Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday the 11th march, 1975 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong.
Mr. Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up unstarred question No.5
(To which replies were laid on the Table)
Introduction of State Transport Bus Service on Tura Rongara Road.
Shri Brojendro Sangma asked;
5. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether there is nay proposal to introduce State Transport Bus Service on the Tura-Rongara Road?
(b) If so when?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh Minister of Transport Replied.
5(a) Yes Sir,
(b) A soon as Government is in a position to do so.
Playing of Meghalaya State Transport Buses
Shri Pleander Gare Momin asked :-
6. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleases to State :-
(a) Whether it is a fact that the government has taken final decision to ply Meghalaya State Transport buses on the Tura-Rongjeng-Dudhnai P.W.D. road.
(b) If so when will the service be introduced?
(c) Whether the Government proposes to open booking office at Shillong State Transport Bus Station for the Shillong Tura bound passengers?
(d) If so when?
(e) Whether there is a proposal to t ply Meghalaya State Transport buses from Shillong to Tura via Resubelpara Bajengdoba P.W.D. Road in the near future?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh Minister of Transport replied :-
6(a) No Sir,
(b) Does not arise.
(c) The Booking Office is already opened at Parking place opposite Anjalee Cinema.
(d) Does not arise.
(e) No firm decision has been taken in this matter.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- 6(e) whether Government is taking any decision?
Shri D.D. Pugh Minister Transport :- It is a fact that final decision has not yet taken but it does not necessarily mean that the matter is no being considered.
Shri Maham Singh :- Question No 6(e). Whether this booking office is located inside the office or in the open yard?
Shri D.D. Pugh Minister of Transport :- I require notice for that question.
Routes served by Meghalaya Transport Buses.
Shri Lewis Bareh asked,
7. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state:-
(a) The number of Meghalaya Transport Buses so far purchased "
(b) The names of routed in which the said transport buses are proposed to be placed?
(c) Whether Government had received any representations from the public regarding introduction of transport but service on the Jowai Baharpur road upto Ratasera?
(d) If so what action has been taken on this matter?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh Minister of Transport replied.
7(a) 24 Nos. buses.
(b) The buses are already operating on the following routes :-
(a) Shillong Cherra Shella route.
(b) Shillong Mawsynram route.
(c) Shillong Nongstoin route.
(d) Shillong Tura route and
(e) Shillong Jowai Nartiang route and the decision to introduces the Meghalaya Transport buses on other routes in the near future has not yet been taken.
(d) Does not arise.
Meghalaya Transport Buses.
Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :-
8. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state :-
(a) The total number of existing Meghalaya Transport Buses?
(b) The total number of those in running condition and of those off the road?
(c) The number of new buses indented in 1974-75?
(d) The number of plying on the road?
(e) The number of those still to arrive and the expected date of arrival?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh Minister of Transport replied :-
8. (a) Twenty four.
(b) Running condition 15 Nos off the road 9 Nos.
(c) 17 Nos.
(d) Please refer to (d) above.
(e) Seventeen Nos. within March 1975.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- Question No 8(b). why these 9 vehicles are off the road?
Shri D.D Pugh Minister Transport :- Because they are running condition, Mr. Speaker Sir and for very good reason most of the vehicles had done a very good mileage and they have attained that age when they require servicing and since we don't have the necessary workshop, they are off the road.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- Whether Government proposes to repair them or go for auction?
Shri D.D. Pugh Minister of Transport :- They will be repaired and will back on the road.
Allotment of broken rice by the Government of India.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-
9. Will the Minister in charge of Supply be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether it is a fact that the Government have been allotted with broken rice by the Government of India during the year 1974-75?
(b) If so the quantity thereof ?
(c) The agent appointment for dealing in with the same ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister in charge of Supply and Trade) replied :-
9. (a) Yes
(b) 1000 M. T.
(c) There are two agents appointed by the Government in dealing with the same viz. :-
(1) M/s E. M. and Sons Mawkhar Shillong.
(2) M/s B.K.J.P. Lama villa G.S. road Shillong.
Shri Maham Singh :- Question No. 9(a). Whether this broken rice is meant for human consumption or is meant as fodder to the cattle?
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Supply and Trade :- It is meant for both.
Shri Maham Singh :- May we know hoe it was sold?
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister Supply and Trade :- They were sold through permits issued by the Government.
Shri Maham Singh :- My point was whether it was sold through fair price shops or in the open market?
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister Supply and trade :- It was sold in the open market.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- May we know what quantity was meant for human consumption and what quantity for cattle?
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister Supply and Trade :- I that I require notice.
Transport facilities from Rongara to Balat.
Shri Brojendro Sangma asked.
10. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether Governments aware of the fact that there is no transport facilities right from Rongara t o Maheshkhola and Maheshkhola to Balat though there is a motorable road?
(b) If so when can transport facilities be extended to the areas?
Shri Darwin D. Pugh Minister Transport replied :-
10.(a) It is a fact that no buses belonging to the Meghalaya Transport are plying on the Rongara Maheshkhola Balat Road.
(b) Cannot be said with certainty as to when Meghalaya Transport Buses will be placed to serve these areas.
Coaching Centre in Sports
Shri Monendra Rabha asked.
11 Will the Minister in charge of Youths and Sports be please to state :-
(a) Whether there is any centre for coaching youth in sports in Meghalaya?
(b) If so where?
(c) The number with names of students so far deputed in the coaching centre?
(d) The duration of coaching period and the amount of scholarships granted to each?
Shri Sandford K. Marak Minister in charge of Youth Social Welfare and Sports) replied :-
11. (a) No- Sir,
(b), (c) & (d) Do not arise ion view of (a) above.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- Whether Government proposes to open such centres in the near future?
Mr. Speaker :- It is not relevant since the answer is No' because as per rules on questions the supplementary question should be primarily related to the main question.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- Then I may put the question i n that way why no coaching centre is opened?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister in charge of Youth Social Welfare and Sports) :- The matter is being negotiated with NISC.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- May we know what are the terms of negotiation?
Shri D.D. Pugh Minister Transport :- Mr. Speaker Sir, the terms and conditions that are being negotiated with NISC are that the NISC will set up one coaching centre at Shillong at the State level and one at Tura at the District level.
Debate of Governor's Address.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item. Since Shri H.S. Lyngdoh will not participate and I have received the information from the HSPDP party that tin this place Shri Francis K. Mawlot who could no conclude his speech yesterday may be allowed to speak to day. Now Mr. Mawlot.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I have just read a portion relating to Cooperatives from page 7 of the Governor's Address. It has been mentioned about realisation of overdue that the Cooperative Societies in the different areas are to repay to the banks. Mr. Speaker Sir at a glance one would appreciate and support the Government for the extension of financial assistance to the farmers. At the end of the year when the farmer is asked to repay the loan to the banks he usually hesitates to do so. Even if the farmer are asked many times they hesitated. The question is why they do so I was told that the hesitated. The question is Why they do so I was told that the grants given to these Cooperative Societies were given sometimes very late an besides late disbursement of amount the Secretary or the Chairman of certain Cooperative Societies does not get the full amount which was sanctioned. There is always some amount less on amount of deductions. The loaness were not told for what purpose that amounts were deduction and what are the reasons and why they should pay the deducted amounts. For example Mr. Speaker Sir if a man is given Rs.5000 in cash we can understand that he got this amount of Rs.5000 in cash and he will repay Rs.500 in cash. But in the papers it was written Rs.500. Where has the balance of Rs.200 which he was not given gone? Was it given to the grantee in kind or that was deducted for some other purpose? The point there is that this deduction of Rs.200 was not given to understand to the recipient of the loan and whether he has to repay that amount also. This is one of the reasons why the farmer hesitate to repay the loan which they have taken. So, Sir if the system of running the cooperative societies is not rectifies and reoriented I am afraid that the existing cooperative societies will be some sort of incentive to encourage corruption.
Mr. Speaker Sir, on the same page first paragraph the Governor had mentioned about the Indo Danish Project. In the first instance we from the Opposition Benches were also happy when we came to know that some Danish experts have come to our rescue to help us in dairy development. Time went short and we w ere told that the two Danish experts who have come to Upper Shillong to assist our Government have resigned and gone away. They have left and I do not think our Government would again be able to persuade them to come to our assistance.
Mr. Speaker :- Whether they have resigned or they have just left.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I am tool that they have resigned
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister Industries :- Only one person left but the other expert is still here.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- I am glad to have that information. But I want to put a word of caution to the Government that the same thing should no happen to the other person. Who is still here because of the misbehaviour of our officers or some Government officials the people coming from outside the country to assist this Government had to go away. I therefore just want to sound a note of caution to the Government that such thing happened because of lack of administration or the looseness of the administration and Government is not in a position to control the officers thereby the officer care less for the administration.
I am glad that the assets of the Assam State Warehousing Corporation were taken over by the Meghalaya Government. But Mr. Speaker Sir we must not be satisfied with only one ware house which we have taken over from the Assam Government. Actually we must have as many Warehouses as required for storage of our produces. Yesterday the hon. Member from Mendipathar has mentioned in the course of his speech that the Government has thought only for marketing of potato in which I do no think this Governmental really succeeded. What are the achievements of this Government in the marketing of potato? The hon. Member from Mendipathar was telling the House yesterday that there is no mention of Government's efforts to market other produces which our people produce in the State. For example cotton and other horticultural produces, like ginger spices and so on. We have huge quantities of Broomsticks coming to Shillong in the winter season when the price of brooms is kept constant for weeks. But when summer starts the price goes down because the middlemen who deal in broomsticks fo no purchase them anymore when rain starts. We know for sure that broomsticks are available in plenty and I do no know how many lakh tonnes we will get if we collect them from the whole State. What steps have Government taken to try to help the local businessmen to sell the broomstick at a certain period of the year when the price is higher? The people are not getting the benefit of this high price because in the dry season they rush their produce to the market whereas the middle men fix the price according to their own wish and at the same time there is no one to complete with him and also Government do not control the price. Therefore Government should look into this matter to help the local entrepreneurs.
Mr. Speaker :- But they themselves may become middlemen.
Shri Plansing Marak :-But Sir this is a district Council affair because brooms so far I know are dealt with the district Council .
Mr. Speaker :- But the Government also can do if they like. They can advise the District councils.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Sir, to say that because this matter is being dealt with by the district Council the Government has to knowledge about it, I think is very wrong.
Shri Plansing Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir suppose we propose to increase the price of brooms and if the District Council dies not agree!.
Mr. Speaker :- I think you better leave it to t the Minister to give a reply.
Shri F. K . Mawlot :- Now let me come to page 8 of the Governor's Address relating to Industrial development and Mineral resources. Para 2 of the Address stated "Out of the industries mentioned in my address last year, Associated Beverages Meghalaya Ply Woods and Komorrah Lime Stone Mining Co. Ltd. have stated functioning'. Mr. Speaker Sir this ia al I said yesterday a policy statement of the Government. But on proper scrutiny I found that tit is merely like a Progress Report usually given by the school authorities to the kinder garden students. I do not find anything new in this Governor's Address of this year and that of last year. The same things were repeated page by page excepting that they were put in a different language in a more polished manner instead of saying I love you', they have put the word "I like you".
Mr. Speaker Sir, these are the only things which I would like to touch upon after I have carefully read these two addresses Sir, the Associated Beverages and the Meghalaya Plywood, the two Industrial Institutions are the private sector Industries. I do not understand what is the difficulty of our Government for no stetting up the same on public sector.
Mr. Speaker :- In so far as industries are concerned, you are in favour of the public sector whereas in so far as trading in broom is concerned, you are speaking for giving encouragement to local entrepreneurs.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- This depends upon circumstances. We have to see to the feasibility, as in this same page we read the words "feasibility studies are in progress". Each trade depends on the feasibility of that trade. Mr. Speaker Sir if Government shall take up marketing of sweeping broom on public sector, we shall be very glad, but since there is no sign of the Government moving in that direction, I pleaded for encouragement of our local entrepreneurs. But Mr. Speaker, Sir here if our Government could explore the industries on a public complex or public sector, this would help solve the problem of unemployment tot a considerable extent. As far as these two firms are concerned, I do no know how much the Government has invested and how much our Government has earned revenue from them.
