PROCEEDINGS OF THE BUDGET SESSION OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED AT 9.30 A.M ON THURSDAY THE 18th MARCH, 1976 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG.

********

Present :- The Hon' ble Speaker in the Chair, Seven Ministers and three Ministers of State, thirty four members.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up unstarred questions.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS.

(Replies to which were laid on the table)

Grantees of Sewing Machines and Carpentry Tools.

Shri. H. E. Pohshna :- 

14. Will the Minister in- charge of Cottage Industries be pleased to state the names and addresses of the persons who were granted with sewing machines and carpentry tools during the year 1973-74 and 1974-75 by the Assistant Directors of Cottage Industries of Tura, Shillong and Jowai ?

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister of State, Small and Cottage Industries :- replied

 14. A list is placed on the Table of the House.

  Area of Forest Land.

Shri Samarendra Sangma :- asked

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

(a)

What is the present proportion of forest lands in Meghalaya to the area comprising the entire State ?

(b)

What is the area of forest land to be maintained in each State as prescribed at national level ?

(c)

What action is being taken by the Government to increase the area of forest lands in accordance with the norm fixed at national level in Meghalaya ?

Shri Grohonsing Marak, Minister Forests :- replied

15.

(a) 38.7 percent.

(b)

In each State the total area is covered under forest is not fixed. However, in the National Forest Policy it has been emphasizes that the country as a whole should aim at maintaining one third of the total land area under forest. In the national Policy also it has been laid down that as an insurance against denudation and erosion - 60 percent and 20 percent land in mountainous tracts and plain areas respectively should be maintained under forest.

(c)

Action taken by this Department to increase the forest land are -
(i) exchange of land suitable for wet cultivation in side the Reserve Forest with the high land outside the Reserve Forest to be added to the Reserve Forests in the proportion of 1:-2
(ii) the District Councils have been given Grants -in- aid to afforest the degraded and open land in their areas.
(iii) the Forest Development Corporation of Meghalaya has also been engaged in taking over open land for afforestation of the same with economic species like pine and teak.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- 15 (a) Whether this 38.7 per cent land is only Government land or including private land also ?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak, Minister Forest:-  Including private lands also.

  Government Calendars 

Shri W. Syiemiong :- asked

16. Will the Minister -in- charge of Publicity be pleased to State-

(a)

The number of Government Calendars printed for the year 1976 ?

(b)

The total cost of printing ?

(c)

The mode of distribution ?

Shri D. D. Pugh, Minister of Information and Public Relations :- replied

16.(a)

10,000 (ten thousand) copies.

(b)

Rs. 67,800 (Rupees sixty seven thousands eight hundred and eight)

(c)

1,000 copies free distribution and 9,000 copies for sale.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- To what categories of officers or to whom these 1,000 copies were distributed free?

Shri D. D. Pugh, Minister of Information and Public Relations :- These 1000  copies of calendars had been distributed to the various Ministers of the Government of India, Foreign Mission, Travel Agencies, Tourists and to the Other State Government and to various Ministers.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Whether the Department concerned have noted the mistake in the calendar ?

Shri D. D. Pugh, Minister of Information and Public Relations :- Yes, Sir.

Shri Maham Singh :- Who is responsible for this mistake ?

Shri D. D. Pugh, Minister of Information and Public Relations :- The printing Firm, the Advertising Firm.

Shri Maham Singh :- Was the proof sent to the Department for correction before final printing.

Shri D. D. Pugh, Minister of Information and Public Relations :-Yes, there was proof but it was not the final proof.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker Sir, it has been proposed , in view of the mistake in printing to punish the Firm. And it has been proposed to deduct Rs.8000 out of the Bill ( applause)

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker Sir, how many copies have been sold uptil now ?

Shri D. D. Pugh, Minister of Information and Public Relations :- I require notice. However, the sale is continuing.

Shifting of Shillong Government High School.

Shri D. Lyngdoh :- asked

17. Will the Minister -in- charge of Education  be pleased to State :-

(a)

Whether it is a fact that a part of the Shillong Government High School will be shifted to the Earle Hostel Buildings very soon ?

(b)

If so, how many sections or classes Government proposes to shift from the present building to the Earle Hostel ?

(c)

Whether the Government have ascertained that all the rooms in the Earle Hostel are hygienically fir for holding classes ?

(d)

Whether the present Headmaster's office and the Science Class Rooms are also to be shifted to the Earle Hostel? 

Shri P.G. Marbaniang, Minister of State in charge of Education :- replied

17 (a) It is proposed to shift the entire Government High School Shillong, to the Earle Hostel Buildings during the current academic session.

(b) 

Does not arise in vies of (a) above.

(c)

It is proposed to renovate all the buildings before shifting the school

(d)

Does not arise in view of (a) above.

Side Business to Government Servants 

Shri H. Hadem :-

18 . Will the Chief Minister be pleased to State 

(a)

Whether it is a fact that Government servants including teachers and other low paid employees are not allowed to do another side business ?

(b)

Whether they can open at least a tailoring shop or a small medical store ?

(c)

If not under what rules have they been do debarred ?

Capt, Williamson. A. Sangma, Chief Minister:-

(a)

Yes.

(b)

No.

(c)

Under Rules 12 of the Assam Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1965 (as adapted by the Government of Meghalaya)

H. E.  and M.E. Schools under Deficit System.

Shri Nimosh Sangma :- asked

19. Will the Minister -in- charge of Education be pleased to state the number of High and Middle English Schools which the Government proposes to include under the deficit system during the year 1976 ?

Shri P.G. Marbaniang, Minister of State and Education :- replied

19. The proposal is under consideration of Government.

Provincialisation of M.E. Schools.

Shri Brojendro Sangma :- asked

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

(a)

Whether the Government proposes to provincialise the M.E  Schools in the State, during the year 1975-76 ?

(b)

If so names of such M.E Schools ?

(c)

If not, the reason thereof ? 

Shri P.G. Marbaniang, Minister of State and Education :- replied

20. (a) No.

(b)

Does not arise.

(c)

Due to paucity of fund.

Members of the Board of Directors of the AMSRTC

Shri Martin Narayan Majaw :- asked

21. Will the Minister in- charge if Transport be pleased to state :-

(a)

The names of the members of the Board of Directors of the Assam and Meghalaya States Road Transport Corporation.?

(b)

How many of these members represent the State of Meghalaya ?

(c)

The name of the Chairman of the Corporation or Board ?

(d)

The name of the General Manager ?

(e)

Whether the Chairman and the General Manager are under the administrative control of the State of Assam or Meghalaya ?

Shri Darwin Pugh, Minister of Transport :- replied

 21 (a) The Members of the Assam and Meghalaya States Road Transport Corporation Board are :-

  1. Shri S. P Hazarika, I.A.S. Chairman.

  2. Shri Ramesh Chandra , I.A.S. Financial Commissioner, Government of Meghalaya.

  3. Director of Transport, Meghalaya.

  4. Shri S. D. Phene, I.A.S., Secretary of the Government of Assam, Industries Department.

  5. Shri J.P. Rajkhowa, I.A.S., Joint Secretary to the Government of Assam Finance Department.

  6. Shri N. C. Mahapatara, Deputy Financial Adviser, N.E. railway Gauhati.

  7. Shri O.D. Agnihotry, Chief Commercial  Superintendent Gauhati.

  8. Shri G.S. Bhattacharjee, M.L.A. Gauhati.

  9. Shri A.C. Saikia , M. L. A., Gauhati.

  10. Shri Chandra Bahadur Chetri , M.L.A., Digboi

  11. Prof. Sahed Abdul Malik , Jorhat.

  12. Shri J. Gohain , General Manager 

(b)

2 (two).

(c)

Shri H.P. Hazarika, (Chairman) of the Corporation.

(d)

Shri J. Gohain, A.C.S.

(e)

They are under the control of the State of Assam.

Shri Maham Singh :-  Why is  it that Meghalaya has got only two Members out of twelve ?

Shri Darwin Pugh, Minister of Transport :-Mr. Speaker Sir, I presume that we have got two out of 12 on the basis of population and size of the State.

Shri Maham Singh :- There should have been a proportionate representation

Shri Darwin Pugh, Minister of Transport :- No it is on the basis of population.

Mr. Speaker :- Now let us pass on to the next item of today's list of business . In this connection may I inform the House that a number of issues were raised by the hon. Members regarding the policy of the Government which has followed so far and which proposes to follow in the next year and that involves certain clarification from the Ministers . As such I have been told by the Chief Minister that some of the Ministers would like to intervene first. Now I do not know who would intervene first.

Debate on Governor's Address.

Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy (Minister  for Industries Power ):- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a few comments on the various ; remarks made by some of the Members in so far as Power and Industries are concerned and also something about border areas. First of all on Industries one of the Members, Shri Winstone Syiemiong, mentioned that Governor's Address contained and incorrect statement that Meghalaya Plywood Factory was not working satisfactory. He has cited some instances also. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, in so far as the general running of this industry is concerned it is running satisfactorily. He has cited some instance also. There was a temporary problem no doubt in so far as supply of raw materials is concerned but the Government and the Forest Department has taken up this matter with the Company and it is expected that it will not be too long before arrangement made for the supply of timber by the Forest Development Corporation will be in full swing and the Plywood Company will be getting full quota of timber so far as the Government Forest are concerned in future. I may inform the House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the responsibility for supplying timber, right from the very beginning it was made very clear to the entrepreneur that the Government had very little amount of forests under its control and the Company would have to make adequate provision for forests elsewhere and it has been assured to the Department of Industries by the entrepreneurs of the Ply- wood Company that they would arrange for obtaining their forest supply from the District Council and the private forests in the State. And  so far as this Government is concerned, it would only make available  the forests from the Government Reserved Forests in a planned manner, i.e., according to the Forest Department's planned extraction of forests from year to year.

    Now one or two Members have made remarks about the working of the Mawmluh- Cherra Cements Ltd. Right from the start Mr. Speaker Sir, we had made it very clear in this House and elsewhere that this Company was inherited from the management from the time of Assam Government. We have inherited  a large number of problems which  we have been able to solve to some extent but uptil now there are some serious problems that have not yet been solved. However, we are continuing the programme of expanding the factory from 250 tonnes 930 tonnes capacity per day inspite of the fact that no arrangement of finance had been completed.

