PROCEEDINGS OF THE BUDGET SESSION OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED ON TUESDAY THE 23RD MARCH, 1976 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER AT 9.30 A.M.
Present : Hon. Speaker, 8 Ministers , 3 Ministers of State and Thirty Four Members.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up unstarred question No.28.
(Replies to which were laid on the table)
Creation of more Districts, subdivisions, etc.
Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :
28. Will the Chief Minister be please to state -
(a) Whether the Government is considering creation of more districts, sub-divisions and administrative units in the State?
(b) If so, in what way?
Shri Williamson Sangma, Chief Minister replied :
28 (a)- Yes according to a phased programme keeping in view the availability of officials and other relevant factors.
(b)- By bifurcating the existing Garo Hills and Khasi Hills into two districts to be known as East Garo Hills District, West Garo Hills District, East Khasi Hills District and West Khasi Hills Districts.
By setting up new Sub-Divisions to be known as Baghmara Sub-Division, Nongpoh Sub-Division, Mairang Sub-Division, and a Sub-Division, comprising the Border areas of Jaintia Hills District. Six Administrative Units will also be set up as follows:
Sohra Administrative Unit
Mawkyrwat Administrative Unit
Khliehriat Administrative Unit
An Administrative Unit comprising of Dadenggiri, and Selsella Community Development Blocks.
An Administrative Unit comprising of Betasing and Zik-Zak Community Development Block
An Administrative Unit in the North Eastern part of Garo Hills comprising of Resubelpara Community Development Blocks and part of Dumbo-Rongjeng Community Development Blocks.
Shri Samarendra Sangma : Whether the Government is going to set up any Sub Division in the East Garo Hills?
Shri Williamson Sangma, Chief Minister : It is already there.
Shri H. Hadem : 28(b) Whether a notification has been issued to the effect?
Shri Williamson Sangma, Chief Minister : Not yet.
Revised Pay Scale to L.P. School Teachers
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh asked :
29. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state-
(a) Whether the revised pay scale for State Government servant is also applicable to the L.P. School teachers serving under the District Council.
(b) If so, whether payment (including arrears) has since been made to them?
(c) The total amount involved for each district for this purpose?
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang, Minister State in charge of Education replied :
29 (a) - No. The question of extending the revised pay scales to these teachers is under the examination of the Government.
(b)- Does not arise.
(c)- Does not arise.
Shri H. Hadem : 29 (b) Whether the Government have extended the revised pay scales to the Primary School Teachers?
Shri Peter Garnett Marbaniang, Minister State in charge of Education : Already replied.
Shri S.P Swer : Are these Lower Primary Schools run by the Government?
Mr. Speaker : Are there any Lower Primary Schools run by the Government inside Shillong?
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : The position is like this, Before the Council came into being there were few Primary Schools run by the Government. But later on they were taken over by the District Councils, except on the case of the Shillong Municipality. So, the District Councils have a responsibility.
Power Failure in Shillong
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :
30. Will the Minister in charge of Power be pleased to state
(a) Whether the Government is aware of the frequent power failure in Shillong during the last few months?
(b) If, so, what are the reasons of such failure?
(c) What does Government propose to do to prevent such failure in future?
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy, Minister, Power replied :
20 .(a) Power failures have not been frequent . In recent months there was only one major failure on 10th February, 1976.
(b) - Mechanical Failures in electric circuits caused the failure on 10th February, 1976.
(c)- In order to reduce the time of interruption and also the power failures of the kinds as stated, the Board is being directed to take adequate steps.
Shri H. Hadem: 30 (c) Whether the Meghalaya Electricity Board had taken over the management from the Shillong Hydro-Electric Company?
Mr. Speaker : I think that is a new question altogether.
Shri H. Hadem : In (c), it is replied that the Board will take steps.
Mr. Speaker : Yes, the Board but not the Shillong Hydroelectric.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker Sir, as we understand, the power is being supplied to Shillong by the Shillong Hydro Electric Company but why the Board comes into the picture?
Mr. Speaker : The question is not clear.
Shri H. Hadem : The question is about the shortage of power or the failure of power in Shillong and the reply given is that the Board is taking steps.
Mr. Speaker : There were occasions of the failure of power and the Board is being directed to rectify the shortage of power. I think that is very clear.
Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker Sir, which Board is being directed?
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy, Minister, Power : The Meghalaya State Electricity Board.
Shri Maham Singh :Whether the Board has a control over the Shillong Hydro Electric Company?
Mr. Speaker : That is a new question.
Shri Maham Singh : The Shillong Hydro Electric Company supplies the power but incase of failure, the Board is being asked to take steps. The point is whether....(voices)
Mr. Speaker : I understand what you men. it is true that the power in Shillong is being supplied by the Shillong Hydro Electric Company. But what you mean does not come into the picture. I will not allow that.
Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker Sir, what are those steps which the Board is being directed to take?
Mr. Speaker : I think the Government only directs them to take steps. But the steps are being taken by them, by their engineers according to their own technical knowledge.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : 30 (a) Does this mean the whole of Shillong?
Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols Roy, Minister, Power: Mr. Speaker Sir, the question referred to the power failure in Shillong and during the last few months there was only one major failure on the 10th of February, 1976. There may be minor failures here and there.
Shri S. D. Khongwir: My point is this. In the question there is mention about Shillong. So by Shillong, do we mean the entire licenses area under the Shillong Hydro Electric Company?
Mr. Speaker : I think we will judge the results.
Shortage of water at Barapani Dam.
Shri Martin Narayan Majaw asked :
31 . Will the Minister incharge of Power be pleased to state-
(a) The reasons for the frequent shortage of water at the Barapani Dam?
(b) What steps the Government proposes to take to make up for the shortage of water?
Shri Stanley D. . Nichols Roy, Minister, Power replied :
31 (a) There has not been any shortage of water at the Barapani Reservoir.
(b) Does not arise.
Police Outpost at Dangardombah
Shri Kristo M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
32. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to State
(a) Why the Police out post at Dangardonbah was named at Balat outposts?
(b) The reasons for placing the Mawsynram Police Station and Dangardonbah Police outpost under the Nongstoin Sub division.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister replied :
32 (a) The Police Outpost at Dangardonbah was named the Balat Police Outpost as its permanent location will be at Balat. The location of the outpost at present is at Dangardonbah and accommodated temporarily in rented building.
(b) The Mawsynram Police Station at Dangardonbah Police Outpost at present are placed under Nongstoin Police Circle in the Public interest.
Compensation to the people of Border Areas.
Shri Samsul Haque asked :
33. Will the Minister in charge of Revenue be pleased to state-
(a) Whether there is any proposal to pay compensation to the people in the Border areas whose properties were damaged or otherwise affected during the Indo Pak Conflict of 1971?
(b) If, so when will this payment be made?
Shri Brighton Buhai Lyngdoh, Minister Revenue replied :
33 (a)- Yes
(b) - The various proposal and present position of each is indicated in the Statement which is placed on the table of the House.
Shri Jackman Marak : 33, Sir, when such compensation will be paid to the affected people?
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : According to my knowledge, as far as the Government is concerned, I think the amount will be paid. But regarding the amount that is yet to be finalised.
Shri Nimosh Sangma : Will the amount be available?
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : The total amount required for payment for border damage compensation is about Rs.32 lakhs. But the amount which is being sanctioned by the Government is 50 per cent of the total amount. This amount is to be reimbursed by the Government of India.
Shri P.R. Swer : May we know, Mr. Speaker Sir, whether compensation will be paid for damage due to the influx of refugees during the conflict?
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : There are different types of compensation. War damage is to be paid from the Ministry of Defence and the damage done by the Pakistani Army during the Bangladesh Operation from our side.
Loan for the S.F.D.A. in 1975-76.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :
34. Will the Minister charge of Agriculture be pleased to state whether the entire amount of Rs.1,00,000 earmarked as loan for the S.F.D.A. in 1975-76 has since been advanced?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture replied :
34- There is no provision of loan earmarked for the S.F.D.A. in 1975-76.
Boldamgiri Irrigational Project
Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :
35- Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture be pleased to state-
(a) The name of the person who has been employed as chowkidar in the Boldamgiri irrigational project?
(b) The date of appointment of the chowkidar with his total period of service in the said irrigational project?
(c) Whether the repair to the damage in the extension wall of the Boldamgiri irrigational project is expected to be completed within the current financial year?
(d) If not, why not?
(e) Whether sluice gates in the Boldamgiri irrigational project were installed?
(f) If not, why not?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture replied :
35 (a) Nobody has been appointed .
(b) - Does not arise.
(d)- Due to shortage of technical person.
(f)- Fixing of the Sluice Gate prior to construction of the retaining wall is not considered technically feasible.
Reclamation and Terracing Schemes
Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :
36. Will the Minister in charge of Soil Conservation be pleased to state-
(a) The amount spent for terracing and reclamation scheme at Samangdachinengiri, Borogiri, Jonge, Naringirri, Rimtongirri, Songmagiri, Anogiri, Dinamingirri and Dehet Polgiri (To be shown plot wise, year wise area, terraced and reclaimed separately)
(b) Whether the terraced and reclaimed areas are now under cultivation?
(c) If so, the names of the villages where such land are under cultivation?
(d) Whether irrigation facilities have been provided to the reclaimed and terraced lands by the Department
(e) Whether the Department has taken up terracing and reclamation schemes for 1975-76 at Dinamingirri?
(f) Whether the Government had taken up terracing and reclamation scheme at Dinamingirri in the past?
(g) If so, the year, acreage, amount spent and name of persons benefited?
(h) Whether there is any proposal for construction of road at Bonengiri by the Department during 1975-76 or 1976-77?
(i) If so, the length of the road and the amount earmarked for construction of the road?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Soil Conservation re[;oed:
30(a)- Statement enclosed.
(b) - Yes, 50 percent of the terraced lands and all the reclaimed areas are under cultivation.
(c)- The names are mentioned in the statement referred to at (a) above.
(d)- Irrigation is provided where possible.
(e) - Yes, 10 ha. under the General Scheme at 80 per cent subsidy has been taken up for this village.
(f - Yes, 17 hectares were terraced under the same scheme as mentioned at (e) above, during 1973-74.
(g) - Seven hectares terraced during 1973-74 and have benefited the following 10 (ten) families the amount spent for this work was Rs.19,930.74 (Rupees nineteen thousand and nine hundred thirty and paise seventy four) only.
Persons Benefited are :
Shri Minosrsing Nokma
Shri Banggen Nokma
Shri Ivanhee Sangma
Shri Himsing Sangma
Shri Tion Marak
Shri Ohish Sangma
Shri Clament Sangma
Shri Robendra Marak
Shri Tangman Marak
Shri Jewan Marak
(h) The Department has already constructed a road at Bonesgirri from the main Songsak-Rongrengirri Public Works Department Road. The Department is extending this up to Asil during this current year (1975-76)
(i) - Seven Km. have been completed and another 3 Km. is expected to be completed by early next year.
During the year 1975-76 Rs.76,912 (Rupees seventy six thousand nine hundred twelve) only have been earmarked for the 7 km. for the remaining 3 km. amount will be sanctioned after the Budget is passed.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : 36(a) Sir, whether all the reclaimed areas are under cultivation?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture : 50 percent of the project were on subsidy basis and the rest still remains like that.
Shri H. Hadem : 36 (a) Whether the answer to (a) means "the statement is placed on the table"?
Mr. Speaker : I think you mean that is ahs been on the table? (laughter)
Shri S.P. Swer : 36(g) Whether the persons mentioned in 36 (g) are land owners?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture : The persons in 36 (g), Mr. Speaker Sir, were the persons to whom lands were allotted by the Nokma of the areas.
Construction of roads in the Ri Bhoi.
Prof Martin Narayan Majaw asked :
37 . Will the Minister in charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state:
(a) What progress has been made in the survey and construction of the following proposed roads in the Ri. Bhoi, under the Executive Engineer, Shillong North Division -
(i) The Raiteng Umroi road;
(ii) The Nongpoh Mawhati Road via Umsaw Nongbri, Mawtari and Kseshkhma;
(iii) The Umden- Umtari Road.
(iv) The Umsning-Mawrang Umkei-Mawhati Road;
(v) the Umden - Pekuri- Marmain Sonapur Road; and
(vi) The Dwarksuid- Tyrso Mawhati Road;
(b) Whether sufficient staff have been posted for these purposes?
Shri Ripple Kyndiah, Minister, P.W.D. (Roads and Buildings) replied :
37 (a) (i)- Survey works have been taken up in respect of this Road.
(ii) - Survey has not been taken up as yet on this Road.
(iii) - There is no provision of this road either in the Draft 5th Plan or in the Budget for 1975-76.
(iv) - There is no provision of this Road either in the Draft 5th Plan or in the Budget for 1975-76.
(v) - This scheme has not been included in the Budget for the year 1975-76 and no survey work has been taken up.
(vi) - Detailed Survey in respect of 18th Km. of the road has been completed and the detailed drawing and estimate are under preparation.
(b) - yes.
Payment of Land Compensation for the construction of Mawkneng-Wallang Road.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :
38 . Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. etc., be pleased to state-
(a) Whether compensation has been paid to the land owners for the construction of Mawkneng Wallang Road?
(b) if not, since when has the matter been pending?
Shri Ripple Kyndiah, Minister, P.W.D. (Roads and Buildings) replied :
38 (a)- No.
(b) - Since 1972.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : 38 (b), What is the main purpose for none payment of compensation to the land owners?
Shri Ripple Kyndiah, Minister, P.W.D. (Roads and Buildings) : The problem is with the Deputy Commissioner who is to undertake the land acquisition proceedings.
Distribution of Bonemeal to Cultivators.
Shri Lewis Bareh asked :
39. Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture be pleased to state-
(a) The total quantity of bonemeal to be distributed to the cultivators in the State during the next sowing season?
(b) The rate of bonemeal fixed for the year 1975-76 per quintal?
(c) Whether it is a fact that any cultivators in Rymbai village were deprived of the subsidised bonemeal last year?
(d) if so, the reason thereof?
(e) The total number of the farmers who were deprived?
(f) Whether these cultivators will be allotted with subsidised bonemeal for the next sowing season.?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture replied :
39 (a) - The total quantity of subsidised bonemeal proposed to be distributed is 1,500 tonnes. Depending on demand, the Government may exceed the above target.
(b) - The lowest rate offered by dealers is Rs.1,300.00 per tonne for Jowai and Mairang and Rs.1,250.00 for Shillong.
Amount of subsidy is under consideration of the Government based o which the actual sale will be fixed.
(c) - Nothing has come to our knowledge
(d) - Does not arise
(e) - Does not arise
(f) - Does not arise
Shri Humphrey Hadem : 39(b) What will be the cost per quintal at Jowai?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture: Last year or this year?
