Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, the 15th March, 1975 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong.
Present :- Prof R. S. Lyngdoh, Speaker in the Chair, Ministers, Minister of State and hon. Members.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us take up Unstarred Questions.
(To which replies were laid on the Table.)
Election to the Shillong Municipality
Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :-
22. Will the Minister in charge of Municipal Affairs be pleased to state whether election to the Shillong Municipality will be held in 1975 ?
Shri. P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister in charge of Municipal Affairs) replied :-
22. The matter is still under consideration.
Shri Maham Singh :- May we know how many years this matter has been under consideration of the Government ?
Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have clearly clarifies the other day during the discussion on the Governor's Address that the matter is receiving active consideration of the Government.
Shri Maham Singh :- How many years has the Government been considering this matter ?
Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, Municipality Administration) :- We started considering this question in 1973.
Provincialisation of M. E. Schools
Shri Jackman Marak asked :-
23. Will the Minister, Education be pleased to state :-
a) Whether Government propose to provincials the Chokpot M. E. School during this years ?
b) The number of M. E. Schools which have been provincialised during the last three years ?
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) replied :-
23. a) The question is under examination.
b) No M. E. Schools were provincialised during the last three calendar years, except 5 (five) M. E. Schools provincialised with effect from 1st February 1975.
Shri Plan Singh Marak :- What are the 5 M. E. Schools which have been provincialised ?
Shri P. G. Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) :- In Khasi Hills Mawlaiteng M. E. School, Myriaw M. E. School and Shgimawlein M. E. School.
In Jaintia Hills - Whakjajer M. E. School.
In Garo Hills Rongara M. E. Schools.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- How many more M. E. Schools Government is going to provincialise in this calendar year ?
Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question.
Construction of the Jowai Government College Buildings
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-
24. With the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state :-
a) The reasons for non-construction of the buildings of the Jowai Government College?
b) Whether Government proposes to start construction of the buildings during the financial years 1975-76?
c) The total amount surrendered due to non-construction of the buildings of the Jowai College during the years, 1972-73, 1973-74,1974-75 ?
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Minister of State in charge of Education) replied :-
24 a) Due to paucity of funds. The estimates for the first phase of the project only came to Rs. 33.69 lakhs. But the amount that could be provided in the 5th Plan for the purpose is too small.
b) The possibility of taking up the work from next year in phases is being examined.
c) Provision for educational buildings is made as a total whole every year in the P.W.D's Budget and P.W.D. makes necessary allocation of funds for the schemes fully approved. Hence the question of surrendering any amount meant particularly for the Jowai College does not arise.
Shri Maham Singh :- 24 (c) What was the total amount provided for educational buildings surrendered by the P.W.D. for all these three years ?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) :- I want notice for that, Sir.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- 24(a), the estimates for the first phase of the project only come to Rs. 33.69 lakhs. Cannot Government implement the Scheme with this amount ?
Mr. Speaker :- That is argumentative.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Why Government is not implementing only to the extent of this amount of Rs. 33.69 lakhs ?
Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister explain that ?
Shri P. G. Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) :- That is the estimated amount only.
Shri Maham Singh :- 24(a) What was the amount provided ?
Shri P. G. Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) :- The Working Group has recommended Rs. 15 lakhs for both Jowai and Tura Government Colleges.
Construction of roads by the Forest Department
Shri O. L. Nongtdu asked :-
25. Will the Minister in charge of Forest be pleased to state :-
a) Whether it is a fact that the Forests Department proposes to construct few roads to connect the Reserved Forest with the P.W.D. roads in the State?
b) If so, the roads proposed to be constructed during 1975-76?
Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister of Forest) replied :-
25 a) Yes.
b) Saipung Reserve Forest Road.
Implementation of Assam Pay Commission Report by the Government of Meghalaya
Dlosingh Lyngdoh asked :-
26. Will the Minister in charge of Finance be pleased to state :-
a) The date on which the full report of the Assam Pay Commission for all categories of officials is expected to be published and implemented by the Government of Meghalaya ?
b) Whether there is a proposal to give increases rates of dearness allowance to the staff basing on the rising price index and increased rare of dearness allowance allowed to Central Government employees and I.A.S. Officers serving in the State ?
c) If so, when ?
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh, Minister in charge of Finance replied :-
26. (a) The Government have already issued necessary order giving effect to the revised scales as recommended by the Assam Pay Commission in respect of Grade III and IV employees. As regards other two categories the matter is now under examination of the Government and orders are expected to be issued as soon as possible.
(b) and (c) - Government have already sanctioned dearness allowance to the State Government employees drawing pay upto Rs. 1,6000 with effect from 1st July, 1973. For further increase of dearness allowance, the matter is under consideration.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- 25(a) Whether it is a fact that Government is not giving effect to the pay scales of the two other categories ?
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh, Minister of Finance :- The matter is under active consideration of the Government.
Allotment of grants for Muga silk rearers in Garo Hills
Shri Pritington Sangma asked :
27. Will the Minister in charge of Sericulture be pleased to state:-
a) The total amount of subsidy/grant allotted for Muga Silk rearers in Garo Hills for the year 1973-74 ?
b) The amount of subsidy granted per head ?
c) The total number of rearers ?
d) The number of rearers who have been selected for subsidy grant from Adokgiri Centre ?
Shri Grohonsingh A. Marak, Minister of Sericulture and Waving replied :-
27 (a) The total amount of subsidy grant allotted for Muga Silk is ear in Garo Hills during 1973-74 was Rs. 3.000.
b) The amount granted per he as was Rs. 300.
c) The total number of rearers-10 Nos.
d) The number of Muga rearers selected from Adolgiri village for grant in aid - one.
Taking over of High and Middle English Schools
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-
28. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state the number of High Schools and Middle English Schools which the Government proposes to take over during 1975-76 ?
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang, Minister of State for Education replied :-
28. The question of provincialising more schools, Middle English and High Schools, will depend on a large number of factors particularly finance. The matter will be examined next year after the budget gets passed.
Provincialisation of High and Middle English Schools during 1974-75.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-
29. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state :-
a) The names of High Schools and Middle English Schools provincials in the year 1974-75 ?
b) The names of High Schools and Middle English Schools recommended for provincialisation by the Education Department during the above period ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak Minister of Education replied :-
29(a)(i)(1) Rongrenggiri High School in Simsanggiri Subdivision, Garo Hills.
2) Jowai Government girl's High School in Jaintia Hills.
ii) (1) Mawlaiteng Middle English School in Khasi Hills
2) Myriaw Middle English Schools in Khasi Hills
3) Shugimawlein Middle School; in Khasi Hills.
4) Wahjajer Middle English School in Jaintia Hills
(b)-(i) (1) Rongrenggriri High School.
2) Jowai Government Girls High School
3) Nongstoin High School.
ii) (1) Mawlaiteng Middle English School.
2) Myriaw Middle English School.
3) Shngimawlein Middle English School.
4) Wahjajer Middle English School.
5) Rongara Middle English School.
Realization of royalty from coal sent outside the districts
Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-
30. Whether the Minister in charge of Mining and Geology be pleased to state :-
a) Whether it is a fact that the District Councils have been entrusted with the duty of realizing royalty from coal sent outside the districts of the State of Meghalaya ?
b) If so, the amount realised by each of the Autonomous Districts ?
c) The rate realised per metric tone and whether the rates have been notified in the official Gazette of the State ?
Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols Roy (Minister in charge of Mining and Geology) replied :-
30 (a) Only the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council has been entrusted with the duty of realizing royalty from coal produced out of illegal mining, and sent outside Jaintia Hills District.
b) The amount realised by the District Council according to the records available in office of Director of Mineral Resources is Rs. 10,868.00.
c) The rate realised per metric tonnes is Rs. 2 and rate was not lifted tin the official gazette of the State as it is the rate from the Schedule previously laid down by the Government of India.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- 30(a), why the District Councils of Garo Hills and Khasi Hills have not been entrusted with the duty of realizing royalty on coa? >
Mr. Speaker :- What is that reason that the District Council of Khasi Hills and Garo Hills have not been entrusted with the task ?
Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy, Minister of Mining and Geology :- The matter is under active consideration of the Government .
Grants to District Council for primary education.
Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-
31. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state :-
a) The amount granted to each of the District Councils in respect of primary education f or the years 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75 ?
b) Whether utilisation certificates for the grants have been furnished by each of the District Councils ?
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) replied :-
|31. (a) -||1972-73||1973-74||1974-75|
|(A) For Management of Primary (Education Maintenance grants).|
|Khasi Hills District Council||
. . .
|Garo Hills District Council||
. . .
|Jaintia Hills District Council||
. . .
(B) Non-recurring Grants for buildings
|Khasi Hills District Council||
. . .
|Garo Hills District Council||
. . .
|Jaintia Hills District Council||
. . .
|(C) Non-recurring grants for furniture and equipments|
|Khasi Hills District Council||
. . .
|17,250||. . .||68,100|
|Garo Hills District Council||
. . .
|33,750||. . .||56,300|
|Jaintia Hills District Council||
. . .
|4,250||. . .||15,700|
|(D) Non-recurring grants for gift materials|
|Khasi Hills District Council||
. . .
|10,000||. . .||. . .|
|Garo Hills District Council||
. . .
|10,000||. . .||. . .|
|Jaintia Hills District Council||
. . .
|4,000||. . .||. . .|
|(E) Non-recurring grants for School Uniforms|
|Khasi Hills District Council||
. . .
|12,000||. . .||. . .|
|Garo Hills District Council||
. . .
|12,000||. . .||. . .|
|Jaintia Hills District Council||
. . .
|6,000||. . .||. . .|
|(F) Non-recurring grants for School Libraries|
|Khasi Hills District Council||
. . .
|4,000||. . .||. . .|
|Garo Hills District Council||
. . .
|4,000||. . .||. . .|
|Jaintia Hills District Council||
. . .
|2,000||. . .||. . .|
|(G) Non-recurring grants for supply of free Text Books|
|Khasi Hills District Council||
. . .
|4,000||24,000||. . .|
|Garo Hills District Council||
. . .
|4,000||20,500||. . .|
|Jaintia Hills District Council||
. . .
|2,000||5,500||. . .|
More grant for 1974-75 are yet to be sanctioned by Government.
b) Yes, for the grants sanctioned during the year 1972-73 and 1973-74, except building grants from few schools of District Councils for 1973-74.
Submission of utilisation certificates for the grants sanctioned in 1974-75 is not yet due.
Medical Officers deputed by Council Government
Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :-
32. Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to state :-
a) The Medical Officers at present deputed by the Central Government in the State ?
b) How long will their devices be retained by the Government?
c ) Whether any step had been taken to get their services transferred to our State ?
d) If so, what was the Central Government's decision ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister in charge of Health) replied :-
32.(a) The following Medical Officers are on deputation to this Government from Arunachal Pradesh Administration :-
1. Dr. J.C. Phira, 2. Dr. P.W. Buam, 3. Dr. Chancelly Stone 4.Dr. W. M. War.
b) & (c) Under examination of Government.
d) Does not arise in view of (b) and (c) above.
Irrigation Scheme in Jaintia Hills
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-
33. Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture be pleased to state :-
(a) The schemes the Government proposes to take up in Jaintia Hills for purpose of Irrigation ?
b) The schemes proposed to be completed during 1974-75 ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister Agriculture) replied :-
33.(a) A list of a tentatively identified areas for survey and formulation of irrigation of project during the next few years is placed on the Table of the House. Feasible schemes will be taken up for execution by the Government subject to availability of adequate funds.
b) Two Lift Irrigation Schemes, viz, Kwai Lift Irrigation Project and Umpleng Lift Irrigation Project have been taken up during the current year and are expected to be completed within this year.
Grant to District Council for construction of L.P. School buildings.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-
34. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state the amount granted to each Autonomous District Council for construction of L. P. School buildings for the years 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75.
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Minister for State of Education) replied :-
Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council
Garo Hills Autonomous District Council
Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council
General Discussion on the Budget
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item. Mr. Raisen Mawso to resume the discussion on the Budget. You will have 10 minutes.