    Fortunately, it is as was mentioned in the Governor's Address, the arrangements for finance of this expansion has almost been completed and letters have been sent to us and loans are going to be floated and all the formalities are now being gone through so that we may be able to get these loans. One of the serious problems that the Government is facing is lack of finance, but this is now being solved. But I would like to inform the House, Mr. Speaker Sir, that there may be one or two unavoidable closures of the company. They are not unusual. The normal method of accounting production of a cement factory is fixed on the basis of 330 working days allowing 35 days being kept aside for maintenance. On this basis, the company has worked well last year. The supply of cement in order of priorities, is made through the cement Controller of the Government of India and the company manufacturing cement has made out of this production, 70 percent given to the priorities made by the Cement Controller and other 30 per cent is allowed to the company for free distribution through markets. This, therefore, may have created certain occasional problems of supply. However, the situation has considerably eased and there is no scarcity of cement at all. The hon. Member from Nongspung has mentioned that now there is surplus cement, why the expansion is planned now. This is so because a decision was taken very much earlier. It is a correct decision which we are continuing because it will make the company much more viable and this amount of cement is required for North East India. The hon.Member from Malki, Shri Upstar Kharbuli had mentioned about the danger of the use of firewood extensively from the forests by the distillation units of the Meghalaya Essential Oils and Chemicals and warned that it would take away our forest resources and so on. Now this is of course being carefully examined by the Company that it will not eat into the forests too much. But I may mention, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the use of firewood in some of the areas is quite feasible, it give employment to the local people of the villages near about the distillation units and it helps the people to get employment by cutting firewood and making available to the company. It is considerably cheaper, and therefore it is being used. However, the company will certainly look into the matter and the Government is also to see that much is not used. So there is not too much of the forest being destroyed. There are many of the areas where we have to put up these units, depending upon the supply of raw materials  including fuel and firewood. I do not think at this stage, we have to worry too much about it. But in those areas where coal is available nearby, the company will surely undertake to using coal as well. This has been examined and will continue to be examined.

    Now, the Member from Sohiong had made certain charges regarding the distribution of grants -in- aid to small scale entrepreneurs and he said that most of the applicants who have been granted this grant in aid were not deserving lost and that genuine people were not given the grants-in- aid. We have occasionally heard Mr. Speaker Sir, complaints of a few applicants who may not be very deserving but certainly not to the extent that the Member has made such a sweeping charge. The Government at the state level as well as the district level. appoints committees which consist of both officials and non- officials including some representatives of the people at the state level as well as the district level. And it is expected that these responsible members of the public to genuine entrepreneurs the assistance which the Government provides. However we cannot say that each and every applicant has been 100 percent genuine. But so far as we are concerned, we adopt a procedure by which these applications are scrutinised and to the extent possible the grants are given to the deserving people. It would be impossible to consult each and every deserving M.L.A. and M.D.C in this regard, and to some extend, they are associated with the Consultative Committees and these Committees are supposed to look after these. However, we shall certainly give further instructions to these Committees to be more careful in future so that more deserving persons are given these grants. Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh, mentioned the need for development of small scale industries for giving employment to local people and mentioned of the development of carpentry, weaving and so on so forth. This is the declared policy of the Government that we give some emphasis on the growth of industries so that our local people can use the raw materials available as well as their  skills. The Government also provides certain training and facilities to encourage local entrepreneurs in small scale industries. Production- cum- training centres have been set up in all the there district to teach better techniques and better methods. The Weaving Training Centre has been set up providing the materials and sales outlet to weavers in the entire district. In addition to this, we have sent occasionally entrepreneurs of small scale industries to various parts of the country to see for themselves how industries are set up and how they could learn from the other parts of the country. The Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation will also provide assistance to small scale industries by way of loan and grants through the Director of Industries. Now we are also having a full course training in industries depending on the availability of fund and the department has taken up training of our people in various industries that we have put up and those that are to be put up. For instance we have already a number of students undergoing training in paper technology which we hope that when a paper and Pulp Mill was established, these students will come and work in that Factory. We have also students undergoing training for Jute technology and some students or mining and geology and so on and so forth. This what we have been doing and will continue to do so that we will get some of our own people to take charge of the industries that we have already established or about to be established. Mr. Alexander Warjri had mentioned one of the problems of the non- confirmation of employees of Industries Departments particularly the Instructors. The Government is examining this question and has already sent a list of employees to the respective Departments of the Government of Assam and when the final agreement for absorption is finished we expect that the question of confirmation can be taken up. The Government will also conduct exercise to find out the number of permanent Posts in the Industries Department and then sort out this whole question.

    Mr. Jormanik Syiem mentioned about need for dispersal of industries in various parts of the State in the interior areas and criticised the tendency to centralise them at one place like Byrnihat and Mendipathar. Now the principle that Government has followed is not to concentrate certain industries only in one or two places. But because of some problems of getting labour, some people do not like to work in places like Byrnihat, the Government has given greater incentives to those industries already set up and about to be set up in the interior areas as well. But it is only those industries which have economic advantage will be allowed to be located at Byrnihat where the railway is very close by and markets outside the State are readily available.

    The Hon. Member from Mawkyrwat had mentioned about the need to train our local people for appointment in the Cement factory. I am sure he will be glad to know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this has done since Meghalaya came into being. I may mention that practically all the recruitment to this Company has been from the District and local area round about the Factory itself. Except from a few persons at the top level who are not available in our own State, practically all others have been recruited from within the State  since we took over the Factory. We are also taking up the question of training for the various posts and we have referred to our consultants who are to prepare and help us prepare training schemes in order to train up our own people at various levels so that we can man the Cement factory and other Cement Factories that we hope to establish in our State in future.

    Now, so far as the Mineral resources are concerned, there was a reference made by Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh that some of our limestones was being taken away by the people from Bangladesh. The details of this question have not been made available. However, reference was made recently and we have also referred it to the Home Department to examine this particular question carefully and to see that this would not take place. Of course there has been quite a large amount of limestone exported regularly through our exports to Bangladesh through the Kommorah Lime Stone Mining Company and also through other exporters through Shella river. But I am sure the hon. Member has not resort to this but to a place near Borsora and we were told that some amount of limestone has been taken away. A reference was made immediately to the B.S.F. to see and check up on this so that this will not take place and we also requested them to examine it. Now, a number of Members have made a reference to the power supply in the State. Mr. Reidson Momin and P.G Momin and other have said something about the Garo Hills Thermal Project. Mr. P. G. Momin especially had regretted that this Garo Hills Thermal Project has not started as yet. This is very fortunate. We are still awaiting sanction of the Government of India in this respect from the Ministry of Energy and the Planning Commission. This being a large project so we are making efforts to see that this project is implemented. But the decision lies with the authority in Delhi. Mr. P.G. Momin has also said that he was glad to learn that the M.S.E.B. has taken up the transmission line to Nangalbibra. But I am sorry to inform him that this is not the case, we have not started yet that transmission line. It is just an investigation that had been made. This is the matter of investigation and survey that we have carried on so far. Anyway, I would like to inform the hon. Member and the House in general that it was just a few days ago, last week, that the Government had obtained sanctioned for rural elections schemes for drawing a 132. K.V. transmission line from the Umiam Project to Nangalbibra through Nongstoin. We are making power available under Rural Electrification Programme from the Umiam, Umtru Project to Garo Hills Districts. This is a transmission line with a distance of 110 kilometres and the cost would be 184 crores of Rupees. During this current year 1975-76, we have sanctioned of Rs.30 Lakhs and the time for completion of the project will be three years. This plan was made in an anticipation of the large Thermal Plant that we hope will be set up in Nangalbibra. The power supply to this side at the moment will flow from the Umiam to the Garo Hills so that we can take up more scheme which are still pending now because of lack of power. At present survey work is already in progress and perhaps that is why Mr. P.G. Momin has referred to as the actual construction work. It is also true that Mr. Reidson Momin had said that there is quite a large amount of power potential in our State and it is for that reason we have mention made in the Governor's Address and we have undertaken to investigate a number of hydro electric projects starting with the Umiam stage 4 and which is already under investigation, when M.S.E.B started. Here are two or three other schemes, first of which will be Leishka- Umtru schemes in Jaintia Hills and number of other schemes including some of the tributaries in Kynshi valley and for which the hon. Member from Nongstoin was kind enough to help our engineers to suggest in connection with this project, in place of the main Kynshi Project which was envisaged. Coming back to one of the question raised by Shri S.D. Khongwir and Shri D.N. Joshi regarding employment in the industrial enterprises of our State which is also linked up with what Shri Rowel Lyngdoh said that it would be better for the State to set up the industries so that employment and technical know how would be from  our State. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like like to make it very clear that the expertise and the man power available is not adequate to start  industries in our own State. Perhaps in our small scale industries, we do not have enough man power and adequate finance available to take up all these industries and it is for this reason that we have gone in for joint sector concept on which entrepreneurs bring their know  how and finance and help in setting up industries in our State. But so far as employment is concerned , we do make it a definite condition that then employment will be very much from our State except in very few instances where technical know how will not be available.

    The entrepreneurs do bring in technical experts from outside. Mr. Joshi has asked the question that who is going to man the industries in our State and the answer to that is that the labour will come from our own State and we will have to make all efforts to train up the labour and we are doing that. For instance, there is one project which we have approved to, to train up atleast 50 young men in Bombay and Calcutta in factories of the entrepreneurs and when they trained there in about six months, they will come to work in our State in the factory being set up. There we are to make sure that the factories set up in our State will be manned by the labour State.

    Shri P. Momin had requested to give up top priority to the new power scheme and certainly we are trying to do this. But it will be up to the Ministry of Energy, Government of India to sanction these scheme. Unfortunately, there is a feeling in Delhi that this region is not short of power or even if it is there, it is very small. Moreover, there is a constant battle between the power engineers of this region and the people in Delhi over the question of the shortfall of power supply. I have also stated many times that if this region, including Meghalaya is to fulfill the aspiration of the people and their potentiality of the industrial development, agriculture development and lift irrigation through out these areas; then certainly we are going to be short of power for many years to come and we will continue to appreciate the development of power in our State which has some natural resources for this power generation including hydro electric and as well as thermal resources. So, we continue this effort to persuade the Government of India that we need to develop these power resources to satisfy our own needs as well as the needs of our neighbouring State  of Assam and the North Eastern area as a whole. Shri H. Hadem has mentioned about frequent stoppage of power on Sunday causing inconvenience to local people who are attending Church on Sunday. But Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not think that this is a regular feature. I would suggest that rather disturbing power in the middle of the day, i.e., during working days where industries and agriculture depend on power, the department have uptil now used Sundays.  I therefore would like to suggest that amplifier- sets be used alternatively on batteries so that in the case of power shut down, batteries can be used. I know that the power failure is not regular feature and since this is not possible, we shall tell the department to try to see that shut down of power is minimise.

Mr. Speaker:- I think, the hon. Minister is replying in the form of question. The policy of the Government must be to have a regular check on such matters. Otherwise, how the Government can maintain the administration. Moreover this particular question was raised twice in this House by the same hon. Member. I think the choice of this is up to the Government whether to declare Sundays as working days.

Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy ( Minister  for Industries Power ):- Mr. Speaker Sir, besides this, two or three hon. Members have mentioned about the problems in the border areas. This is certainly one of the most serious problems faced by our State and it will continue to be faced by our State. It is unfortunate that with the emergency of Bangladesh, the border trade could not flourish as expected by all of us. It was expected that the trade could not flourish as expected by all of us. It was expected that the trade will continue normally. But the Government of Bangladesh did not favour the informal type border trade which was going on for generation together. Therefore, attention of the Government of India by our State Government had to be drawn to find out avenues for continuing normal regular trade with Bangladesh. Moreover, Mr. Speaker Sir, we have also exported considerable amount of limestone, oranges, tezpatta this past year and now we are experimenting on exporting a certain amount of coal. With the understanding of the importers, we are also trying to export pan leaf. If this policy can succeed, it will also help the border people to sell their pan leaves which are not saleable in the other parts of the country. So Sir, this matter will continue to get the attention of our State Government. We also have a special Border Areas Development Department to look into this matter. We have also referred this matter to the Planning Commission to send a special Study Team and that Study Team came to Shillong and stayed only for a night and could not meet our department Officer and we have referred this matter again to the Planning Commission to try to improve this. Whatever it is, we have been taking this matter very seriously to see that border people are not assisted and the programme has been chalked out and assistance has been given by the Government in various forms of subsidy. Transport of essential commodities free transport of some of the border produce to the market, assistance to the students and so on. The Planning Commission is very sympathetic to this very serious problem and we are having to rack our brains to find out what we should do to to really solve this problem. Just a few months ago we sent a team of agriculturists including some of the member of the Government and the Minister of State and 3 Members of this House to Kerala to find out different crops that would be able to be grown in the border areas like those grown in Kerala and the utilization of some of those crops like the tapioca powder in some of the industries and so on. Government are fully aware of this problem and are continuing to find out what needs to be done and I would welcome any suggestions not only from those persons who are in the consultative committees but from other members also to help us to solve this very very important problem. So with these few words, Mr. Speaker Sir, I intervene in this debate and I am grateful to all the Members who have participated and have constructive suggestions regarding industries and border areas problems.

Mr. Speaker :- Let me ask the Minister about one thing that was raised by hon. Member on the problem of the people living in the border areas. Some of the hon. Members said that the pan growers and betel nut growers are complaining that they could not sell their produce at higher rates, whereas the people of Shillong are complaining that they have to pay very high rates which is really very true. Had the Border Area Development Department tried to fix the price or the price has been fixed by somebody else. ? Will the Minister examine the details so that the growers and consumers sell and pay the same price.

Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy ( Minister  for Industries Power ):- If the growers get the price that the consumers have paid and the price does not go into the and of the middleman that would be an effort that the Government will have to make because we are trying to solve this transport problem buy providing trucks for carrying pan leaves and other border produce to the market, but uptil now most of the trade channels operate for the produce in the border areas and bring it to Shillong and other place to sell in the market. There is certainly a middleman's commission or whatever that they charge. But I will certainly look into this matter as suggested by you Mr. Speaker Sir. In addition, the Marketing Federation has been established recently and we are going to ask them to take up this question of marketing in a better way so that the border people will get the benefit of whatever price is available directly.

Mr. Speaker:- I want to inform the hon. Member that I paid 50p per bundle of pan leave at Pynursla whereas in Barabazar for the same bundle the price is 4.50p. In any case, the Minister is explaining the policy matter. If any Member wants to ask any question on the policy matters, I will allow.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- It seems that the Minister has not fully understood what I had referred. Yesterday regarding limestone operation by Bangladesh in Tiharghat in Borsora area.

Shri W. A. Sangma :- I will reply to that.

Mr. Speaker :- I will request all the hon. Members to seek clarification only after the Chief Minister has replied as other Minister are giving intervening reply.

Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture:- Mr. Speaker Sir, at the beginning I thank all the hon. Members who have participated in this debate and especially those who have pointed out some defects and who have also given suggestions as far as my departments are concerned. So I will first try to deal with  the policy of the Government as regard excise. The hon. member from Nongtalang raised a point through an amendment motion that not mention was made on the Governor's Address on the 12 Point Programme. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have had the occasion to discuss this subject threadbare and so far, at that time we had learnt about 12 Point Programme only through press reports in certain news papers and since then our Department have been pursuing the matter with the Central Government to give us clear guidelines on what is to be done about it. But, in spite of not receiving the guidelines, the Government has already taken certain steps on the line suggested and has also issued press statement on the matter. We thought that this is a matter of detail when we have already made known our policy to the House We therefore, thought we should not mention it here as the House has already known of our policy, but for the detail discussion, we may have a chance again during the budget discussion.

Mr. Speaker :-I think nobody has suggested any other alternative policy regarding excise. The Members just mentioned about the 12 Point Programme and since there is no alternative suggestions, I do not think the Minister needs to reply.

Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture:- Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. While on this subject, there was an allegation made by Mr. P.N. Choudhury about certain illegal shops at Mahadeo - Khola Government have no such information but our policy in this respect is to root out illicit and illegal distillation of liquor.

Mr. Speaker :- If any Member comes to know of that he may inform the Minister.

Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture:- Coming to Agriculture, the policy is to increase production and we have attempted in all directions how to increase production. Only in rice the production has gone up to 1.19 thousand tonnes as against 1.6 thousands tonnes produced last year. That means there is a sign of improvement in the production even in rice not to speak of other food grants.

    Many Members have mentioned about irrigation. Our policy is to irrigate all the feasible areas in the State. But because of the light financial position, we cannot start the work or do irrigation in all the areas within the State within one year because financial strain is there. Therefore, we have to take up by stage the irrigation works within the State.

    Coming to Soil Conservation Department, Mr. Speaker Sir, our policy is to wean away the old practice of jhumming practiced by our cultivators and give them permanent  cultivation. This programme has been taken up only in the year 1974-75 and within a period of 2 years, we have been able to terrace quite a big area and these terraced area have been allotted to the individual cultivators. Our policy is also to have regrouping of villages and to provide the people with all the necessities like markets, roads, schools, water supply and health service. As I have said, we have just started it a year back and we are still in the process of doing it and we do expect that as years go by, we will be able to do it more on this line also.

    Coming to Supply Department, our policy is how to bring down the price of essential commodities. I do admit, Mr. Speaker Sir, that I cannot bring down the price of pork, beef, mutton and fish but so far as essential commodities are concerned, I think we have been able to reduce the price and should say there are items of essential commodities which are costlier in Gauhati than in Shillong.

Mr. Speaker :- I do not think the Minister should make a comment about the areas under the jurisdiction of other States.

Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture :- Thank you, Sir, I should say we have been able to do and now there is no shortage of essential commodities so far. Our policy is how to get the full co-operation of the wholesalers and traders. We have been consulting and meeting them every time so that food supply in the State is stabilized and food is made available to the public. Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, with these few words I once again thank all the members who have given me information regarding the loopholes in my department.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other Minister ?

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister Health :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to give some clarification on the reference made on medical and other subjects. I am grateful to the hon. Members who have participated  in the Governor's Address. I will try to be very brief. At the every outset, I would like to reply to certain queries made by Mr. Pohshna the and Mr. Mawlot regarding the opening of a Medical College. As we know, this is a very big scheme and there were number of times in this House when Members wanted to know whether Government was intending to open in the near future a Medical College in Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker Sir, recently we have received an offer from Indian Council of Education and Health and Welfare of Backward Regions and we have accepted the offer in principle under the following conditions. Clearance from N.E.H.U., from the Indian Medical Council and from the Ministry of Health and Family Planning, Government of India. After that, inspite of repeated letters that were sent to this organisations we have not got any reply. The Members wanted to know about the establishment of Pharmacist School at Tura. In this connection, Government has already earmarked to accommodate the institution at Tura in Garo Hills and we have appointed a very qualified person from Pilani Institute Rajasthan. But the man refused to join. Inspite of our best efforts, we have not been able to get a suitable person to join  this post. Advertisements were made through the M. P.S.C., but no candidate came forward.

    The hon. Member from Baghmara mentioned about shortage of medicines in the Primary health Centres and Dispensaries. In this connection, Government have made certain attempts to supply medicines through local purchase, through quotations and through some other methods. But unfortunately, in many dispensaries, I must admit, the medicines are not being supplied properly.

Mr. Speaker :- What steps will you take ?

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister Health, etc :- We will try to improve but much will depend on the fund position. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have very small amount for purchase of medicines. But if the fund position is improved, we will try to supply the medicines regularly. Shri Shamsul Haque from Mahendraganj wanted that a dispensary in Mahendraganj be upgraded to 30 bedded hospitals. As we all know, Mr. Speaker Sir, we have no funds to upgrade it. In fact, the dispensary was managed by an Assistant Surgeon Class II upto 1975 and now we have posted an M.B.B.S Assistant Surgeon I to this dispensary.

    Mr. Kharbuli demanded that a dispensary at Mawthengkut be established. If funds permit, we will examine the feasibility of establishing a dispensary there also.

Mr. Speaker :- But in the last session, you assured the House that new dispensaries may be opened only when the number of doctors increases.

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister Health, etc :- Yes, Sir, this is one of the difficulties. Construction of houses alone is not sufficient. We cannot run the dispensaries even if the buildings are completed, so long as there are dispensaries, even if the buildings are completed, so long as there are no doctors to man them. Anyway, we will try to improve the position of doctors in future. One Member referred to the lack of co-ordination between the different Departments and the Public Health Engineering. I would like to inform the Member that construction is not done by the Public Health Engineering, water supply schemes are also included in the Public Works Department estimates. So the Public Health Engineering writes to the department and submit the plan and estimates. Take for example, the Pomlum Water Supply. We submit the plan and estimates for deep drilling tube wells and when everything is finalised, then it will be taken up. Another Member referred to the Umlung Primary Health Centre. This is referred by the Leader of the Opposition saying that the site is not good enough.

Mr. Speaker :- But I think the buildings are being completed.

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister Health :-  I think the site is good enough and we have taken the leader of the opposition into confidence and I do not think we can get a better site.

Mr. Speaker:- I think the Minister should remember that this is a matter of opinion, but so far as I know, the buildings are completed.

Shri Maham Singh :- But not according to the standard of the Public Health Engineering.

Mr. Speaker :-  I would again say that it is a matter of opinion.

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister Health :-  Mr. Nongtdu wanted to know about the incidence of small- pox in the State. I am grateful to him for mentioning it. He is also of the opinion that there is no small- pox in the State. In that respect I would like to say that the doctors and staff working under this particular programme have done extremely good job and till today we have not got a single case of small- pox and it is almost one year now.