Mr Speaker Sir, we have Silimanite in our State, one of the rare minerals in the world. We have this Silimanite in our state which other countries do no have it. Yet our Government fo not want to develop this precious mineral which we have here and Government do not own this mineral. However, Sir, if we want to raise the economic development of our people, we should have started taking over the management of the Silimanite Company by the Government on a public sector. But instead our Government had given the lease for exploiting the same to the Hindustan steel Ltd.
Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean to say about the mineral or factory?
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- You see, Sir, I say this because this Government have disowned both, they did not even claim that this mineral is available in our State. They have given ownership to the Hindustan Steel Ltd. Mr. Speaker Sir if this benign Government is sincere, they should have started to construct a Refectory Plant either here in Shillong or in Byrnihat which is an Industrial estate and extract, process and export Similarity on their own.
Mr. Speaker :- It is an industrial area and not industrial estate.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Well Sir, I do not dispute with you on that. If we could have this Refractory Plant, here in Meghalaya then I believe the unemployment problem confronting our State would have been eased to a great extent. (Bell rang) Is it not a fact that at present this Hindustan Steel Ltd.. is having its Refractory Plant somewhere in Bihar? Mr Speaker, Sir, please allow me another 2 or 3 minutes.
Let me come now to page 10 of the Governor's Address on transport and communication. Well Sir there are many things about the border area but let me wind up only in one item i.e. transport and communication. We have heard much that has been spoken of the difficulties faces by our people in the border areas on both sides that of Bangladesh as well as that of Assam. This Government had spent so far about Rs.73 lakhs for the development of our Border Areas. Rs. 5 lakhs in 1972-73, Rs.18 lakhs in 1973-74 and Rs.50 lakhs in 1974-75, Sir, I am poor in arithmetic but when I try to sum up, it comes to a total of Rs.73 lakhs which our Government has spent. I do not know how much our border people are benefited. But in spite of this amount of Rs.73 lakhs which had been spent so far the border people seem to have gone from bad to worse. Mr. Speaker Sir if our Government is sincere it should have started constructing approach roads from different parts of the State towards the borders. Mr. Speaker Sir may I humbly suggest the Government to construct on road running between Meghalaya and the Assam border right from Khanapara to Malangkona a straight road so that encroachment is checked by the presence of the road.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Mawlot your time us up. You will have more opportunity to bring to the notice of the Government the points that you have not been able to bring forward. If your speak everything now you will no have no time left for budget discussion Now, Mr. P.N. Choudhury, I will give you 15 minute.
Shri P. N. Choudhury :- Mr. Speaker Sir, going through the 19 page Address of the Governor, I am very much surprised to find that the matter like Food and Civil Supplies have not got a place in the Address. It is because the Government is Complacent about the food position, Sir? Sir, our Government launched the Procurement Five this year in selected areas of this State. But there is no mention about the result of this five in this lengthy Address of the Governor. Is it because the drive was a failure Sir? Mr. Speaker Sir the food and civil supply has got a very important place in solving human problems. But the price of rice in the open marker has gone up to Rs.3.60 pre Kg which is beyond the purchasing capacity of the common man which is under the burden of price hikes or other incidence of taxes. Sir the common man remained almost where he was in spite of so many years of planning and the Government should come forward to relieve their burden and improve their load. Sir it is not known whether the Government has any plan to create buffer stock for the lean periods. We are always faced with high incidence of prices and scarcity of essential commodities and food stuff. so my suggestion to the Government through you Sir, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is to create a suffer stock for the lean periods fo that our people especially the common man should not face the same problem which they are facing for the last years. Sir as the time at my disposal is very short, I shall touch only a few point without elaborating my points. I want that the middle men should be done away within the food stuff trade and the Government would distribute the food stuff direct from F.C.I. godown to the Fair Price shops so that the profit that used to go to these middlemen go to the benefit of the consumers.
Secondly Government should come forward for State Trading in certain selected items so essential commodities. this will reduce black-marketing and high price in the market.
Mr. Speaker :- But yesterday the Leader of the Opposition has already observed that there is no inefficiency in the Government machinery.
Shri P.N. Choudhury :- Well that may be Sir. It is a matter of opinion. I am speaking or the food policy of Government. I don't say that everything is well with the Government. My point is that Government should take up procurement and distribution of certain selected items of food stuff and essential commodities. I don't say that they should rush to this field all on a sudden. Sir in the Governor's Address, there has been a reference to cooperative movement should be given greater stress because the socio-economic welfare of our people depends very much on this movement. But Sir I am sorry to say that this movement particularly in our State has not been attended to properly and it position is very bad. I may cite a few examples as to the cooperative movements are functioning in the State. In Khasi Hills our of 39 consumers cooperatives only 12 are functioning and the rest 25 are defunct. Sir, we have 8 fishery co-operative societies of which 2 are functioning and out of 56 industrial co-operative only 10 are functioning. And incase of the farming cooperatives, Sir, the picture is further dwindling. There were 10 such co-operatives and only one is functioning. Sir, if all co-operatives are liquidated or have become defunct, then what do we expect of them? so my suggestion is that the Government should keep stricter vigilance over these co-operative societies because Government is responsible for their lack of supervision and control over the affairs of these societies. If our Government is sincere in its action, the co-operative movement in the State will thrive. If the Government keep stricter vigilance to them, and if training facilities for the officers are arranged I believed the co-operative movement and co-operative societies can function properly. Sir, I would like to refer to another portion of the Governor's Address and I would like to make a few observation. sir, the Ruling Party in their resolution of 1960 assure the non-tribal residents of this State that they are ........
Mr. Speaker :- We are not concerned here with the resolution of the Ruling Party.
Shri P.N. Choudhury :- No Sir, because the APHLC is the Ruling Party and is running the Government. That is why I am referring to it.
Mr. Speaker :- They are all one party.
Shri P.N. Choudhury :- The resolution said the non-trial residents of Meghalaya will be safely and fully safeguarded. The Governor in his Address during the inaugural session in this Assembly also had spoken in the same vein and given the assurance. Sir, this assurance is not being fully implemented so far as the employment policy is concerned. The Chief Minister in the floor of this august House stated very clearly that 15% jobs will be given to the non-tribal residents of Meghalaya. Sir, I was indeed very happy to hear this policy declaration of the Chief Minister but in reality I find that these are not fully implemented. So I would request the Chief Minister through you, Sir, to make a categorical assurance that this 15% should be really given to the non-tribal residents. All requirement should be make from within the State. Of course if there is no qualified or trained person available within our State the Government, of cou5se, shall have to recruit from outside the State. But for justice and fairness, sake the local people's claim should not be ignored and recruitment should be from within the State as far as possible.
Then Sir, with regard to the revision of pay-scale and the Pay Commission's recommendation, the Governor has also stated that this has been implemented in certain categories of employees'. But I suggest that this should be extended to all the categories of employees whatever their rank. Sir, I like to mention about one particular point that is the discrimination between the Government School teachers and the Non Government School teachers. They perform the same nature of work and possess the same qualification. They should be given the same scale of pay and placed on the same footing so that they should be given the same benefits and under the same service terms and conditions. They should enjoy the same benefits as their counterpart in Government Schools are enjoying.
Mr. Speaker :- You mean to say that these schools should be nationalised.
Shri P.N. Choudhury :- No Sir................
Mr. Speaker :- Then your suggestion is to bring all these schools under a deficit system?
Shri P.N. Choudhury :- Yes, Sir. The Government school teachers get better scale of pay; they get medical benefit, and pension. So I also want that all these benefits should be extended to teachers of non Government Schools also. Otherwise we cannot expect better education in these schools. there will be always discontentment among them as their counterpart are getting more benefit, more emolument, etc. Their emolument, etc. should be at par undertakings like Pinewood Hotel. the employees of this Hotel are not getting what they deserve, so, may I request the Government through you, Sir, that the staff of the Pinewood Hotel should be given all benefits and allowances that other Government servants or employees of other Government undertaking are getting.
Sir, now I come to Sports. Sports play a very important part in the youth welfare. Government should give more impetus to the development of sports. There should be arrangement for training of our young sportsmen. Government should arrange for stipends of scholarship for talented sportsmen so that they might go for training outside the State. Sir, there are certain items of games which will be very suitable in this State. These are Volley Ball and Basket Ball and the Government should take steps to popularise these games because in the hilly terrain in this State these are well suited and they can be introduced in almost every nook and corner of the State. My request to the Government through you, Sir, is that more money should be allotted for development of Sports and Government should take effective steps and patronage the Associations and Clubs engaged in promotion of sports for development. Sir, in the Governor's Address there is a reference to the bifurcation of the Assam Meghalaya State Transport Corporation. While I support the proposal, I do not see how by mere bifurcation Government can improve the condition of service and amenities that passengers are now getting. Sir, what is worse at the present moment is lack of minimum amenities for the travelling public. There is no first class in the State Transport, there is also no tourist car and how can we expect tourists to come and visit our State unless we can provide better transport facilities to the tourists? The condition of the Jowai-Badarpur State Transport at Shillong is beggars description. I would request the Minister through you Sir to pay a visit to the Jowai Badarpur State Transport Station, there he will see what a pitiable condition exists. There is no waiting room (Bell rang). These are the conditions prevailing at present ad these cannot be removed by more bifurcation because Meghalaya Government is at present a partner of this corporation, if the Government intents to improve or provide better amenities to the passengers they can do to even under the present arrangement. So I would request the Government through you Sir that instead or waiting for the bifurcation. Government should immediately do something to improve the service condition.'
Sir, much has been said about inefficiency, I would refer to one instance with regard to the Passport Department. there are people who are in urgent need to visit their friends and relatives but we found that in this Department that delay is the order of the day and nothing is done.
Mr. Speaker :- You can say that delay is here in this office?
Shri P.N. Choudhury :- It is every where Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- If you referring.............
Shri P.N. Choudhury :- I am only referring to one instance delay is the order of the day and nothing is done in time. So Sir I am citing an instance for over a year the applications are pending in the department, these are neither disposed of this way or that way not the people know................(Interruption).
Mr. Speaker :- But the Passport Department is merely a forwarding Department.
.Shri P.N. Choudhury :- Whenever application for a passport is received it should be decided promptly this way of or that way. This is my contention Sir. Instead of keeping application pending for an unusually long time it should be expeditiously disposed of.
I am glad to see that the Governments taking steps to beauty Shillong. Shillong booing the capital of the State it should regain its past beauty and glory of hill station. But what about he black spots at the Polo Bazaar? This bazaar is avertable hell. It is the abode of all sorts of anti social activities. The Tourist lodges is nearby. What will be the reaction of the tourists when lodge should be removed from this area or modern market should be constructed there so that this black spot should not remain there anymore. I am in favour of modernising this market. The Golf Link and the Race Course are just near by the Tourist Lodge, so I do not think it will be wise to remove the Tourist Lodge from that place. I would also like to bring to the notice of the Government to condition of Laban bazaar which caters to the need of people of at large area. there is a great need to a bazaar in that area. I urge that this Bazaar be improved. Government should take up a scheme to improve the bazaar in consultation with the Syiem of Mylliem who is the controlling authority of this bazaar. Government should take up the matter with the Syiem urgently. (Bell rang).
Mr. Speaker :- Your times is up. you can take it up later. Now Mr. S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries will clarify.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I will reply first to the Member form Mawhati.
Mr. Speaker :- You have only to clarify.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to clarify the wrong statement made by the hon. member from Mawhati that there are no tribal members in the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. I am surprised that the Member has made such a statement because right from the date that it was notified there was already one tribal Member of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board our of 4 people. The Board is now being strengthened and another tribal non-official Member is being appointed to the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. I may also clarify that Government are very much aware of the need to see about employments of tribal people. Almost all the employment that we have requisitioned so far from the Assam State Electricity Board are member of the Scheduled Tribes. Incidentally the Member from Mawhati had referred to the agreement that has been worked out between the Government of Assam and the Government of Meghalaya is so far as the bifurcation of the Electricity Board is concerned and what would be done in regard to the sharing of power from the existing Umiam, Umtru Hydro Electric system which is also linked with the Chandra Thermal Station. I would like to lay on the Table of t the House a copy of the memorandum of Agreement between Assam and Meghalaya.