Shri Raisen Mawsor :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say something about communication. For the last few years, Government have not done anything regarding construction of roads. But I suggest to the Government that the most important roads which have already been constructed or proposed to be constructed should be completed within a very short time. I can cite an example like the Shillong-Tura road where there are many bridges one at Raingdo river and out at Raingsi river. These bridges have been completed. But I wonder till now the two small bridges between Nongdaju and Nongshram, a distance of 14 kms, have not been completed. This road is the most important road. If these two bridges are completed, regular transport can ply from Shillong to Tura. Another road, Mawshynrut-Hahim road which been constructed by the earstwhile Assam Government and is being continued by our Government. As I know, 7 or 8 years have elapsed, but till now this road has not been completed. The road is very small and even jeeps cannot ply. Uptil now, not a single bridge has been completed.
Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) :-What is the name of the road ?
Shri Raisen Mawsor :- Mawshynrut Hahim road. This road is a very important road. As you know, Sir, Nongstoin is now a civil Subdivision and people are coming and going to Nongstoin. But in the absence of road communication because of non-completion of bridges, people are finding it difficult to go to Nongstoin, Subdivision. So I would suggest that Government should examine this from the point of view of utility and service to the people. This road should be first completed in a short time. There are proposals to open the roads like Dorrangiri via Nongriangmaw to Maheskhola. During the Assam Government, they have started some kilometers, but till now the work the work has not yet been completed. I may inform the House, Sir, that if the road is constructed, it will not benefit the public only but the Government as well because in this area, there are mineral resources like sillimanite and limestone and Limestone and our Government will also get sufficient revenue from these mineral resources. So, Sir, I would suggest to the Government that even if there is a proposal to open more new roads but the roads whose construction has been started should first of all be considered in order to determine which is the most important road which should be completed within a short time.
Now, I come to transport. Sir, as I told the other day that since Nongstoin is now Sub-division, the people from Sonapahar and different villages keep coming from and going to Nongstoin. Daily about 60 or 70 passengers are coming to Nongstoin but I am sorry to say that there is no vehicles from Sonapahar to Nongstoin. Infact, the Sirdar with the people from different villages have met in a durbar and passed a resolution and sent to the Director of Transport requesting the Government to send at least one bus to ply daily from Sonapahar to Nongstoin because now the people from different places are coming and going to Nongstoin. In the Nongstoin Subdivision, there are a number of permit holders for fair price shops. These permit holders sometimes finds it very difficult to transport their quota of rice and sugar to different places. They has to carry their quota of rice and sugar by trucks only up to Sonapahar and from Sonapahar, say from Aradonga and Malangkona they have to go on foot for two to three days and from Riangdo to Malangkona there are no trucks plying. But from Sonapahar to Hahim they have to wait and stay at Sonapahar for two or three days. Then what happened during their stay at Sonapahar for two to three days. They have to sell one bag or two bags of rice to meet their expenses. When we ask them, they will say that they have no money to pay for their food and lodging at Sonapahar. So I request the Government, as there is a truck in the Agriculture Department meant for the border, to send that truck to Nongstoin to help those people from the interior places, as many times we have passed resolutions to this effect and I hope the Government will look into the matter to ameliorate the hardships of the people.
Now, I come to education. In the interior places as well at in Nongstoin subdivision there are many schools . . . . . .
Mr. Speaker :- But primary school are under the District Council.
Shri Raisen Mawsor :- I mean Middle English Schools like Darangiri, Nongumdang, Lyngdongdai and Nongshyrkon M. E. Schools. In some of the M. E Schools, the Secretary of the Managing Committee is also the Headmaster and every year he has to come to Shillong and spend his time for submission of application on for building grants to the office of the D. I of Schools. Before submission of the plans he has to get signature of the S.D.O., P.W.D. So, as he is both Secretary of the Managing committee and headmaster of the school, he has to spend most of his time for going to Shillong to submit application for building grants. But Sir, so far I know this year not s single school received the building grant. Some schools income areas might have got the building grants but in my constituency no school received the building grant. So, I request the Government to consider these M.E. Schools in the interior places by providing them with building grant another facilities. As we know, Sir. (bell rang) some schools have got grant of about Rs. 200 or Rs. 300 a year. But sometimes in one school they have to appoint two or three teachers. It is therefore very difficult on the part of the Managing Committees of the schools to meet the expenditure in respect of pay to teacher with this amount of Rs. 200 or Rs. 300 and to run the schools efficiently. So, I request the Government o increase the grants.
Before I sit down, I would like to bring to the notice of the Government that there are three rivers near Garo Hills, namely, Riangmo, Umran, not Umran river near Nongpoh and Khadshra river. This is very good river which flows from the height of 1000 feet. For construction of a dam I may suggest the Government should undertake survey of the rivers.
Mr. Speaker :- Will there not be any protest from the people ?
Shri Raisen Mawsor :- No, Sir, and we from the Government can earn revenue from that if Government takes up survey. I think project will be successful for power generation and it will also give benefit to the people. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Pleander Gare Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I consider it a great privilege to have this opportunity to participate on the general discussion of the budget which the Hon'ble Finance Minister has been pleased to deliver on the floor of this House on the 12th instant. Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset of my speech I once again would like to remind the House. . . . .
Mr. Speaker :- You will discuss only the budget speech of the Finance Minister and not the budget.
Shri Pleander Gare Momin :- I would like to remind the House once again that we were stepping in the fourth year since the time when the full-fledged State of Meghalaya came into existence. And I have great pleasure, in fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to mention here to-day that our Government has made substantial progress in many directions, in the field of social, economic, political and legal aspects and practically in all aspect of life of the people living in our State.
Mr. Speaker :- Political also ?
Shri Pleander Gare Momin :- Yes. In other words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, new roads, new educational institutions, more hospitals have come up and a variety of goods and service have come within reach of a much larger number of people living in our State through the sincere efforts and the keen endeavour of our Government. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, although this achievement is both obvious and significant, yet the fact remains that there are still multitudes of illiterates, under-nourished, ill-clad and sick people living in our State till today. Therefore, this is my sincere belief that these social evils can be eradicated through the keen co-operation and full support of all of us irrespective of different sections of the society or tribes and castes. In this regard, first of all, I would like to convey my hearty gratitude for the Budget Speech which the Finance Minister has delivered. In page 17, para 35, we read as follows: "The situation today is full of challenges, and it is the privilege and duty of us all to put in our maximum endeavour towards the realisation of the ideals of elimination of poverty and attainment of self-reliance to which we are committed as a democratic nation." Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, while appreciating fully the plans and programmes of the Government as contained in this Budget Speech, I would like to make some of my observations and suggestions.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the first instance, I would like to concentrate in the field of agriculture. As this House is quite aware, agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the people not only in our State of Meghalaya but also in the entire country of ours. Therefore, agriculture plays a most important role in the economy of our people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with specific schemes likely to be implemented by the Soil Conservation Department in the coming year replacing jhumming by terracing with the follow-up action programmes continuously for a period of three years, I hope the food production in our State will achieve a better goal. However, according to my observation, in the precious years this So Conservation Department has done a lot of terracing in different place within the District of Garo Hills on the hill tops where irrigation facilities are not available. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the local people are not inclined to take cultivation in those reclaimed areas mainly because of two important reasons. Firstly, the farmers in the rural areas are not very much acquainted with new method of cultivation. Secondly those reclaimed areas are not suitable because irrigation facilities are not available. Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to make my humble suggestion in this regard that the Soil Conservation Department in the future, should do terracing or reclamation only in those areas where irrigation facilities are readily available. If I am allowed to speak, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Garo Hills particularly, in the real sense of the term, does not consist at all the hills but on by hillocks. So plenty of land is suitable for cultivation where irrigation facilities are readily available. Therefore, I would urge upon the Government to take initiative towards purchase of bulldozers so that more reclamation work can be taken up more speedily in the near future. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are quite aware, that people of our State are very much concerned about the method of wet cultivation. According to my sincere belief, this wet cultivation can be mainly improved by providing ideal and proper irrigation system. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would strongly urge upon the Government that top most priority in providing better irrigation facilities should be extended to our rural farmers. Of course, I am very happy to note in the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister that in the coming year the State Government is taking up 3 flow irrigation schemes and 5 lift irrigation schemes. I hope, Sir, that with the implementation of these schemes we shall be able to achieve better goal in the food production sector. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would strongly stress upon the Government to implement better irrigation facilities so that our local farmers in the rural areas can produce crops even more than twice or thrice in a years there by maximize food production.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, towards the extension of medical facilities, I would like to say that the Government is no doubt taking the initiative. In this regard, during the last 3 years we have been able to bring more medical facilities, extending more hospitals and dispensaries and health centres and also we have been able to procure doctors and para-medical personnel to provide for their services in the the rural areas. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a matter of great regret to mention here to-day that the supply of medicines, specially to that rural health centres, is very very inadequate. Particularly, in one of the health centres within my constituency, the most important and essential medicines are not in the stock throughout all these years. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this matter is very serious in the rural areas where there are no private pharmacists or shops from where medicines can be purchased. It is my sincere belief that if we can build hospitals and health units an dif we can help the people by providing the services of doctors and para-medical personnels all these would be meaningless without medicines. Therefore, it is very important and essential that medicines in the health centres specially in the rural areas, are made available. That is why the people in the rural areas have been deprived of medical care due to non-availability of medicines. In view of these things Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to extend my co-operation to the Government and also urge upon the Government to kindly take drastic steps towards regular supply of medicines in the future.
Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, coming to the field of industries I am really grateful and very happy that due to the keen initiative and sincere efforts of the Government, so many industries are coming up in our State. In fact, some industries have started functioning and some more industries would be coming up in the near future. But if I am allowed to speak from the industrial point of view, I would like to say that the first and foremost condition to to be fulfilled for the growth of industries is the requisite infra structure, like raw materials, good communication, availability of technical personnel to man the industries and so on and so forth. According to my observation, Mr. Speaker, Sir, our State is facing acute shortage of technical personnel to man the industries. Therefore, it is my sincere urge upon the Government to open some doors for our young and talented persons for getting necessary training in the field of industries and the Government should provide for all possible help in this regard so that the lion's share of the benefit from the industries could be derived by the sons of the soil. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, Mr. H.E. Pohshna
Shri. H. E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I find it difficult to congratulate the Finance Minister for his Budget Speech especially with the estimate shown with the over-all deficit to the tune of Rs. 97.99 lakhs and the reasons stated there in for presenting this deficit budget are not at all convincing. It was stated here that the deficit budget has to be presented due to the circumstances beyond their control. On the other hand, Sir, I am also expressing my thanks to the Finance Minister for having been very frank in presenting this budget. If we turn to page 17 of the Budget Speech we will find that it has been stated that the Budget placed before the august House by me today contains a blueprint of the Government, programme towards achieving the objective of all round development and prosperity of the people of Meghalaya." There is no doubt that the Finance Minister has taken into consideration some points raised during the previous years from this side of the House and this fact as been proved when we find that nothing has been mentioned about excise and lottery which the Government previously considered very very important. Also, Sir, I doubt that there is an importance in the programme as contained in the blueprint of the Government. Also we fo not know why no mention has been made in the budget speech regarding excise. We have seen in one news item that one organisation of the women called "Ka Seng Pynduhkiad" to which a sum of Rs. 30,000 has been donated by the Minister of Finance who was also in charges of Excise. It appears that there have been dome changes in the attitude of the Government towards drinking of liquor etc. In the speech it is said that the deficit has arisen due to circumstances which are beyond the control of the State Government of Meghalaya but I say there are sources which may improve the financial position of the which are under its sole control. We cannot deny the fact that there had been a big transaction of money, whether it is black money or white money I do not know which is daily taking place in the Polo Ground. It is not because there is any industry or factory in the Polo Ground. But everyday there is a big transaction of money going on in the Polo Ground. Why not Government do something to legislate on this transaction is order to see that the money does not go our of the purse of the Government. At present all the money which should have gone to Government is being enjoyed by unlawful bodies and the Police.