    I will touch some points on P.H.E. also. Many of the hon. Members expressed concern on the failure of the P.H.E. to supply water in rural areas. I hope the hon. Members will appreciate that for various reasons we could not make headway in this line and we all know, Mr. Speaker Sir, there is no adequate staff and very few officers are working in the P.H.E. Department. We have advertised for the posts of Executive Engineers and after selection we give them appointment. Some of those selected joined and some failed to do so and even those who joined want to go to some other departments like the P.W.D. Another important fact as we all know, particularly in Garo Hills is the difficulty in getting water. Any department will not be able to supply water for the lack of cooperation. Only recently I was watching from my House in Tura where people were felling trees in the catchment area. Everything has been cleared and this will eventually result in getting less water. I have mentioned here in the House that our Department do not produce water, but if water is available, then we so our best to supply it. So I would appeal to the Hon. Members themselves who come from jhumming areas to educate the villagers not to cut down trees and whole forests as it will adversely affect the availability of water especially in the catchment areas. This is one of the practical  difficulties. I have got to get four Executive Engineers for Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme and I hope I will be able to persuade more engineers to join my department in the P.H.E. The hon. Member from Rongrengiri wanted to know the position of the Simsangiri - Williamnagar Water Supply Scheme. We wanted to take up this scheme about three years ago but there was objection- serious objection from the District Council as the land belongs to the District Council. We have made several requests for this, but the Districts Council turned it down. Twice they have agreed and twice they backed out again. Now again they have agreed and this scheme will be taken up. I would also in this connection request the hon. Member who come from that area to persuade the District Council to agree to our proposal, so that area the scheme could be taken up immediately. I know that Williamnagar will be a very big town in future as it is going to be a district headquarter and many offices will be constructed there and are being constructed. Now the only water supply is from a small stream which is inadequate and it is not possible to meet all the requirements. Sir I request the District Council, through you Sir, that it will not stand in the way.

Mr. Speaker:-  I think these are matters of details which should have come in the form of questioning. I would request Government to come up with answers as quickly as possible during the reply to the debate on Governor's Address. It concerns primarily the policy matters but I think even some of the Ministers have just walked into the trap laid down by the hon. Members.

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister Health :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to be brief and inform the hon. Members so that they might be happy.

Mr. Speaker :-  No. I think perhaps I should ask the Minister to come out clearly with some very pertinent policy matters which the members have raised. Number One : Whether the Government is concentrating its water supply scheme only in the urban areas or in the rural areas as well. And if so, what steps it will propose to take. Number Two : There was a serious charge against inefficiency of the department and, of course, one member came out with a suggestion that such inefficient officers should retire compulsorily. If I am not mistaken it was Mr. S.D. Khongwir. Thirdly, it is also for the Government to formulate a policy on the relationship between the Government and the District Council in so far as the catchment areas are concerned. It is not for the hon. Members who should initiate, but it is for the Government to do so.

Shri S. K. Marak, Minister Health :-  But the Government policy is already there. Government will continue water supply schemes in the rural areas. Water supply is very much there in the Governor's Address. Regarding charges made against some officers, I think the Chief Minister will reply. With these few words, I think the hon. Members for the various suggestions they have made for the improvement of my Department.

Shri D. D. Pugh. Minister, District Council Affairs and Transport, etc. :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to make just a few observations on the points raised by the hon. Members who participated in the debate on the Governor's Address. In the first instance, I would like to say that while commenting Para.20 of the Governor's Address which, as you know, deals with the relationship between the District Council and the State Government, the hon. Members from Mawlai had the occasion to state that the quantum of assistance given to the District Council for their own developmental schemes had remained unchanged during the past 4 or 5 years. He had therefore, pleaded that increased assistance should be given to the Councils on this account. Unless Mr. Speaker Sir, the Government of India increases the fund allocation to the State it is unfortunate that the State Government will not be in a position to do anything to ameliorate the Councils. Some members had also stated that to the effect that the District Council Khasi Hills had approached the State Government regarding visiting of owners on Judge of the District Council Court. One Member had also the occasion to say that despite the various attempts and various communication sent by the District Council to the State Government nothing had been done today. Mr. Speaker Sir, the facts of the case are that as long ago as 15th January,1975, we had suggested we had requested the authorities of the District Council Khasi Hills to prescribe specific qualifications required for the appointment of a judge. This was done, Mr. Speaker Sir. In connection with the case of the previous incumbent who has since left the service of the District Council on the 31st October, 1975, when we requested the Chief Executive member to confer powers on the present incumbent  Mr. Kharshiing. On the 31st October, the very same day we the occasion to write back to the Chief Executive Member requesting (a) for the bio-data of the present incumbent  (b) we drew his attention to the letter which was issued by the District Council Affairs Department on the 15th January, 1975, as I stated earlier, wherein we had requested them to prescribe the specific qualifications and (c) in the same matter we informed him that at that stage the question of conferring powers to try offences punishable as death etc., did not arise. About 12 days later on the 12th November, 1975, I received a D.O. letter from the authority concerned forwarding the biodata of the said incumbent. He had written to state that he did not receive our letter of 15th January, 1975. As such another copy of the letter was sent to the District Council. On the 25th November the same year, the Chief Executive Member wrote and said " Whereas prescribing of qualification would be time consuming process, Government should not unnecessarily delay to conferring of power". In this connection, I would specially like to mention, Mr. Speaker Sir, that we had in our letter suggested the authorities of the District Council that officers of the District Council and authorities of the State Government should jointly sit round the table to prescribe the requisite qualification for the appointment of a judge. But apparently, the offer was not acceptable to the District Council for the simple reason that they have not responded to the offer of the Government. Mr. Speaker Sir, it will thus be seen that there has been no undue delay on the part of the Government in disposing of the case. In any case, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to assure the House, through you, that the Government will continue to dispose of matters expeditiously as possible.

    Then in the matter connected with the bifurcation of the A & M. S. R.T.C. several Members including the hon. Members from Nongtalang and Nongspung had mentioned about the delay in effecting the bifurcation of the Joint Corporation and while doing so, they have expressed their concern. I would like to state that we on this side of the House are equally concerned in the matter and, therefore, as you are perhaps aware, Mr. Speaker Sir, the Government have in the past few months taken various steps to bring about an expeditious bifurcation of the A & M. S. R. T. C. Meeting had been held both at the official and the Ministers level to solve this outstanding matter between the two States of Assam and Meghalaya so that a jointly agrees scheme of bifurcation could be sent to the Government of India to enable the latter to issue necessary orders under the Road Corporation Act, 1950 read with the North Eastern Areas Re- organisation Act. Some of the matters could not be solved in spite of the best efforts made by the Government. We were compelled to refer the matter to the Government of India for issuing orders. I would also like to inform the House Mr. Speaker Sir, that very recently, i.e.,  on the 4th or 5th of the month, the Chief Minister and I took the opportunity of calling upon the Minister- in- charge of Transport and Communication, Government of India and we have successfully impressed upon him about the absolute necessity of bifurcation of the Joint Corporation and it is expected that a meeting both at the level of the officers and the Ministers of Meghalaya and Assam under the aegis of the Government of India will be held soon to finalise matter relating to bifurcation of this Joint Corporation. I would also like to take this opportunity of admitting, Mr. Speaker Sir, stated by the hon. Member from Nongspung that I have had the occasion in the past to have categorically stated that the bifurcation would be brought about soon. And now, the fact that we have referred the matter to the Government of India, on the other hand, is in no way a come down as stated and charged by the hon. Member of Nongspung for the simple reason that referring the matter to the Government of India, is meant for final disposal of the matter as required under Section 47(a) of the Road Corporation Act, 1950, is mandatory and, especially, if we fail to agree on several points. Therefore it came to all the more necessary that we seek the intervention of the Government of India. In a nutshell, I would state, Mr. Speaker Sir, that referring this matter to the Government of India is part of the procedure of effecting the bifurcation. Therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to state that it is not very correct to say that there has been a come down in the stand or in the attempts of the Government to effect or bring about a bifurcation.

    Then, on the question of transport, the hon. Member from Malki Shri Upstar Kharbuli had mentioned about the high margin of freights retained by the A.M.S.R.T.C. on goods services on which the sub-carriers charge at the rate of Rs, 2.50 per quintal while the Corporation charges at Rs.3.80 per quintal from the public.

Mr. Speaker:- I think you will be able to solve this after the bifurcation . But now with only two members in a Board of 12, I appreciate your difficulty.

Shri D. D. Pugh. Minister, District Council Affairs and Transport., etc.:- That was what I was going to say ; and, as you have readily stated, this matter will be solved when the bifurcation is affected. It is true, Mr. Speaker Sir, as has been pointed out by various hon. Members who have participated in the debate on the Governor's Address, that there is room for improvement in the functioning of the Transport Corporation. And I would also like to add that suggestions made in this respect have been duly noted and that they would be looked into and given the consideration they deserve. Before I resume me seat, Mr. Speaker Sir, in passing, I would like to remind ourselves the fact regarding the question of non- payment of the arrear pay due to the teachers of the District Council L.P. Schools. It is true, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the leader of the House intervened and had given a clarification, but just to ensure that records are kept straight, I would like with your permission, Mr. Speaker Sir, to read out a brief letter which, I am sure, will make the matter absolutely clear. The letter reads:-

        " No. DCA. 44/ 70/74, dated Shillong, the 7th May 1973, addressed to the Chief Executive Member, Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Shillong.  

        Subject :- Sanction of loans to the District Council.

Sir,

        I am directed to refer to your discussion with the Chief Minister on March, 1973 and to say that out of the loan amount of Rs. 8 lakhs sanctioned under this Department's letter No.SS/DC/70/68, dated 27th March 1972, the Council may utilise he amount of Rs.4 Lakhs towards payment of arrear pay due to the Primary School Teachers which are yet to be paid by the Government of Assam. This amount will be adjusted later as soon as the arrear claimed by the District Council is paid by the Government of Assam.

        The Education Department is being requested to take steps to realise the arrear pay due to the Primary School Teachers from the Government of Assam"

Mr. Speaker:- The question of arrear pay arises only in the Khasi Hills and not in the other districts? (Voices:- Only here, Sir.)

Any other hon. Member ?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah , Minister P.W.D.:- Mr. Speaker Sir, at the outset I would like to say that I think the hon. Members who participated in the debate, given their suggestions and raised some points of interests regarding the Departments under my charge. I have had a share of bouquets and brick bats also. Now I would, in the first place deal with a question which had been agitated by the members in the past and had found a mention in the amendment motion tabled by the hon. Member from Nongtalang. This is regarding the holding or otherwise of the Municipal Elections. I must make a categorically clear, Mr. Speaker Sir, that when this question was raised in the past we had the occasion to state that we were keeping an open mind on this very important question and that we are eager, if not more, than the hon. Members who want to hold the municipal Election because we believe that restoration of a Civic Body in the Shillong Municipality is very important. Now I do not agree with the remarks that non- holdings of the elections tantamount to dispensing  with democratic  rights. Because we have to make a distinction between civic and democratic rights. However, we are very eager to hold the Municipal Elections at the earliest suitable opportunity. I do, not want to take the floor of the House to advance arguments for not holding the elections, or for holding the elections  for the matter had already been discussed threadbare in the past. However, Mr. Speaker Sir, in view of certain issues involved as a result of the Supreme Courts decision regarding the Bara Bazar areas we feel that more time may be required to examine those issues before a final decision is made. Therefore I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker Sir, to state that we propose in view of the delicateness of the issues to have a dialogue with the leader of the various groups in the House before a final decision is arrived at. This is what I would like to say so far as the elections are concerned. We would have the dialogue very soon. 

