Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9.00 a.m. on Saturday, the 22nd March, 1975 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong

******

Present - The Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair, Eight Ministers,  Three Ministers of State and Thirty-five hon. Members.

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


STARRED QUESTIONS

(To which oral replies were given)

Inauguration of the Bench of the High Court at Shillong

Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-

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

(a) When was the Bench of the High Court of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, inaugurated at Shillong ?

(b) Whether the Bench has started functioning ?

(c) If not, why ?

Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge of Law) replied :

5.    (a) - The Bench of the Gauhati High Court (The High Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura) at Shillong was inaugurated on 4th September, 1974.

        (b) - Yes.

        (c) - Does not arise.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know as to how many times the Bench has sat after its inauguration?

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- The Bench sat immediately on the day of its inauguration and after that it sat in the month of October and also from 10th March to 14th March, this year.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to Unstarred Questions.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Expansion Erection of Mawmluh-Cherra Cement Factory

Shri. Upstar Kharbuli asked :

87.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a) The number of firms which tendered for Consultant Engineers for the expansion / erection of the Mawmluh - Cherra Cement Factory with their names ?

(b) Whether it is a fact that the fee preferred by the firm selected and appointed as consultants is much higher than that of the other tenderers ?

(c) If so, the respective offer of the tenderers ?

(d) Whether it is a fact that the appointed firm could not start the work earlier for want of a qualified Engineer?

(e) Whether it  is a fact that the Engineer appointed by the said firm is a person who was previously a junior Engineer in the factory itself ?

(f) Whether the Government is aware that this firm proved incompetent in other States before ?

Shri. Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister-in-charge of Industries) replied :-

87.    (a) - Two firms tendered for consultancy service for our Expansion Programme. These are (i) M/s Development Consultants Private Ltd. Calcutta and (ii) M/s. Holtec Engineers Private Ltd. Patna.

        (b) - No.

       (c) - Final offers made by two firms are (i) Development Consultants Private Ltd. - Rs.26 lakhs (ii) Holtec Engineers Private Ltd.. Rs.26,58,000

        (d) - No.

        (e) - Yes.

        (f) - Government have no information that this firm proved incompetent in other States rather Government have information that this Company has done well elsewhere including in foreign countries.


Newspapers published in the State

Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-

88.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Relations and Information be pleased to state -

(a) The names of all the newspapers published in the State of Meghalaya ?

(b) The names of all newspapers who were allotted with advertisements during the years 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75 (Upto January, 1975).

(c) The basis for giving the advertisement to the newspapers ?

(d) Who is in-charge of allotment of advertisements ?

Shri. Darwin D. Pugh (Minister-in-charge of Public Relations and Informations) replied :-

88.  (a)  (1) Democratic Review.
(2) The Implanter.
(3) The Shillong Herald.
(4) The Shillong Times.
(5) Indian.
(6) The Shillong Observer.
(7) Young India.
(8) Ka Pyrsa U Riewlum.
(9) U Nongsain hima.
(10) Ka Mei Rilum.
    (11) U Peitngor
(12) Ka Lyngwiar Dpei.
(13) U Nongprat Lynti.
(14) U Kyrwoh ka Rilum.
(15) U Naphang.
(16) U Pyrman.
(17) U Para Ri.
(18) A'chik Songbad.
  (19) Chadambeni Kurrang.
(20) U Khlur Ka Ri.

        (b) - The statement is placed on the Table of the House.

        (c) - Advertisements are released to newspapers with the sole idea of reaching the maximum possible number of readers who would be interested in the advertisements.

        (d) - Issue of advertisements is channelised through the Director of Information and Public Relations.

Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna :- Unstarred Question No. 88(a). As per statement placed on the Table of the House, may we know why there is so much difference ?

Shri. D.D. Pugh (Minister-in-charge of Public Relations) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the difference is due to the frequency of advertisements that were given to each of these papers; which means that all the papers were not given as many advertisements as others.


Price of Fertilizers

Shri. Jormanik Syiem asked :-

89.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the Government are aware that the prices of fertilizers have since shot up by more than double the price in 1973-74 ?

(b) Whether the Government are taking steps to check the upward trend in the prices of these commodities at the distributor's level ?

(c) Whether the Government is taking proper action to make the said commodities available to the cultivators in sufficient quantities and in proper time ?

(d) Whether it is a fact that grants-in-aid for small irrigation projects have since been abolished ?

(e) If so, the reasons thereof ?

(f) Whether Government propose to help the individual cultivator who wishes to extend his wet cultivation or to reclaims lands suitable for wet cultivation ?

(g) If so, whether Government propose to re-examine the position and devise ways and means as to how the wet rice cultivators can be helped in raising the production of their individual plots ?

Shri. Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :-

89.    (a) - Yes, but this increase is not local but on the basis of price fixed by Government of India or by manufacturers with approval of the Government of India.

        (b) - Yes.

        (c) - Yes, there is sufficient stock all throughout the year.

        (d) - Yes, grants-in-aid for irrigation of farmers have been abolished with effect from the current year.

        (e) - These small projects which are kutcha and very temporary are often damaged after a reason or so and are seen to have no impact on increasing yield.

        (f) - Yes.

        (g) - Government is constantly looking after the problem and is taking steps to propagate better varieties with judicious use of fertilizers and to take up suitable irrigation projects departmentally.

Shri. Jormanik Syiem :- May we know whether the Government is giving some subsidy for water dam or also for the extension of cultivation ?

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Not from the Agricultural Department ?

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- 89. (c). May we know whether this stock is an old stock or a new stock ?

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- This stock has been collected during the period of 1974-75.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- How do we know from the answer that this stock had been determined after the price had been fixed by the Government of India ?

Mr. Speaker :- That is not the question. The question is whether the price of stock was fixed after the fixation by the Government of India ?

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- The stock was allotted by the Government of India along with the fixation of price.


Pharmacist Training Institute at Tura

Shri. Samarendra Sangma asked :-

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

(a) The action taken by the Government to start the Pharmacist Training Institute at Tura ?

(b) Whether any financial assistance was given by the Government to those who were under-going pharmaceutical training elsewhere outside the State,  during the year 1973-74 and 1974-75 ?

(c) Whether Government propose to render such financial assistance to those who are willing to undergo such Pharmaceutical Training outside the State in future ?

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

90.    (a) - Special Officer has been appointed for starting the Institute at Tura and he is expected to join in the last week of April this year.

        (b) - Yes. For the Session 1974-75.

        (c) - Yes.


Shillong Government High School

Shri. Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :-

91.    Will the Minister be pleased to state :-

(a) Whether it is fact that the Shillong Government High School is running for the last two years without Headmaster and Assistant Headmaster ?

(b) If the answer to (a) above is in the affirmative the reasons for not appointing the Headmaster and  Assistant Headmaster ?

(c) The number of Government Schools and Government Colleges in the State running without Headmaster and Principals at present ?

(d) The number and names of the following categories of educational Institutions in the State as on 28th February 1975 -

(i) Government Colleges;

(ii) Government Aided Colleges;

(iii) Government Schools, and

(iv) Government Aided Schools ?

(e) When do Government propose to start Government Colleges and Government High Schools in Ri Bhoi ?

Shri. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Minister of State, incharge of Education) replied :-

91.    (a) - No.

        (b) - Does not arise.

        (c) - No Government School or Colleges is running without Headmaster / Principal. In absence of a regular Headmaster of Principal due to promotion or transfer, necessary officiating arrangement is made immediately.

        (d) - Statement is placed on the Table of the House.

        (e) - No proposal at the moment.

Shri. Dlosing Lyngdoh :- When was the Headmaster of Shillong Government High School appointed or posted ?

Shri. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Minister of State, in-charge of Education) :- Shri. P.R. Das, Principal of Basic Training School at Thadlaskein, was appointed as the Headmaster of Shillong Government High School but he has not joined his post yet.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- But the question here is that since last 2 years there is no Headmaster in Shillong Government High School then how the School is running without the Headmaster ?

Shri. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- One senior-most Assistant Teacher is officiating as Headmaster.

Shri. Dlosing Lyngdoh :- When has the post of Headmaster fallen vacant ?

Shri. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- It is not vacant. Someone is officiating as Headmaster.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Whether the officiating Headmaster is the senior-most Assistant Teacher in the School ?

Shri. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- Yes, Sir.

Shri. Maham Singh :- May we know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, what are the difficulties of Mr. Das to join his post?

Shri. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- He has got some personal difficulties.

Shri. Maham Singh :- When was the order issued ?

Shri. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- I require notice.

Shri. H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the failure on the part of the present incumbent to join his post, whether the Government proposes to appoint another Headmaster ?

Mr. Speaker :- In case the present appointee fails to join as Headmaster in the Shillong Government High School, whether the Government proposes to appoint a new Headmaster.

Shri. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- Yes, Sir.


Irrigation Projects

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh asked :-

92    Will the Minister-in-charge, Agriculture be pleased to state -

(a) The number and names of Irrigation Projects undertaken by the Department for the purpose of Irrigation / Embankment in each district ?

(b) The amount proposed to be spent on each of these projects ?

(c) The amount already spent and the progress of work done so far ?

(d) Whether the Government proposes to discontinue granting of irrigation grants to small cultivators ?

Shri. Edwingson Bareh (Minister,  Agriculture) replied :-

92.    (a) & (b) - The District-wise Irrigation Projects taken up during the current year and the estimated expenditure on each are as follows :-

(i) Khasi Hills District

Estimated
cost
Rs.

Amount sanctioned
for 1974-75
Rs.

Flow Irrigation
1. Tyrso Valley Irrigation - 600 hectares

12,30,582.00


15,34,180.00

 

2. Umiap Valley Irrigation Projects - 1,800 hectares

10,04,952.00

Lift Irrigation

1. Kynshi Lift Irrigation Projects - 256 hectares.

3,65,999.86

3,65,999.86

2. Khapmara Lift Irrigation Projects - 112 hectares

99,819.74

99,819.74

19,99,999.60

(ii) Jaintia Hills District

Estimated
cost
Rs.

Amount sanctioned
for 1974-75
Rs.

Lift Irrigation
1. Umpleng Lift Irrigation Projects - 294 hectares.

4,11,543.00

4,11,543.00

2. Kwai Lift Irrigation Projects - 120 hectares.

2,15,689.00

2,15,689.00

6,27,232.00

Flow Irrigation - Nil.

(iii) Garo Hills District

Flow Irrigation
1. Childrang Valley Irrigation Projects - 400 hectares

9,92,750.00

2,50,000.00

2. Chondon Nokat Minor Irrigation - 30 hectares

17,634.00

17,634.00

3. Watregiri Minor Irrigation - 30 hectares.

15,800.00

15,800.00

4. Chidikgiri Minor Irrigation - 30 hectares

9,500.00

9,500.00

5. Rangbu Minor Irrigation - 40 hectares

17,170.00

17,170.00

6. Mariguri Minor Irrigation - 40 hectares

20,520.00

20,520.00

7. Kharijhara Minor Irrigation - 40 hectares

19,000.00

19,000.00

(for terraced area of S.C.)

8. Dambo Apat Minor Irrigation - 16 hectares

10,000.00

10,000.00

9. Madagiri Minor Irrigation - 20 hectares

14,320.00

14,320.00

3,73,944.00

Lift Irrigation :

1. Simsanggiri Lift Irrigation Projects - 80 hectares

1,87,334.00

3,18,254.00

2. Rongrengiri Lift Irrigation Project - 43 hectares

1,30,920.00

6,92,198.00

        (c) - The work are now in progress and the actual amount that would be spent during the current year cannot be ascertained before actual measurements but approximately Rs.30.00 lakhs are likely to be spent.

        (d) - Yes.

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- Answer to (a) and (b), whether the Government will consider taking up other projects besides those which have been stated here within this current year.

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- We cannot take up any more projects during this current year.

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- Again answer to (a) and (b), what is the total acreage that will be covered by this project ?

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- It is already given there.

Shri. H. Hadem :- Answer to (a) and (b), what is the exact location of that place 'Umpleng'.

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Umpleng is very near to Kwai river.


Transfer of Service of S.I. of Schools

Shri. Samarendra Sangma asked :-

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

(a) Whether the terms and conditions of the transfer of services of the Sub-Inspectors of Schools between the Garo Hills District Council and the State have been finalised ?

(b) If so, when will actual transfer of the services of the Sub-Inspector of Schools be made ?

Shri. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Minister of State, in-charge of Education) replied :-

93.    (a) - The terms and conditions prescribed by Government for placing the services of the Sub-Inspectors of Schools at the disposal of the District Councils of foreign service have of late been accepted by the Garo Hills District Council.

        (b) - Necessary orders have been issued.


Movement of Mustard Seeds

Shri. Sibendra Narayan Koch asked :-

94.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Supply be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the movement of mustard seeds is restricted from Meghalaya to other States ?

(b) If so, why ?

(c) Whether Government has taken any decision for monopoly procurement of mustard seeds in Meghalaya ?