Mr. Speaker :- You should say..................................
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries :- I beg to lay a copy of the Agreement, Sir on the Table of the of the House. Mr. Speaker Sir, the member from Mawhati had also complained about the attitude of the Government towards tribal entrepreneurs and he also criticised the policy of the Government onwards entrepreneurs particularly from our State. I would very categorically state that it seems that there is mis understanding on the part of the members particularly the member from Mawhati about the policy of the Government as far as small and cottage industries are concerned. Preference is always given to local tribal entrepreneurs of our own State. We also give preference to tribal entrepreneurs forming partnerships with non-tribals either from the State or from outside the State. It is only in medium and large scale industries here there are no entrepreneurs either tribal or non-tribal coming forwards that after the investigation the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation is prepared to cooperative with the entrepreneurs from outside the State. There is no questions of giving preference to outside entrepreneurs. Now there was a reference to the setting up of Meghalaya Essential Oils an Chemicals. The fact is Mr. Speaker Sir that on discussion with the experts and on receipt of a complete proposal from a very reliable from Bombay the Meghalaya Industries Development Corporation which had gone into the matter had entered into an agreement with this form for the setting up of a company in the joint sector for the manufacture of essential oils from various raw materials available in out State starting with cinnamon oil from tezpata leaf and also other various essential oils. Now the idea being that not only the crude oil is to be extracted, Mr. Speaker sit in the growing area such as one which has already been started in the Mawshamok where tezpata leaf is grown, but there is to be a refinery and further distillation in a central unit to be located in the Shillong area. Now to have this considerable amount of the expertise for research and development is required and none of the tribal people ion our State have that expertise. There was one tribal entrepreneurs who came forward who did not have the expertise with a local non-tribal who also did not have the expertise and they were trying to get experts from various other places. Now our information is that this non tribal has already started a unit in Pynursla and the Government does not need to issue licenses to anyone to set up industries in our State. In so far as these small and medium, industries are concerned it is only where Government of India's permission is required or import of machineries is involved that a letter of intent and License id necessary from the Government of India. No license is necessary either from the State Government or from t the Central Government for a project whose project cost is not less than one crore. The information given by member that the application for setting up a unit by a tribal as incorrect. The fact is that the unit that was set up in Pynursla has been set up by the non-tribal. So far as our information goes it was set up by the non tribal of Shillong and he had not been prevented from setting it up. On the other hand the point sector project which has been set up in collaboration with the MIDC will look into the definite interest of the border people and will employ local people of our State. On of the comments that nothing avenue of employment either commercially or industrially for the uneducated youths. I may point out, Mr. Speaker Sir that there is considerable employment potentiality of the project which have already started functioning and will be in the process of implementation in the following years. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am also giving some figures which will also clarify some of the observations made by the hon. Members yesterday. There is a jute mill which is being set up in Garo Hills and this jute mill will employ atleast 2000 persons and the there are Meghalaya Photochemical which will employ about 130 persons, the Flour Mill will employ 30 and the Meghalaya Plywood will employ 300 percent. Meghalaya Essential Oil Co., will employ about 42 percent. Now this will give the picture of those units which are already in production of letter of intents for which have been received and will come into production fairly soon. In addition to this the Clinker Cement Factory in Garo Hills will employ about 600 percent, a Meat Processing and Tannery will employ about 180 and so on. So I am sure the House will be glad to know that atleast the Government has been doing something for providing more employment in our State.
Mr. Speaker :- The contention of the Members is that it does not mean that the Government has no done anything but they want Government should do many things.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister Industries :- Mr. Speaker Sir we have not been able to do many things but it will take little time to set up industries for the fact that we have to prepare everything's and be sure that everything is done in a proper manner. Our hon. Member for Nongstoin this morning stated and complained that the two units in the private sectors the Meghalaya Plywood and Associated Beverages have not benefited the State whereas, Mr. Speaker Sir I think they will give employment to the people of our State and they will also give a revenue in the form of sales tax. There is no much difference so far as the economic development is concerned between the industrial unit in the private sector or the public sector. Mr. Speaker Sir as a matter of fact the policy of the Government is to try to set up industries depending upon their size and it does not matter whether they are in public sector joint sector private sector. Also employment opportunity are created and so far as revenue of the Government is concerned, there are various farms of taxation which will bring certain amount of income to the Central Government for which we will get our share. Now the Member from Nongstoin had complain about the fact that we have not taken up the Sillimanite industry and instead they have given the lease to M/S Hindustan Steel. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a public sector - Hindustan Steel is a public sector of the whole of the country and of the Government of India and to that extent the Government of India had decided to taking over of this company. A Re-factory plant had been set up some years back in Bihar and it would not be correct for us to stop the supply of Sillimanite to that public sector industry. This is now being run by Hindustan Steel. Moreover it is not the intention of the Government to displace the existing industry the existing entrepreneurs in our state but we try to add industry for our industrial development with new industries that can be set up. We are not against setting up more industries if the raw materials are available. But it would not be correct for us to say that Ramgarh Factory which is n no being run for the benefit of the country should not get the raw material but as a matter of fact, we will get benefit royalty to our State as well as employment opportunity. There was a reference yesterday, Mr. Speaker Sir by the Member from cantonment to the Rs.70 lakhs tender that was being called and he thought that perhaps this would only give chance to outside companies and not to our own contractors and so on. I had or enquire into and the fact is that there are already 4 local companies that have already tendered out of which I think and I am sure that one is a tribal Party. The others may or may not be but there is also a very clear statement in the tender that the Mawmluh Cherra Cement company could split up the work. Also instructions have been issued by the Board to see that local contractors should be given preference where possible. In addition to this there are going to two new tenders one is for Rs.1,25,000 for a Rotary Kiln shed etc. and another for Rs.10 lakhs for housing construction and so on. So, there will be adequate work for the local contractors for the work in future.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the Minister may not reply to the thing which the Mawmluh Cherra Factory is going to do in the future.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries :- Coming to the policy laid down by the Board Sir the Member from Mawhati and complained about the release of water from Umiam Lake which ahs been done by ASEB last year and I am informed that the amount of water released on 1st October, 1974 was about 24,000 cusecs as against recorded flood discharge of 40,000 cusecs from this it would not be expected that it is beyond any normal flow of the water during flood but less. However this is being examined by the erstwhile ASEB and which is now being examined by the MSEB which has taken over since 21st January. The MSEB also cannot stop the release of water if the discharge into the reservoir warrants for the safety of the structure. However the suggestion of having warning by Siren and so on will be examined by the MSEB. In so far as setting up of industries is concerned, I had already mentioned that I would like to inform the member from Nongstoin and other Member that is setting upon public sector industries we have very few trained personnels in our own State and it is not easy to do this and it is for this reason that out Government has taken up training schemes where we are sending personnel for training in business management and various technical branches such trained personnel we will be requiring in our State. For instance to run a Jute Mill we require a number of advertise people trained in jute technology and last year we have advertised for sending 3 persons for training and only 3 persons applied. Once resigns from the course only two are now taking the course. This year also we advertised for 5 more in jute technology and we need them in mining technology paper technology and in business management and advertisements are being due from time to time. Generally tribals doe not come up readily for these trainings and I would request the Members from al sides of this House to help us get young educated persons to come forward to take up these training course so that we could have trained personnel in the different public enterprises.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the Minister should request educational institutions to try to find out these people. I think it is too much to expert from the hon. Members of the House.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries :- There was one incorrect statement made by the Member from Malki that an industry which can be set up with 15% from the private capital and 41% by the Government would be in the private sector it is not correct. This is a joint sector. Wherever Government through the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation has a share, it is a joint sector. The Government is certainly looking into the question of employment in any of the industries which are set up whether in a joint sector, public sector or private sector. Any entrepreneur who come forward to get our assistance, we lay down certain guidelines for employment of local people as far as possible where available and only where they are not available in our State then they would be allowed to bring in technical hands from outside the State.
There was a suggestion from one of the Members from Garo Hills regarding the difficulty of transmission of power from Nangalbibra to Tura. He suggested that we should replace the wooden poled by reinforced concrete poles. This is being looked into by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board and wherever necessary if possible these poles will be replaced.
Mr. Speaker :- Minister Agriculture.
Shri E. Bareh Minister Agriculture :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I only want to clarify certain points raised by the hon. Members of this House while discussing the Governor's Address. I will force of on touch on the subject of Soil Conservation, Government is very much aware of the problem of jhumming. On the suggestion of the Government a special team for new strategy for improved agricultural development was constituted by the Central Government in June 1972 and they visited the State in October 1972, On the recommendation of the Committee and as per advice of the Soil Conservation wing of the Central Government the State Government has taken up a scheme with a package programme for helping the jhumming to give up jhumming and get settled on permanent cultivation. The scheme has started operating from this year, 1974-75 and during the Fifth Plan we expect 4500 such families to be benefited. It is hoped with the cooperation of the people in the State the scheme will be successful.
On the remark made by the hon. Member from Nongpoh who said that agriculture and soil conservation should have very good understanding, I would only like to say that Soil Conservation and understanding Department has already taken up irrigation schemes where the soil Conservation. Department has done terracing. Moreover, government has constituted a high level State Cooperation committee for coordination the work of the departments and this committee will see that all the different departments cooperate to make the scheme successful.
I may be excused as I do not know the named of the constituencies of all the hon. Members. I may call them by their names Shri Plansingh Marak said unless the detailed programme is chalked out, regrouping of villages may be a failure. Regrouping of villages has not been taken up as a separate scheme. It has been combined with the settlement of jhumming on permanent cultivation lands. Unless the regrouping villages have enough cultivation land it will not be good simply to bring the people to certain place to make bigger. People will have to have their livelihood at the place of work and to settle together permanently. One of the basic criteria for this is to give them cultivation lands. Accordingly this work is being taken up along with the Soil Conservation Department which has taken up the scheme for jhum control. Under this scheme wherever land is available for a minimum of 50 families with permanent cultivation or where there is already cultivation fields but only a few house holds have settled but there are possibilities of extending the cultivation of a settled village of 50 households, the department took up the land development and irrigation wherever possible along with follow up programmes of supplying seeds and manures so that the smaller villages can become bigger or wherever new village come up under the scheme there must be a minimum of 50 households. The scheme also provide for these new villages to be connected with motorable roads by a link road as well as giving a grant of Rs.2,000 towards building materials for those families who are to shift to the new home site. Any suggestions regarding the places of villages that can be regrouped under the above schemes are welcomed from all the hon. Members.
I come now to the remark made by the hon. Member Mr. Jackman Marak who said that terracing should not be taken up unless there is sufficient water and unless servey is first conducted. Mr. Speaker, Sir, before we start terracing, detailed survey was conducted by our department. However, it is not possible to find all the places where is available. Wherever water is available, we do wet terracing and where there is no water, we will have to do dry terracing. As far as possible, the department tries to find out valley and low lying lands where wet paddy cultivation is possible. But it is not possible to find such a areas for all jhummias. With the regular monsoon that our area gets, even without irrigation terracing can be done. What the department is advising the people for whom terracing has been cut is that they should grow the same crop as they used to grow in the jhum and in the same manner in the terrace and cultivate in the same area. If the practices are followed as advised by the same area by the department the cultivators are expected to get more than twice the yield that they get from the jhums. This is the first step towards permanent cultivation. Once our jhumia cultivation are used to permanent cultivation soil working etc, and the water catches areas now being jhummed are covered with forests or horticultural plantations the dried up streams will come to life again and irrigation may be possible in areas where it may not be possible to irrigate now. The Department has also found recently that the people are having difficulties with regards to soil working in terraces in the subsequent years as they do not have bullock and other soil working implements. The Department has therefore proposed to extend the facilities of soil also experimenting with smaller and cheaper soil working implements and if found suitable they will be distributed to the people.
Sir, I am now coming to agriculture. Mr. Syiemiong has stated that during the last two or three years, fertilizer were not supplied to the formers in time and he also mentioned about the rise in price of fertilizer. Shri Hadem has also mentioned about the high price of fertilisers.
Mr. Speaker :- As I have already pointed out when you refer to any hon. Members by name you should refer to him by full name.
