PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED AT 9.30 A.M. ON WEDNESDAY THE 1st JUNE 1977 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG WITH THE HON. SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.

Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Question No. 13.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

( Replies to which were placed on the table )

Over-bridge at Motphran, Bara-Bazar

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

13. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -

(a)

When will the Government open the over-bridge at Motphran, Bara-Bazar, Shillong for public thoroughfare ?

(b) 

What is the amount of money sanctioned for the construction of the said over-bridge and how much has been paid to the contractors ?

(c) 

Who are the contractors allotted with the works of construction of the over-bridge ?

(d)

Who is responsible for the plan and estimate as well as design of the bridge ?

(e)

What are the benefits to be deprived by the motorists and pedestrians by this over-bridge ?

(f)

Whether it is a fact that Government are seriously considering construction of more over-bridges of the same type and style in different parts of Shillong for the general interest of the people ?

Shri E. Bareh [Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R. and B.)] replied :

13(a)

In the month of June, 1977.

(b)

(i) Rs. 5,08,000 (Rupees five lakhs and eight thousand) only. 

(ii) Rs. 4,62,683 (Rupees four lakhs sixty-two thousand and six hundred and eighty-three) only.

(c) 

There are two contractors :-

(i) M/s. Martin Burn Ltd., Calcutta.

(ii) Shri Phringsterwell Marbaniang of Shillong.

(d)

Meghalaya P.W.D. (R and B).

(e)

This will minimise the traffic congestion at the busy road junction as well as to provide safety to the pedestrians.

(f)

No.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the over-bridge has been completed as of now ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge of P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the major works have been completed except minor works like fixing of light etc.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : What does the Government except to complete ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : It will be completed by the end of July.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Then may I refer to the Government through you Sir, to Question No. 13 (a). The reply here is - In the month of June.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Yes. But only minor works will be completed till July.

Mr. Speaker : You mean to say that the final completion will be in July, but the bridge will be ready for use by June ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Whether these two contractors.

Mr. Speaker : You have crossed three already.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : No. 13 (b). Would the Government consider the feasibility of changing this bridge into a bridge for the movement of vehicular traffic instead of pedestrian bridge ?

Mr. Speaker : That is a new question, Now No. 14.

        Black-topping of the Mawsmai-Shella Road.

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

14.

Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the black-topping of the Mawsmai-Shella Road will be taken up for the whole length during the current financial year ?

(b)

The reasons for the delay to black-top the whole length of the road ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge of P.W.D.) : replied :

14.(a)

No.

(b)

The question of delay does not arise, working is being executed in phase programme depending on availability of fund.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know regarding No. 14 (a) the length of the road so far completed in black-topping ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : The total length of the road is 23 miles. But the remaining length for black-topping is only 14 miles. So 9 miles is completed.

Mr. Speaker : I think in future the Minister should correct it and give in terms of kilometres.

Shri S.P. Swer : May we know whether black-topping of the whole length of the road will be done in the current financial year ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Yes, the portion sanctioned will be done during this current financial year.

Mr. Speaker : He is asking about the length of the road in terms of kilo-metres I think.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : I have to calculate on this.

Mr. Speaker : I think it is about 14.4 kilometres. But you have to reply, I am only supplying you information, but I am not responsible for it.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Yes 14.4 kilometres.

Mr. Speaker : Now question No. 15.

Land Acquisition

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

15.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the land for the Laitryngew-Laitmawsinag-Mawlymdiar to Sohkynduh road has been acquired ?

(b)

If not, the reasons thereof ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge, of Public Works Department) replied :

15.(a)

No.

(b)

The matter is under process by the Collector, East Khasi Hills District, Shillong.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : May we know the present position of the acquisition proceedings ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : The acquisition proceedings are yet to be started by the D.C.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : But here the reply is - The matter is under process.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : As some names are disappearing from the register, we have to do it again.

Mr. Speaker : In that case your first reply is not accurate. I cannot be that the proceedings are yet to be started, but you can say that the process is yet to be started.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, do we understand that the reply to this question No. 15(b) is not correct ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : The reply that the matter is under process is correct. We did it first then we found something wrong cropped in and we have to revise it now.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : That is why I ask what is the present position now ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Enquiries are being made.

Mr. Speaker : You are correcting your first reply because your first reply is that acquisition process is yet to be started.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : The proceedings are in progress. I correct my reply now.

Mr. Speaker : No. 16.

Construction of a permanent bridge over the Krishnai River

Shri P.G. Momin asked :

16.

Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R and B) be pleased to state -

(a)

What is the total provision made during the financial year 1977-78 for construction of a permanent bridge over the Krishnai River at Dhokachang of the Resubelpara area ?

(b)

Whether it is a fact that the proposed construction work of the permanent bridge over the Krishnai River at Dhokachang - Resubelpara, Garo Hills will be started this year ?

(c)

Whether the Government is aware of the demand of the public of Resubelpara, Garo Hills for immediate construction of an Inspection Bungalow at Resubelpara for the convenience of VIPs and other high officials on tour ?

Shri E. Bareh [Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R. and B.)] replied :

16.(a)

Rs. 2,00,000 (Rupees two lakhs) only.

(b)

Yes.

(c) 

There is a request for I.B. at Resubelpara.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : May we know whether the Government will take up this work this year ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir.

Shri S.P. Swer : May we know the span of the bridge over this Krishnai river ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Regarding the span of the bridge as the site was selected only few days back the plans and estimates are yet to be prepared, no information is available at the moment.

Shri S.P. Swer : Then how the plans and estimates are to be prepared without knowing the span of the bridge ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : The new site plan was made only recently. This amount here is only a token provision.

Mr. Speaker : No. 17.

P.W.D. Land for Road to Laitduh

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

17. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state whether land for the road to Laitduh from 31st mile of S.C. Road connecting the Mawmihthied-Mawsahew Road has been in possession of the Public Works Department ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge, of Public Works Department) replied :

17. Yes.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Was the land acquired by the Government under the process of acquisition proceedings ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : The land is not to be acquired because it passed through the same road. There is only a little shifting down below the original site. It is a diversion.

Mr. Speaker : No. 18.

Implementation of the Urban Land Ceiling Act

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

18.

Will the Minister-in-charge of revenue be pleased to state -

(a)

The extent of surplus land which may be available by implementing the Urban Land Ceiling Act in Shillong ?

(B)

The number of landless families who will be benefited by the scheme ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) replied :

18. (a) and (b) - Steps for having the areas in Shillong and its suburbs surveyed are being taken. Until this is done it is not possible to say the extent of surplus land that may be available and how many persons will be benefited by the implementation of the Urban Land Ceiling Act.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : When is survey work going to be completed ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : There is dearth of surveyors Mr. Speaker, Sir and we have not been able to start the survey work as yet. We are trying to find out qualified for the job.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : But Mr. Speaker, Sir, the reply here is - 'steps for having the areas in Shillong and its suburbs surveyed are being taken". The reply does not respond to my question.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Yes we are looking for surveyors. I think that is also a step taken, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : But the Minister's reply here is - "steps for having the areas in Shillong and its suburbs surveyed are being taken". It means survey works have been taken up.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Whether the survey works have been already started or you are still to get surveyors ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Yes, we are trying to find out surveyors.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : So the reply is not correct.

Mr. Speaker : I think the Ministers should be careful in giving replies to the House, and I think the House will not tolerate any person giving wrong information. I think this House will be benefited to know exactly from the Minister whether the work has been stated or not because here it has been stated that the work has been started. perhaps Government may find difficulty in getting surveyor to complete the work. So these are the two separate issues.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Let us hear the reaction of the Minister on this.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : It will take some time before the survey work actually starts.

Mr. Speaker : It means that the work has not been started. So in other words, you are correcting the original reply.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : But we are looking out for persons to do survey work.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe it is quite proper that an apology is sought for as a very incorrect statement is given to the House.

Mr. Speaker : When the Minister has corrected - I think you have corrected that statement - an apology is not necessary. But if the Minister makes two contradictory statements, then of course we have to see which of the statements of the Minister is correct. So I want to know whether the work has been started or not.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : The work has not been started. But we are preparing grounds for survey.

Mr. Speaker : It means that the whole reply is wrong and this House will take your reply inside the House now that the work has not been started.

Prof M.N. Majaw : 18 (a), May we know -

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Majaw, Mr. Samarendra Sangma will get the floor first.

Shri Samarendra Sangma : I have already got my answer.

Prof M.N. Majaw : 18 (a). Whether the city of Shillong has yet been classified under the provisions of the Urban Land Ceiling Act and if so, under which category ?

Mr. Speaker : The question is inter-related. The main question itself relates to surplus land which may be available by implementing the Urban Ceiling Act in Shillong.

Prof M.N. Majaw : The House is aware that this Act cannot be applied unless the city itself is classified.

Mr. Speaker : I think we understand the spirit of the Act. But I do not know whether you want to seek information from the Minister whether Shillong has been classified or not. You yourself stated that it has not been classified.

Prof M.N. Majaw : Unless it is classified, other provisions cannot be given effect to.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, I think the exact position is like this. The Minister has replied that before we could classify the survey work must proceed. Therefore, the question of classification does not arise at this juncture.

7 per cent preferential treatment to the tribal contractor

Shri C.A. Sangma asked :

19. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state whether the Government is allowing the 7 per cent tribal preferential treatment to the contractors as Public Works Department (Roads and Buildings) ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department, etc.) replied :

19. - Yes.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : May we know whether there is any limitation to this 7% preferential treatment to the tribals ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister of P.W.D.) : Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the limit worked out is below Rs. 50,000.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : I am not very clear, whether this limit of Rs. 50,000 means the total of the benefit that is derived.

Mr. Speaker : The total value of the work.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Only Rs. 50,000.

Shri S.P. Swer : May we understand whether this 7 % is above or below the schedule of rates ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister of P.W.D.) : On the estimates of the work value.

Survey and estimates of Section III of the Mawkdok Khadar Shnong.

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

20. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state whether Govt. propose to take up survey and estimates of Section III of the Mawkdok-Khadar Shnong within the current financial year ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge, of Public Works Department) replied :

20.- No.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know the reasons why survey cannot be taken up during the current financial year?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister of P.W.D.) : The survey work for Section III cannot be taken up now because we are at present starting the work in Section II. After completion of Section II, we will start Section III.

Mr. Speaker : Before passing on to item No. 2. I think the House will be benefited if we are to make the schedule time today in this manner. Further discussion on the budget will continue upto 12 noon. Then at 12:30 p.m. the Chief Minister will reply.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, what about the intervening replies of the Ministers ?

Mr. Speaker : The intervening replies will form part of the general discussion on the budget. Since I have received no names of members who will participate today, I take it for granted that today in the morning hours, the Minister will intervene.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Yesterday I have submitted a notice to the office regarding the zero hour in which I want to raise one very important point.

Mr. Speaker : I have yet to examine your point. It may come up tomorrow if I find it admissible but not today. Now the Ministers will intervene.


GENERAL DISCUSSION ON THE BUDGET

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all I would like to clarify certain points raised by the hon. members during the discussion on the budget relating to the departments looked after by me. At this time, I will take up Agriculture Department.

        Mr. Besterson Kharkongor, the hon. Member from Dienglieng has raised a point if grants can be given to the panleaf cultivators to help them, and on that I regret to say that under our agriculture scheme, there is no provision for giving grants to the cultivators of cash crops except some sort of a subsidy on the price of high-yielding varieties and fertilizers to be used for their cultivation. As far as irrigation which he wanted to know whether there is any scheme meant for his constituency, I would like to know the exact area whether he is really wanted to have flow irrigation so that we can have the matter enquired into and see as to the feasibility or otherwise of the scheme. Then we can provide money for execution of the scheme.

        Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, Prof. Warjri, the hon. member from Mawkhar, wanted to know how many hectares of the area are under paddy cultivation in the State of Meghalaya.

        The total paddy area in the State is estimated approximately at 1,05,000 hectares and the break-up, district-wise, in Khasi Hills District (East and West) approximately 27,000 hectares; Jaintia Hills approximately 20,000 hectares and Garo Hills (combined East and West) approximately 58,000 hectares. And Prof. Warjri also urged upon the Government to improve the horticulture wing in the Agriculture Department. In this matter Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government have already taken certain steps for strengthening of the horticulture Department. The post of the Deputy Director, Horticulture has been created and it is likely to be filled up shortly. The post of Assistant Horticulturist in each of the Districts has also been created and a number of Extension Officers, Horticulture have also been created for looking after the extension work in the Block in addition to the existing post of Horticultural Inspector at the District level. And we have also provided sufficient fund for strengthening the Horticulture Department and to develop horticulture. In addition there are also two sponsored schemes for horticulture development from the Government of India. Another question posed by Prof. Warjri was about the maintenance of the irrigation projects now under-taken at the Agriculture Department. These irrigation projects after completion will be handed over to the cultivators and they will be looked after by them. 