(d) If so, why and when ?

(e) If the answer to question (c) be in the affirmative, the names of the Agent (s) of this Monopoly procurement?

Shri. Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Supply) replied :-

94.    (a) - No.

        (b) - Does not arise.

        (c) - No.

        (d) - Does not arise.

        (e) - Does not arise.


Homicide cases in Khasi Hills

Shri. Winstone Lyngdoh asked :-

95.    Will the Chair Minister be pleased to state the number of homicide cases reported to the Police during 1972-73, 1973 - 74, and 1974-75 in Khasi Hills District ?

Shri. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister)  replied :-

95.    - The number of homicide cases in Khasi Hills District reported to the Police during 1972-73 is 25, 1973-74 - 34 and 1974-5 - 26 upto 28th February 1975.


Industrial Units

Shri. D. Dethwelson Lapang asked :-

96.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a) The number of Industrial units registered in 1972-73, 1973-1974 and 1974-75 ?

(b) The facilities of financial incentives extended to Industrialists during these periods ?

(c) Whether these facilities will continue to be made available to the new Industrial units during the current year.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, in-charge of Industries) replied :-

96. (a)  1972 - 73 ...  67 Nos.
1973 - 74 ... 83 Nos.
1974 - 75 ... 20 Nos.

        (b) - Facilities extended include help in project identification, technical assistance and guidance, meeting the cost of feasibility and project report, construction of industrial estates and development of industrial areas assistance in procurement of building materials, assistance in procurement of scarce raw materials training of personnel, assistance in procurement of machinery and equipment in hire purchase terms, State Government support for obtaining industrial licenses, fixation of royalties at negotiated rates etc. Financial incentives include loans upto Rs.20,000 to potential or existing of 75 percent of the value of property mortgaged by them for setting up small scale industries. For loans above Rs.20,000 recommendation is made to Commercial Banks and financial institutions after the eligibility of entrepreneurs and soundness of the scheme are established, refund of sale tax, subsidy on power tariff, exemption from payment of charges for water supply, financial assistance, Government guarantee on loans raised by industrial units interest free loans for construction of factory building price preference in Government purchase programme, etc. Central incentives for setting up Industrial units in the State include 10 percent outright grant / subsidy on capital investment to those units set up after 1st October, 1970, and before 28th February, 1975 and 15 percent to those units set up after 1st March, 1973.

        50 percent transport subsidy for incoming raw materials and outgoing finished products.

        (c) - Yes. 


Allotment of Rice and Sugar for Nongstoin

Shri. Riasen Mawsor asked :-

97.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Supply be pleased to state -

(a) The quantity of rice and sugar allotted for Nongstoin Sub-division month-wise during 1974 and 1975 (till February)

(b) The quantity of rice and sugar supplied to Nongstoin Sub-division, (i) for the month of December, 1974 (ii) for the month of January, 1975 (iii) for the month of February, 1975 ?

(c) Whether the Government propose to allot more rice and sugar for Nongstoin Sub-division during the year 1975 ?

Shri. Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) replied :-

97.    (a) The quantity of rice and sugar allotted for Nongstoin is as follows :-

Month and Year

Rice Sugar 
(In Quintals)

January 

1974

... 1150 267
February 

"

... 3460 271
March 

"

... 900 311
April 

"

... 1400 302
May 

"

... 4700 306
June

"

... 1500 294
July

"

... 1800 308
August

"

... 2300 308
September

"

... 1800 Nil
October

"

... 1430 313
November

"

... 1430 313
December

"

... 1250 70
January

1975

... 1100 325
February

"

... 1150 322

        (b) - The quantity of rice and sugar supplied to Nongstoin is as follows :-

Month and Year

Rice Sugar 
(In Quintals)

December

1974

... 1250 70
January

1975

... 1100 325
February

1975

... 1150 322

        (c) - This will depend mainly on the availability of stock then with the State Government.


Appointment of Officers and Staff in the Jaintia Hills District Fishery Office.

Shri. Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-

98.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Fishery be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that no District Officer and staff have been appointed for Jaintia Hills District Fishery Office ?

(b) If so, when do the Government propose to appoint the Officer and staff ?

Shri. Grohonsing Marak (Minister, Fisheries) replied :

98.    (a) - A statement showing the posts created and filled up in Jaintia Hills District Fishery Office is placed on the Table of the House.

        (b) - Government is taking action for getting the vacant posts of Superintendent of Fisheries to be filled up early.

Shri. H. Hadem :- 98 (b), has the post been advertised ?

Shri. G.A. Marak (Minister, Fisheries) :- Not yet, Sir.

Shri. H. Hadem :- When does the Government expect to fill up that post ?

Shri. G.A. Marak (Minister, Fisheries) :- As soon as the procedure is completed, Sir.


Schemes for Scientific Pisciculture

Shri. Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-

92.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Fishery be pleased to state -

(a) The schemes the Government proposes to take up to extend scientific pisciculture in the State ?

(b) Whether the Government is aware of the practise of polluting rivers by unscrupulous people for poisoning fishes ?

(c) If so, what action the Government proposes to take to put a stop to poisoning of fishes in the rivers ?

Shri. Grohonsing Marak (Minister, Fisheries)  replied :-

99.    (a) - The schemes are (1) Assistance to Pisciculturists; (2) Applied Nutrition Programme ; (3) Border Areas Programme; (4) research and (5) Conservation and Flexible Dams.

        (b) - Yes, Sir.

        (c) - Under Section 7 of the Fishery Act, 1897, the State Government is taking action for empowering the Fishery Officers to take action against persons found destroying fishes through poisoning / using explosives.

Shri. H. Hadem :- 99 (c), whether separate staff has been provided ?

Shri. G.A. Marak (Minister, Fisheries) :- I could not follow the question, Sir.

Shri. H. Hadem :- In reply to 99 (c), it has been stated that under Section 7 of the Fishery Act, 1897, the State Government is taking action for empowering the Fishery Officers to take action against persons found destroying fishes through poisoning / using explosives. My question is whether separate staff has been provided to assist the Fishery Officers for that purpose ?

Shri. G.A. Marak (Minister, Fisheries) :- Yes, Sir.


Chief and Deputy Chief Engineers of the Mawmluh - Cherra Cement Factory

Shri. Upstar Kharbuli asked :-

100.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a) Who was the last Chief Engineer of the Mawmluh - Cherra Cement Factory, his qualification and experience and his scale of pay at the time of his appointment ?

(b) The qualification and experience of the present Deputy Chief Engineer ?

(c) The reasons why the vacant post of Chief Engineer cannot be filled up ?

(d) Whether the Government is contemplating at bringing a person from outside the State for filling up this post ?

Shri. Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister-in-charge of Industries) replied :-

100.    (a) - Mr. Manki Rai. Qualification - B. Sc. (Engg. Mech.) Experience - 11 years experience at Satna Cement Works, Satna M.P. and Bargarh Cement Works of the Orissa Development Industrial Corporation. His scale of pay, was fixed at Rs.1,900 per month in the scale of Rs.1,500 - 60 - 1,620 - 1,900 - 85 - 2,070 - 90 - 2,250 at the time of his appointment, i.e. on 20th May, 1968.

        (b) - At present there are two Deputy Chief Engineers (i) Deputy Chief Engineer Mech. ) and (ii) Deputy Chief Engineer (Elec.) The Deputy Chief Engineer (Mech.) is a B.E. (Mech.) He joined this Company on the 28th January, 1964 as Apprentice Mechanical Engineer in the scale of Rs.300 - 25 - 500 - 30 - 800.

        He was promoted to the post of Mechanical Engineer with effect from 1st April, 1972 in the scale of Rs.750 - 50 - 940 - E -  B. - 50 - 1,200.

        He was again promoted to the post of Deputy Chief Engineer in the same scale of pay with effect from 26th August 1974.

        The Deputy Chief Engineer (Elect.) is a B.E. (Elect.). He joined this Company as Apprentice Electrical Engineer on 12th April, 1955 in the scale of Rs.300 - 25 - 500 - 30 - 800. He was promoted as Electrical Engineer in the Scale of Rs.750 - 50 - 950 - E. B. -50 - 1,200 with effect from 1st April 1972. He was again promoted as Deputy Chief Engineer in the same scale of pay with effect from 25th August 1974.

        (c) - The Board of the Directors in its meeting dated 13th August 1973 decided that for filling up the vacancy of the post of Chief Engineer in the words, the matter should be examined further in all its aspects, viz. by advertisement and open recruitments or by Departmental promotion. For this purpose, the Board also decided that the Confidential Report of the present Deputy Chief Engineer (Mech.) should be examined and put up. In its meeting dated 25th August 1975, the Board decided that the present Deputy Chief Engineer (Mech.) be allowed to discharge the duties of the post of Chief Engineer in addition to his own duties.

        (d) - Does not arise.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- 100 (c),  I just want to point out whether actually the Board of Directors sat on the 25th August, 1975 ?

Shri. S.D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) :- This is a printing mistake obviously.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Can I withdraw the question, Sir,  ? (Laughter).

Shri. S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) :- I will get the corrected date and inform the House tomorrow or the next day.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- 100 (b), may we know the names of those two Deputy Chief Engineers ?

Shri. S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. M.F. Blah, Deputy Chief Engineer (Mechanical) who is now Acting Chief Engineer and Mr. C. F. Syiemlieh, Deputy Chief Engineer (Electrical).

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- Why the Deputy Chief Engineer (Mechanical) is not promoted to the post of Chief Engineer?

Shri. S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the reply has already shown that the Deputy Chief Engineer (Mech.) is now Acting Chief Engineer and the Government is at present considering the question of filling up that post.

Mr. Speaker :- His question is whether the Board of Directors considers filling up that post the present incumbent ?

Shri. S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries) :- That is under consideration, Sir.

Shri. Maham Singh :- What is the pay of the Acting Chief Engineer ?

Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- His own grade pay i.e. Rs.750 to 1200 with existing allowances of 20 percent of basic pay subject to a maximum of Rs.250 with effect from 25th August, 1973, the date on which he was acting as Chief Engineer.


Creation of posts in the Industries Department, Jowai

Shri. Lewis Bareh asked :-

101.    Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the following posts in the Industries Department, Jowai have been created ?

(i) The post of Assistant Director of Industries, etc. ?

(ii) The post of Assistant Industries Officer (Technical) ?

(b) The total numbers and names of the Industrial Schemes in the State ?

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State for Industries) replied :-

101. (a) - (i) Yes,
(ii) No.

        (b) - A list showing the total numbers and names of the Industrial Schemes in the State is placed on the Table of the House.


VOTING ON DEMANDS FOR GRANTS

Shri. H. Hadem :- (a) (ii) - May we know the reason why ?

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Industries) :- The proposal is under the consideration of Government at present.

Mr. Speaker :- Yesterday, I made an observation that so far as the reply to unstarred question No.71 (c) is concerned, the Chief Minister would lay the correction on the Table of the House. Now, the Chief Minister will lay.

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the modified reply to unstarred question No.71 (c).

Shri. H. Hadem :- Sir, since the corrected reply was laid just now on the Table can we know its contents ?

Mr. Speaker :- Let me read it out for the benefit of the House. 71 (c) Government have requisitioned some non-tribals for some categories of posts although some tribals Meghalayans hailing from Meghalaya are still left with the Government of Assam. In some cases non-tribals hailing from States other than Meghalaya, for example, Assam, had been taken to fill some posts.

Shri. H. Hadem :- In that case can we put any supplementary questions on that or will you kindly circulate that corrected reply to the members ?

Mr. Speaker :- You can put supplementary questions.

Shri. H. Hadem :- May we know the reason why ?

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since Meghalaya came into being as Autonomous State we had to requisition officials to man various Department. Now, as we had to start from scratch some of the officers who had been asked to come over to Meghalaya had made some selection of the staff with whom they had been working in Assam. For example, the Chief Engineer who was brought from Assam to the Autonomous State of Meghalaya to work as Chief Engineer had made the selection of such officers with whom he had been working while in Assam and along with them some of the Grade IV staff also were brought. It is in that context that in the initial stage we had to take them and it took time for verification.

Shri. H. Hadem :- The question here is for the staff.

Mr. Speaker :- He has replied to that, even including Grade IV staff.

Mr. Mawlot yesterday has already moved his cut motion, and Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh has also taken part. Now, anybody would like to take part in this cut motion to Grant No.6 ?

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion because I consider it very very important to have survey of the lands for the whole State. There are instances of incidence in the borders because of the delay in the demarcation of the boundary of the State.

Mr. Speaker :- There also you are making a mistake because of the cut motion is for the need of cadastral survey.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- I submit that it is about the cadastral survey of the lands of the State. But without proper demarcation of the boundaries, in my opinion, such survey cannot be made. Therefore, in any case, this will affect the boundaries and areas of the State.