Shri H. Hadem : This year.
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture : This year it will not cross Rs.120 per quintal.
Construction of Sabang Stream Bundh
Shri Mahindra Rava asled :
40. Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture be pleased to state :
(a) Whether is is a fact that the proposal for construction of the Sabang stream bundh at Nagargaon has not been implemented yet?
(b) If so, the reason thereof.
(c) Whether Government is aware that the need for the said bundh is a long felt one?
(d) If so, when will this scheme be implemented?
Shri Edwingson Bareh, Minister Agriculture replied :
40 (a) Yes
(b) - Available water in the dry season is extremely inadequate to command construction of a bundh
(c) - Yes, the Government are aware that irrigation would be helpful for this year.
(d) - Bundh as originally proposed cannot be constructed as explained in (b) above but other alternative for irrigation are being explored.
Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to item.2
I appoint the following Members to the House Committee under Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 312 of the Assembly Rules:
Mr. Pritington Sangma, M.L.A.
Mr. Galynstone Laloo, M.L.A
Mr. William Cecil R Marak, M.L.A
Mr. Ira Marak, M.L.A
Mr. Raisen Mawsor, M.L.A
Mr. Pritington Mawsor, will be the chairman of the Committee.
(2) I announce the names of the hon. Members to constitute the following six different committees of this Legislature.
1. Under Rule 259, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Rules Committee.
Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
Mr. Maham Singh, M.L.A and leader of the opposition Party.
Mr. Hoover Hynniewta, M.L.A
Mr. Humphrey Hadem, M.L.A
(The Committee will function under my Chairmanship)
2. Under Rule 257, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Government Assurances-
Mr. Jormanick Syiem, M.L.A
Miss Percylina Marak, M.L.A
Mr. Winstone Syiemiong, M.L.A
Mr. Samsul Haque, M.L.A
Mr. Edward Kurbah, M.L.A
Mr. Jormanick Syiem, M.L.A will be the Chairman of the Committee.
3. Under Rule 251, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Subordinate Legislation-
Prof Alexander Warjri, M.L.A
Mr. Mahindra Rabha, M.L.A
Mr. Sibendra Narayan Koch,M.L.A
Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, M.L.A
Prof Alexander Warjri will be the Chairman of the Committee.
4. Under the rule 246, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee of the Privileges-
Mr. Singjan Sangma, Deputy Speaker
Mr. D. Dethwelson Lapang, M.L.A
Mr. S. D. Khongwir, M.L.A
Mr. S. P. Swer, M.L.A
Mr. Singjan Sangma, Deputy Speaker will be the Chairman of the Committee.
5. Under the Rule 239, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Petitions-
Mr. Reidson Momin, M.L.A
Mr. Jagabandhu Barman, M.L.A
Mr. Choron Singh Sangma, M.L.A
Mr. Dhruba Nath Joshi, M.L.A
Mr. Brojendro Sangma, M.L.A
Mr. Reidson Momin , M.L.A will be the Chairman of the Committee.
6. Under Rule 313, I appoint the following hon. Members to constitute the Library Committee
Mr. P.N. Choudhury, M.L.A
Mr. Jackman Marak, M.L.A
Mr. Medison A. Sangma, M.L.A
Mr. Francis K. Mawlot, M.L.A
Mr. Besterson Kharkongor, M.L.A
Mr. P.N. Choudhury, M.L.A. will be the Chairman of the Committee.
Let us pass on to the next item, Jormanik Syiem to call the attention of the Minister in charge of supply.
Shri Jormanick Syiem : Mr. Speaker Sir, under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I beg to call the attention of the Minister Supply to a news item published in the "Implanter" of 7th March, 1976 under the caption "Greater Shillong to get New ration Cards"
Mr. Speaker Sir, the reason for this call attention is that usually the card holders are allowed to register their cards in any fair price shops in the locality. But at present I understand that the card holders have been directed to some other fair price shops which are not of their choice but selected by the Supply Office. I would like to get a statement from the Minister whether this has the sanction of the Government, or it is the doing of the Supply Office.
Shri E. Bareh, Minister Supply : Mr. Speaker Sir, the Supply Advisory Board has been delegated with the function to advise and assist the District and Sub-Divisional authorities in all supply matters relating to the District Sub-divisional concerned. In the contest of this function the Supply Advisory Board of Khasi Hills who met on 10th August, 1974 passed a resolution that the maximum number of F. I. cards was fixed at 300 and the minimum at 75. There has been representations against this decision and in the Supply Advisory Board meetings held on the 7th April 1975 and 28th August 1975, the representation were discussed and on both occasions the Board decided that the previous resolution as to the maximum and minimum number if cards should stand.
The main idea behind this recommendation is to remove inconvenience of the consumers who have to stand long queue and have to wait long hours to draw their commodities as also to eliminate shops which cannot be viable with few ration cards. The Government accept this philosophy.
Three types of requests are coming for registration of the ration card holders to Fair Price Shops. Firstly, apropos the Public notice from the Deputy Commissioner to consumers of Fair Price Shops which already have more than 300, the consumers were requested to indicate if they would like to change their shops. Secondly, fresh applications from persons who somehow have been missed in the remuneration operation conducted last year. Thirdly, such ration card holders who find their present shops inconvenient. On all such requests, Deputy Commissioner is only asking them to limit their choice to such shops who are not already over crowded. Ration cards are not being tagged to Fair Price Shops against the wishes of the consumers.
THE MEGHALAYA CHIT FUND AND MONEY CIRCULATION SCHEME (PROHIBITION) BILL 1976
Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to item. No.4. Minister Finance.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya Chit Fund and Money Circulation Scheme (Prohibition) Bill, 1976 be introduced. The motion is carried and the Bill is introduced.
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill)
Now let us pass on to item No.5. Before I call upon Mr. Mylliemngap to resume his speech, I will make certain announcements. Today I will allow only Mr. Maham Singh, Leader of Opposition. He will get 45 minutes and Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh will get 35 minutes. Thereafter, the Minister in charge of Industries and the Minister in charge of P.W.D. will clarify certain points raised during the discussions and thereafter the Finance Minister will reply.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : While resuming my speech for the day, I would refer again to that portion of my speech which I left incomplete yesterday. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is also proposed to develop the Barapani lake in consultation with the District Council Khasi Hills. It is heartening to see that the lake which is unique in its beauty, in its grandeur to have further development but I should say that it is rather very late to come with this proposal at this juncture when the lake is pretty old. Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker Sir, as one of the anglers and also as a member of the public I would like to see that if fishes in Barapani lake are also protected from destruction which the people used to destroy by different means. If you happen to go to the U.G.C. at Barapani you will find a lot of traps which the people generally use for catching fishes and make it as a profession. In this respect, Sir, I would like to suggest that if the Government is really eager to increase the interest of the angler and other members of the Public to spend their leisure time and their evenings on holidays in Barapani lake, let there be a ticket system so that at least some sort of revenue may accrue and with that, some water guards can also be employed.
Mr. Speaker Sir, now I come to another point and that is Community Development at page 13, paragraph 2, i.e., regarding specially backwards areas and most backward areas. In this respect, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to remind the Finance Minister, through you, Sir, that as he was once the M.L.A. from Nongpoh constituency in the erstwhile Assam State, he knows very well that area which is known as Home Mission in the Phrablang area under Khyrim Syiemship. That area you know very well, Sir, I think is one of the most neglected and most backward areas in the State especially in Khasi Hill. if you say from the point of communication, there is no road uptil now. One road is still under construction and I do not know how long it will take to get it commissioned. Then if you say from the point of health facilities, the nearest centre which the people can reach is about 30 to 35 miles and if you say about high schools, there is no high school in this area except one at Smit which is about 25 to 30 miles and if you say about water supply there is no question of getting any sources of improved drinking water supply. This area, Mr. Speaker Sir, I apportioned between the two Development Blocks, viz., Pynursla and Mawryngkneng Development Blocks. I feel this area which extends upto the border of Jaintia Hills on the east and on the west bordering Khadarblang can be grouped together under one Development Block. You know Mr. Speaker Sir, the economic condition of these people is beyond imagination. They simply live on rye; they cannot afford to purchase rice. They hardly can afford to purchase small quantities of potatoes. You know Sir, as it is the human tendency, the crying baby is always fed and the crying baby is always clothed. But these people do not know how to cry, where to go for help and they simply live as they were living in the past.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : So you are crying for them?
Mr. Speaker : May I inform the Chief Minister that the hon. Member is representing that constituency which he knows well.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : You are quite correct, Mr. Speaker. Though I do not represent a particular constituency yet as a Lyngskor of Khyrim Syiemship I can speak for other constituencies also. But my time limit is very short and, I am afraid , I will not be able to do justice to all. But I must refer to the one which deserves the serious consideration at the moment. Mr. Speaker Sir, I know well that the State as a whole is very backward. But the criterion which is considered for distinguishing certain areas as backward areas. I feel, that these areas really deserve serious considerations and they are very much deserving for declaring those areas as most backward areas.
Mr. Speaker : I have personal knowledge.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : One is a Lyngskor and one is a Lyngdoh. (laughter)
Mr. Speaker : You have got only one minute more. So it is better that you should close your subject and do not start a new subject.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : I have only one point more. Mr. Speaker Sir, regarding health, Sir, there has been an agreement that the land at Smit was given to Health Department for construction. But construction of a Sub Centre has not been done up till now. Also a place at Tynring has been given to Health Department long time ago for construction nothing has been done though at one point of time there was an indication that the works should be started immediately at Smith....
Mr. Speaker : I think the boundary pillars were erected.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : Yes, only boundary pillars and these were also erected about two years ago. So before you ring the bell Mr. Speaker Sir, I resume my seat. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker : Now I ask Mr. Maham Singh. You have got 45 minutes.
Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker Sir, I will touch only on a few points. I thank the Minister in charge of Finance for the illuminating speech he has presented to this august House. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to draw the attention to the House as a whole and especially the Finance Minister with regard to the concluding portion of his speech in which he has appealed and sought the cooperation of all hon. Members and through them of all the people of Meghalaya in the task to take Meghalaya ahead in the new era of prosperity. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Finance Minister has actually made a correct approach when he said this for what is most essential is the cooperation of the people. Sir, the cooperation of all the people has got the highest value for building up the State. Without this cooperation of the people whatever amount may be spent by the State Government and however much may be the amount earmarked and incurred for schemes and projects it will not be possible to carry them successfully. Mr. Speaker Sir, the real goal will not be achieved, without the active cooperation of the people of the State. The active cooperation of the people of our State is of the greatest value for the rapid development of our State. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would say that the cooperation must be a whole hearted and sincere cooperation of all inhabitants of the State. But then Mr. Speaker Sir, how are we to get the cooperation of all inhabitants of the State? In this connection, I would submit that the Government itself must extend its cooperation to the people and unless the Government extends its cooperation to the people then in that case the cooperation of the people cannot be obtained. This is very very important Mr. Speaker Sir. It cannot be a one sided track but there must be a give and take from both sides. In this connection I would also say that the extension of the Government's cooperation to the people must be impartial and undaunted by any party affiliation. It must be untarnished by any personal gain and friendship and over and above it must be based on justice and must be benevolent. It must be with the spirit of really helping the people. Government must seek the help of all those who are cooperating in the efforts of the Government of building up this State of ours to be a more prosperous State. This is the most essential and actually very very important step and once we have achieved this, then there is no reason why the future of our State should not be bright and should not be a land of plenty prosperity. Mr. Speaker Sir, further I would like to say that whatever amount has to be spent by the Government must be properly and honestly spent. It depends very much on how money is actually spent. One rupee properly spent is of greater value than rupees one hundred which is not honestly spent. According to the present budget we find that more than 40 crores of rupees will be spent. Actually I think it is 43 crores or more which will be spent for the development of the State and I would say that if this amount is properly spent, I see no reason why our State should not come out to be more prosperous and economically stable within a few years.
Mr. Speaker : Are you also pessimistic?
Shri Maham Singh : Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir. With the schemes and all efforts that we have made, I believe we will be able to bring greater satisfaction to the people of the State and we will be able to achieve the goal of becoming economically better than before.
Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, as I have already stated what is most essential it that we must seek the cooperation of the people and that cooperation from the Government must be extended to all sections of the people irrespective of caste, creed and community. We must however have in view the, aim to attain a State of social justice, economic equality in which the greater attention would be paid to the weaker sections of the people to raise them to the standard of living and economic level of the more well to do people. Mr. Speaker Sir, whatever cooperation is extended, must be of a free and frank nature. Previously I had expressed my appreciation to the present Government assuring that it will be fully cooperate with the Prime Minister's 20 Point Economic Programmes and also with the developmental projects and programmes of the Central Government. In this connection I would like to say that the Central Government has also extended its help, advice and guidance to the State Government. It is with this Spirit that the Central Government has contributed towards the implementation of programmes that may be taken up by the State Government and also other new programmes that may be taken up by the State Government. Now there has also been cooperation from the side of the State Government. In this connection I would like to say that the cooperation should not end just at the State level. If we want to achieve the goal of economic stability, then in that case the cooperation must be extended to the subordinate bodies i.e., the lowest level Mr. Speaker Sir. This cooperation must be extended right to the man in the street in the farmer in the field from the most humble man to the highest. And Mr. Speaker Sir, this cooperation must be extended without any mental reservation. Now. Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to certain matters in which we would like to know whether the Government has extended this cooperation to the subordinate bodies. I will take only a few examples, because there is no time. Mr. Speaker Sir, let us take the questioning of the court fee rule proposed by the District Council of Khasi Hills District. It was as far back as 1970 that the Hon. High Court in Civil Revenue No.6 (4) of 1969-4 Shandro Lyngkhoi and other versus Ka Phiew Ripnai decided that the District Councils have no power to release court fee. On 5th January, 1970, before the present Executive Committee stating that it will be a great loss to the District Council if this case is not considered and appropriate steps taken. After this Mr. Speaker Sir, it is necessary to make certain rules with regard to the realisation of court fees by the District Council. I again would like to remind the Government that it is a great loss to the District Council but can be accorded if the Government can extend its help to the District Council without it self incurring any loss. It is a help, which , if the Government cooperates will bring income to the District Council. Then, Mr. Speaker Sir, on 27th October, 1972 the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the District Council wrote a letter to the Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, District Council Affairs Department stating that they propose to introduce a bill, namely United K and J Hills Autonomous District - (Administration of Justice- levy of Fees) Bill of 1972 in the next session of the District Council. It was on 27th October, 1972 that the first letter was written by the present Executive Committee. That was actually to.....
Mr. Speaker : It was not the present Executive Committee. It was by the other Executive Committee.