Sir, I come to the last portion of the Budget Speech, I mean the concluding portion of the speech where it has been stated that the situation is full of challenges. I am very glad about the Statement here and I should also by very frank since the situation is full of challenges. I would request the Finance Minister to meet the challenges right inside the House and he should not misunderstand it for a physical challenge. (laughter).
It is about implementation of the programme. Why I say so, Sir, is because inspite of the fact that there are many schemes under agriculture, under education, under communication and under so many schemes for the all-round development of the State, the challenge before the House is that in spite of these beautiful schemes, unless there is a change in the manner of implementation of the schemes; all those schemes will remain but promise. Only a few minutes ago we have heard the replies from the Minister of Education regarding College buildings at Jowai. Money is there, the schemes is there but what is the difficulty ? The difficulty is that implementation part is not there and till today it remain but a scheme on paper only.
In the field of agriculture we are however glad that the S.F.D.A. has started its work in 'Garo Hills. But in the implementation of the scheme there is no follow up programme although a big sum of money has been spent.
Regarding the scheme for rural electrification the Government, has declared their target for rural electrification before this House. They promised to electrify 1189 villages. But I doubt if they still follow the manner in which they are implementing the scheme today that they will be able to reach even half of the target.
So, Sir, since there is limited time at my disposal I do not want to go into the entire crux of the matter. As we have seen in the Agriculture Department there are a lot of schemes and projects to be taken up for the three districts of the Meghalaya and the fund is very very big. In the Soil Conservation Department. I am very happy to see what has been mentioned by our Finance Minister at page 7 of his Budget speech. "With an outlay of Rs. 1.00 crore during 1974-75 and Rs. 1.10 crores during 1975-76, soil Conservation represents a major and important programme of economic development in the State." 14 programme 8 in Garo Hills and 3 each in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills have been taken up to settle about 900 jhumming families. But I am sorry to say that it is difficult to find out where are those schemes which our Finance Minister has stated. The programme a bold and novel" Sir I am not an expert in English, I cannot express the real significance of the word novel. Sir I am afraid it may come to a real novel in the history of the Soil Conservation Department with the 14 programmes 8 in Garo Hills 3 for each District Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills bold programmes ending in a "novel".
Mr. Speaker :- You may aspire for a noble prize.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- The Minister of Finance will of course explain this way and that way but I say unless serious steps are taken for i implementation of those programmes I am afraid that they may only become a novel.
Sir, coming now to the economic condition of the State our Finance Minister in his budget speech has rightly pointed out that the increase in price is due to various factors both internal and international. The international factor is mainly due to rise in price of crude oil and other petroleum products as also of the food grains in the international market. This is the first point. The second point is that the shortfall in agricultural production is fuel to the erratic failure an-behaviour of monsoon and the third point is the lack of power generation. Some of these problems are really the challenges to our Finance Minister and the Government. But I do not know how our Government propose to meet and face these challenges.
Sir though I believe that all these challenges are there and also there are factors which have resulted in the rise of the price of crude oil and that the 'food-grains in the international market are scarce now yet if we go deep into the matter we will find that lakhs and crores of rupees have been spent for the Agriculture Department Community Development another development Departments in the various blocks in Meghalaya but no visible sign of progress and improvement is found, because those schemes were not properly implemented and if the entire amount meant for implementation of those schemes is distributed equally to every house it will be of better help to the people and the economic situation of our people would have been by far the better. When I say like that it does not mean that I want that Government will give the grant to everybody. But because we cannot implement those schemes successfully instead of wasting public money and pouring the funds into the drains, why not give to the people? That is my point Sir. Of course the agriculture Department has got many lame excuses and they are expert to reply to the people. For example if the people will complaint that there is a failure of crops due to monsoon and when they complain this to the office of the Agriculture Department, they used to say that they are doing the best they can for them and when there is natural calamity they say god is doing it. But this is a lame excuse. These natural calamities are not so frequent that the agricultural produces of the people will be affected every year. It is a fact that there is a calamity in same part of Garo Hills and that the paddy fields have been tremendously affected by the flood last year and also in some parts of Jaintia Hills. But there are also failure, of crops which could have been avoided had it not been for insufficient supply and late arrival of bone meal and fertilizers to the cultivators and in such cases the slackness of the implementing officers had been the cause. If we watch along the G.S. road between the months of December to March or April, has it not been for the cowdung in truck loads from Gauhati to Shillong and some other parts of Khasi Hills and had the farmers entirely depended on fertilizers from the Agriculture Department there would have been no potato production.
Shri E. Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- But we can give them ten times what they require.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- That is good assurance indeed. I do not want to challenge the Minister of Agriculture but I would only request him to come forward with statistics as to how many truck-loads of cowdung and chicken-dung have been used by the cultivators in the recent past which I believe he will not be able to do.
Mr. Speaker :- I think they are using both cow dung and fertilizers.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Sir, it is because of those people that there is plenty of vegetables in Barabazar and other markets into the State . No doubt the Agriculture department is also keeping some vegetables in front of the Agriculture office. I have also seen one agriculture van selling vegetables in front of the F.C.I.'s office opposite St Edmund's College . And if you look at the vegetables selling in the open market in Barabazar and compare the quantity of the vegetables produced by the people with that of the Agriculture Department you will find that the quantity produced by the Agriculture Departments is very very insignificant and if you consider the amount that is spent for the produces of the Agriculture Department the vegetables sold in this Agriculture Van by the Agriculture Department and the amount involves by the people in Barabazar the difference will be horrible. Sir therefore I agree with the Finance Minister when he said we are to face the challenges. In the exhibition conducted by the Agriculture Department, you will find that Agriculture Department have done very good. Whereas the fact is that the same man who got first prize in Mawryngkneng will be the same man who will get here in Shillong or somewhere for the quantity of the produces exhibited by him in the exhibitions. Thus most of the work of the Department is for arranging exhibitions. Sir I do not like to take much time. My last point before I resume my seat is about the economic situation of the State. Sir, it is a fact that all the schemes for development undertaken by the various Departments and their programmes are for the economic development and improvement of this State and the people but it is a tragedy that the economy of the people is fast deteriorating. Therefore, Sir I one again stress that something should be done to improve the economic condition of the people of the State . I am happy that the Chief Minister has constituted some Consultative Committees and I believe the members of the respective committees should not be allowed to be dictated by the I.A.S. Officers of course we cannot blame the I.A.S. officers because most of them have been trained outside the State . But there is no I.A.S officer who has got a training to study the soil, climate, terrain and the local condition of the land and the people in this backward State. Before I conclude my speech, I am not congratulating the Finance Minister for this speech because in so far we have judged from his past speeches made in this House, we have found that schemes remain only papers scheme and unless implementation of the same is done in a matter that will suit the local condition of the soil, the land and the people, I am afraid that will be papers schemes only.
Further, Sir, I am afraid, that with the rise in prices of food grains and other essential commodities the common man if he fails to get help from the Government, from the various Departments and from the Ministers and if no help will come to him from the Government which he expects to get and which they have promised him he will have no other way but to collect his children and family members to say in a famous prayer: "Bread of Heaven Feed me till I want no more" Thank you, Sir.
(At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair.)
Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to participate in the Budget discussion for the year 1975-76. At the first instance, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I must congratulate the Finance Minister and his Department for presenting this voluminous and ambitious Budget for the year 1975-76, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my previous Speaker who have just spoken before me have spoken on agriculture, I also should like to touch on this subject being the backbone of our State of Meghalaya and the country as well. Sir, in agriculture we have got a lot of scope for the improvement of land reclamation of the flat lands which have not been brought under cultivation. And there are a lot of reclaimed lands but there are no facilities of irrigation. I therefore, would request the Government to see that these reclaimed lands are provided with irrigation facilities so that our people or our farmer can do intensive cultivation throughout the year in order to increase production of food. And also Sir, whatever land we have and with whatever cultivation we should apply fertilizers so that we can augment food production. It is time for us to utilise fertilizers now and I am glad tolerant that in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts they have been able to utilise fertilizers. But in Garo Hills District Sir, our people have not thought of it. Therefore, I would request the Government through you, Sir, to send or appoint more Agricultural Demonstrators to go to the villages and demonstrate on the use of fertilizers through the Blocks. I am also glad to see that the Soil Conservation Department has been doing well in providing terracing and reclamation on certain flat lands in Garo Hills. But Sir I am sorry to say that many of the terraced lands which have been beautifully done by the Soil Conservation Department have not been used by our people and now jungles started growing there. In this respect I would request the Government to study these phenomena as to why our villagers today have not been able to take up terraced cultivation.
Shri W. A. Sangma Chief Minister :- May I intervene, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, ? We realise this fact and we have got schemes no doubt for three years. So I hope that programme of terracing our lands will not be left out.
Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Yes Sir that is very good but I mean to say that our villagers are very hardworking honest and sincere. But because this is a new method of cultivation, they have not been able to switch over to this new type of cultivation.
Again Sir, in the plain areas whenever these flat lands are available I find that the Agriculture Department have not been able to supply the power pumps whenever they are demanded. So I would request the Government to see that sufficient number of power pumps is always made available the District Headquarters or in the Block Headquarters.
Then Sir, coming to Animal Husbandry and Dairy Farming I would like to congratulate the Government that the Government is doing very sincerely in this field also. And then we have entered into some sort of cooperation with the Danish Government and the Government of Meghalaya is really doing well in this field as well . In this respect I would like elaborate that this animal husbandry and dairy should be improved more intensively so that we can do away with grazing in the rural areas especially in the District of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. By grazing our cattle we care spoiling the soil as these animals are roaming here and there. So if we can do away with the grazing in the open field I think it will go along way in improving the economic life of our people.
Then now fishery, I think we are still following the rates of the Government of Assam and because of high prices, the labour charges I means labour wages, also have increased. So this ceiling of 250 per bighas or 350 per acre is not at all satisfactory. Many hon. Members have also spoken in this regard and I myself had the occasion to speak last year but I am sorry, Sir, that nothing has been done in this respect. In fact I find that the Fishery Department is not working thoroughly in Garo Hills because I do not find any Government Fishery tank and even some villagers at their own initiative have taken up fishery tanks without the help of Government. At least one fellow in my constituency is having the fishery and he is drawing his income from that. I have on several; occasions suggested to this Department in Garo Hills to visit his tank and give more advice to improve his tank and give better finger-lings and also grant-in -aid do so that he can get encouragement to develop it. Likewise there are many good places for development of fishery in my constituency, of course I not know much of other Constituencies and I will say anything on them . But I say that in my own Constituency there is enough scope for development of fishery and I urge upon the Government through you, Sir, to send officers from the Department to visit this areas and develop fishery in order to help the people to earn a livelihood from this profession as well. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, regarding road communication I have nothing to say but to congratulate this Department. The Public Works Department specially is doing very well and especially this year can see throughout Meghalaya that roads are coming up and people are working and earning wages their and I hope in the very near future our State will be connected with many good roads.
Regarding power, I am grate full to this Department but as I said the other day I would again impress upon the need of providing R.C.C. poles for carrying of transmission lines from Nangalbibra to Tura as well as Nangalbibra to Dudnai where we are supplying power from Nangalbibra. Because of Jhum cultivation specially at this time the jhum fields are burnt and all the sall posts are also burnt. In some place there have been some incidents where these poles have fallen down and the wires were lying bare. So Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would request the Government though you, to look into this matter immediately and replace these sal poles with R.C.C. poles. Then again we come to Mining. We have started extraction of coal in Nangalbibra to feed the thermal plant there but it has not been done in a scientific way nor a commercial way. But this is one of the most potential subjects in Meghalaya because we are very lucky to have a lot of coal in our State and if this can be scientifically extracted, we can also supply it to other States and even to Bangladesh where coal is much in demand. I understand that in the past during the British regime coal was extracted from some places near Siju and it was transported to the then East Bengal which is now Bangladesh where coal is much in demand through Simsang rive and I think even today if we encourage our people to extract coal from these coal bearing areas on cottage industrial basis the economic life of these people in our border areas and in the interior will be improved.
Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would like to get a clarification from the Member. First of all he complained that we are not taking up coal mining on scientific manner. To that we will reply later. On the other hand he said he would request the Government to extract coal for cottage industries which I think the Member has contradicted himself.
Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I mean to say is that if we cannot do it immediately on scientific manner we can immediately take up coal mining on cottage industry basis (voices Yes-yes) so that we can save our forest also. By supplying coal to the people living in town which are very much in need of firewood because today by cutting down of trees to be used as firewood our jungles and forests are being destroyed. So Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I do not want to contradict myself nor to humiliate the Minister-in-charge, but I only want to be sincere for I have seen that in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, people are extracting coal and they are earning a good amount of money. So if these things can be done immediately we can earn some revenue from royalty which would rather augment our income.
On industries, I have nothing much to say. I am satisfied with the workings of the Industries Department of the Government with the help of the M.I.D.C. and a few point have already come up and I hope that in the near future, jute mills and cotton spinning mill in Garo Hills and also cement project and calcium carbide unit in Jaintia Hills will come up. There is something in which the M.I.D.C. or the Government have already received a letter of intent.......................
Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy Minister of Industries :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, the hon. Member is wrong in saying that the Government or the M.I.D.C. have received the calcium carbide letter of intent. The letter of intent has not been received.
Shri M. Reidson Momin :- I may be wrong Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I am sorry, but that is my understanding.
Regarding transport, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that I am grateful to the Government that today since we have got our own State, we have introduced this direct service from Tura to Shillong and Shillong to Tura, but for some time these services were working very well but recently with the shifting of the booking office to the place near Anjalee cinema, people from Tura or the bonafide passengers from Shillong to Tura are being put to inconvenience and still it has become more inconvenient for the people from Tura who come to Shillong specially when some times the buses arrive Shillong at 9 or 10 o' Clock or some times at 11 o' clock at night due to puncture of tyres or some breakdown. So I request the Government through you Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, at least to allow the bus coming from Tura to Shillong to come over to Police Bazaar you can get ample scope of getting coolies or taxis to go to their respective homes. Sir, in the present booking office we do not have any coolie and also we do not get taxi because there is no taxi stand there. The other day I was a victim of this when I came to Shillong by Meghalaya Bus I mean the Tura-Shillong bus and then I was stranded in the station yard. And because I could don't get an taxi or coolie also and that time we arrived.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Momin, instead of using the word coolie you can use the word porter.
Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Thank you for the correction Sir, I think it carries the same meaning . (Laughter) So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is really very inconvenient and I would like to draw the attention of the Minister to this and to kindly look into this and relieve us from this trouble or inconvenience. Because with the introduction of this Tura Shillong bus, we were glad and we could send our wards, our children even without escort and we could write a letter to the to people in Shillong even that we are sending children to Shillong on such and such date, so that they can come to the bus station to meet them . But now because of this situation they cannot go and also sometime even if the bus goes it breaks down arriving Shillong very late and this gives too much troubles to the passengers, And if the bus breaks down on the road they will be put to such troubles and they will not know whether the bus will not be able to go or not
The Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding the salaries or the aids or grants given to the District Councils for the payment to Lower Primary Schools Teachers I would like to say a few words. Now a days Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our L. P School teachers all over Meghalaya are suffering because the District Council are not in a position to pay their salaries regularly because according to the Government they are not submitting the Utilisation Certificates timely. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I want to point out here (bell rang) is that when the District Council receive the money for disbursement as pay to Lower Primary School Teachers by the time they submit their Utilisation Certificates they have no money to pay the teachers and this process takes 2 to 3 months. So I would like to suggest Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, that it would be better that after giving one instalment it should give another instalment so that by the time the first instalment is exhausted the District Council are in a position to submit the Utilisation Certificates and in the meantime receive another instalment of grant from the State Government. So like that, I think their District Councils could pay the salaries etc to the Lower Primary School Teachers and run the administration smoothly. (Bell rang) Could I continue Sir?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- No. Now, Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh. It seems he is absent. Then Mr.. O. L. Nongtdu ? You will get 18 minutes.
Shri O. L. Nongtdu :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the outset, I would like to congratulate the Finance Minister for the Budget Speech and the Budget Estimates presented to this House which have given us ample scope to study and discuss during this Session.
In the field of education, Sir, last year we have had a lot of time to discuss about the standard of education, especially in the primary stage .We also have had the occasion to hear a number of commitments for the improvement of the standard of education in the lower stage by transferring the service of Sub-Inspectors of Schools have to the District Councils. But, I am afraid, Sir, that so far as Jaintia Hills District is concerned, the services of the Sub-Inspectors of Schools have not been transferred to the District Councils but they are still under the Education Department of the State. I feel this requires prompt action of the Government so that they can serve better and their services can be of value to the public especially to the Primary Schools of the State. Much has been said Sir, about implementation in many spheres of the Government Department.
In the field of communication, Sir, actually, it is gratifying to note that many new roads are opened in the State and we hope many more will be opened and will be constructed during the coming years, but I have only one observation to make Sir, and that is about the road from Shillong to Jowai. This road is supposed to be a National Highway but is one of the worst roads in the State. There are many pot-holes everywhere and one may feel like riding a horse when travelling in a bus on this road from Shillong to Jowai. So, I urge upon the Government, especially the Public Works Department to take necessary action to improve the road as early as possible because this is one of the important roads in the State where the people from outside the State are coming and going through this road. It is also a fact, Sir, that when there is no implementation there is also a hue and cry from al sides and at the same time when the Government is trying to get the service of those experts and technicians from out side the State there is also a hue and cry I wonder what the Government will do in this respect. But, as far as I am concerned, I feel that the Government would try to get the services of experienced people whether tribal or non-tribals to serve the State so that the money meant for any purpose can be spent in time and improvement can be seen by the people at large.
Sir, it is also gratifying to note that the Government have appointed a number of non-official Chairman in the Blocks of the State and this may really improve the working of the Blocks in our State. But, in this field also as far as I can understand, the service, of the non- official Chairmen may not be so effective. They are only supposed to preside over the Block Development Committees. They do not have any power, I mean Financial power. At present they can use the Block vehicles and jeeps for only 5 days in a month where they may probably visit only one place or project in a month. This is not sufficient, Sir. I feel that they should be given more power and ample time to go in the Block areas to check the working of the Blocks. Otherwise, our Blocks may suffer the same fate as most of the Panchayati Rajs in the Plain State of India are suffering where there is a clash between official and non-officials.
So unless some power is given to the Chairman. I feel the clash may occur in the Block also.
In the field of agriculture I am grateful that the Government has given top priority to agriculture and even in the Jaintia Hills District last year double cropping system has been practised in a number of places with the help and assistance of the Agricultural Department. But due to heavy rainfall there was a lot of destruction caused to the crops specially to maize and other crops which were planted during the month of March and April. This year we find that in most of the areas where jhumming is practised, they even do not have the maize seed to sow at this time of year? Sir, is it a fact that an amount of about 5 lakhs of rupees has been provided for purchasing of seeds to the distributed to farmers as grant and loans ? But it is unfortunate as far as the Blocks in Jaintias Hills are concerned that the farmers are trying to get maize seed from the Blocks but they have not been able to get it up till now. I feel that this needs immediate action from the? Government, so that those who want to get such kind of seed should get at the proper time. As we are aware, maize is one of the important crops and also a staple e food,. Therefore those who practised or are still practising jhumming, should get the supply of this seed in time so that they can grow it and can get enough food next year. In some part of Jaintia Hills, Sir, for example in Saipung area they are growing sugarcane in the old traditional method in making gur and are selling it in some bazaars in Jaintia Hills and these people need encouragement from the Government by supplying them with improved machinery and improving seedings to expand the growing of sugar cane so that they can avoid jhumming for the cultivation of paddy in those areas. This will help not only for the growing of sugar cane but also for making gur in the State.
In the field of animal husbandry we have seen that the Government has tried its best to improve Animal Husbandry in the State and to encourage the farmers also to rear more cattle and other animals for their own benefit. I have seen in the budget that provisions for pig farms at Tura and Khasi Hills are being made. I am sorry, Sir, that I could not see any provision for setting up of such farms in Jaintia Hills. May I request the Government Sir, to start such a farm in Jaintia Hills a pig farm and also a goat farm. The people here are accustomed to rear pigs and goats. I have personal knowledge that some farms even paid advance money for getting food pigs to the veterinary office Jowai but up till now they have not been able to get any pig which they want to rear in the villages. So I feel that such farms should be started in Jaintia Hills itself and also a goat farm can be set up within the next year. As stated by the hon. Member from Nongtalang that there was no mention about the State Excise in the budget speech of the Finance Minister, but I have seen from the budget that there is a provision for the same. The provision has been raised from Rs. 3,40,000 in 1974 to Rs. 4,99,700 in 1975-76. But may I point out, Sir, that this amount of Rs. 4,99,700 may not be sufficient for this Department. As we have seen last year and even this year that there are hundreds of illicit liquor shops in the urban and also in the rural areas. When we were trying to bring this fact to the Excise, Department I am told that the Department is short of staff and I can see it also that it is not possible for them to stop those illicit sales of liquor in many village in Jaintia Hills. So I feel, Sir, that an increase of one lakh of rupees only in 1975-76 may not serve the purpose. They need a number of vehicles and lot of experienced staff to check illicit sales of liquor in a number of villages. Thus, I feel that I should bring this to the notice of the Government, that if only the licensed shops are allowed to sell liquor within that time limit prescribed by the Government then to sell liquor within the time limit prescribed by the Government then our young people will not be encouraged to frequent those shops which they may not do during night time. Only by taking such action by the Government sour people specially the young boys can be discouraged from requisitioning such places. So I request the Government to take appropriate Private action in this field. I have heard that many licensed shops would even be ready to surrender their licences because they cannot compete with those illicit shops where liquor is sold freely. So unless more staff is appointed, and unless they are e provided with good number of vehicles to move freely from place to place to stop al these evils, we cannot expect any bright future for our young generation. So it urge upon the Government to take necessary action and to see that illicit sale of liquor is as far as possible checked during the next financial year. Sir, I would like to have few minutes time to make my other observation on pension and other retirement benefits.
In the Budget of 1974-75 we fond that a sum of Rs. 11,30,500 have been provided and this year a sum of Rs. 12,61,000 has been provided. It is quite unfortunate that many employees, specially teachers who have retired for the last two to 4 years cannot draw pensions even pensions even now. Few of them are facing a lot of difficulties. They used to draw their pay at the end of the month and suddenly when they are asked to retire, they cannot even draw their pension or get any payment from the Government. The delay might have been due to the reparation of records between Assam and Meghalaya Governments (bell rang). But I told that this is not the only reason. But one of the main reasons is that their service records are not properly maintained. May I request the Education Department to see that the service records of the employees, especially the teachers, should be properly maintained not at the time of retirement only but every year or from year so that by the time they retire from service, they should be able to get their pension promptly.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, Mr. Lewis Bareh.
Shri Lewis Bareh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I take part in the general discussion of the Budget I would like first of all to congratulate the Minister-in-charge of Finance for presenting the budget for the year 1974-75 to the House. Sir, now I would like to come to agriculture on which many members of the House have stressed the importance of this particular Subject. As it is at present the agricultural production in the State is very much less which due mainly to natural calamities and less rainfall. Moreover in some areas in Jaintia Hills the shortfall in due to heavy unprecedented destruction of paddy crops by hail storm just on the eve of the harvest. As such, the poor cultivators who are entirely depending upon paddy cultivation are facing great hardship. Sir, in the fields of agricultural production, we have seen that the Government has not taken up any scheme either to reclaim the lands or to irrigate them during the current year 1974-75. So we have nothing to say about that for reasons best known to the Government.