    I will now take this opportunity to deal with certain questions raised in regard to the working of the Public Works Department. Some hon. Members particularly the hon. Member representing the Mawkyrwat and Nongspung Constituencies, had made out pointed reference to the shortage of funds and non- payment of bills to the contractors. We admit that there is a general constraint of funds only in our State but also in the country as a whole and that this Department of Public Works has been particularly hit because of certain facts while formulation of the Fifth Plan was taking place. There was already an outlay provided in the Fifth Plan totaling to Rs.24.5 crores that is for 5 years which, if we divide by 5, will come to only Rs.5 crores per year roughly . But unfortunately, because of constraint if funds in the first years of the plan the Public Works Department got only Rs.3 crores

    In the current year we get Rs. 3 crores but by Supplementary Demands as may be seen by the Member we are proposing to make it to about Rs.3.20 crores with a few crores to be diverted to the C.D. So, ultimately the fund position will be 315.5 lakhs. Therefore there is a basic question of a general shortage of fund. This is true Sir. there is another factor which is responsible for the shortage of funds particularly in the last few months. I had occasion to state on the floor of the House that the Department of late, has position the staff in a manner that would be conducive to accelerate works and I think the Members will agree with me that comparatively the performance of work by this Department in the last two years has been steadily improving to a large extent. Of course, there is another factor which is responsible, that is the tempo work of the Department. During the last 2 or 3 years we have been able to obtain the necessary equipments, the machines and the materials and on no count the work was slowing down in the Departments, excepting for a few months because of the lack of funds, but otherwise, the work is going on in a very fast and vigorous manner. Therefore, these two factors are responsible for the shortage of funds. Now, in so far as the payments of bills to the contractors is concerned, I must state it very clear. Sir, that even today with this shortage of funds, we are still paying the contractors, particularly, the small contractors. And perhaps with the supplementary demands  we will be able to help this small contractors more. So these are the factors involving on this count. Now, one hon. Member was raising the point as to his failure to understand that funds provided for roads in the year 1975-76 have already been expended for works taken up in the previous year. I think this remark was made by the hon. Member from Nongspung Constituency. We have to remember Mr. Speaker Sir, that road schemes cannot be compared to other type of  works. Road schemes are of a continuing nature. We have a road scheme today or for that matter for the current year but this may continue for 2 or 3 years. Some of the works which we expected to completer within 6 months may not be done so, if the engineers come across some rocks, and it may take a year. And, sometimes,  we have to make a bridge because of the terrain of the river and of the ferocity and unpredictable nature of the river and due to these things, we may not be able to do it as we want it. Therefore, the works continue and therefore it is not possible to really say definitely that the works can be done as expected. Adding to this is the shortage of funds. therefore, as far as this point is concerned, I believe that the member will be satisfied with many explanation. Now I will not like to go into detail but there have been many demands for having road communication to connect villages. Now, these demands, I believe are good because it imparts my Department a sense of responsibility and perspective to the needs of the various villages in the whole of the State. But, I must say that much as we would like to take up these works, we cannot do so because we are limited by funds. And besides we have to be guided by certain basic principle in taking up the different works. For instance, our policy is actually to continue with the schemes that we have already taken up and because we cannot leave them half done. So, these kinds of works spill over scheme get our priority. Then the second priority that we fix to take up new schemes to remove deficiencies say for instance, missing road- links and bridges or replacing of existing weak bridges and so on. And then, of course we are also concerned to see that the administrative needs of the State are met be having road links and bridges. Then by way of a passing remark, the decision of the Government to have more Districts, more  Administrative Units in the State the responsibility to see that these headquarters are linked by roads and bridges is thrown upon the Public Works Department. This is important and, of course we are concerned with connecting markets and tourists centres and agricultural areas by roads and bridges and so on. This is also a matter of priority. And, we have to go by these principles and the needs of the people. I would also like to state here very clearly because few Members have made certain remarks which may be interpreted as if this Government does not attach importance to the road communication. These remarks have been passed because not much mention has been made in the Governor's Address. I refer to page 10 Para 15 which say that" my Government continue to accords high priority to development of communications in the State, and expect that the assurance for  increased outlay in this sector during the next year will be fulfilled ". Now from this lines which are in one sentence I think, it is pregnant with meaning and pregnant with full import of the importance we attach to road communication and I will not speak theoretically. The very fact that we have now increased our allocation from the current year of Rs.315.5 lakhs to Rs.325 lakhs is an indication of the priority that we attach to road  communication and in fact we are following vigorously with the Planning Commission and the Government of India to give us more funds i.e., to the P.W.D. so that the road and building construction works will go on unhampered. Now in so far as the need to have feeder roads and bridges in the border areas is concerned I would like to say Mr. Speaker Sir, that we are very much concerned and anxious to see that these border areas should get full trust in road communication. In  fact, we are making very big thrust in road communication in  these areas because in addition to out normal road schemes we are also undertaking works under the Border Areas Development Deptt. though we do it as executing agencies for the Border Areas Development Deptt. Besides we also undertake construction of strategic roads like Dalu, Baghmara road, Mawsynram Balat road which we are now in progress. Of course, we have taken up with the Centre of improving the roads and some missing links in the border areas. We are also anxious to get through the roads with Balat- Shella and Shella- Dawki etc and we are taking up with the Government of India . Now one point which I would like to touch, although it is a matter is detail but which I feel from the view point of full appreciation of what the Public Works Department is attempting to do, is the speedy road communication to connect Nongspung - Mawkyrwat areas. I will take this opportunity to say that we are anxiously taking steps to see the Mawkyrwat areas are connected with Nongstoin. We have got two roads schemes one going from Mawkyrwat to Nongspung and another...

Mr. Speaker:-  I think the hon. Minister should not go into details otherwise, I am getting an impression that the improvement of road communication is going on only in Khasi Hills. There is no mention about Garo Hills and other places. I think you should broadly deal with the road communication only.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister P.W.D.:- That is why I have prefaced by saying that is was a matter of little detail. Anyway Mr. Speaker Sir, I would switch over to another subject.

Shri Jagabandhu Barman :- Whether it is a fact that the road from Mahendraganj to....

Mr. Speaker :- It is not the question hour. You may seek clarification when the Chief Minister givens his reply.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister P.W.D.:- Now coming to Co-operation I would thank the Hon. members for placing before the Government various suggestions for improving the working of the Co-operative Departments. I will not go into details but I would say this much that we are taking all necessary steps to see that the co-operative movement gets a proper place in our State. In fact, we have come up with the idea of having housing co-operative structure to various rural areas. The role which we attach the co-operative  activities indicates that the Government means business. In fact, we have already constituted a Marketing Federation under the co-operative sector as mentioned by my colleague, Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy. We are  also instructing the Federation to try to market the produces of the border areas for the benefit of the people. In any case the Co-operative Department is taking all steps particularly, in streamlining the administration by taking up a master plan which is being implemented progressively. Now the hon. Member from Sohryngkham has mentioned about the need of the Co-operative  union With regard to this, I would like to suggest only that the idea of co-operative union is a good one but the initiatives has also to come from the co-operative and I believe quite a few Members who are co-operative in this House would themselves come forward to form a co-operative union and I can assure the Government will give all necessary assistance to such a co-operative move. With these few word I resume my seat.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang, Minister of State and Education:- Mr. Speaker Sir, while intervening in the debate on the Governor's  Address, first of all I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have spoken and given suggestions...

Mr. Speaker :- Was there any alternative suggestion regarding education? So far only Mr. Maham Singh offered an alternative suggestion in that the has clearly stated that the Government should give high priority to education instead of creating so many administrative units. Excepting this. I don't think there was any other suggestion.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang, Minister of State and Education:-  Thank you Sir, I will not intervene.

Mr. Speaker :- If everybody agrees, the Chief Minister will give his reply exactly at 12 noon. SO the House stands adjourned till 12 noon for tea break.

    The Assembly assembles after half an hours break at 12.00 Noon, with the hon. Speaker in the Chair.

Mr. Speaker:- Now the Chief Minister to reply to the debate on the Governor's Address.

Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to express my gratitude to the hon. Members of the House who have taken keen interest in the debate on the Governor's Address and who have offered valuable  suggestions. As the hon. Members are aware, the Governor's Address only spells out the major policies of the Government and as such I do not like to go into the details as the Hon. Members will have an opportunity to examine the functioning of various Departments of the Government during the debate on the Budget Speech. My colleagues also have covered a number of points raised during the debate. I would,  therefore, confine myself only to some salient points raised by the hon. Members during the debate on the Governor's Address. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am indeed very happy to know that the hon. Members from all sides have joined the Government in congratulating our able leader, Mrs Indira Gandhi for her successful stewardship for a decade as the prime Minister of India. One very important achievement for the people of Meghalaya during her decade was the achievement of a Statehood. We have got our full Statehood under her wise and able leadership and that with the good will of the people of our country as a whole. Therefore, we are all indebted to this great leader for what she has done for us. As I had the occasion to say in the past I am saying it again now, the achievement of Statehood is not an end on itself, it is only a means to an end. It is indeed very fortunate for all of us that while we are to march forward towards all round development in order to bring about prosperity to our people, the guideline has been given to us through the 20- Point Economic Programme. Therefore, I would make it very clear to all the hon. Members through you Sir, that there is no scope for any of us to be complacent about it. If you want to progress you have to see that this programme is enunciated by our Prime Minister in letter and in spirit. It is only then we shall be doing justice to the achievement of Statehood . Mr. Speaker Sir, as I said , the Governor's Address  does not deal with all the details. it beings out the major policy issues of the Government and indicates broadly the programme for the development  of our State.