Shri Maham Singh : Oh yes. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. On 27th November, 1972 and on the 4th of December, 1972 again, the Secretary of the Executive Committee wanted to introduce the Bill in the District Council. But Sir, it could not be introduced because the Government did not notify the introduction of the Bill in the gazette. Therefore, Sir that matter could not be introduced in that session of the District Council. After the session was over, on the 29th December, 1972 the Deputy Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Khasi Hills District Council informing that they will be in a position to give then information only after they have cleared the matter with the Finance Department. After that the District Council Authority again wrote a letter on 15th January, 1973 to the Government of Meghalaya and also on the 13th February, 1973 to find out the final views of the Government on this matter. Since then the District Council authorities have on usual occasion been reminding the Meghalaya Government. But Sir, there is a long silence on the part of the Government. Sir, for the last two years there has been a long silence on the part of the this Government. Sir, in this connection I would like to mention that there should be unreserved cooperation of Government to all these bodies. Sir, because of the long silence on the part of the Government, ultimately a D.O. letter was written by the Chief Executive Member of the District Council on 8th February, 1975 to the Minister in charge of the District Council Affairs Department requesting him for a reply. On this, a letter came from the Government that is, on the 14th July written by the Deputy Secretary which runs thus.
"I am directed to say that in the matter relating to the subject mentioned above, the Minister District Council Affairs desires to hold a joint discussion in the office chamber to consider the advisability of having a uniform rate of fees for all the three District Councils Courts in the State"... The D.O. letter was written by the Chief Executive Member again reminding the Government regarding its policy on the matter but up till now Mr. Speaker Sir, the Government has not extended its helping hand to this body to enable it to pass most essential rules and acts falling within their preview.
Mr. Speaker : What was the result of the joint discussion?
Shri Maham Singh : it ended in smoke , Mr. Speaker Sir.
Mr. Speaker Sir : Or it is lack of co-operation from all sides?
Shri Maham Singh : There was co-operation from all the 3 District Councils but I believe the Government did not give any guidance, neither did it come up with its own proposal, nor did it give its decision or framed the rules. On the 24th February, 1976 another letter was written reminding the Government and requesting for its decision in the matter, but there was complete silence. Later, the District Council were asked to draft the rules, and at other times the Government said that it will draft the rules. But neither will draft the rules nor will it accept the rules drafted by the District Council. Already long years have passed and this has been a great loss to the District Council. Slight assistance without incurring any expenditure on the part of the Government, would have brought additional income to the District Council and it is legitimate income which the District Council is entitled to. Even this is being refused and uptil now nothing has been done....
Mr. Speaker : May I know whether the other District Council are also pressing the matter?
Shri Maham Singh : Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir, they are also awaiting for the division of the Government .
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : I do not know and I cannot exactly remember-I had on occasion to discuss this when I was the Chief Executive Member of the Garo Hills District Council. This court fees stamp was discussed with the Governmen of Assam and we were advised by the Government of Assam that we can have our own court fee stamp. We have been allowed to use the court fee stamp with the mark of the District Council seal because we cannot print our own stamp. I hope my colleague, Mr. Zaman, will bear me out that we have been advised like that by the Government of Assam, so some legal issues are involved here. As far as the District Council is concerned we are supplied by the Treasury with the stamp on our behalf.
Shri Maham Singh : That may be done Mr. Speaker Sir, but the decision of the Government is not communicated to the District Council. If the Government wants that the same stamps should be used, let that be communicated to the District Council.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : On the point of information Sir, ever since the District Council came into being and ever since the Courts came into being, they have been using it.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Maham Singh expects better cooperation from the Government that any official letter that goes from the District Council. to the Government should be replied to promptly. That is his contention.
Shri Maham Singh : Well Mr. Speaker Sir, the letters must be attended to promptly and decision should be taken as early as possible, and not only that Mr. Speaker Sir, guidance should be given to all these District Council and it must be without any reservation whatsoever. But, in this case , when they did not decide anything, they kept everything in suspense. I would say, that it does not benefit anyone rather it is a loss to the Government as well as to the District Council..
Now another matter, is with regard to the appointment of the Judge in the District Council Court. I will say, that previously, there were judges of the District Council. Court and it makes more or less the practice that after the retirement of one judge, another Magistrate of the District Council. is promoted to the post of the Judge. The approval of the Government is required also with regard to the powers to be exerted by these judges under Para.5 of the 6th Schedule to the Constitution. Now immediately after the Judge, that is Mr. L. Marbaniang took over the office as Judge of the District Council. Approval of the Government was sought for conferring powers on him to try cases, falling within the powers of paragraph 5 of the 6th Schedule to the Constitution. Now, of course full powers were not given but he was given certain powers. Approval was given to him to try only offences punishable only up to 10 years imprisonment . In any way, we are no longer concerned with his case because he had already resigned from the post. Thereafter another Magistrate was posted, Mr. C. Kharshiing, he was a Magistrate.
Mr. Speaker : I think it is better to avoid names here.
Shri Maham Singh : Anyway a new person was promoted to the post of the Judge of the District Council, that is on the 1st November, 1975. Now in this case, the District Council. had also asked for the approval of the Government to confer upon him the powers under paragraph 5 of the 6th Schedule to the Constitution and on the 29th October, 1975, a letter was written by the C.E.M. Then on the 31 of October, 1975, a D. O. letter from the Minister in charge of District Council. Affairs. I think the Minister is fond of writing D.O. letters than official letters.
Mr. Speaker : Which you have admitted that it works better.
Shri Maham Singh : Well yes, and then he had written that he wanted a bio-data with regard to the appointment of...
Mr. Speaker : That is essential for appointment to any responsible post.
Shri Maham Singh : Yes, it is very essential for the appointment of any person especially, the high office of a Judge of the District Council.
Now this is first time that a bio-data has been asked for. Bio data was never asked from the previous incumbents. I believe bio data was never asked before the conferment of powers upon the Additional Deputy Commissioners. Bio data was also never asked from them as to how many criminals cases they had tried before that were given power to try all offences punishable with death of transportation for life. In any case, Sir, what is more surprising is that by this D.O. letter, the Minister in charge of District Council. Affairs has converted the Chief Executive Member of the District Council. into a Governor or the head of the State. He has written advising the Chief Executive Member to allow the above person to function temporarily as Judge of the District Council. It is not an official letter but it is a D.O. Letter. Let me read it "In this connection, pleaser refer to our letter No.DCA 7/74/31 dated 15th January. However, in order to enable the District Council Court to function, Government will have no objection if the person is allowed to officiate as Judge until such time when on receipt of his bio data. Government will be able to take final decision" So it is the Minister advising the C.E.M. and not the Governor. The C.E.M. must act on the advise of the Minister. In this way Mr. Speaker Sir, they wanted the bio data and then again they wanted that specific rules must be framed before giving effect to the conferment of powers as Judge of District Council. In this is being played, I would say, a game of hide and seed a game in which the Government wants to evade the real issue, is being pursued.
I will come to another matter and that is with regard to the pay of L.P. School teachers. The other day I had submitted before this august House that the pay which these L.P. School Teachers get is so meagre that they cannot keep their body and soul together. The L.P. School teachers are the people who are to impart education to the children who will be the builders of the nation in future. But they are not given the pay even of a grade IV employee of an office.
Mr. Speaker : Are you suggesting amendment of the Sixth Schedule that primary education should come under the State Government.
Shri Maham Singh : Anything may be done. Let the Government take a decision. What we want is that the benefit should go to the people. But some decisions must be taken, Mr. Speaker Sir, as I said we should not merely play the game of hide and seek and try to show who is more clever than the other because cunningness will not pay - both will suffer. If you just want to play the game by trying to be more cunning than the other, then I would say it is not the way of administering a State. Now with regard to the payment of pay of these L.P. School teachers, it is actually the pay which is these poor teachers have to get.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : Mr. Speaker Sir, may I draw the attention of the leader of the Opposition that with regard to the L.P. School teachers, there is provision under para 8 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution which provides for the maintenance of schools, dispensaries and road. How can Government intervene in the matter of maintenance of the schools. The District Council can increase the pay of the L.P. School teachers by resorting taxation.
Shri Maham Singh : Yes. But the Government has committed to pay these L.P. School teachers right from before.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : That is wrong. We on the plain side, are giving money. But it is upto the District Council to raise their own revenue for opening of schools.
Shri Maham Singh : Yes. In any case there is an allotment of fund. I am not speaking about the revision of the pay scales. I am speaking of the committed amount in which the Government has agreed to pay to these L.P. School teachers of the District Council. I hope it is not the intention of the Government to withdraw that commitment that they have made to the District Council.
Mr. Speaker : But Government has been paying.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : I think this question was raised by my colleague the Minister in charge of District Council Affairs, read out the letter. Government sanctioned 8 lakhs of rupees. Out of this amount 4 lakhs could be spent for payment of the arrear pay of the L.P. School teachers
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : May we have a copy of the letter Sir?
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh, you will have your chance to speak
Shri Maham Singh : May I raise in this connection also the Rs.8 lakhs that has been given by the Government is not the Government money. it is the property of the District Council. it is dues of the District Council
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : May I clarify the position. The revenue accruing to the District Council should have been adjusted by the Government of Assam and the District Council. But that was not done. In order to help the District Council to overcome the difficulty, we have sanctioned as a loan to be adjusted ;later with the dues from the Government of Assam.
Shri Maham Singh : Yes, it is the money of the District Council and the Government is holding that money as the trustee o the District Council. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is not money of the Government. This is a letter of the Government which reads" I am directed to convey the sanction of the Government of Meghalaya to the payment of a loan of Rs.8 lakhs only to the U.K. and J. Hills District Council for normal administration.
The amount sanctioned above will be adjusted later against the dues of the Council payable by the Government of Assam as shares on minor minerals, major minerals , taxes on vehicles, etc.,
The expenditure for the purpose is debitable to the head Q-Loans and Advances-III-Loans to the Autonomous District Council - Loans to District Council ". Necessary provisions under this head has already been made by taking advance from Contingency Fund vide Finance Department Memo, No.FC4/ 72, dated 27th March, 1972"
This issues with the concurrence of Finance Department vide their U.O. No. FC/600/ 72, dated 27th March, 1972"
By this letter of the 28th March 1972, it is categorically and specifically stated that it is not normal administration. Another letter dated 7th May 1973, however was sent more than a year where it was mentioned that pay for the L.P. School teachers was taken up. The letter reads as follow:
Sub : Sanction of loans to District Council
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 letter No. SS/DC/70/68, dated 27th March 1972, the Council may utilise the amount of Rs.4 lakhs towards the 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. 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"
So this is long after more than one year. In reply the District Council had written that this amount is for normal administration and moreover they have expressed their financial difficulties. There were many correspondences on this Mr. Speaker Sir, and finally they came up with another letter in which surprisingly they said that may be the Government of Assam had already paid all these dues. The letter was written by the DPI Government of Meghalaya to the Secretary, Ex- Committee Khasi Hills District Council. According to the letter he also mentioned that the District Council should find out itself from the Government of Assam. Actually such matter should be at pursued by the Government itself and not by the District Council. It should be at the Government level and not district level. The District Council cannot go direct to the Government of Assam and demand their revenue share. If any apportionment is to be made it should be done at the Government level and our Government should have approach the Government of Assam.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : There is no direction from the State Government that the District Council should take up the matter directly.
Shri Maham Singh : But the implication of the letter is like that. I think this should be clarified as a para of the letter says "the Council should justify that the claim made is Government's commitment and the arrear claim is an un-authorised expenditure on their own.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : I think it means that we must get some information from the District Council. We are not shirking our responsibility, and we are prepared to take up the matter. But how can Government do so when there is no information from the District Council.
Shri Maham Singh : Sir, all these years right from 1972 a letter was written (bell rang)
Mr. Speaker : Your time is up but due to intervention, I will give you another nine minutes.
Shri Maham Singh : Thank you. And Mr. Speaker Sir, all these years Government indicated that this revenue is due to be paid to the District Council and then suddenly after three years, the Government suddenly come up with a guess that may be the amount has already been suddenly come up with a guess that may be the amount has already been paid. How can this be possible? Can responsible persons function in this way, after three years to come up with a devious argument that may be it has been paid. I would say, if the Government is to actually function effectively, then it, must function with a sense of responsibility and not by side tracking issues. If Government functions in this manner, who will suffer. It is the L.P. School teachers through no fault of their own. Neither it is the fault of the present Executive Committee, but the fault of the previous Executive Committee which failed to the demand their dues in time from the then Government of Assam. Mr. Speaker Sir, I submit that the people who are in charge of these matters at higher level were in those days, the very same people who were in charge of the District Council. So, for their fault the poor L.P. School teachers are suffering and living in misery. Government by coming up with the devious argument that may be their owns have been paid, has caused further injury to their misery. So I feel that these poor teachers should be given their dues without any further delay.
Now as I have already said, for the purpose of achieving economic stability of the State, extension of co-operation should be impartial and just. It must also be a co-operation which is not trained or tarnished but it must actually be a benevolent extension or friendship. As I have said before, the Central Government is always extending help to the present Government. We should follow the example of the Central Government which never denied our just rights. So Mr. Speaker Sir, we should do likewise, and in this manner we will be able to get the cooperation of all sanctions of the people and once we get their cooperation , there is no reason why our State should be lagging behind and not march ahead. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker : Now Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh, you will get 35 minutes.
