Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9-30 A.M. on Saturday, the 4th June 1977, in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the chair.

******

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up unstarred question No. 34.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

( Replies to which were laid on that table )

Appointed of District and Session Judge

Shri Jor Manick Syiem asked :

34.

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

(a) Whether a District and Sessions Judge has since been appointed for the East Khasi Hills District ?

(b) Whether the Government are aware that the litigant public are being put to hardship due to non-appointment of the District Judge ?

(c) What action do Government propose to take to relieve the hardship of the litigant pending appointment of the said officer ?

(d) Whether the Government are also aware that a large number of claim cases are pending for want of a Claims Tribunal ?

(e) Whether the Government propose to create a post for the Claims Tribunal in order to expedite claim cases which are increasing day by day ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge, Law, etc.) replied :

34.

(a) - No.

(b) - Yes.

(c) - In view of the mandatory provisions of the Constitution, the matter was taken up with the High Court soon after the resignation of the previous District Judge and the High Court has already issued an advertisement for the said post.

(d) There are 54 Motor Accidents Claim cases and 7 cases of Industrial Disputes with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal and the Industrial Tribunal respectively.

(e) The need for the creation of a post for the Claims Tribunal shall be examined by Government as and when necessity may arise in future.

Shri Jor Manik Syiem :- 34 (c) Mr. Speaker, Sir, Whether any application has been received for the post ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge, Law, etc.) :- Yes, applications have been received for the post of District Judge and these are pending, at present, with the High Court.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- 34 (d). Whether the pending 54 motor accidents cases are considered to be a large number?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge, Law, etc.) :- Yes considering the size of the State, it is a large number.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Then the creation of the post is a necessity.

Mr. Speaker :- That is argumentative.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- (e). How many cases would be necessary for the necessity to arise in the future ? How many cases would suffice or total up to that necessity ?

Mr. Speaker :- Actually, it is an opinion.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the point is that 54 cases are not considered necessary. So how many cases more  are required ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge, Law, etc.) :- I think the hon. members has not understood the answer properly. Whether the Claims Tribunal will be appointed or not will depend upon the workload. The number of 54 cases itself is not sufficient for the Claims Tribunal to be appointed and the District Judge has always been invested with the powers.


Mr. Speaker :- Unstarred question No.35.

Separation of the Judiciary from the Executive

Prof. Martin N. Majaw asked :

35.

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

(a) Whether the Government has taken any steps to separate the Judiciary from the Executive in the State ?

(b) If so, what are the steps ?

(c) If not, why not ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge, Law, etc.) replied :

35. (a), (b) and (c) - The matter is under the consideration of the Government.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (a) How long has the matter been under the consideration of the Government ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge of Law, etc.) :- The judicial rules are being drafted and these are expected to be finalised soon. Of course, it does not depend on the Government alone because these rules have to be drafted in consultation with the Public Service Commission as well as with the approval of the High Court.

Mr. Speaker :- How does the Public Service Commission come to the picture ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge of Law, etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for appointment of judicial officers, unless we are able to appoint separate judicial officers, it is not possible to have complete separation of the Judiciary from the Executive.

Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw ?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know how long it has been under consideration. Can the Government give us the approximate time it would take for a decision in this matter ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge of Law, etc.) :- We hope to finalise it very soon, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- My point is that since when the Government have taken into consideration the necessity of the separation of the Judiciary from the Executive.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge of Law, etc.) :- I will require notice for this.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not a fact that the matter was under the consideration of the Government since the time of the out-going Government ?

Mr. Speaker :- The Minister has stated that he requires notice to check up on this. Let us come to unstarred question No.36. 


Shifting of the Mawmluh - Cherra Cements, Ltd.

Shri S.P. Swer :- asked :

36.

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

(a) Whether the Mawmluh - Cherra Cements Ltd. propose to shift their Shillong office to the factory site at Cherrapunjee ?

(b) If so, when ?

(c) If not, the reasons thereof ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge of Industries) :- replied

36

(a) The proposal is under consideration by the Company.

(b) Does not arise in view of (a) above.

(c) Does not arise.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- 36 (a). Since when the proposal came under the consideration of the Company ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge, of Law, etc.) :- That also I require notice.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Whether the Government is aware that there was a decision of the Board to shift the Shillong office to Cherrapunji ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge of Industries, etc.) :- There are was a decision but with regard to the exact contents of the Board I cannot say off-hand. But as far as I remember the decision of the Board was to shift, as far as I remember the decision of the Board was to shift, as far as practicable, the major portion of the office of the MCC and not the whole office.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- When was the decision taken ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister in-charge of Industries, etc.) :- That also I want notice, Mr. Speaker, Sir.


Mr. Speaker :- Unstarred question No. 37.

Village Defence organisation

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- asked :

37.

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) The names of the Advisers of Village Defence Organisation of the District of Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills?

(b) Whether any allowance / emoluments are paid to the Adviser ?

(c) If so, the amount so paid ?

(d) Whether other perquisites are provided to the Advisers ?

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

37.(a)

The names of the Hony. Advisers Village Defence Organisation, are :-

(i) Shri E. Kurbah, MLA, Hony. Adviser, East Khasi Hills District :

(ii) Shri Raisen Mawsor, MLA, Hony. Adviser, West Khasi Hills District ;

(iii) Shri O.S. Nongtdu, MLA, Hony. Adviser, Jaintia Hills District ;

  (iv) Shri. Samarendra Sangma, MLA, Hony. Adviser, West Garo Hills District;

(v) Shri Elwin Sangma, Hony. Adviser, East Garo Hills District.

(b)

Yes.

(c)

Honorarium of Rs. 300 p.m. plus T.A. and D.A. as admissible to Senior Grade officers.

(d)

They are provided with one vehicle each and other office staff of one L.D. Assistant-cum-Typist, one driver and one peon for performance of their duties.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 37 (d). What about P.O.L. expenditure ? Whether it is included in the honorarium. My question covers (c) and (d) both.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- As far as P.O.L. is concerned it depends on number if tours conducted by the Adviser concerned. But they are given at the rate of First-Grade Officer.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Is there any ceiling or limitation for the expenditure on P.O.L. ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I do not think there is a limit. I cannot give the exact reply. But tour programmes are drawn up in respect of the zones according to the need of the Adviser to move about in the different parts of his jurisdiction to organise village defence.

Shri S.P. Swer :- May we know how many Village Defence Organisations are there in the State ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I could not follow, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Each of these advisers is meant for one district ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, Sir.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- 37 (a). What are the criteria for the selection of advisers of a Village Defence Organisation ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- There are no criteria as such but we nominate any one whom we consider fit.

Shri S.P. Swer :- I did not get the answer. My question was on the Village Defence Organisation. May I ask if these Village Defence Organisations are district-wise.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I do not know whether this question is relevant to this. If it is I will require notice.

Mr. Speaker :- Unstarred question No. 38. I think this had come up on the earlier days also.

( Voices : Yes )


Members of the Tourism Development Corporation

Shri D. Lyngdoh asked :

38.

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

(a) Who are the members of the Tourism Development Corporation as on May, 1977 ?

(b) Whether any allowance / remuneration and other facilities are given the the Chairman of the Corporation and its Members ?

(c) If so, what are those facilities ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of Tourism) :- replied :

38.(a)

The members of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation as on May, 1977 are :-

(1) 

Shri H. Hynniewta, M.L.A

...

...

Chairman

(2) 

Shri Ira Marak, M.L.A.

...

...

Vice-Chairman

(3)

Secretary, Tourism Deptt.

...

...

Director

(4)

Secretary, Finance Deptt.

...

...

Director

(5)

Conservator of Forests or his representative 

Director

(6) 

Shri Radhashyam Geonka, as Representative of Travel Agencies.

Director

(7)

C.E.M,. Garo Hills

...

...

Director

(8) 

C.E.M, Khasi Hills

..

...

Director

(9)

C.E.M., Jaintia Hills

...

...

Director

(10)

Chief Executive Officer, Shillong Municipality

Director

(11)

Director of Information and Public Relations

Director

        The Secretary, Tourism, is also the Managing Director of the Corporation,    

        (b) and (c) - Allowances / remuneration and other facilities for the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Director are yet to be decided.


Replacement of A.C. sheets roofing of the Mawsynram P.H.C. staff quarters

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :

39. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.H.E. be pleased to state whether Government propose to replace the present roofing of the Mawsynram P.H.C. staff quarters with G.I. sheet roofing to prevent leakage of rain-water ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of P.H.E.) replied :

39. - Estimates for replacing the A.C. sheets by C.I. sheets in the roof of the Mawsynram P.H.C. staff quarters, are under preparation at the Executive Engineer (P.H.E.), Hills Division Office.


VOTING ON DEMANDS FOR GRANTS

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item. Mr. S.D. Khongwir to resume his speech.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already concluded my speech.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion. Sir, I am very grateful that this point has been raised by the hon. Member for discussion, most probably to place some difficulties faced by the rural people in respect of their land compensation. Sir, I do not know under what rule that compensation cannot be paid in cash as it was done during the last few years. We have heard and is seen that in several cases for the last few years the Government has paid compensation especially to those people who had to get smalls amount, in cash for the benefit of the people. But in these days even for rupees three or rupees five of land compensation, the people have to come to Shillong and they have to go to the treasury and they to the bank. During, the last few months, we have experienced that in one particular case, in my constituency, there was one lady who happened to get land compensation of Rs.3/-. She had to stay here in Shillong for one night and spend two days for coming and going from and to her village for the bill to the cashed in the bank. So she had to spend more than Rs.20 to 25/- for an amount of compensation of Rs.3/- So Sir, I would suggest, to the Government that in small cases of compensation, say rupees not exceeding five hundred or so, it will be good if compensation can be paid to the land owners in cash. If this is possible, it will greatly relieve the people and if payment of compensation can be made in a central place in the area concerned, so that the poor people from the villages will not have to spend several days for coming to and going back from Shillong.