        Then I come to another point raised by Prof. M.N. Majaw about the exhibition and fair conducted by the Agriculture Department. In this Mr. Speaker, Sir, the purpose of Agricultural exhibition and fair is to educate the people on improved method and also to educate the people in taking up improved agricultural practices. Now, I come to the point raised by Shri Jormanick Syiem whether the high yielding varieties will be successful in our State on this I would say that so far we have been able to try high yielding varieties only in a low altitude of about approximately 700 hectares.

        (At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair.)

        About this altitude Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are using approved local varieties which we found are suitable in the altitude. And the hon. Member also mentioned about the high prices of fertilisers and he wants subsidy to be given in bringing down the prices of fertilisers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that in this respect the cost of fertilisers is more or less the same throughout the country expect for some additional cost involved in transport from District headquarters to the interior places. Government is therefore, contemplating to start some sale centres in the interior areas and to bear the cost of transport to those centres. The hon. Member also has pleaded that grant be given to the farmers for construction of minor irrigation dams. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the previous years this sort of subsidy has been granted to the cultivators and we have found out that some of the money was wasted because the nature of the work was not on a permanent basis. Mr. S.P. Swer said that improved seeds and fertilisers meant for demonstration, for giving to the cultivators of border areas are misused. I would assure the hon. Member, Sir, that if a specific case is brought to the notice of the Government, the Government will take strong action against mis-use of these high yielding varieties of seeds and fertilisers meant for demonstration and the cultivation of the borders areas.

        Now I come to another point raised by the hon. Member from Jaiaw Mr. Kyndiah, about his fear less this tea plantation will bring many outsiders, will bring about influx of many outsiders to our State. I would like to make it clear here, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this tea plantation which we are taking up now is on experimental basis only and after we have seen whether tea can be grown in this area then only Government will decide whether we should go in a bog way or on a commercial line. What was there in our mind was that even if we take upon the commercial line we do not concentrate in one area only. We would rather like to have it on a co-operative basis. Therefore, I do not think that the fears that are lurking in the mind of the hon. members will have any effect on the project.

Shri P. Riple Kyndiah :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just on a point of clarification. Here the Minister said that this should be taken up in a co-operative basis, I would like to be clarified on this.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- While forming a co-operative society, the farmer will have a plot of land where he will process that scheme which was conducted somewhere in Africa. That will be conducted for the benefit of our local people. Mr. Hadem, hon. Member from Mynso-Raliang constituency made a mention about the failure of the Government to procure bonemeal for the last four years. I would like to clarify here, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Government does not deal in bonemeal. It only helps the cultivators to get the necessary products by calling for quotations and giving subsidy for bonemeal and giving allotment to the dealers to supply bonemeal to the cultivators at a fixed rate so that the cultivators will get it at reasonable price. He also made a mention that on the 25th evening one of the Secretaries of the Farmers Managing Committee came from Jowai to Shillong and went to the office of the Marketing Federation and arranged to buy a stock of bonemeal from them. But unfortunately he said that the stock was disposed of after the Secretary, (F.M.C.) left the office. What I want to mention here was that the cultivator in Jaintia Hills will not have to come to Shillong for bonemeal because even if he comes to Shillong he will not be given the bonemeal. Therefore, the point of coming to Shillong does not arise  unless the Secretary wanted to do his private business on bonemeal.

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I come to the suggestion given by Mr. Edward Kurbah, the hon. Member from Sohiong. He said that the lift irrigation project at Kynshi be converted into flow irrigation. I would like to state very clearly here that if flow irrigation is feasible there is no point for us to take trouble to go in for lift irrigation, but if for some reason flow irrigation is not feasible lift irrigation is arranged.

        This is because the water is much below the cultivable land.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Japanese system ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- It is not feasible to take up flow irrigation in this area, therefore, we have adopted lift irrigation. He also made mention about distribution of fertilisers to the cultivator. He said it is not very good and it is defective. As I have spoken about bonemeal here also, the department itself does not purchase and sell fertilisers but it is being done through registered dealers, both wholesalers and retailers who are mainly in the district headquarters and arrangements are being made to make good the distribution. However, Government is contemplating to establish more centre through co-operative societies and I do hope that this will help in further improvement of the position.

        Then again, another suggestion was made by Shrimati Miriam D. Shira on the question of taking more and more irrigation projects and introduction of new method of cultivation. As already explained, Government is taking steps to increase the areas gradually in the State under lift irrigation, but due to fund position, we cannot take up all the areas in one year. By the end of the Fourth Plan the area under permanent irrigation in the State was estimated only at about 10 thousand hectares and we do expect that by the end of the Fifth Plan the area will be increased by an additional 14 thousand to 15 thousand hectares under permanent irrigation. As regards introduction of new method of cultivation, we have been trying to hold demonstration and training in all the Block areas where this new method of cultivation is introduced and I do hope that people will be benefited by this demonstration and training. Actually, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government did not do any reclamation for the cultivators but the cultivators themselves do it with the help of the Government. Therefore, the question of doing it entirely by the Government itself as far as reclamation is concerned does not arise.

        Now, I come the suggestion made by the hon. Member Shri B.B. Lyngdoh. He stated that more and more number of students should be sent for training in the different branches of the department. So far as Agriculture Department is concerned, we are sending every year the students for B.Sc. (Agriculture) and M.Sc. (Agriculture) to the different universities in India. The total number of students so far sent for 1970-71 for the B.Sc. (Agriculture) is 61 and for the M.Sc. (Agriculture) ten. This year also we are contemplating to send about 20 students for B.Sc. (Agriculture) Course and few numbers for M.Sc. (Agriculture). In addition to the boys whom we have sent for B.Sc. (Agriculture) and M.Sc. (Agriculture), we are also sending department officers for B.Sc. (Agriculture) and M.Sc. (Agriculture) Ph. D. course through the N.E.C. sponsored schemes. Besides, for the Field Labour officers like the gramsevaks and demonstrators, etc., trainings were conducted in our training centre in the State. Now, I will come to our point raised by Shri Prithington Sangma about irrigation facilities to be given to the small plots of available lands in the State. As I have just replied a few minutes ago that this practice has been done away with. But the Government would like to consider this scheme of taking up small plot of land available for wet paddy cultivation within the State through some other agencies. We will certainly look into the matter and consider if we can set aside certain amount of fund from the irrigation grant and entrusted to certain agencies for taking up the work. He also made a remark that the S.F.D.A. in Garo Hills does not function well. It is a fact that there has been some constraints in the proper functioning of the S.F.D.A. schemes in our State and the Government have proposed a few steps for improvement to the Government of India and we are expecting that favourable response will come shortly. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now, I have completed on the Agriculture Department.

        I will come to Food and Civil Supplies. Prof. A. Warjri, has made a remark that in spite of the buffer-stock, the Government did not make any effort to have the food stock reached the further-most corner of the State. In this regard Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a statement that the Government of India allotted to the State Government a monthly quota of 4,500 metric tonnes of rice and 1,400 metric tonnes of wheat for conversion into wholemeal atta and 600 metric tonnes for conversion into fine quality. The quantity of rice allotted by the Government of India is re-allotted to the different D.Cs. for issuing to consumers through the fair price shop dealers located in the various parts of the State. The total number of fair price shops including that in the urban areas is 1388. Through these fair price shops the consumers obtain their supply of food-grains. He also made a mention that the price of sugar has gone up to Rs. 5 per kg. In this respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that there are two categories of sugar, viz., levy sugar and levy-free sugar. The levy sugar is available only through fair price shops and it is sold at Rs. 2.15 per kg. throughout the State. Non-levy sugar is not a controlled commodity. During 1976, the price of non-levy sugar was raised between Rs. 4.50 to Rs. 5.30 and the present price of non-levy sugar as on 28th May, 1977 is between Rs. 4.30 and Rs. 4.50. He also made a complaint about the high price of edible oil. The price of edible oil rises at the third quarter of 1976. But this is not confined to the State of Meghalaya alone but it is an All India phenomenon. It is not true that this commodity did not reach Meghalaya. There is sufficient stock of edible oil in the State of Meghalaya and I would also like to say that edible oil is not a controlled commodity. He also complained that there is upward rise in the price of cement and iron rods. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, so far no written complaint has been received by the Government about the rise in the prices of cement and iron rods in different parts of the State. As a precautionary measure, necessary steps have been taken to see that cement is sold on the basis of permit. But iron rod is a free sale commodity and Government is not aware that the price gone up during these last few months. Mr. Jackman Marak had stated that essential commodities like rice and sugar had not reached that essential commodities like rice and Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the requirement of rice of Garo Hills including the border areas was at disposal of the D.C., West Garo Hills, as per his demand. The Deputy Commissioner has not reported any non-availability of rice in the border areas or that the people are facing difficulties to get supply of rice. The other essential commodities like oils and pulses are not controlled commodities and the price in West Garo Hills in more or less the same as that in other parts of the State.

        Now I come to the remarks made by Mr. Edward Kurbah. He had stated that the distribution of cloth is made through the Co-operative Societies only. He has suggested that the distribution of controlled cloth should be done through Social Welfare Centre. In this regard, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would say that the policy of distributive Societies. In areas where there are no Co-operative Societies, private persons are allowed to operate as a temporary measure but such permits will be cancelled when co-operatives start functioning. There will be difficulties in the distribution of cloth through Social Welfare Centres because these centres will not have sufficient fund to invest in the purchase of controlled cloth. Now that I have replied to the point raised on Food and Civil Supplies. I will come to Veterinary Department.

        Mr. D.N. Joshi has made certain remarks by saying that practically nothing has been done for the people engaged in milk trade. He said that they should be instructed to develop the industry in modern scientific lines and that incentives should be created for the people already in the trade, also to create a grazing colony on modern scientific lines. Mr. Deputy Sir, on this I only have to say that the milk producers were asked to organise a co-operative society, since we are taking up the milk supply scheme here in Shillong. The milk collected through the co-operatives is distributed to the consumers at a very reasonable price. Besides that, we have also taken up a cattle development programme in the milk-producing areas to give incentives to the breeders. The question of giving benefits to private traders does not arise as the benefit goes to the milk producers through their co-operatives. The Government of India and the Dairy Board are also taking necessary steps to modernise the dairy industry through the Indian Dairy Corporation.

        Coming to the query made by Prof. A. Warjri as to whether it is a fact that the Government intends to shift the piggery farm from Upper Shillong to Mawryngkneng, I would like to say that in view of the congestion in Upper Shillong the Government intends to shift the present piggery farm from Upper Shillong so that the whole area can be given for the Indo-Danish Project in Upper Shillong. Besides this, we are also starting a new piggery farm at Kyrdemkulai under the joint co-operation with the Danish Government. That is to say, it is under the Indo-Danish Project.

        Mr. P.R. Kyndiah has stated that 17 officers had been appointed in February, 1977, in the Department of Veterinary. Actually, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, 13 officers had been appointed as Extension Officers in February, 1977, on the recommendation of the MPSC. They were appointed as Extension Veterinary Officers in Blocks and not as B.D.Os. Incidentally, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, out of 13 appointees, only one has joined. For the others the joining date has expired. So there is no fear that this Department will be manned by the people from outside the State.

        Another point raised by Mr. G. Mylliemngap was about the location of the Central dairy here in Shillong. I would like to make it clear that the Government has been trying hard to find suitable plot of land where we can locate the Central Dairy and, as you know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to find land here in Shillong is very very difficult. Therefore, we have decided to take this land and we have also taken steps with the Municipal authorities to remove the trenching ground somewhere else. So I hope, by doing that, the fear that flies may invade the Central dairy will no longer be there.

        Now the remaining department left under my charge is only the Public Works Department. On Public Works Department so far I have received three cut motions and the nature of the cut motions, it appears, when discussed, will again come to the same point that has been raised during the general discussion on the budget. I therefore consider it proper that I will reply plus the points raised in the cut motions and also the points raised during the general discussion when I give a reply to the discussion on the cut motions on the Public Works Department. Therefore with these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : On a point of clarification. One thing is about weighing system of potato.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : This is not under my department. It is under the Minister-in-charge of Weights and Measures.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Another point for clarification. It is a wonder how does the Minister know that there have been cut motions under the Public Works Department.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : I have received copies of three cut motions on the Public Works Department.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : How they will be identical to the point.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : I have that you will not be deprived of the reply to the points raised in the general discussion because I will give the whole reply to the cut motions.

Shri W. Syiemiong : That will be premature, Sir, to say that the Minister could study the cut motions. How can he study what we have not said ?

Shri G. Mylliemngap : We have many things to say in the debate on the cut motion.

Shri D.D. Pugh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is yet another point. How does the Minister know that the cut motions will be actually moved ? Supposing the cut motions are not moved then this House will be deprived of the reply which it has the right to expect from the Minister.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when cut motions are tabled we expect that they will be moved. Moreover I am only intervening in the discussion. The reply will actually be given by the Chief Minister.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Now Minister of Health.

* Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Mr. deputy Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to the hon. Members from both sides, who have participated in this budget discussion and made observations on the departments of which I am incharge. As correctly pointed out by my colleague, the Agriculture Minister, the actual reply will be give by the Chief Minister. However, I will try to reply to those observations made by the hon. Members.