     The hon. Member from Mawlai has made a remark during his observation that this Government has had occasions in the past to make policy statements and to indicate broadly their programme for the development of the State and its people through a number of successive Governor's Address. Thereby he wanted to say that this Government and the party which runs it would be judged by the performances during the last 5 or 6 years on the basis of the Governor's Address. Sir I had the occasion to go through all the Addresses right from 1970 and I have also gone through various policy statements and programmes as indicated in these Addresses. I am very happy to inform the House, through you Sir, that we have not departed from the policy statements and developmental programmes as indicated in the Governor's Address. But to the best of our ability, we have tried to implement those policy statements also the programmes as far as practicable. Yet, in this regard, I would like to remind the hon. Members that in spite of our best efforts and attempts, it has not been possible for various reasons to implement the various policy and programmes as completely as we would. I am, however, happy that an earnest attempt has been made to implement them. There are certain programmes which are continuous programmes and there are some policies which cannot be implements fully, as I said, inspite of our desire to do so. In this context, I would like to request members, through you, to realise that we do not live in isolation. Whatever we have in our programmes we should take them up along the main stream of the country as a whole. There are certain guidelines for various developmental programmes and certain priorities are being given to some programmes. We must fall in line with these guidelines. Therefore, it would not be correct to say that certain policies which have been laid in the Governor's Address and also developmental programmes as indicated therein have not been implemented in time. Such change cannot be laid against us. In fact, I have been going through the various developmental activities carried out by the various departments and I have seen the progress so far made during the last 4 or 5 years. It is indeed encouraging to find that during a short period of time we have able to make remarkable progress in every field and sphere of activity. Though I have got all the figures with me with regard to these achievements, I would call upon the Department concerned to bring out a booklet to show to the people and to the hon. Members whom they represent what had been done during the last four years.

    I am sure that the hon. Members will realise the difficulties and handicaps which this Government is faced with in trying to implement various policies and different programmes, and will appreciate that inspite of all these difficulties and handicaps, we have been able to make remarkable progress. But I do not give credit to my colleagues and myself for all this success. This has been possible because there has been co-operation from all sides. If there has been no active co-operation of the people, for whose benefit these programmes have been initiated, the Government would not have been able to implement these programmes successfully. It is easy to find fault. To err is human, and there may indeed be shortcomings and mistakes here and there, but we should be guided by the overall picture and by the over all functioning of the Departments, and we should not forget that the programme is really for the benefit of the people. We must judge it during the debate on budget. As I said earlier, in the Governor's Address we simply bring about statements on major policy issue. I always welcome the reaction of the hon. Members on policy statements in the Governor's Address indicating the broad outlines of the programme for the benefit of the people. I expect the hon. Members make power study of these policy statements and programmes and come forward with their constructive suggestions. Well, instead of finding fault with this particular programme or particular policy if they give concrete suggestions or alternative proposals which will better meet the interest of the people it help the administration to see how far and to what extent they can be adopted for implementation . But by simply criticising the policies and programmes of the Government I do not, think that we can help the administration. Now in this connection I would like to quote the Leader of the Opposition. Well he said that instead of going for a number of districts; subdivisions and administrative units, the money which will be spent  on these should be spent on education because this is a very important. I agree with him. But I think , that he knows that in order to bring about better education to the people more districts, subdivisions and administrative units should be created. Because there should be a chain of supervisory staff at all levels to direct all these activities. It is not only to bring the administration closer to the people for which such administrative set ups are very essential. I fail to agree with the views of the Leader of the Opposition when he said that we must go for very good buildings which were constructed by the foreign missionaries for the educational purposes. In this connection, I would like to remind the Leader of the Opposition that if we do so, then it will be not according to the programme laid down by the Prime Minister. I remember that when I was the Minister of Assam for Tribal Areas Department, we used to get instructions from the then Prime Minister not to go for palatial buildings. Well, about education, he used to write to the different State Government not to spend money on costly school buildings. If possible, classes might be held under the shade of the trees or in vacant places. The money saved from expensive school buildings could be more profitably spent for the entertainment of additional teachers. We have been advised by the present Prime Minister not to spend money for costly buildings, to to use cements not to use iron rods etc. The money saved from these items should be spend for the development of the State. We are following the instruction and I would like to have a full co-operation on this. Even in the administrative set-up we have a plan not to go for costly buildings. Of course, we must provide some accommodation for Government machineries to function but we do so economically. As far as the administrative blocks are concerned we shall explore all possibilities of utilizing block head quarters and make good use of them.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not mean to say that we should go for palatial buildings. What I mean to say is that the buildings should be well planned and well designed so that there will be a touch of beauty in it.

Mr. Speaker :- By implication your comparison between Government buildings and Private buildings is quite different. It seems that you have misunderstood the implication of the Chief Minister, I think, the House also understands the implication of the statement made by the Chief Minister.

Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- So, Mr. Speaker Sir, although these policy statements have been stated in the Governor's Address about the administration, reorganisation, we will try our best to minimise the expenditure on buildings. We shall try our best to see that we do not spend on palatial buildings. Well, doubts have been expressed whether this Government is really sincere in the implementation of the 20- Point Economic  Programme. Sir, I have said that if we want development to come to our State, we have no other alternative but  to implement this 20- Point Economic Programme. In this connection, I may remind the hon. Members the very words of the Prime Minister herself. She said that in India there are only two majority sections, namely the poor and the youths, and this 20- Point Economic  Programme is meant for these two major sections of the population in the country. Thus, there will be no scope at all to doubt as to whether Government are sincere to implement this programme. But whilst it is for the Government to initiate the steps to be taken it is full co-ordination which is more essential for the successful implementation of this 20- Point Economic  Programme. I do not know how many people have really understood the implication of this 20- Point Economic  Programme. Well, Mr. Speaker Sir, a very renowned economist has very correctly explain the implications of this 20-Point Economic  Programme as follows :-

    T- To bring down the prices of essential commodities.

    W- Workers association industries

    E- Economy in Government expenditure.

    N- New Development Plan for handloom sector.

    T- Tax evaders and economic offenders to get deterrent punishments.

    Y- Youths in hostels to receive essential commodities at controlled prices.

    P- Plan for liquidation of rural indebtedness.

    O- Order for confiscation of smugglers' properties.

    I- Improvement in quality and supply of people's cloth.

    N- New apprenticeship scheme to enlarge employment.

    T- Thermal Station to be started under Central Control.

    P- Prices of books and stationary to be controlled.

    R- Road transport expansion through National Permit Schemes

    O- Ownership of vacant lands and new dwellings units to be restricted.

    G- Good house site for landless and weaker sections.

    R- Review of laws fixing minimum agricultural wages.

    A- Abolition of bonded labour.

    M- Middle class people get income- tax relief.

    M- More hectares brought under irrigation.

    E- Early implementation of agricultural land ceiling.

    I wonder how many of us who talked big about the 20- Point Programme have really understood the implication of this Programme. Government cannot be blamed for this because we have given a translation in local languages about the 20- Point Economic  Programme. Therefore, it will not be correct to say that we have not brought this programme home to the people. We have sent these pamphlets to all the districts in the State and we have tried to get the people involved, but in what way the people, the masses can be involved ? We, leaders should try to find out ways and means. For example, let us talk about the handloom industry. Unless the people themselves would like to take to handloom industry, in spite of the big programme that may be initiated by the Government, we are not going to succeed in that. I think in our State, this type of industry is confined to only a few sections of the people. I hope that I shall not be misunderstood when I request my colleagues to encourage our sisters in the Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills to take weaving. I do not know whether my friends, the Bengalese and the Nepalese take to weaving or not, I would request my colleague to encourage our people to take weaving. Of course weaving is a popular among the Kacharis, Garos, Lalungs and Mikirs of the Bhoi areas. We have tried to encourage weaving in the Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills and I am glad that there is a response to that. I hope Mr. Speaker Sir, you will allow me to dwell on this. While I was a Minister in Assam, I had the occasion to visit Mizoram. Then I came across a beautiful cemetery, an officer too me there- where there is a beautiful inscription about a girl who dies. According to the Mizos, no girl can think of marriage, before she finishes completes weaving 7 pieces of cloth. So that lady, completed weaving 7 pieces of cloth because she wanted to marry a particular man. Unfortunately, she could not marry that man, so she had to weave about 7 pieces of cloth and completed 7 pieces of cloth, but she could not marry that man also. So she again weaved another 7 pieces of cloth but unfortunately she died. I am not going to suggest that in order to implement this programme, we should go to that extent (laughter ) but I am sure that if you want this particular programme to be implemented, you should ask your wife to take to weaving ; after all  you are the head of the family. Let us put this to practice, otherwise people will just say that the State Government and the Chief Minister of Meghalaya simply talk about it. We have understood in what people's involvement can be effected. How can you expect people to get involved unless we, as leaders get involved. So this is a matter to be seriously considered, not only to find fault with the Government.

Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker Sir, it will be highly appreciated if the Chief Minister can give us the percentage of the Garo women who are engaged in weaving.

Mr. Speaker :- I think this kind of interruption is not necessary as I have already requested the hon. Members that if they have any comments to take clarification to seek, they can do so after the Chief Minister's reply.

Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :-I cannot admitted that all the Garo's, the Rabhas, the Lalungs take to weaving, but at least a large section of the people are doing it and are being encouraged. Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, in this way, the implications of every programme will have to be understood and we must try to see in what way it can be implemented best apart from the availability of fund for that purpose, and in what way we can get the people involved for its successful implementations. That is what I would like to suggest to the hon. Members.

    Well, the hon. Member from Nongtalang would like to know the achievements of Government in the implementation of this programme. I have issued a booklet and so I am not going into details, but I would like the hon. member to come forward with valuable suggestions in what way this 20- Point Programme may be made more effective and more expeditiously implemented. In the amendment motion, the hon. Member from Nongtalang pointed out about establishment of a medical and an Agricultural College. My colleague had already replied to that, but this is a matter which must be taken up with the N.E.H.U and in that respect, the Vice-Chancellor had an occasion to discuss with me about the location of certain faculties under the North Eastern Hill University...........

Mr. Speaker :- May I interview ? In this respect, it is not the N.E.H.U to initiate, but it is the State Government of the concerned State who should lay a claim.

Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- I will come to that letter. We know that the States which fall under this University come forward with a certain claim that an Agricultural College should be located in this particular area and that a Medical College should be located in that place and so on. When my attention was drawn to this problem, I advised that the best way would be to have this matter processed by an Expert Committee otherwise the Nagas would like to have, say the Agricultural College and the Meghalayan the Medical College and so on and so forth. Of course, this University  caters to the two States and one Union Territory at present, the Nagaland, Meghalaya and the Mizoram. Therefore, there should be some sort of proper understanding on the benefits that will be derived from this University and the best thing would be to have this matter examined by an Expert Committee.

    My colleague had already replied about the 12- Point Programme on Prohibition. But I would like to speak a few words about it. As has been stated correctly by my colleague, we have not got any specific direction from the concerned Ministry; all that we know about it is from some newspapers. Even then, we have taken the earliest opportunity to discuss it in the Cabinet and though we had received no guidelines from the centre, we had decided on what could be done to start with and this is decision of the Cabinet had been notified in the Gazette. Only recently I have received a letter from the Ministry of Social Welfare on the guidelines. We have had opportunity to discuss these guidelines and we are examining what extent taking the local conditions into account, we can implement the 12- Point Programme.