        The next point Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say on what has been stated by the hon. Member from Mawlai, Mr. S.D. Khongwir. Yesterday he said that compensation for one particular road within my constituency has not been paid and that some files regarding the other portion of that road, are missing. For the information of the hon. Member, that portion of the road, that means from Umroi to Bhoilymbong the diversion is to divert the new road to avoid the air-field at Umroi. The compensation has been paid on the 8th June, 1973 and what the hon. member said yesterday is not correct that the road has been constructed long ago and compensation has not been paid. This road has been taken up some time in 1972-73 and compensation has been paid on the 8th June, 73, the approximate amount of compensation being Rs.2,188.60 P. Another portion of the road which the hon. member has alleged is from the Umroi bazar to the Terminal building of the Umroi air field for which compensation has not been paid. This also has been paid some time in 1974. The length of that portion of the road is about 2 furlongs.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is there any-thing in the rules whereby I can challenge the hon. Member ?

Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member is replying on behalf of the Government and it is for the Minister concerned to state whether the facts are true or not.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Can we accept that ?

Mr. Speaker :- It is upto the Government whether the facts are true or not ?

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- I said that for the information of the hon. Member since this is my constituency, I know the people by name. I know the cases also particularly because these people live in my constituency.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Sir, I object to this. I am also a Member of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. It does not mean that I cannot go to somebody else's constituency and help the people of that particular constituency.

Mr. Speaker :- Each and every member of the House is concerned with the whole State and not only with his own constituency.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Yes, Sir, we are all concerned with the whole State. But this particular case is near my village. I know the people by name. I do not know whether the hon. member might have got the information from a man who has got no land there. So that was the particular portion of the road for which the hon. Member has said that the papers have not been traceable. I understand that portion of the road is from Barapani to Umroi-play ground. I know that our people have received the award for compensation on 28th April 1977. I understand also that the Government has not been able to pay compensation because the officer concerned has been transferred and the new officer has not joined his post. I am also interested as the hon. Member for payment of compensation especially when it affects the people of my constituency. We are all concerned when the election is coming soon as all hon. Members are equally concerned, to get the good wishes of the people (Laughter). Well in my humble opinion I also would like to get the will of the people. I have to go every place for the benefit of the people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with this information I hope the hon. Member may render more services for the interest of the State, as the Speaker has already stated.

Mr. Speaker :- I have not said anything.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- I understood that all the hon. Members have got responsibility for the interest of the whole State. So I hope we are all interested to see that all pending cases of land compensation are speedily disposed of. So I would request the Government to take early steps to dispose of all the cases so that we can be returned once again to this House in the next election (loud laughter) in order to get the goodwill of the people. With these few words, I oppose the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Minister of Revenue to reply.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- The cut motion that has been moved by the hon. Member is a policy cut but in the discussion almost all the hon. Members have raised questions regarding specific grievances of the public Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member, in this connection, should have moved a token cut instead of a policy cut. However, the discussion has taken place and I would reply as far as practicable to all the points that have been raised by the hon. Members in the discussion of this cut motion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh has raised a point that instead of paying compensation through the Treasury by a pay bill by presenting to the Treasury and paid through the Bank, why not compensation be paid in cash. He has referred that previously the Government used to pay the compensation in cash. Now in this connection this will have to be examined by the Government. If payment through Treasury could be avoided in which the amount that is to be paid is very meagre as has been stated by the hon. Member and it is causing hardships to the person who is to receive the amount then in that case it will have to be examined by the Government whether in some of the cases payment of compensation in the far-flung villages, to those people who live in the most interior parts of this country can be given cash. Now with regard to the policy that has been adopted by the Government in the payment of compensation previously, the policy is by negotiation with the parties themselves and not by land acquisition, that is, the owners of the land which the Government wants to acquire either for road construction or for any other purposes, negotiation is made with the land owners and the compensation at the rate agreed upon is paid. Previously of course payment had already been made in many of the cases by cash but later it was found that there has been difficulty in cases which were decided by negotiations. What the Government wants is to acquire land and to obtain title of the land free from doubt and free from encumbrances. Now with regard to claims that have been made by several persons on land acquisition on which the roads have been constructed. Now with regard to these lands, some of the claims are checked up some of the cases and we found that the amount of compensation had already been paid. But then I admit that in spite of the fact that payment had already been made to some of the claims we still find that there are very old cases still pending to be paid. In speeding up this long pending work in giving payment of compensation, we have tabulated all the cases. A list has been made and we are taking up each case as expeditiously as possible. Now during the last few months there have been some difficulties experienced by the people due to separation of the Districts arising out of formulation of new districts, i.e., West Khasi Hills. Previously in land acquisition cases for compensation, the people had to draw from Shillong because Nongstoin was also part of the District of Khasi Hills and then again with the formulation of the new district and headquarter at Nongstoin some of these case were transferred to Nongstoin. Therefore the sorting out of these cases is taking place and many had been transferred to Nongstoin. But we are doing our level best in taking up cases after cases in which compensation has not been paid. Now Government is keen to pay the compensation as speedily as possible because we realise that in some cases there is a real hardship like where the land is a paddy field which is a means of livelihood of the people concerned. So the Government is equally keen to dispose of these cases as soon as possible. Now it is difficult and may be it is not necessary also to reply to all the cases that have been raised by the hon. Members because some of the case that have already been transferred to Nongstoin and it is difficult to get the information within these few hours, i.e., from yesterday till today. Some of the records have been transferred to Nongstoin but of course we have been trying since yesterday to find out as far as practicable what has been done with regard to each case. I will try to reply as much as possible to some of the cases that we have been able to collect. Now with regard to the road to the air-strip as has been stated by the hon. Member from Umroi. For the major portion of the road to the air-strip compensation has already been paid. Yesterday a point has been raised by the hon. Member from Mawlai regarding the amounts to be paid on the road lying outside the D.C.A., that is, 1.36 Kilometers. This is a very small distance. Now in this case the land acquisition estimate had been sanctioned for about Rs.15,42,000 on the 21st March 1974 providing for the 30 metres on the road after crossing the Umroi river. It required high filling and as such additional 13 acres of land had to be subsequently acquired. The acquisition proposal has been submitted along with the estimate. I do not know if the hon. Member means only this link road.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I mean the access road which links the Umroi and air-strip.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- This is a small distance and I hope this will be cleared up as soon as possible. Now the land compensation has been sanctioned since 1973 and as said by the hon. Member from Umroi because he knows the places better, he knows the people better and he knows many things. With regard to this also the matter has been placed at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioner for payment of land compensation. The total compensation would be to the tune of Rs.22,720,48.

        Now the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat has raised a point with regard to Nongnah - Kyniong road. He said that a very high rate of compensation has been fixed in some cases of land acquisition. Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to the provision of the Land Acquisition Act, for acquiring land, an enquiry has to be made by the Deputy Commissioner who is also the Collector. There are officers under him who are determine the land compensation. While fixing the rate, they are expected to be very reasonable as to fix according to the market value of the land. That is how land compensation is generally fixed. The compensation is fixed considering the market value of the land. Over and above a premium has to be paid at the rate of 15 per cent in case the land is compulsorily acquired, because in case of acquisition of land it is considered that some hardship has been done to the person whose land has been acquired, although this has been acquired for public purpose. Therefore, it is considered that it has caused some hardship to the person whose land has been acquired. But them, in this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would submit that the assessment is made by the local enquiry officer concerned.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the Minister that we suspect that there are some people who had influenced the S.D.C. who verified the land to fix higher rate of compensation. I understand there are certain plots of land belonging to the Syiem clan for which compensation has been fixed at nearly a lakh of rupees or more.

Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean to say that there has been a discrimination in assessing the value from one plot to another.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Yes Sir, there are some people who received very high rate of compensation whereas some people got a very low rate.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister for Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, so far I have not received any complaint from the affected persons. But I am very glad that the hon. Member has brought this to the notice of the House. Regarding discrimination of compensation the matter will be examined. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to this acquisition of lands especially for the construction of road, may persons are affected. But if there is any discrimination they should complain to the Collector. But then with regard to valuation of the land, if the value is meant actual value, then there is no scope of referring the ease to the Civil Court. But if there is a case of discrimination while fixing the compensation the aggrieved party may file a petition seeking safeguard of law in the Civil Court. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this matter has to be examined how far it is true and whether there has been any discrimination. Now with regard to the case of Nongdaju road which has been raised by the hon. Member from Nongspung, land compensation for 11.20 kilometers has been paid in 1972. Now with regard to the other portion of the road, the original estimate has to be changed because there has been an increase of the area to be acquired now. Therefore, a fresh assessment and a revised estimate has to be made and fund will be provided according to the revised estimate. Now the hon. Member from Nongspung has also referred to Nongstoin - Rambrai road. This will take still some time because the land acquisition papers submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, in 1972 for the land acquisition have not been received from the Deputy Commissioner Nongstoin as the papers have been transferred there. Sir, originally it was with the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong and now it has been transferred to the Deputy Commissioner of Nongstoin with the formation of new District of Nongstoin and naturally they will find some difficulty because the office has been opened newly. Then again those papers have been submitted to Sub divisional Officer, Nongstoin in 1974 and after that it has been transferred to sub-divisional headquarters of Mairang. 

Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the attention of the Minister here that the main purpose of formation of new districts and sub-divisions is to bring the administration nearer to the people. But it appears to me that those administrative arrangements have brought the administration further away from the people. So I don't think that it is really appreciable. Of course there may be some difficulties in the administrative arrangements for distribution of papers, but I don't think that the responsibility should be shifted to the officers. The responsibility lies with the Government.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue, etc) :- Sir, my point is that these papers were lying with the Government for a long time and with the formation of the new districts these papers were transferred to Nongstoin and Mairang and that time it was only due to the transfer of paper that no action could be taken.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- That cannot be.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue, etc) :- But of course Sir, with the formation of the new districts we tried to deal with these cases as expeditiously as we could as there were many cases to be dealt with. Now the hon. Member from Nongspung has also referred to the Jakrem - Mawnai road and also Mawkerthong - Rangthong road. I would like to inform the House that the compensation had been paid this case for land acquisition.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Sir, may we know the dates when it was paid.

Mr. Speaker :- This House expects the reply of the Minister about the compensation paid to those land owners. The Minister has said that the compensation has been made and now it is up to the Minister concerned to verify the dates of the payment of compensation.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Sir, I thought that is was readily available with the Minister, but it seems that it is not readily available with him.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue, etc) :- Sir, I will verify the dates with the Department concerned and after getting further information on this matter, I will furnish the exact dates on the floor of the House.

Mr. Speaker :- Yes, I think the House expects the enquiry by the Minister concerned in this matter.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue, etc) :- Well Sir, I will go through these cases and if there is any case in which there has been undue delay, then in that case Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will try my level best to pay the compensation to them. As I said Mr. Speaker, Sir, that all the cases have been tabulated for paying compensation and we will go into each and every cases and we will try our best to pay the compensation as expeditiously as possible. So Sir, with these few words I would like to request the hon. Mover to kindly withdraw his cut motion.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the Hon. Minister knows that the people from the area also went to home to expedite the payment of compensation and we have been informed that the Government tried their level best and left no stone unturned, but uptil now no payment of compensation has been made and the Hon. Minister has conveniently avoided to mention about the cases and I feel that there may be many other cases also about which the Government may say that they have paid the compensation and actually they have not made. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that a thorough enquiry may be instituted in respect of land compensation.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to put up one important point here. Sir, there has been discrimination in the valuation of the land by the Enquiry Officers, and the reply given by the Minister concerned is also not correct. Sir, when an officer is found indulging in such discriminatory attitude then our contention is that the Government should take necessary action against such officers for their wrongly involving in such matters.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, action will be taken about the point mentioned by the hon. Minister and we will also see for what what purpose it has been taken, because amongst the lands taken over the Government there are also some fruit trees and for such cases we will have to see for what particular purpose the land has been requisitioned and accordingly we will have to fix the rate of compensation.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have been discussion about policy on payment of land compensation and we have also brought to the notice of the Government the inordinate delay in the payment of compensation. In the course of the reply of the Minister-in-charge, in one or two cases, he had mentioned that the amount had been sanctioned and placed at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioner. Thus, this means that whenever the amount has been placed at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioner it is taken that the people had received the money. So, what is the time-lag between the amount placed at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioner and the actual disbursement.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Deputy Commissioner in making the payment is guided, as I have said, by the Land Acquisition Act. The amount is placed at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioner. Then the Deputy Commissioner will have to issue notices, according to the Land Acquisition Act, to all the persons interested in land. Again after issuing notices to all the persons interested in the land or whom he considers, are the owners or are interested in the land, for filing their claims and counter-claims, then the Collector will have to decide again who are the persons entitles to the compensation. After he has come to a decision, an award will be drawn up by him immediately. After establishing the award, the compensation is paid to the party. That is the procedure. Of course I would say that it takes some time, that is, from the time when the notice is issued by the Collector to the interested persons upto the time of the actual receipt of the amount. But this cannot be avoided because the Deputy Commissioner has to be guided by the principles laid down in the Land Acquisition Act and again, on this case, the Collector has to go into the merits of each case to see who is the person who is actually entitled to receive compensation. It is not merely an executive function. It is also partly a judicial function that has to be exercised by the Collector. 

Shri H. Hadem :- Since the cut motion is on the policy of payment of land compensation, the Minister-in-charge has not given any clarification as to how compensation was paid with regard to the National Highway because just now the hon. Member has referred to the National Highway, Shillong to Jowai. According to my humble understanding as per Assam Land Revenue Manual, the width of the road is about 66 ft. from one end to the other end of both sides of the road. We are aware that compensation has been paid since 1948 and the hon. Member is still stressing that compensation has not been paid.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- This is for widening of the road.

Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member said about the compensation for widening of the road.

Shri H. Hadem :- I will come to that. But as far as we can find, the width of the road is not upto 66 ft. as it is at present. We would like to know the policy of the Government in regard to compensation of National Highway also.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the Shillong - Jowai road, the major portion, that is according to my information, compensation had already been paid for the whole length of the road even for widening it. I think about 2 years ago, compensation had already been paid. But I do not know if some cases remain pending. If there are pending cases, of course these will have to be looked into.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Here is a point of disagreement between the Government and the land owners, but the land owners said that they have not received the amount of compensation. Therefore, I said that there should be a thorough enquiry in this connection. 

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On a point of clarification. Since the Minister has referred to the tabulation of many pending cases, may we know whether for the old cases for the Mawphlang - Balat road-48-miles-compensation has been paid or not particularly the Trongpleng. Whether the cases pending since 1954 have been taken up or not because the land owners claimed that they have not been paid though the P.W.D. has deposited the money with the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us be clear on this. It appears that we have stretched the discussion to some other points also. We go more to the details than to the policy. There are a number of points raised by the hon. Members in this House and I would rather summarise them in the same manner perhaps to help the House to understand. Firstly, the hon. Members have alleged that there has been delay in the payment of compensation. Secondly, a point has been raised by the hon. Members that there is a discrimination in assessing the value of the land from one plot to another. Whether that is the policy of the Government or not since we are referring to the policy. Thirdly, a point has been raised that the Government must change the policy that instead of making payment by cheques, it should be paid in cash. That of course has come from one hon. Member. Fourthly, another point raised by another member is whether the Government follows the same policy in so far as acquisition of land for the purpose of the roads constructed by the State and that of the National High Ways and whether they adopt the same policy or not. Lastly, a point has also been raised here that in cases where the Government claim that compensation has been paid whereas the land owners have not received the payment, the contention being that perhaps compensation has been paid to the wrong persons by implication and how Government in this kind of situation would act. So these are the five issues. I think the Minister will not go more into the details.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to add one more point. Yesterday I was referring to one point but the Minister has not mentioned anything at all and I know that he is going to ask me to withdraw the cut motion. Yesterday I was referring to cases where compensation has not been paid because of the dual functions on the part of the departments which means shedding the responsibility in the sense that the system is so complicated. It goes from one stage to the other. From the P.W.D. to the Deputy Commissioner's office and again to the Revenue Department. Next time, it goes to the Deputy Commissioner's office again. If the people go to one office, they will be told that the whole matter lies with another office. I would, therefore, suggest if this system could be simplified because it amounts to shedding of responsibility in the case of those offices as this has caused so much harassment to the public.

Mr. Speaker :- So far as this House in concerned, Government function with collective responsibility and when a Minister replies, he replies on behalf of departments which are inter-connected. But you have suggested that the policy should be changed or simplified.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- May I reply to certain points Mr. Speaker, Sir, which have been summarized by you. Sir, as far as the common rates for all types of land are concerned, it will not be possible for the Government to revise the policy because as I said it will vary from place to place according to the nature of the land acquired. Now as far as the policy of the Government with regard of fixation of compensation is concerned. I do not think there can be any difference whether it is a National High way or a State High Way, but the value of the land has got to be assessed. As far as the procedural matters are concerned, specially the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, I can assure the House that we will try to simplify it. As far as the complaint that a particular person has not received the payment is concerned, though it has been stated that payment of compensation has been made and that there is some sort of apprehension that the wrong person has received. We will give the direction to the Department to properly check on this. Now, I would request the hon. Member to kindly help the Government, and as far as the particular part of the road, compensation has been paid according to the statement of the Minister. The person concerned appeared and received the payment and if the Minister has received any petition or complaints from the person concerned, naturally enquires will be made. It is really unfortunate that the person concerned has to come to Shillong to get the cheque only for 3 rupees. But I think this is a genuine case. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- My point is that whether additional payment is necessary with regard to National High Way, it should have been paid during the time of measurement of the road.

Mr. Speaker :- I think that has come under the purview of the Chief Minister's reply when there has been complaint the Government it will investigate into the matter. Now the Minister has requested the hon. Mover to withdraw his Motion, and I do not know what is the intention of the Mover.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I tend to agree with the observation made by the hon. Member from Sohryngkham when there are certain points which the Minister appears to be conveniently avoiding and did not give specific reply with regard to payment of compensation to certain areas where there was road construction. There are certain areas which I know well like Mawkneng - Wahlang - Sohiong Road, but the Minister was just telling here that it has been paid. I just wish to get a specific reply to this.

Mr. Speaker :- I do not think we should waste time since the hon. Member has not withdrawn, let me put the question before the House. The question is that the total provision of Rs.13,99,000 under Grant No. 6, Major head "229-Land Revenue" at page 32 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1, i.e., the whole amount of Rs.13,99,000 do stand reduced to Re.1.

( The motion was put to vote and lost ).