Mr. Speaker :- But accordingly to the procedure, they make surveys first and the demarcation is decided afterwards. But your argument is to put the cart before the horse.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- But it has not been defined clearly as to the demarcation of boundaries, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- May I know from the Minister-in-charge of Revenue whether this particular subject is one of the terms of reference of the Land Reforms Commission ? Because in so far as this is concerned that does and come in the form of a cut motion. There is a need for elaborate discussion perhaps in future on the recommendation of the Land Reforms Commission.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- So far as the boundaries are concerned, it is very much one of the terms of reference of the Land Reforms Commission to enquire into the State lands.

Mr. Speaker :- In other words the Government is also interested.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification, the Land Reforms Commission recommendation is going to be implemented only for the Khasi Hills District. It did not touch the entire State of Meghalaya.

Mr. Speaker :- But there is a need for cadastral survey of lands in the whole State.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :-But the terms of reference of the Land Reforms Commission are only for the Khasi Hills District whereas cadastral survey of the land means survey of lands in the entire State of Meghalaya. Therefore, I am very glad, as the Hon'ble Speaker remarked, that I am putting the cart before the horse. It is the Government which is putting the cart before the horse, Sir. At least 40 percent of the boundaries in Meghalaya have not been properly demarcated in the case of Goalpara and Kamrup borders the Bangladesh borders and so on and so forth. As such, there were frequent incidents in the borders as there is no boundary settlement as yet and even the police from both sides who were posted on duty there, do not know where the boundaries are.

Mr. Speaker :- Therefore, it is high time now that the Government should take up this matter.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, by way of supporting this cut motion I would like only to seek certain clarification from the Minister in charge because we are not familiar with this problem of cadastral survey. What does it actually mean by "cadastral survey", I do not know and I think Sir, this is the first time that we have come across this expression.

Mr. Speaker :- In other words, you should have sought the clarification from the mover of cut motion.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- I had the intention to seek the clarification from him but Mawlot is still a Mawlot, he is still sleeping - he is not here.

Shri. H. Hadem :- On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this casts a reflection upon the hon. Member by saying that Mawlot is 'Mawlot' and he is still sleeping.

Mr. Speaker :- I think the hon. Member must withdraw.

*Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Yes, Sir, I have already withdrawn from the bottom of my heart. Whether it is possible for the Government to conduct a cadastral survey, especially in the Khasi Hills District, where the land in the entire District does not belong to the Government. Whether it is possible or not ? One more point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the term "cadastral survey" presupposes any physical involvement in the way of tax or other things ? Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would not like to dwell more on this point because at the very outset, I have already informed the House, through you, Sir, that I do not really understand the term "Cadastral survey".

Mr. Speaker :- In other words, you are opposing the cut motion by pointing out the difficulties of cadastral survey?

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- That is for clarification, Sir, from the Minister-in-charge of the term "cadastral survey".

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Since this is only a matter for clarification, I wonder how can the Member initially support the motion.

Mr. Speaker :- He is supporting the contention of the mover to have some discussion on this issue.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- That is exactly the point. Now Sir, we can have better clarification from the Minister then from the hon. Mover who have already moved this cut motion. Perhaps, if the Minister clarifies, we may have some more clarification on this cut motion - we are waiting eagerly by him.

Mr. Speaker :- I will call upon him to reply later on. Now Mr. Jormanick Syiem  ?

Shri. Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while participating in this Cut Motion, I would like to make some observations, about the term "Cadastral survey". I hope there is no misunderstanding about this term "Cadastral survey" which does not mean just to describe the boundaries Inter-State or Inter-District. But it is an intensive and detailed survey, plot by plot. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the hon. Mover of this Cut Motion tabled this motion, I do not know whether he has understood the meaning of this term. The people and the Government should welcome the idea of having a cadastral survey of lands in the whole State. In view of the land tenure system in these hills, especially in the Khasi Hills, the Khasi Syiemships, I think the question is very very delicate. It is now for the leaders of the people, as their representatives, to educate the people, the land owners and the Chiefs and all the administrative units to realise that there is a necessity for cadastral survey and also, the District Council will have to be taken into confidence. I hope that the Government will welcome the idea of a cadastral survey and the question if whether we are prepared for that ? Let us therefore educate our people to be prepared for this , otherwise no effort will be of help to the Government as the people will not allow their land to be surveyed cadastrally. With these few words, Sir, I oppose the Cut Motion. I would like that the Government should take up the matter only after the Land Reforms Commission's Report is considered.

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- Only for seeking more clarification, Sir, I would like to say that the necessity of cadastral survey in the State is required only in the sense that we should know the demarcation of the boundaries of the State as in Khasi Hills.....

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- It is a matter of cadastral survey and not a matter of boundaries.

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- In fact, in the Khasi Hills, we have got the Syiems and Lyngdohs and other authorities to cadastrally survey the boundaries. If the Government does not recognise the boundaries of those elakas ....

Mr. Speaker :- "Cadastral" is the survey of the land, plot by plot, and to put on records the names of owners.

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- I think Sir, on this point, I take it that all the cadastral surveys that have been made in the Khasi Hills are elaka-wise ....

Mr. Speaker :- That is not cadastral survey. It is a demarcation of boundaries between the Elakas.

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- Anyway, Sir, if that is the contention and if the intention of the Government is to have cadastral survey I think it should be done for the whole State and not only for Khasi Hills alone.

Shri. Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it appears from the discussion that many of the hon. Members do not understand the whole 'cadastral survey'.

Mr. Speaker :- I think that is an insinuation against some hon. Members. You see English is a foreign language and we have to consult the dictionary also sometimes.

Shri. H.S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Mover himself has thoroughly explained about the purpose of his Cut Motion. So when we discuss the Cut Motion we may touch only that point that the hon. Member has expressed. We cannot tough any other points outside the Cut Motion.

Shri. Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I mean to say is that I do not want to insinuate anybody or any hon. Members of this House, but as explained by our friend, Shri. Jor Manik Syiem, cadastral survey requires detailed survey of all our lands especially in Khasi Hills District. Due to the implications which we are having now because of so many administrative set ups in our State especially in Khasi Hills I think it will be very very difficult for the Government to have a cadastral survey especially in Khasi Hills District. I do not know about Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills Districts. Probably it will be easy to have cadastral survey in these two Districts because land tenure system also is quite different from what we have here in Khasi Hills Districts. But since the Report of the Land Reforms Commission has been placed on the Table of the House....

Mr. Speaker :- But that concerns only Khasi Hills District and the Cut Motion is for the whole State.

Shri. Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. But it would be the best thing to have cadastral survey for the whole State, if possible, as the report of the Land Reforms Commission have been placed on the Table of the House now, for Khasi Hills District only. And at that time when it will be placed on the Table of the House I think it would be a proper time to discuss the cadastral survey for Khasi Hills and for the whole State also.

*Shri. Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in supporting the Cut motion that there will be cadastral survey of land in the whole State. I consider that there is an urgent need for this cadastral survey in Meghalaya so that we will be able to know not only the boundary of the whole State, but we will be able also to know the owners of the lands. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that this survey will be a great help to our people. As a matter of fact, some hon. Members have expressed that there will be difficulty to start such a cadastral survey when the people are mentally prepared to accept it at present. Of course it may be difficult to start immediately. So far as Jaintia Hills District is concerned there has been already a survey made in the wet paddy lands and we know actually who own the particular plots of land. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe that it will not be difficult to make a survey of these lands in Jaintia Hills. But so far as Khasi Hills District is concerned, I think we may divide the lands broadly into 'Rikynti' and 'Ri-Raj' lands. And as far as Rikynti lands are concerned  we know as to who are the owners of the lands whereas there was a lot of confusion in the minds of the people, of the Government and of everyone of as with regard to the Raj lands. We do not know what is the actual position and who are the real owners of the Raj lands. For instance, Sir, there was confusion in certain plots of land those at Umroi and Sumer, because those lands were part of the State Electricity Board. There we find sometimes the people claim ownership over the same plot of land because we do not know what is the actual position of ownership of these lands. We do not know who is the real owner. And sometimes we find that those people who are not the owners of these lands, when the come to know that, that particular plot of land is going to be acquisitioned, they rush there immediately just to show that they have full possession of these lands. But Sir, we do not know who are the actual owners of these plots of land. So Sir, we must do something to protect the actual ownership of these lands; we must protect the people who cultivate their own lands and we must see that those people become secured and get their rights over all the benefits that they should derive from their lands. Actually we want  to see that our people should live in peace and are happy over the ownership of their lands. Therefore, I would urge upon the Government to make serious attempts to have a cadastral survey made through out the State. If they could go for a cadastral survey I believe, it would be better for the people of the State as a whole. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support the Cut Motion and resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Minister to give a reply.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happily surprised at the interest shown in this Grant No.6 and on the very responsible attitude of the Members from all sides on this question of land problems in our State, particularly, in this District. Sir, right from Saturday on cut motion No.6 the trend of the discussion centered round on matters that the Government and the leaders right from 1972, had been very seriously exercised on the question of land problem in this district as well as in the State. Therefore, the Government have felt the need to have a Commission - the Land Reforms Commission - to go thoroughly into all these matters and to make recommendations. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the terms of reference of this Commission are on matters, that have been discussed since Saturday and today. The terms were to inquire into and study the land tenure system, the difficulties being experienced by the people in the management or administration of land, the desirability of taking cadastral survey and preparation of the record of rights, codification of the land laws, remedial measures to serve the interest and the wishes of the people. Therefore, Sir, we are happy that today we were able to go ahead with all this work. The Commission had completed its work and submitted its report to the Government. The report is on the Table of the House for the Members to study and also to suggest and co-operate in this matter. So far as the cadastral survey is concerned, let us have a very clear understanding on this; it is too remote a connection with the boundary demarcation between Assam and Meghalaya or the boundaries of Assam in parts of Meghalaya with Bangladesh, as Mr. Jormanik Syiem, the hon. Member from Mylliem had explained - it is an intensive mapping and plotting of all the lands in a District or in the State, that show the area show the area of each plot and that will show also the persons interested in those plots, I think, as owners, possessors or any others. It will be a a very very heavy job in view of the terrain, gorges, precipices, rivers and streams and also the hilly terrain of all the three districts. In fact, we have gone a little ahead in preparing for such work with the setting up of a Survey Training School in Tura. The first batch of trainees has already completed the course on 31st December, 1974 and the second course is in progress. So Sir, we are one, completely at one with all the Members who have participated last Saturday and today about this need on how to go ahead in this matter. We are having now the benefit of the report of this Land Reforms Commission and we will study as to how best we can implement this, and I would invite the cooperation, as already Mr. Jormanik Syiem had said, the cooperation of all Members and leaders to get the mass support and cooperation of the owners of the land, the tillers of the land, the occupants of the land - a complete corporation for our survey team to have complete mapping and plotting and also the naming of persons interested in all those plots of land. If we can do it within a year, all the better. In any case, it does require the cooperation of all of us and that in this discussion, with the trend and attitude shown last Saturday and today, I have every hope for  a complete cooperation in this very very big task before us for this district, as already pointed out by the hon. Members, for the hilly terrain / regions of Jaintia Hills and also for the hilly regions of Garo Hills which have not had a cadastral survey - it will have to be done simultaneously. With these words and on the complete understanding that we have on this, I hope the hon. Mover will kindly withdraw his cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- As the mover of the cut-motion is absent, I take it that he is not willing to withdraw. So I put the question before the House. The question is that the total provision of Rs.11,31,000. under Grant No.6 - Major Head "229 - Land Revenue", at page 31 of the budget be reduced by Rs.100.00 , i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.11,31,000 do stand reduced by Rs.100.00

        (The motion was negative and the cut motion lost).

        Now I put the main question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.11,31,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the held '229 - Land Revenue'.

        (Motion was carried and demand passed).

        Now Minister-in-charge of Printing and Stationery to move Grant No.7.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Printing and Stationery) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, Sir, to move that an amount of Rs.59,400, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will be come in the course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "230 - Stamps and Registration".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut-motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.59,400, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "230 - Stamps and Registration".

        (Motion was carried and demand passed).

        Minister-in-charge of Excise to move Grant No.8.

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Excise) :- On the recommendation of the Governor, Sir, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.4,99,700 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "239 - State Excise".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received two cut motions, one which stands in the name of Shri. H.E. Pohshna, which seeks to raise a discussion on the policy of the Government on "prohibition" and the other in the name of Shri. F.K. Mawlot which seeks to urge upon the Government to limit the random opening of bars and to re-orient the check of illicit liquors in the State.

        Now Mr. Pohshna to move.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.4,99,700 under Grant No.8, Major head "239 - State Excise" at page 40 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1, i.e., the amount of the whole grant of Rs.4,99,700, do stand reduced to Re.1.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can raise discussion on the policy of the Government on prohibition.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- In moving this cut motion on the policy of the Government on prohibition, I find it very very difficult to go into the details because there is no policy at all mentioned in the Budget Speech.