Shri B. Kharkongor : The hon. member from Dienglieng in course of observation mentioned about shortage of medicines and scope for improvement of services at the Shillong Civil Hospital. Now, we have increased the bed strength from 150 to 200 in September 1975 and along with that there has been an increase in the number of doctors, 23 Nursing Staff and other staff with improvement in general services. As is known for cleanliness, promptness and efficiency of the staff, especially Nursing staff who are always sympathetic to the suffering patients. It may not be possible to have all the medicines to be supplied necessary for the patients, but attempt has been made to see that minimum common medicines  are available both for out-door and indoor patients. There is a great need for increasing the number of private wards/cabins but this will have to be considered after due scrutiny and when fund position improves.

        The hon. member from Mawkhar has also mentioned about the overemphasis of the Family Welfare Programme. We Sir, the Chief Minister has made a statement that we are not going any more for sterilisation.

        Shri O.L. Nongtdu wanted a detail statement of revenue and expenditure in the budget speech from each Department. He wants more dispensaries in rural areas. We have been trying to construct dispensaries but unfortunately the work has not been satisfactory. I hope with the fund available the Health Department can make more progress in future.

        Shri H. Hadem pointed out that the word Family Welfare should have been used in the budget speech instead of Family Planning. We have not changed this term. As soon as we received it, that we will be changed.

        Shri P.R. Kyndiah mentioned about the excesses of Family Planning in the State. He should have pointed out the places were these excesses have taken place.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : May I inform the Minister that we have taken up this matter very seriously with the Director of Health Services and we are very much against sterilisation.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : But at that time they were a party to it as Cabinet colleagues in fact these excesses have occurred in other State but not in our State.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : These excesses had been committed at Tura, Balat and other places.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : I have already given a reply in the last session about it. Shri E. Kurbah from Sohiong wanted construction of Primary Health Centres for each block. The construction will take some time as there is now a controversy about the about the location of the buildings at that place. Mrs. M.D. Shira request the Government to see that health and sanitation facilities should be provided in regrouped villages. This will be examined. She has complained that the 3rd and 4th Grade staff cannot be reimbursement as it is difficult for them to get the counter signature from Doctors working in Contributory Health Scheme, Shillong for payment. The Government will specifically look into the question of medical allowance instead of of reimbursement. Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh mention about funds regarding Ganesh Das Hospital. The amount of 4 lakhs has been placed with the Public Works Department to enable them to complete the buildings this year. So far as expansion of Tura Civil is concerned the staff quarters have been completed. Constructed of Hospital buildings will depend on the availability of funds. The Bhoilymbong hospital building though completed, has not been opened as water supply has not been installed. The Cherra Public Health Centre has not been commissioned due to certain defects in construction.

        Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh raised the point that Rural Water Supply Scheme has not been properly taken up. The construction programme for PHE is going on in full swing. In Jaintia Hills one Primary Health Centre is yet to be constructed for the Jowai Block. The delay is in the section of site. In Khasi Hills three more Primary Health Centres are under construction or yet to be constructed. The construction work for the Primary Health Centre at Sohiong has been started. Work is still to be started at Mawrynkneng and Patharkhmah Blocks.

        It is unfortunate that the hon. Member from Sohrynkham yesterday had made a very unpalatable remark about this Health Department. He has branded the entire Department as "hell". But by doing so think has made a fallacy of sweeping generalisation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not an exert in English language but I have consulted the dictionary and found the meaning of the word "hell" Hell means a place for the wicked and sinners. Now, if the Health Department is a genus then the hospital under this Department is a genus of that genus. Hospitals are meant for the suffering people and I know as many as 4 or 5 MLAs had have the occasions to be hospitalised. I believe they were certainly not in hell. Therefore, branding this Department as hell is not very correct.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir when I was talking about the working of the hospitals. I was also talking about the working of the hospitals. I was talking in general terms and when I referred to hell it does not mean that I referred in a literal sense.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Minister of State Transport) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. and Member was referring to the Department of Hell again and again. But there is not Department known as Hell Department.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Where is hell ?

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Between you and me. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when I referred to this Department in general terms about the working of the Department in general and the working of the hospitals in particular.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I am not mistaken, yesterday the hon. Member was using many times the expression of Hell Department. Well I do not know there is such Department under this Government.

Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister of Health) : Although the hon. Member has clarified the position yet I think it is definitely not correct to remark against the working of the hospital. Logically, if the Health Department is a genus of which the hospitals are the species therefore, by drawing such conclusion, I am to say that the hon. Member has definitely committed a fallacy of a sweeping generalisation. Anyway, it is very unfortunate and I hope in future the hospitals where the suffering people get treatment will not be branded as hell. In Christian faith we consider hell a place for wicked people and heaven is a place for the saints and peace-makers. This Health Department is meant for all people. It is also for the Ministers and M.L.As, their wives and their children. I know definitely many of my colleagues were in hospital. I know the hon. Member from Mawkhar was also in the hospital for some time. Therefore, in future I believe the hon. Members will not make such unpalatable remarks.

        Another point he has mentioned is that the D.H.S. has been deprived of power. But it is not correct. Like any other Director he has also got the financial power up to Rs. 50,000. His power has not been snatched at any time.

        Then another point is regarding washing his father's face with milk. I do not know whether that milk was supplied by the hospital or not. If it was supplied by the hospital then he has done a very wrong thing; he should have given this milk to some poor people. If he has brought that milk from the market then he has done a sheer wastage. He could have waited easily for a couple of hours till water supply resumes. There is nothing very serious if somebody does not wash his face for some time. Last time, there was no water in the hostel but even our Members attended the business of the House without washing the face and without taking breakfast  these little things sometimes occur. Sometimes water supply dislocates due to air-locks and break-down of pipes. Even for a very healthy man sometimes he may get one of his fingers cut. For that he should not be condemned. Therefore, I would request the hon. Members not to make such remarks which will reflect the image of our State.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : The hon. Member has brought this as a matter of information of the House. There is no harm.

Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of Health) : Then he has also mentioned about the power of transfer by the D.H.S. For transfer of nurses and other categories of staff the D.H.S. has got the full power. Only in case of senior officers, the matter goes to the Secretary. I think I have covered all the points under Health Department.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to have a clarification on one point, i.e, about the land donated to this department at Smit and, Tynring.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding this question I will reply during the discussion of the cut motions.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very important question and this question was raised yesterday and we want a specific reply about this particular matter.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is already there in black and white and let me inform the House that the people of Smit and Tynring have donated land for the construction of a Primary Health Unit since about fifteen years ago.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Minister-in-charge has not done his home work, that is a different matter.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are going to take up this matter very soon and I have done my home work also.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : And what about the work at Tynring ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc) : As regards Tynring, we will take up the work afterwards.

Shri Jormanik Syiem : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also would like to raise a question about the inauguration of the Health Unit at Upper Shillong and Sohiong. Whether they have utilised the building or it has been left that ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I have already stated about this matter and informed the House that we are trying to get water supply for this building.

Shri Jormanik Syiem : Sir, I would like to know whether it is going to be inaugurated or not.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc) : Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are certainly going to inaugurate it. But as there are some difficulties, specially due to scarcity of water we have not been able to complete our works for this unit as well as at Cherra and Bhoilymbong, etc.

Shri Jormanik Syiem : Then Sir, when can we expect it to be inaugurated ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very difficult to say. Because if I say that we are going to inaugurate it tomorrow then they will not believe it.

Shri Jormanik Syiem : Sir, wherefrom are they going to get the water supply ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are going to get it from the military authority but they will charge us not less that Rs. 1 lakh. So, Sir, we will have to get the money first and then only we will be able to complete our works.

Shri Jormanik Syiem : Then, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if they do not get the money then the building will be wasted just like that. Then it is too much for the Public Health Department. 

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are going to get the money very soon. Let the budget be passed.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Sir, I also have my general observation on this particular point. There is also one building of the Primary Health Unit at Korhadem meant for a dispensary but Sir, that building is left like that and it is now going to be more than two years. So Sir, I would like to say that this House should be concerned with this important matter and I would like to draw the attention of the House to this.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are trying our level best and in spite of our best efforts we have failed to complete the works. I also know that there are other dispensaries and health units at Cherra and Mawkyrwat which are lying like that.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have two more points to be clarified. One is about the increase of private wards' accommodation in the Shillong Civil Hospital and the other is the medical education for post-graduate students.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I have already replied to this question. We are very soon going to increase the accommodation in the private wards in the Civil Hospital. But Sir, regarding post-graduate students, I think we will have to take up the matter with the Government of India in the Health Minister. But Sir, in spite of our best efforts we have failed to do so.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it a fact that there is a donor who has donated about Rs. 50,000 ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but I have not been able to collect it. Will reply to this question during the time of when the cut motions will be discussed.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Sir, may I intervene on this question ? The Minister-in-charge of Agriculture also repeated the same point that he will reply to the questions during the time of the cut motions when the points were raised on the P.W.D. But Sir, suppose the cut motions will not be taken up just because the Members are not present or that there is guillotine of these cut motions. So. I request the Minister concerned to make these points clear on the floor of this House at this time itself. But if the Chief Minister will reply to it then it is alright. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also would like to know whether the Chief Minister will also reply to the points raised about P.W.D. ? Because during the time of his intervention on the P.W.D. matters the Minister concerned did not say even a single word and this is a very serious matter. Moreover he has said and that he will reply during the course of the cut motions. So Sir, it is not a clear whether the Chief Minister will reply or the Minister concerned will reply to these points.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since we will have to furnish some particular information, the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. has already said that he will pass it on to me.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whether it is about the P.W.D. as whole ?

Prof M. N. Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister, P.W.D. has said that he will give the replies during the time of the cut motions. Sir, suppose due to the absence of some Members there will be no cut motions on this subject, then this august House will be deprived of the replies on the matter raised in this House.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, he can rest assured that we will reply on this matter.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us come to power again. As asked by the hon. member from Mawhati I would like to say that even though an item existed at page 18 of Volume I of the Budget (detailed estimates of Revenue and Receipts for the year 1977-78) for recovery of interest from the State Electricity Board, an amount has been shown against this item. He wanted to know whether interest is being charged on the loans to the State Electricity Board. Loans sanctioned to the Electricity Board by the State Government carry a rate of interest as fixed from time to time. Loans earlier granted by the composite State of Assam to the Assam State Electricity Board have been divided between the new ASEB and MSEB with effect from 21st January, 1975 on an adhoc basis pending division of assets and liabilities among the successors of the old ASEB, MSEB and Mizoram Government. Loans given by the Meghalaya Government to MSEB also carry an interest as fixed from time to time. However, the interest on loans given by the State Government to the Electricity Board is one of the last charges on the revenues of the Electricity Board and would be payable only if the Electricity Board makes surplus in its revenue over its expenditure. As most State Electricity Boards do not work with surplus, the interest is not usually paid to the State Government but is treated as a contingent liability payable from out of future profits. Hence no amount has been taken into accounts as revenue receipts out of the interest payable by the State Electricity Board.

Prof M.N. Majaw : Before the Minister passes on to another point, may we know the break-up of the loans on ad-hoc basis between A.S.E.B. and M.S.E.B. ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Power) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the moment, I do not have the break-up.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : What is the grand total of loans sanctioned by this House to these Boards combined.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Power) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. member can bring it in the form of a question so that I can reply correctly.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : What is the present rate of interest as it varies from time to time ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Power) : I need time for such detailed information, Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as this matter was raised in the debate, we expect that the Hon'ble Minister should come prepared with some extra replies because it is very relevant as we were trying to show how can we augment the revenue of the State by collecting interest on loans which this House has given to these Boards. Now if the Minister does not know even the interest today and how much loan has been given, at least the office staff would provide him with these basic facts.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Power) :  I have requested the hon. member to bring it in the form of a question so that I can reply in detail. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, another hon. member Mr. Besterson Kharkongor, the hon. member from Dienglieng constituency stated that the District Planning authorities have asked for a list of villages for rural electrification and putting up of a Post Offices, but no further action seems to have been taken. He requested that as almost all constituencies have been electrified, his constituency namely Dienglieng, should also be electrified. Also Mr. Shamsul Haque, hon Member from Mahendraganj raised similar point for electrification of villages in his constituency at Mahendraganj. Rural electrification is taken up in a phased manner, on the basis of nearby transmission system so that laying of transmission lines may be done in stages, the availability of cluster of villages, the likely load for power by way of industries, agricultural pumps sets, etc. The work on rural electrification is proceeding according to a programme in the State, taking into account the factors mentioned above and will be extended from one area to another in due course. Mr. Hadem hon. member from Mynso-Raliang, observed that even though 261 villages have been electrified upto 31st March 1976, he also mentioned about power break-down occurred very frequently. He urged that adequate number of linemen should be provided so that the difficulties could be attended to immediate. In reply to that I should say that action is being taken by the State Electricity Board to appoint adequate number of lineman depending on the workload, which in turn, will depend number of lineman depending on the the number of consumers in each area. Mr. Kurbah, hon. member from Sohiong constituency stated that in connection with High Tension Transmission line from Shillong to Nongstoin, many trees were cut down by the employees of the MSEB without the knowledge of the landowners and wanted to know whether compensation has been paid to the owners or not. In reply to that, I should say that wherever trees are cut down or are to be cut down in connection with the drawing of transmission line or any other work, it is always the practice of the Electricity Board to contact the village headmen as well as the land owners and take an inventory of the trees that are being felled. Such an inventory exists in all cases and where compensation has not been paid, action would be initiated by the MSEB for payment to the persons affected.