        Now Mr. S.D. Khongwir to move Cut Motion No. 3.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.13,99,000 under Grant No.6, Major head "229-Land Revenue" at page 32 of the Budget be reduced to Rs.100, i.e., the amount of the whole Grant of Rs.13,99,000 do stand by Rs.100.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can initiate a discussion to ventilate the grievances in the matter of payment of compensation of the land acquired for the purpose of N.E.H.U.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to submit that with regard to land compensation for the land acquired for N.E.H.U., almost all the cases had been referred to the court of law because if this points to be raised here then, I would say that it will not he admissible. The question is subjudice and anything which may be said in this House will prejudice the actual decision of the court.

Mr. Speaker :- What is the present position. You mean to say all the land owners have gone to the court of law or only a reference was made ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Almost all the land owners ..............

Mr. Speaker :- If the case is subjudice then I think all issues which might be considered subject might be avoided. Can the Minister explain the position now ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- The case is pending in the civil court to determine the actual land value that has to be paid to those people because many have objected that the land compensation paid is below the market value. Therefore, the grievances in this case cannot be raised here since these compensation cases are still pending in the court of law.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the contention of the Hon'ble Minister is that this particular cut motion could not be raised because this matter is still pending in the court of law. I beg to submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that according to the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, these matters cannot be considered as pending before the court of law. I think the Hon'ble Minister has got the Land Acquisition Act. The party has only made a reference to the court and the court has not taken any cognizance and no action has been taken by the court in regard to these matters. The court, to the best of my knowledge, Mr. Speaker, Sir, has not even issued notices to the parties. The only think that the parties have done is that they have written to the Collector for a reference made to the court and the court has not taken any action up till now. So I would submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this matter is not at all subjudice.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I understand the hon. Member has admitted that a reference was made to the court of law.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- There are two provisions in the Land Acquisition Act. May I request the Hon. Minister to refer to Sections 18 and 20 of the Act because my contention is that it is not subjudice but you said that it is subjudice. Let us debate carefully on his subject.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker. Sir, I think this matter is at your discretion.

Mr. Speaker :- Yes, but unless and until I understand fully as to what extent this particular case has gone to the court and whether it is just for seeking advice or just a reference for any decision. This is difficult unless we get a clear statement from the Minister.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Notices have also been issued to the parties and many of them, of course, for the information of the House and my colleague who was the then Minister-in-charge of Revenue had also appeared in one of these cases.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- No, wrong! wrong! I have never appeared.

Mr. Speaker :- These personal references also appeared to me that the Minister-in-charge of Revenue has informed the House that so far as this issue is concerned, the matter has been referred to the court of law and the hon. Member, Shri S.D. Khongwir, has also admitted that it had been referred to the court of law. I am here to be guided by the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. I will be guided by our own Rules of Procedure which if you look at Rule 146, item XII which says it shall not ordinarily seek to raise a discussion on the matter pending before any statutory tribunal or a statutory authority performing any judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any commission or court of enquiry appointed to enquire into, or investigate, any matter. I, therefore, rule this particular cut motion as out of order.

        Now, Cut motion No. 4 to be moved by Mr. S.D. Khongwir.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.13,99,000 under Grant No.6, Major head "229-the Land Revenue at page 32 of the Budget be reduced by Rs.100 i.e., the amount of the whole grant of Rs.13,99,000 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

Mr. Speaker :- Cut Motion No.4 moved and now you can initiate the discussion.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to raise one very important point through this cut motion. This is in connection with the system that is prevailing in Shillong, and in fact, in the entire area of Greater Shillong including Mawlai and Nongthymmai and the other adjoining area in Shillong. Now this system know as patta system had been in existence here in these areas for so many years together. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like at the very outset to understand very clearly about the meaning, the true import of this patta. May be in the  plains areas it has a different connotation but so far as these areas are concerned a patta means a lease. If we consult and study the patta that is being issued by the land owners here in Shillong Mr. Speaker, Sir, we will find from the wordings the provisions, the contents in the patta that this is nothing but a lease. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you look at the words or the genesis of the system it was during the British days, if I am not mistaken, I do not know exactly, but during the British regime as an act of protection for the interest of the tribals, the Government at that time had ordered that a patta be given or issued only in respect of non-tribal residents of Shillong who happened to take a plot of land within this are and under the provision of this patta the non-tribal is to pay a certain amount of rent to the person who has granted this patta. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, later on the owners of this land found that they are getting some benefit or some benefit has been derived from the system of granting pattas to the non-tribals. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, at one point of time they also extended this system to the tribal people also and so the system has come to stay right from those times. Well, what is happening now Mr. Speaker, Sir, When a parson is purchasing land at one place for example at Mawlai; when we purchase land what we do is we pay the market value, the total value of that plot of land. Suppose the market value at Mawlai is Rs.2 per sq. ft. the purchaser will pay the land owner the total market value of Rs.2 or Rs.3 whatever the case may be. Despite the amount that has been paid to the land owner, the total deed that the purchaser gets from the land owner is this patta and when we read from the contents of this patta it says that this particular plot of land is leased (lah ai wai) to Mr. So and so for certain years and you have to renew this patta within say 5 or 10 to 15 years and then in the case of few land owners at this particular place say in Mawlai, not even a money receipt is given to the purchaser of the land. The only thing is meeting together between the person who sells and the person who purchases and together with the land owner money was paid to the seller and immediately the amount is being paid to the so-called land owner and the land owner will give only this document, this total deed, this patta is being given to the purchaser and not even a money receipt. And in this patta, Mr. Speaker, Sir there are conditions whereby a person who sells a plot of land will have to gibe some kind of salami. In our area the amount of salami is 10 per cent of the price of the land. If a person sells at Rs.20,000 the salami is Rs.2,000 and on top of that the purchaser still has to pay. So in a couple of years they will have to pay Rs.50 for the issuing of a patta and on top of that the purchasers have to pay annual rent to the so-called land owners. Still I cannot understand Mr. Speaker, Sir, when a person has already paid the full value of the land still under the provisions of the law he immediately becomes the absolute owner of that plot of land since he has paid the full or the market value of the land but that is not the practice Mr. Speaker, Sir. Now all-along the so called land owners are imposing upon the new buyers of land and what they give them is this obnoxious system known as patta system.

        The point here I want to raise in my cut motion Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the oppression of the people by the so-called land owners. I know Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Hon'ble Minister himself is also one of the land owners. I have got great respect for the Hon'ble Minister (laughter). But I am just bringing out this obnoxious system where the people have been continuing for so many years together and the people have been thinking that this system is proper, it is alright it is legal. But actually, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is very much illegal, if I may say so, when the person has already paid for the land why should he become a lessee for that particular land. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not have any objection because he has already leased that particular plot of land. But where a person has already paid the whole amount why should he become a mere lessee. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this action of the land owner is indeed an oppression to the people and it has affected the people very badly and it has been a very strange thing economically because they have to pay the salami and also rent ranging from Rs.20 to Rs.50 according to the size or dimension of that particular plot of land. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, some years ago in my village at Mawlai we came to know that this land system is quite illegal. We organised a movement by the people against the land owners in my areas where I also happened to be one of the headmen. In that area we have called a meeting and refused to take any more patta from the land owners, refused to pay the rent and the salami because we understand now that this system is very much illegal. Now the people of my area, particularly of the four localities called a public meeting and also submitted a copy of our resolution to the Land Reforms Commission and the agents of the land owners not to go to the lessees for collection of the rent and the people also refused to pay because we understand that this is not legal for us to pay this rent to the land owners when the people themselves have already paid the full value of their plot of land. Mr. Speaker, Sir, because I have been spearheading this particular movement I had become some kind of an anathema to the land owners. The are hating me like anything I do now know whether all of them hate me or not, but I have spearheaded the movement against the land owners and the hon. Leader of the Opposition knows it very well and I hope he will also take part in this discussion to give us some enlightenment in so far as this matter is concerned.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I remember in one of the decisions of the Judge of the District Council he made what he called an obiter in his judgment to the effect that the patta system among the Khasis is totally unknown. That is remark made by the then Judge of the District Council. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot understand here as to why a person who has purchased a land directly from the owner, and I do not know why the land owner cannot give a sale deed. Why they give this patta wherein it appears that the only right according to this patta is a status quo, a mere lease. Also I cannot understand, Sir, about this charge that is being meted out to the individuals when in the case of the Government when the Government acquires any plot of land, let us say, at Mawlai from the land owners and pays the market value to the land owners the land owners never insist on giving a patta to the Government. There are several cases where the Government do not take a patta from the land owners. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to inform the Government through you, that the people of all these areas, e.g. Mawprem, Nongthymmai, Mawlai, and others where the system is prevailing are suffering very much. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, through this cut motion, I would like to suggest the Government, why not bring a bill in this particular House, in this particular session itself to do away with this patta system. So these are my points, Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I would request the Government to look into this matter. I know that the Government have been examining this matter and I would suggest that at least during this current session of the Assembly the Government will bring a bill to the effect to do away with this patta system.

Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport, etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I seek a clarification from the hon. Member from Mawlai. In so far as Mawlai is concerned it is outside the Municipality, it is a scheduled area where the District Council has the full authority over the land. Now, since, the hon. Member has come forward with this proposal that the Government should bring a bill to do away with this patta system, may we know from the hon. Member the mind of the District Council over this patta system ?

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Sir, it is a very clear for the information of the Hon'ble Minister of State that under the provisions, the District Council is not competent to bring this kind of legislation.

Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport, etc.) :- Whether the District Council requires that this patta system should be done away with.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I do not think I will have to talk of the District Council because I do not represent the District Council.

        ( At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri H. Hadem, Chairman, occupied the Chair ).

* Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, this matter of patta system in Shillong and in and around Shillong has been agitating the mind and thinking of the people for quite a long time and in fact. I know for sure that the Government in consultation with the District Council have taken up this matter last year very seriously. The bill is about to be ready to be presented to this House last September Session, in which only one matter just remained to be consulted with the District Council. I had expected in the last September Session that the bill would have come to this House or in the last March Session of now, in this Session. There must be something responsible for the delay. Of course, the Minister-in-charge of Revenue will know as to the delay for this bill which is about to be introduced in the House in the last September Session.

Mr. Chairman :- It may be due to the change of the Government or the change in the policy of the Government.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Anyway, in supporting the suggestions put forward by the mover of this cut motion, we have still another 10 or 12 days, time, the bill which is ready could be introduced in this House and the House could get it passed. For sharing the information and experiences in this system, I may give some examples and experiences that we have gathered in the course of our consideration of the matter since the last 10 or 15 years or so. There are three sources of origin of this system. Firstly, in Shillong and around, we have both the systems of the Ri-Kynti land and the Raid-land. In the Ri-Kynti land, an individual member of the clan can occupy the clan land. With the inception of Shillong as Capital there is a great demand for homestead by people who com to Shillong and they ask for transfer of those plots occupied by the individual member of the clan at a price to be offered by them. There has been quite a demand for such plots of land and it is to the profit of those individual members of the clan to transfer those plots to the people who come from all the State and districts for construction of houses for their stay in Shillong. But because those individual members of the clan are simply mere occupants, they have no right to sell the clan land and so when they only transferred for a price like it was the case in Nongthymmai, Laitumkhrah and Mawlai. Therefore, these new occupants who give the fee must have had all documents and so they take patta from the clan land owner and therefore, the clan issues a patta and they fix an annual fee of so much per year. This is one of the sources of origin of this patta system. Another source is about Raid-land. This is a common land in Shillong like Mawkhar, Jaiaw, Mission Compound and Qualapaty where people have occupied built houses under the occupancy right. Whoever can occupy first, he will get the land and the main cause and need of those people who occupy such land is to take a building advance or to take loan from the Government or from private money lenders. In doing so, they have no documents for mortgaging those plots that they have occupied. Therefore, it was arranged that they may take from the Syiem of Mylliem though it was illegal, because the Syiem in Khasi Hills is not a territorial chief. He cannot own any land yet for the cause and need to give certain documents for the people who require building advance or loan, the Syiem issues Patta. Then the third source is that those people who occupy land again in the Ri-kynti land, who have just occupied a fresh land need transfer because the land owners in the beginning used to invite people to come and occupy a vacant land. But when they want to get loan or building advance they have got no document to show that they have the occupancy right over the land they possess. So they go and take patta from the original clan. But in course of time, a lot of anomalies cropped up and abuses also cropped up where the land owners according to different types of clans, simply write whatever they like in their patta legally or illegally, reasonable or unreasonable and give patta to the people who require it. And again, the worst thing in this is that persons who acquired a plot of land, when he transfers, he has to pay a salami and this abuse, anomaly had been exercising a lot of sense of grievances among the people around Shillong. Because this patta system exists also outside Shillong and around, this matter was brought to the notice of the Government in recent years. The Government in consultation with the District Council, had tried to remove the anomalies and the scope for abuses. The bill was about to be introduced last September in this august House and so I would simply suggest and request the Government to expedite and complete the matter and to set at rest all anomalies and abuses. The mover himself is very much involved in the consideration of that bill and also the District Council, as it has been pointed out by him has got no jurisdiction of law, the District Council cannot do so. This involved transfer under paragraph 3 of the Sixth Schedule and therefore it has to go to the Government because under the Land Transfer Act the Government has the right over transfer. That is why it is the competency of the House to legislate on transfer. There cannot be two opinions on this. It is not a question of changing the whole land system; it is only a question of removing the anomalies that have cropped up. The land-owners have been reasonable and they stick to the real nature of the thing and if there is any transfer either the transfer or the transferee would pay this as a matter of respect. There are land-owners who follow that old good system which is simply a matter of respect to the land-owner to witness the transfer and so they get what is known as "Bainguh" to the "Traikhyndew". So the bill was there; it is about to be ready. I hope by this time it is ready and I suggest that the Government will come forward to introduce this Bill in this Session to remove the grievances of the people of Shillong and around it.  

Mr. Chairman :- Anybody who wants was to take part ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister-in-charge of Revenue, etc) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, this question which has been raised by my colleague, who was the Minister of Revenue and who was also incharge of this Department before me, has actually received very serious consideration of the Government. There were cases of abuses in which the land-owners have been taking undue advantage of their position as owners and with regard to ownership of the land. But, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a Bill is being drafted and it is not a very easy matter because it will be a deviation from the normal laws that are found in other parts of the country. So this bill is being examined very very properly. In this connection there is a distinction between a lease and a sale. The hon. mover of the cut motion has admitted that the patta is a lease and not a sale. In the case of a sale, the parties come to an agreement and fix the price of the land. There is a transaction at a price; it is not an agreement. But patta is never executed. Sale Deed is executed in the case of an outright sale. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a lease is not an outright sale. Of course, my friend, the hon. Mover of the cut motion, was saying that he wanted enlightenment on this and he is a lawyer himself .......................

( A voice - Yes, Junior.)

        He knows that the ownership of property is a conglomeration of rights. You may sell away all your rights in the property or you may retain a part of your ownership over the property. So also the land-owners. He may lease the land for a year or six months or for three years. He may lease for an indefinite period of time while retaining also if he does not want to part away with all his ownership of the land a part of his rights by saying that : I have to get a rent of Rs.2 annually from the land. Now he does not part with all his ownership over the land. This practice of giving leases in perpetuity or giving of leases which are transferable and hereditable is found all over the world. Sometimes they reserve and right that whenever there is transfer, a certain percentage would have to be paid to the owners of the land. This is incorporated in the very conditions of the lease itself. The lessee does not pay the same amount; he pays less than in the case of an outright sale. There is big difference between owner lessor and lessee. Lease is the alienation of land in which there is curtailment of rights. The lessor always reserves the right that under such and such circumstances the lease can be transferred. That is certain conditions are always imposed. Further, a lease may be given for different purposes; it may be given for residential purposes. It may also be given for commercial purposes. Therefore, as has been admitted by the hon. mover of the cut motion, the person who holds a 'patta' is not the absolute owner; he is just a lessee, i.e., he has not paid the full value of the land he occupies.

        There is also another point that has been raised by the hon. Mover of the cut motion and that is about insisting on giving patta to the Government in all those cases where the Government acquires the land. Government buys the whole ownership. They pay not only the land-owner but also both the lessor and the lessee. If it is a lease over a long period of years then of course, the lessee get the major portion of the compensation and the lessor is only paid the capitalised value of the compensation. Of course, there have been also certain cases in which the land-owners have abused their rights towards the lessee and, therefore, the Government has been seriously considering the mater, i.e. of bringing out a bill to lay down conditions that will avoid undue hardship to the occupants of the land-the lessees. This is being considered and the bill is being examined in the light of the basis principles of law, found also in other parts of the country and, further, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the views of the District Council will also have to be taken into confidence. Previously, the views of the District Council were taken but then, for the information of the hon. mover and also of the House this bill relates to the transfer of land and this will require the assent of the President even if passed by this House. So with these few words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would say that the Government is considering this bill and is trying to find out ways and means as to how best it may be framed. As soon as the bill is ready it will be brought before the House. But it is not true that we have slept over the matter.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- We would like to know whether there is likelihood of the bill being brought in this session.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- It is completed and further it will not end here, it will have to receive the assent of the President.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- That is why we have pleaded that the bill should be brought immediately before sending to the President.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- It has taken 6 months.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Hon'ble Minister has been trying to explain these things that they are very complicated. Now this is a simple thing Mr. Chairman, Sir, as already admitted by the Hon'ble Minister, I categorically stated here in my cut motion that it is an age-old oppression. I am not a practising lawyer. I just happened to pass law and it is not meant that I really understand law in the full sense but I really know, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that when somebody is trying to oppress somebody else I really realised and understand. I do not have to be a lawyer to understand that my people there at Mawlai are being oppressed through this obnoxious system, the patta system. According to my lay-man's understanding Mr. Chairman, Sir, I understand what is the difference between a sale and a lease. Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, during my discussion I had brought out a very pertinent and important point that is the buyers of land had already paid the full market value of the land. Whenever we purchase land we will ask the land owners about the market value of the land. They will say that this particular place costs Rs.2.50 or Rs.3 or Rs.4 per square foot as the case may be, and the buyer has already paid the full amount to the owner of this particular land but till then Mr. Chairman, Sir, the ownership or the title deed that is being given to the new purchaser of land is only a lease deed known as the patta. So here lies the oppression. Why we say they were being oppressed, it is because of this. Had it been a lease for an area of about one acre I should pay an amount of about Rs.100 or 200 to the owner. Yes, that is the lease where the person has leased a particular plot of land from the owner by making payment of 100 or 200 rupees. But in this case Mr. Chairman, Sir, when the person has already been paid the full market value why should it be considered a lease. So here is oppression. With due respect to the Minister as stated earlier and with due respect to the land owner, I say this on this very floor of the House that it is nothing but oppression by these land owners on our poor ignorant people. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Minister-in-charge of Revenue shook his head when the Leader of the Opposition simply suggested whether Government will bring the bill during this Session, because we have got still 10 or 11 days and confidently he said no. If the Government cannot help these people let them say so, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the Government are not ready. I would not say the Government are not ready with the bill but I would say the Government are not willing to help the people who have been oppressed for so many years.

Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hon. Member is hammering ..........

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I am still on the floor I will never yield. I repeat that the Government is not willing to help the people when they say that they are not ready with this bill.

Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hon. Member is hammering.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I cannot hammer with a pencil. I do not hold any hammer.