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker Sir, at the first instance, I congratulate the Finance Minister who has been pleased to present this budget before this August House for the year 1976-77. Sir, this Budget speech has been a better one than those speeches ever made by him on the floor of this House. According to my opinion Sir, it has given more elaborate statement on all the subjects included here in the speech. It is really a comparative statement of the last year's achievement and programmes of the Government and also of the current year 1976-77. Sir, over and above what the hon. Members of this august House have already pointed out and discussed on those points on the Budget speech of the Finance Minister, I would only observe on certain points which has been left by them, I will come to the concluding part of the speech found in the last page of this budget speech. Sir, the receipts and expenditure which had been budgeted here are not so different from the receipt and expenditure of last year. At the same time Sir, it is too big a deficit that this budget has covered, 5.84 lakhs plus this minus of 1.13 lakhs. So. Sir, considering the resources that we have been able to procure last year and also the hope that the grants may come from the Centre, I can say that this deficit is too big but I cannot rather, suggest otherwise than what has been placed here. Only one thing is that the Finance Minister did not show anything on how to meet this deficit. There is no suggestion for new taxation , there is no suggestion that can be brought to overcome this deficit from the other Department or exploration of the resources that can be available in the State. So Sir, we from this side, regret that the Government, the Finance Minister could not clarify this deficit. Another point Sir, in the last part of the concluding speech of the Finance Minister, he has stated that the country is now moving towards a better society where the masses will no longer be exploited and weaker section will not be forgotten under the able leadership of the Prime Minister. Cent per cent I can not agree with this. it too big a hope that the weaker section and the masses will not longer be exploited and forgotten. As it is at present Sir, here in this programme that has been enunciated by the Finance Minister, we can not see so much of hope as it was done last year. If we go to the items that has been stated under the 20-Point Economic Programme, just the other day, the Chief Minister, has stated that even the hon. Members of the House do not understand the meaning of this 20-Point Economic Programme. So Sir, under the able leadership of the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister has placed his hope on this 20-Point Economic Programme. The Leader of this House has himself admitted that even the hon. Members of this august House do not understand the 20-Point Economic Programme. I confess that I myself do not fully understand and I have not yet experienced all the benefit brought by this 20-Point Economic Programme as it was done last year. No doubt Sir, here in this State there is a Co-ordination Committee. Some programme of this 20-Point Economic Programme have been administered. Some schemes have been implemented and a handful of money has been spent last year. But this year we have not started to implement the big 20-Point Economic Programme philosophy which many of the hon. Members of this House have not fully understood. So Sir, it is some of the hypothetical expression only. For instance Sir, no doubt in this statement No.4 of this 20-Point Economic Programme we have seen that the plan for the coming year will be 7.68 crores out of the total outlay of 20.22 crores. if this amount can be utilised I hope that the masses will no more be exploited and the weaker section will be uplifted. Here Sir, is has been stated that the achievements of last year on the 20-Point Economic Programme of the Prime Minister that we have 21 lakhs work of schemes surveyed for the next 15 years which will go to 21 lakhs per annum's and then a legislation was passed to provide for the moratorium of rural indebt ness an to avoid hardships takabi loan of 25 lakhs has been provided there for housing co-operatives to facilitate house construction and "nine irrigation schemes are under implementation and are likely to be completed by June, 1976, covering 2,900 hectares and benefiting 3,170 families. One hundred shallow tube-wells are also being constructed covering 1.200 hectares. Controlled cloth is being distributed through 3 whole co-operative societies and 99 retail co-operatives societies". These are the programmes that the people will benefit from this. Then we find that "essential commodities at controlled prices are being distributed to 87 hostels covering 8,167 students. Text books bank, have been opened in 10 colleges 100 High Schools and 200 middle schools" These are the things that have been provided here in this Budget Speech, Sir, if we say that annually Rs.21 lakhs, according to this scheme will have to be spent for the next 10 to 15 years it will bring forth development to this State. This statement of the Finance Minister is really no according to the provisions which have been made here; and, at the same time, Sir, it it has been stated on the problem of housing that the Government have organised certain housing societies. But so far, though I am a member of the Co-ordination Committee, we have not yet seen where these societies are which are taking up the housing scheme in the rural areas. It has been stated that as many as 7 such societies have been organised by the Government. Suppose I have said that there are two in Shillong and that these societies ill be entrusted with the work for uplifting the weaker sections of the society and they will get the benefit of construction of better living homes. So Sir, this is in fact only in the air; there is nothing which has materialised. I have heard that there are three in Garo Hills. I have enquired and found that there are no such societies which have functioned even to do the work, as has been stated here. Sir I will not, therefore, say immediately that I fully agree with then statement of the Finance Minister that the weaker sections of the society will no longer be exploited.
The other point is just an instance. In the Soil Conservation and in the Agriculture Department we have seen that certain amounts have been earmarked for the development of agriculture and soil conservation. But what has been stated here Sir is "31701 families only have been benefited" out of this scheme which has been done last year. How can we say, Sir, that out of the scheme of irrigation, in this current year 1976-77, our people or the weaker section of the people will no longer be exploited. The people of the rural areas of Khasi Hills and Garo Hills are like still economically in every bad position compared with the rest of India. If you go to the interior you will find that about 40 percent of our people are half naked. No doubt only a fraction of our community is still living in this condition like those living in the upper parts of Khasi-Jaintia Hills are also living in that condition. These are, I think, the weaker sections of the society and they are not only in thousand s but in lakhs. So Sir, how many years will it take for the development of Agriculture so that it will cover the whole state to uplift our people to a better position?
Another point I would like to refer to is in Soil Conservation. No doubt, the Department is for prevention of erosion also for afforestation in the State. We have seen there is a big scheme at Nongdaju and I would like just to point out one thing to the Finance Minister so that he will understand the position and see how these schemes are being carried out. If you go to Nongdaju and I think about Rs.18-19 lakhs have been spent, you will find the buildings or the houses that have been constructed which are planned to be model houses, have been done in such a way that if you look at the doors, and I am pointing out only one part, you will find that the plank for the door has been fixed to the round post which has been cut in the jungle. I do not blame the Finance Minister or the Minister in charge of Soil Conservation. I have no doubt that he ahs visited the place many times but I do not know whether he has noticed it or not. And then about the hinges which do not make the door stand vertically and yet we call them models and blame the Marwaris (laughter), for having supplied the hinges which do not fir properly. So, Sir, this is the position of our inspecting staff or supervisor and I am sorry to say ' including' the Minister who has visited there. So, Sir I think it will take years together to materialize what the Finance Minister has expressed here that we are marching to a better society and that our local people will no longer be exploited. But if the weaker sections of the people like the Lyngngam have been exploited I do not blame the Marwaris for having supplied the hinges. I blame the Department fro exploiting the people and because of the fact that they do not know how to supervise and (At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri H. Hadem Chairman took the Chair) to give a correct way of suing these hinge and the money which has been sanctioned by this Assemble. So Sir, this is the position. I do not like to mention the loopholes in the other Departments also because of the limited time at my disposal. So, the supervisors and the staff are backward, so to say, considering the progress that has been made in the country. We are very very backward Sir, and in this respect Sir, the Department themselves seem to be very backward. (Laughter)
So Sir, the Department or the Government themselves have not yet been able to reach that better society which the Finance Minister has.
Another point Sir, which I would like to mention here is about education, though many hon. Members have discussed this subject during this Debate. Here in the Statement of the Finance Minister, we have seen with that scientific education programme at the Primary and Middle English Level with the assistance of the United Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the international Council of Educational Research and Training has been given impetus. Juts now we heard from the Chief Minister that primary education is the responsibility of the District Council and if at all the Primary School teachers will be improved this will have to be done by the District Council. That is the version of the Chief Minister. But here Sir, I think the Chief Minister has contradicted the statement of the Finance Minister. The scientific Education Programme at the Primary and Middle English Level with the assistance of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the International Council of Educational Research Training has been given impetus.
If this is not understood by the Government, I doubt Sir, that we will go according to the concluding part of the Finance Minister's Speech. I believe Sir, that this statement of the Finance Minister in this para.19 of this Budget Speech is the national policy. And it is not a policy statement that has been rightly adopted by this Government and, in fact, the Chief Minister should not have contradicted the Finance Minister's statement in giving the statement that primary education is under the District Council. In the 6th Schedule, it has been mentioned that the District Council, will control and manage primary education. But if you look, Sir, at the 8th Schedule and the other Article of the Constitution, you will see that education is, in fact according to the Directive Principle, and that education is the Central and State subject. So, being in the eastern part of the country where only in this part we get District Council in the Constitution, under the Schedule, it has been provided that the District Council will manage and control primary education but if you look at Article 275 of the Constitution, wherein it has been stated that sufficient fund money will be given out of the Consolidated fund of the Government of India and of the State to run and manage administration of the autonomous area. So, right from1962 a lot of money had been sanctioned from New Delhi to the State of Assam and these District Councils for education. It is the duty of the State Government, Sir, to see that education from the Primary level right to the Middle English level and upto the University level even will be given to the people. The Government of India stated that primary education and education upto the age-group of 14 will be compulsory that was the Government of India policy. So, Sir, I do not see that the Government or the leader of the House should misguide this House to say that primary education is the duty, and the responsibility of the District Council. It is this Government which should take the responsibility of maintaining all school. So, Sir I also appreciate what the Leader of the Opposition said on this matter. In other respects of education, we have seen that this Government have adopted the Assam Pay Commission's Recommendation regarding the pay scales of the Government servants. Sir, in this respect, we have seen that Government have implemented this pay scale right from 1st January 1973 but we regret to see a mention here Sir, that in the field of education, the schools which have been under the deficit systems have not yet been paid this new pay scale. In fact, it was already the policy decision of the Government since the time of Assam Government that the pay scales of teachers of these deficit schools will be paid according to the pay scale of the other Government servants. But the Government have not yet done so. The Finance Minister did not come forward with the statement to see that education will be attended to in so fast as this item is concerned and also Sir, the Government did not say anything about the private schools, and the Government Aided Schools. If now, the pay of the teachers of the deficit schools will be paid according to the pay scales recommended by the Government including the pay of the teacher of the private schools, then this will be a step towards our development . If we talk of the progress and development step towards our development. If we talk of the progress and development that has been made in our country, the better society that has been there we should realise that teachers have played a very very important part. (Bell rang)
Mr. Chairman : Now make preparation for the conclusion.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : So Sir, if this is the position, I am sure that the pay of the peon will be much higher that the graduate teachers in the High Schools. I know the pay of graduate teachers in most of the Sided High Schools in the State is starting from Rs.125 to 140. Only in a few better school they pay for graduate teachers is Rs.200 and in some case Rs.250 or so. Today , if we have made any progress in the field of education, it must be reckoned that the contribution of these private school teachers is the highest. Let the Finance Minister say how many private High Schools and how many Government high Schools, how many private M.E. School and how many Government M.E. Schools are there in the State. It will be seen that most of the schools are private excepting a very few privileged the Government schools. So, I would like to draw the attention of the the Government for reconsideration of this aspect of the matter.
Now I would come to another point. i.e., co-operation . Under the 20 Point Economic Programme is has been envisaged that there should be better society free from exploitation. Here I would like to refer only to the attitude of the Government toward the District Council. The leader of the House has had the occasion to talk a lot about the attitude of the Government in relation to the District Council in matters of justice. But here I will also refer to certain matter, and that is, the question of maintenance and development of forests under the District Council of Khasi Hills. The forest is the major resources so far as this State is concerned and that forest is under the control of the District Council. Only certain reserved forests are under the control of the Government. But Sir, we have seen those forests lying along the border of Nowgong are being exploited by the Government of Assam. But whenever the District Council raised this question of wanton destruction of forests by the contractors engaged by the District Council as well as by the Government of Assam, the Government did not pay any heed. The District Council of Khasi Hills requested the Government of Assam for some police force to protect the exploitation of forests but there was no response I will cite another instance of destruction of forests in Maharam State. For the last 2/3 years certain section of the people are simply destroying the forests. The District Council had time and again complained to the Deputy Commissioner and requested him to send some police force to arrest those people who have encroached into the forests but the Government did practically nothing. I have got the documents with me about Markasa but I have no time to read out. So with these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman : Since there is no other Member to participate, the Finance Minister will give the reply. But before that, I will call upon the Minister in charge of industries to intervene.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy, Minister Industries : Mr. Chairman Sir, there are only a few points that have been referred to by various hon. Members to which I shall say a few words. First of all the hon. Members from Phulbari, Mr. Akramozaman has criticised the section of Mendipathar as a site for jute processing unit under Garo Hills and he had mentioned that the feasibility report contained a number of inaccuracies. Mr. Chairman Sir, we had appointed expert consultants to go into the matter of preparing a feasibility report and they advised three possible sites. Out of these three sites, the best one advised was Mendipathar. I may inform the member through you Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the availability of jute is not only factor for selection of a site, there are about 7 or 8 factors for selection of site. One factor is of course availability of raw materials to be as nearest as possible. The other factors are adequate water supply throughout the year and availability of electric power, transport facilities availability of suitable lands free from inundation, availability of skilled and unskilled labour, suitable climatic condition and so on and so forth. Considering the relevant merits and demerits of these three sites, after comparison, it was found that Mendipathar was the best site from various points of view. it is the opinion of the Member from Phulbari that if Mendipathar is selected as the site then only the jute growers of the bordering Assam state will be benefited. It is not a fact Mr. Chairman Sir. It is the growers in the in the whole District of Garo Hills who would get the benefit . As a matter of fact, jute from that area normally goes to Calcutta always and so instead the jute will come to a nearer site at Mendipathar and all the growers of the entire district would be benefited. The capacity of the mill also has been calculated and is capable of absorbing the entire production in Meghalaya. the distance from the nearest highway to Mendipathar is only 17 kilometres whereas to Phulbari it is 73 Km and the factors of distance by motorable road up to Shillong and Gauhati were also taken into consideration, and in this case, Mendipathar was found to have got he best advantage. Distance of motorable road to the railway head, the power supply and so on and so forth have also been taken into consideration and as the hon. Member has mentioned that there is chance of flood at Phulbari but it is found that Mendipathar has got no flood.
Shri Akramozaman : Mr. Chairman Sir, one thing is very clear in the project report that Phulbari is the best and better than that of Mendipathar and it will require only 40 acres of land and I believe about the railway head, the Project report has forgotten Dhubri where there is a railway line and the Jute Mill would be on the other side of Dhubri Subdivision.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance: Mr. Chairman Sir, these points were all repetitions of what has been discussed yesterday.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy, Minister Industries : Mr. Chairman Sir, we have taken into consideration the railway heads and we have seen that certain areas are further away and that is one reason why Mendipathar was found to be the best area and it is nearer to the market in the North Eastern Regions. The Government must go according to the advise of the Experts Body and an Expert Body was appointed to go into all these matters and that is why according to them Mendipathar was chosen. Various factors were given due consideration for which Mendipathar has got all the advantages and that is why Mendipathar was selected.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister : Mr. Chairman Sir, may I inform the hon. Member that I myself was against locating of a Mill at Mendipathar. Yet I have yielded to the Expert Body's advice. At first I was for Phulbari or Bajengdoba, but I cannot do anything against the advise of the Experts Body.