        I will come now to Public Health Engineering Department. Mr. Besterson Kharkongor, hon. member from Dienglieng constituency stated that though water supply to Jongsha village was sanctioned earlier but people are not getting water and also nothing was  nothing has been done for providing water supply to Nongryngkoh village. Regarding Jongsha Water Supply Scheme, the scheme could not be completed because of dispute of dispute over one of the two sources. Inspite of agreement, it is reported that the present owner is not agreeable to part with the source. However, the Deputy Commissioner is being moved to requisition the source. However, the Deputy Commissioner is being moved to requisition the source from E.E. (PHE) Hills Division's end. Regarding Nonryngkoh water supply scheme, the detailed investigations are carried out from Wah Nonglum sources for Nongryngkoh village. But the source has been investigated about 7 km. away and necessary survey, estimates etc. are being submitted by the E.E. (PHE) Hills Division, Shillong.

        Mr. R. Lyngdoh stated that in the distribution and the selection of water supply schemes, there is always discrimination. I would like to mention here the general, the surface water for tapping by gravity in the Mawkyrwat area is very scarce. Also it is observed that the source of water from which gravity system is possible within reasonable distance is equally scarce. However, Nongspung water supply scheme has been taken up and the public are supplied with water. Phlangdiloin water supply scheme was sanctioned by the Government but could not be taken up due to ban imposed by the Planning Commission for taking up new rural water supply scheme in Meghalaya till 31st March, 1977. A combined water supply scheme covering Phodjaud and Manad Pomskhen have been sent to Secretary, P.H.E. for sanction, but could not be sanctioned due to the ban imposed by the Planning Commission. The following scheme are under preparation at the office of the E.E. (PHE), Hills Division, Shillong -

(1)

Rongjadeng

(2)

Pariong and

(3) 

Ngunraw

           The estimate for conducting survey for Dommawlein village Poksorra and Wah Siej water supply schemes are under scrutiny.

        With reference to the points regarding non-approval of the Medical bill and T.A. bills in time, it is to be pointed out that these bills are passed for those contributing to the Contributory Health Scheme. But those contributing to contributory Health Scheme and others, when the bill is presented it includes medical reimbursement expenditure and the last such bill was passed in 1975-76 and today there is not a single bill pending in the office of the Executive Engineer. Then with regard to water supply a loan of Rs. 350 lakhs was taken from the L.I.C. and I think many hon. Members have made a mention about it. A loan of Rs. 350 lakhs was taken by the Shillong Municipality. The beneficiary from the Greater Shillong Water Supply scheme will pay taxes which will help the Shillong Municipality to repay the loan in 22 equal installments and the rate of interest for this loan is 8 percent. That is the position at the moment.

Prof. A. Warjri : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when is the loan payable ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : The Shillong Municipality will arrange to repay the loan.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just on a point of clarification. Will that involve the increase in the realistic of taxes ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir it is too early to say anything on that at the moment. We are now concerned with good water for Shillong. I think when we complete it, if nothing happens, we will all be benefited, the whole Shillong will he highly benefited. I think the people will not have to pay high rate of taxes. It will not be very much for them to pay.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : I just want to know from the Minister about the likely time of completion of the scheme.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is difficult to comment anything on that because there are so many complaints also about the land recently and one hon. Member has also pointed out and it has come in the form of a memorandum to the Government to review the policy of damming the particular river thereby affecting and submerging the village and other areas. That is the difficulty. So I do not think we will be able to complete the scheme as early as possible. Of course we would like to do it in spite of the difficulties. We have also to see the villagers if they get any complaints and if they are agreeable or not to this scheme. If they are not agreeable, then how can we proceed ahead with this scheme. I have also mentioned in the past that there are some group who do not agree and some groups who have agreed to this scheme. But with the help of the Shillong citizens and other public leaders like Mr. P.R. Kyndiah and others, if they come forward to help us, definitely we will be able to convince those villagers. I think even Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh also who is very well known to the people will be able to help us.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : I thought that stage had already passed when the Government have acquired the land as they have started the work. I thought that stage had already gone, and I was just asking the Government about the likely time of completion.  

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : What I mean is this that stage had passed, but we want at least to convince the people. Why should we create so much trouble, why should we create a sense of misunderstand between the Government and the people ?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I understand the schemes has been taken up other-wise why should you take the land without taking up the scheme.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : The scheme was approved by the Government of India. It is such a big scheme. I think the biggest scheme in Meghalaya. Naturally it will take time, there are some formalities with the L.I.C. and they are helping us with a loan. Even we are calling for a meeting in which the representatives from the Shillong Municipality, Health Department would attend so that we will be able to see how best we can implement the scheme.

Shri Upstar Kharbuli (Minister of State, Municipal Administration) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since this also concerns the Department under me, I can follow the information sought for by the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat and I can clarify on the matter this way : the land has been agreed upon and there are certain terms and conditions still to be worked out. It is not correct to say that we have already taken over the land.

Shri A. Warjri : As I understand from the book supplied by the Department, a sum of Rs. 2,91,7000 has been spent up to 1976.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : I think the hon. Member has confused the entire amount required for the entire scheme. It was to the extent of 8 crores 16 lakhs of rupees and we have taken up survey work on the land from the Plan Budget and certain amount from the L.I.C. So, the amount might have been spent from the Plan Budget.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, how will that bridge the gap between this whole amount from the L.I.C. Here there is gap of 466 lakhs. How could that be financed ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : That will be financed by the Planning Commission, Government of India. All the hon. Member have suggested in their observations and I have taken note of all their suggestions and will see how best we, depending on the fund position and cooperation, can execute this scheme to the best interest of the people. This Department has not been successful to implement this scheme because of defective plans and estimates. But in future we will see that this Department functions as a real public utility services Department. With these few words, thank the hon. Members who have cooperated with us and resume my seats.

Shrimati Miriam D. Shira : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding my suggestion about the Rural Water Supply Scheme, the Hon'ble Minister has forgotten to reply.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It has stated that all suggestions have been taken note of depending on the fund position.

Shrimati Miriam D. Shira : Of course, he has said that but in future, if by chance, that was not done what will happen ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Ministers may come and Ministers may go, but the State remains the same.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Generally the policy will not change.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Now the Minister. Forest-to reply.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister, Forests) : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, forest is not like agriculture from which we can have the harvest of many crops after some month. It is not like that but if we grow any tree this year it will take another fifty or sixty years to harvest. I think, as many as five hon. members have participated in discussion of this department and I think it is a very very important Department. We all know forest wealth is a valuable asset. Other things may perish from the earth like coal mine may exhaust one day and the cement factor also who will know that it might stop tomorrow but forest wealth will always exist on the surface of the earth. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. member from Mawkhar has raised a very important point regarding forest. The area under forest Sir, covers one third of the whole area of the State and it was so for the last few years. He said that he wanted to know whether these figures are constant or not or whether these include the areas with standing trees. We all know Meghalaya area covers little over 22,000 square kilometres and since then we all know that Meghalaya State Forest Reserve is also small and has a little over 700 square kilometres. I have visited all the Meghalaya State Forest Reserve except two and those are Saipung and Narpuh. If you travel once to these forests you will be very happy to seen that thousand of trees are coming up and you will enjoy really. One will be very thrilled to see our standing trees have grown altogether. One will really wonder what a big work that this forest department is doing in our State. So at present we do not know the accurate size of the area but I think only 1 of course is covered with forest. All these are with the District Council. The District Council is still yet to survey the exact forest area. We will be able to give an accurate figure as soon as the survey report of the Pre-investment Survey of the Government of India is published A survey has been conducted recently by the Pre-investment Survey all over Meghalaya with the aid if aerial photographs, and after that I will be able to give the exact area under forest in our State. Another point he wanted to know is about the area afforested by Government since 1972. It is really very interesting and I will reply to it now. The total area of the land afforested so far since 1972 is 2,979.7 hectares. Another point also which Mr. Warjri wanted to know is about the rate of feeling of trees and the quantity of timber transported from Meghalaya. Well, the number of trees removed from the Reserve Forests in the last few years is about 2,500. The exact figures we will get from the District Council.

Prof. A. Warjri : I think there is a gate at Upper Shillong to check the timbers. So the cubic feet will be known. 

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister, Forests) : Recently I went myself to the three Districts. But unfortunately, I am sorry to state here in this House that the executive-in-charge of Forest did not attend, so somehow or other I persuaded the officer-in-charge of forest (C.F.O.) to attend the said meeting and he did attend. I was told that it is very difficult on the part of the foresters and forest guards because of wants of enforcement staff. Now we are going to check the timbers that are exported from our State to the valleys of the State of Assam and other States.

Prof. M.N. Majaw - Does it include the area also that is being afforested by the Soil Conservation Department.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister, Forests) - I will come to that later on.

Prof. A. Warjri - On a point of clarification. The Minister has already given the amount of timber that has been exported only from the State forest reserve but as I understand a Forest Utilisation Office is there and is also operating in the export of timber. May we also know whether that has also been taken into consideration because these timbers come from all kinds of forests operated by the Forest Utilisation office ?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister, Forests) - It also includes all. We do not know from the District Council. The hon. member also enquired about the export of timber. In 1975-76 the figures and the quantity exported from Meghalaya was 85,534 cubic metres. Of course the hon. member mentioned about re-afforestation and the action by the Government. In the Reserve Forest re-afforestation programme is carried out in Meghalaya regularly to compensate for the removal of trees from the forest and the Forest Department has a Planning Cell which is not in the District Council, then we will find out how many of these trees are sold either by auction or by tender system. So we can work out how many of these trees will be planted to compensate for the removal of this forest wealth. I think also the hon. member would be very interested and I would welcome many suggestions in the future about forest preservation and expansion of forest area.

        That matter has been gone in depth and found that man cannot live without food. If you go to Garo Hills you will find in village after village there is no scope for wet cultivation. So naturally, they will do jhuming cultivation as they are living in the hills of our State. So I may like to say in this august House that we may be able to pass many legislations stopping all jhuming cultivation by saying "ayes" and the motion is passed. But we have to do that. The people have no other means except jhuming unless the Government give them some other alternative means of livelihood there is no use to bring such kind of legislation. So, whatever it may be, it is not possible to stop jhuming. Government will look into this matter and provide them alternative facilities of cultivation by which they can live. But this is being taken up in the Department of Soil Conservation in the whole State. Mrs. Miriam Shira, hon. member from Songsak Constituency said that the Wildlife Preservation Act is welcomed and she appreciated but she is not happy that elephants are roaming throughout the hills and villages and destroying the crops not only crops but living houses also.

        But what I can say in this is that there is a rule framed by the Government. So I feel that we should reduce the number of elephants from the non-forest Government reserve which destroyed the jhum cultivation etc. Sir, last year also I informed this august House that as many as 70 elephants have been captures by mahaldars and I have also recently passed an order to catch about 25 elephants under what is called anchor scheme or something like that. Those elephants who are destroying the houses and paddy fields will be captured and those declared by the Deputy Commissioner as proposed wild-life sanctuary, and we cannot declare yet the wild life sanctuary because the Government have not been able to finalise the land to create the forest sanctuary in the Balpakram area, and there are still some works yet to be done. I think when this is done, the animals will go to Balpahar and they will destroy no more. So I think I have finished about Forest.

        Now I come to Soil Conservation Department. It is a very important department. Mr. Warjri, the hon. Member from Mawkhar Constituency wanted to know whether those 750 families mentioned in the budget speech expected to be benefited from Jhum Cultivation Control Scheme in 1978 are inclusive of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. Here I said 'yes' it would include Khasi; Hills in the West Khasi District 150 families and 100 families in the East Khasi Hills District. That means, 250 families will be benefited. In the East Garo Hills District 150 families and in the West Garo Hills District 150 families, total 300. In Jaintia Hills District 200 families have been benefited by this scheme. So far 1830 families have been benefited by this scheme since the inception of Meghalaya State.