    One very important matter which has been brought about during the debate is the need for proper protection of the socio- economic interest of the tribal people. Mention was made about the Residential Permit Bill. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not going into details  but it is a fact that the Bills has not received the assent of the President. We are not sleeping over the matter, we are trying to find out in what way the interest of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes can be properly safeguarded in the State. We have made a statement on this. I think it was Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh, the hon. Member from Pariong, who made one observation in which he objected to the establishment of new subdivisions new districts and new administrative units. He said once we do that there will not be a lot of influx from all sides. It is in this context that he cannot give his full support. I find a number of roads have been constructed through important places. So from the trade point of view, people from outside come and start shops on the road side. We are seized of this problem. That is why we have decided to solved this problem by locating trade centre in the different areas of the State. We are going to build residence- cum- shops and we are going to allot sites to the tribals and non- tribals according to the population ratio. We cannot simply look into the interest of the tribals. I had the occasion to discuss this problem with my colleague. Mr. Akramozamman from Phulbari, as road side stalls have sprung up there in a haphazard way. When I was the Chief Executive Member of the Garo Hills District Council, I was thinking seriously about this but nothing could be done. But now we have to come up with a definite policy to take up this programme. I would request my hon. colleagues to encourage our people to take a trade. Unless and until we can encourage our people even the houses allotted to them will be rented to somebody else. We should not think of giving employment only in the Government services when we talk about employment opportunities, it is not confined to that particular service alone. One can easily go in for business or some other professions. This must be understood in that context. We are also trying to help the District Council to effectively enforce certain rules and regulations which have been adopted under the Sixth Schedule for the protection of the tribal people. In accordance with the provision of Para 10 of the Sixth Scheduled, license for trading cannot be denied to non- tribals if they have been carrying out the business before the enactment of such Regulation. But new comers can be checked. Unfortunately, the District Councils have not been able to do that. They have no agency to do so. We want to help them. So is the case with the Land Transfer Act. Thereby I do not mean to deprive the local people whether tribals or non- tribals, of their land. Many people come and want to buy lands. I have seen with my own eyes in my own district and also in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. We want some sort of restriction. In Garo Hills there is a residential toll. The people who are not assessed to either land revenue or house tax being  a floating population coming from outside as labourers or businessman have to pay this toll. They should get their names registered. In that case, we can check the influx. There are other methods also to safeguard the interest of the Tribal people. Sir it will not be correct to say that Government is not looking into this matter.

    It was also contended by Mr. Joshi, the hon. Member from Shillong Cantonment, that there is need for protection of the minorities. In this regard we are guided by the constitutional provision. According to the constitutional provision the protection is to be given to the weaker section of the society and particularly to the Scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribes and linguistic minorities. Thereby I do not mean to suggest that one should not look to the interests of the minorities who do not fall under the category of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. I can assure Mr. Joshi and other friends that their interest will be safeguarded. There will be some difficulty to comply with the request, but we are always available to discuss in what way the people who are not tribals are being harassed or their interest neglected. I would like to discuss it across the table and find out ways and means to remove the genuine difficulties and grievances of the different sections of the people of the State.

     A question has also been raised about the pay scale of the college teachers of different categories. I entirely agree that the teachers at various levels should be properly paid. But in this connection we should also examine the other implication. Mention has been made about the U.G.C pay scale. According to the U.G.C pay scale the benefit will go to the certain number of college teachers. Only the teachers of deficit colleges will get this benefit. Government has been seriously discussing about it and we find a lot of anomalies there. Now there are only 3 deficit colleges in the State. If we adopt the U.G.C pay scale, all the teachers of the 3 colleges will get benefit straightaway. Suppose, in future, we provincialise colleges in the State then what will happen. ? In a Government college, the teachers do not get the U.G.C. scale. So, if we provincialise the colleges, the teachers will get less pay and nobody will come to serve in the Government college. This anomaly is there. At the same time, we talk about protection of the interest of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes, but according to the schemes of recruitment, it will be an all India basis and there will be no reservation. Therefore, I would request the hon. Members that we should be clear in our minds about this before we come to any decision. We should also think of the repercussions of the non- deficit college teachers and the teachers of the Government High Schools, Private High Schools and Primary Schools also. Now once we decide we must see that all these different categories of teachers are equally looked after. But it is a question of fund, I am speaking about, and therefore it is not a very easy job. But we realise the fact that the teachers should be looked after. Apart from that there are some other difficulties. Once these teachers belonging to deficit colleges are allowed to get the U.G.C pay scale, they will be drawing much higher pay than the Director of Public Instruction and other State Government services. And the question arises if there should be any discrimination. It is very unfortunate that the Government of India, Ministry of Education did not consult the State Government in this regard and the method of implementation and what are the implications. However, we are pursuing  this matter and we are having more dialogue and we will be meeting very soon, may be the next month.

        Concern has been expressed about the border situation along the Meghalaya Bangladesh Border with special reference to the taking out of limestone from our part of the country. This was brought to the notice of the Government some time ago. We have taken enough precaution in that particular case which has been referred to by Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh. There is a 24 hour patrolling by the Border Security Force and I hope by this action such undesirable activities cannot take place anymore. Regarding the influx from Bangladesh. A number of times, members have expressed concern regarding this matter. We are taking adequate measures to prevent this influx from the other side. Though this is the responsibility of the B.S.F, primarily the police are also helping the B.S.F. We are taking all possible measures to check the influx by trying to get the active co-operation of the people and is very essential. We have also the Village Defence Party. But we also as leaders should not shirk our responsibility and criticise the Government simply for the sake of criticising, and also mention the problem simply for the sake of mentioning them, without any help or suggestions. So, if we really want to check this influx, we should not depend only on the B.S.F and the police but also actively co-operate with the Government in this regard. Although it may not be possible to check this influx in a water tight manner due to the very lengthy border we have, yet with the help of the B.S.F. the Police and the Village Defence Party, and if we are vigilant enough I am sure, effective results will come out. So, let us be serious about this problem of checking the influx from the other side. 

        I am grateful to some of the hon. members who have expressed satisfaction with the law and order situation in the State  and have given the Police the credit. While mentioning this, they have also expressed concern about the slackness in the disposal and investigation of cases. Well, until and unless this police force is equipped with modern equipments and apparatus it will take time to investigate such cases. Here also we need the co-operation of the public and if we get such co-operation I am sure improvement can be brought about. Although the law and order situation is satisfactory in the State, yet this is not so in the Meghalaya - Assam border. Certain incidents have been referred to and I have checked it up. These incidents took place before the recent accord between the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and the Chief Minister of Assam. But now I hope the situation will improve. 

    Now, a very important matter has been brought out by Mr. D. N. Joshi on land reforms. Mr. Speaker Sir, you are aware of the land tenure system prevailing in the State and which differs from place to place. Government has realised the need for land record and that the tiller should have the right to cultivate the land under his occupation. Unless and until, we can give him the right over his land, it will not be possible to help him with financial assistance and also to substantiate his ownership. There, with this end in view, Government constitute the Land Reforms Commission and its recommendations are there. Government proposed to implement these phase twice and we shall have real record of right. The first works to be done in this regard is to have cadastral we have allotted some amounts, but this is very meagre and we have taken up the matter with the Planning Commission. During the last Chief Minister, Conference on Land Reforms I have made a reference to this. Fortunately, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission was sitting just by my side and I had a talk with him on the importance of this particular work and made  a request for the allotment of additional funds and he had made a commitment to do so. I was also  reassured that this amount would be made available, and as soon as we get it, work  will start immediately. This was also the suggestion of the Prime Minister that land survey should be undertaken. This is a problem not only in our State  but also in other States of India. This survey problem is a big one and a very arduous  job and it will take a very long long time to complete. Therefore, as far as possible we should go ahead with our plans at least in the Garo Hills for a start. This can be done immediately as we already have the records of rights. So it is the intention of this Government to start work in Garo Hills and this, of course, could be done with the co-operation of the District Council without which it will be difficult. 

     I hope my colleagues coming from Garo Hills will try to assist the Government to get the co-operation of the District Council in this particular work. Mr. Speaker Sir, mention has been made about the Assam- Meghalaya borders. As we have already stated in the Governor's Address, I may inform the hon. Members that all these problems will be solved through discussions and it has been agreed to include in the talk regarding Block I Block 2 of Mikir Hills. Discussions at the official level have already started and I hope we will succeed in finding out a solution to the satisfaction of the Government and the people. If it could not be possible to get a solution at the level the matter will come up to the Minister Level. I would make an appeal to the hon. Members to have patience. Our policy is to find out a solution through a discussion and mutual understanding. So I hope that the policy of the Government would be appreciated and the hon. members will extend their cooperation to this very vital problem. Also the policy of the Government is to increase agricultural production. As stated by my colleague, it was, however, complained by one Member that in this particular field we have not started anything. It is not correct. I have got the figures with me about increased production during the last few years. This will be published in a booklet so that the hon. Member will be able to find out the facts. Our scope is very limited, we would like to have all areas provided with irrigation. As pointed out by my colleague, the Minister-in- charge of Health, because of intensive jhumming all streams die out. It is difficult to get water not only for irrigation but even for drinking purpose. This is a big problem, and that is the reason why we have taken up a very ambitious programme through the Soil Conservation Department to rehabilitate jhummers in all the three districts. Though we have taken up intensive programme to rehabilitate the jhummers, I find the jhummers which have been provided with terraced lands and have been given assistance by the departments concerned like the fertilizers seeds etc., They do not stick to terracial land. In the first year they will do it but in the second year, they may leave or abandon the terraced lands to go back to jhumming. To counteract that we have decided to have a follow up scheme for three years till the people have become habituated to do away with jhumming cultivation. When they were asked to leave their villages and come to the terraced lands to built up permanent villages, it is found that some of the villages do not want to leave their villages. When they come to a new  village they will stay for a few months and then they go back to their old village. This is the crux of the problem. Government's desire is that they should feel better in the new village where we can provide them with educational facilities, marketing facilities and this and that. Here also we find that in some place it is very difficult to provide them with good drinking water and with irrigation. Whatever it is, we shall continue to try our best  to rehabilitate the jhummiers. This policy and programme will continue and in this, I would request the hon. Members to come forward with valuable suggestions to bring about improvement, and I would also ask all the concerned departments to extend their help in providing all facilities to those new villages. Well, Mr. Speaker Sir, a lot of observations have been made regarding the need for roads in the State. My colleague has stated in his reply today about the policy of the Government in this respect. As already stated by my colleagues all the roads undertaken for construction should be completed first. This means that the roads programme undertaken in the previous year should be completed first. Secondly comes what they call the missing links which must be attended too. There are portions of roads or bridges which have yet to be constructed  constructed  to connect the gap between the two portions of completed roads. Thirdly, we have to think about the requirements of the various developmental departmental departments like Agriculture, Industries, power and so on and so forth. One of the handicaps in trying to establish industries is want of transport communication Development of an area will not be possible even if we take up ambitious programme for production of agricultural produce unless that area is linked up with roads without roads agricultural produce could  be not transported. This is a matter which we should take into serious consideration. All but not the least, much has been expressed by a number of members regarding the setting of more Subdivisions  and Administrative Units. Well Sir, a lot has been argued on this. But I say that this will bring the administration closer to the people. And yet those villages targeted to a particular Subdivision or Unit cannot be closer to the administration, where there is no link at all. Well Sir, Government is aware of this problem and what we will do about this. To the extent possible, all the villages put under one Sub division or Administrative Unit should be accessible, and if we find that certain villages tagged to that Sub-division are not accessible we shall make some alternative arrangement for them. For, example my colleague has pointed out that Nongpoh be converted into a Subdivision. But how about those villages in the Umroi Constituency. We have to examine whether they are accessible or not if put ultimately in that Sub-division. If not accessible we shall make some other arrangements. We must try to bring the administration closer to the people and we must think and devise ways and means about it. For example in Garo Hills, we have decided to have a border Sub-division for two blocks, Dambu Aga Block and the Chokpot Block. As far as Chokpot Block is concerned, it is easily accessible to Tura but not to Williamnagar. As such, for the time being it will form part of West Garo Hills District. It will be taken up for the time being and in the same way it may happen about some other areas. We will look into this problem, there is no worry about it.