Shri E. Bareh Minister Agriculture :- Yes, Sir Mr. Humphrey Hadem and Mr. Winstone Syiemiong (Laughter) In this connection, Mr. Speaker Sir it may be stated that during the current year, fertilizer has been made available in sufficient quantity to the farmer and there is no report of shortage. In fact these has been a large accumulation of stock and we are now at a loss as to what to do with it. In the earlier years also there might have been some shortage of ammonium sulphate only, but there was sufficient quantity of urea providing the same type of nutrient as ammonium sulphate i.e. nitrogen.
Regarding the price it may be stated that price is fixed by Government of India for certain fertilisers like ammonium sulphate area etc, or by the Fertilizer Association of India for item like super phosphate which also has the approval of the Government of India. This year the price rise has been at the level of manufacturer as fixed by the Government of India or the Fertilizer Association of India and so price rise here is not our make-up. As a measure of partial relief the Government has however given a trans port subsidy of Rs.44 per tonne from November which covers almost the entire transport cost from Gauhati to Shillong or partly from Gauhati to Tura.
Several members have suggested that Border Areas Programmes should be intensified and more efforts should be made for marketing of border produces.
Government have already taken steps to organise border marketing but it may be stated that if may not be possible for Government alone to arrange transport of all marketable surplus from the border as many of the items may not have ready market at Shillong and even at Gauhati. The Governments considering the feasibility of organising Farmers Co-operatives in the border areas so that the non-perishable surplus can be stated during the glut season and slowly disposed of in lean season so that farmers may have a better price.
Several member have also mentioned about [providing more irrigation facilities in the State. As you aware, Mr. Speaker in former years minor irrigation was done through the Block agency as subsidised scheme. But from this particular year irrigation was taken up permanently and Investigation and survey have already been conducted in some places and also work orders have been due for implementing the schemes in all the 3 district though we cannot do much in the first year but yet as a start we have been able to do at least not likes than two project in each district.
With reference to soil testing facilities raise by one hon. Member it may be stated that a dull fledged Soil Testing Laboratory is being started in Shillong this year which will be functioning from the next year. So long soil testing work was done through the district and Regional Research, Laboratory and a mobile van. The District and Regional Research Laboratory at Tura is also being strengthened so as to enable that laboratory also to take up soil testing work.
With reference to the Farmer's Training Institute in Garo Hills as raised by one hon. Member from Garo Hills it may be state that the Government of India has been pressed to allot one such institute in Garo Hills District also. For the time being we are running a small Farmers' Training Centre from the State Plan in that district. Mr. Humphrey Hadem has made a mention about in the shortage of operators for tractors and power-tiller in Jaintia Hills district. Mr. Speaker Sir as regard this steps have been taken to have the sanctioned post filled up through the district selection Committee.
Shri Maham Singh has referred to a point regarding the objection raised by A.G./Public Accounts Committee regarding fertilizer distribution.
Mr. Speaker :- No, you need not touch upon that because the officers will have to reply before the P.A.C.
Shri E. Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- Sir let me then come to the most controversial point raised by the hon. Member Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh, on the distribution of potato seeds. According to him half of the bag is rotten.
(A Voice : Busta) Laughter.
He is not here but Mr. Speaker, Sir, 52 quintals of potato seeds were supplied to the Bhoi Development Block in December, 1974 for distribution at 50% subsidised rate. Out of these only 24 quintal were actually distributed to the farmers and the remaining 28 quintal were receive back as there was no demand for the seed. At the time of distribution of the seeds or at the time of return of the excess no complaint was received about the poor quality of the seeds supplied' The reason given for the return was no demand from the grower".
Mr. Speaker :- But on what basis was the allotment made?
Shri E. Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- Sir, we have been publicising in the years that those who want to get the potato seeds should apply through the Block Development Officer to the District Agriculture Officers (Interruption).
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On a point of information, Mr. Speaker Sir, may I inform the Minister that since it was given to the Blocks as the hon. Member from Umroi has referred to no Gram Sevak or any body take subsidised interest and the whole quantum of potato seeds gets blocked in the Blocks (Laughter).
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- I do not have easy information about that but we have to channelise the whole distribution system through the Block. And I do not know how these things got blocked. Regarding distribution of paddy seeds to Bhoi Area, I shall however get the matter investigated through the Department.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the Minister should rather investigate as to whether the Bhoi area needs potato seeds or paddy seeds.
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- But Sir actually mention was made about potato seeds.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- But it was alleged that no fertilizer was given with the potato seeds. It was just a bust of potatoes.
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- Fertilizer has to be procured from the stockists of the Government.
Mr. Speaker :- It is the duty of the Minister concerned to touch only the main point raised by the hon. Member since the elaborate reply will be given by the Chief Minister.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- The what about he SFDA whether the Government is considering that they should continue their work in the rural areas.
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- Mention has been made by the hon. Member from Mawhati that we should pursue the Government of India in this respect to continue these crash Programme under SFDA. But we have received a definite and final reply from the Government of India that they will not continue with fresh rural works programme under SFDA.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong Minister of Agriculture :- Since the non Member is very much insisting, I would like today that the information is very much here with me. From 1970-71 till 1974-75 the total areas brought under reclamation is 2073.80 hectares and under terracing 5078.93 hectares.
Regarding remarks made by Mr. Fuller Lyngdoh that Mawnai Sheep Breeding Farm started during Assam time is not receiving due attention. I would like to say in this connection that during Assam time this particular location was declared unsuitable for sheep breeding purposes and hence the farm was abandoned. But on the demand of the local public and leaders the Government of Meghalaya have revived this farm recently. The Veterinary Department have posted one Assistant Manager to the in charge of the farm and put 50 heads of sheep. It may be noted that the farm and slowly getting adjusted so the new environment and the stock has now gone up to 125. Altogether 8 units consisting of 24 heads of sheep have been distributed at subsidised rate ruling the current years from this farm to Mairang areas where the local people have shown great interest in sheep rearing on temporary lease basis further development of the farm is not possible.
Mr. Dhubanath Joshi pleaded for grazing facilities for Bhoi Milk Producers. The entire land tenure system is as known to the hon. Member tradition bound and to take up such a drastic step as suggested by him to create grazing colony is no feasible at present. However the Government are organizing demonstration farms in the Bhoi areas to educate the people to grow their own fodder in the land occupied by them as a measure of stall feeding. Moreover the subject of grazing falls within get jurisdiction of the district Councils and no tender the State Government. We shall be taking up the matter with the concerning District Council and explore the possibility of sorting our the problems.
(At this stage Hon'ble Speaker left the Chamber and Chairman, Shri Upstart Kharbuli took the Chair.)
Mr. Chairman Sir, regarding the remarks made by the hon. Member Shri . Francis K. Mawlot the tone of the Danish experts left because of the misbehavior meted out by our own officers, I would like to inform the House that the said expert was withdrawn from here by the his own Government I mean Danish Government and not because of our officers behavior.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- Do you mean to say he was recalled?
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister Agriculture :- Mr. Chairman, Sir he was recalled by t he Danish Government and was sent somewhere else. They have posted another expert here and the project is in progress nor in Upper Shillong.
Now I will come to the most important item, and that is regarding food and supplies which I do not expect I may be able to satisfy the Members very much because I have just stretched my hands into the affairs of the Supply Department. It is difficult to themselves satisfied. Almost everybody has mentioned about the alimenting food situation and civil supplied in the State and also about the price of rice and other essential commodities in the State. As mentioned in the Governor's Address the Government of India are usually making every efforts and endeavour under their power to check the spiraling rise in the prices in the rice and essential commodities and they have also taken up steps in this direction with the resources of their commend and the assistance of the Reserve Bank of India and other allied banks. The powers of the State Government to control or check prices are limited to great extent by the limited resources at its disposal as well as by the fact that Meghalaya is lacking in the production of essential commodities. For the supply of most of its essential commodities Meghalaya has to depend on the producing centres from out side the State and on the allotment made by the Government of India from the Central pool. Consequent ion this the price of commodities procured from outside the State will be determined by the factor operating at the producing Centres over which the State Government has not control whatsoever. While considering the abnormal rise of prices in the State we have to take into account the remoteness of out State from the reproducing centres and also the absence of railway connecting our state with the rest of the country. This factor definitely has made the price do the state higher than those in other parts of the country. However the State Government has been parts of the country. However the State Government has been able to establish the price within the State at a reasonable level by ensuring and maintaining adequate supply of essential commodities within the State throughout the year in spite of transport difficulties and bottle neck and other difficulties in the various agencies concerned with the food grains movement. The Government is very much aware and concerned of the difficulties face by the common man on account of their increase in the price of essential commodities. In Meghalaya, the situation of serious acute scarcity as faced by other part of the country has so far been avoided. In regard to the increase in prices the increase that has taken place in Shillong has no been abnormally high when compared to that in Gauhati from where most of our supplies come. According to the Price index compiled by the month of November 1974 which is the latest figure available to us the Consumers Price Index pf Shillong was 274 and that of All India Price Index was 283.
Some hon. Members have mentioned about building up if a buffer stock. We are not allowed to have buffer stock of essential commodities like rice wheat and sugar by the Government of India. However we have taken steps to build a state pool through the procurement of paddy and rice from the surplus areas of the State itself. Some hon. Members have also mentioned about leakage of rice sugar etc, to the open market. Actually when we get the allotment from the Government of India the same was allotted to the wholesalers and the wholesaler issued the quota for distribution to the consumer through the Fair Price Shop's. We have not received so far any report about the leakage of the Rice sugar etc, to the open market from the our Fair Price Shop. About shortage of kerosene oil Mr. Chairman, Sir I may say that allotment of kerosene oil comes from the Government of India and this allotment varies from month to month. As we all know kerosene oil was usually supplied by the Oil Companies but recently supply of the same has been interrupted due to strike by the petroleum workers in Assam. The situation is however being corrected. The hon. Member from Mawhati mentioned that Government should now purchase surplus paddy and rice at the prevailing market rate. We have been requesting the Government of India to allow us to do that. But so far the Government of India has not given us any information in this regard.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On a point of clarification Mr. Chairman Sir may we know whether permission of the central Government is required for the State Government to purchase it sown food grains produced in the State?
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- These food grains Sir, come under the Essential Commodities Law. Therefore, Mr. Chairman Sir if we have to depart from the policy adopted by the whole country we have to get the permission of the Central Government. As you know our State is a poor State we have no money with us to pay for higher prices and if we have to do that we have to ask for more money from the Central Government.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think that its all I have to clarify on the points raise by the hon. Members in this august House during the debates on the Governor's Address. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman Sir, there has been no reply to the check gate at Byrnihat maintained by another Government across the road between Meghalaya and Assam giving mush harassment to our local people in the area.
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- I thank the hon. Member for reminding me that Mr. Chairman, Sir regarding shifting of supply check gat from Byrnihat, the Government has already taken up the matter with the government of Assam and we are awaiting their replies.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Perhaps the Minister is also aware that this was pending for about 9 years. There were big files since the days of Assam when we were two districts side by side at that time and there was correspondence between the D.C. Kamrup and the D.C. Khasi Hills. But it has taken 9 years and I do not know how many year more year it will taken normally to get the reply formally when it is now still under consideration.
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- Mr. Chairman Sir, I think we have all seen that the gate is there. But we cannot remove it by ourselves. We have to get the cooperation of the Government of Assam also. Therefore, we have written to them and we will follow up the matter.
(At this Stage Hon'ble Speaker occupied the Chair.)