Sir, with regard to the activities of the Soil Conservation Department some e schemes have been taken up by this Department such as reclamation schemes and also minor irrigation schemes, during the year 1973-74. Since then this Department has been continuing the schemes. But, Sir, the question is whether or not the present reclamation scheme and minor irrigation scheme are suitable for permanent cultivation by the people especially the jhumming people and to urge them to depend upon this reclamation scheme. Because so far I have seen, that last reclamation scheme and irrigation scheme implemented by the Soil Conservation Department cannot be utilised for the purpose of paddy cultivation due to non-completion of the schemes. In this regard, I would like to request the Government to see that since the scheme has been taken up by the Department, it should be completed so as to make it suitable permanent cultivation, especially for the jhumming people.
Sir, I would like to come to another item and that is with regard to forests. Regarding implementation of the scheme for development of Forests, it was sated that hitherto the forest areas of Nagpuh and Saipung Reserves in Jaintia Hills District are proposed to open up by construction of forest road for transporting the forest produce. At the very outsets, with regarded to forests it was stated that the Government have adopted its own policy for maintenance, improvement and protection of forests. It is if course every good policy. But with regard to the last portion of the statement where in it is proposed to lease out the above forest to be operated to the Meghalaya Plywood Limited on certain terms and conditions for a period of 15 years for the benefit of State industries. I am not a ware of the fact whether before the forests were given for operation on lease basic with the party, the Government has fully determined the boundaries of the State forests. So far we have collected the information that there are some disputes between the Government and the residents of the area and how far these disputes are being settled. It was stated that the boundaries of the forest which were classed as reserved forest were determined during the British regime according to the situation prevailing at that time. But during last 10 or 20 years the population has been growing more and more.
But now that the Government has taken over the said forest there may be some encroachment here and there as the actual area of the said forest proposed to be taken over is not known for the purpose of extraction of forest produce. Therefore, I would like to request the Government in this regard to look into the matter seriously in the interest of the local residents so that additional problems will not be created for the people who are already affected by the border problems.
Sir, I will come again to industry. In the matter of implementation development schemes, at page 36, it was stated that there was a scheme of lime making plant at Sutnga. The purpose of this scheme is to produce lime. Sir, may I draw the attention of the Government to the fact that about 14 years ago the Block Development Officer at Khliehriat had fully organized the people of the border area into an "industrial cooperative society" for the same purpose i.e. for production of lime. But at that time as the condition of the Shillong-Jowai-Badarpur Road was very bad the lime produced by this industrial unit could not find a market; and as such, the business had to stopped. But now, since the condition of the road is quite fit for transporting lime wherever market is available, why not Government come forward to encourage the local people to start this productive business so that the local people from the border will be reaping the benefit, and, at the same time, to enthuse in them the spirit of self-supporting.
Now I come to another item, i.e., regarding food supply. In connection with the Supply Department, almost all the hon. Members are deeply concerned over the economic problem of the people because of the rapid rise of prices in the markets. Even during the dry season in the months of Decembers-January-February, we have seen that the rise in prices is unbearable and nobody knows what will happen during the rainy season from the months of May to October ? It may happen that the people would not even have sufficient money to purchase local rice for family consumption and, as such, Sir, the Supply Department has to play a vital role in the matter of food during the coming period of the rainy season. Of course, Sir, it was stated that the Government has not yet received any information with regard to the activities of the Supply Department on the leakage of essential commodities. In fact, Sir, I myself say and still insist that there are many holes of leakage of essential commodities while rushing them from the Centre to the areas where the people are badly in need of food supply. So I would like top request the Government to see that the supply machinery be thoroughly the overhauled so that such leakages of essential commodities are stopped on the part of those who are responsible for the movement of the commodities. I would be better if a public machinery is constituted on a joint cooperation in this regard, (Bell rang) so that the essential commodities could be brought in such a way that they actually reach the people. Sir, this is one of the most important Departments responsible for ensuring regular supply of food stuff to the people and at the same time to improve the food position. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Prethington Sangma ? He is absent.
Now, Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh. Since Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh is absent, you will have 25 minutes.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am glad to have this opportunity to participate in the general discussion of the Budget. Sir, the Budget which as been presented and the speech delivered by Finance Minister on the 12th of this month, is very lengthy and voluminous, and it must have taxed very much the labour of the Ministry, the Department as well as of the staff. But when I went through this Budget Speech one things had impressed me much and that was the language used by the Finance Minister at page 17 of the Speech at para. 35 when he says: "The Budget contains a blueprint of the Government's programme towards achieving the objective of all round development and prosperity of the people of Meghalaya." This sentence, of course, appeals to me very much as if the Finance Minister has a very good intention to see that prosperity and benefits accrue to the people of the State from the money which has been estimated and to be voted by this House for the coming year. But, at the same time, I feel it is unfortunate that the Finance Minister has brought this Budget with a big deficit of Rs. 97.99 lakhs which is against the very principle of anti-inflationary measures that the Government has adopted. We find that in the budget speech it has been stated that various measures have been taken to curb or to check inflation. The Central Government as well as the State Governments are adopting measures to check inflation. But I do not know how, through deficit financing, inflation can be checked rather it would lead to further inflation. That is why I say it is unfortunate. As the Hon. Member from Nongtalang has expressed and rightly pointed out that there would be no improvement unless there is proper implementation of the schemes with the money which will be voted by this Assembly. It is meaningless to envisages only beautiful schemes and ambitious targets, that have been spoken out by the Finance Minister, unless they are properly implemented, Sir, what we want to see is that the common people of the State should be benefited from this provision of Rs. 73.77 lakhs which will be voted by this Assembly and this should not be concentrated on the few people in the State. As it has been noticed during the last few years, the benefits never go proportionately to the common people of the State but remain stagnant in the hands of a few people who are well-to-do and who have got the bargaining power. As I said earlier the "haves" are very vocal and are getting all the benefit they want. But the "havenots", or common people of our State are not vocal; they do not know how to approach various officials, various Departments and as such they are not benefited from the schemes or the money which has been earmarked by the State. Therefore, Sir, I would like to suggest that the Government should put more effort in this respect and should see also that the benefit should be distributed equitably to the poor people, the rural people of the State and not only to a few hands.
Now while observing on other various Department, I appreciate that the Government placed importance or priority on agriculture during the Fifth Plan period. But I regret to say that even after pending a lot of money during the last few years to the tune of the Rs. 1.33 crores during the year 1974-75 and to the tune of Rs. 95 lakh during the year 1973-74 the food grains production has remained stagnant. It has remained as it was in the previous year. It is expected that after spending so much money, food-grain production would also be increased proportionately so that the additional months which are ever increasing could be fed. But then it is a sad thing to note, as the hon. member from Nongtalang has just now said that the foodgrains production produced by the people themselves, without any help from the Government is much more as compared to the production by the Government which is very significant. So, Sir, I would request the Government to give more stress on foodgrains production. Now we are to going to vote on agriculture alone an amount of Rs. 1.47 crores, and of course, if the total amount to be earmarked under various heads connected with agriculture like irrigation, soil conservation, etc, will be much more but the foodgrain production will still fall short of the actual requirement. Further Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while we pay more attention to agriculture and other horticultural crops, we must also pay attention to marketing facilities. As it was last year, Sir, I believe hon. Members would agree with me that the production of potato last year was comparatively high but suddenly the price of potato came down and people could not sell it due to lack of marketing facilities. They had to throw away their produce simply because there were no proper marketing facilities. Sir, I feel that in the absence of marketing facilities the cultivators will face the same difficulty as that of last year.
Sir another subject which the Finance Minister has not mentioned anything, which to him does not seem to be important, is the Publicity Department. Since there is no mention about this Department in his speech, we presume that this Department is not being run efficiently, I say so because every year we used to hear those celebrations or giving of awards to freedom fighters or commensurate their action. But then, I understand that the Central Government in the Ministry of Broadcasting lead been asking this Government to provide information regarding the freedom fighter from this area, U Tirot Singh, the then Syiem of Nongkhlaw, in order to commemorate him by issuing a postage stamp. But this Government in the Publicity Department are very slow to respond to this call for information. Last year, the Central Government could have issued the same for commemorating his name of the information sought for had been forthcoming. But this year, also I do not know whether the Government could provide such information immediately so that it we can see his postage stamp, in this current year. That is why Sir, I say that it indicates the inefficiency of the Publicity Department . In spite of the request from the Director of Posts and Telegraphs made to this Government nothing has been done so far. I do not know how much time this Government will require to furnish the information Sir, there are various subjects on which I would like to speak. But I do not like to take much time of the House and I would come now to the Town Planning and Urban Development Department. In this subject, Sir, I do not know why this Government have thought it wise to open a separate department under this Town Planning and Urban Development. Its working is more or less similar to that of the Public Works Department. I do not see much difference in the functioning of these two departments. We have not seen so much planning of towns ever since the existence of this Department; nothing appreciable has been done for the towns like Tura, Jowai and Shillong. They are still remaining in a haphazard way as they were before. Moreover, Sir, it may have a difference only in degree of corruption because in both these departments, I understand certain persons of these Departments are still indulging in corruption. Sir, I understand that a high ranking office of the Town Planning Department who has been appointed in this Staff a few years back has acquired a vast property worth lakhs and lakhs of rupees but there is no check from the Government. Whereas when the people, the sons of the soil, get money out of their honest profession like cultivation other business or when they become little richer, they are being watched but when the people who has come recently and acquired a lot of wealth and properties, no check was being kept on them. I understand that in that department for whatever construction that it being carried on, if that work is not at all according to the specification; the officer of the department used to call the contractor for interview and in this way their bill is passed and payment is made. Sir, I say all these things because I feel that this Department is not so much necessary. It is better that the work of this Department of Town Planning and Urban Development should be left with the P.W.D. because that Department is more experienced and they has been in that line or service since a very long time. That is, of course, my suggestion.
Sir, then I come now to health. I am glad that efforts have been made for opening of more dispensaries, and Primary Health Centres in the State. But here in the town, the office of the Civil Surgeon is still hoisted in a very congested building in the house which has been constructed during the British time and if you happen to go to that office where there are only a few rooms with large number of staff, you cannot go from the one table to another unless that table is pushed back for a while. And whenever you are to find any records it is very difficult to find anything or trace any record in such a small pave. Sir, quite a number of buildings have been left empty with the shifting the Government of Assam. But then, the office of the civil surgeon still remains in the same congested place. I think it should have been housed in some bigger buildings, as it is in the case of many offices. Sir, the performance of the Civil Hospital at Shillong is also very poor. It seems that the doctors are more over-burdened with their multifarious activities in their own houses than with attending the hospital. Sir, I do not know whether the Government has paid any extra allowances as non-practising allowance to them ? But then we find that most of the Government doctors in the Civil Hospital use to practice privately to earn extra income. I would request the Government to pay proper attention to this and to impose strict discipline of the performance of the Civil Hospital in Shillong and also in several hospitals in the State.
Sir, regarding water supply I would like to make a few observation. We have seen in the whole State that health depends much in the water we drink. Sir, unless we have good drinking water our health will be deteriorating. Sir, in certain places where there is no water the P.H.E. Department is expected to be of help the people. Sir, I do not see that he PHE responds much to the request made by the people who have no water source nearby which can by drawn by means of gravitation. But only those areas where there is water nearby are getting help from the Government. What we want is that in those areas where the population is larger they should be given help and so Government should see that more attention is paid to those places where there is no water at all. But then the PHE help only those who have got water sources by gravitation. Mostly water in the stopes of Khasi and Jaintia Hills Sir, has got gravitational force and therefore water can easily be drawn by gravitational systems. Infact, they don't need much Government assistance, and if at all they need it will not be too much because they bring water by means of bamboos or some indigenous materials by which water can be brought to the village as it has been done in the War areas. But here in the upland areas of Khasi Hills where villages are thickly populated and where there is no water the PHE do not help because they said that there is no water source that can be tapped by means of gravitation. So what I thought is that the Government should give more money and more help to these upland areas where there is acute scarcity of water to enable them to bring water even by means of pumping; otherwise it will be of no use to improve the lot of those people living there. Therefore, I would request the Government to look into this matter and especially in Mawkyrwat areas where the water supply scheme is already there since about three years ago. That water supply scheme ends only in survey work. So I once again request Government to see to it also and see that it should be taken up immediately and wherever possible even by pumping system.