        If the hon. Member wants to know, I can give it district wise also. The number of families benefited year wise is as follows. Garo Hills 1974-75 = 495 families, Khasi Hills = 260 and Jaintia Hills = 125 thus bringing the total to 880 families. Now, 1975-76, Garo Hills - 235, Khasi Hills - 125 and Jaintia Hills - 125. The total comes to 485. Then last year, 1976-77, Garo Hills 209, Khasi Hills 200 and Jaintia Hills 100. The total was 509. The hon. Member from Sutnga, Mr. Nongtdu, has stated that Soil Conservation works are important for the economic upliftment of the people. He mentioned also about coordination of this particular department with other departments. Sir, we have already set up a co-ordination committee between the departments concerned at the State level. We have already set up a State level Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. We have informed the Deputy Commissioners of other districts that they will also constitute Coordination Committees among other departments like Fishery, Water Supply and Education etc. Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, hon. Member from Mawkyrwat stated that there is a vast area from Mawngap, Mairang, Nongstoin and Sonapahar and also in other places and that special programme must be brought in for afforestation of those barren areas. The main work of afforestation is with the Forest Department and not with the Soil Conservation Department. He mentioned this while he was discussing about soil conservation.   

        I may inform the hon. Member that this afforestation is done by the Forest Department. Of course, the Soil Conservation Department with a small amount at its disposal has started some afforestation work. I think this place will also one day covered by green forests. Mr. Jormanick Syiem wanted to know the places of afforestation by the Soil Conservation Department. He further wanted that regeneration of three barren areas be taken up as far as possible. I would like to inform this House that so far we have taken up afforestation in 1976-77 about 1530 hectares during that year Mrs. Miriam D. Shira, hon. Member from Songsak has stated a lot about soil conservation activities in her constituency.

        She stated that in the regrouping of villages, if possible terrace cultivation should be taken up whether there is perennial irrigation or not. Irrigation facilities should be provided to those reclaimed areas where there is no irrigation and to those areas where land has not been properly levelled. She also suggested that the scheme for control of jhumming and shifting cultivation and regrouping of villages is an interested scheme and other activities like education, water supply and medical facilities should also be provided. As you know, Sir, wherever irrigation facilities are there, the Soil Conservation Department used to take up such kind of schemes and before the work starts the Department itself visited the place, whether it will be possible or not. Wherever there is possibility, the Department did not hesitate to implement the scheme. But in Garo Hills, land may not be allowed by the nokmas and maharis and it is difficult for the Department to take up the work. These things are happening in our State today. It is not like other States. These schemes of the Soil Conservation Department are the national schemes. The hon. Member may agree with me that this State of ours is not like Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and not like Nagaland or Japan. In those places all the hills are covered with thick forests. Unless terrace cultivation is done it is not possible to conserve the soil. Fortunately with your mercy and grace I have been to Japan. I found that the entire hilly region is covered with green forest and no one can enter into the forests. It has been forests and no one can enter hilly region is covered with green forests and no one can enter into the forests. It has been interpreted by the Secretary of the Indian Embassy who accompanied me that forests in countries like Japan and South Korea are regarded valuable. They have written and their own languages ..... "don't go to the mountain-first fire, and second 'trial'.. if anybody goes to the forest he will first fire and later on try. But our State does not get will do its best to provide good irrigation facilities. But it is not possible for the Soil Conservation Department to take up other schemes like opening up of schools or to provide water supply. This is rather like duplicating which will result in wastage of money. I believe this can be done by the Public Health Engineering Department when regrouping of wages of money. I believe this can be done by the Public Health Engineering Department when regrouping of villages taken place to supply good drinking water to those places.

        Now, let me come to the Community Development Department. This department is not like other departments. It is not like Forest or Public Works Department or Education Department. This department is mixed up and everything is there. Now. let me start from Chockpots, since the hon. Member from Chockpot, Mr. Jackman Marak has complained about the Block Development Officer that he always comes to Tura and stays there with his family the whole month and two or three days only stays in the headquarters and then again he comes to Tura. Regarding this complaint we have received a report from the Deputy Commissioners and action is being taken against those officers. He also stated whatever road the District Council has constructed that road is then taken up by the Block Development which simply passes the bill and gets the money. This matter is also to be enquired into by the Department.    

        Mr. P.R. Kyndiah, the former Minister of P.W.D. made a mention about the appointment of the B.D.C. Chairman and said that appointment was done only from among the members of the ruling party.

( Voices - Excepting one )

        Yes, excepting one. The rules provide only for a term of one year and next year there will be a change. According to the Government policy this has to be done.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Am I understand that the policy is to appoint from among the ruling party ?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister, Forests, etc.) : There is no such rule, Sir.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Yes, the term is only for one year.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister, Forests, etc.) : And by next year.

( Voices - Will there be a next year for this House ? )

Shri Grohonsing Sing A. Marak (Minister, Forest, etc.) : I hope so. At least, the Government will be there.

        Mr. Edward Kurbah, the hon. Member from Sohiong has stated that there is a lack of co-operation among the Block staff as a result of which the rural people are not getting adequate help especially in the Mairang and Mawsynram Blocks. So far I have enquired about these officers, there are no specific charges. However, since the complaint has come here in this august House, the matter will be enquired into.

        Mr. Jormanik Syiem, the hon. Member from Mylliem has complained that the Block schemes once executed have not been followed up by proper maintenance. Local villagers feel that it is not their responsibility to look after the schemes. The point is very well taken care of. The Department is already taking necessary action to ensure maintenance of the schemes through departmental follow-up measures. When these schemes are completed, the department will hand them over to the people to maintain them.

        Prof. M.N. Majaw has mentioned about the affairs of the District Council Affairs Department. He said : "The loan to the District Council. I personally checked up and verified this from the CEM of Khasi Hills District Council. He informed me that they really received the loan of Rs. 60 thousand". I do not know what is the situation in the two District Councils. But this loan must have some interest attached to it. This also requires investigation. I therefore, request the Finance Department-Whether he has requested the Finance Department, I do not know. The Finance Minister may like to clarify. However, I will just inform the House that during the year 1972-73, this Department sanctioned a loan of Rs. 2 lakhs under the head of account "Q-Loans and Advances etc. (III Loans to Autonomous Districts Councils etc-Development Schemes (Fourth Five Year Plan) Other State Plan Schemes-Loans to Autonomous District Councils-Border Areas Programme-Improvement of Markets in Border Areas" to the three District Councils of Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills in a ratio of a district-wise breakup of Rs. 90,000 : Rs. 70,000 : Rs. 40,000 respectively for the purpose of improvement of border markets in the District.

        The loan was sanctioned under the following terms and conditions -

        1. That the loan be utilised for markets which can be self-sufficient and which can earn revenue so that they will be in a position to repay the loan;

        2. the rate of interest is 7 per cent per annum;

        3. that the repayment of loan will be in 20 equal installments. The amount of such repayment will be intimated later on, in consultation with the Accountant General, Meghalaya.

        Regarding the recovery of the loans and interest from the District Councils concerned, the matter was referred to the Accountant General, Meghalaya for necessary action, but so far no information has been received from the Accountant General in this regard despite our repeated reminders. However, the latest position of the matter is given as follows.

        1. The Garo Hills District Council has submitted only the Utilisation Certificate in respect of the loan of Rs. 70,000 sanctioned to them.

        2. The Khasi Hills District Council has reported that it has not utilised the loan for the purpose for which it was sanctioned, but requested the Government to treat the loan as grant-in-aid. The matter was, however, examined in consultation with Finance Department and Government regrets its inability to accept the proposal of the Council. The District Council has been requested to refund the loan sanctioned to it together with the interest accrued thereof.

        3. The Jaintia Hills District Council requested the Government to extend the time for utilisation of the loan sanctioned to it. It has been requested to furnish Utilisation Certificate in this regard as and when the amount was utilised by them. However, repeated reminders to the Council have also been issued.

        So far as subjects under my charge are concerned I have finished and I hope that the hon. members will come up with more suggestions. But if any of them have not got some point clear he may please come to meet me.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are still some more points about the welfare of the officers of the C.D. Department. Firstly, the staff are still very temporary. Secondly, the B.D.Os who belong to other Departments should be absorbed in the C.D. Department. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The Government is examining that aspect of the matter. With regard to some people in the Blocks on temporary basis, these will be considered.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Now, Minister-in-charge of Revenue.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are a number of subjects under my charges but I shall reply only with regard to Revenue. I would like Mr. Salseng Marak to reply on Small Scale Industries and Shri B.B. Shallam on Border Areas. And I will supplement them.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : So, the Minister-in-charge of Border Areas.

( Voices : No, the Minister-in-charge of Revenue first )

( Interruption )

        Now I call upon the Minister-in-charge of Border Area Development.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it would be better if the Minister of State in-charge of Border Area Development and also Minister of State in-charge of Small Scale Industries will reply first. After that I may also reply to supplement them.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, should I reply only to Border Area Development or Fisheries also. (Voices both), Now, I will start with Fisheries. These are a few point raised at least by 4 members concerning Fishery Department. According to the point raised by Shri Jackman Marak, he wants to know whether the Fishery tank lying between Tura and Rongram is actually a Fishery tank or something else. I believe he must have referred to the Tikrichiring fish farm which is existing and it is the only farm which is existing between Rongram and Tura. It is not something else as contented by he hon. Member but it is a fishery farm which has been constructed only recently. During my last visit, that is on the 18th of last month, I found that the farm is running quite well Secondly Mr. Marak wants also to increase the subsidy to pisciculturists from Rs.500 Rs. 1,000 to which we cannot do at present because the distribution of subsidy to the pisciculturists is done according to the rules prescribed and duly approved by the Government. He also mentioned about the fishery ponds being not properly looked into. I do not know which ponds he refers to but so far as the ponds or tanks that are under the jurisdiction of the Fishery Department they are always being properly looked into.

        Now I come to the points raised by Mr. Kurbah in which her expressed his dissatisfaction or disappointment about the distribution of grants-in-aid and said that the real persons do not get such grants. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the distribution of subsidy to the pisciculturist is done by District Selection Committee appointed by the Government. The distribution by such Committee is based on the technical report and the feasibility of the project. There might be real persons, but after all if their tanks or projects are not real certainly no subsidy can be granted to such persons. However, I do not rule out the possibility of giving grant or subsidy to the unreal persons but if the hon. Members concerned can cite examples we can certainly enquire into it and see that such things do not happen and we will see that the one who is responsible for such acts will be taken to task. Then the grant for fishery is not enough according to Mr. Kurbah, Sir, I would like to mention that the distribution of subsidy is done as per rules. There are some people who get lees and others more and that is depending on the quantum of work they did. However there is scope for revision of these matters and we will see after examining whether we can enhance it.

        Then I come to the point raised by the hon. Member from Mawkhar. At the very first instance, he described the fishery department as a very fishy one. Most probably he might have concluded his reason by referring to paragraph 13 of the budget speech in which he said that that paragraph is a mere repetition of the previous year. I would like to mention in this respect that as long as the Fishery Department exits the policy statement had to be incorporated in very budget speech, it is a must that each subject has to be incorporated there. The Government has to make a policy statement in regard to this department. He also said that he had consulted.

Shri S.D. Khongwir : On a point of clarification whether a policy statement is given in the budget speech or in the Governor's Address. That is for my personal education.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : In fact in the Chief Minister's budget speech this is mentioned as a sort of policy statement. It is not a mere repetition. In fact we had to incorporate it in the budget speech for the enlightment for the hon. Member.

Prof. A. Warjri : What I said regarding that paragraph on fishery is that it is a mere repetition and that it should be repeated. That means other portions of the budget speech also should be repeated. 

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : I do not know about other subjects. I am dealing only with own subjects. The hon. Member also mentioned about statistics. In this respect I would like to inform the hon. Member that so far we have not been able to have this statistical wing. We wish to have it and it is being examined and I hope that we will he having it in the near future. It is very necessary to have these statistics in regard to the fish and fish farms and tanks. So I can give assurance that we are going to have this wing in our department also.

Prof A. Warjri : Am I to understand that for all these years amounts have been spent on this department and no statistics have been taken of the expenditure incurred ?

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : You have asked whether there is such statistical wing. So my clear reply to what Sir, is that we have not had so far. The hon. Member has not asked for the statistics of expenditure etc. If he had asked for them I could have given him. If the hon. Member wants to have the statistics certainly he can straight way ask for it or can also come to my office for seeking clarification.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : How is it that the House will go to his office ?

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Is it so difficult for the hon. Member to go to the Minister's Office ? In fact they used to come in the pasts. Of course, I cannot force unwilling persons.

Prof. A. Warjri : I think the Minister did not listen properly to my speech. I had asked for the statistics whether the statistics have been taken so far in this department. Here I have still with me a copy of my speech. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Sir, I think we have to be very clear about the attitude of some Ministers. To say come to my house or to my office is not a proper way. It amounts to an insult of the House. So we have to take a very clear stand on this.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : I have never said that the member should come to my house although they have used to come. What I said is to come to my office to discuss any matter raised in the House.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : For matters raised in the House the House has the right to get the reply and not in the office.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : I have said that the statement can be in made the House. That is not unparliamentary.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : But why "come to my office". I think it is better to withdraw.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : From his reply it is clear that it has not been done as yet.

Shri D.D. Pugh : Sir, we may demand an apology from him. If he says I am sorry I have not been able to collect the information that way it is acceptable. But instead, if he says come to my office, come to my house, who is he ?

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : I said that we have not been able to collect the statistics and datas.