Mr. Speaker :- Because the grant is envisaged by the Government on the expenditure on excise, therefore, it does not advocate the prohibition policy, otherwise, why should the Government spend money on this ?

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- The first difficulty Sir, is due to the change of portfolios, and first of all I would refer to the speech of the previous Excise Minister. He has called liquor drinking a 'social evil' in his speech on the 12th June, 1974. He also said that the Government is determined to week out this deep-rooted evil. But in the question asked by hon. Member, Shri. Dlosing Lyngdoh in 1974, whether it s a fact that the increase in the number of liquor bars has affected the moral of the people - the answer of the present Minister is "not to our knowledge." Hence it contradicts the statement of the previous Minister. Anyway, Sir, to come to the question, when I say prohibition, it does not mean, Sir, total prohibition - what I mean is that I agree with the previous Excise Minister that liquor is one of the evils which the Government is aware of and prohibition is the only means to wipe out this evil.

Mr. Speaker :- I think you have not read the speech carefully. Illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor are not only questions of evil - they are law-breakers.

Shri. H. E. Pohshna :- But illicit distillation is also a part of the subject which cannot be avoided when discussing prohibition. Sir, I have consulted some of the hon. Members before entering into this discussion. While I say that we are to go for prohibition, it does not mean that the one who drinks is actually bad. We find that the men, or the people who drink are very generous, (laughter) and that is the reason why they get many friends. Again Sir, I say that I do not mean that a man who drinks is a bad man, in fact, he is always found very helpful - if you ask for help, he will readily come to your help. Further, some people who drink are very kind, generous, good and hospitable. And, I do not mean that all the people who do not drink are good. There is a saying in Khasi which says that "Ynda buaid ki bymdih, te kila kham sniew palat ban ia ki ba dih", (when the people who do not drink get intoxicated, then they are worse that those who drink). Therefore, I am not going to attack or go against the people in the State or in the country who drink and I am not also going to favour much of the people who do not drink that they are good and are angels. But I would like to go to the very important principle of this prohibition, and that is; we have seen that drinking has gone to such a great extent in all bazars of the Districts in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. I do not know about the Garo Hills bazars because I have never attended any bazar there. In hotels restaurants and important public places, we will find that drinking is on the increase and I remember the speech made by one of the hon. Members from Jaiaw who is now the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. when he was telling about the evils. etc. in Iewmulong Bazar. Therefore, it appears that it is high time for the Government to go for a prohibition. As tribals, of course, there is some difficulty because the use of liquor has got some link in the religious performance like the naming of children etc.

Mr. Speaker :- No Liquor is not used while naming children. When you say this, you are making some irrelevant remarks. I do not think that liquor is connected with any religious performance but certain amount of alcoholic drinks may become necessary for religious purposes.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- I am very grateful for that, Sir. But I remember when I talked about this on the floor of this House that one Member from Garo Hills Mr. R. Momin said that we are not tribals if we do not take to drinks and if we give up drink we lose our identity as tribals. I admit that every where in the tribal areas people are used to drinking. At  the same time, Sir, I think that the recent action of the Finance Minister has thrown a ray of hope to this prohibition when the women - under the auspices of the Seng Pynduh Kiad went to meet the Finance Minister - I have read this in the newspaper - where he has readily donated a sum of Rs.3,000 to the funds for promoting the policy and objective and helping the ladies of Shillong and who are going to propagate the principles of prohibition. Therefore, Sir, I will not take much time of the House since we all know about outcome of drinking. But what I want to say is this. I was told that in Shillong liquor shop the monthly sale has gone to the extent of 40,000 bottles in a month. And very likely it is going upto 80,000 bottles and similarly in Jowai also. There has been an increase in the sale. And what is surprising is that in spite of the move for prohibition, the country liquor or the local liquor has to be supplemented by the foreign liquor under the present policy of the Government. So, instead of going to reduce the volume of liquor sales, we are going to increase it. Therefore, Sir, I would like to say that we should go for the principle of prohibition to decrease drinking and although we may not be successful, because this is very very important commodity especially for the people who are tired after their day's work in the night, but to see that the country liquor is being supplemented by foreign made liquor and that the foreign liquor bars are being opened, this will not help the situation rather it will go against prohibition. Therefore, Sir, something should be done in this regard, and that is, we should go for real prohibition. With these few words, I take my seat, Sir.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if I be allowed to intervene here I would like to say that in my previous speech, we discussed about problems of illicit sale, distillation and other things that have corrupted and polluted our society and how we have been finding it very very difficult to drive out these evils. On the newspaper report about the donation to the 'Sengpynduh-kiad', it is the regular feature that the Government give grants to organisations including Temperance Organisation and other Welfare Organisations. So that is the point and this is not my personal donation. It is a question of what the Social Welfare Department has been doing in granting certain grants every year for the temperance movement as these organisations are trying to help us. Sir, this is the only clarifications.

Shri. P.N. Choudhury :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while supporting the cut-motion, I would like to express my feeling about prohibition I am of course in favour of total prohibition. But in the prevailing condition, I am not inclined to advocate that our State should go in for immediate total prohibition. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I want is that the Government should implement the prohibition in a phased programme. Sir, in reality what we find is that the Government is moving in as opposite direction. Sir, instead of advocating the habit of temperance and restricting sale of liquor the Government is encouraging more sale or liquor by granting licences for more bars and liquor shops. Sir, even residential areas have not been spared. Laban is a residential area and not a commercial area, but I do not understand why a permit has been given for a liquor shop in Laban. Is it due to the demand from the public or just to oblige certain individual ?

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Choudhury, it seems you are not supporting the cut-motion since you are against granting of licences for liquor shops.

Shri. P.N. Choudhury :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am against random granting of licences . In Police Bazar, alone there are two bars and that also within a short distance. In other parts of the town licences for bars have been issued at random. This is how the Government is encouraging more sale of liquor instead of restricting the sale and checking illicit distillation and sale of liquor.

Mr. Speaker :- But a man who does not drink at all, even if he given a bottle of drink, he will turn his head.

Shri. P.N. Choudhury :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is true but what I like to stress is that the Government is moving in the opposite direction by opening bars and liquor shops at random. My contention is that the Government should change their policy and restrict sale of liquor. Licences for bars and liquor shops should not be granted at random and Government should encourage temperance so that our youths are not affected by this evil. The Government has also failed to stop the elicit distillation and sale which is going unchecked in many areas.

Mr. Speaker :- Before I ask any hon. Member to speak, I would like to make certain observations. I think the hon. Members should make a distinction between drinking and drunkenness; illicit sale and licensed sale of alcohol and drinking for necessity and drinking for some evil purpose - these should be borne in mind. In highly developed countries if you ask for glass of water, they will offer you a glass of beer but I do not say that your argument while presenting the cut-motion is not sound. But what I mean is that is a matter of policy whether the Government should go all out for total prohibition of exercise better control over the sale of liquor and supervision of the social habits of the people. These are some of the things which the hon. Members should confine themselves in supporting the cut-motion.

*Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member from Laban has raised a point in regard to the granting of licences for opening of bars in the capital town. In this connection, Sir, I would like to advocate only one idea. I am not again the granting of licences but in granting licences, I feel that bars should be segregated from the cafeteria or restaurants. Why, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will tell the names of only two restaurants which we always like to visit-one is A and the other is B. We cannot visit these places because of the existence of bars-in side the restaurant and it has become a questionable place to persons in the society.

Mr. Speaker :- I understand fully well that the person who drinks should eat also.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for example there is one restaurant where we always like to visit because of the very good coffee. But before entering the restaurant we have to look right and left and front just to know whether any person is seeing us, specially, from our own locality because the people have got the idea that this restaurant serves only drinks. Therefore, I request the Government if we can segregate these bars from such restaurant then it will be beneficial to the society as a whole. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to know whether the Government have passed any orders debarring college or schools girls from entering inside these bars ? Because more than once there had been occasion when there and had been trouble inside the bar because the owner of the bar allowed the young girls to enter inside his bar and drink and because of this there has has been a lot of fighting also in one of the bars. So with these words, I support the Cut Motion and request the Government to accept this proposition of mine in the interest of the society as a whole.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker in the chair).

Shri. M. Reidson Momin :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the Cut Motion moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang on this excise grant. If at all prohibition is introduced in the State, I feel there will be more illicit distilleries and there will be more people who would take to drinks. As I had the occasion in the past to make a mention that while total prohibition was introduced in Madras, I was surprised to find that each and every gallery, each and every lane and street have become private distilleries and they have made booming business out of these distilleries because it has been banned by the Government of Madras and declared illegal. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, instead of introducing prohibition, I would rather suggest that there should be certain restrictions on those youngster who are below 18 years of age so that their minds may not be polluted and their studies and future careers not disturbed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a very good saying in Garo. This drink we call it 'chu'. We have one poem in Garo. Let me put it in Garo (in Garo Language). "Chu ine chugipchi bimung minga nangko Unigimin nangko ringo chunika antangko". I may not be able to translate properly into English. But it is something like this 'high is thy name and the one who sips thee becomes very high'. (loud laughter). Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, literally it is so and then when we drink with our friends in some social gatherings or some functions, if somebody takes a little more dose, we call him very high. So I think my quotation is quite proper. We cannot totally stop drinking and I do not like the Government to introduce prohibition specially in the State where drinking is part and parcel of our social custom. So I do not know how the hon. Member from Nongtalang has been advocating for total prohibition in the State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is seized of these problems and even our citizens are quite aware of the evils brought about by drinking. On the other hand Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I congratulate the Government for, trying its best to control this drinking habit in our State by legalising and giving bar licenses to some of the restaurants and some of the bars of this town. One hon. Member was heard to say that in residential areas, these bar licenses should not be granted. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I fail to understand that if we do not grant bar licences in the residential areas, I do not know where can we put up these bar licences, in the jungle, or in the wilderness ? (A voice in the market place) So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should make these places as decent as possible and our society should ask our youngsters not to indulge in drinking habits so that we may do away with the evils of drinking. This is not possible only by the Government alone and not only by introducing prohibition that we can do away with this drinking habit. But it is the duty of every one of us that in order to day away with this bad habit and improve our society, to advise those people who do not know how to drink. As I said, drink is a very good tonic because when one takes drinks he feels really high. Some people take drinks to drown their worries and their difficulties; some people no doubt take drinks to accuse somebody, to abuse somebody and to beat up somebody. As the Speaker has very rightly pointed out that we should differentiate between drinking and drunkenness and illicit and legalised. So, we should be careful about these things and I think the Government has been trying its best to legalise drinking by granting licences in order to reduce the area of operation into smaller areas so that Government will have more supervision and control over those illicit distilleries and illegal drinking. I mean 'illegal' in the sense that one who takes drink in illicit distillation  becomes illegal unless he goes to the bars granted by the Government. So I do not find any reason why we should go in for prohibition. As I said, it is the duty of our society to control our own children not to indulge in this habit until and unless they are grown up (loud laughter). With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose the Cut Motion.

*Shri. Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, of course it may be difficult and it may not also be possible at present for Government to go in for total prohibition. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, at least if the Government had tried to enforce the legal restrictions that they have with regard to distillation, I feel a great headway would have been made to improve the society of ours. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we find that the Government has not been able to enforce the law. As has been said by most of my friends, we find illicit distillation all over the place. When we go to the interior, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what do we find ? We find that sometimes if a village of about 10 to 15 houses grows up a few miles away from the existing village, that village is full of illicit distillers. But then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, even on these the Government have not been able to do anything and so we find illicit sale of liquor all over the place. Sometimes it is impossible to move about in the streets of the town itself after dark because we find a number of drunken young boys and they might pick up a quarrel with pedestrians. We find these people roaming about in the streets; we find them also in the bazars in a drunken condition. We find them also in the interior as has been stated also by the hon. Member who is now a Minister. As has been said by him, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we go to Iew Mawlong we will find so much sale of illicit and also the place is full of evils. Now, what is the duty that is expected of the Government ? That duty is that at least all these sales of illicit liquor and illicit distillation must be checked because this is the main cause of the evils in our society. Now we find that the people go about drinking in these places where illicit sale of liquor is going on. Many of them, most probably, do not drink at home and so they go to these places and then create a lot of trouble in the road. Now, this is not the way to drink - to become drunk all over the road. Of course, I would differ from what has been stated by the hon. Mover of this cut motion, and I would say that illicit liquor is not at all Mover used for religious purposes. They people have been using what I called rice-beer and it is only recently that distilled liquor has come to our society. Though, at present, we cannot go in for total prohibition, at least we want that the Government should enforce the laws strictly. We want that they should arrest the people who go about drinking in market places who in their drunken mood create nuisance in the roads and, primarily Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have found so many road accidents, mainly due to drunkenness on the part of the drivers. This, I believe, requires immediate attention of the Government. We must protect the people and see that the drivers of vehicles do not go about drinking while on duty. Sometimes, it becomes impossible to go in a taxi after 8 O' clock at night because the drivers are drunk. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir if the Government can at least enforce a law restricting illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor and also the drunkenness of the drivers and the people who go about drinking in the road and in market places. I think we will have done quite a lot to improve the welfare of our people and the society.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State for Excise, etc.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I quite appreciate this lively debate on the policy of prohibition and the interest shown by the hon. Members. I am thankful to the hon. Mover of this cut motion for having brought this motion on prohibition and I quite appreciate the views and suggestions from both sides of the House. Similar motions were brought to this House by some hon. Members during the last Budget Session and most of the hon. Members had then given their views and suggestions. The Government have been trying to accommodate these suggestions and views in order to check illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. The hon. Mover himself has admitted that the people who drink are generous, good and kind hearted. Yes it is true. (Laughter)....... because drinking is part of the social life of our people. We are hospitable, generous and kind. So, I am quite happy that the hon. Member realises this fact and next time, he will enjoy a drink. (Laughter).... Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it will not be possible to introduce prohibition in a State like ours where the majority of our people are tribals. As we know, our customs and traditions make use of liquor in religious and any other functions ....