Now coming to forests, Sir, I have spoken already that forest development in our State is very meagre. We should acquire more land to be brought under forest development programme otherwise our State will become barren and bare . Therefore, I would request Government to see that this burning down of forest trees and grasses should be banned and discouraged, if necessary even by law. Government should seek the co-operation of the people to check the burning away of the forests and grass so that forests can be developed with all the Government machinery that are available. With these few words I resume my seat.
Shri. D. N. Joshi :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as many hon. Members have not spoken, I may be kindly given their time also.
Mr. Deputy Speaker:- You will get 8 minutes and please don't waste away your time.
Shri. D. N. Joshi :- Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to speck on the Budget speech presented by our Finance Minister. I really thank you very much for having given me scope to probe into the workings of the Government. In so far as the economy of our State is concerned, on going though the lengthy speech of the Finance Minister, I was under he impression that this Budget is not the budget of the common man, but it is the budget of the rich people. Sir, in the Supply Department, I fond just this weak that the Government is giving 1 kg of rice and atta to our people. I fail to understand, Sir, how with that 1 kg of rice and atta our people can live for week. But Sir, thanks to the traders in Barabazar of Shillong and other markets that the people get their food-stuff from the bazar when the system of control and supply of the Government is prevailing there. So either the Government should be bold enough and efficient enough to supply the entire quantity of food-grains to the people through their agents or they should do away with the practice of control and supply and leave everything to the traders who are more efficient to run the shops, who are efficient enough to feed the masses in times of their need which they are doing now also. So I want that the Government should draw up schemes to carry on this supply matter in a way that meets the needs of the common people.
Just now a friend of mine who had spoken earlier, said that there is no water and Government has failed in their scheme to supply water to the people of the State. I quite agree with him, Sir. Only yesterday there was devastating fire in Lower Mawprem in Shillong where four beautiful houses were gutted and many people were rendered homeless only because there was dearth of the water in the locality and that incident has drawn the attention of everybody and people rushed to the scene but they could never extinguish the fire because this Government has totally failed in providing water even for the town of Shillong not to speak of other parts of the State. Sir four houses were gutted by the fire but after these 4 houses had already been gutty then only the State Fire Service came there. Here there been plenty of water those house would not have been burned down.
Shri E. Bareh, Minister Agriculture :- What happened there at Gauhati under the Congress Government ?
Shri D. N. Joshi :- We are not talking about the Assam Budget, but we are discussing here the Meghalaya Budget. I am surprised to hear that the Minister is comparing our State with that of Assam and speaks or Gauhati. We are concerned with our own State here. Here in the Budget the Government has come out with the statement about the greater Shillong have not been able to take up the matter of supplying water in the town in a proper manner. So it is a conventional statement (A voice: That is why it is proposed here.)
Sir we have got his Assam Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation which is having monopoly over the G.. S. Road and link Shillong with Gauhati. Sir, a number of times hon. Members in this House including myself, have asked the Government de-nationalise this road so that the people or the common man is benefited. They cannot ply their trucks or buses on this road and the people have to depend upon the buses and trucks to be supplied by this Assam Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation. Sir, even after 5 years of existence of our State, we have not been able to achieve anything. It is not the failure on the part of this Government not to have complete control over this road? I want to request the Government, through you, Sir that this matter be taken up earnestly and earlier so that this road is de-nationalised. The sooner it is done the better for our people.
As regards forests, everybody is aware and everybody knows that the forests of Meghalaya are indeed a potential source of wealth and a source of income to our State, but Sir, on account of the defective planning and the indifference shown towards these forests by the Government, the forests are gradually depleted and there are no schemes for afforestation. There may be schemes in papers, Sir, but they lack implementation Sir, I have had the chance of going to Jowai and Tura recently and I found that on both sides of the road, the forests are all barren, the lands have become barren and the forests have been depleted. I found no trace of afforestation from the side of the Government, and the time is not very far when there will be no forests in Meghalaya if proper afforestation scheme is not taken up in right earnest . . . . . . . . . . .(interruption).
Shri B. B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to say that he did not see any afforestation is a incorrect. If the Member does not see that there is any afforestation he should ld not tell us that there is no afforestation, because it is there . . . . . . .
Shri D. N. Joshi :- But so far I know Sir, I failed to see on both sides of these main roads any afforestation Schemes that have been taken up by the Government. I want the Government can take it up in right earnest. There is the problem of jhuming.
Sir, there is this jhumming cultivation which is also responsible for the depletion of the forests and schemes have been taken up by the Government to stop this practice of jhumming in Meghalaya, but is pace in which this work is being executed is not satisfactory. I want this Government to see that there is a time-bound Programme that within a short span of time, the practice should be done away with the scientific and terrace cultivation be taken up. Sir, we have got a great potentiality in our State for development of dairy farm. The Government have come out with schemes, big schemes no doubt, attractive schemes in paper. There is the Indo-Danish Project where good breed of cows have been brought, they say, but we were told that the yield of milk from these cows which were brought from abroad is only 6 litres on the average when, even with our native cows, we can have 5 to 6 litres of milk. So I do not understand what benefit our State will derive from these cows which were imported from abroad by totally neglecting the development of our own native cows. There are graziers who are running the trade and I am sure everybody knows that in the Bhoi areas, even with the native cows, the average yield is more than 20,000 litres, out of which about 18,000 litres go down to Gauhati without any income to the Government. Now, Sir, our Finance Minister ha presented a deficit budget and we have to find out source of revenue to fill up this deficit. I have made so many suggestion on many occasions on the floor of this august House that all the milk should be put in the chilling plant and by doing so, our Government can get some money to augment the State. Exchequer by way of chilling cost. But the Government has not yet paid any attention to this suggestion of the mine by which our State Exchequer could have been augmented and the deficit made up. I am sure if this scheme is taken up at least 15 to 20 lakhs of rupees can be collected by way of chilling cost only and if they supply milk and the allied products to Gauhati and other markets from the Bhoi area through Government Agencies, we can get more revenue for the State. There should be proper facilities for fodder cultivation. Our people who are already in the trade, should be encouraged and facilities given to go in for scientific breeding of cattle and cattle colonies should be there for the graziers. Wanton rearing of cows and buffaloes in the jungles and fields in the primitive way should be stopped. That way, we can save our forests, we can save erosion of soil and we can improve the lot of the graziers also and we can earn more revenue for the State. In the Bhoi area, Sir, the graziers have started co-operatives, consumers co-operatives and those Societies had been formed into a Union. In the Bhoi area there is the Bhoi Area Milk Producers Union and that was the first Union not only in Meghalaya but in the entire composite State of Assam. But due to the apathy, due to the indifference of this State Government, that Union has not shown any progress and cannot do much work to serve the people. Therefore, Sir, I want, through you, that this Government should take up and look into the matter and see that the Union thrives and thereby the people who are in the trade get all the facilities for he development of their industries. Sir, last year there was devastating flood in the Garo Hills District and as one of our friends had said, the Government through various agencies had come promptly to the aid of the people at the time of the flood. That was a splendid task indeed. But the follow-up action (Bell rang) was not taken up and so the people who suffered are still suffering.
Lots of money have been surrendered in the field of education. According to this report, Sir, we found that an amount of Rs. 6,60,809 was surrendered and I think here in this State for the promotion of Hindi, the Government of India has given a certain amount of money. But proper steps were not taken to spend this money so that our people, our students should get proper education in Hindi. So, they fall far behind in this aspect of education compared to the other boys and girls of the States of India. Therefore, proper steps should be taken for the propagation of Hindi also in our State. And our Government should see that the money earmarked for education is not surrendered because thereby, we deprive our children of the facilities they should have got. So in this way, by surrendering money we do great harm to the children of our State and by (bell rang) improving our schools run by one teacher only, by providing more teachers we do render great service to our youngsters but failing this we deprive our children of the benefit they should have got from the side of the Government. With these few words, Sir, I thank you very much and I have got many other points to raise here but time permitting I will do so in the future.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, Mr. Brojendro Sangma.
Shri Brojendro Sangma :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I also would like to participate in the general discussion of the Budget presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. At the every outset, I congratulate the Finance Minister for his wisdom in making his budget speech in which he expressed and clearly stated all the developmental programmes of the Government which are going to be implemented during the year 1975-76. While taking part, I would like to make a few observations on some of the subjects. First of all, I would like to touch upon the border areas (Interruption).
Shri. Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of order I do not think we have quorum.
Shri. H. E. Pohshna :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it appears that the Members are afraid of this speech (Laughter).
Shri. B. B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area etc.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have got the quorum now.
Shri . Brojendro Sangma :- I appreciate that our Government is trying its level best to help the border people by every possible means. But one thing, Sir, I would like to request our Government firstly to develop communication in the areas where there is no such facility at all. I really feel that any developmental schemes proposed to be taken up by the Government for the benefit of the border people will not be successful unless communication is developed and the public and the public money will be a wastage. So, Sir, I would like to suggest to the Government, through you, that road communication should be improved and this should be done at an early date wherever there is no such facility and transport facilities afforded to the border people. Only then the object of development of the economic condition of the border people can be achieved, and I am sure, that will pave the way for taking up any developmental schemes in the border areas.
I come to another important point, Sir which has already been referred to by the previous Speakers. Our Government is really taking interest to make our State self sufficient in food production. But, we will find everywhere in the District of Garo Hills that the terrace construction works are taken up just to control and replace the jhumming system. Sir, I fond that in place of conservation of soil the Department is destroying the natural soil by cutting the standing trees and green grasses. As a result of which Garo Hills is going to be a desert. It is very difficult to say how much progress has been made by a particular Department in a particular scheme, but in actual works the progress may fall short of the target. For instance I have referred to the case of Gaobari terrace construction. So, I insist that the newly continued Consultative Committee of Agriculture and Soil Conservation should visit the entire State of Meghalaya where the works are being done so that a clear picture and the benefits to be accurred out of the schemes to the masses can be brought to light and the Committee can give concrete suggestions for rapid progress of the elevation of the schemes by the Department concerned. Thirdly I would like to say something about education, specially about the award of competitive scholarships to the students. Sir, I may be correct to say that the Government is awarding still competitive scholarships to the students at the rate of Rs. 5 per month for Primary students and at the rate of Rs. 12 per month fo M.. E. students. Each and every one knows that the students cannot purchase even one book with the amount scholarship in time. So, Sir, I earnestly request the Government to increase the scholarship considering the present situation.
Lastly, Sir, I would earnestly request the Government to create a new Public Works Department Division at Baghmara. Considering the volume of works and the size of the area the opening of such division of Public Works Department is amply justified. And it will also help in the proper execution of works as well as help the people of the area as a whole. With these few words I resume my seat.