        ( A voice - There is no such word as datas ) Here the hon. member from Mawkhar has said that - I think by now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, most of the fishes might have grown moustache and grey hair. (Laughter).

        It is quite surprising whether people have ever seen such fish which grown moustache and grey hair. In that case, there would be need for fish barber also to shape those moustaches and grey hair. I will certainly welcome the hon. Member if he can bring such fish here also. We would like to see such.

Shri Alexander Warjri : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether the Minister understands allegory or not.

Shri D.D. Pugh : I am not sure whether my colleague is thereby hinting that the Minister does not know English.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Sir, I may not know his English in as much as I believe that he does not understand what I mean also. 

Shri Alexander Warjri : I wanted to say that the fish in Barapani had been there right from the time of construction of the Dam. But there is no systematic netting of fish and some fish have become so old that they might have grown such, and such as I said. I wanted to lay emphasis on their age only. I think the Minister will understand.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State for Border Area Development) : I took the literal meaning of whole had been stated on that day.

        As regards Barapani Scheme, I would like to inform the House that the delay in the matter of implementation the scheme was due to lack of cooperation from the Khasi Hills District Council authority. The above authority had o sign an agreement but up till now nothing had been done by it. Only recently we wrote to the Chief Executive Member urging him to sign the agreement so that we can go ahead with the implementation of the scheme but up till now we have not received any reply from him. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is quite aware go the importance of the scheme. We believe that after implementation the scheme we will be able to supply fish not only to Shillong but also to the neighbouring villages around it. But, unfortunately we cannot do so due to lack of cooperation from the District Council authority. In this respect. Sir, I would like to make an earnest appeal to the members of this august House to kindly use their good office also to influence the District Council authority so that they can come round and sign the agreement pending which nothing can be done.

        I come to the points raised by the hon. member from Sohra that he wanted self a sufficiency in fish. That is our desire also and that is why we want to implement the scheme at Barapani. He has also suggested that we should come forward with bigger scheme whereby he wants each and every family should have fish ponds. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this regard I would like to say that it may not be possible for the Government to provide each family with a fishing pond. It is for the family itself to take the initiative to have one. What the Government can do is to help those farmers or pisciculturist by way of granting them subsidy as a sort of encouragement to them.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point is not fish farm; it is fish pond. Fish pond is meant for family.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : That may be so, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but I don't think it will be possible for the Government to provide fish pond for each and every family. What the Government can do is that they can provide with subsidy to genuine pisciculturists.

Shri S.P. Swer : My another point was that whether the Fishery Department propose to provide fish nurseries so that we can rear fish. Whether expertise opinion has been obtained or nor.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Our fish farmers are being provided with expert advice . Our department deputed demonstrators to undergo training so that when they return they can impart their knowledge which they have received during training to the fish farmers. So, the Department has done its best to see that each and every pisciculturist may grow fish.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now I will come to the Border Area Development Department on the questions raised by Shri Pohshna. He raised several points and observed that Bangladesh nationals used to come to our Border. Areas and cut down trees. He also observed that the people in the border areas are not safe. He cited a recent incident at Muktapur area where the Bangladesh Nationals come and cut down the trees. He therefore, urges upon the Government to see that the Border Areas of the State are safe. Sir, this matter has been referred to the Home Ministry and on which, I believe, the reply will be given by the Chief Minister. Regarding the point raised by the hon. Member, Shri Samsul Haque, about the cattle lifting in the Border Areas of his constituency, I would like to inform the House that we have referred the matter to the Deputy Commissioners of the respective Districts of the State to get their views whether it is a feasible to have stockade or some sort of a community cow-shed along the border of of our State in order to prevent cow lifting. The Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, informed that the construction of community cow-shed will not serve any useful purpose and he also informed that the B.S.F. have very much objected to the construction of such stockade or community cow-shed along the border of our State. He reported that the B.S.F. along the border of our State. He reported that the B.S.F. authorities had written that the armed personnel were trained and organised to perform certain normal duties in the border areas for policing it and to ensure in the minds of the people a sense of security by stopping trans-border crimes. In the event of any emergency they would also have to defend the borders of the country. To carry out such duties, certain types of special training are imparted to the troops and they are equipped with certain types of arms and equipments. That being the condition, it would be desirable to keep the Camps of the B.S.F. slightly away from places inhabited by the local people. For these reasons, construction of cattle stockade in the vicinity of the B.S.F. Camps would not be desirable.

( Mr. Speaker in the Chair )

        Since the Border Security Forces are placed along the border, the out-posts of the State Civil and Armed Police are not generally established right in the border but somewhat away from the international border. So it would not serve much purpose to construct the stockade near the outposts of the State Civil Police which are located generally away from the international border.   

        The same was the view of the Deputy Commissioner, Jaintia Hills and the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills.

        The other aspect is utilisation of cowdung as manure in the fields for cultivation by the villagers. As the establishment of common stockade for cattle would cause difficulties for the local people to use and transport cowdung as manure in the respective fields of the villages, the practical alternative to solve this problem is to encourage the use of power tillers and tractors in the border areas and thereby progressively diminish the use of cattle for ploughing the field. On this matter, steps are being taken to educate the people about the usefulness of these agricultural inputs and make them available at reasonable rates. In case there is appreciable response from the cultivators in the border areas, more of these agricultural inputs would be purchased for the border areas in due course. 

        Regarding the construction of wire fencing all along the Indo-Bangladesh border, it is a matter to be studied in detail with regard to its cost and practicability and the ultimate decision on this will have to be made by the Government of India.

        Now, Sir, I would like to come to the point raised by Shri Samsul Haque about black-topping of roads from Mahendraganj to Ampatty and Mahendraganj to ................

Mr. Speaker - That is entirely concerned with the Public Works Department. So, the Minister concerned will take up the matter.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Sir, since he had mentioned about the border roads I am talking up this matter. Any way, now let me come to another point raised by Shri Jackman Marak, the Chockpot M.L.A.

Mr. Speaker - No, No, you cannot address the hon. Member like that. Of course, outside the House you may call him like that but inside the House he is an M.L.A. from the Chockpot constituency. So, you should address him as the hon. Member from the Chockpot constituency.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Alright Sir, then I will address him as the hon. Member from the Chockpot Constituency. The said member raised three points about rice and other essential commodities which are not available in his area.

Mr. Speaker : Here also this matter is concerned with the Supply Department and the Minister concerned will deal with this particular subject. Here I would like to make it clear for all the Ministers about one basic factor that so far as the decisions and policy matters are concerned, these are dealt with by the Chief Minister for further clarification of the informations placed on the floor of this House. But if you are going to participate in all the subjects like this then I think the Chief Minister will not have much to speak on all these matters.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, if that be the case then I have nothing more to say on any matter.

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of State, Small Scale and Cottage Industries) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to speak on some points raised by the hon. Members of this august House. Now, I would like to speak on the points raised by Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, the hon. Member from Nongthymmai. He said that the Government should formulate industrial policy to safe-guard the interest of the tribal people of our State. Well, since it is entirely a policy matter, this will be dealt with by the Chief Minister himself. As regards the points raised by Shri S.P. Swer, the hon. Member from Sohra, he has raised the point that the Small and Cottage Industries in the rural areas do not receive as much attention as they deserve from the Government. Now, Sir, here I would like to remind the hon. Member that he was once the Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Board. I think he will still remember what he had done to promote these industries and to encourage the people to take up this industry to maintain their livelihood. I think he will admit the fact that in spite of our sincere efforts to encourage the local people for setting up these industries, the achievement in that respect was unsatisfactory. Sir, the reasons are numerous for the failure of this scheme, I mean for the unsatisfactory development of Cottage and Small Scale Industries in the rural areas. There is dearth of local entrepreneurs and lack of infrastructure and absence of good marketing facilities and also the problem of financing such industries. Government are making every effort to remove these practical difficulties and are keen to ensure proper and speedy growth of these industries so that the people will be provided with additional opportunities of employment in their own habitats based on local raw materials. For this proper planning and coordination and broad selection of priorities will be necessary. Sir, the Government is considering to take up different schemes very soon and efforts are being made to open emporia in the District Headquarters and if possible in Calcutta in Meghalaya House and in Delhi in order to enhance the sale of products of our local artisans.

        Another point raised by Mr. Hadem, hon. member from Mynso Raliang was that he wanted to know about the present position of Watch Assembly Plant to be set up in Meghalaya in collaboration with the Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd. For the information of the hon. member, the Government of India have allotted the Watch Assembly Unit to be set up in Meghalaya in collaboration with the Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd. as part of the scheme for expansion of Watch Making Project. Negotiations have already been held between Industrial Development Corporation and H.M.T. Ltd. (bell rang).

Mr. Speaker : I think the time is up. The House get more information in the second stage through the cut motions. I think the Minister will reply more in detail when it comes to that stage. Now the Chief Minister to reply.  

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir I am indeed thankful to the hon. members who have participated in the discussion on the budget and who have evinced keen interest in the different aspects of the administration. Some suggestions of the hon. members are indeed very constructive and I may, Sir, through you, assure the House that some of them will receive Government's most earnest consideration. The various points raised in the course of the discussion and suggestions made have been carefully noted by the Government and the respective departments will take proper action in due course. Some of my colleagues have already replied to some of the points raised so far as the departments under their respective charges are concerned. I shall now try to cover as many points as possible. If the points raised or suggestions made by any hon. Member are not touched upon, it should not be interpreted that the Government ignored the points set forth in their speech or suggestions made by them would not receive consideration. Some of the hon. Members have naturally voiced their anxiety on account of the rise in the price of some essential commodities. I may assure the House that the Government are no less concerned in the matter and all endeavours are being made in cooperation with the Central Government to stabilise and bring down prices. In the course of the discussion, the hon. Member from Sutnga, Mr. Nongtdu, has stressed the desirability of indicating clearly the purpose by which the money is being proposed to be utilised. Citing the instance of the Public Works Department, he urged that other departments should also follow the example of that department and furnish details of revenue and expenditure under various grants as shown respectively in volumes I and II of the Budget. He contended that similar concerning P.W.D. should have been furnished separately. I may also mention that for the first time, we have introduced performance budget in the Public Health Engineering Department and we propose to gradually extend this to other departments when we get sufficient persons trained in Delhi for that purpose.

        Some hon. members voiced their concern about what they call public debt. Shri Hadem, hon. Member from Mynso-Raliang, has pointed out that we have estimated for a total borrowing of Rs. 4,78,65,000 under the heads '603-Intermal Debt of the State Government' and '604-Loans and Advances from the Central Government'. I may clarify the position. Of the amount of Rs. 4,78,65,000, Rs. 2,95,00,000 represent the ways and means advance from the reserve Bank of India and the Government of India. The same amount has also been provided under the expenditure budget as re-payment as will be seen at pp. 795 and 799 of the Budget-Volume II. The ways and means advance is taken from the Reserve Bank of India or the Government of India or from both when the State Government finds temporary ways and means difficulty during the course of the year. In reality, therefore the estimate of borrowing from different sources is limited to Rs. 1,83,65,000 only as compared to the total capital expenditure at Rs. 13,05,11,400. These figures of total capital expenditure as shown at p. 14 of the Annual Financial Statement have been calculated after deducting Rs. 2,95,00,000 as representing payment of ways and means advance. I therefore, request the hon. Members to kindly bear in mind that by capital expenditure. Government create tangible assets of permanent character with the total public debt of Rs. 1,83,65,000 which means the per capita debt of Rs. 18.15. The Government create the total assets of Rs. 12,38,08,600 which works out to Rs. 122.37 per capita. I hope the hon. Members will agree with me that it represents a satisfactory position. I would also like to apprise the House that while almost all other States got 70 per cent of the total Plan assistance as loan and 30 per as grant, we are getting 90 percent as a grant and only 10 percent as loan. We are in a favourable position when compared to other States. Sir, as regards estimated deficit, I have already indicated in my Budget Speech that ways and means, to close the gap, will be explored. Sir, I agree entirely with the hon. Member, Shri W. Syiemiong, that deficit financing in the State like Meghalaya is not advisable. In fact, the States within the federal structure of India are not empowered to resort to deficit financing and you know that the State has no power to print the currency notes. But at the same time, we want to develop our State as quickly as possible. For that purpose, we require the Plan outlay. The gap in the current year's budget is benefiting the State. On the Plan outlay, we have estimated our receipt budget on the basis of estimates from the Government of India ways and means advance. To cover the uncovered gap, ways and means will be found out during the course of the year. Sir, it is a fact that our current year's interest liability has been estimated at Rs. 1.91 crores. I would like to point out that under the recommendation of the Finance Commission, the Government of India paid the State Government grants under Article 275 of the Constitution to cover the gap on revenue account. Payment of interest is an expenditure on revenue account and this is covered by the grant of Rs. 15.63 crores under Article 275 of the Constitution. The hon. Member may please refer to the provision at page 80 of Volume I of the budget Sir, indebtedness of the State Government is shown in the Annual Financial Accounts prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and is presented to the Assembly every year. For that information, all the hon. Members may kindly refer to the latest Financial Accounts. The hon. Member has also referred to a loan from the L.I.C. Sir, with the loans of Rs. 15 lakhs from L.I.C. the different schemes under the Housing Directorate will be financed. These schemes are middle Income Group Housing Scheme, Low Income Group Housing Scheme, Subsidised Industrial Housing Scheme, Scheme, Scheme for construction of houses for weaker section of the community, Rural Housing Scheme, Acquisition and Development of Land for housing.