Shri Akramozaman : Mr. Chairman Sir, I have gone through the project report and the only question was the availability of land. The rejection of Phulbari was only on ground of non- availability of land.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy, Minister Industries : Mr. Chairman Sir, I have already, mentioned a number factors have been taken into consideration for which Mendipathar was selected. Now the hon. Member has also said that industries should be established in the public sector or cooperative sector and that only there after in the private sector. Well, this is a mater of opinion Mr. Chairman Sir. As a matter of fact in our State we have found that it would be extremely difficult for us to establish large industries in the public sector alone because we require resources mobilisation by the State Government or by the local people most of whom are poor. The State Government's budgetary resources would not allow huge ventures coming up entirely in the public sector or the cooperative sector. Hence joint sector venture in which the Government and the private sector entrepreneurs collaboration has been preferred where general public can also invest. These are not private sector ventures. In fact in many of these the Government would hold the majority shares compared to private sector entrepreneurs. In some of them the participation would be equal. Regarding the setting up of a jute mill such huge venture costing nearly 8 crores of rupees could have been a difficult proposition in the cooperative of the public sector, hence joint sector was preferred. In the jute mill the management and control would be with the Government of Meghalaya. I may inform the hon. Member that so far as management is concerned and the Government will appoint a Managing Director as well as the Chairman and this is also the stipulation laid down by the Government of India. So the Member need not worry about the management of the jute mill. Now the hon. Member from Mawkhar had mentioned about the Meter Factory being kept idle for a long long time. The Government and the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation have made concerted efforts to so how best the meter factory with its existing machinery could be utilised. So far the response from private entrepreneurs or public sectors undertaking has been quite poor. We discussed the matter with the Government of India and also the public undertaking as well the the private entrepreneurs to help us in producing products but it seems the meter factory would be uneconomical and may not stand competition from outside. We are still exploiting to see how this machinery could be put to alternative uses. It may be added here that it is not the only meter factory in the country which has gone into difficulties. It is learnt that many other State ventures of this nature have also run into difficulties and many of them in different parts of the country have been wound up. Now the Member from Nongstoin had stated that large scale industries should not be established and should be postponed until our own personnel are available. For proper exploitation of raw materials and economic betterment of the State it is necessary to have a judicious mixture of large industries and small scale industries. The former would be capable of generating ancillary units in the small scale sectors. It would not be proper to wait for our local people to be trained first, and then set up large scale industries as there is very likelihood of our trained people having to wait for employment in the large scale sector after their training and then assume high level technical and managerial positions. Therefore, the Government is making a plan for starting industries and our people trained in various subjects. For instance as I have already mentioned before, we have sent out people for training in Jute as well as Paper Technology in anticipation of these various industries to be set up in our State.
Now the hon. Member from Nongspung has stated that industries remain only on paper and have not been implemented. It is true some are still under the plan stage and it takes more time. A great deal of efforts have been taken in selecting private entrepreneurs, for industrial projects to be set up in the joint sector and concluding satisfactory agreements with them. It has been so badly neglected in the past. Now we have to be very careful in selecting parties and making satisfactory agreements. In respect of all industrial ventures vigorous efforts are being made by the MIDC and the State Government to ensure speedy implementation of all projects in hand.
Sir the hon. Member from Nongpoh, Shri D.D. Lapang had suggested that for industrial exhibition people should also be invited from outside the State. This will be taken up for future consideration. But so far providing of modern equipments such as electric bills and so on, we shall have this examined wherever possible. He also suggested that the post of Managing Director of M.C.C.L. can be filled up by the local candidates. We do not bar the local candidates. But I may inform the hon. Member that it is very important to get a suitable person with enough experience and know how that will be approved by the financial institution for appointments as Managing Director and Works Manager. Hence we have to advertise and it is up to the Committee of the Company to select a suitable person. The candidate may be from the local area or may be anywhere from the country. Shri Mawsor, hon. member from Mawthengkut, had mentioned that it is only the people in Shillong town that get grants. But Mr. Chairman Sir, it is based on official and non- official committee members who see that the list of grantees and it is granted to the rural people as well as people in the urban areas. So far as the industries are concerned, the hon. Member from Nongspung has suggested that we should consider the setting up of mini steel plant. It is a fact that mini steel plants were set up in the country in the early 1970's. But to day it seems that there is an excess of installed capacity for this and many of these plants are suffering for want of adequate raw materials and now they are functioning at about 30 per cent capacity and most of these plants have gone below the capacity and some of them are reported to be under the process of being closed down. Therefore, it seems that the time is not appropriate for us to start this sort of venture and besides the amount of scrap iron available is certainly not adequate for our State for this type if mini steel plant. He had also suggested setting up of a fertilizer plant based on coal. Yes our Government have already commissioned consultants to prepare a feasibility study for use of Garo Hills coals, of high calorific value and low ash content for this type of industry. We have already taken into consideration to start such industry but there are certain disadvantages which are under examination of this Government. In this area, there is already a fertilizer plant which is in production at Namrup. As compared to urea from gas at Namrup urea from coal is more expensive and so we have some disadvantage. However, this will be examined by the Government. The hon. Member from Nongpoh, Shri D.D. Lapang also mentioned that there is also power crisis in Shillong. But after verification it has been found that there have been only one or two serious disruptions in power supply and this has been taken up by the Government. In this connection it was learnt that the disruption was caused due to the certain serious problem at Umiam Hydro Electric Station. The hon. Member has also said that the Shillong Hydro Electric Company should be taken over by the MSEB. Sir, of course this will be taken into consideration by the Government. But as I have said that the failure of power supply is not due to the mistakes made by the Company. In the recent past, there are very few instances of power failures. Sir, the hon. Member from Nongtalang has questioned why power supply could not extended to Dawki and other places. I may inform the hon. Member, Mr. Chairman Sir, that Dawki was to be electrified within this financial year and the work is in progress. But because of some reasons the work could not be completed yet and it is expected to be completed by the end of April 1976. But so far as the other two villages are concerned i.e., Umkrem and Umsyiem, the work may be taken up in the next financial year as this scheme has not been included in the present financial year Mr. Chairman Sir, we cannot electrify all the villages at a time. They will be electrified in stages and as early as possible. Also Mr. G. Mylliemngap, the hon. Member from Sohryngkham mentioned that the villages far from Shillong have been electrified whereas the other villages near Shillong such as Lawsohtun and other villages have not been electrified. In this connection I may inform the hon. Member that electrification of Lawsohtun is now being taken up and the application from the neighbouring villages are being processed. It is expected that the area will be getting electrify in the near future. The Hon. Member from Sohryngkham also suggested that the importance of electricity explained to the people and this Government will consider the feasibility of implementation of the scheme and also as to how it should be taken up. This is a good idea. The hon. Member from Nongpoh questioned about the division assets and liabilities between the Assam State Electricity Board and Meghalaya State Electricity Board. This is being taken up by the Government and the division of some assets and liabilities has been made.
The present position is as follows. So far as the loan liabilities are concerned, the matter has been finalised. And so far as the assets on the location are concerned, the matter has been taken over by the respective Boards. So far as the movable assets are concerned, such as stores, and machineries etc., these are being worked out. Figures on different items of assets and liabilities have not yet been received from the Government of Assam in spite of repeated reminders. However, steps have been taken by the Government to check and finalise the assets and liabilities within the next six months. Hon. Member from Nongspung had quoted the target of 100 villages to be electrified during the Fifth Five Year Plan. Immediately after the Board was constituted in 1975, we had to face acute financial difficulties, and so the target was brought down for rural electrification to 700 villages by the end of the fifth plan. The target from 1975-76 was for 8 villages and not for 125 villages as expressed by the Hon. Member. By the end of March 1970, 62 villages will be electrified i.e., 73 percent. Considering the various difficulties faced by us including shortage of materials since the bifurcation of stores had not been done. Wire line materials are extremely important and there were not available at that time. So the number of villages electrified within this period is not too bad. Mr. Chairman Sir, these are all in connection with the reply to the points raised by the Members.
Mr. Chairman : Now I call upon the Minister in charge of P.W.D. kindly to intervene.
Shri W. Syiemiong : On a point of clarification, Mr. Chairman Sir, whether it is a fact that after the target has been given in the Review of the implementation of the State for 1975-76 issued in a small booklet there has been a revised target? Because I remember very clearly it has been stated that 125 villages will be electrified in 1975-76.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy, Minister Industries : I am informed by the State Electricity Board that the target was 85 , and it may be a mistake.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister P.W.D. etc : Mr. Chairman Sir, while intervening in the budget discussion I would like to say that I have listened to the discussion with more than an ordinary interest on the various observations and remarks made by the Members of the House. Some of them supported the discussion and some of them charged the departments under my charge which are along the expected lines. However, I would like to say that some of the statements and remarks made by the hon. Members cannot go un noticed and unchallenged. Now I refer in particular to the statement made by the hon. member from Mawkyrwat. He also said that there is an advertisement in the newspaper inviting applications for the construction of houses in Lalchand Basti and this will encourage outsiders to settle in Shillong. Now on this point Mr. Chairman Sir, I would like to say that the need of housing facilities by the people. (At this state the Deputy Speaker tool the Chair), Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would like to say that this scheme has been brought out in consideration of the need of the housing facilities by the people particularly of Shillong. As very well said by the hon. Member, Mr. Dlosing Lyngdoh, the object of this State is not only to feed the hungry, and clothes the naked but to provide shelter to the homeless were also equally important. This approach has been started and designed to meet this end in view. We all know about the problem of housing at Shillong. We know of the low income group people, who are groaning under the heavy rent charged by the house owners. Now we are taking the scheme as an experimental measure in order that the people who are in need of the housing facilities in order that the people who are in need of the housing facilities belonging to the low income group could get their opportunities to have houses of their own. The idea is that the land at Lalchand Basti which is in the process of acquisition, will be developed ad we provide the various facilities like roads, lighting and landscaping and also sanitation and then divide the plots in such a manner that if will cost less so that these people of the low income group could avail of the plots. We may even try to get housing loans for them. We are thinking of bringing housing cooperative in the scheme. I am happy that there has been a good response; we are having between 600/700application already which shows the magnitude of the housing problem at Shillong. Now the idea that outsiders are encouraged, I think this is presumptuous. I think the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat is highly imaginative, it may be a figment of his imagination. But I would only say that contrary to what he said, that this would attract outsiders to settle in these lands we are rather thinking that the local people of the low income groups, the weaker section of the people should be given " priority " consideration. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to assure the Member, through you, and to all the Members who have participated in this matter, that for selection of allotters we would be guided by the population structure of the State so that our local people, whether they are tribal or non- tribal would be getting their opportunity. Sir I hope on this point, the Members who have raised this point would be satisfied by my clarification.
Then again, if I am correct, the same Member had made another statement and really I do not know how he came to the conclusion. I think he made it on a guess work or hearsay when he said that housing loans are not benefiting the local people. I am not going to argue on what the Members has said. I will only present the facts and figures and these will speak for themselves. In 1973-74 out of 41 persons who got the housing loan, all of them are local Meghalayans-34 are tribals and 7 are non tribals. This constitutes about 83 percent of housing loan given to the tribals. In 1974-75 out of 72 grantees, 66 are tribals and 6 are non tribals and this constitutes above 90 per cent of Housing loan given to tribals and in 1975-76 out of the total of 63, 51 are tribals and 12 are non-tribals constituting about 81 per cent of housing loan given to tribals. Now I am giving only the figures of the last 3 years of which 83 per cent tribals was given in 1973-74, 90 percent in 1974-75 and 81 percent in 1975-76. These figures will speak for themselves. I hope the hon. Member who raised this point will judge for himself whether what he said is contrary to the figures that are placed before the House. Therefore, in suggesting to alter or to charge the policy of granting loans to the people who needed, I think this is fraught with grave dangers and I would not accept such a statement. So far as housing loan is concerned, the hon. Member from Pariong has made a very interesting statement by saying that housing cooperative are in the air. I will only say a few words which will prove that housing co-operatives is in the field and on the ground and not in the air. I will only say a few words which will prove that housing co-operative is in the field and on the ground and not in the air. We have now organised 5 cooperatives societies, housing cooperatives in Khasi Hills. Out of these five housing cooperatives societies, one in rural areas, one at Bhoi Rymbong, one at Umsning and one at Byrni and the other 2 are at Shillong. In Jaintia Hills District, one is at Nongtalang and in the Garo Hills, one society is at Mendipathar. So from these figures it will be very clear that the intention is to provide housing facilities to the people of the rural areas in particular and to the urban areas in general. In any case, I am not going to argue this way or that way but what I am going to say is that this policy of the Government would come now in a big way to provided housing facilities to those people of the lower rank in the society to enable them to get all the facilities to construct their houses. We are even thinking of housing projects by giving some kind of assistance, may be in kind to the people who would like to make their houses. But the idea today is that we would like to inject this idea through the cooperative structure. So this will dispose of the matter in so far as housing is concerned.
I will now switch over to another point which is equally important. This concerns the Co-operative Department. I am very happy that during the discussions on the budget, many Members have spoken very eloquently on the need of co-operative in the State. This I think is a very good sign, because they fall in line with the national policy, in line with our own policy too. Our own people are in grained with the co-operative idea because it is in the social system; the people are democratically stunned and are imbibed with the basic philosophy of cooperative living. Therefore, it is in that light that we are now coming in a big way. At the same time, I would fall in line to a certain extent with what the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat has stated yesterday that loans given to the Cooperative Societies are often misutilized by the Secretary and Chairman. This has happened in the past and we are trying to correct and rectify and for the information of the Members of the House Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are now taking stringent action against the office bearers who are involved in the misue of funds either by misappropriation or misutilization. In fact, of late we have gone very far. We have taken steps and even instituting police cases against the office bearers of these societies, I can assure the House through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that we will not allow any hindrance to come in the way to clean up the wrong working of the Cooperative Societies. Juts by way of passing I would like to state that the co-operative now in our State have attained certain stability. In fact, we have made a break through and I can say with confidence that we are taking vigorous steps to build the image of cooperative provided all the Members of this House give us the co-operation. I am fully aware that in this very House goodwill from all sections of the House has come in abundance assessing from all the trends of the discussion. I am intending to send letters to all the Members for pooling our resources together to see that cooperatives really serve the common masses. This is so far as cooperative are concerned. I do not like to take the time of the Finance Minister who would be in focus today. I think he will mention more of it. Now I like to make a mention of a remark made by the hon. Member from Mawkhar when he spoke about the need of the urban development. There is a very wrong notion which has been thrown to the House and I feel that unless I correct the Statement, it may lead to some misinterpretation of the role of the Government in the urban development.
Now I refer to the idea thrown by him that there is an absence of co-ordination between the Town and Community Planning, Municipality and Public Works Department is developing the town of Shillong. In fact, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I can say with confidence and I believe most of the Members will agree with me that development of Shillong or the last 4 years after it came to our State has been not only remarkable but spectacular to the extent that I can say today that Shillong has again regained its past glory. I would not like to say that it is the queen of the hill stations which it had the honour at one point of time that may be too far. But I know that Shillong today is one of the queens of hill stations. While this development takes place in this manner contrary to what the hon. Member from Mawkhar has said, it is because of the almost perfect coordination between all the departments concerned. In fact, the development of Shillong is a shining example of this wonderful co-ordination. Now for instance, if you take lighting arrangements, we have here the coordination between Public Works Departments, Municipality and Town and Community Planning Departments. Shillong today is one of the most beautiful cities even by night not only by say. The fluorescent lights and the lighting arrangements which are still in progress have changed the face of Shillong and this is because of the wonderful coordination among the departments concerned. Now in so far as traffic is concerned; at one point of time, the Members themselves had come across the difficulties to attend even the sessions of the House because of traffic jam. We can claim today that Shillong is free from traffic congestion. Again here also, this is due to the coordination between the Police Department, Town and Community Planning, Municipality and Transport Department where parking places are provided in different areas.