Shri S.N. Koch :- But the question is whether this House or the Government is qualified to utilise this forum for lands which are under the District Council.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- What is his point of order ?

Mr. Chairman :- Mr. Koch you want to raise a point of order ?

Shri S.N. Koch :- Sub-rule (6) under Rule 146 says 'it shall not refer to a matter which is not primarily the concern of the Government of the State'. So it is not the concern of the State because we have our own system of land under the Sixth Schedule. In paragraph 3 of the Sixth Schedule it is clearly stated : 'The Regional Council for an autonomous region is respect of all areas within such region and the District Council for an autonomous district in respect of all areas within the district except those which are under the authority of Regional Councils if any within the district shall have power to make laws with respect to the allotment, occupation or use, or the setting apart of land, other than any land which is a reserved forest for the purposes of agriculture or grazing or for residential...........

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- May I just say that the Supreme Court has decided that the District Council has no jurisdiction to legislate on transfer of lands.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the point raised in the cut motion is about the sale or transfer of land and not about allotment.

Shri S.N. Koch :- Sir, I would like to substantiate my point. Sir, we are having our special law in land matters in Garo Hills and the neighbouring areas. These are matters of allotment or in revenue term they are matters of settlement. These cases are within the purview of the statutory powers under the District Council but because of the peculiar system prevailing in Khasi Hills District the legislation on land does not vest with the District Council. It is something like some kind of Zamindari or jotdari system in our plain areas of Garo Hills or Assam or some other parts of the country.

Shri P.K. Kyndiah :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, he is making a speech I think you should give your ruling.

Mr. Chairman :- I will make it clear. The hon. Member has raised a point of order that it is not the primary concern of the House to discuss the matter and he has quoted the provision of the Sixth Schedule under which the District Council is the authority. Now the hon. Mover said that the particular area is outside the jurisdiction of the District Council. I think paragraph 6 of the Sixth Schedule has said about that and it is also clear that the District Council has got only limited authority over the land.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I will make it clear. The purpose of this cut motion is to discuss the age-old oppression on the people in matters of land through a system known as "patta" system by the so-called land owners. Bow regarding allotment of land let us suppose that some land has been allotted to me. I would now like to transfer that plot of land to A, B or C. But regarding allotment of land whether it is for agriculture or for any other purpose, the District Council is quite competent to make law also and it is to issue a patta. It is the primary concern of the District Council. That is why, Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have adopted the Assam Land Regulation Manual and also for settlement of land those rules we have adopted.

        ( At this stage, the Hon'ble Speaker occupied the Chair )

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the system of patta involves alienation of land, it involves transfer of ownership from A to B or B to C but the District Council is not competent, according to the provision of the Sixth Schedule, to bring forward this legislation in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court. It was observed that the District Council cannot make this legislation because it involve transfer.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- There are two points which I would still maintain, Mr. Speaker, Sir. As for allotment of land there are rules and regulations to be followed by the District Council if the area falls outside the municipal area. Now here mention has been made about the age-old oppression of the people in matters of land through a system known as 'patta system'. The District Council has to issue patta.

( A voice - We are talking about private patta )

        Regarding this matter also it is for the District Council in consultation with the so called land owners to issue patta. As the hon. Member from Nongthymmai informed the House that this matter has to be discussed in the District Council and a bill has to be introduced. Therefore, under such circumstances it may be desirable to obtain the view of the legal expert. I may assure the House that if there is any difficulty, the opinion of the legal expert will be sought. But at this moment I am not in a position to tell categorically when it will be possible to bring the bill.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Will the Government bring this bill after having discussion with the legal expert during this current session.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it may not be possible because we have to consult not only the District Council, Khasi Hills, we have to consult other District Councils also.

( A voice : We are concerned with Khasi Hills )

Mr. Speaker :- I have heard the points of both sides. The point of order raised by the hon. Member from Mendipathar, Mr. S.N. Koch, has come at the time when it is no longer tenable. The cut motion was moved by the hon. Member from Mawlai and the Minister has replied. But the only point for further discussion and perhaps for further elaboration will be on the question whether the District Council should enact low or the State Legislature to enact law. That is the question of the reference. But here the hon. Member has pleaded that the State Government should come forward with a Bill but the Government has said that they will examine the question, as the Chief Minister has said the Government will have to examine further. Therefore, the position as it stands today is that the Government at present cannot give a categorical reply.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- So Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the assurance given by both the Chief Minister and the Minister for Revenue I beg to withdraw the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his motion ?

( Voices - Yes, yes ).

        The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.

        Now let me put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.13,99,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1978 for the administration of the head "229-Land Revenue".

        ( The motion was carried and the demand was passed ).

        Let us pass on to Grant No.7. It appears from the paper that the Minister of State is to move the Grant. In the past tradition of the House it is the Chief Minister or any of his Cabinet Ministers who is responsible for policy matter, who should move the grant. So the Chief Minister or any of his Cabinet Ministers will move but the Minister of State will have the right to defend whenever there is any cut motion.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.63,000/- be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in for course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 the the administration of the head "230-Stamps and Registration".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion on me put the question that an amount of Rs.63,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "230-Stamps and Registration".

( The motion was carried and the demand was passed ).

Shri E. Bareh (Minister for P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor I beg to move that an amount of Rs.7,00,000/- be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "239-State Excise".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. There are as many as 3 cut motions against this Grant. The first one stands in the name of Prof. A. Warjri.

Prof. A. Warjri :- Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.7,00,000/- under Grant No. 8, Major head "239-State Excise", at pages 41-43 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1, i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.7,00,000 do stand reduced to Re.1.

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

Prof. A. Warjri :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to discuss on the Excise Department which many of us rather consider it the least important department. At present it seems that this department exists only for one purpose i.e. for the collection of revenue and also for now and then making raids on liquor shops. But Sir, I would like to say that the most important function of this department is for the control on the sale of liquor and distillation of liquor. Sir, on the sale of foreign liquor, the Government have already done something by grant of licences to bars and to different liquor shops. This point I would like to leave aside since I have seen that there is a cut motion to be moved by the hon. Member from Mawlai on the existence of bars at Laitumkhrah and near educational institutions. So Sir, I would leave it to him to discuss thoroughly on that point. I would like to touch however, on some important orders that had been passed during the emergency specially about the declaration of dry day. This dry day, as I have said, is good for certain sections of people. The dry day, for example, the first day of the month is being used or rather being made dry in order to prevent those workers or salaried workers who got drunk with their monthly pay at the end of the month not to get drunk or not to drink at all on the first day of the month. The intention is good as far as that small section of people is concerned. If the Government think that it is good for them then I will agree. But what about the larger section of the people who take to country liquor who have their salary paid on every weekend. It has done good to the office workers as they cannot get drunk on the first day of the month. But for the poor workers who get their pay at the end of the week this does not serve the purpose because this is not dry day for them. Rather I would say that these things are merely artificial and smell of those old emergency days. I would rather say that instead of having this dry day there should be proper control specially on the sale of smuggled liquor from outside and to prevent these different kinds of liquor that come from outside which are being made in various ways and are very harmful to the majority of the people, specially to the poorer section. Again on the country liquor, I do not know what control the Government has imposed on the sale, specially on the smuggling of this illicit country liquor that comes from outside, specially into the town of Shillong. Sir, as far as country liquor is concerned, I believe that there is hardly any bar, I mean licensed bars or that licences are being granted to any bar for the sale of country liquor. Sir, there is only one Government controlled bar for the sale of country liquor at Police Bazar and that liquor is prepared at Umjajew Distillery and we do not know the type of liquor that is brought from outside. I think only this Government liquor shop, where the liquor is sold, is tested for its policy and strength. Other kinds of liquor that come from outside are checked by the excise officers and the larger amount of country liquor is sold in Shillong which comes illicitly from different parts of Khasi Hills. The liquor that is smuggled from outside Shillong is distilled in different places round about Shillong or rather in different parts of Khasi Hills and it is being prepared from different kinds of ingredients. There are different kinds of liquors there is one distilled from molasses, the other from sweet-potato and also from milles and tapioca and also from fruits. Each one is a specimen by itself, not to speak about potency or strength. They are of different kinds some of them are like whisky, some are like brandy and also other kinds of liquor and when all these liquors are mixed together they give a bad kick to the one who drinks it. These different kinds of liquor are being brought from all over the places to Shillong. They come from different parts into one Patta or into one shop and here all the different kinds of liquor are mixed and put in one container and in this way it becomes a real cock-tail and sometimes this kind of mixture turns into poison and it is rather the poorer section of the people who form the majority in the consumption of such kind of liquor and who come to such liquor shops because of the cheapness of its cost and take a portion of one rupee or two rupees worth from these shops.