        Sir, some of the hon. Members have criticised the functioning of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation, stating that a large proportion of the vehicles are shut down, lack of proper care, absence of retreading of tyres etc. The total strength of the fleet of vehicles of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation is 168, consisting of 99 buses 50 trucks and 19 cars. Of these 59 buses 23 trucks and 7 cars have been shut down due to engine defect requiring major overhauling of engine. A condemnation Committee for disposal of unserviceable vehicles and stores has been constituted and speedy action is proposed to be taken to dispose of the unserviceable vehicles and stores.

        While on the subject, I should mention, Sir, that out of 99 vehicles received by Meghalaya State Transport Corporation on the bifurcation of the joint Corporation, 59 vehicles were not in good condition. Action is being taken to keep the vehicles clean. As regards retreading of tyres, Sir, use of retreaded tyres has been found unsatisfactory due to bad condition of the roads. The possibilities are however, looked into afresh.

        Sir, Prof. Warjri has alleged that while many tribal applicants did not get National Permits many non-tribal applicants got the permit. The actual position, Sir is that altogether 80 applicants for 50 National Permits were received. Of these only 35 applicants were tribals. Out of 35 one applicant were withdrawn, five applicants did not appear before the State Transport Authority, four applicants were rejected as the applicants preferred composite (Zonal) permit, one application was rejected as the application failed to produce the required documents. The remaining 21 tribal applicants were granted National permits.

        Sir, some hon. Members, particularly Shri Majaw have mentioned about the loss of revenue to the State on account of black marketing of petroleum products on the G.S. Road by some persons, evasion of sales take on liquor sold for which cash memos are not issued. Shri Majaw has further stated that there has been huge loss of revenue on account of defaults in the payment under Assam Passenger and Goods Tax. He stressed that authorities in Meghalaya have not taken a strict view and they should not renew permits licenses unless a tax clearance certificate is not produced.  

        As regards black-marketing in cinema tickets Sir, an enactment was made in 1973 under which any person found reselling cinema tickets in black-market is liable to be arrested and prosecuted under the Meghalaya Amusement and Betting Tax Act. The Inspecting Officers of the Taxation Department are trying their best to tackle this evil. But our officers are mostly engaged in checking of cinema tickets within the precints of the cinema Hall. As such, it is very difficult on their part to effectively tackle this problem. Government are, however, alive to the problem and would do their best to eradicate this evil. But to effectively tackle this problem, public co-operation is essential.

        Currently Sir, we have seen experimenting on levying Entertainment Tax on lump-sum basis. Under this system of payment, there is no loss to Government revenue on account of black-marketing in cinema tickets. Nevertheless the evil will have to be rooted out.

        As regards evasion of sales-tax through black-marketing of petroleum products on the G.S. road, Sir, all efforts will be taken to stop such black-marketing. But I may clarify that Sales Tax on petroleum product is collected at the first point, if the product is resold at the second stage, no tax can be charged under the law.

        As regards loss of revenue for defaults under the Assam Passengers and Goods Tax, the matter is being looked  into and appropriate action will be taken.

        Coming to evasion of sales tax on liquor, Sir, all liquor whether imported from outside the State or manufactured within the State is liable to be taxed under the provisions of the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) Act. It is incumbent on all registered dealers to issue cash or credit memos for all sales effected. Necessary steps will be taken to enforce this provision as rigorously as possible. I would, however like to inform the hon. Members, Sir, that figures of collection of sales tax on liquor during the past 5 years indicate that the collection of tax on this account has considerably improved.

        Sir, Shri Majaw has referred to the revenue receipts from the Guest Houses, including the Meghalaya Houses in Calcutta, and has alleged that the Trade Adviser has been occupying the entire second floor of the building. He has also complained about irregularities committed by the officer. May I, Sir, clarify the position ? Actual receipts from seat rent realised from the occupants of the Meghalaya House, Calcutta are as follows :- 

1975-76

...

...

...

...

Rs. 40,562.50

1976-77

...

...

...

...

Rs. 38,289.00

        The figure for 1977-78 will be known on receipt of monthly statement beginning from April, 1977.

        The receipt from seat rent from year to year will naturally fluctuate depending on the number of visitors and the period of their stay.

        The Trade Adviser was sanctioned a House Rent Allowance of Rs. 200/- p.m. on 22.1.74 till such time he was provided with Government quarters. he was allowed to draw the House Rent Allowance for a period upto 31.12.74 and it was ordered that the overdrawn amount of the House Rent Allowance be recovered at the rate of Rs. 100/- p.m. The recovery is being effected through the Accountant General.

        The Trade Adviser was allowed rent-free accommodation in the Meghalaya House with effect from 1.1.75. The total number of rooms in the second floor of the building No. 10 is 7 (seven) and covers a total space of 299.10 sq. meters. None of the rooms in the second floor is at present air-conditioned and no assessment of probable rent of the second floor has been made so far.

        As the Trade Adviser is required to attend to day-to day functioning of the Meghalaya House, it is essential that he stays in the Guest House itself. Besides, Sir, the rental of buildings around the Meghalaya House is exorbitant and the officer would not be in the financial position to pay the house rent if he is made to stay outside the Meghalaya House.

        Hon. Member, Shri Rowell Lyngdoh has complained about the conduct of the Trade Adviser and has alleged that many citizens of Meghalaya have complained against him to the Government but without result. It is true, Sir, that Government have received some complaints against the officer and all these are being looked into.

        In course of my reply to the question I have indicated that proper action would be taken after necessary enquiry.

        Now I would like to touch some important points raised by my friend in the Opposition. Before that I would like to give a reply about certain allegations made by Prof. M.N. Majaw. He alleged that a wrong person was arrested and detained under M I S A. He referred to Brij Raj Misra and Kalyan Ch. Misra and I must inform the hon. Member through you Sir, that both brothers were involved in activities of the R.S.S. which was banned by the Government of India after the promulgation of the Emergency. Shri Kalyan Ch. Misra was a Swayam Sevak of the R.S.S. and was the the headmaster of the Hindi L.P. School at Tura. His brother was involved with the R.S.S. and was serving as a salesman in a shop called Sriram Bhander at Tura. However, in the dossiers of Shri Brij Raj Misra, his occupation was wrongly entered as the headmaster of Hindi L.P. School, Tura. But both were arrested under MISA. So it is not a fact that a wrong person was arrested and detained under MISA. The Government orders for detaining Shri Brij Misra were passed in 4th November, 1975, and so he was detained. The mistake in the occupation of Brij Misra was reported by the Superintendent of Police, Garo Hills on February, 1976. The mistake was immediately brought to the notice of the Government and the Government ordered that the officer responsible for the mistake, who happened to be the Inspector of Police Tura should departmentally dealt with. Accordingly departmental proceedings were drawn up by the Inspector General of Police, Meghalaya. The Superintendent of Police, Garo Hills, who was appointed as the Enquiry officer has submitted his findings. The Inspector of General of Police will be passing orders on his findings shortly. Shri Brij Raj Misra was let off on parole by the Government in their orders dated 20th August 1976. The detention orders on Shri Brij Ray Misra were revoked on the 8th October, 1976. after receiving the views of the Government of India. The Government of India while agreeing to the revocation of the detention orders wanted that a close watch should be kept on his activities after the release. From this also it will be clear that no innocent person has been arrested or detained. So the question of an enquiry commission does not arise. The orders for detaining Shri Kalyan Ch. Misra under MISA were passed on 20th March, 1976 and he remained under detention till 16th September, 1976, and it was also alleged that some persons from Shillong were arrested and detained without sufficient ground. On of them is Ratan Lal Sharaf who was a Swayam Sevak Sikhak in the R.S.S. The Government ordered a detention order on 5th July, 1975. However, the detention orders could not be served on him as he was evading arrest. The help of the Gauhati police and Calcutta were sought for to effect his detention. As I understand he surrendered himself to the Police on 22nd August, 1975, and he has given a written undertaking to disassociate himself from R.S.S., activities. After that the Government revoked the detention orders on 7th January, 1976. He also admitted that he was a volunteer of the R.S.S..

Prof. M.N. Majaw : On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker, Sir. The point id not about Shri Ratan Lal Saraf but detention order was on Shri Rohit Kumar Sharaf who was arrested instead of Ratan Lala Sharaf. And he was also kept in the District Jail from the 4th to 7th July 1975. Inspite of producing his passport along with his application and his passport photo was also there, he was not released. It was only after he approached the District Court to identify him that he was released on 7th July, 1975. The records in the jail will show. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I will come to that later on. Shri Rohit Kumar Saraf was arrested under section 41 Cr. P.C. for certain investigations under anti state activities. Later he was produced before the Court on 4th July, 1975 within 24 hours of his arrest. Later he has discharged from jail on 7th July 1975. on the orders of the Magistrate on the basis of the police report that no sufficient materials could be found against him under the law.

        Now I come to another point. This is in regard to the alleged delay in the execution of the parole orders passed by the Government on 18th August, 1976 on Prof. M.N. Majaw. Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I express my personal sorrow because he is a colleague of mine, but we cannot ignore the rules and procedure. On the 18th July I passed the order to release him and immediately after that the orders were cyclostyled on the very same night instead of doing it the next morning. According to the Jail Manual no persons could be released at night and no persons are allowed to go to the Jail at night. I know about this case and I even tried to help him. I asked the Superintendent of Police to bring him from the jail and without fulfilling the formalities. He was released from jail on the 19th August, 1976.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. I know for a fact that can be clarified from the jail records that the real order was issued at the same time for Mr. Mawthoh and me and that Mr. Mawthoh's order was issued late at night. Why that one release order was released late at night. What was the reason for delaying my release order and secondly Mr. Speaker, Sir, if he would have been taken out of jail, there would have been no any other and he was released early in the morning because of special circumstances. Why could not that release order have been delivered to me also ? Because of special circumstances, the release order was issued late at night and why the other release order was brought only today ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that Mr. Mawthoh's order was passed on the 18th. That is correct. But it was released till 12.30 p.m. on the 18th.

Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister has got your point, Mr. Majaw. Let the Chief Minister continue his reply. The contention of Prof. Majaw is why the Government did not deliver it to him also while it was delivered till late at night.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : And only one was delivered. Both were issued together.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : According to Rule 553, a prisoner should be released after the morning meal. That was not deliberate.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : I am sorry, the point has been missed. We do not dispute that. But the point I was raising here is why was there discrimination ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : There was no discrimination, Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : And if, Mr. Speaker, Sir, both the orders were issued together why was only one delivered to the jail authorities and not mine ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Prof. Warjri ....

Prof. M.N. Majaw : I want a reply, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have no more reply.

Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister said there is no discrimination. But from your point of view, when one letter was issued to the jail authorities, then naturally your order also must have been issued.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : We would like it to be made clear that if one letter was issued and delivered at night, why not the other letter ?

Prof. M.N. Majaw : This is my suggestion which this august House is dealing.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well Mr. Speaker, I made it clear that we wanted always to help.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : The fact that the two letters were issued on the evening.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I will enquire whether it was a fact that one letter was delivered at night. There are other members of this House who wanted to know whether they were issued together. Well, I shall enquire about it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a complaint that a number of officers were placed under suspension. We have to follow certain rules and procedures. Of course, it is a fact that in some cases delay has taken place in the disposal of the cases. In fact we have issued orders that such cases will be disposed of as soon as possible. Now, let us come to the point raised by the hon. Member from Nongthymmai. I think the House will agree with me that it was rather, say, a lecture on political philosophy.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Policy, not philosophy.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am also greatly concerned like my colleagues that the population character of this State should be maintained. When they were together with me, along with their co-operation and help I have tried to devise ways and means to control the population structure. I am indeed grateful for the cooperation extended to me. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : And even now also. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : But I think it was not correct for the hon. Member from Nongthymmai to use this platform for airing his political philosophy. While referring to the population character of the State he referred by an indication to the residential bill which was passed by this House when he himself was than Law Minister of my cabinet. He knows this actual position more than anyone why we could not get the assent of the President. The hon. Member from Jaiaw has suggested that there should be rules and regulations for the protection of the population structure of the State. In this connection I would request him to realise that even a residential permit bill which is not unreasonable and which is intended to prevent the influx from outside the State could not be agreed to by the Government of India on the ground that the bill relates to inter State migration under entry 81 of List I of the Seventh Schedule. 

        In view of this I even suggested to the Government of India that some sort of a regulation like the Inner-Line Regulation which is applicable in the case of Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal be made applicable to Meghalaya also, but I also told that they were thinking of withdrawing it. I agree that it is the policy of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that tribal societies should be secured. They should be allowed to preserve their own tribal identity, they should have the leadership from the tribals themselves, and that there should be no imposition on this.