Mr. Speaker :- Now the Minister in charge, P.W.D.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah Minister of P.W.D :- Mr. Speaker Sir I would like to dwell on certain points raised in connection with the Municipal Election of Shillong. The hon. Member from Cantonment has stated that the Government have not hold elections to the Shillong Municipality and that it is not right to deprive people of their civic rights. He also added that it is a dilatory tactic on the part of the Government. Now on this point I want to be very categorical. The Government stand is very very clear on this. We have an open mind since this matter came up last year also and there was discussion on it and views and counter views were offered towards the holding of elections. Now Sir, the Chief Minister himself has made a policy statement on this and the stand of our Government to day also is that there is in intention to postpone the Municipal elections indefinitely in Shillong. But then we are to be guided by the reality of the situation. Now one of the factors that we have to consider is that there has been shifting of the population from Shillong as a result of the shifting of the capital of Assam from Shillong to Dispur. Then against of late, there was a big chunk of the population also going out as a result of the shifting of the headquarters of Arunachal Pradesh from Shillong to Itanagar and there are other office also going out somewhere. So I do not know whether in the present situation, it is right and feasible for to hold elections. But then as I said we are keeping the point in mind. I for myself am very thankful to Mr. D.N. Joshi that although he represents the non municipality area and comes from cantonment, he has taken keen interest in this matter.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker Sir, on a point of clarification. Can we postpone elections only on the ground of shifting of population? Can we therefore postpone the general elections merely on the ground of shifting of population, Mr. Speaker Sir?
Mr. Speaker :- The Minister has explained his own view points But your view points are that up cannot postpone the elections merely on that ground.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah Minister of P.W.D. :- Mr. Speaker Sir, my contention is that we have to consider other points also. Now on this matter last year we have received a very strong representation from very prominent citizens of Shillong as well as the headmen and Secretaries of the Local Committee and also from the Shillong Civic Welfare Association expressing a view not to hold elections. This year again I have also received a representation from the Shillong Civic Welfare Association urging not to hold immediate elections to the Municipality.
Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker Sir, let me tell the House.........................
Mr. Speaker :- No, the Minister has already replied.
Shri D.N. Joshi :- But from the Congress Party side we have made a representation to the Government.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah Minister P.W.D. :- Now on this point I may clarify that as far back as July 1973 a memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister by the Shillong District Congress Committee urging for holding elections. But in 1974 the situation arose as to the feasibility of holding elections. Again now here there is a discussion on this matter and the Chief Minister gave a very categorical statement. So I though the House was satisfied with it. But since this matter came up again we are exercising our minds in open on this matter as I said earlier. My intention is to take into confidence the prominent citizens of Shillong in this matter as soon as an opportunity arises in so far as Municipality election is concerned.
The other day, the hon. Member from Mawhati made a statement a very interesting statement which intrigues me. I do not know whether he refers in the context of SFDA or Civil Words. The context pertained to the need of giving emphasis on many bridges rather than....................................
Mr. Speaker :- He refers in the context of SFDA.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah Minister of P.W.D. :- I do not mean to deal with that. But there was another statement made by the hon. member from Malki when he said that there was unhappy relation between the Society of Farmcos and the Government. Now I would like to say here that there is no unhappy relation between the society and the Government as such. There is a point of overdue payment of loans by the Members of the society and the Management of the Society is trying its best to recover the money and the Government also is trying to lend its assistance in whatever form possible to see that the recovery is done. Now the Society is functioning under certain stage of bye law under the cooperative Acts. Therefore I do not agree that there is any unhappy relations between the society and the Government as such. In regard to the member of the society of course there has been a lot of talk about the activities of the Farmcos and on the part of the Government there has been an attempt, a continuous attempt, to meet the people of the areas and try to find out some kind of a meeting ground in order to bring out a happy cooperative atmosphere so that the cooperative movement in that part will be able to push ahead. Even myself, I have has the occasion to meet some leaders of the area and the dialogue is continuing and I think there is a hope that the situation will undergo a change after some time.
Now speaking on the Cooperative Movement in the State, since many hon. members have raised a point on this, I am very struck by the advocacy of the hon. Member from Sohryngkham, Shri G. Mylliemngap about a very important and vital role played by the Cooperatives in the upliftment of the socio-economic life of the people and I think on this the hon. Member from Laban has also made an interesting statement as to the inability of the Government to help the growth of the Cooperative movement in the State. On this I think I would differ from the hon. Member from Laban because by any standard, Meghalaya today is considered very much in the fore front of the Cooperative movement. Not because of the credit flow from the Government but because there has been a tremendous increase in the number of societies which goes to shoe that Cooperative movement is gaining a momentum. Of course we are no happy with the overdue situation that there are loans to be paid and I think the Member fro Nongstoin has made a statement about the factor which prevented the success of the Cooperative movement in which he stated that a farmer who actually got Rs.500 is the fact to pay Rs.700 to the society. I think this is a wrong information. Now the correct information is this Mr. Speaker Sir. The farmer member who is to get Rs.500 has to be able to create a certain borrowing price, that is he has to make a share capital contribution of about 10% or about 12% - 2% to the Society and 10% to the Financing Agency. That is, in this particular case in the State of Meghalaya or the Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank unless and until he paid the share money he is no entitled to get the Rs.500. In this case it would be 10% to the Bank and another 2% to the Society. On top of that he has to pay 3% to the ...................(Interruption).
Mr. Speaker :- Now, may I point out to the Minister that none of the hon. Members really want to do away with the cooperative movement, but they only want to urge upon the Government to see that cooperative movement is really successful. They want only an assurance.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah Minister of P.W.D. :- No Sir, There is in be point raised by the hon. Member from Nongstoin when he said that the farmer gets only Rs.500. I am trying to dwell o n that to remove the misconception on this. There is another charge that is the 10%. This amount is paid by the farmer as harvest charge but in view of the need to streamline the credit flow this harvest charge has been done away with recently. And also the farmer now has to pay an advance of share money in order that he would be entitled to get the money that he so desires. In this there is a wrong information given by Shri Francis Mawlot. Mention has been made under the P.W.D. in so far as there is a need to undertake some repairs on new roads as pointed out by the hon.. Members from Tikrikilla Chokpot, Mawlai, Nongstoin and some other as well. There are suggestions and they are being looked into and certainly they deserve the considerations they need. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker :- Now Minister in charge of Health and Education to clarify .
Shri Sandford K. Marak Minister of Health and Education :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to the hon. Members who have made certain observations. I will start with Health first. The Member student from Nongtalang mentioned that seats in Medical College for students from Meghalaya are limited and he proposes a Medical College in the State.
Since Meghalaya came into existence in 1970 this Government has been sending out students to Medical Colleges in Assam and other places according to the quota allotted by them or by the Government of India. Upto 1974-75 Session, the total number of students sent our by this Government is 49. Out of these 21 students have been given Scholarship by us.
The number of allotted seats by the Government of Assam has come down last year to only 10 but the Government of India has given 5 seats in the Regional Medical Colleges, Imphal.
3 seats in the different Medical Collage in Assam.
3 seats in the Medical Collage, Bihar marking a total of 21. Besides this the Government of India has allotted one Pre-Medical and on B.D.S seat in West Bengal.
As regard Medical College in the State since the Regional Medical College has already been started at Imphal, it may be difficult for the Government of India to agree to another Medical College in the State of Meghalaya. However the State Government is also sending a proposal.......................(Interruption).
Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the attention of the Minister in charge of Health that the State Government may take the initiative with the University of Gauhati in finding out ways and means for the establishment of a Medical College as the Planning Board of the University has given top priority to the establishment of a Medical College. So whether Government will be ready to take up the case with the University of Gauhati?
Shri Sandford K. Marak Minister of Health :- Mr. Speaker Sir, Government will be ready to take up the case with the University. The State Government is also sending proposal to the Government of India to allot seats for Post Graduate Degrees and Diploma courses ion the different Post Graduate Institutions in the country. If this is agreed to by the Government of India , we may be able to provide seats for the Post Graduate studies in the different branches of Medical Science to meet the requirement for Specialists for the State. Mr. Speaker Sir, another point raised by the hon. Member Shri D.D. Lapang, I would like to say that the need for medical care in rural areas is a prime need infact this is the recess of opinion of the State Government and the Government of India to provide medical facilities to the people into the rural areas. For this purpose it has been agreed that at least one Primary Health Centre must be made available in each Block in Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker Sir the usual norm for a P.H.C in other States is one P.H.C. for at least 80,000 to 1 lakhs population. But the Government under the Minimum Needs Programme has agreed to the establishment of a P.H.C. in all the 24 Blocks of this State irrespective of population in the Block. It has also agreed to upgradation partially or completely of 6 P.H.C. to the 30 bedded hospitals besides the construction of Sub centres which are to be attached to the P.H.Cs. These are to be completed within the Fifth Five Years Plan. Regarding establishment of a Primary Health Centre at Patharkhmah, One Primary Health Centre has already been earmarked and will be constructed in due course. The Department has already taken up action on this matter. Besides this, we have tried our best to give medical aid and many more post have been advertised through MPSC and I think that this Board will be able to give more opportunities in the rural areas as early as possible.
Regarding water supply scheme there was mention by the hon. Member Shri F. Mawlot about the surrender of Rs.93 lakhs by the P.H.E Department during the year 1973-74. The P.H.E. Department was compelled to surrender this amount from their budget of 1973-74 on account of the budget cuts imposed by the Government of India and the finance Department of Meghalaya due to financial constraints. Similar budget cuts were imposed all over the country. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya had taken up the matter of restoring the budget cut with Shri Bhola Paswan Shastry Union Minister of Works and Housing Government of India but to avail. Also the loan from L.I.C. counting to Rs.40,00 lakhs could not be drawn due to the opposition of the people of Nongkrem area to the implementation of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme. The P.H.E. Department did not surrender this amount of Rs.93 lakhs on it own but was compelled to do so by circumstances beyond its control and the question of non-implementation of rural water supply schemes does not arise.
Then Mr. D. Lyngdoh the hon. Member from Union said that no water supply scheme was taken up in Ri-Bhoi area and the Department id to be reorganised. Since 1957 the P.H.E. Department has taken up 33 Nos of Water Supply Schemes in Ri-Bhoi area out of which 30 Nos have already been completed and 3 Nos are in progress. In addition to that the schemes namely Umsning Water Supply is under scrutiny and Bhoilymbong Water Supply Scheme under Survey and Investigation.
Shri S. N. Koch :- Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon'ble Minister has not given the reply in detail.
Shri S.K. Marak Minister Health :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is enough for the water supply scheme and the Chief Minister will reply in detail.
Mr. Speaker :- Yes the Chief Minister will reply it in detail.
Shri S.K. Marak Minister of Health :- So Mr. Speaker Sir, with these few words I resume my seat. Thank You.
Mr. Speaker :- Now Minister in charge of Transport.
Shri D.D. Pugh, Minister Transport :- I am sure, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the entire House is very eager to hear the Chief Minister's reply, so I will try to be very very brief. As regards the points raise by Shri Nimosh Sangma on 8th March 1975 I would like to say that there is only one up and one down service between Shillong and Tura. Except on special occasions the occupancy of through seats in about one third of the total capacity of the vehicle and sometimes even less and therefore introduction of another service at present will not be justified on economic grounds. And regarding the Tura Bag mare route the service was discontinued for operational difficulties and would be reintroduced as soon as possible. On the Tura Williamnagar and Tura Dainadubi route the buses will be introduced as soon as operational facilities permit.
And Mr. Speaker Sir on another point raise by the hon. Member from Nongtalang. I would like to inform the House that the de-monopolisation of the goods traffic on the G.S. Road is closely linking up with the bifurcation of the Assam Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation. The Government is aware of the position and the matter will be reviewed at the appropriate time. Further I would like to assure the House that very effort will be made to remedy the difficulties and also to remove the difficulties of the travelling public. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the attention of the Minister of State for Education in clarify something.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang State Minister of State for Education :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I shall be as brief as possible. My friend from Nongtalang has suggested that we should establish technical institutions in our State. However as the number of students is very inadequate, I feel that it will not be possible now to consider this question. Mr. Speaker Sir the hon. Member from Nongpoh has also suggested about the setting up of the new professional and journalism classes in NEHU and this matter will be soon taken up with the North Eastern Hill University. The hon. Member from Selsella has referred to Polytechnic, but as we are dealing only with Polytechnic were Diploma courses in Technical Education like Civil Engineering Electrical Engineering are taught. The Industrial Training Institute is not run under the jurisdiction of the Education Department but this is under the Labour department. There fore it is difficult for me to say anything on this. Job orientation courses on this account are under examination.