Prof. A. Warjri :- Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take part in the debate on the budget speech of the Finance Minister. Actually I find that he budget speech of the Finance Minister is not much different from the speech delivered by the Governor. As the time allotted to me is limited, I shall touch mainly one very important subject, i.e., education. If I find time then I shall touch other subject also. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are living in a democratic century and without education it will be impossible for us to march along with the rest of the world. Democracy can develop when we can educate our masters, i.e., the electorates. Through education democracy can develop and it is the only proper way through which we can progress. It will be a sheer waste of funds and money to introduce scientific and mechanised method of cultivation, and to have scientific breeding of cattle and so on unless our people are prepared in their minds to accept these. The introduction of scientific method will be total failure and this can be achieved only by imparting proper education to our people. I am pained to note that in spite of this importance of education, education is being mentioned only almost at the fag end of the speech of the Finance Minister. If the importance of this particular subject is neglected, I am afraid that the future of our State is black and insecure. Then regarding the amount - I have gone through the budget - the amount allotted for educationist very small in comparison with the amount allotted to other departments. I demand that grants for education should be increased and doubled, and if possible should be trebled. If it is not possible this year, the first priority should be given to education the following year's budget. The standard of education in the State needs dynamic changes and for proper education the Government should sponsor modern model Primary Schools and Middle and High Schools as early as possible. The trained and qualified teacher should be appointed with better pay. In para 23 of his speech, the Finance Minister has stated, "Another scheme in this regard is the strengthening of science teaching in colleges." But before improving science education in schools and colleges our educational policy must be scientific. There must be a correct approach. Schools and collages must be equipped adequately to meet the requirements of the new century when these students will be the leaders of the country and administration of the State. Establishment of educational institutions does not mean improvement of education. If the right steps is not taken by the right people, education is bound to suffer in the fast moving world. We who have opted for a separate State so as to ensure better facilities for our children may find, also when it is too late that we have created jobs for others and our young children and childrens, children will go about bagging for jobs from people who do not belong to the State or rather as one of the poets laureate - Soso Tham of Khasi Hills has said we will be the carriers of water and firewood for others. This is because we the leaders of the State are utterly careless for providing now, all the educational facilities in matters of buildings, libraries, laboratories, play-ground and so, on to equip these young people in time, to meet with courage and confidence the challenge of tomorrow when perhaps the reservation of seats for scheduled tribes would be a thing of the past. I am asking Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it so difficult that in a State that abounds in good institutions, a good number of men of goodwill and love for our people cannot be found to spell out a programme of education that will help our children when we will be no more? Rarely we find a Garo, a Khasi or Jaintia in science teaching. Why is this ? Is it because our boys and girls are exceptionally dull? Is it not a fact because of the weak foundation they have in primary school run by the District Councils or I should say overran by the District Council ? I should say here and I state it categorically and it is a challenge, that given our boys and girls the proper scientific educational foundation and proper facilities, they will out-shine other students in any State in India. During the past 5 years, we witnessed a number of new colleges which have sprung up. It seems that soon mushroom colleges will cover the State. Is Government going to encourage these ? Is it the policy of the Government to multiply colleges because of the rising number of M. As. who are crying for jobs ? Will Government open new Pinewood Hotels just because cooks are in abundance in the State ?
In the matter of giving grants and aids, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to any educational institution, Government should not be guided by political reasons or consideration. In giving grants, the needs of the institution must be borne in mind not the institution itself and not to look on caste, creed or colour. I wish to think that all of us realise without having to rack our brain that grown up persons need more food, more clothing, etc .than the new born babes. So also the bigger the institutions, their needs would be the greater. But one wonders to learn that institutions that saw the light of the day only yesterday and are catering to the needs of only a harmful of students, receive more grants then institutions that are older and larger and cater to the needs of thousands. I am curious to know whether Government is aware of the new requirements in science education in colleges under the N.E.H.U. These new requirements mean the modernisation of colleges laboratories. If so, may I know what steps have been taken to ascertain the need of each college in the teaching of science, to equip them and modernise their laboratories and libraries without which it is impossible on our part to expects that our students will come out with flying colours in the examinations and in the competitive tests for jobs or for higher studies? The Finance Minister says in his speech in the same paragraph - 23 "The State Government have extended and will continue to extend full assistance tot he North Eastern Hills University. Proceedings for acquisition of land for the campus of the University have been initiated and the State Government will provide the necessary funds for the purpose". I wish to know whether full assistance means only to provide land for the University Campus. Does the Government assist, in the real sense, the University as it is, in its administration for the benefit of our local students ? Has any one gone into the working of the N.E.H.U. for which we fought and for which we wept as one sons and daughters grudgingly found seats in the teaching staff or amongst the student group. And if the reason is that we do not have qualified people to be selected as lecturers in the University what steps are being taken to prepare the brighter students of our colleges for these and better posts ? And bright students there are among our tribal students. It almost seems to be a conspiracy - I hope I am wrong - on the part of both the Government and the University ; the Government on the one hand by its silence and unwillingness or inability to look into the matter and not merely to satisfy themselves by donating a piece of land to the Central University and by having safeguarded the purpose for which this University was brought into existence ; and the University on the other hand by ignoring the local talents which in comparison with the rest of India may not be up to the required standard. Will the Government take the trouble by seriously investigating as to whether the appointments so far made in both the teaching ad administration branches of the University are of the required standard ; and if so what that standard is ? I want to know whether it is a fact that certain lecturers in certain departments of the University, Centre or State have found place job in the N.E.H.U. If this is so, it has to be probed into. The Government has a duty towards the people and as such has to go into the matter without ignoring its serious responsibility under the excuse that the University is a Central University that we have nothing to do there and, therefore, we have no control. The fact is that the State Government - I say again - the State Government has control because it has its representatives in every University Committee where it can voice its approval or disapproved through these representatives whether it is the Executives Council or court, or the Planning Board or the Finance Board or other Department. I strongly suggest that a highly capable but small committee of Members of these House and if necessary outsiders who are in the field of education - thereby I do not mean to suggest myself should be formed to go through the state of affairs in the matter of education, especially in the University, keeping in view the present and future needs of our youths. Another very important thing that I would like to the Government to take up with the University - it has come to my notice lately - is that the Government should inform the House, after due enquires, whether other University all over India have recognised or not the syllabus and degrees of this University.
Prof P. G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- Yes, recognised.
Prof. A Warjri :- Has Punjab recognised ? Has Gauhati recognised ? Is it a fact that there are few Universities who have not recognised the course of studies and degree of this University because they are not up to the level ? If this is so, what will become of our students after passing from this University and especially if they wish to go for further studies in other Universities? Then, another thing that I notice in the speech of the Finance Minister is that it is prominent by its complete silence on the question of revised pay of teachers of schools and colleges while the pay of the office workers, and of M.L.As has been revised. But the pay of the poor teachers still remains the same as it was years back.
(A voice : Only the M.L.As, not the Ministers)
Is the Government not aware of the disappointment of the teachers both set of colleges and schools ? Here I have a resolution adopted in a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Meghalaya College Teachers' Association on the 10th March, 1975, urging upon the Government for implementation of the U.G.C. scales of pay for the college teachers of Meghalaya. I think it is already one year back since the U.G.C. has offered the new scale and here it is written that the Chief Minister himself has agreed that this issue would be taken up as soon as he comes back from a broad. But up till now nothing has been done. What I am afraid of is this : That this Committee, after due consideration, has decided that all college teachers would boycott University examinations if the State Government does no take steps to implement the U.G.C. scales of pay. The Executive Committee has also decided to endorse the directive of the AISUGTO and direct all the members not to accept any assignment from the University in regard to University Examinations in 1975. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a grave situation as the teachers fo not take part in conducting University examinations. We will face another trouble from the students. All we want to know is whether the Government will accept or not the U.G.C. scales of pay for teachers of colleges. Is the Government still waiting for Assam, as we are usually fond of going after what Assam does always for everything ? Whereas West Bengal, U.P., Bihar another States have already decided to give U.G.C. scales to their College and University teachers, why our Government could not take any decisions. Will Government now come forward to help these poor college teachers. Then as but not the least regarding education I would like to urge upon the Government to consider the plight of the grade IV employees under private college. Uptil now their pay scales varies from 60 to 120 rupees. I hope that something should be done for them. While the pay scales of other grade IV employees of the Government have been raised to Rs. 190, I do not know why the same pay scale should not have been fixed for these grade IV employees of colleges? Then in the speech of the Finance Minister, I have noted very gratefully his statement about agriculture. I appreciate very much that agriculture has been given top most priority in the allotment of funds in this years' budget. The only remarks I would like to make here is that instead of fixing the target on food-grains, the Government should fix the target on area of land to be brought under cultivation. We want our State sooner or later to be self sufficient in respect of food. May be, it will not be possible just now but let us do out bit to make our State, as much as possible, self-sufficient in respect of food. There are many low-lying areas which have not yet been reclaimed though the Government has been trying to do in Garo Hills. In wet paddy cultivation, similar progress can be made with the use of tractors and bulldozers and with the use of power tiller.
Then coming to animal husbandry only one thing I would like to say that I cannot agree with the hon. Member from Cantonment who stated that there is no difference between 5 litres and 25 litres. I do not know why he cannot why he cannot find difference between 5 litres and 25 litres. The Government has already sponsored an Indo-Danish project and I hope the this will result in higher yield of milk. Through this Danish project I believe it would double the yield over the present yield. Now there is also a scheme for cross-breeding that would certainly result in better production that that of the local cows.
Then next I come to industries. I have stated very often Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that I am not averse to the idea of outsiders coming and setting up industries here provided our local people get employment. Up till now industries have come up like the Ply-wood Factory, Associated Beverages and so many other industries are expected to come up. But excepting Mawmluh-Cherra Cement Factory those industries have employed very few of our local people. Now if more industries come and if our State will be flooded with the people from outside, it is better not to have any industries at all, otherwise our land will be flooded with the * * * * * * * * In giving preference to the people for setting up of industries, I wish there should not be any partiality for outsiders. It is a fact that there are quite a number of tribal people who are very rich but are not willing to set up any industry. But there are other people who are more Meghalayan than anybody else; who have been here for more than two to three generations. Why they should not be given a chance? I have approached many of them. They told me that Industries Department will not allow unless they have a tribal partner. Sir, every often we find the MIDC adopts a dog-in the manger policy; neither they will enjoy not allow anybody to enjoy. They will neither set up any industry nor allow other to set up. I think the policy needs to be changed.
Coming to food position I would like to point out that into he Budget Speech of the Finance Minister it has been stated that the Government took necessary strong action by setting up check gates to prevent smuggling of rice outside the State.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The word * * * * * which you have used would be expunged from the proceedings since it reflects others.