        ( A voice - There is no difference between alcohol and rice beer)

Shri. F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are talking about illicit liquor; not rice-beer or lau-pani.

Shri. Salseng Marak :- Apart from this, enforcement of prohibition will be a costly affairs or a costly undertaking. Law alone will not help stop people from drinking. It may be possible for the State to introduce prohibition only when the people themselves realise this fact and come forward with such idea. Because talking of prohibition is very easy but the implementation of the policy will be very difficult and costly. As soon as the prohibition policy is adopted, this illicit sale of liquor will spread and go underground and to counter this illicit distillation and illicit sale liquor will be extremely difficult and expensive. However, the Government is aware of this problem and efforts are being made to wean away the people from hard drinking by education and moral persuasion. In dealing with such problem like drinking we will have to awaken the consciousness of the consumers. This can be done only by education, moral persuasion and examples, to implement such a programme, the Government alone cannot do. We need the co-operation and help from all sections of the people and from all walks of life. The Government is trying its level best at least to check this illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor and Member also should come forward to persuade the people in rural and urban areas against the evils of drinking. Most of the suggestions and views that have been put forward by the hon. Members have already been noted down and the Government will consider and try to implement them whichever are practicable. In view of these sincere efforts, to reduce consumption of adulterated liquor, to reduce the alcoholic country spirit so as to make it less harmful to the consumers and other measures to control and regulate the rule of liquor by licensing of bars, I request the hon. Member to kindly withdraw his cut motion.

*Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek a clarification from the Hon'ble Minister of State. In course of his reply he has stated that drinking is part of social life of the tribal people. May we know whether this is a belief on the part of the Government ?

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, drinking of liquor is a part and parcel of our tribal life and also is observing certain ceremonies.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- That is only a belief of the Government.

Shri. H. Hadem :- We do not know that the Minister has given his reply otherwise we could have participated.

Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very glad to hear from the hon. Member, Mr. Momin, that he has got the personal experience as to how people become a generous, kindhearted and what not after taking drinks, and in view of the reply given by the Minister-in-charge let us take to drinks and be merry (loud laughter). I withdraw my cut motion.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion ? (Voices - yes yes) the cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn. 

        Now there is another cut motion which stands in the name of Shri. Francis K. Mawlot Mr. Mawlot.

Shri. Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker , Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.4,99,770 under Grant No.8 Major Head "239 - State Excise", at page 40 of the Budget be reduced by Rs.100 i.e., the amount of whole grant of Rs.4,99,700 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you may raise a discussion.

Shri. Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, much has been spoken by the hon. Members who have taken part in the first cut motion but I still have something in spite of the replies given by the Hon'ble Minister of State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all I would like to differ with the replies that liquor is part and parcel of tribal life. It might be so a few centuries ago but if at this stage the Government indulge in thinking that drinking is part and parcel of the tribal life, I beg to differ. Nor I agree with the reply to the first motion that liquor is much associated with religious functions. Here also I would like to differ. What our tribal people need in their religious ceremonies is rice beer. The purpose of the cut motion is to raise a discussion on illicit distillation of liquor - whether it is country liquor or foreign liquor. The Motion does not aim at discussing liquor or other alcoholic drink which is produced of the local rice known as rice-beer. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this connection I may inform this Government that there are thousand and one illicit liquor distilleries only in the Khasi Hills District alone. As you know, Sir, quotas of rice meant for the poor people's consumption, never reach them but to those one thousand and one illicit distilleries. For example, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is one famous place "Sohiong" in which all quota of rice meant for the people of Balat, Dawki and the Bhoi area and Lyngnam did not reach the consumers. It went from here to Balat then it came back to Mawphlang and straightaway to Sohiong. The same is with the quota for Dawki and other places. Of course a few of these distilleries have got licences and permits issued by the Syiem but in that licence or permit given by the Syiem, it is clearly mentioned that they should not utilise rice for manufacturing liquor. Instead, they have been asked to use millet or fruits. As millet is not consumed very much by the people as other essential commodities the Syiems of the authorities who issued permits to those distilleries have specified only the use of millet or fruits. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you will cause any excise raid at any moment, you will find that no millet or fruits is utilised whereas a huge amount of rice, tonnes and tonnes of rice were kept in their godown for manufacturing liquor. Mr.  Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to stress that Government and the Excise Department should be reoriented and checking augmented. There is no denying the fact that there were excise raids but those raids same times did not bring forth good results and were not satisfactory. Why ? Because after two or three months a person who was arrested, after paying a few chips, that person was released and his utensils that he used for the making of liquor were given back to him. Again that person with the same utensils would start manufacturing liquor again. Moreover, Sir, as you know these raids occur only once in a blue moon. Suppose now, a raid was conducted on the 20th instant or those persons who manufacture liquor were suspected by the Excise personnel then the police after hundred years will make a raid. There is no proper control and check on these illicit liquors in the State. Therefore, Sir, I say that this does not involve the Excise Department along but it also involves the Supply Department Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I therefore demand that Government should from now on be strict in the checking of the manufacture and sale of illicit liquor.

        Another time, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to mention here is the random opening of bars. Why I say so is because in Laitumkhrah locality, where there are so many educational institutions, there are three licences bars and how many unknown and unlicensed shops are there. It seems as if the Government is not in the know of things which of course, with their eyes they have not seen but with their lips they might have known. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would agree if in Shillong town there is one bar for those who can not really avoid drink. In Laitumkhrah, a very important place of educational institutions, as stated by the hon. Members from the Ruling Party, the Government had allowed three bars. As a matter of fact, I know there are four Bars even though members of the ruling party say there are only three.

        I am glad the Minister of State for Excise had told me one day "You see I am keeping this empty bottle as a souvenir because I have determined not to drink anymore." Therefore, let us give a good example to others because, if we believe in anything, let us set forth action so that others may follow that example. It is no use speaking only in platforms unless we give an example. We cannot simply believe in getting life because we cannot believe in God; and will get showers of blessings from heaven. But if we cannot do what we mean to do, we fail in ourselves. If I do not drink myself I would like others to follow that example. But we must do something more besides the example which we are giving to the world. As responsible representatives and responsible Government, specially those who are in the highly esteemed position, let us give more examples and let us pay more attention to this important matter. Let us root out bad elements that come out of drinking, that is liquor. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would therefore suggest to this Government that those bars which are situated at Laitumkhrah should be stopped at once. If the Government finds it necessary, let there be one in a far place, away from educational centre but not in the heart of the town or important place of educational institutions.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just now I have seen somewhere in the paper it is mentioned that females have outnumbered males in the NEHU. Sir females have also outnumbered males in the bars (Laughter) ... But who are those persons who enter the bars ? Sir, most of them are students and what we find is that females have outnumbered males in the bars. We say this is a Christian State where the majority of people are Christians.

(Voices - No, we don't say so)...

        Let this Government be against me but I should say that the majority of the tribal people of Meghalaya at present are Christians. If the Government think that liquor is essential for the religious functions. I voice a protest that it is not true and if the Government believe that it is true let them come forward with a press note to that effect and then we the people will take it as true. With these few observations I move my Cut Motion.

Shri. Winstone Syiemiong :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion moved by my hon. friend from Nongstoin. In this connection, Sir, I would like to refer to page 48 of the Budget, Volume No.2 item No.8, where there is a mention of a Secret Service and in so far as this Secret Service is concerned, I think it relates very much to the second portion of my friend's cut motion to re-orient and check the sale of illicit liquor in the State. Sir, I am very happy that the Government also is aware that in order to check the safe of illicit liquor they have set up this Secret Service Branch. But I would like to ask the Government what are the functions of this Secret Service Branch of this Department and to what extend they have been able to justify their existence because we all know that a lot of liquor especially in Shillong comes from the rural areas and is produced in the rural areas ? If this Secret Service has really carried out checking with the help of the people, why when so much liquor still pours in to the town of Shillong? We have seen there at Bara bazar where there are so many dens of illicit liquor and in every locality we have seen there are so many places where this sale of illicit liquor is going on impudently. Yet, Sir, we have this Secret Service Branch of the Department and we are going to spend from the State Exchequer Rs.2,700 for this particular Department. Why cannot this Department see that at the dead of night how many cars come down to Shillong full of liquor. There are a lot of Chevrolet cars carrying illicit liquor at the dead of night from interior places to Shillong. May I inform this Government that there are cars running from Mawphlang - Mawngap side down to Shillong at the dead of night or even just before the dawn carrying illicit liquor because they know that no one would make a check on them. And the Government is providing Rs.80,000 for motor vehicle meant for this purpose. Is this vehicle being used in checking or just for joy-riding by the staff of this Department ? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Government is really serious to see that no illicit liquor should be allowed to find a place in our State, I am sure we would not have seen the free sale of it everywhere, especially in Shillong. I, therefore, humbly request this Government to see that this Department should make an effective check on the sale of liquor. Although the majority of the hon. Members here are not in favour of prohibition, but in favour of restriction and control, I think it would be a good thing if this amount of Rs.80,000  and 27,000 and the total amount of Rs.4,99,000 is spent in such a way that it would not be a waste. Otherwise, it would be better to declare this State as a wet area without any Government restriction at all. Thank you.

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this cut motion and I have a few other points to make in respect of this cut motion relating to the random opening of bars and other liquor shops. Sir, in this respect the Government might say that we have got only few liquor shops and that also only here in the town, but then what we have seen is that liquor is not sold only in Bara bazar, Police Bazar and Laban but it is sold everywhere and I don't know of these are and recognised by the Government. The Government must than recognised these because if you go to Polo ground and all outs the town you will find there are so many shops selling liquor, you will find near the Police Reserve also there are so many such shops where country liquor as well as foreign liquor are being sold. Sir, is it not the responsibility of this Government to see that illicit liquor should  be not sold ? The Government, I think, is licensing them otherwise it is the responsibility of the Government to check the sale of illicit liquor in those shops. Because if the Government do not recognise those shops in Polo ground, Bara Bazar and anywhere in the town, then I am sure there would have been no such shops, the Government should have closed down those shop. Not only that, I have seen even in the villages also there is still random granting of licence for sale of liquor. This might be given by the Village Chief or the Syiem of the District Councils or by any other authority. But I don't think that the District Councils are granting any license. So Sir, this is also the responsibility of the State because Excise comes under the State, it is a State subject and therefore the State is responsible everywhere for the random granting of licences for distillation as well as bars and liquor shops. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member from Nongspung had expressed that illicit liquor that has been brought from the interior or from the outskirts of the town is not being checked effectively. Sir, if you go a few miles from here in the Elaka of Khyrim, you will  find - in villages around here such as Nongrah, and all other areas much liquor is being produced from the outstill there. These villages compose of hardly a few thousands of people but there are 6 or 7 numbers of outstills where they manufacture liquor. They are no doubt possessing the licence and their licence the condition is to distill liquor only from millet but in actual practice, they are distilling it from rice. So unless there is effective check on this, to stop, this manufacture of liquor from rice, I am afraid that we may again have to face the same difficulties as we had last year with the shortage of foodstuffs. Now although only recently we have harvested, but the price of essential commodities, especially rice, has become very costly Sir, so I would like to request the Government to take more effective measures on this subject and especially when they want to grant licences, they should resort to the Temperance Act. I do not know if our Government have adopted this Temperance Act which was enforced by the then Assam Government. If we have to grant licence to the villages, we will have to adopt this Temperance Act where the will of majority should be sought before we give licence to any shop anywhere, otherwise, if we do not resort to those findings by some sort of election whereby the people will decide it they want it or not to establish or put a shop - then you will be listening only to the few people and not to the majority of people. So I would urge upon the Government through you Sir, to take more effective steps in checking the random opening of bats, Sir.