Mr. Speaker :- Any way, you are still new in the Ministry procedure is that things which are not concerned with your Department should not be replied to and these should be best left to the Chief Minister.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang Minister of State for Education :- Sir the hon. Member from Mawlai has touched on Sports and I am happy to say that the Government have already taken up with the National Institute of Sports, Patiala the subject of establishing a State Level Coaching Centre and negotiations are in progress. A scheme to train coaches at the National Institute of Sports. Patiala is already under operation.
Mr. Speaker :- That is a repetition of to day's morning reply.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang Minister of State for Education :- A Sports Officer has also been appointed to organise sports in the State and to take in suggestions regarding improvement in sports.
The same hon. Member has also raised the question of release of grants to the district Councils for payment of regular pay to the teachers.
Mr. Speaker :- That reply concern the Minister in charge of District Council Affairs.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang Minister of State for Education :- The hon. Member from Dadenggiri has touched the question of bringing the deficit scheme to High Schools. On this, I would like to say that every effort is being made to improve the quality of education and at the same time, in a state like ours, we cannot rule out the need for expansion and this is also laid down clearly in the Governor's Address. It is a policy of the Government to bring all the deserving private schools under the Deficit Scheme in a phased manner. During the current year the following 4 School's in a phased brought under deficit system.
Mr. Speaker :- You need no mention the names of the Schools.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang Minister of State for Education :- The scheme of grant in aid is implemented after examining the specific needs of every institution subject to availability of funds. It is not possible there fore to fix a ceiling on the amount of such grants. And also Sir, recently the Government has set up a Consultative Committee or Education and I am sure that when we hold meetings of this committee we will be able to bring about more improvements in the field of education sports and social welfare.
Mr. Speaker :- I thin we need some relaxation to get our ears ready for the Chief Minister reply. So the House stands adjourned till 12 noon when the chief Minister will reply.
The House reassembled at 12 hours (Mr. Speaker in the chair).
Mr. Speaker :- Now the Chief Minister will wind up the debate.
Shri W. A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the first instance, I would like to express my gratitude to the hon. Members through you, for having participated in the debate on the Governor's Address. Also I would like to welcome certain constructive suggestion offered by them. Sir, as you know the address of the governor indicate the broad policy of the Government, it also reviews the activities in the past including the law and order situation of the State. As such it cannot be expected that a detailed pictures with regard to the plans and programmes of the Government would be indicated through the Governor's Address. For that purpose, the hon. Member will have ample opportunity when we shall have the occasion to discuss the budget in general. Sir, before I come to certain specific point raised by the hon. Members, I would like to start with the observations made by the hon. Member from Mawhati relating to the last paragraph of the Governor's Address which reads like this - "I hope my Government will receive full support and cooperation from all of you towards achieving these objectives". I would like to clarify that he words "full support and cooperation from all of you towards achieving these objectives". refer to the particular objectives that have been laid down in the Governor's Address. It will be very clear from this statement that it is expected or it is hoped that the hon. Members of this House will extend their support and cooperation in achieving these objectives which are in the interest of the State as a whole and fall in line with the national policy. Of course each and every Member may and not fall in line with these objective, but I would naturally expect that as far as those who fall in line or support these objective will extend their support and cooperation towards implementation of the programme. For example the hon. Members fro Mawhati has appreciated the scheme under SFDA and he is all out by implication to extend his support and cooperation for continuance of the scheme. It is up to the hon. Members to those in what way they would like to extend their cooperation. So it is very unfair on the part of the hon. Member from Mawhati.............(Interruption).
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We expect the word cooperation' but not the word support'. this is a parliamentary form of government.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- So it is unfair on the part of the hon. Member from Mawhati to interpret that this particular part of the Governor's Address amounts to asking the member to join a single party government. It does not indicate that nor expects that everybody will join single party Government. What is the role of the opposition let us try to understand for a moment. Cooperation is one thing and support is linking up with cooperation. How can you extend your cooperation when you do not appreciate or support a particular plan or programme of the Government as indicated. Unless you first of all support a particular programme how can you extend your cooperation in its implementation. First of all a programme should be there there after come cooperation in its implementation and execution provided you support the programme. I am not an expert of English but that is my understanding of the word. Once you support a particular objective a particular plan or programme it is expected that your cooperation will be extended in its implementation other wise it will be meaningless.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- The words 'call for full support to my Government and my Government will receive full support' are uncalled for. That is the controversy.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the issue is not really very controversial But I think in future the Government should see that the speeches that come from the mouth of the Governor should duly reflect his high position as Head of the State. The play of words sometimes means one thing and perhaps the Government means some other thing. The government has explained the position and it is the Government which hopes. It is not the role of the Governor to expect that everybody will join a single party Government. That is not in the Governor's mind. But as pointed out correctly by some hon. Members what the Governor utters is a policy statement of the Government . But in any case the chief Minister has made it clear what that the Government expects and hopes.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Mr. Speaker Sir, as you have correctly pointed out the Governor according to the constitution is a spokesmen of the Government. The Governor does not give his own feeling or opinion. This is not peculiar only to the Government of Meghalaya but throughout the whole country. We find that in the address of the President of India and in the address of the Governor's of other States the Governments broad policy statements are made. This must be understood in that context.
Secondly, Mr. Speaker Sir, the hon. Member referred to paragraph 27 of the Governor' Address in which it is stated; "The recent changes and the reallocation of portfolios among the Minister of my Government are expected to ensure better attention to various subjects and expects of administration and development". Mr. Speaker Sir, as you know in a parliamentary democratic system of Government changes in the composition of the Ministry and redistribution of portfolios take place. It is not peculiar to the State Government of Meghalaya. It has been unfortunate on the part of the hon. Member to try to indicate that these changes have taken place because there was lack of confidence in the previous ministry.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- We did not say that the Governor has said that.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- The changes in the composition of the ministry and the re-allocation of portfolios should be based on various considerations; it may be to ensure better administration. But this is natural in the type of Government which follow a parliamentary democratic system. Naturally, there will be changes in the composition of the ministry and in the distribution of portfolios among the Ministers.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Fall of Government also.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Yes, I agree fall of Government also. In a democracy, Government may fall new Government may come into being. That is why we are here on this side and you are there on that side. It is not a one party Government. A complaint has been made by the hon. Member from Mawhati regarding the composition of the various consultative committees. He complained that the members belonging to his party could not find place in all these committees. Mr. Speaker, Sir I may make it clear that it is not possible that in every committee there should be representation from every party.
Shri M.N. Majaw :- But the Planning Board is one of the most important committees.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- I will come to that later on. Regarding the composition and constitution of the Consultative Committees the Government have for a long time been considering the desirability of getting the hon. Members of the Legislative Assembly involved in assessing the need of the State and also in shaping the board policy relating to various developmental activities of the State. You will agree, Sir that it is not possible for the hon. Members to take this floor and discuss in detail with regard to the functioning of the various Departments and also in assessing the need of the people of the State as a whole and also in respect of a particular field of activity. After having considered this for a long time, we have decided to follow the arrangement which is prevalent in the Parliament. As the hon. Members know in the Parliament the different Ministries have constituted consultative committees in order to enable the members to discuss with the concerned Ministries and the officers with regard to various matters relating to to that Ministry. In a similar way we have divided that in certain important Departments there should be consultative committees so that the hon. Member will get themselves involved and help the Minister of a particular Department in making correct assessment of the need of the people and the State and will also render help in laying down the broad policies. We have in the constitution of these committees, followed the same procedure as it exists in the Centre. The composition of the committee is on the basis of representation of various political parties in the House consultation is also made with the leaders of political groups as to which particular member should serve in a particular committee. The representation of the various political parties is given according to the proportionate strength in the House. I have worked it out and according to the present strength of various political parties in this House, the A.P.H.L.C. gets 65% the Congress as against 12 members get 20% and the H.S.P.D.P. 13.3%. Therefore it cannot be expected that the members belonging to different political parties in the House can have a place in all the committees. The only choice left is to discuss with their leaders and I have has occasion in the past to discuss the matter with the leader of the H.S.P.D.P. and also with the leasers of the Congress through my colleagues. I have sent my colleague to meet him as he was busy in the Congress Camp. There was nothing wrong in that complaints have also been received for non-inclusion of the H.S.P.D.P. members in the Planning Board. It is not to be compared with the composition of the consultative committee. It is not done on the party basis. People are drawn for serve as members of the Planning Board taking into consideration their interest and also their background and experience.
Mr. Speaker :- Not for the knowledge of it?
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Well, Sir, knowledge is always there ; without knowledge nobody take interest. Sit I would like to take this opportunity to clarify this point...........
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Are we to understand that the H.S.P.D.P. members for not have interest on the development of the State? This is one of the criteria.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Well, Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not going into the details but I am just trying to inform the House that in the constitution of the Planning Board the party representation is not the basis for selection as is done in case of the consultative committees, thereby, I do not mean to say that there is none from among the H.S.P.D.P. members who would be fit to serve in the Board. In fact there may be occasion to include one member from H.S.P.D.P. in the Board in future. But what I am simply trying to inform the House through you, Sir, is the basis for selection Now.................
Shri M. N. Majaw :- Excuse me Mr. Speaker Sir if the basis is the percentage, then how is an Independent member given.........
Mr. Speaker :- The Chief Minister has already explained that in the Planning Board the party consideration is not the basis as in the case of the consultative committees.
Prof. M. N. Majaw :- In any Case, Sir the percentage of the A.P.H.L.C. is 63.3 and not 65% They have lost one member in the Supreme Court. (Laughter).
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- I would like to inform the hon. Member from Mawhati that though they have only 13.3% in the composition of the Consultative Committees they have been given 15%. In fact, I must make it clear that though the congress was due to get 20% they got only 17.5% and they should have been ones to complain.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Is that the total number of members of Committees or for each of the committees or for each of the Committees?
(A voice : Only for the 8 Consultative Committees.)
Mr. Speaker :- I think it is a good sign of cooperation.
(voices : Yes).
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Yes, Sir you are very correct in observing that the anxiety to have many members in the various committees shows their support and cooperation.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Not support, Sir still less full support.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- The very concept of forming the consultative committees has been supported. I would like now to refer to the points raised by the leader of the Opposition relating to the report of the C.A.G. During the course of the debate and the Governor's Address yesterday morning the leader of the opposition read out various portions from the C.A.Gs. Report with regard to Meghalaya for the year 1972-73 and drew conclusions from various savings under various Heads as well as from the comments made in the Audit Report that the Government Departments are incompetent and that they have not been doing their work properly, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like in this context to make it clear that the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India is not a charge against the Government, If only records matters that came to light after audit. This report is to be perused by the P.A.C. of the Legislature and discussed with the representatives of the Government. Only such matters not explained to the satisfaction of the P.A.C. by the Government representatives are brought before the Legislature through the Report of the P.A.C. Therefore, Sir, this is not the stage for raising that particular issue and to come to the conclusion on that basis that the Government Departments are incompetent.
Mr. Speaker :- May I point out to the Chief Minister that yesterday I had already indicated the procedure in this matter and I think you should not join the issue about the C.A.Gs report since the C.A.G's is not the final report before the House. But your scope is that which the leader of the Opposition has brought about as the charge of corruption against a particular officer who got possession of 18,000 rupees and he kept this money in his pocket for two years. That is the only charge.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma :- Well Mr. Speaker Sir the hon. Member from Mawhati also made a reference with regard to the ad-hoc appointments in the offices of the heads of Departments against the vacancies meant for the tribal employees from Assam. I would like to give you the correct picture in this regard. As you know the Government has taken a policy to absorb the tribals serving in Assam by certain percentage but we cannot get the services unless they are released by the Assam Government. You know very well that for getting the services of a number of staffs and officers from the Government of Assam we had to make correspondence for months together but at the same time we could not allow the Department to sit tight. We have to make certain arrangement and therefore, in the earlier stages we had the occasion to make some ad-hoc appointment to fill the vacancies which should have been filled up by tribal employees of Assam government. But it is not a fact that the ad-hoc appointment have obstructed the absorption of the tribal employees of Assam. As soon as they are made available the vacancies which have been filled up by ad-hoc appointment are given to them. At the same time sometimes it is not possible to get the qualified candidates to fill up certain vacancies through direct recruitment. It is more so in respect of Garo candidates, I mean the vacancies reserved for Garo candidate and as such we had to make some ad-hoc appointment to fill up those vacancies so that the Department would not suffer. But these ad-hoc appointment were made under Regulation 3(F) against the quota reserved for the Garos to be filled up by direct recruitment. Once we are in apposition to get qualified Garo candidates this quota will be filled by them. So it will not be correct to say that these ad-hoc appointment would l clock the way for the tribal employed serving under Assam Government...........