        Well Mr. Speaker Sir, a very important observation was made by the leader if the Opposition about gearing up the administrative machinery. It has also been observed that it is not sufficient on the part of the Government to compulsorily retire certain inefficient and corrupt officers or to remove them from service. It has been suggested that all the administrative machineries should be manned by persons of caliber, dedication and honesty and who love the people of the State. I am all for it. But is it possible for any State to have such a person of technical lines ? The hon. Members have been told by my colleague as to how, inspite the best efforts, he could not make satisfactory progress in the field of water supply. On the medical side, a number of dispensaries, which have been established and building constructed 10 to 13 years ago, are still, without doctors or compounder. Let us at the moment think about it; how to get such persons of love and dedication who also happen to be efficient persons of love and duty to produce such persons ? And if we bring the people from outside, we get the blame. So, I would like to be advised correctly and definitely on how to solve, this problem. It is of no use talking here." Don't go for this man". Please give an alternative suggestion to bring these people. I would request my hon. Members not only to speak here but help solve this problem. Let us be practical and realistic about it. You see, I am equally concerned like him and like  anybody else. It is good to suggest to me even in the matter of implementation of the  20- Point Programme and other Development Programmes of the State to give us holiday till we get such persons from among ourselves ? It is up to the society to produce such men. If there is any concrete suggestion in this regard we would like to do it even now. But we are helpless at the moment and so we must carry on with the plan Programmes even with so- called second grade people. I cannot think of giving a holiday to our development programme until we get the first rates only. I am sure the hon. Member will agree with me that even in family  there must be one to prepare dal and bhat...(laughter) but at the same time it is the duty of the head of the family or of the head of the administration to see that they have  the desired servants. We all want good, efficient, brilliant officers and we have been and are trying to look out for such persons. Meanwhile  we have to do with the personnel we have at our disposal and try to make the best use of them. But here again the involvement of the society as a whole is essential. I would like my colleagues to give every encouragement to our boys and girls to go for different technical lines like medical, engineering and so on and so forth so that we can get dedicated persons. We should remember that 5 years time is not quite adequate. We did not have the necessary infrastructure when out State came into being. We have had to do with staff and officers from the Government of Assam on deputation and we are now in the process of permanently absorbing these persons. We are trying our best to scrutinise as to which officer and staff can be brought permanently. But in this also our scope is limited. However, the Government is doing its best to solve this very important problem. As usual the procedure for selection of candidates to fill up the various vacancies would be done through proper advertisement, examination etc. If you can tell us who are such first rate people to man our Departments, I will be the happiest man to receive such advise and I think the Departments will be happy to have such good persons.

    Mr. Speaker, Sir, our policy has always been to help the border people to get proper economic rehabilitation. I myself have come from the Border area and I very well know the suffering and difficulties of the border people. And it pains me when I find that some of my fellow villagers have been compelled to leave their villages and move towards the north to find some means of livelihood. I will make it very very clear that it is not in the interest of the State to let the  people of the villages leave and go else-where. In fact I have made it very clear to the Government of India that it will not be in the interest of the State to allow our people in the border areas to live in a State of helplessness and indirectly drive them out from the border areas. It is very important matter. They are the people who will guard the border; they are the people who will defend the border and as such; it is the boundary duty of the State Government and the Central Government to see to that these people are given proper rehabilitation. I am, however glad that this problem has been recognised by the Government of India and they would also help us to give proper rehabilitation to these people in  all the villages along the border. So it was agreed that an expert Committee would be sent to study the problem of these people and come out with concrete proposal to tackle the problem but, unfortunately, that has not taken place. I have reminded the Planning Commission about the urgency of such a Committee so that whatever programme initiated by the Government could be taken up to help the poor people. So, I hope whatever programme we have been taken up in hand will be continued with expert advice. I also hope that with the help of the Government of India new schemes for the rehabilitation of the poor people will be speeded up. Well the hon. Member from Mawlai has stated that the concentration of industries in one area is going to adversely effect the interest of the local people, as for example certain industries are located in Byrnihat and  Mendipathar in Garo Hills. We are seized of the problem and the suggestion that some sort of Housing schemes should be taken up in those areas so that the industries can find labourers from the local people in a very good suggestion. But time should be linked up with other schemes. We will not confine our schemes to trade centres only but also to industrial centres. This is a very good suggestion and I welcome it and I will have it examined by the concerned Department. We should not depend on the outside labourers because the basic principle of establishing industries is to give employment to our own people. Our people should derive benefit and get employment whenever some industries are established  as in Mawmluh Cherra Cements Company Limited. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the local people with the exception of a few have been employed there because it is easy for them to come from their own villages and work in the factory there. Therefore, we should see that whenever industries are set up or located in a particular place of interest of the local labourers should be protected as suggested by the hon. Member for Mawlai which deserves consideration by the concerned Department. Hon. members on both sides especially, the hon. Member from Pariong had mentioned about the slum area near the Polo Ground. In this connection, I would make it very clear that in the interest of the State  and the people we should not allow any encroachment. Once we allow the people to encroach upon the Government land or whatever it is, there would be no end to it. Therefore, the encroachers should be dealt with and the genuine people who need help from the Government should be helped. I am glad to inform the hon. Members through you Sir, that such schemes have been initiated by the Town and the Country Planning Department and this very problem which has been brought forward by the hon. Member from from Pariong will be taken into consideration but it must be linked up with the development of the town and the city. In fact we are talking about the house sites in a few urban areas like Shillong, Tura and Jowai. I think that it is a very serious problem, as it is elsewhere in other parts of the country, but what we need is money to build these houses. That's why we are going to have a Housing Corporation and are trying to finance construction of such houses through this organisation. It is our desire to help people to build better houses and to bring about better villages. We are seized  of this problem as it will be seen from the Governor's Address. We are trying to do something about it. I am sure, Mr. Speaker Sir, hon. Members have gone through all the policy statements and all the programmes are indicated here. We have been trying to bring about solutions to various problems that we are being confronted with at present. It will not be possible in one year or in one plain period to have a solution for all the problems and to cover all the developmental activities. We have to take a phased programme for this purpose. Therefore I would request the hon. Members to have patience and to please see whether our approach and the direction we are moving forward are going to help the State and the people. Please do not be impatient for the non- completion of programmes and other works. This is because of various difficulties that we are facing. Due to these difficulties we have not yet been able to bring results as we would like. Let there be constructive and useful suggestions as to whether we are moving in the right direction. But I assure one and all that we are really trying to help the people and bring about the socio- economic development for the benefit of the people. In this task it is our duty as in the case of the 20- Point Programme to extend our cooperation. Let me take it for granted since nobody has come forward during the debate with an alternative proposal to the policy and programme indicated in the Governor's Address, that they are acceptable. Let us all agree on that. That being so, I would expect Mr. Speaker Sir, that we must all extend our fullest co-operation for the successful implementation of these programmes. It is only then that we will be doing justice to the people whom we represent in this House. Mr. Speaker Sir, as I have said, I will have all the valuable suggestions and observations brought forward by the hon. Members during the course of the debate during the last 5 days, examined. I have noted all and the suggestion which are going to help the solution of the various problems that we are facing and which are going to help rapid socio- economic development will be taken note of and implemented. This is the beauty of the democratic- set-up; it is not possible for the Government alone to make correct assessment of the problems. As an individual I may have my defects but it is my well wisher who will point out my defects and short comings. In a similar way, in running the administration even Madam Prime Minister has to depend on us for implementation of her plans and programmes and we are trying our level best to implement them. Let us be practical about it. Even during the emergency a request has come -"please summon an emergent session and please ratify this or that". We have done our part promptly. We shall not be judged by word but by action. We shall be judged whether we simply speak or whether we really act. This time I am really encouraged to see that even our Opposition groups have supported the 20- Point Programme. In fact, the entire Meghalaya backs up Madam Prime Minister and let us fully co-operate with her and work together without finding fault with each other. But in a democratic set up we would always try to find out defect or loopholes in the programme of opposite parties. But it is not correct to oppose for the sake of oppositions and to jump to conclusion that a particular action is not good simply because a member saying so does not belong to my party. So I feel that the entire nation should accept the programme enunciated by the Prime Minister of India for the benefit of the of the country as a whole. Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not want to take much of your time and it is almost time also but what I tried to bring home are some salient points of broad policy and programme and in doing so I fully hope that during the next current year we shall be ale to put our heads together in trying to implement the schemes. I do not agree with the observations of the hon. Member from Mawlai that we alone shall be judged. Well, he has been with us in this august House these last four years. He will also be judged by his performance, and we as a Government shall also be judged by our Performance. As we shall be judged so also they will be judged by their deeds. Everybody will be judged.

        He will also be judged as an individual member for what he has done.

Mr. Speaker:- Everybody will be judged excepting me. I am above judgement on that account.

Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- You will be judges for your performance inside the House. Therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, I am indeed grateful to hon. Member for their keen interest in the debate on the Governor's Address and for their valuable suggestions. I am all the more happy to see that the house as a whole has acknowledged the leadership of our great Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. This being so, why today we should say this belongs to this political party or that party? We should be true to our expression and utilise this opportunity for the service of the people that we can face the judgement individually or as a group. With these few words, I thank you and the Members for giving me this opportunity to touch some very important points raise during the debate.

Mr. Speaker :- It appears that Shri H.E. Pohshna is absent. In view of his absence the amendment moved by him is deemed to have been withdrawn. I now put the question before the House. The question is that the Members of the Meghalaya  Legislative Assembly assembled in this Session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House today the 10th March, 1976.

( The motion was carried )

ADJOURNMENT

    Since there is no move business for the day,  the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow, the 19th March, 1976.

R.T. RYMBAI

Dated Shillong The

Secretary,

18th March, 1976

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.