Shri. Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in opposing this motion I would like to express my gratitude to the mover of this cut motion. He has very rightly expressed his righteous indignation on the rampant sale of liquor in Shillong and outside. But let us not forget that it is only recently that the Excise Act has been enforced in the Syiemships. All along the stills, control of excise was left to the local authorities because Excise Act was not yet enforced. If I am not mistaken, I think only a year or two at the most, that the Excise Act has been extended but the Government have tried to check as far as possible the illicit sale of liquor in the town. I believe they are also trying to examine the position outside the town. They have introduced the Bar licensees with a view to curtailing illicit sale in the town area. Though of course they are still confined to the India made foreign liquor shops which, I think, will not be sufficient to check illicit sale because country liquor also is being sold in every part of the town. In this connection, I would suggest to the Government through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that Government should examine whether it will be feasible to introduce licenced bars for country liquor also, that means liquor made in this district itself. Unless we do that, how are we going to control the illicit sale in the Bara Bazar area or in any part of the town. In so far as random issue of bar licences is concerned I also agree that bar licences should not be given anywhere but according to the needs. If in some locality we find that there have been too many bars, the number should be reduced. Again, if in some locality, there are no bars at all, I would suggest that bar should be opened in such locality. In that case, there will be even distribution of bar licences and we will be able to control the illicit sale liquor in those places where bar licences have been given. Where men and women drink, it is quite a different thing, nobody can stop. I believe by opening bars, it will serve as a check on those people who like to drink secretly by going to the illicit liquor shops. People who want to drink openly, let them go to the bars. In order to check illicit sale of liquor, again I would repeat that Government should examine whether it will be feasible to issue bar licences for country liquor and also to see whether there have been too many bars in certain locality and whether in other locality where there is no bar, some bars should be opened. So with these few words, I oppose the cut motion.

*Shri. Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was nearly persuaded to support the cut-motion moved by the hon. Member from that side, but in view of the fact that during the discussion, he did not mention how many bars have been opened during this year. I cannot land my support to the cut motion because the cut motion itself aims at limiting the random opening of bars, if at all there is any opening of bars. Probably, there are the old and existing bars, and if there is any new one, I do not think the cut motion will do good at all. Secondly, Sir, as a matter of fact, according to the information given by the hon. Member who moved the cut motion, we came to learn that the persons involved in drinking are more females than males. That of course, I cannot say anything because I am not accustomed to this (Laughter) but my implication, it means that the mover himself visited these places frequently, otherwise how would he know how many males and how many females are there in each bar, I do not know whether he went (Interruption).

Shri. Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the information of the hon. Member, for the welfare of the State, we should visit all these places. (Laughter)

Shri. H. Hadem :- Thank you very much, Sir. Why I say that is because I did not visit any bar to find so and so in the bar, it is a fact, as already stated, that there is complaint here and there and I understand that there is a restriction given by the Government that only millet should be used for distilling liquor. But it seems that even rice is being used for distillation and in view of the present shortage of foodstuff, I am nearly convinced to support the cut motion but considering the fact that after the reallocation of portfolios, when the same Minister is in charge of Agriculture and Supply and the same Minister is in charge of Excise, I hope he will give his earnest consideration of the matter so that the food position of our State is not disturbed. I agree though I had not been to all places, that any one who drinks will sleep instead of his head being high, his feet became high. (laughter)

        Sir, I hope that in view of the financial position of the State, the Government would look into the matter and as such I do not see any reason why I should support the cut motion and therefore I oppose it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Any other hon. Member ?

*Shri. Maham Singh :- Yes Sir. (At this stage, Shri. W. Syiemiong Chairman, occupied the Chair) Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the Cut Motion that has been moved by the hon. Member. Mr. Chairman, Sir, opening of bars is very much necessary to check the illicit sale of liquor in the State. Now, with regard to the opening of bars, Mr. Chairman, Sir, only a few bars have been given licences and they are within the Municipality of Shillong. So far as the other bars that have been found throughout the whole of Khasi Hills are concerned, we find that they are all illicit bars. As a matter of fact, the problem involves the whole State and we find that the people have been committing acts of illegality without any fear of punishment. Sir, we find that there is no control whatsoever over these illegal acts that have been committed by our people. Now, Sir, I will not agree with what has been said by the hon. Member from Mylliem that the Excise Act has not been extended - the Excise Act had been extended many years ago. Of course, it became an issue in the court of law and it has been explained, it has been contested also in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court had confirmed that so far as the Excise Act is concerned, it applies even to the Khasi States throughout the whole State including also the Khasi Hills District which is previously called the Syiemship of Khasi Hills. Now, this is the judgement of the Supreme Court. (Shri. Jormanick Syiem. In which year ? Is it  1971) Yes. And then the judgement of the Supreme Court was extended since 1960, but as a matter of fact, I may say that it was slightly extended. And, then the judgement was passed in 1971 and now with the extension of the Excise Act, no one can open a bar in any place of the State without a licence being issued by the Government. But then, you will find what is happening in the villages at present. We find that the Syiems are issuing licences to people for opening bars here and thee without any authority whatsoever. As a matter of fact, they have no right whatsoever to realise any licence fee from these distillers. But they are issuing these licences to these distillers for opening bars in the villages and the Government is not taking any action whatsoever. They have no authority whatsoever under any law to give licences, and the licences issued by them should not be recognised by the Government. At least the Government should give them some authority to issue the licence on their behalf. Previously, Mr. Chairman, Sir, what we find is that an assessment is made as to which village requires licence, what is the population of the villages and then in case where there is no necessity of opening a bar, a licence will not be issued to the village. In this way, there is some control, some check on the opening of bars and distillations in the villages also. But the present, we find that the whole matter is in a state of  confusion. No one knows who has got authority to issue licence and whether these licences issued are legal or illegal it is very difficult to say or to know. And then, we find that many people in the villages with the licences issued by the Syiem had opened bars and distilleries in most of the villages and they have not been prosecuted. Therefore, I feel that the Government is not taking any action whatsoever to close all the out-stills that have been opened without the authority of the Government. But once the Excise Act is being extended in any case no one can open a bar without the permission or a licence having been issued by the Government. But we find people opening bars, distilleries without any fear whatsoever. Sir, this is a great loss to the State. So, I support this Cut Motion and I feel that the Government should take steps immediately at least to enforce the Excise Act and not to allow any one to open distilleries without proper licence issued by the Government. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri. G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose the Cut Motion vehemently. Our State Mr. Chairman, Sir, has, attained its full State-hood, with the object to maintain the institutions, what we use to know, as the traditional institutions. The hon. Member from Mawprem, has just stated the Syiems and the local Chiefs, specially in the Khasi Hills, are granting licences for distilleries. This is a known fact Mr. Chairman, Sir, and this practice has been there for generations and we know for sure that these traditional institutions like Syiems, the Lyngdohs and Wahadar were the authorities to issue licenses for the country liquor distilleries. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is unfortunate that the hon. Member has stated that the Syiems, local Chiefs and Wahadar are not the real authorities to issue licences. According to the written agreement, what is known as the instrument of accession it is laid down that excise will be one of the subjects of these chiefs. But I am not going to discuss that whether there is any legal force or sanction in it. But what I mean to say is that when the hon. Member from Mawprem has stated that whether the Excise Act has been accepted, and it is to be applied through the whole State in Meghalaya, it is unfortunate that this Act uptil now could not be implemented for certain adjustments and other factors which the Government has to take into consideration whether they should do away with all these traditional institutions, whether they should do away with all the Chief - the Wahadars, the Lyngdohs by taking this source of income from them as it is at present this is the only source of their income by which they maintain their institutions and if we snatch away this thing from them. I am sure their traditional institutions which we are hoping will grow according to their genius will be defeated. Therefore, I feel that Government should be very careful in implementing this Excise Act and they have to consult experts in order to come to an amicable settlement of this question. And we have to strengthen this particular Department, as it is at present, not only to streamline the administration on excise but also to check illegal sale, illegal distilleries as it has been pointed out by the hon. Members from the other side. We want, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to check illicit sale of liquor and in spite of the best efforts which the Government is trying to check this by regularising the sale of liquor but still the Government is not in a position is totally check it. Because, what is more required is the cooperation, the moral support and we all should know what actually drink is. Actually as it is commonly known, they drink and drunkenness are quire different things. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri. Edward Kurbah :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion moved by the hon. Member from Nongstoin. I am very grateful to him that he has brought this cut motion in this august House. After hearing all the arguments put forward by many hon. Members relating to illicit sale of liquor and illicit distillation, first of all, I would like to bring to the notice of the House my point in which I would like to congratulate the Government very much for their taking interest in checking the illicit distillation in liquor. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, being a man from the rural areas and as it happens that my residence is situated by the side of the road from Shillong to Sohiong, I happened to see one or two members of the Excise Department and I have to confess here that I see some police personnel also coming to my area so many times may be with the idea most probably to check illicit distillation in this area. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, I still wonder whether these raids had produced any result at all when so many times persons of the Excise Department visited this area. I would like to know from the Government because a few weeks ago I have heard that an emergency raid had been made by the Excise Department with regard to the distillation at Marbisu - I have heard that the police have gone there all of a sudden. I am very happy when I learned that many of them were to use millet in place of rice. But some of those who were already given the licenses were found using rice in place of millets for preparing liquor. Whether this is a fact or not I would like to get the exact reply from the Government to this august House. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we want to know the result of the raid. I do not know much about the procedure followed by the Excise Department regarding illicit distillation. So many times while sitting either in the taxi or in the bus, I have seen people from that area along the road carrying something with them. Sometimes I wonder how these people could dare to carry illicit liquor with them. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, when I enquired from them or from the passengers who were traveling along with them whether they were not afraid to carry these with them, they said, 'why should we be afraid, this is Meghalaya, and the people in the Excise Department are our friends. Whenever they detected us and when we gave only a few rupees, they allowed us to go". This is only for the information of the House. Whether Government is aware that such thing has been going on along this road. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have one more point which I would like to bring to the notice of the House. I do not know what is the procedure of the Government to grant licences for making liquor in the rural areas, because I find that so many of these outstills have come up in small villages. I will give concrete suggestion. In Marbisu village, many of the people have been given permission to distill liquor in spite of the fact that, as I have learnt, the people in that area do not like that permission be given for distilling liquor. But some of them, those who are in the habit of distilling liquor are finding out ways and  means to distill illicit liquor. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not know whether the Deputy Commissioner is responsible for that or the Government for granting these licences to so many of them. I would like to know from the Minister in charge how many licences have been given to the people of this area till now. Mr. Chairman, Sir, with regard to the statement made by one of the hon. Members from that side that we must try to educate our young people and children not to indulge in drinking, in one way the statement is proper and right. But from the other point of view, when we encourage illicit distillation and at the same time when we are in the habit of indulging in drinking of drunkenness, can be educate our young people not to take to drinks ? So it is very difficult to check them. We are to control ourselves first so that they can our examples and follow them. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not have more points to say on this, and with these few words, I support the cut motion.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to thank all the members who participated in the discussion and put forward suggestions to stop this illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. Now, I want to reply to some of the points raised by the hon. mover who pointed out that liquor is not part of social life. He does not like to agree with me or with some hon. Members from this side that liquor is used by the majority of the tribal people. I said it because non-Christians are in the majority in our State, liquor is used in religious ceremonies and functions and I said that it is used in some limited extent in religious ceremonies. The mover wanted to know also the materials seized during the Excise raid. He alleged that those materials which have been detected during the raid were found to be in use by those illicit distillers. This is not a fact, Mr. Chairman, Sir. These materials when seized are destroyed. Another point raised by - I do not know his constituency the hon. member who is now in the Chair...

Mr. Chairman :- Nongspung.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- He also wanted to know the secret service. This secret service expenditure is made because it is essential to get intelligence on illicit distillation and transportation of liquor.

Mr. Chairman :- I think the member realised that he wants to know. So how effective was that organisation .007.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- He wanted to know regarding the Chevrolet car. This vehicle was detected with empty drums.

Shri. F.K. Mawlot :- What has happened to the empty drums ?

Shri. Maham Singh :- The contents have probably been consumed.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- And then the hon. Mover has alleged that random licenses are issued to the people. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is not a fact that bar licences have been granted at random. No new licences have been issued since 1973-74 and more care is usually taken in selecting suitable persons for grant of bar licences in the case of Indian made foreign liquor and so far the Government have issued bar licences to six persons in Shillong and to one in Tura.

Shri. Maham Singh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the question is not with the issue of licences. It is on the random opening of bars.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- But reference has been made by the hon. Members, so I have to reply.

Shri. H.E. Pohshna :- Make a random reply.