Well in the connection I would like to refer to the observation made by the hon. Member from Laban whereby he wanted categorical statement from me that 15% of the appointment should be made available to non-tribals. Well Sir that is the policy of the Government and that policy stands but at the same time it may not be possible in spite of the policy to get that percentages Department-wise. But I would like to inform the hon. Member through you, Sir that if he takes the over all picture of the non-tribal serving under various Departments in the State Government, I think he will find that it even exceeds 15 percent. Especially in the technical lines and other Departments where we do not have qualified tribal candidate, we have to take others in the services. It is better that we take the over all picture rather than Department wise. And as such if we take the over-all pictures as far as non-tribals are concerned, we shall find that hey are not only neglected, but over represented. As a matter of fact, there are counter complaints from certain waters that in certain Department the tribals are not adequately represented. In this regard also I would like to point out that unless we get qualified persons body else in the greater interest of the State, whether they are tribals or non-tribals.
With regard to the observation made by the hon. Member from Mawhati, I would like to inform the hon. Members through you, Sir, that in the Directorate level the tribal employees still serving under Assam Government ministerial staff like Superintendents, Upper Division Assistants, Lower Division Assistants, etc Now number about 20 (twenty) only. they will also be absorbed ion the Meghalaya Government as soon as the vacancies are available deprive them of the chances of their absorption here. As I have said earlier only about 20 (twenty) tribal employees are still serving under Assam Government under various Heads of Departments and they will be absorbed as soon as vacancies occur.
One suggestion was made by the hon. Member from Malki that whether there are vacancies or not we must find scope for their employment under Central Government offices here in Shillong and for that purpose they should be brought first under Meghalaya set-up and thereafter the Government should try to push them to those Central Government offices. With regard to this I regret to say that it is not a very practical proposition in that whether there is any vacancy or not they should be brought and dumped here.......
Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- Here Mr. Speaker Sir...........................
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it tantamount to same thing. He has even suggested that those Meghalayans serving now under the Government of Assam should be brought here even when there is no vacancy under the Government of Meghalaya. The presumption that here is a vacancy to get them absorbed somewhere under the Central Offices is wrong and it is neither wise nor possible for us to act on such wrong ideas. The Government of Meghalaya is not an Employment Exchange. But I can assure the hon. Members through you. Sir, that we are making sincere attempts to try to absorb al tribal employees now still serving under the Government of Assam and I shall try to find out jobs for them in the various Central Offices located in Shillong. The hon. Member from Mawlai had made a reference with regard to enrolment of the Nepalese in the Bhoi Area as voters. Since there is already a Cut Motion on this, we will have the opportunity to clarify it tomorrow. I think I may be excused if I make a statement on this tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker :- You may make a statement now so that the hon. Member may not move his Cut Motion if he is satisfied.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- I think I better wait till tomorrow morning. Many members have expressed their concern with regard to the borders with Bangladesh and regarding the infiltration into our area by the Bangladesh nationals. The main difficulty is this regards is the same as that of any other international borders. Top check infiltration into our State we have entrusted this task to out Border Security Force. Besides we have got a number of outposts. There are about 40 B.S.F. outposts along the Bangladesh Border. In some cases however the distance between the two outpost is quite considerable. There are also some sorts of misunderstanding regarding the protection of the people on the border with Bangladesh. The Government has been paying attention to this question from the very beginning. The nature of the terrain along the border presents veritable difficulties for control and supervision by our Border Security Forces and by Police because of the shortage of camps. The State Government has brought this fact to the notice of the Government of India. I am glad to inform you that during the recent visit of the Union Home Minister I took the opportunity to bring this vexed problem to his notice and he was quite sympathetic. I am sure that with the help we may be getting from the Centre we shall be able to take measures that will help maintain peace and tranquility in our border with Bangladesh. As it is at present it is extremely difficult for the Police as well as B.S.F. to patrol on foot across the difficult terrain along the border. But as I said when we receive necessary help from the Government of India, we shall make out police more mobile by equipping them with vehicles for patrolling along the border. In addition to the B.S.F. Camps there are also a number of check post manned by the Meghalaya Police to check infiltration. There are six patrol post in the Khasi Hill two in the Jaintia Hills and one in Garo Hills. In addition to these there are also immigration check posts one in the Khasi Hills district one in Jaintia Hills and two in Garo Hills District. There is also the district headquarters staff besides another schemes for getting thumb impression and photographs of the infiltrates re-entering Meghalaya from Bangladesh. I can assure you that the State Government is fully alive to this problem and as I said earlier this matter is being vigorously pursued with the Government of of India in the ministry of Home Affairs. We have also suggested to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs to increased our check posts for checking infiltration smuggling and other anti national activities along the border. For the information of the hon. Member I am giving the figure of the infiltrates who have been caught and pushed back. The total number of Bangladesh infiltration detected by various check posts in the State was 1.544 from 16th December, 1971 to December 1972,1.546 in the year 1973 and 2.101 in 1974 to including those who has been pushed back across the border. Some members also has expressed in their observation that the Bangladesh nationals were having their way into Meghalaya and were taking shelter in certain pockets of Shillong town. This matter is being enquired into by the Police. I would request the hon. Members from Mawhati will give his cooperation in this regard. In this regard I assure the House that whenever any specific information about the influx of foreign national into our territory is received by the Government, we shall not hesitate to take suitable action in that particular matter.
Prof. M. N. Majaw :- We are always prepared to help the Government whenever they are helpless.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- I have made it very clear that if my friend the hon. Member from Mawhati takes my seat he will also require the cooperation of all of us and he will have to ask for out cooperation.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- On a point of clarification, Mr. Speaker Sir, will the Chief Minister please bring to light whether those infiltrators have been registered and whether a list of such infiltrators is available with the Government.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Certainly, we have also taken the thumb impressions and photographs so that they may not re-infiltrate.
Now, some hon. Members have spoken about corruption. There is an Anti-corruption wing of the C.I.D. under the control of Deputy Inspector General of Police. When the Branch was set up, there was only one Inspector who used to attend to all the works of the branch. Later on it was considered necessary to gear up the administration of this branch and one D.S.P, three Inspectors and four Constables were sanctioned to the Branch to strengthen it. This Branch is to do all inspecting and investigating works and the work of the Branch is to difficult because we do not have trained personnel with sufficient experiences in this specialized work. However, the Branch had carried out enquires in 70 cases during the past three years of which 45 have been disposed of. Also Departmental action has been suggested in respect of 8 cases during one case has been taken up for prosecution in the Court. In many cases complaints were received, however our difficulty is that specific instances are not coming forward, and we do not get witnesses to substantiate the allegations. Whatever the case may be the Government is always been to root out this problem of corrupt practice in the administration.
Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, again I would refer to the observation made by the hon. Member from Mawhati. The hon. Member from Mawhati had occasions to objects to the Government decision for channelising funds through the Block. I would like to give a clear picture about this. In the State of Meghalaya there are four Blocks State IIBlock and 20 post stage II Blocks during 1974-75 with an allocation of Rs.1.00 lakhs each per year and Rs.0.10 lakhs each per year respectively. The Government of India has since decided to discontinue financial allocations to the Tribals Development Blocks on the contention that the State plans itself is meant for the upliftment of the tribal population which forms almost the entire population. In this connection he also made statement that the people in the rural areas did not want any more of these C.D. Blocks. I have tried to collect information from the Department, but there has been no such demand from the people. It will not be correct to say that the functioning of the Block is not at all satisfactory. However there is scope for improvement. But I must make it very clear that there has been not representation from the people of any Block or from any District that these C.D. Blocks should be abolished. If may be the desire of the hon. Member himself........(laughter)........But in this particular matter he does not represent the wish of the people .This being the case it is true that it is through this organisation that we can reach the masses and therefore, I would advocate that in spite of all the shortcomings in the past the Blocks should continue to exist and we should try, wherever we find the shortcomings and defects to correct them. The C.D. Blocks are the agency through which we can reach the people in the matter of developmental activities both in planning and execution. Since the Goverment of India has decided not to make funds available apart from State plan, naturally the Government has no other alternative but to pool the resources from different Development Departments and place the same at the disposal of the Blocks so that the Blocks could continue to function as development agencies and there by involving peoples participation both in planning and execution. It is with this objectives in view that the channelisation of funds by the different Development Departments had been agreed upon. The hon. Member has also complained about the power of the B.D.O's. The B.D.O's cannot function independently being under the administrative control for the Deputy Commissioners who keep watch over their activities. It will therefore, be incorrect to say that the B.D.O's are very powerful. It is the members of the B.D.O's who are to see that whatever programme is agreed to by the various Sub-Committees is being executed properly. And if there be any scope for corruption the Department will take necessary steps to deal with it.
Now the same Member also had occasion to refer to the sitting of the High Court Bench at Shillong. Well I am not in a position to give any reply to this. This is a matter for the Hon. High Court to deal with. We shall however convey the feelings expressed by hon. Members to the concerned authorities with regard to the sitting of the Court.
Now, the hon. Member from Chokpot mentioned about the think bamboo forests between Nongshram and Nongstoin. Well they are not under the administrative control of the Government .They belong to the people of that area who are the competent authorities to negotiate with the District Council, and as such I think we should leave this matter to the people of that area and the district Council.
The hon. Member from Tikrikilla had the occasion to complain that the Ravas were not taken into the Police Force. But according to my information there are 16 Ravas and 13 Koches serving in the Police Force. Of these, 9 Ravas and 13 Koches, are at present serving the Executive Force in the Garo Hills District Executive Force. It is not correct to say that we have not taken Ravas into the Police Force.
The hon. Member from Mawlai made a reference to the payment of the bill to one late Lein (leng) Swer a contractor who was allotted the work of widening of road on Shillong Nongstoin Road for a portion from Mawngap to Nongstoin-10 KM. The work was allotted to him by the Superintending Engineer, Shillong Circle. This hon. Member also made a reference to a letter addressed to me regarding this matter. On receipt of the letter a departmental enquiry was ordered. The departmental enquiry revealed that the final bill amounting to Rs.74,979.93P was paid to the son of the deceased contractor who has been supervising the work even when his father was alive. However as there appears to have been some irregularity, or you may call it illegality, I had referred the entire matter to the Anti-corruption Branch.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the 10th September 1973 the then Minister of State, P.W.D. gave us a reply saying that in good faith it was paid and the engineer did no know about the particular contractor and now we are being told the contractor had died and this was his son. Secondly, there was a financial problem. How can the son sign for his father?
Mr. Speaker :- The Chief Minister has already explained how the payment was made.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- If that son had not made a declaration how can he forgo his father's name.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the Chief Minister has already explained the there was a bit of irregularity in the son having signed for his father. Perhaps the son did not have the succession certificate which should have gone to the daughter being Meghalayan........................
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Because the Minister last time replied that it was paid in good faith and the name...................
Mr. Speaker :- I am also trying to make you understand that the chief Minister had already told the House that he had sent the case to the Anti corruption Branch. Anyway none of us here can really act as one of the officers of the Anti corruption.................
Shri Maham Singh :- May I say that this is not a case of irregularity. It is a case of forgery committed by the son.
Mr. Speaker :- I think I have already ruled out that the case has been sent to the Anti Corruption Branch..............
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, when was the matter sent to the Anti Corruption Branch? When was it sent?
Shri W. A Sangma Chief Minister :- Mr. Speaker Sir, you see as my colleague who was then the Minister of State made a statement on the floor of the Assembly........
Mr. Speaker :- I think this matter refers practically to the whole House. I think the Chief Minister or the Minister in charge knew exactly that he had made a statement even if he did not get the proceedings. I think my Secretariat should not be reflected upon in this matter of supplying the proceedings very late.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Are we to understand that the matter has not yet gone to the Anti-Corruption Branch?
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- As we are to understand clearly which particular case this related to whether it is a new or an old case?