Prof. A. Warjri :- Just a few minutes Sir, regarding food supply this State Government has not undertaken any step to check those handling agents who are supposed to bring the commodities here either to Shillong or Tura. The Government must ensure that the whole stock of such commodities reaches the destination as it comes from the wagons, and not to allow any portions to be sold in Gauhati. We have learned that a lot of foodgrains has been sold on the way and have not been brought either to Shillong or Tura. Therefore, I strongly urge upon the Government to check those agencies that bring those food-stuff to the various parts of this State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since my time is up, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now I will call upon Mr. H. S. Lyngdoh. You will get 30 minutes.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would also like to participate in the general discussion of the budget presented by the Finance Minister. Sir in this regard; I would like to make only a few observations. The Budget Speech of the Finance Minister is in short a statement of approach for the programmes of execution based on the policies and principles adopted by the Government for the current year, 19754-76. Sir, at the outset, I would like to say something on the present economic situation on rising price, with reference to the civil supplies. Sir, in the Address of the Governor it has been stated that the law and order situation in the State is the same as that in other parts of the country as a whole. As far as this State is concerned, there is no major incident to the extent that law and order situation in the State is much affected. It seems that the Government has not come forward with any policy on the this as nothing has been stated in the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister regarding its approach as to how to administer the civil supplies in the year 1975-76. Sir, considering the problem of food position in the State, as it is at present, the supply position is very not in a position to deteriorating and it appears that the Government is not in a position to gear it up. The people in the State are not like the people in other States of India. We have no railway employees who are very agitating and roaring like giant neither we have the P. &. T employees who are very sensitive to strike and agitations with the type of food position with which we are confronted now. This has brought about many serious repercussions in the history of India as a whole society. But the fact remains that this Government is happy because our people are ignorant and sleeping just like a sleeping giant. They have no feeling for agitation even if they have such a feeling and pain they cannot . Sir, this sleeping giant in our State is very sick that even if you wake up he will not rise, and he will no awake. Whereas in the whole of India the reaming millions are crying because of the food situation and searching for solution of the problems. But here Sir, I would like to draw the attention of our Government that if at present you visit the dispensaries and hospitals, you will find they are full of sick people who are, in my opinion, suffering from malnutrition which is rampant in the State as the food supplies are very very inadequate. This is no the only outcome. But the fact remains that our Government is dragging down and down and done the strength of the people physically and economically which has effected the growth of the people . Sir, I would like to state a few facts which may be a direct charge against the Government. I would like to wake up the Government so that it can look into this matter of supplies and the earlier it is done the better. I do not know what will be the reply of the Government to this .We have heard, Sir, just a few week ago, in Nongstoin, there was black-marketing of sugar which had been received in the month of February. As you know Sir, right from the month of December last we have got no sugar from the F.C.I. as we do not have a quota for the State. But you cannot imagine how the people are living without sugar for three to four months. This was revealed when the S.D.O.; Nongstoin found that 52 quintals of sugar which were despatched by the F.C.I., have been kept in stock and distributed to certain permit holders. Only 66 quintals were distributed on 17th February 1974 and 21st February 1975 but 52 quintals have been hoarded in the godown of two traders. You could just imagine how can our people get sugar for the last three months from December to February this year where there was no supply from the F.C.I. as per statement made by the Government. Over and above that rice which was supplied by F.C.I. has been hoarded like that. On the other hand, Government last year also have tried to arrange fresh issue of ration cards in Shillong when they found that the existing number of ration cards exceeded four lakhs. Although I am not an enumerator or census officer but I know that Shillong population would be around 1,20,000 or so but the number of ration cards maintained by the Government now here in Shillong is 3,80,000. So one cannot imagine, Sir, the supply programme of the Government. Sir, even our fresh enumeration also will not help not because of the inefficiency of the enumerators but because of the failure of the policy of the Government. Sir, here I will cite an examples. As I said, it is not because that the enumerators have failed to go from house to house but because of the failure of the Government. To Nongstoin Subdivision where there is a population of about one lakh, the Government supply only 200 quintals of rice per month. If they give even twice a month it will be doubled that amount. It will be 400 quintals pre month. But Sir, only 200 quintals of rice price month because they said that Nongstoin is a rice producing area whereas in Laban alone Government supply 1600 quintals. And in Polo Ground centre, Sir, Government supply 1200 quintals per months. Sir, let the Government reply as the reason for this discrimination. Rice is being sold openly in the in the market at Rs. 3.50 per kg and where is this rice coming from Sir ? Is it coming from Assam? No, there are two check gates at Byrnihat and Jorabat. Is it coming from Laban which is not the rice growing area, or is it coming from Pologround or from Nongstoin or Jowai, Sir ? In fact the price of rice in the Fair Price Shops is Rs. 1.60 per kg. But the rice which is sold in the bazaars openly as can be seen in Laban fields or Polo ground fields is at Rs. 3.50 per kg. But the same rice the people are getting in the bazaar at that rate and that rice is procured by the F.C.I. from Delhi or Haryana or Punjab and is being distributed by the Fair Price Shops at Rs. 1.60 per kg. But the sleeping giants of Shillong are still sleeping and sick over the matter whereas the poor working people are half fed and cannot pull on their living as long as there is price rise. Why not Government enquire into this ? Let Government also reply how much the rice has been received from the F.C.I. and how much distributed to the wholesellers and how much to the Fair Price Shops and then how much the Fair Price Shops never distributed to the consumers. But Sir, even the Fair Price Shops never distributed this rice as per allotment to the real consumers but no enquiry was made and action taken and these things continue till to day. Of course the Government's policy now is not to give atta to the Fair Price Shops or wholesellers, but it has empowered the Director of Supply to distribute direct to the stockists. The price of atta is round about Rs. 1.80 per kg. Sir, the other day when I was coming from Nongstoin, I saw people from Shillong coming to purchase atta from Kynshi. But there is no flour mill there at Kynshi and also no wheat is produced in that area. But the stockist might have brought it from Shillong because they are only authorised dealers of atta in Shillong and it may be that one or two stockists have monopolised it and sold at the rate of 2.50 per kg throughout the State. But Sir, Government is sleeping. The permit holders, have earned lakhs and lakhs of rupees and the profit perhaps might have been shared with the Ministers. So the Government is happy because there is no economic stress and strain in the State and let the Government enjoy over this and let the sickly sleeping giants sleep over it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would like to come to another aspect of the matter. That is with regard to employment policy of the Government . We have that the demand for employment is very greatly and people are half fed half clad because they don't have any work. Sir, in the Governor's Address, the governor has Stated that this Half-A-Million-Jobs-Programme should continue as one of the National Programmes adopted by the Government of India and the money provided by the Government of India last year will continue. Sir, in the programme of the Government there is zero provision because of the fact that this Half A Million Jobs Programme has also been mentioned in the Governor's Address, and this budget speech is a mere formality. The Government is no sincere enough Sir, to look into the matters and now the Governor has given vain promises to the people. The Governor has in his Address made the policy statement of the Government to be adopted for 1975-76 which is a lie.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The words 'lie' should be replaced by the word incorrect or wrong statement.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Sir, we can replace by any other word or we can replace the words by sweeter words but the programme brought forward by the Government does not conform to the policy statement that has been made by the Governor. Again, I will remark what has been done in supply matters. The Government said that there is shortage of essential commodities and the Government of India has called during the last few days a meeting of all the Chief Minister in New Delhi but our Government was not represented as they are not interested. I would like also to refer to another aspect of the matter in connection with the attitude of the Government towards the District Councils. This State, Sir, is only a super-structure as there are 3 District Councils which are, in fact, at the root of the administration. The pace of progress of the State at the primary level and also at District Council level is in fact the contributing agent in the subjects which the State deals with for prosperity and maintenance of peace and tranquility of the State. Sir, I will just cite an example in order to remind the Government and the Minister in charge why we are demanding for a State. We have publicity stated that we will maintain the District Councils being the autonomous bodies which have to look after the interest of the people in their respective tribes, the Garo, to the Garos, the Khasi for the Khasis and the Jaintia for the Jaintias. Sir, the State is the super-structure and if we look into the entry in the seventh Scheduled last two of the subjects in the Constitution, the State as the District Councils have certain subjects which they can make laws or can administer them. Sir, some of our friends while referring to the Governor's Address and just now some hon. Members have referred to the attitude of the Government towards development of primary education. There are grants for primary education that the Government are giving through the Government of India has envisaged in the Constitution, that within 10 years, free education at the primary level will be given and the Government of India is still maintaining that policy and programme. But Sir, we know that in this development of education, year to years planning has come and many Five-Year Plans have passed and this scheme of free education has been normalised. So lakhs of rupees will be given by the State Government to the District Councils. But the Government in this normalised programme did not fulfil their commitment according to the Plan. The State Government never paid the grants to the District Councils in time, so the teachers are suffering because they did not get their pay in time. But even the normalised funds which has to be given every month, the District Council got only once a year. The teachers are finding great difficulty. Here I have got a record and I have found that the Government or Ministers did not pay in time. The District Councils have never failed to give the Utilisation Certificates in time but even the normalised funds which have to be given to them every month, the Government used to give only once a year. How can we expect to get proper primary education without regulation and timely pay to the teachers. For instance, last December when the District Councils of Garo Hills and Khasi Hills have reminded the Government that the money that has to be paid should be paid to them in time because they have found great difficulty to pay to the teachers. But the Government was keeping silent because the District Councils of Khasi Hills and Garo Hills could not submit the Utilisation Certificates. But when the Jowai District Council came with a petition to the Minister saying that they do not have any more money to run the administration on December, 1974, then within a week the Government given the money without asking for the Utilisation Certificates this Sir, is the partial treatment which as always been meted on by the Minister towards the District Councils which the same party hold the Government I have raised my question on the attitude of the Government to help the District Council but the Government always neglect the District Councils which are the agents of the Government for the development of State. We specially refer to the District Council of Khasi Hills. I would just mention here that the Government has failed to pay the shares of the District Council of Khasi Hills from the tax on vehicles. Sir, there is an arrear right from 1969-70 upto 1974 to the tune of Rs. 14,65,457. There Government said that out of this amount an amount of Rs. 5,63,202 pertained to the years 1969-70 and 1971-71, which has to be paid to the District Council by the Government of Assam and has advised the latter to get the amount from the Government of Assam, but the District Council is not an independent body in this regard to negotiate with the Government of Assam, and according to the terms of the agreement during bifurcation of the State all the assets and liabilities have to be shared by the two Governments. So, the Government of Meghalaya is responsible for this. i.e., to pay the amount of arrear to the District Council. But, now this amount of Rs. 14,65,457. due to be paid to the Khasi Hills District Council is not paid only because of the attitude of this Government towards the Khasi Hills District Council which is not run by the same party (laughter). For your information, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, on the Share of transport earnings from 1971-72 upto 1974, there is an arrear of Rs. 6,33,772. When the District Council approached the Government, they said that the amount could be paid within 3 days but later on the Government said that the period from 1971-72 upto 31st March, 1972 might have covered the period of the composite State of Assam. So, the whole thing has been entangled here. Therefore, this amount of Rs. 6,33,772 was being purely collected by the Meghalaya Government which got struck and could not be paid.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister of Agriculture etc.) :- Is it on transport ?
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Yes on transport, Sir.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance etc.) :- How can Government keep ?
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- It seems that the Minister does not know even his own jurisdiction, his portfolio and even the situation.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister of Agriculture etc.) :- We never get a share from the Government on transport?
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- It may be because you are not aware; because you are always neglecting your duties.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister of Agriculture, etc.) :- It seems he is the only one who does not neglect his duties.
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Yes, shame to the Minister.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. Because of this Government's attitude towards the Khasi Hills District Council all these things happened. According to the Sixth Scheduled of the Constitution we used to have the synopsis of the discussions over the Budget from all the District Councils.
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, lest somebody will take my time, I would also like to remind the Government that the share of the district Council of Khasi Hills alone on minor minerals amounts to an arrears of Rs. 43,24,095.36 P. This is right t from 1958 (this is the official figure). This is an arrear to be paid. A part of this was the Government of Assam, and liabilities and a part of the present Government. But even if this amount is adjusted with the Government of Assam, the liabilities have to be borne by our Government, Sir (Bell Rang). And there is another arrear, Sir, on major minerals. The total amount on major minerals, the share that has to be given by the Government to the Khasi Hills District Council is Rs. 22,22,864.05. With these references the attitude of our Government towards the Khasi Hills District Council could be well imagined. The Khasi Hills and the Khasi people, Sir, are part and parcel of the State they are to be looked after; they have to march hand in hand with the rest of the people of the State and the country. The Khasi Hills District Councils is finding great difficulties in running the administration because of this behaviour and attitude of the Government. In short the rights of this District Council have been ignored and neglected by our Government.
Shri B. B. Shallam (Minister of State Border Areas etc.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to know from the Member whether due to the attitude of the Government that such arrears have been paid to the Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills District Councils ?
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Sir, that is a very very good idea. Let the Minister reply Sir whether the behaviour of the Government is the same as that shown to the Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills District Councils . . . . . . . the sleeping giant Jumps. . . . . . . . (Bell Rang).
Is my time up, Sir ?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Alright, you will get 3 minutes more.
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- Sir, I would like to say something on the development of Agriculture. Since the Government has made a clear statement that irrespective of the needs of others Departments in the other fields, it will pay more attention to agriculture in the State. But from our experience, Sir, last year, the Government has spent a lot of money on agriculture. But the Government has failed in the programmes that have been frown up. And the approach of the Government to this question is the same as in the other Departments, may be worst in agriculture. Sir We have spent a lot of money. If we are going to look at last year's provision of the Budget on irrigation and then on reclamation huge amounts have been provided. But it you go to the field this year, you will find nothing. Now for the last three years there is no such irrigation projects that has been constructed by the Government. I came from Nongstoin last week and I found the people collecting on the road and surrounding me and said that they have cultivated the field into Kynshi Valley to the extent of two miles and a held and then the Agricultural Officer and Engineer came and asked the contractors to construct a canal on that potato field of 10 ft. wide and 2¼ miles in length and tool out all the potato seeds that have been sown in that field. (Bell rang) Potato engineer (laughter). Some Members have said that the Government instead of improving the forest, are cutting and destroying the forests. This was mentioned by the Member from Garo Hills. It is the same thing there at Kynshi also. The Agricultural Engineer is coming with the spade to dig out the potato seeds that have been sown in the field (Bell rang), why this was done at the fag and of the financial year, what was he doing throughout the year? Oh he was sleeping like a giant he did nothing, now he got up.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, the time is up. The House stands adjourned till 9.00 a.m. on the 17th March, 1975.
R. T. RYMBAI
The 15th March, 1975.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.