(Laughter)

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- The hon. mover has also alleged the rice in the distillation. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is an admitted fact that there is such a use of rice in illicit distillation. But, in this regard, as one of the measures for checking illicit distillation, the Government have already promulgated an order under the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, prohibiting the use of rice for distillation of liquor. It is also an admitted fact that there is rampant sale of liquor in hotels and restaurants and in some other shops in Shillong and its suburbs and that they obtain illicit liquor at all times of the day and night. Unless bars are licenced, illicit sale of liquors will continue. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I have said earlier prohibition as moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang, will not be helpful to check illicit distillation. It will rather spread illicit sale of liquor or help go underground and there will be increased sale of illicit liquor. So it will be difficult for the Government to control this and the Government is also aware of this problem. As I have stated earlier, we welcome the suggestions to every hon. Member of this House and we will try to examine those suggestions and see whether they can be implemented. The Government is quite aware of the fact that sale of illicit liquor means a loss of Government income in the form of Sales - tax. Excise Duty and vend fee apart from real danger to the health of the people. Therefore, in order to check and combat this illicit sale of liquor and also illicit distillation, these Indian made foreign liquor bars are licenced as it is easy for the Government to control and regulate the sale of liquor in the bars. In this connection, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I can assure the hon. Members that the Excise Department is making massive efforts to check illicit distillation.

        Now, in this regard, the hon. Member from Sohiong has wanted to know the raids conducted by the Excise Department. In spite of insufficient staff of the Department, the Department has made several raids. In 1972-73, the number of raids conducted was 42, quantity of liquor and fermented wash seized was 2,794 litres of liquor and 25,927 Kg. of fermented wash along with 103 sets of distilling apparatus. The number of cases registered was 371 and the amount of fines imposed Rs.6,145.00. During 1973-74 the number of raids conducted was 53, and the quantity of liquor and fermented wash seized was 4,149 litres of liquor and 22,585 Kg. of fermented wash along with 204 sets of distilling apparatus. The number of cases registered was 386 and an amount of fines imposed was Rs.41,350.00. Between 1st January, 1974 and 15th March, 1975, the number of raids conducted was 61; the quantity of liquor and fermented wash seized was 3,596 litres of liquor and 22,946 Kg. of fermented wash along with 211 sets of distilling apparatus; the number of cases registered was 414; and the amount of fines imposed was Rs.15,880.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair )

Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh :- On a point of clarification, may we know how these distilling apparatus are being disposed of ?

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- They are being destroyed.

Shri. Edward Kurbah :- On a point of clarification, I would like to know from the Minister what is the result of the last raid at Marbisu.

Shri. Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, he should come forward in the form of question.

Shri. Winstone Syiemiong :- That cannot be an excuse. There is no specific rule that hon. Member cannot seek an information during cut motion.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- But I must obtain the materials for specific question. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member should realise that, as I have said earlier, the Government alone cannot do this job. We need the co-operation from all citizens in this regard and law alone is not adequate for dealing with such social evils like illicit distillation. As I have said earlier, this is a long standing social evil and it has become almost part and parcel of our life in certain areas. We therefore need the help and co-operation of the people, or all the leaders and from all sections of the citizens.

        Now, regarding the suggestion made by the hon. Member, Mr. Jormanik Syiem, I would like to inform him that it is under the consideration of the Government that licensing of bars for country liquors is one of the measures for dealing with the alcoholic country spirit and illicit distillation by unauthorised persons. I would, therefore, request the hon. Members of this august House to extend their co-operation in this regard to check this illicit sale of liquor and also illicit distillation.

Mr. Speaker :- I would like to point out to the Minister that it would be very unfair on the part of the hon. Members to check these evils nor is it necessary. At best they may inform the Department concerned about such occurrences.

Shri. Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the suggestion and views expressed by the hon. members have been noted down by the Department and I would request the hon. Members to kindly withdraw his cut motion.

Shri.  Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, my point has not been replied that is issue of licences by the Syiems without the sanction of the Government.

Mr. Speaker :- It does not fall within the purview of this cut motion. Licensing of bars or opening of bars is one thing and distillation of illicit liquor by outstills is another thing. So you question of random illicit distillation at outstills is not relevant to this particular cut motion.

Shri. Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the assurance of better execution by the Minister who is very young and energetic and who has himself given up drinking and the confidence that I have on him, I withdraw my cut motion. (laughter).

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Members leave of the House to withdraw the cut motion.

        (voices - yes, yes). The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.

        Now I put the main question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.1,99,700 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "239 - State Excise".

        (The motion was carried an demand passed)

Mr. Speaker :- Minister of Finance to move Grant No.19.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.5,08,500 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "240 - Sales Tax and 245 - I -  Other Taxes and Duties on Commodities and Services".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the main question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.5,08,500 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "240 - Sales Tax and 245 - I - Other Taxes and Duties on Commodities and Services".

        (Motion was carried and demand passed)

Mr. Speaker :- Grant No.10 to be moved by Minister, Transport.

Shri. D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor I beg to move that an amount of Rs.9,72,500 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "241 - Taxes on Vehicles".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received one cut motion which stands in the name of Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna.

Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna :- Sir, I would not move.

Mr. Speaker :- So the cut motion automatically stands withdrawn. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.9,72,500 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "241 - Taxes on Vehicle".

        (Motion was carried and demand passed).

Mr. Speaker :- Grant No.11 to be moved by Minister, Power.

Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Power) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor I beg to move that an amount of Rs.1,01,600 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "245 - Other Taxes and Duties on Commodities and Services - II - Inspectorate of Electricity".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.1,01,600 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "245 - I - Other Taxes and Duties on Commodities and Services-II- Inspectorate of Electricity".

(Motion was carried and Demand passed)

Mr. Speaker :- Now, the Minister-in-charge of Finance to move Grant No.12.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.48,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "247 - Other Fiscal Services - promotion of Small Savings".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no Cut Motion. I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.48,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head "247 - Other Fiscal Services - Promotion of Small Savings".

        (The motion was carried and demand passed). Now, Chief Minister to move Grant No.13.

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.37,23,900, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "252 - Secretariat - General Services - I - Civil Departments".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no Cut Motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.37,23,900, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "252 - Secretariat - General Services - I - Civil Departments".

(The motion was carried and demand passed)

        Minister-in-charge of PWD now to move Grant No.14.

Shri. P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, PWD) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that that an amount of Rs.6,07,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "252 - Secretariat - General Services - II - P.W.D. Secretariat".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is a Cut Motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that that an amount of Rs.6,07,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "252 - Secretariat - General Services - II - P.W.D. Secretariat".        

        (The motion was carried, and demand passed).

        The Chief Minister to move Grant No.15.

Mr. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that that an amount of Rs.20,78,300 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "258 - District Administration".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received one Cut motion which stands in the name of Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh. Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh is absent and the Cut motion is deemed to have been withdrawn. Now, I will put the question before the House. The question is that that an amount of Rs.20,78,300 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "258 - District Administration".

        (The motion was carried and demand passed).

        Now, the Minister-in-charge of Finance to move Grant No.16.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.10,10,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "254 - Treasury and Accounts Administration".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received one cut motion which stands in the name of Shri. Francis K. Mawlot. Now, Mr. Mawlot to move his cut motion.

Shri. Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.10,10,000 under Grant No.16, Major Head "254 - Treasury and Accounts Administration", at page 83 of the Budget, be reduced by Rs.100 i.e. the amount of the whole Grant of Re.10,10,000 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Your grievances are very simply. You want to raise a discussion expressing the immediate need of a Treasury at Nongstoin. Now you can initiate the discussion.

Shri. Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to take much time because, as you have already stated my intention through the Cut Motion is only to make the Government aware of the necessity and effectiveness of the administration by the establishment of a treasury at the Sub Divisional Headquarters at Nongstoin. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you know the distance from Shillong to Nongstoin is 96 Kilometers or 59 miles approximately. Mr. Speaker, Sir, any officer who comes from Nongstoin to collect the pay of the staff of his office from Shillong, has to take the money through the distance of 96 kilometers. There is every danger and every likelihood of his vehicle breaking down somewhere on the road or of this being attacked by robbers half way. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not only for the benefit of the officials, but the opening of a treasury at Nongstoin. Sub-divisional headquarter, will also help the local businessmen, the local people or those who are in some other trades to appreciate the necessity of a Treasury. Mr. Speaker, Sir, side by side with the opening of a treasury, it is also important for the Government to help bring in the State Bank of India's Branch at least at Nongstoin. I therefore urge upon the Government to take up the matter. If at present the Government finds it difficult to start a full fledged treasury for want of accommodation. I would offer an alternative suggestion and that is by opening of a sub-treasury. There was however, an offer from the Superintendent of Police saying that the female Lock-up of the Nongstoin Thana can be spared for the purpose, as most of the time, the female lock-up is empty. Still then the GAD had not considered this question. Up till now, the Nongstoin Sub-Divisional headquarters is running without the treasury and the officers as well as the public are facing difficulties in getting their bills passed by the T.O. at Shillong, thereby causing unnecessary delay of what they actually want to execute in their short span of time. With these words, I move my cut motion. I request the Government to look into the matter.

Shri. Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support the cut motion moved by my friend, Shri. Mawlot. Sir, the need for opening up of a treasury at Nongstoin Sub Divisional headquarters need not be over emphasized. In fact, Sir, if at all, there is no treasury in Sub-Divisional headquarters at Nongstoin, the very purpose of having this Sub-Divisional headquarters there, is defeated. Not only treasury but also the civil administration which is connected with the transaction of various office bills and finances in the day to day administration of the Sub-Divisional. The business which is required to be transacted daily in the area is greatly hampered. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would further like to state that even if the building is not ready, the urgent need of the hour is as the hon. mover has stated, that cash can be given and kept under police custody. If this treasury branch is opened there in Nongstoin Sub-divisional headquarters, then any of the temporary buildings can be used for the purpose and the people will be cooperating with the Government in this respect. Sir, Nongstoin Elaka has given a large area and I know for that purpose people will extend their co-operation. But I don't know why there should be delay in doing so. This Governor has stated in his Address that two districts may be created this year within the State. It is quite obvious that one such district will be at Simsangiri and one will be at Nongstoin. But Sir, I think before these two districts come into being, the creation of one treasury Office is urgently needed. Not only that, I mean to say that even the opening of a branch of State Bank of India is also highly essential at Nongstoin. For the time being people can deposit their money for transaction of their business under Police custody. They can keep their cash under police custody of Nongstoin headquarters. Sir, with these few words, I support the Cut Motion

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Minister-in-charge to reply.

Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may inform the hon. Members that steps have already been taken for sitting up of a treasury Officer at Nongstoin and we are now to get building for its accommodation. I therefore, request the hon. Member to withdraw his Cut motion.

Shri. F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw my Cut Motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw Cut Motion.

(Voices - yes, yes)

        The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.

        Now I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.10,10,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "254 - Treasury and Accounts Administration".

        (The motion was carried and demand passed)

        Now, the Chief Minister to move Grant No.17.

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor I beg to move that an amount of Rs.2,72,62,400 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1976 for the administration of the head, "255 - Police and 260 - Fire Protection and Control".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received as many as four cut motions which stands in the name of three hon. Members Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh, Mr. Winstone Syiemiong and Mr. S.D. Khongwir. Any one of them can move the Cut Motion.

Shri. H.S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.2,72,62,400 under Grant No.17 Major head "255 - Police and 260 - Fire Protection and Control" at page 87 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1 i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.2,72,62,400 do stand reduced to Re.1.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can initiate a discussion to disapprove the Government's policy on recruitment and promotion of Police personnel.

Shri. H.S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, time and again discussion after discussion motion after motion took place on the floor of this Assembly regarding maintenance of Police Force in this State being a new State. And Sir, there was a cry about the recruitment of our tribal boys into this Police Force. All along our tribal Khasi and Garo boys are very few in the Police Force. But during the last two or three years after we have achieved our State, with the propaganda which has been always there. Since the Hills State movement that we will look after ourselves when we achieved our State and new boys have come up to join the Force. We have seen that not only boys but even girls have joined this Police Force. At the same time Sir, we have raised the question regarding the standard, qualification and physical fitness for recruitment to this Police Force and I think Government will be very glad if I remind today that they have issued a circular that they have reduced this height limit and thus enabled our boys to get admitted in the Police Service. We also know that the Government has issued a circular that our Khasi and Garo boys would be given preferences in the recruitment of this Police Force. But Sir, if you look at the actual implementation of policy and programmes that was adopted for recruitment, you will find that our Government has neglected and ignored the local boys. This may be because the manipulation of certain interested party in the Police Force itself. Sir, such decision was there best it ends in the Police Headquarters only. No attempt were made to give wide information to inform the people to join the Police Force. Why I say this, Sir, because while discussing this in this House, sometime we have suggested that the Government should inform the people from corner to corner from locality to locality for recruitment into the Police Force. But Sir, we have seen that during the year, recruitment was being made but this was done irregularly and casually. Sometimes I used to used to send groups of boys with my recommendation to the Police Officer, sometimes I was also compelled to see the I.G.P. or the D.I.G. for that purpose. But my recommendations were not taken into account by the officers while recruiting boys in the force. Sometimes the officers will inform that there is no more post but after one or two weeks later I learnt that one or two boys have been taken into the force. Sir, I found that by this gradual and irregular recruitments, some boys who were interviewed were deprived of the appointment because if there were five candidates only two will be taken in even if they were physically fit and that also one will be a non-tribal and another a tribal and the three tribals would be rejected. But the next time also, the same thing will happen. Sir, these tribal boys are coming out to get these jobs. The Chief Minister used to express on the floor of this House that the Khasi boys or the Garo boys are not coming forward to join the force, but that is not a fact. Now, Sir, they are living up, but the policy of recruitment is such that our boys have been rejected and many of them are even desperate because they are very anxious to join the force. I would like to touch another point regarding the assurance, as I have stated in my cut-motion that is, promotion of Police personnel. So far, we learnt that there were 15 posts of D.S.P. in 1974, but these posts were not filled up and I think there are still 10 or so which are lying vacant now. I do not speak of only about the tribals, but what I an concerned is about the police officers who are serving in the State now and who have been denied promotion to fill up these posts. That is what I learnt when I tried to look into the matter. Sir, we learnt that these posts are borne in a joint cadre with Assam. While on the other hand, officers of the same rank and of same seniority have been promoted to higher posts under the Assam Government, it is not understood why no promotion was given to police officers serving under the Meghalaya Government. Even the juniors officers serving in Assam have been promoted. So these juniors officers who have been promoted in Assam will get a better claim for promotion if and when they will be taken by Meghalaya Government superseding those officers who have been serving here as Inspectors or Sub-Inspectors. Why not Government give its own officers a chance of promotion so that they will do well in their services for maintenance of law and order in the State. The same discriminatory policy of the Government is being followed not only with regard to police administration, but also in other service like the A.C.S. and the I.A.S.