Last but not the least, on improvement and widening of roads also, there is wonderful coordination of Public Works Department and Town and Community Planning, Municipality and Planning Department. I will not take the time of the House by illustrating other beautification schemes which are taking place in Shillong in which other departments like Forests and Tourism are involved. But one thing I want to state here that the beauty of Shillong as have today or has come to pass today is this. I do not like to that claim it is only because of the steps taken by the Government, but we must congratulate the people and citizens of Shillong who have risen to the occasion in the cleanliness and sanitation drive. Of late, I am very happy to say that even the young leaders- the students through the National Service Schemes have come up openly for cleaning Shillong. It is a very good example of a forward looking idea. In fact, when I look at my friend, the hon. member from Nongspung, it reminds me when he said yesterday that this Government is not only lahe lahe but piche piche Government. The instance of Shillong Development represents an aage aage Government. I can cite many examples, but I do not like to take the time of the House. In any case, I am very happy of the coordination ensured by the different departments of the Government. I know some of the members of the House are very keen for cleanliness of town so also the students and citizens of the town. We look forward to a more beautiful Shillong. So here is where I will leave this matter. I would like only to take 5 minutes more.
I would like to refer to the remark made by Mr. D.N. Joshi, the hon. member representing Shillong Cantonment. If I get him right, he made a statement in the context of development of Shillong Lawsohtun road. He said- I will quote " Government should be bold enough to steamroll them and it there are other impediments ,w e should try to remove them by fresh enactments so that the Government can get the road constructed for the benefit of the common mass". This is a very bold statement indeed. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would like to take you into confidence. A few months only, the hon. Member from Cantonment had occasion to some along with me and visit the road and we had a big public meeting and I was happy that he used his good officers to get the land for the construction of the road. In fact, we had sanctioned Rs.2,58,000 for the Lawsohtun road. We however cannot proceed because of objections that came in the way. The objections are caused by the land owners and I was having the impression that the hon. Member from Cantonment would utilize his good officers to see that these hindrances are removed. But now it seems that he is advocating the step to steam roll all these objections. But Sir, I am afraid if we do that then he may come up with the slogan that this Government is a steam rolling Government. Now Mr. Deputy Sneaker Sir, my point is that this is a democratic Government and we are committed to democratic functioning and we would rather use the powers of persuasion . This is true not only in my Department but in others also. Actually it is for the Hon. Member to also use his art of persuasion because I know these difficulties are not insurmountable. So I know that if the hon. Member fully utilize his good officers then there is no need for steam rolling. Anyway, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would appeal to the hon. Member through you to come forward with his cooperation so that the Government would not be called upon to bulldoze the people into submission which I dislike very much. This is the last resort we will take recourse to. But if I know that there are one or two persons who stand in the way for no good reasons at all then I will be the first one to take action against them. So in this, I hope, I will be getting more and more cooperation which generally do not come in abundance previously and, I hope, now it will come in abundance in future.
Shri D.N. Joshi : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, let me assure the House and the Minister that the cooperation was never wanting. If he wants cooperation then we will cooperate with him.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister PWD : Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, what I want is not only cooperation of tongue but cooperation to the fullest extent. I do not want only 50 percent but cent per cent cooperation's. Then only we can remove these hindrances.
Shri D.N. Joshi : Sir, I can assure you that he will get cent per cent cooperation.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah , Minister PWD : Sir, now I can take my seat with a sense of satisfaction and contentment. Also there are some very important points raised by my friend opposite me, but I think I have taken too much of the time of the House. Our very able Finance Minister would also like to say something and I will let him touch on matters which I have left.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : The House stands adjourned for 15 minutes before the Finance Minister gives his reply to the discussion of the budget.
(The House reassembled at 12.30 P.M. after a break of 15 minutes)
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
Mr. Speaker : May I now call upon the Minister in charge of Finance to reply?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : Mr. Speaker Sir, we have had a very very lively discussion both on the Governor's Address and Budget. Now Sir, after four years, we have worked in this House as chosen representatives of the people. Now, coming towards the end of our term, we have shown remarkable maturity and wisdom. We have developed mutual understanding and a sort of spirit de-coupe of rare quality in the country. During the course of the debate on the Governors address and on the budget, the friendly, constructive approach from all sides of the House, had moved me deeply. I feel as if we are in the same family, same organisation, even the same party. Mr. Speaker Sir, if it is possible, when all of us now, have matured to a great extent and are poised for more effective service to the State, I would like that we all return again to this House for at least another term. But Mr. Speaker Sir, to do that we have to go through the process of elections. How I would wish that we carry forward this spirit of cooperation even to the election fields.
Mr. Speaker Sir, so far as the various questions raised the remarks, criticism and suggestions made by the hon. Members in the course of the debate are concerned, the officers, my colleagues and myself have noted down.
Mr. Speaker : But at least, in the House we have only one officer and that is the Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. All the officers are not inside the House, they are in the official galleries.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : Hon. Members might have seen myself taken down notes as rapidly as hon. Members spoke and page by page. I sent for typing and forwarded each part of the speech and suggestions and remarks to the concerned departments for preparation of the replies. In this way, the hon. Members of this House from all sides have raked and alerted the Government in all the departments and at all levels. This is the efficacy and beauty of a democratic administration. It may not be necessary and within the time and energy allotted to me to reply to all the points raised or to cement on all the suggestion made. However, all these have been taken note of, all have been taken care of for necessary action and implementation. I will refer only to some important points but that does not mean that other points are less important.
Sir, I will refer to the concern expressed and certain criticisms more about presentation of the deficit budget. I would like to explain a little more in detail about this matter. When Meghalaya came into being as an Autonomous State on 2nd April.1970, it started with an opening deficit of 98.78 lakhs and estimated upto this closing year 1970-71 with a deficit of 60.46 lakhs. The year actually has opened with a deficit of 98.09 lakhs and closed with a minus balance of Rs.2.01 Lakhs. We have a deficit at the close of 1970-71. Now, for the year 1971-72, the State budget expected to open with a minus balance of 70.66 lakhs and close with a minus balance of 200.86 lakhs. The year opened with a minus cash balance of 2.01 lakhs closed with a cash balance of 141.36 lakhs. Hence a surplus budget for 1971-72. For 1973-74 the State budget has expected to open with a minus cash balance of 186.02 lakhs but closed up with a minus cash balance of 1157.74 lakhs. The actual year opened with a minus cash balance of 136.30 lakhs and closed with a minus cash balance of 319.50 lakhs. At the other end we have Rs.125 lakhs as investment with the Government of India Treasury Bill at the closing year.
For 1974-75 the State budget is expected to open with a minus cash balance of 165 lakhs and to close with a minus cash balance of 94.75 lakhs. But the year actually opened with a minus cash balance of 319.50 lakhs and closed with a minus cash balance of Rs.182.92 lakhs. At the end of the year we have 248.50 lakhs as investments in the Government of India treasury bill. Taking this into account we actually had a net surplus of Rs.65.51 lakhs at the close of the year. For the year 1975-76 is is expected that the year will open with a negative balance of Rs.11.97 lakhs and close with a negative balance of 97.99 lakhs. However, in the revised estimated I have shown an opening cash balance of Rs (-) 182.99 lakhs which happen to be actual opening cash balance as indicated by the Accountant General and have shown the year to close with a negative cash balance of Rs.112.91 lakhs. Mr. Speaker Sir, it would, therefore be evident from what I have stated that we have been able to manage successfully our financial resources and achieved our objectives of maintaining a high level of expenditure and expanding our administration which was essential after the creation of the State. There has been no financial crisis.
On the 20 Point Economic Programme I am grateful to the hon. Members from all sides of the House for their appreciation of and support to the Government for the action taken on this programme. In fact, as stated by the hon. Members the Government has taken radical steps towards implementation of the 20 Point Economic Programme. The hon. Members have also suggested that wide publicity should be made for involving the people cooperation in this programme. Of this, the Government is very conscious and the members of the Council of Minister and other leaders have organised meetings, conferences and campaigns in the interior areas of the State to enlighten the people on this programme and also to seek their cooperation. On the specific steps taken by the Government, we have issued Press Releases and also programme broadcast in the Regional Station of the All India Radio Shillong and in other media. We have issued circulars and books lets on the the 20 Point Economic Programme in English which we are now translating into the local languages, Khasi, Jaintia and Garo.
Now Sir, one little doubtful note on this point was expressed by Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh. He had doubted because he had not seen yet the results of the the 20 Point Economic Programme in what he had stressed to remove exploitation of the masses and the weaker sections of the society. The Chief Minister the other day, in his reply to the debate on the Governor's Address, had pin pointedly drawn the attention of the House that we should understand and realise the meaning of the House that we should understand and realise the meaning of the programme. The meaning is not an overnight action or result of that action; it is rather the movement- the Nation is on the move together and unitedly towards certain objectives and it is in the direction of that movement that matters and when we get the cooperation of the people, of the leaders of the industrialists, the traders the cultivators and of the Government machinery we are sure and definite that we will achieve that goal of removing poverty, of removing exploitation of the masses and that we will be able to give full protection to the weaker sections. This is the real significance of the 20 Point Economic Programme; it is a symbol of the spirit of the Nation, its march towards the objectives that our readers in the past since Mahatma Gandhi has been stressing and calling the Nation. And we are now perhaps on the threshold of the era of implementation. I think Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh should look on this from that point of view.
Now Sir, on the various points raised, suggestions made and various performances of the Departments, I do not think that we will have the time to give replies or perhaps because these are only in the forms of suggestions offered. However, it is not so much a matter of reply as it is of implementation. Therefore, as I have already stated, Sir, we have purposely taken note of all these and that the Government machinery, at all levels, will examine these suggestions. Therefore, the hon. Members would not perhaps need the reply now. I have referred to some points here and there and other point I have not referred to though they are equally important.
The hon. Member from Phulbari has stated and rightly emphasised on the need of the co-ordination between the banks. Agriculture and Cooperation Department in matters relating to agricultural loans and their proper utilization. Agriculture Department is regularly associated with the banks to ensure that loans are properly utilized. With a view to safeguard against misuse of the funds, we have also requested the banks that loans as far as practicable, be given mainly in kind.
Prof Warjri and Mr. R. Lyngdoh of Mawkhar and Mawkyrwat respectively have emphasised the need to promote and develop potato cultivation in plateau areas. With regard to the suggestions that seed farms be established, the Government has already taken steps in this direction to introduce new and improved varieties by supplying seeds at 50% sub sided rate. Government have also taken up special programme of seed multiplication of these new varieties in Government farms and through a chain of registered growers. With the help of the NEC and ICAR, two more farms are also going to be established one of the 400 hectares for producing certified seed and one of 80 hectares for multiplying breeder seeds. Mr. W. Syiemiong of Nongspung has complained about the result of salt analysis, that it had not been given to him in time. On enquiry, it had been found that the result was given to home on the 4th March. He had given a deadline on 2nd March and as this was a complicated work I hope that a difference of 2 days will not make the Member so much disappointed. Mr. B. Sangma has stated that people do not know the use of fertilizer and so practical demonstration should be arranged and given. In fact, the Department has already arranged a large number of demonstration during the last Kharif season. They have arranged 4000 demonstrators and demonstrations in a bigger scale are being planned for 1976-77.
As for food grains production we have a controversy being raised by Mr. Joshi from Cantonment. It may be stated that the target of food grain production for the 1st year of the 5th plan i.e., 1974-75 was initially fixed at 1.50 lakhs tonnes assuming a base level of 1.45 lakhs tonnes during the 1973-74. The reason for assuming a higher base level with more than 20% increase in 1973-74 over 1972-73 which is an absurdity under normal conditions was that a sample survey conducted through the 'World Agricultural Census' scheme in 1971-72 which covered only 2% of the cultivation tended to show a higher cultivated area under various food crops, specially paddy. These figures however, need further verification by covering larger percentage of area under sample survey and so the original figures of production have been retained. Based on above the figures for 1974-75 were revised to 130 lakhs tonnes. Due to unfavorable weather conditions, specially floods in the plain areas of Garo Hills District, our achievement however remained at 1.24 lakhs tonnes in 1974-75. Assuming a normal yield of 1.30 lakhs tonnes the target for 1975-76 has been fixed at 1.35 lakhs tonnes, which we have achieved this year. Next year's target has been fixed at 1.40 lakh tonnes in consultation with the Planning Commission. These facts have also been explained in the printed draft annual plan for 1975-76 at pager 24 in that booklet. Much also had been said on this big programme that the State has taken up on the Soil Conservation that is specially with regard to the Jhum Control and the Re-grouping of village. Mr. Speaker Sir, Mr. S.D. Khongwir from Mawlai had brought out the synopsis of the discussion in the Garo Hills District council which, according to him had been very critical and pessimistic on the working of this Department. Mr. Joshi of Cantonment also had given some illustrations from his visit to Himachal Pradesh and the Eastern Hill District of Uttar Pradesh, which are mostly points raised by the Members on the scope specially in Garo Hills District that the department should take up terrace construction initially in areas which water is available. That is the point being raised mostly in the District Council discussions. Sir, we have loved a thousand of years perhaps, in these hills with dry cultivation and the process of jhum cultivation has been going on for many years on dry climates and dry areas which depend on rain water. If the people can sustain their life on cultivation on the hill slopes on rain water, I think it is more practicable that the people can better manage and sustain in terrace cultivation depending on rain water. Mr. Joshi spoke in the beginning about those terraces in the Himachal Pradesh and the Hill Districts of Uttar Pradesh. I sent a note to him to pin him down to writing whether all those terraces are on irrigated area or on dry area. I wrote this note to Mr. Joshi. The reply is "some on irrigated areas and some on places waiting for rain water ". So, there are areas where irrigation can be given. It does not mean that we should leave all the other areas. Therefore, we have to be realistic and practical taking into consideration the terrain, the nature of our lands and then we will have to go as we have been going for centuries on both ways i.e., wet cultivation and the dry cultivation depending on rain water . Luckily our State receives the heaviest rainfall in the world and we have been living on rain water for so many years. The majority of the people in the State of Meghalaya have been living on rain water rather than on irrigation. There is also an added advantage of terrace cultivation. This jhum cultivation on the terrain is subjected to the land being washed away year after year. We have a gigantic problem in the State and I hope that the hon. Members would extend their full cooperation in solving this problem.