        Because of that assurance, we thought the Government of India will help us. In fact, I had discussions with Mr. Dixit when he was the Home Minister. He told me frankly that it was the Government policy to maintain a population structure of the tribals. I was never discouraged. But on some legal grounds, the proposal could not be accepted. With the help from all of you, we have taken up with the Government of India to protect the interest of the tribals of the State. My colleagues are aware of the fact that when the Government of India was thinking to bring about a comprehensive amendment to the Constitution of India, we have submitted a joint memorandum, with some other local parties for the insertion of a new Article in the Constitution to provide for a provision for the protection of the interest of tribals of Meghalaya as it was done in the case of Nagaland. The leaders were all out to have that incorporated in the Constitution. But when it was endorsed to the Law Ministry, they have come forward with a view that there is no need for similar provision for the State of Meghalaya in view of the provision of the Sixth Schedule. A number of subjects were enumerated in that particular Article which are available in the jurisdiction and judicial authorities of the District Council. I pointed out that if this is correct, then para 12 (A) should be amended whereby the Government should be able either to enforce or not to enforce with modification or with some restrictions the provisions of the Central Act. I was promised and was also informed formally that the Government could take up the question, but I do not know whether that promise will be honoured by the present Government or not. But I will not leave the matter as it is. I will pursue it. And then, in order to protect the interests of the tribals, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have presented an amendment to the Central Act in this session. In this regard, I hope I will get the co-operation from the hon. Members from both sides. But my colleague, the hon. Member from Nongthymmai, being a lawyer, would agree with me that whatever restriction is to be brought about, that restriction should be according to Article 19 (5).

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : This is a matter of law and a matter of legal opinion.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Because there is a law, there is a provision. Sometimes we could not get things through as we would. Leaving a matter of legal opinion apart, I believe we all agree that our interests should be protected. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was surprised to find that the same opinion on certain matters which we held when we were together could be changed within a few months after we had parted as party people. About the emergency which the hon. Members from Jaiaw, my erstwhile colleague, mentioned, I would refresh his memory by reading the resolution passed by the A.P.H.L.C. in the conference held on 19th August, 1976. "This conference records its deep sense of satisfaction over the remarkable success, social, economic, political and the achievements by the nation during the momentous period of time, since the proclamation of the Emergency and the announcement of the 20-point economic programme. In this context, we must take this opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister and her colleagues". It is indeed surprising that within a very short period this opinion can be changed. It is not only this, Mr. Speaker, Sir. In the previous resolution we have all expressed our great faith and confidence in Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Therefore, I think it was too early.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : On this point, this resolution was adopted in August 1976.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Yes on the 19th and 20th.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : As a party, we did welcome but we did not anticipate that this emergency would be a way of life. The emergency had continued for a long period of time so it was our thinking that emergency was only for a temporary period. When we see excesses on emergency, trampling down the democratic rights, we have to change our opinion. There is no question of keeping a blanket check on the continuance of emergency in the country.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The explanation of course, is there. But what I am trying to bring to the notice of the House is that during the emergency, we had occasions to work together and there was not even a slight indication to disapprove it. Since this new Government came in November last, it was on that context only and so I was wondering about the sudden change of attitude. Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding population character, a number of suggestions have been put forward by my colleagues from both sides, referring about the industrial policy. My colleagues who are now in the opposite know about it. I always advocated that we must give more importance to small scale and cottage industries. As far as major industries are concerned, we must take adequate action before the industry could be allowed to come. We have to train personnel. I was pointed out by the hon. Member from Nongthymmai that as far as industry is concerned, unless 75 per cent of the employees could be met from local population, then, we should not go for it. I can assure the House that when we talk about employment we should not talk about employment of the factory side only. We must also take into account whether there is scope for appointment, and whether by the existence of that industry, we can give more employment to the local population. These are matters that we have to go in detail before we come to that question of setting up industries.

        Therefore I can assure the House Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we will take enough precaution about setting up of industries for which there is no manpower requirement because of the technical nature of the work. In fact, we had in the past sent a number of tribals for training but they, unfortunately, could not succeed. Our tribal people went for training and after 3 months or so came back.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Have you raised the incentives ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Yes, but they have failed.

( A voice - Failure is the pillar of success )

        An observation or remark was made by my colleague from Nongthymmai to which I could not agree. I had thought this was not a forum but it was allowed. He said that after joining the Congress there is no more autonomy -

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Chief Minister I think there is no rule which enables you to deliver such kind of speeches. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Last time he also agreed that this was a forum.

Mr. Speaker : I think, Mr. Chief Minister, I should say that when I allowed any discussion inside the House I did so only when I found that person had something with which to substantiate his point of view. On any controversy which might mar the peaceful atmosphere of the House I can use my ruling. But if you say why I should I allow, then that is entirely a different matter.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : This is a party system of Government.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : All right, it is contended that it is only by maintaining that.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Nobody is denying that autonomy can be full.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I do not know which. State or political autonomy ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : State autonomy.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :Now in view of joining the National Party.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : It is being subverted.

Mr. Speaker : I think the Chief Minister must have his say.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D. etc) : He should not be disturbed when speaking.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The list of subjects within the purview of the Assembly is there. Therefore, I cannot see any reason why there should be apprehension that by joining the National Party our State's autonomy will be affected.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : It is affected.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Now it will depend entirely on the Government of India's attitude. As the hon. members are aware, certain subjects have been taken away from the State Legislature and included in the Union List. This has been made through the 42nd Amendment and the House was a party to that amendment. We, as a House, have ratified it. Therefore, you will see Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not because we have joined the National party that changes will be brought about in the State's autonomy. 

        I had occasions in the past to discuss with my colleagues on various ways and means of protecting the interest of our tribal society. I am glad this was referred to by the hon. member from Jaiaw when he spoke about the trade centres, the Land Transfer Act and the trading by non-tribals. In Garo Hills we have a Toll Act for the floating population who are registered there and they pay some taxes. There are various ways of protecting the interest of the tribal people. By the question is : Is it enough by passing such a law. We are to see that there is an effective enforcement agency and we must see to it that everybody co-operates in the implementation of the law. But it is indeed unfortunate that we, up till now, do not have the enforcement agency. I welcome suggestions from both sides of the House. As pointed out, this enactment can be enforced effectively and so the interest of the tribals can be protected.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, mention has been made about the change in the educational system. Here also I am a little bit worried if we do not get definite guidance from the Centre. The previous Government had decided to have 10+2+3 system but the present Government in then Centre is thinking of changing it. It is difficult to understand this because, as you know, now education has been taken into the Concurrent List.

Mr. Speaker : Just a minute Mr. Chief Minister. It appears that the Chief Minister will not be able to complete his reply by 1:30. So is it the sense of the House that we extend the setting till the Chief Minister concludes his reply.

( Voices --- Yes, yes. )

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I am one with the hon. member from Nongthymmai that our education should be job oriented and we must encourage vocational education. In fact, the greatest handicap in our State today is lack of man-power. We would like to have engineers, agriculturists, doctors and other technical persons. Sir, I have had occasions to repeatedly tell the House and also outside that the achievement of the State is not end. It is only a means to an end to bring all round development and prosperity to the State. Unless and until we have our own people to man the different departments specially in technical and engineering lines Government will be handicapped. We have made attempts to bring people from outside on temporary basis but there also we failed. Mention was made by the hon. Member from Jaiaw that when we bring people from outside we should see that our people's future prospect is not disturbed and their interests protected. Well this is the policy of the Government but there is practical difficulty in this. We went to bring technical men from outside on contract basis. It is very difficult to attract people to come because they are also concerned about their future. Suppose now you bring engineers from outside on contract basis, say for 3 or 5 years. They are young engineers are apprehensive to join if their services are not permanently absorbed. For when they are sent away after expiry of the contract they may not get jobs again on account of age limits. So this is a practical difficulty. In this context we must makes serious attempts to encourage our students to get themselves trained in different technical lines and professions so that our departments can be fully equipped with the local people who have interest in the development and prosperity of the State. A question was also raised about bifurcation of the services. There were a few departments the bifurcation of which is completed and an agreement under Section 64 (1) of the North Eastern Areas Reorganisation Act, 1971 has been reached. These are the lists of departments for which we have already executed an agreement under Section 64 (1) in respect of gazetted and non-gazetted staff as the case may be, under their control-Co-operation, Education, Finance, Excise, General Administration, Planning, Public Relations, Public Works Department (Roads and Buildings), Public Health Engineering, Supply, S.A.D., Trade, Transport, Tourism and Municipal Administration Health and Family Planning. The name of the last department has been changed to Family Welfare as has been done by the Centre. We are making earnest attempts to execute agreements in respect of other departments under that same section of the Act. The hon. Member from Jaiaw made a very strong remark saying that the budget is an emergency based budget. I am incharge of Finance and I do not know what emergency based budget or emergency oriented budget is. I simply take that whatever amount available for us should be spent for the development of the State. That is the only purpose depending on the receipts from various sources. We have got to see how the amount can be distributed department wise in bringing about all-round development in the State and prosperity of the people. Therefore I will make it very clear that the budget that is before the House is nor an emergency oriented budget. The only point raised was that since emergency is over we should not provide sizeable amount for criminal investigation. Criminal investigation has nothing to do with emergency. Before the emergency was proclaimed we had that set-up. The hon. Member pointed out that it does not mean only for emergency, it is for the day-to-day administration which will vary from the statistics and which will depend upon the situation prevailing in the State. It may vary from the State to State. I will repeat it. I may point out that the budget is not based on the emergency. The budget only caters to the day to day work of the Government ensuring security of the State. Moreover, for preserving peace in the State measures have to be taken for curbing anti-national activities. These things are there whether the emergency is there or not. Therefore we have got to have this branch but attempts should be made to minimise the expenditure on police I agree that we should all try to being about a welfare State but it depends also on the conduct and behaviour of the people. Everyone of us has to play his role to make Meghalaya, as in the past a peaceful State, a law-abiding State. If the people are law-abiding why should we have police. Before the pre-Independence days we did not have police forces. We depended on the village headmen and village sirdars to look after law and order. Therefore we should see education help make a serious attempt to bring about a welfare State. Let us try to set an example. It was a belief that Meghalaya is a peaceful State, where we did not have communal troubles and communal riots, there may be some sort of conflicts among the individuals but not in an organised way. I am sure with the co-operation of all and through some method of education we can really make Meghalaya a welfare State. Therefore, let us make an all-out effort to bring about peace and tranquility in the State so that we can boast that ours is a welfare State.  

        Mr. Speaker Sir, it will not be possible for me to touch all the points raised by the hon. Members but so far as policy matters are concerned I have given the reply. Now my colleague the Health Minister wanted me to give a reply to the question raised by Mr. Mylliemngap. He said what happened to the land at Tynring and Smit taken possession of by Health Department for a dispensary there. But due to paucity of fund the work could not be taken up at Smit. In Tynring land has been taken over by the Health Department for construction of a subcentre of Public Health Department. For the construction of the Sub-Centre. The P.H.E. has prepared plans and estimates and land had been handed over to the P.H.E. Regarding this offer of 50,000 rupees for children's Ward, I am sorry to point out here that the scheme of Children Ward, which the hon. Member from Sohryngkham proposed to be named after the name of his mother, is attached to the Ganesh Das Hospital and as such the Department finds it difficult. Any way the Health Department would like to name the Childrens, Ward after the name of his mother.

        Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed grateful to the hon. Members from both sides of the House and, as pointed out by some of the hon. Members, both from the opposite side and this side, that this may be the last time we meet as a team in this House. Many of us many return and some of us may not return. I do not know whether still there is any opportunity to meet in this House or not but I must take this opportunity lest we may not meet again. I thank all the Members of this House for the joint efforts during our term to bring about all round developments and prosperity of the State. I thank the hon. Members for their help towards democratic functioning of this House. Even while functioning in this House we could set an example to other States. Many visitors have come including M.L.As and M.Ps to watch the proceedings of the House from the gallery and all of them had nothing but admiration for disciplined functioning of this House. I would also like to make an appeal through you, Sir, that though we may be long to different political parties but our main objective and our goal should be how to serve our people best individually and also collectively. I hope in future we shall bear in mind that my existence is not for myself. My existence is for the society in which I live. And that conviction will promote every one of us to do and contribute for the welfare of the society, of the State and the country as a whole. Thank you.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification one thing has not been replied, i.e. receipts under Arms Act. May we know how much has been collected by the District Council under this Arms Act by issuing gun licences.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well we have referred to the concerned Department. There may be some difficulty because at the time of reorganisation of the administration we have a number of administrative units and as such licences had been issued by them. Those figures have to be collected.

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Chief Minister, you may give a reply with fuller details when the demand comes in the proper form. By then you will be in a better position.


Adjournment

        So, the general discussion on the Budget is closed. Now the House stands adjourned till 9-30 a.m. on Friday, the 3rd June, 1977.

Dated Shillong

D.S. KHONGDUP,

Secretary,

The 1st June, 1977

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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