Mr. Speaker :- I do not think there is any need to mention that. It is better for you to confine to the purpose of the Cut Motion. But you may refer to it by way of examples.

Shri. Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- While in Assam those junior officers have been promoted, but officers here are denied their promotion. The higher posts under this Government will be filled up those junior officers who have been promoted under the Assam Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this has discouraged the officers who are in service and we learn, Sir, that some posts have been filled up by such promotion only by those persons who have got some relation with the higher-ups. There is no need to mention the relation but may be with some top personalities in the State. Such an apprehension and such feeling is widespread among the Police Officers. Sir, if this policy of the Government is not looked into, this being a very important Department, I am afraid that the services of the Police will not at all be to the interest of the people and of the State. With these few words, Sir, I move this Cut Motion.

Shri. W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wonder if I may add any more to what my hon. friend from Pariong has already said as this subject is one which we have been discussing year in and year out, especially on the recruitment policy. Apart from what the hon. Member from Pariong has stated, I want to dwell only on one point and that is on the recruitment side - the recruitment policy of the Police personnel. If I am not mistaken, Sir, I think last year or so, in the Budget Session, the Chief Minister most probably - I stand corrected of course - has given an assurance here that in order to solve the unemployment problem; we know it very well that unemployment is a crying need of the State and in order to solve it, it will be best if more and more of our youths are absorbed in the Police Department and to encourage them, therefore, to join the Police Force, recruitment will not only be made in the District Towns and District Headquarters of Shillong, Jowai and Tura. But the recruiting authority should go to the interior and try to find out from the interior itself the most eligible and fittest young men so that they could be absorbed in the Police Department. I am sure, Sir, if the Government had done that, not only various feelings that we have pointed out about the Police Department would be dispelled but, as I have said, the unemployment problem itself will be greatly lessened.

        Another point, Sir, which I want to state here is with regard to the recruitment of C.I.D. personnel. What I was talking about is regarding the recruitment policy of the Government for these C.I.D. personnel. We known that the C.I.D. personnel are the ears and eyes of the Government. They are the ones who bring to the notice of the Government any information and also of the actual condition of what is happening in the State. And, to that extent, Sir, I feel that the C.I.D. personnel should be the most qualified and the best types of people. But then the sad thing to say is that Sir, as I have had occasion to say earlier that the C.I.D. personnel or this State are perhaps among the worst lot. There are many reasons - perhaps I may - if I am to discuss about the reasons - but then I would like to say what is the criterion for recruitment of the C.I.D. personnel. Had they been active, had they been very effective, most of the cases, apart from political issues and political questions, most of the criminal cases of the other types could have been solved but, as it is Sir, we find that in every case, most of the criminals cases are not solved at all especially the murder cases. I would therefore, request Government that henceforth a new policy should be adopted in so far as recruitment of C.I.D. personnel is concerned. Some special qualification must be introduced and special training given. I think last year, or the year before last we have passed also a certain  amount of money for the establishment of certain schools for these C.I.D. personnel and other Police forces. But, I wonder if we have started it as yet. But as my information goes, we have not started it at all. Therefore is one more point Mr. Speaker, Sir, which I would like to bring to the notice of Government and that is, as this is a policy cut, I would like to say that I appreciate very much the Government's efforts as far as Police personnel are concerned, that they have been given all the necessary training. They have been given the training to fight physically, to defend physically and even those new styles of Judo and Karate fighting's have been introduced and some of them have been taught in that art. But the sad thing is that while physically they are fit enough, their character has not in the least improved. Their behaviour is not in the least improved. They are still very arrogant, very proud especially when they deal with the ignorant and illiterate people as also the rural people. Their very presence send a chill of flight to many of these people. I would request this Government through you, Sir, to kindly direct our policy personnel also to behave much more humanely and normally. With these few words Sir, I support the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Anybody else ?

Shri. F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, just a few words. Two years back, we had heard proposals that the Government would introduce the Meghalaya Auxiliary Force and even this year, in the address of the Governor, mention has been made of the Civil Task Force. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am compelled to say that it is unfortunate till now, neither the Meghalaya Auxiliary Force nor the Civil Task Force has come into existence.

Mr. Speaker :- Those two forces do not come within the purview of this cut motion.

Shri. F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is very wide scope in this cut motion -

Mr. Speaker :- It is only regarding the recruitment policy, and the promotion of police personnel. There are the two sub-divisions concerning this particular cut motion. But this grant is not concerned with the things that you are mentioning.

Shri. F.K. Mawlot :- You are right, Sir. We quite appreciate the policy of the Government with regard to the Police Department, we welcome it and we extend our co-operation also. Now, much has been said about this by the Members and also in the last year we had occasion to talk about this Department but what I may be allowed to suggest at this juncture is to improve the character of the  police personnel ..... The Government should have thought of establishing in this State special institutions whereby boys are taught to bring up a new generation in the sphere so that they may feel that they are themselves the future police personnel, further brains, future backbone of the Government. I am glad that many schools have introduced the Scouts and N.C.C. Training I am sure those boys who were given this training in schools will be good policemen. So, what I would suggest here is that Government should also have thought of providing some amount for the establishment of schools or institutions where the young people are taught right from their tender age so that when they grow up they will be good police officers.

*Shri. Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in supporting the cut motion, I want to say a few words, in this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government is not following the same policy that existed many years ago. This policy of recruitment that we have at present does not fit in with the present society nor does it fit in with the present situation. Now, Sir, what we find in the recruitment is that although the police force is very important force from which the citizens are to get protection, then what do we find in the recruitment ? We find that the same policy is followed in which the police constables who are illiterate people are being recruited in the police force. They have been recruited with a very small pay. Many of them, Mr. Speaker, Sir, are the people with such a small pay that, as a matter of fact, they cannot meet the daily necessities of their life and therefore we find that there are lots of corrupt practices in this force. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is high time for the Government to consider to recruit only the best people and not the constables, and this will be also advantageous not only to the Government but also to the whole State. They should recruit the people who understand the situation and if these people are educated and appointed by the Government with a very good pay, they wills be in a position to tackle the situation in a much better way than an ordinary constable. An ordinary constable may not be able to tackle even a single person, but an educated person will be able to tackle fifty persons at a time. The Government should apply its mind how to recruit the police in the police force and those people who are recruited be the fit persons to be promoted to the highest level. Mr. Speaker, Sir, just because other States have not adopted this policy, this cannot be the reason that our Government should not adopt this policy. I wonder why our Government should not give a start to-day. Sir, everybody wants and I also believe that the persons in the police force should be the people who are capable, educated and of good understanding. So with these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that the system of recruitment to the police force should be changed, if we want that this force should serve the people efficiently. With these few words, I resume my seat.

*Shri. Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to oppose the cut motion because the hon. Member who moved the cut motion on the Government policy of recruitment did not at least mention what the Government have ventured in atleast through one particular scheme to recruit even the female police. Had the hon. Mover known what the Government have done. I think he would have withdrawn his cut motion. So I hope the hon. member would appreciate that our Government have sincerely intended to improve this particular department even by recruiting the female police personnel. But Sir, in this connection I would like to say that we expect that these female police squads should be posted at least in each of the districts of Jowai and Garo Hills.

        Secondly, Sir, we have see that during the last two years the Government have tried as far as practicable to recruit the local persons and that many of our local boys have been recruited to this particular force. For instance, previously rarely any Jaintia young man would join this force. But I am very glad to learn that within these two years at least to the extent of 10 to 15 of them have been recruited in this department. As I do not like to take much time of the House. I would only suggest that appointment must be given to those who are due and I hope that the Government will be giving promotion to everyone who is due and with these few words, I oppose the cut motion.

Shri. G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion on the question of disapproving of Government policy on recruitment of police personnel. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have to be practical in this connection. If we simply disapprove the Government policy of recruitment and promotion of police personnel without giving alternative suggestions as to what is to be done by the Government I feel that it is not a realistic approach. There is a conflict of opinions on that side of the House. The hon. Mover has suggested or has pointed out that the recruitments of police personnel's were not done according to the recommendations of the M.L.As. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as for myself I feel that recruitment of persons to any type of appointment should not be based on the recommendations of the M.L.A's. Actually, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a public leader we cannot displease anybody and without taking into consideration the merit of the applicants we just strongly recommend and forward their applications for necessary action. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that we as M.L.As should not grudge recruitment of persons to different categories of posts, because appointment should be made on the basis of physical fitness specially in respect of police persons and also other merits of the candidates. The hon. member from Nongspung has gone a little further by suggesting the exploration of villages for recruitment of our young men to the Police Department. He also suggested that at the same time, recruitment should be made on the basis of certain standard and certain educational qualification of a person. This, Sir, is self contradictory.

Shri. S.D. Khongwir :- Why do we not have any standard in the rural areas ?

Shri. G. Mylliemngap :- I do not mean to say that. What I mean to say is this that when the Police Department is going to recruit people to this Police Force....

Mr. Speaker :- What the hon. Member from Nongspung said is that for the Police Force, the physical qualification is more important but for the C.I.D. staff he said that people with better qualification should be recruited.

Shri. W. Syiemiong :- It seems that the Member is contradicting himself.

Shri. G. Mylliemngap :- Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we go to the villages for recruitment of these personnel, it is very doubtful that our young-men in the villages will be readily available and agreeable to join the Police Department and it will not be practical also for the Department to go and enroll or give appointment to the people in the villages without proper screening. The approach should be more practical at least if we want to encourage the young people in the villages to join the Police  Department; the Police Department can at least send their advertisements through the Block Development Officers situated throughout the whole State. I feel that this approach would have been more practical than to go from one bazar to another in different villages of the State to search for people to be recruited as Police personnel. Regarding appointment of personnel in C.I.D. Department. ......

Mr. Speaker :- It seems C.I.D. and P.W.D. are always confusing everybody.

Shri. G. Mylliemngap :- Because both the departments end in 'L' Mr. Speaker, Sir, as regards recruitment of people into this particular department, I quite agree with the hon. Member from Nongspung that it should be based on special qualification and merit of the applicants as it has been also pointed out by the hon. Member from Mawprem. But at the same time I feel that recruitment to this particular branch of the Police Department does not exclusively depend on the merit of the applicants. We have also to know the antecedents and upbringing of a particular person so that as the hon. Member from Nongspung said, informations which Government is getting from this particular department will not be misleading but will really help the Government. In respect of promotion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope that Government is quite alert of this position and if the Government thinks fit that the people who are due for promotion, their cases should be considered. With these few words, I oppose the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- So far as promotion is concerned, the mover of the cut motion has pointed out only one very important issue. That officers of the same rank serving in Assam have got promotion or even their juniors whereas those officers serving in Meghalaya have not been promoted. There are times, he said, that the junior officers serving in Assam came to Meghalaya on promotion. That is the specific charge of the mover. So far as other points relating to promotion are concerned, I do not thin k there are important and substantial arguments. Any other member would like to speak. But it s a question of only one minute and I do not think it is advisable to call upon the Chief Minister to reply because in any case he will not be able to reply in one minute.

Shri. F.K. Mawlot :- If it is a printed reply, he can circulate it to the Members.


(Adjournment)

Mr. Speaker :- With leave of the House, I announce that the House stands adjourned till 9 A.M. on Monday, the 24th March, 1975.

 

 R.T. RYMBAI

Dated , Shillong :

Secretary

The 22nd March, 1975.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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