Now there is a complaint that the Department had concurred terraces only near the road sides. This is not so. The fact is that, terraces are not constructed nearer the road sides so that people could see. But if you go inside you will find many places which are far from the road are being also terraced. I have visited some of the places myself. Sir, Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh this morning had repeated the experience of Nongdaju, of those funny houses, funny doors (Laughter) and hinges. Sir, I do not know whether he has investigated into the scheme in a more thorough manner. The scheme has already been explained before. In this programming, now we have a follow up project of two types one terrace the land, give fertilizers ad follow up for 3 years in a sliding scale and then again over and above that we are also providing financial aid to the people to construct houses to wean away the people from jhum area to the terraced areas. We are giving Rs.2000 for each construction. It is not the Department which constructing those houses as has been stated by Mr. Lyngdoh. it is the people who are doing it. Therefore, it is not correct. But the hon. Member, Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh, has rightly stated that the area is one of the most backward areas in the State. Naturally when they get the money they wanted to do something in every big way. Anyway it is only a blunder at the initial stage. We are taking action on this and we hope by and by this scheme will succeed fully well. But he has stated that the Department has exploited the people but, in fact, it is the people who exploiting the Department. That is more correct to say. In any case they are our responsibility; even if they run away it is our duty to chase them up.
Then Sir, there are certain points raise by Mr. Mawlot and he has made a very very scathing remark about pigsty construction at Nongstoin. Sir, this office of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary has been established very recently at Nongstoin and also there are no sufficient staff and officers to work there. However the building were constructed according to the standard specification of the PWD. Only one pigsty was found not satisfactory and to that extent we concede the point raised by Mr. Mawlot. Since the pigsty is not satisfactory, the amount of Rs.15,000 sanctioned for the purpose has been held up.
Now the Hon. Member from Nongtalang, Shri Pohshna, made a very unpalatable remark on the working of the SFDA, Jowai. And he has quoted from the statement but it is always expected that the hon. Members should have that such intelligence and experience.
Mr. Speaker : When any hon. Member quote anything it is done with the intention of supporting his views.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : But he has quoted in full agreement with that. Now this SFDA is operating in certain Blocks as selected just like specially backward areas are selected, it is true in Jowai Block certain items of programmes were taken up like this, there are so many items taken up by the SFDA viz piggery schemes , poultry schemes, pineapple scheme, dairy and poultry scheme, minor irrigation, ginger processing and so on. It might be true that the work of the hon. Members area has not progressed very much or he might not know that the construction of roads is being done by many departments. The PWD is constructing roads, the District Council is also constructing roads and so also the Blocks. In Jowai the SFDA has also taken up construction of roads.
Sir now we some to the banks, but I need not elaborate on this issue. All the Members including Mr. Zaman, Mr. Fuller Lyngdoh, Mr. Reidson Momin and others have expressed dissatisfaction with the working of the Commercial Nationalized Banks. Our people are not much benefited by these Banks after they were nationalized. I have already mentioned in my speech about the unsatisfactory working of those banks. So the observations, made by the hon. Members of the House will be brought to the notice of the bank authorities concerned.
Coming to the subject of industries I would like to say that my colleague in charge of Industries had already explained all the points raised. On the location of jute mill the hon. member from Phulbari had agitated yesterday and also today. But I would only add to what has been already explained that for selection of any project, even for a site for school building or a dispensary or a market, there will be a tug of war controversy arguments etc at the initial stage. However, in this matter the Government had a team of experts to examine and the experts team had recommended that particular place. So the matter ends here. The hon. Member from Phulbari ash suggested that not only the national statistics but also the statistics of the State should be given. Now Sir, the figures of the State are under preparation and they may be released shortly and have been also seized of this problem since 1971 and we have been looking for qualified persons to man Department of Statistics and Economics. But I regret to say that up till now we have not been successful to get a suitable person. So the Government is fully conscious of the work of this particular Department and we are going to make all efforts to improve the works and to recruit qualified persons to man this particular Department . Now on the Jotdari system prevalent in Garo Hills the hon. Members has also stressed very much about this but the fact remains that we have provided some amount of money for compensation for the lands. The Chief Minister has also explained that there was some difficulty in implementation and this matter will be taken up with the District Council. But it is up to the District Council whether it will take up the matter or not and if is takes it over in what manner and under what terms and conditions this matter would be taken up. Anyway this matter is being taken care of.
Sir coming now to education may hon. Members have participated on the general policy and also on certain specific points and I would first of all like to dwell on specific points raised by one hon. Member. One is about the Plains Tribal Hostel in Shillong raised by prof A. Warjri in about in his speech yesterday. The hostel was established by the Assam Government for the benefit of plains tribal students, the Government of Meghalaya has since taken over the management of the hostel and at present there are 45 hostellers belonging to plains tribal community who are studying in colleges in Shillong and they hail from different districts of Assam. The hostel is a Government College Hostel and all the expenditure and maintenance were borne by our State. The rules for admission into the hostel have since been revised. Seventy five per cent of the seats have been reserved for tribals belonging to Meghalaya, and 15 per cent for tribals belonging to Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and 10 per cent for others. As sufficient number of applicants a\from the plain tribal communities in the State was not received, the tribals from Assam were admitted. In the same complex there is also another hill tribal hostel meant exclusively for hill tribals where similar rules have been applied.
Now many hon. Members including Shri D.N Joshi have raise one point that is, on the revision of pay scale of college teachers according to the U.G.C's recommendation. Shri D.N. Joshi, Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh, and Shri Upstar Kharbuli have spoken much on this question. The matter is under active consideration of the Government. It is expected that final decision in the matter will be taken shortly as the case has reached its final stage. We have had in the last few months ago series of discussion and exercise on this matter in consultation with college teachers and as I said just now, a final stage is being reached and we hope that final decision will be taken up soon.
Then now the question of revised pay scale for the teachers of Secondary and Primary Schools in the State is under examination of the Government. In case of primary school teachers under the District Council, these have to be examined in consultation with the District Council and with reference to the terms under which the management of the schools was handed over to the District Council.
Now, Mr. Maham Singh whether this morning or some time ago has also mentioned about the standard of education in Government High School in Shillong. He says its not Mr. Nongtdu from Sutnga had given suggestion on the question of education in the State. For example, Mr. Nongtdu has while raising point on the low standard of education, referred to the location of schools not in proper place and he has referred to parents' participation in education and schools for the Blind, deaf and dumb, moral education and talents' search. Now, I would reply that the actual state of education in the State requires objectives study with a view to locate the problem area to enable the Government to take suitable corrective measures. Now it is not a matter that we can give individual opinion and it is not possible for the Government to act on individual suggestions and comments and for the reason the Government have constituted an Education Commission under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chancellor of N.E.H.U. and this Commission had called for suggestions and opinions from all leaders and representatives of the people. These are the matters which fall under the purview of the Education Commission. Public leaders and other experts who are interested in the matter of education , especially teachers, could give their opinions and comments in that respect and I think that this is the best way to achieve our desired goal for improving the standard of education in our State. I would like to give only one personal support to Mr. Onwardley Nongtdu's suggestion and that is parents participation in education because there has been a wrong emphasis running amongst our intellectual in the august House and also outside the House. They are stressing too much on the quality of teachers and they say that teaching alone is responsible for the upliftment of education in our State. But I should say that the students seriousness is the main factor for the upliftment of our educational standard. Here there is fixed responsibility of the parents to see that the students are serious in their studies. I believe that about 60 to 70 percent of success depends on the seriousness of the students in their studies rather than depending so much on the quality of teachers. Therefore, I would like to support very strongly this idea of seriousness on the part of parents and the teachers to see that they bring home to the students the need for serious studies. Perhaps, all of us have had these experiences during our students days. According to my personal experience when I was at Shillong as student that seriousness in their studies.
On the other point, Sir, now this has been a chronic subject and I should say that the non- payment of school teachers pay in time has drawn our attention every now and then. We have discussed this particular subject every now and then and during this current financial year we have released the entire grant for the maintenance of the L.P. Schools in two instalment. the first instalment was released in July, 1975 and for the release of last instalment there was no difficulty on the part of the Khasi Hills District Council to make payment to all the L.P. School Teachers. Now, I will refer to Article 275 of the Constitution of India. With the coming of Meghalaya as a full fledged State, we are no longer aware of any grants sanctioned by the Government of India under Article 275 of the Constitution. And there is no specific scheme initiated and implemented by Education Department specifically from funds received under Article 275. Finance Department is not aware of the grant under Article 275 coming to the State from the central Government. During Assam period there were schemes implemented specifically from funds provided under this Article. Now the arrear claim of Rs.4,71,313 for the year 1969-70 is another problem. This claim relates to the year 1969-70 when the Administration was under the Assam Government. This was brought to the notice of our Government and it was found that this is the liability of the Government of Assam. An opinion expressed by the Re-organisation/Finance and Law Department was that the grants to the District Council for the maintenance of primary education forms part of the overall grants under Article 275. This claim is therefore, rightly the liability of the Government of Assam. This claim was referred to Assam Government which gave no response in the matter. However our Government has examined claim with a view to make payment of the same to District Council in the first instance and to claim adjustment of the same during the overall settlement of assets and liabilities between Meghalaya and Assam. Before we can sanction this amount, relevant points have to be clarified as otherwise Assam Government may not accept this liability ultimately. Hence this matter was referred back to the District Council and their clarification is under examination.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : Sir, the Minister has mentioned about the arrear. So whether it is the arrear pay of the teachers which has been held up by the Government.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : Mr. Chairman Sir, this is the pay of the teachers for the year 1969-70 which has become as arrear and we are taking up this matter with the Assam Government. But in case of failure from the side of the Assam Government, this Government will somehow solve the problem in consultation with the District Council.
Mr. Chairman : You have a few minutes at your disposal. So, is it the sense of the House that we extend the sitting till the Finance Minister finishes his reply (voices- yes, yes)
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance: Now, Mr. Chairman Sir, another point is that on Police. Shri A. Warjri has drawn pointed attention to the Shillong Police Reserve. He said that the housing accommodation in the Shillong Police Reserve is very unsatisfactory. He has requested the Government to provide better housing accommodation for the Police personnel. In this connection, the Government of Meghalaya has taken all possible steps to provide suitable residential accommodation to all non gazetted staff from the rank of Inspectors to the rank of constables. Administrative approval in respect of various schemes on police housing had already been issued. Administrative approval for Rs.1,00,000 (Rupees one Lakh) has already been issued for construction of three unites i.e., Sub Inspectors quarters for Sub Inspectors in Shillong Reserve lines in Shillong Mr. Chairman Sir, it is true that the condition of the Shillong reserve Police are very unsatisfactory and the Government has taken certain steps to improve it. In this connection Rs.75,000/- have already been sanctioned for construction of one Inspector's quarters and one Sub- Inspectors quarters at Shillong Police Reserve.
Mr. Chairman Sir, Shri G. Mylliemngap had made an allegation on the floor of the Assembly that a Police Party in vehicle No.MLP- 188 had gone into the reserve Forest at Byrnihat on 21st February, 1976 and used dynamite to catch fish. But Sir, the police vehicle No. MLP- 188 which belongs to the M.P.R.O was stationary at Shillong and had not move out and this has been proved by the Duty slip and General Diary maintained by the M.P.R.O. But however the Government is making inquiries about this matter and if any person is found involved in such activities, action will be taken against him. Sir, Mr. Syiemiong had complained that no provision was made in the budget for grants to non-Government hospitals and dispensaries as stated in the Governor's Address as well as in the Budget Speech. I am to say that the hon. Member was misfortunes because it is already in the budget papers. If you look at Volume 2, page 240, you will find that assistance to leprosy treatment, Grant in Aid Rs.20,000, Non Planned and Rs.10,000plan, assistance to Maternity and Child Welfare Centre Rs.10,000 non plan, assistance to Red Cross Society, Shillong Rs.20,000 non plan, St. John Ambulance Rs.500 contribution to Mental Hospital Tezpur, Rs.12,000, assistance to Khasi Hills Presbyterian Hospital, Nazareth Hospital, Ramakrishna Hospital, Gandhi's Memorial, Health Unit to Sankar Dev Centre, Tura Christian Hospital and Gatharia Dispensary, Mendipathar Rs.1,50,000 non plan and Rs.80,000 plan, all these for one year, that is, 1976-77.
Now, regarding medicines, Mr. D.D. Lapang had drawn attention to the shortage in supply of medicines it is true that the cost of medicine had gone very high recently and it is not possible for the Government to supply all the needs in the hospitals. For this purpose, Government have constituted a Committee of Experts to formulate a list of essential medicines to be kept in different hospitals and dispensaries, etc., of the State. Recommendations of the Committee would be finalised as soon by Government depending on the fund position, necessary supplies will be made to the different institutions in future. And then one the question of leprosy. This is a Centrally sponsored scheme and in February this year, the programme Officer from the Government of India was taken to Umdem and he has agreed to the construction of a 20- bedded Ward for leprosy patients at Umden. Sanction and finalization in this matter is in progress.
Then in regard to the dearth of doctors in the rural areas, this subject has been raised again and again in this House by Mr. D.D.Lapang on which he had particularly emphasised this point. This is a partly due to the fact that doctors do not want to go and work in the rural areas, or in other words, are not rural minded. Since Meghalaya came into existence as many as 145 doctors were appointed and posted to different places, 95 of them joined and some have subsequently resigned. Almost all the dispensaries in Khasi Hills have now got a doctor. In Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills there are still many vacancies. The attention of doctors have already been drawn to incentives. Incentive allowance to doctors as compensatory allowances was sanctioned at varying rates from 29th October 1971. The same was further continued with effect from 29th October 1974 to 28th February 1975. Continuance of the same beyond 1st March is under consideration of Government.'
Sir, on transport, there are various suggestions made of which we have taken note and I would simply refer to one particular thing, about the restrictions on taxi to go on the G.S. Road and to operate up to Mawlai Gate. But I would to inform the Members that the limit is being extended up to Umroi, Umsning and Kyrdemkulai also.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : From which date Sir?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance: It is already done.
On P.H.E., this also has been a subject of critical comments from all sides of the House. Government have had problems, the problem of the sources of water supply in the rural areas, problems of big expenses, problems of shortage of technical personnel. We have these problems, but in spite of these problems, Government are going ahead to give good drinking water to the people and from year to year, the Department is taking up schemes and with particular reference to Nongstoin Water Supply Scheme as raised by Mr. Mawlot, this Water Supply Scheme was taken up and commissioned as a temporary water supply scheme, pending the long term one and this was commissioned in January, 1973. This scheme is still supplying water to the Nongstoin Civil Sub Division. Regarding the gravity scheme, the intake work is completed. The gravity main was divided between two contractors, one group has been fully completed but in the other groups the contractors could not complete the work and surrendered recently. As such the remaining portion of the work has been taken up departmentally and is nearing completion. This is also a factor in which two Departments are involved , the P.W.D and the P.H.E. but not only that, the contractors could not complete the work in time.
Shri P.G. Momin has raised the point on the policy of water supply. He said that at present the cost of water supply scheme is about Rs.500 per capita. At this rate we need Rs.500 crores to cover the entire population. Even if monthly is available, there are other difficulties like availability of water source, electricity, etc.