( The Deputy Speaker in the Chair )  

        Such kind of liquor is being served all over the town of Shillong as well as in other towns in Meghalaya. I would also like to know if the department is also aware of another danger especially here in Shillong and that is the rampant sale of drugs in Shillong especially in those localities where students are concentrated and also in Bara bazar as well as in Police Bazar. It is the talk of the town that ganja, Bhang, marijuana, L.S.D. and even opium have been smuggled from other States. There is also a talk in the town how certain people who started their business from a small tea shop are now having big gig shops in Bara bazars as well as in Police Bazar. They have become rich overnight. The are not the people of Meghalaya, but by selling all these things, they have become very rich. I am sorry to say that some shops are said to be frequented by our young people for purchasing these drugs. The members of the House know what harm these drugs can cause to our young ones. I strongly urge upon the Government to take up this matter very seriously and immediately try to find out and locate these shops and also the people who smuggled these things into the town and the State and to take drastic action against them by giving them severe punishment. The punishment should be exemplary so as to be a warning to others not to indulge in such practices. I wish to state here that unless the Excise Department comes with real practical programme to do away with these things not only in the case of drugs but also country liquor, I see no reason why this department should exist. Of course, I know that the poor officers of the Excise Department would be bam booed by superiors or by the Government after this speech. But before doing so, let Government consider whether this department has been well-equipped with full force as is desirable for this force to do its duties. Whether Government expect that one Inspector, one S.I. and two constables can raid the shop in which there are goondas, smugglers and gangsters. I take my hats off to the officers of the Excise Department. However, ill-equipped as they were they have made the maximum achievement. I would, therefore, suggest to the Government that - (1) they should frame a programme which is practicable and effective to stop illicit sale of country liquor in Shillong and other important towns in the State and also to make a thorough check and enquiry regarding sale of drugs. (2) This Department should be properly equipped with proper weapons and men who are employed there should be equipped with good training. I have seen that the Police are being well-trained in unarmed combat. But more important than Police, these excise men are the people who need training in unarmed combat. These things should be done immediately. (3) I would suggest that there should be an increase in the number of Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, A.S.Is' and under them adequate number of constables should be placed. (4) The number of posts of Superintendent of Excise should be increased so that each district will have a Superintendent to look after the district with regard to excise matters. (5) An officer of the rank of Deputy Director of Joint Director be appointed directly under the Commissioner of Excise who will be solely responsible for the over-all supervision of this department. We know that the Commissioner of Excise has other portfolios like excise and taxes. He is also the Inspector General of Registration, if I am not mistaken, and so many other things that he has to look into and to which he has to devote his time fully. Till now this Department exists only in name. The life and death of the people and families in our State and even the future of our own people will depend very much on how we can control this. It will depend on how we can control the sale of liquor. I am not a man who stands for prohibition but rather for temperance. So I would rather say that the Department should try to show better performance and should try to carry on its activities in a much better way than what it used to do before. A strong and effective Excise Department means a strong and healthy population, but a weak and corrupt Excise Department would reduce or degenerate the moral character and conduct of our people.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a joint mover I support this cut motion though there are certain points which I differ in opinion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, of course, I am against the present policy of the Government which is being followed by the Excise Department, but at the same time I do appreciate that the revenue earned by this particular Department is increasing every year. Now, the revenue has totaled up to Rs.34,50,000 while the expenditure in only Rs.7 lakhs. Sir, looking at this fact, it appears that Government is encouraging the improvement or rather the expansion of this Excise Department. But while doing so, the Department it seems, is encouraging the sale of more liquor to the people of the State. That is why Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very much against the present policy of this Government in so far as Excise Department is concerned. First of all Sir, the whole of India since the earlier regime under the Congress Government was insisting on total prohibition of the sale of liquor. Now this present Government at the Centre also had wanted to have prohibition very effectively enforced in the whole of India. We have seen somewhere in the new-paper that the Central Government have even gone to the extent of assisting those States who wanted to have total prohibition on the sale of liquor. So also I hope our State Government are going for total prohibition. We may get some financial assistance from the Central Government which may be higher than what we are having now and it is their duty also to assist our State toward total prohibition. Therefore, Sir, I feel, although the Government might earn revenue, yet if we turn to the poor condition of our own people we will find that this liquor has affected them very very badly. So we must not live only on the revenue derived from the sale of liquor but we must first of all improve of the standard of living, moral character, the health and strength of all our people in the State. We expect our own people, young and old, men and women or even children to be very healthy and their condition will be improved economically, if only they do not indulge in drinking liquor. Generally, we find in our society because of the permissiveness or free sale of liquor, our people, especially young boys and girls, have become morally bad and they have become lazy and not active after taking liquor and the influence of drinking habit on our people is really very very great. If you look at the poor labourers, Sir, you will see that the influence of liquor is so much so that they are habituated and sometimes cannot attend to their work in a normal way. They have become physically and morally weak. Thus once they have become addicted to liquor, they even remain absent from their duties because of drunkenness. It has spoiled their health and eaten up their energy and has affected their economy very badly. By drinking too much and very often of liquor, an average daily labourer or common man will not only ruin his health and mentality, but will also become poorer and will not be able to look after his family and himself as is expected of a normal man. So I feel prohibition is very very essential and it will be better than earning money by indulging in these vices.

        Then turning to another point, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel as if there is a lacuna somewhere to be filled up. I feel something is missing here. In the budget speech delivered by the Chief Minister the other day at page 16 paragraph 32, on the revenue receipts for 1977-78, it clearly says it will include an amount of Rs.2.50 lakhs. But if you look at the receipt side it says that a revised arrangements has been made for supply of liquor in Garo Hills. That is on the receipt account volume 1 of the budget for 1977-78. You will see that it does not appear in volume 2 of the budget that is in the estimate for the expenditure side I thought that every amount received from the Central Government should appear in the budget, but as I know it did not appear. There is no mention about this and I think the Minister concerned will have to clarify on this point and if this is the case then I think grants received from the Government of India, are not reflected in the budget estimate. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said I really feel that the Government should change the policies on the Excise Department. The Government will earn more revenue from the Excise Department if they license the country liquor shops everywhere as well as those shops which sell foreign liquor. Well regarding the foreign liquor I think we are not so much against it because only the educated or the well-to do persons are drinking foreign liquor, if of course, they can control themselves. But then it affects every sphere of human lives. But in respect of country spirit, Sir, I think the Government should do away with this though of course, the Government is earning revenue at the cost of the welfare of the people of the State and at the expense of the community as a whole because it has affected the economy and well being. Sometimes a family broke because of the influence of drinking. In many homes in any part of this country especially in the Hill areas, family broke because of liquor and it affects very much the people in then interior parts of the country. Therefore, this revenue is derived at the cost of the welfare of the society. Therefore, when I mentioned this licensing of liquor shops, I would like to say that the present policy of the Government for licencing this country liquor shops is really very unreasonable, because the license is given for 3 years and often it extends upto 4 or 5 years. This Sir, is really affecting the revenue of the State because if they call for tender each year the revenue will increase every year. Because consumption of liquor this year may be say for example 100 bottles in a shop per month, how can we know that in the next year the demand increases to 200 while the rate which the Government is leasing to this shop is at a fixed rate per year and then it continues to 3, 4 or 5 years. By this, it will surely give monopoly to certain persons. It is not any more an open competition in tendering those shops. Therefore revenue earned by the Government in 3 years may state in the same rate of course they getting more revenue each year but hence the rate of contract will remain the same for 3 years. I do not understand this policy. We expect that Government should fix a specific time annually so that business man will come to bid higher rate every year for the same shop of course, if the Government is still following the policy to have liquor shops in the State. If not of course, I would really support prohibition, if the Government think it fit- to have this policy. Moreover, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I have been with the Excise Department for some time and I saw that they are giving undue preference to certain individuals. When they call for tender sometimes these people would run to the High Court to get a stay order and thus the Government will not be able to settle the shop and by that these people would get profitable business at least for some months till the Government or the court disposed it of. From this we understand that the Excise Department sometimes give preference to some individuals because of monetary benefit. They did not allow freely the people to come and compete with each other in tendering for those liquor shops. So in this Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would request the Government to look into the policy of settling the liquor shop in the State. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would refer to a subject which concerns the Revenue Department. It is also the responsibility of the Excise Department. I am referring to a place in Police Bazar where there is a liquor shop. The Government owns the land for a long time and everybody encroached that portion of land. As a result of which the people gathered there for drinks, and there is no space for the people to go inside the shop compound for drinks. Therefore, it seems that Government did not care to look after its own land Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, would request the Government through you, to look into this case especially to that plot which belongs to the Excise Department. And as stated by the hon. mover it is not that we should look only to prohibition but it is time that we should also look at the new type of vices to the society, that is drugs. This also is the concern of the Excise Department. We should send people for training on detection of these drugs and also to detect smugglers and users of these drugs to help the society. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I found the Excise Department is really ill-equipped and ill-trained and even those Department which are testing the drugs and liquor are not having well trained personnel and so they are not efficient in analysing those drugs. I would therefore, request that when the Government sends some people to have advance training anywhere, the Department should have a cell to analyze those drugs and other liquor in that Department itself so that it becomes very efficient and also that prosecution be effective. With these words Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the cut motion.

Shri S.C. Marak (Minister of State, Excise) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the hon. Members who have taken interest and expressed concerned over matters relating to excise policy of the Government and in short , I would like to inform the hon. Members about the policy of Government in Khasi Hills. In accordance with the Government's decision, the Syiemships have been authorised with effect from 1st April, 1976 to issue outstill licence in their respective elakas subject to the prior approval of Government and to collect outstill fees from the outstill licences and also to retain atleast 50 per cent of the amount as remuneration for their services. This new arrangement, I hope, will at least help increase the efficiency of excise administration and also will have a better control over illicit sale of liquor and illicit distillation. In Garo Hills we have adopted a new system of distribution of liquor to various country liquor shops. Previously, liquor was sold in the outstill itself. But this system proved to be susceptible to malpractice like evasion of excise duty and sale tax. Since the production of liquor is very poor and there is also the danger of contamination in the process of distillation which may lead to health hazard of the consumer. As a remedy a central ware house has been set up a Mendipathar to enable distribution of liquor to different country liquor shops. According to this scheme, country spirit is obtained from outside the State and supplied to different country liquor shops in the District of Garo Hills after blending in the Central Ware house. I think I would like to reply to the question of the hon. Member, Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh that receipt from the sale of liquor from the new system, have not been shown separately but it is included under the receipt from country spirit in the Budget. It is shown as it is under the Sixth Schedule areas.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the country spirit licence fee we have only Rs.2,13,000 but that one is Rs.2,50,000 and on vent fee this is quite different, from Rs.7,52,000; the sales proceed is Rs.1.50 lakhs receipt from duty Rs.30,000 shall we take that 2 lakhs is a vend fee ?

