future. I am sorry Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot convince myself to withdraw it .....

Mr. Speaker :- Since Prof. Majaw did not withdraw his amendment, I put the amendment before the House. That in Clause 2 of the Bill, the words "Three paise" appearing against the column in respect of items 1, 2 and 3 in line one shall be substituted by the words "One paisa" and in Clause 2 of the Bill, the words "Two paise" appearing against the column in respect of item 4 in line one shall be substituted by the words "one paisa".

(The amendment was lost by voice Vote)

        Now, I put the main question. The question is that Clause (2) does stand part of the Bill? The motion is carried. Clause (2) does stand part of the Bill.

        The question is that Clause (1), the Preamble, the Enacting Formula and the Title of the Bill do not stand part of the Bill.

        The motion is carried. Clause (1), the Preamble, the Enacting Formula and the Title of the Bill do form part of the Bill.

        I now ask the Finance Minister to  move that the Bill be passed?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1974 be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I now put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1974 be passed.

        The motion is carried and the Bill is passed.


The Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1974.

        Let us then pass on to item No.7. But before I ask the Finance Minister to move, I have a message from the Governor.

Raj Bhavan

Shillong.

The 21st March, 1974.

    "In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (3) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1974.

Sd/- Lallan Prasad Singh

Governor of Meghalaya"

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1974 be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House; the question is that the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1974 be taken into consideration.

        (The Motion was carried by voice vote.)

        In the meantime I have received a notice fro the Finance Minister himself who seems to be more and more generous as days pass by and he intends to move an amendment to Clause (b) of Section 2.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move an amendment to Section 2, Clause (b) in lines 2 and 3 that in place of Rs.200, Rs.250.00 be substituted.

Mr. Speaker :- Nobody seems to be against. So, I put the question before the House. The question is that Clause (2) as amended does stand part of the Bill?

        (The motion was carried by voice vote). Clause (2) as amended, does stand part of the Bill?

        Let me put another question. The question is Clause (1), the Preamble, the Enacting Formula and the Title of the Bill do form part of the Bill. (The motion was carried by voice vote). Clause (1), the Preamble, the Enacting Formula and the Title of the Bill do form part of the Bill.

        Now, let me ask the Finance Minister to move the motion for passing.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1974, as amended, be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Bill, as amended, be passed.

        The Motion is carried and the Bill is passed.


Adjournment

Mr. Speaker :- Since there is no other business for the day, the House stands adjourned till 9 a.m. on Saturday, the 30th March, 1974.

R.T. RYMBAI,

Secretary,

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

*******