The per capita cost of water supply schemes varies from place to place depending upon the factors such as availability of perennial source, the distance of the sources from the villages, the type of treatment required etc. For most of the rural water supply schemes the per capita cost varies from Rs.100 to Rs.500
(At the stage the Speaker occupied the Chair)
Shri D. Lyngdoh from Umroi had very strongly protested that only one water supply scheme has been listed in the whole of the proposed Nongpoh Sub division. Well he has been looking at the wrong pages of the budget paper, perhaps, he has quoted page 485 of Volume II of the budget. As a matter of fact, this is not referring to the P.H.E. water supply scheme. From the actual, you will find that there is a provision in the budget Volume II, 1976-77, 3 Water Supply Schemes have been provided at Nongladu, Umlung and Mawbri for this year 1976-77. Then since 1957, the P.H.E. has completed 30 schemes in the Bhoi areas and in the current year 3 new Schemes will be nearing completion. So it was not such performance of the P.H.E. in the Bhoi areas.
Mr. S.D. Khongwir had referred to the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme and also about the technicality of the loan negotiation with the L.I.C. Now, regarding increase in the cost of Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme it is mainly due to the rise in the basic prices of materials like cement, steel and wages of staff etc. The upward revision in the cost is mainly due to steep increase in the prices of materials, labour, etc., since the year 1969. Now, L.I.C. will give loan only to the Shillong Municipality and not to the State Government. The Chief Executive Officer, Shillong Municipality, is competent to apply for loan through the State Government for the portion of the scheme covered by Municipal area and the Government will have guarantee for repayment of loan along with interest.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : May I have a clarification. Whether the C.E.O. has got the authority to take the loan?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : Yes. We have consulted the Law Department and he is the competent authority to take the loan and Government will stand guarantee for it.
Mr. Pohshna had made a reference to the Nongbah Water Supply Scheme, but he is not present in the House.
Mr. Speaker : You need not reply to the individual member, you should reply to the House.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : But matters have been raised by the Hon. Member. That is why I am referring to Nongbah. He said that the scheme was completed but there is no water, same is the experience with Dawki and Muktapur. Nongbah Water Supply Scheme in Jaintia Hills is functioning satisfactorily, except that one or two taps are not getting water due to damage to taps by miscreants. Dawki and Muktapur Water Supply Scheme are also functioning satisfactorily and no complaint was received about these three schemes. Of course, when Shri Pohshna went to Dawki about 20 days ago, the water supply to Dawki was stopped for two days for undertaking repairs to the scheme. Therefore, it is very coincidence. Sir, which cannot be helped. Mr. Speaker Sir, on forests , the hon. Member from Nongstoin , Mr. Mawlot had referred and also followed up by Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh this morning about exploitation of forests on the Meghalaya- Assam border. I would first of all state clearly that the Government have no forests in those areas and the forests in those areas are under the control of the District council and we know for a fact that here has been misunderstanding and differences about the boundary between Assam and Meghalaya in those areas and this is one of the reasons that led to the 29th February meeting at the Chief Minister's level to discuss these problems. The agreement was reached that areas where there is difference will be identified and after identification these differences will be solved. I hope the officers have already met several times and that a solution will be reached and we will have no more problems of this nature on the border.
Mr. Lapang had joined hands and referred to the low - lying areas inside the reserve forests for cultivation. On this we can say that almost all flat low -lying areas situated inside the reserve forests have been brought under cultivation by forest villagers. For such lands which have not yet been utilized, it is now proposed to exchange them with the high lands outside the reserve forests, so that such lands fit for cultivation can be utilized for the purpose of agriculture and that high lands not fit for agriculture are brought under forests. A few of such exchange proposals have been surveyed and are now under process of finalization.
Mr. Mylliemngap had referred to the question of development of fisheries in the Umiam lake or Barapani lake as we usually call it. As regards fishery development in the Umiam reservoir, the Department is in the process of making agreement with the District Council, Khasi Hills. It is proposed to cover the survey and researches in the lake by N.E.H.U when funds, therefore, would be provided by N.E.C. Based on such survey, detailed programme would be taken up.
Mr. Mawlot, the hon. Member from Nongstoin had suspected that Bangladesh had stopped the fishes coming upstream for breeding in our rivers. There is no legal bar for Bangladesh to do anything with their own rivers. However, Sir, this matter will be examined off hand. We can say that we do not see any economic benefit for Bangladesh to do so. it will be more costly rather than paying to them. However as I said, if there is such case, the matter will be taken up through the Government of India to see that the relationship in the border will not be adverse effects to our interest.
On employment, Sir, Mr. Syiemiong from Nongspung had said that there is no more mention of the crash programme on employment. This is true because this crash programme for employment has been discontinued. But on the general problem of employment, there has been a mention in the Governor's Address. This is a Government of India's scheme which has been discontinued.
On flood control, the hon. Member from Phulbari had suggested the creation of a separate department for flood control. Here, Sir, we have certain yard sticks and norms for having a division, according to the workload for the Public Works Department Division in plain areas is 40-50 lakhs and 24-40 lakhs for hill areas. The maximum limit is applied where the works are concentrated. The work road of Embankment and drainage schemes/projects under the Public Works Department Division for the current year (1975-76) is Rs.18 lakhs i.e., 4 lakhs for irrigation and 14 lakhs for flood control. The workload for the next financial year (1976-77) is Rs.18 lakhs i.e., 2 lakhs for irrigation and 16 lakhs for flood control. The works are also scattered throughout the State and proper supervision of works is not possible by one single Division. Out of the above provision of fund more than 2 lakhs are required for recurring expenditure on establishment, tools and plants etc. The work load do not justify retention of a separate Embank and Drainage Division which is uneconomical. Mr. K.M. Roy Marbaniang has stressed the importance of flood control schemes. He said that some villages in the Khasi Hills are being eroded every year and urged upon the Government to look into this matter otherwise the villages may not be there in future. Now two schemes have been sanctioned in the Khasi Hills District for protection works (a) Protection of Kaltek area (Shella) from the erosion of the river Umiew and (b) Protection of Iewthymmai from the river Kamarand Nongshken in Khasi Hills are almost completed. Another protection work at Umrit in Paksara river is also included in the plan period and this will also be taken up very soon. Other schemes can be taken up only if fund is available.
Sir, the hon. Member, Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh has voiced apprehension and concern of the advertisement in the newspaper inviting application for house at Lalchand Basti. In this matter I want to stress and I will emphasise again that we are trying to solve the problem of slums. It may be mentioned here that if the Polo Ground area is improved, 50 tribal families belonging to the economically weaker section, will need residential accommodation elsewhere. These 50 families will be given priority in Lalchand Basti are if they apply for allotment of plots. Government does not intend to encourage outsiders to settle in these areas which are meant mainly for the local people.
Shri S.D. Khongwir has made reference to the report of the Public Accounts Committee. The Meghalaya P.A.C has submitted its first report. The recommendation of the P.A.C. are being examined by the departments and many replies have already been forwarded to the Assembly. This matter is constantly reviewed by the Finance Department.
As regards the Estimates Committee, the first report is on the P.H.E. The recommendation therein are being examined in consultation with the departments concerned. The PHE department has asked for extra time to reply on the action taken on each of the recommendation.
Sir, now on Cooperative Societies. A remark has been made by Shri Zaman that the commission allowed to the Service Co-operatives is only 2½ % and is, therefore, insufficient to make them viable. At present the average cost of borrowing of funds to the Apex banks is 4¾ per cent. The Apex bank is keeping 2¼ percent and allows 2½ percent to the societies. There is no discrimination against the Societies but it is not possible to increase the margin. But if we get concessional finance from the Reserve bank then it could be reconsidered.
Mr. Lapang has complained about the taxation on eggs. He stated that eggs are taxed at three stages (i) as poultry feed; (ii) medicines for fowls; and (iii) when eggs are sold. He also said that eggs are vegetables and vegetables are not taxable. In this regard it has to be pointed out that eggs cannot be classified as vegetables. There may be fertilized and unfertilized eggs. But even unfertilized eggs are not vegetables. At present there are two registered dealers who are paying tax on eggs. These two dealers are subject to payment of sales- tax because they deal in other taxable commodities also and their gross turnover has exceeded Rs.12,000 per annum. In other words no dealer in eggs will be subject to tax unless his gross turnover exceeds the taxable quantum fixed the Sales Tax Act.
Sir this morning the Leader of the Opposition has spoken on the subject of co-operation. We are aware of this and in fact from the first few lines of opening of my replies I have stressed on the spirit of co-operation that has been shown during the last two years in this House. Therefore we agree with this fully. He has given one illustration of the co-operation between the State Government and the District Council during the debate on the Governor's Address and also in the reply of the Chief Minister. This has been reiterated again and again that the Government place high value on the functions of the District Council and also the Government assure fullest co-operation with it in matters of development and administration and in all matters whether big or small. The hon. Members from Mawprem has also mentioned the District Council (Court Fees) Rules. I would state that correspondence, consultations, negotiations, had been going on for the past few years since the idea of framing the rules were first meted. However, from the records available it will be seen that the draft of the proposed rules was forwarded by CEM to the Government as per D.O. letter dated 20th November 1975. This letter is from the Chief Executive Member, District Council, Khasi Hills addressed to the Minister in charge of District Council Affair Department. I will read it :
Dear Mr. Pugh,
I am enclosing herewith draft if the proposed rule to be called the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (Court Fees) Rules prepared by the District Council in consultation with the Law Department of the Government of Meghalaya.
This is considered with due regard to the economic condition prevailing in the autonomous areas. So consideration was given on the action to be taken along the likes of the District Council in consultation and cooperation with the Law Department.
This was a concrete proposal on November, 1975 and it is a fact that the Government, the Law department have worked together with the District Councils in the preparation of these drafts rules. This illustrates that the Government with all the departments have fully co-operated with the District Council. Now herein, there is another letter written by the Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills District Council dated 3rd March, 1976 that is within this month addressed to the Minister in charge of District Council Affairs Department.
Dear Mr. Pugh,
May I invite your personal attention to my D. O. letter NO. DC/ and so on so forth dated 4th February, 1976 in the matter of preparation of draft rules for court fees in the Khasi Hills Districts Council Court. I request you to kindly intimate and send the same immediately for introducing them in the ensuing session of the District Council ". That is within this month is March itself. This confirmed the real definite co-operation in this line, the conviction of both the Government and the District Council in the last few months. Now, Sir, from the Government side, these draft rules are being examined and are being scrutinised. It will take some time. Anyway, we can assure the District Council through you, Sir, that this matter will be expedited.
Mr. Speaker : You cannot assure the District Council through me, You can assure the House.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : Through the House to the District Council particularly to the hon. Member from Mawprem . The last item that I would like to reply is on the subject which is very very important in the whole country and also which has exercised the mind and thoughts of the members of this House in the last few years as well as the leaders and the members of the public. Sir, that is on the question of Land Reforms and this very subject was raised in this House by the hon. Member from Mairang, Mr. Fuller Lyngdoh. I regret that he is not here at the moment. He stated that he welcomed and appreciate the proposed cadastral survey and preparation of the records of rights and there he added the word "nothing beyond this at this stage". Well Sir, I do not know why on this question some members should develop a sort of stagnant attitude. In every aspect of human affairs and activities, surely there is always room for improvement, there is room for modification, there is room for correction of mistakes after experiences- whether it is in the management of the Government functions - whether it is the question of management of land in habits, in dress etc. Well Sir, therefore, land is also a part of human action , human activities and there is always room for improvement. I wonder for the use of land , why there should be any stagnant attitude, it is very very important for improvement and development of cultivation to use fertilizers , to improve cultivation. There is room for making it more fertile whether big or small according to the circumstances of water and the slopes and so on. Well Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know why there should be such a rigid or stagnant attitude. On this score, however, there is one fact in the statement of Mr. Fuller Lyngdoh when he put these words : At this stage "... He is an intellectual , no doubt. I know and therefore, he clarified he main thing that he does not exclude any change or improvement or reform at a later stage. In this respect, I think by and large the Government policy also is not to rush to hasten. In fact we have appointed the Land reform Commission for the purpose of knowledge of what is the development , what is the condition of land used and land management in this district with the recommendation that have made we have taken a step further that we will have fuller and more definite knowledge of the land holding and tenure system through the cadastral survey and preparation of records of right. We are also going very carefully in this matter. As stated by the Chief Minister we must have a definite knowledge, definite understanding of any area which requires improvement , which requires any change and we will nto hesitate to act. For example, I will call upon Shri Fuller Lyngdoh. I am sorry he is not here whether he realise or not acute problem that was raised by Shri Akramozaman of Phulbari regarding the jotedary system in Garo Hills. It was already surveyed we have the record and we have full knowledge and understanding, full conviction of the need to abolish the system. Even now at this stage, in this case we are prepared to go ahead with reforms. We are not afraid to take criticisms or blame. Taking blame means taking responsibility which means taking leadership. I would emphasise on this basic relation of blame, responsibility and leadership. I would expect that once we are convinced any leader , any person would not be shy to take the blame, would not be shy to take the responsibility. We have been chosen and given the responsibility to work in this House, in the Government, in the fields to see how to improve the lot of the people on all aspects. Whether for education, whether for clothing, whether for housing, whether for cultivation. Therefore, Sir, after we have full knowledge, full conviction for any improvement, we shall not hesitate to do so at any time. One instance, the hon. Member from Mawlai would agree with me that he ahs full knowledge of a certain bad system prevailing in that area, of the patta system. Therefore, I wish that the hon. Member would not hesitate to bring forth suggestions for change, modifications or improvement in that areas. So Sir, with these few words before I resume my seat, I would express again my gratitude and thankfulness to the hon. Members from all sides for the rare spirit of co-operation and mutual understandings in our working together in the last 4 years in this August House and I again would like to say that I wish that we return again and work together with a better knowledge and understanding to serve more effectively the people of our State.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Just one clarification on a point left by the Finance Minister. Since the cooperation has been asked for by the Government. I would like to know regarding the no attention paid by the Police Department because we have been told that the order of the Government...
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Lyngdoh, these details the Finance Minister wishes to have co-operation and co-operation should always be two way traffic.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : Sir, the Finance Minister has asked me to volunteer to make a statement with regard to the patta system in Mawlai area as well as in other areas of Shillong. Actually I had wanted to bring up this point or say something on this system but knowing fully well that the matter is sub-judice I never brought this matter in this House.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : Sir, I would like to seek clarification...
Mr. Speaker : I think you can seek your clarification at some other stage because the House will continue to sit up to 7th April, and there are a number of ways to seek clarification.
The House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow, the 24th March, 1976.
|R. T. Rymbai,|
|The 23rd March, 1976||Meghalaya legislative Assembly.|