Mr. Speaker :- It is an old case on which the Minister had made a statement last year on the floor of the House.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Mr. Speaker Sir, many Members taking advantage of the policy division to the have more districts and more sub-divisions and administrative units voiced their demand on the floor of the House during the course of the debate on the Governor's Address. In this particular matter, I must make it very clear that it is not only because of the demand coming from a particular section of the people that we divide to create new districts or sub-divisions or administrative units. As correctly pointed out while participating in the Governor's Address by the hon. Member from Sohryngkham, it should be on the basis of the need of the area. I believe you will all agree with me that it is unthinkable that Government is to yield to all demands for creation of new Sub-division of Districts without examining the merits and demerits of each proposal. During my last tour everywhere I went memoranda were submitted to me for creation of district sub divisions or administrative units simply because the Government have divided to go for more district sub divisions and administrative units. There were even demands that the new sub division should be located here or there. In deciding to go for more district or sub divisions unless we are guided by certain basic considerations the need of the area and only then we shall get the fruits from newly created Civil Sub-divisions or administrative units for the advancement of the development and welfare of the people. I may be correct in saying the according to rough estimated it is going to very very expensive even for setting up of office where we shall have to spend more than a crore of rupees annually. I would like to remind the hon. Member that a creation of the new district or sub division involve innumerable other problems like water supply roads etc. I put this question to them; would you like the Civil S.D.O. to come here with his officers and staff and allow the Government to spend one crore or would you like to advise Government instead to spend this amount for irrigation or road or health programmes? Therefore, we should first ascertain the basic needs before we consider demands for creation of new districts new sub divisions and new Administrative Unit. But the main thing is to take into consideration all aspects of the matter on the principle of bringing the administration nearer to the people concerned Department to process it. We have already established the Ri- Bhoi Administrative Units and sub divisions depending upon the need in the light of what I had stated.
Mr. Speaker :- I think before time is up may I have the sense of the House that the sitting of the House be extended till the chief Minister finishes his reply?
(Voice May we know for how long.)
Mr. Speaker :- It all depends on the Chief Minister.
Shri W. A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Only about half an hour. Now I would like to refer to the very important and vital suggestion about Meghalaya Assam boundary matters. Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, this subject had come up for discussion many times in the past and the Government also had the occasion to inform you about various measures taken in this regard.
Block I and II of Mikir Hills district originally formed part of Jaintia Hills Sub division but were transferred to Mikir Hills vide Assam Government's Notification No. TAD/R/31/50/151, dated 13th April, 1951. Since there was hue and cry from the people residing in those areas the Government of Assam decided to reexamine the matter and issued one Notification No. RSR.296/51/130, dated 13th March, 1957 inviting objections to the eastern boundary of the then United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District. There were various meetings for re-examining this issue since then but the same remainder pending up till now.
There were various meetings between official of both the State Governments to discuss the matter concerning retransfer of Blocks I and II to Jaintia Hills. There was also a meeting at Chief Minister level to discuss this issue wherein it was decided to meet again when the Assam Government was ready.
In a discussion between the Chief Minister of Assam and the Revenue Minister of Meghalaya held on 5th March 1971 it was suggested by the Revenue Minister Meghalaya that the boundary between the two States should be laid on the ground to the satisfaction of both the parties and that political adjustments regarding Blocks I and II should be made.
Finally there was a meeting between the Chief Minister Assam and the Chief Minister Meghalaya on 10th September. 1971 when it was agreed that in deciding the issue the comparative population of Mikir and non Mikir tribe wise should be accepted as the guiding criterion and such figures be collected jointly by officials of both Governments.
This Government has also appointed on Honorary Adviser for inter state boundary matter to examine this case also along with other cases.
The Minister Revenue discussed this issue with Chief Secretary Assam Government on 24th August 1974 in his room. The Minister suggested a joint demarcation work between the official of both the Governments and wanted that it might be carried out in the last winter session.
This decision was communicated to the Government of Assam from the Revenue side to the Secretary Revenue Assam, vide letter No. RDS.84/74/2, dated 4th October 1974. A reply was received from that end that the matter was referred to their Political Department for necessary action, immediately, the matter was taken up from this end by writing a letter to the Political Department of Assam Government vide letter No. POL/397/74/2 dated 20th November, 1974 followed by two reminders vide No. POL/397/74/2 dated 21st December, 1974 and D.O.No.POL.397/74/2 dated 7th March 1975.
We are now awaiting a reply from that end.
The Government has very recently received information about the suffering of the people loving in Khasi Hills Kamrup border due to blockage of border hats from that side and has taken necessary action in the matter. Mr. Speaker Sir the Leader of Opposition also had the occasion to refer about the supply of paints. Well Mr. Speaker Sir there are three approved manufacturers they are M/s Shalimar Paints, M/s British Paints and M/s Jenson and Nicholson Paints. There are the approved manufacturer of paints. The purchase Board in its meeting held on 23rd September, 1974 decided to purchase paints from the three companies dealing in three brands namely Shalimar Paints, British Paints and Janson and Nicholson Paints at their lowest rated. Quotations in favour of Shalimar paints, M/s British Paints and Jenson Paints were accepted from Shri Mahadev Stores, Shillong, M/s Rangghar of Gauhati and Aloke Co of Shillong respectively at their lowest rated . Subsequently the two local firms namely : M/s Rangghar of Gauhati and Shri Mahadeo Stores of Shillong themselves requested the Department to place order of paints directly with the firms in Calcutta which are the principal manufacturers of the said points. The forms in Calcutta agreed to supply the paints as per rates, terms and conditions duly accepted by the Board. Accordingly the Department placed order with the Calcutta firms for supply of paints with intimation to the local firms.
In the meantime one representation was received from a local firm of Tura Garo Hills namely: M/s Mahavir Motors which is a local dealer in paints of M/s Jenson and Nicholson. In order to encourage a local firm it was decided to give the offer to M/s Mahavir Motors of Tura to supply paints for the Garo Hills only at the lowest rate. This is the actual position.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker Sir, may we know when the forms suggested because the first order was placed with the tenderer on the 15th October, 1974.
Shri W. A. Sangma Chief Minister :- In case of Shillong and Gauhati this was done under their own representation.
Shri Maham Singh :- May we know whether the Hon'ble Chief Minister has got a file with him?
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- I am stating the actual fact. Mr. Speaker Sir, it was decided to place the order with Aloke and Co. of Shillong but since there is an approved local Agent at Tura the Department after re-consideration agreed at least for the requirement for Garo Hills to place the order with that particular local agent at the lowest rate approved by the Purchase Board.
Mr. Speaker :- The point raised by Mr. Maham Singh is that Mahavir Stores, Tura Garo Hills is the approved local agent of Jenson and Nicholson. Therefore these 3 forms submitting tenders approved by the Purchase Board at the lowest rate. Now this being the approved agent of this Jenson and Nicholson and in order to encourage local dealers the local dealer was allowed to supply the paints required by Garo Hills District alone.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Purchase Board actually approved the purchase of enamel paint of British Paints but Mahavir and Co. supplied the paints on behalf of Jenson and Nicholson.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- In fact the purchase Board agreed (Interruption).
Mr. Speaker :- There is a controversy here. The House wants to know from which source the Hon. Leader of the Opposition gets the information when it appears to me that there is a challenge to the information given by the Government because he is asking about the file.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- I have made it clear that the purchase Board agreed to place order with these 3 manufacturer on behalf of these two firms there were local dealers who have tendered on from Shillong and one from Guwahati but they advised that the department should place order with the principal manufacturers in Calcutta. Now in case of Garo Hills there is a local agency a representative of M/s Jenson and Nicholson. So here also the Department has agreed to place order with the local agent for supply of paints for Garo Hills. The Department thought that it would be good, as measure of encouragement to local agents to allow the local firm to supply the paints for Garo Hills alone at the same rate. I am stating the actual facts. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is also a reference about the Industrial Training Institute in Garo Hills district I must confess I am also not satisfied with the functioning of that Institute some new trades should be introduced instead of the present ones taking the need of the State for instance typing and other trades. The Government of India have been requested to give their approval for introduction of more popular trades. I hope we shall be able to introduce new trades with the approval of the Government of India and them we shall be able to attract more trainees. Well Mr, Speaker Sir, I think these are the only points left untouched by my colleagues but before I sit down I would like to make one observation. Whatever our friends from the other side may say taking the opinion of the people of the State as a whole I have a conviction that whatever handicaps we may have during the last 3 or 4 years the progress we have made in the various developmental fields is commendable short coming may be here and there but taking the overall picture and comparing all the development that have taken place in the past since independence when we were under the Government of Assam I am bold to say that our progress during the last 3 or 4 years is indeed no mean achievement. I think more concrete picture of the progress will be available from the budget speech to be delivered by the Finance Minister whether about the mileage of roads achievements in agriculture education or in any other developmental activities of the Government. I do not of course mean to say that there is no scope for making further progress for the welfare of the State. But it will not be good to be one sided. We must give the correct picture of the State after it has come into being. Please do compare the progress made during these last 3 or 4 years and the progress made in the early years when we were with the State of Assam. If you visit the different districts you will find marked differences in the various field of development. Still there is scope for improvement. I am sure with the cooperation of my friend from Mawhati which he does not like to give but which is needed to achieve the various objective as laid down in the Governor's Address, we shall be able to make better progress in future. I would therefore, like to make an appeal to all of you to help in the proper implementation of the various schemes taken up by the Government. I am also sure when these consultative committees would start functioning you will have ample opportunity to know about the difficulties in the implementation of various schemes by various departments and you will be able to give your suggestions extend your advice to the Departments more effectively in future. I am grateful for a number of suggestion that have been placed before the House and the Government have taken note of all these and with the cooperation which we hope to get in future, we shall be able to make better progress for the welfare of our people of the set up. Let us remember that we have to function in a democratic set up. To day I am here and tomorrow you may be here. As I said even if I am there you will have to get my cooperation. It is only in that spirit that you will be able to serve our people more effectively, If we simply find find fault with each other and obstruct the proper implementation of the various programmes, we shall not be doing justice to our people. I am sure the hon. members have brought these amendment motions in order to enable us to discuss important problems of the State. We have known each other through a debate. Therefore, I think there will be no need on the part of the Hon. Members to insist on their amendment motions but withdraw them.
Mr. Speaker :- After the appeal made by the Chief Minister, what about Mt. Pohshna? Do you want o press your amendment.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I only want one clarification. While discussing my amendment, I have mentioned a very serious matter regarding use of border trucks. I want to know whether Government will still be silent on the misuse of border trucks?
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- As I said, whatever points have been raise and whatever suggestion have been made will be attended to by the Government. But as far as the border have been made will be attended to by the Government. But as far as the border areas are concerned. I am happy to inform the House that the Government of India in the Planning Commission have also recognised the need for stepping up development programmes for the economic upliftment of the border people. It has been mentioned in the Governor's Address that an official team from the planning Commission will visit our State. I will look into the matter regarding misuse of the border trucks as alleged.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Whether Government is going to take action?
Shri W. A. Sangma Chief Minister :- We will look into the matter and often that action comes.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- I am grateful to the chief Minister for the reply. So I with draw my amendment.
Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member level of the House to withdraw his amendment ?
(Voice yes, yes.)
The amendment is with leave of the House withdrawn.
What about Prof. M.N. Majaw's amendment?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I want one clarification. No mention has been made in the Chief Minister's reply regarding demarcation of boundary between Meghalaya and Bangladesh which has been referred to.
Mr. Speaker :- In fact, he has made a vague reply. Whatever suggestions that the members have made regarding any matter the Government will like into. But because this is an international boundary question, it should be dealt with by the Government of India. But when the Government has assured to take up the matter I do not think this House is competent to discuss the matter.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Since Government has at least accepted many of our suggestions even with that very devious explanation of the word full support I withdraw my amendment.
Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his amendment?
(Voice - Yes Yes)
The amendment is with leave of the House withdrawn.
I now put the main question. That the Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House on the 5th March, 1975. (The Motion was carried).
The House stands adjourned till 9 A.M. on Wednesday the 12th March, 1975.
|R. T. RYMBAI|
|The 11th March, 1975||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|