Shri S.C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise, etc.) :- This is an anticipated receipts of the budget. As I told, this scheme has just been recently established at Mendipathar. So we have to watch over the performance of this whether it can be successfully implemented or not. According to the scheme, the quality and strength of liquor is ensured and as such, the health of the consumers is to be safeguard. Collecting of fees in the form of vend fee and sales-tax will be ensured. In Jaintia Hills, we have adopted a system of centralisation of outstills and this system has proved to be quite successful. This is one of the measures to control the illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. In reply to the question raised by the hon. Member, I want to make it very clear that the problem, we face, in the State is not the problem of drinking but the problem of drunkenness and this is the real problem which cannot be stamped out. This problem is prevalent in both West and East Khasi Hills. The illicit distillation of liquor and illicit sale of liquor is another problem. These are the two evils, Mr. Deputy Sir. The hon. Member, Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, from Mawkyrwat Constituency, has referred to prohibition, total prohibition of liquor in the State. But I beg to differ from his point of view as the total prohibition is not possible and it may further help illegal drinking in illegal joints. And so, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would request the hon. member to realise this problem and to realise our tribal system. As you know drinking is the traditional tribal way of life in Meghalaya. But if we stop people from drinking habit, it may mean that we are depriving our citizens of the right to eat or to drink. Therefore, our aim should be temperance, as rightly pointed by the hon. Member from Mawkhar and not total abstinence, persuasion, not prohibition. Some of the points raised by the hon. Member from Mawkhar are about the better control over illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. I may inform him that we have adopted a system through which we expect that we can control illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor in the two districts, the East and the West Khasi Hills where we have got more problems of this nature. I would request the hon. Member to realise this. This is a deep-rooted problem of gigantic dimension it cannot be solved over-night. We have been trying our level best, in spite of our limited excise staff, to stamp out these two evils. We have tried our best to raise the  personnel in this department to combat against the social evils and I hope we can do better with the increase strength, which we will be having soon. The hon. Member may realise that ours is a State of difficult terrains and hills. Every time our staff have to face the difficulty of communication which gives the Government more handicap to deploy our excise staff in those areas. Yet in spite of this, our  excise staff are doing commendable work during these years. I can at least give some figures regarding achievements that our excise staff, in spite of being inadequate, have made in 1973-74, total number of cases detected-462; 1974-75, total number of cases detected = 518 and 1975-76, total number of cases - 1067 bringing the total to 2 047 number of cases, which shows the activeness of our Excise Department staff.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Whether it is for the whole State of Meghalaya.

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise) :- No, Sir, this relates only to the East and West Khasi Hills District. Whatever the hon. Member has suggested for the present staff position of this department, the Government will look into and consider to appoint more Excise staff. Then Sir, regarding the illicit sale of drugs in Shillong. These matters have to be enquired into thoroughly. It is really a serious matter that Government will look into seriously.

Prof. A. Warjri :- Whether the Government is aware of this affair with regard to drugs that drugs had been sold time here in Shillong.

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise) :- At present, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not in a position to say anything on this. But I assure that Government will look into this matter very seriously. Other suggestions will be looked into by the Government and action will be taken accordingly. I have nothing more to say and with this assurance, I would request the hon. mover of this cut motion to withdraw it.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wanted first of all to insist on this point that this amount of two and a half lakhs which has been mentioned in the budget speech at 32 has not been reflected in any part of the budget. Well the Minister can clarify on this because it is not included in the budget.

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise) :- I shall give you this information later on.

Prof. A. Warjri :- Before I would like to got more clarification from the Minister, I want him to clarify on this point which he stated that there are arrangements with the Syiem and he also stated that this arrangements will help to control illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor. I am most interested especially with regard to Shillong because liquor comes from all parts of the State and as I have stated, it is being mixed up in the liquor shops which are dealing with this illicit sale of liquor. I would also like to know how many licensed country liquor shops are operating in Shillong with the exception of one here in police Bazar.

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think to the first question I have already replied that with the strengthening of our Excise Department, we can improve prevention and control of illicit sale and illicit distillation of liquor. To the Second question, we have three licenced shops in Shillong, one in Police Bazar, one in Mawkhar and one at Laban with a branch shop at Jorabat. Regarding the revenue estimate from Garo Hills it is yet to be collected, from amounts accruing from the sale proceeds and the collection will be from the vend fees.

Prof. A. Warjri :- In view of the assurances given by the Minister of State, incharge of Excise, I withdraw my cut motion ?

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion ?

( Voices : Yes, Yes ).

        So the cut motions No.1 and No.2 which stands in the name of Shri A. Warjri and Shri R. Lyngdoh are with leave of the House withdrawn. Now, Cut motion No.3 to be moved by Shri S.D. Khongwir.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.7,00,000 under Grant No.8, Major head "939-State Excise", at Pages 41.43 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1, i.e., the amount of the whole grant of Rs.7,00,000/- do stand reduced to Re.1/-.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir I would like to very brief on this particular point about the licensed bars in Shillong. When the licensed bars of Shillong came up we had thoughts that there would be a disciplined way of drinking that they would provide a good and quite place for those persons who wanted to drink and have a good time after a hard day's work and also Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also had expected or rather expect now that the introduction or establishment of those bars-several of them in Shillong would eliminate or minimise the number of illicit liquor shops. But now I know of a particular area i.e., Laitumkhrah, where expectation on the part of the Government could not come to fruition because, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when I met the local leaders of that locality I had a brief discussion with them on this matter. The informed me that even though there are licensed bars - three such bars in Laitumkhrah - there are now in the Iew Laitumkhrah i.e., Laitumkhrah Bazar, about 58 illicit shops. I also understand that from the locality side they have tried their level best to wipe out those shops from that particular area. But, Sir, unfortunately from the Municipality side those shops have been given a new lease of life; they are now active in an animated way in that particular place in the Laitumkhrah Bazaar. I have also been informed by one of the leaders from that locality that the Department has not conducted any raid whatsoever for the last two or three months. 

        Another aspect which I consider very important with regard to those bars is, in opinion, that those are more obnoxious to society. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if this aspect of the matter is not checked properly it will be very harmful to the society. As I said earlier while we had expected that there would be a disciplined and decent way of drinking, those bars at Laitumkhrah, with the passage of time, along with other bars in the whole of Shillong, have transformed and acquired the image of that very famous Temple Bar of a certain city. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will not mention the name of that city; I will simply confine myself to the image projected by that famous Temple Bar. There may be members both on this side as well as on the other side of the House who happen to know what goes on in that famous bar (Laughter). Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while speaking about decency, what do we have from the bars ? It is a decent atmosphere ? Of course, the leaders of that locality, when they had recommended to the Government for establishment of these bars, had recommended because they had expected that the illicit liquor shops would be eliminated. I have also been informed that another bar by the name of Capri is famous and very popular because of the double 'B'. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a song in Latin America ( A voice : One BB is there) I mean that there is no bar and bed. It has been reported by the leaders of that locality that this particular bar does not confine itself to mere serving of drinks but that is also serves another 'B' which mean 'bed'  At this juncture, I have to be brief and so I do not want to say much on this. But the existence of these bars will really have an obnoxious effect on the society at large, especially on the younger generations, because many educational institutions are also situated in that area. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest through this cut motion that these bars should not be allowed to continue in this way because they have failed to behave themselves in a way that a really good bar should behave. On the other hand, they have turned into something else which will be very harmful to the society especially for the young boys and girls. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with these words, I move this cut motion.

( Voices - Is there nobody to support it ? )

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am also equally concerned with what has been expressed by the hon. Member from Mawlai at the existence of these bars at Laitumkhrah and other places in Shillong. But I may remind the hon. Member that these bars in Shillong were granted licenses on the recommendation of as many as 18 M.L.As. in their meeting on the 1st August, 1972. I think some of the hon. Members may remember this particular date in 1972. On the basis of this recommendation the following bar licences were granted to the following :- (1) Mrs. Saigal, Prakash Bar, (2) Mrs. P.V. Baukhami Hauhmer, Capri Bar, (3) Klodilda Lyngwa Victor Bar, (4) Sri S.K. Das, Eccee Bar, (5) Chee Yuan Sang, Oriental Bar, whose licence is not renewed and (7) Mrs. Mary Louis Kharmawphlang, Laban Bar, which is not functioning. Now the Government have taken a decision under the 12 point programme for reducing the consumption of liquor and serving of liquor in the hostel, clubs and bars has been prohibited. Of course beer is allowed to be served within the premises of such clubs, hostels bars. Now steps are also being taken to check on drunkenness and some unseemingly behaviour particularly in the neighbourhood of some educational institutions and other establishments. The Excise Act is amended to provide for deterrent punishment of offences under the Act. Recently for your information Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the State temperance committee met on the 16th of May 1977 which recommended that the bars should not be opened earlier than 4 P.M. and should be closed not later than 9 P.M. and secondly bars should be inspected very frequently and ensured that liquor is not served to teenaged boys and girls at Laitumkhrah. In the meantime this Government have received a representation from the people of the Laitumkhrah locality and have taken a decision that the bars should be shifted from the existing location to some other places to be approved by Government within three months.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Which  bars ?

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise) :- All the three bars in Laitumkhrah. In respect of the other bars Government have not received any complaint. Anyway I will still remind the hon. Members that the problem in the State is not drinking of liquor but drunkenness which is a nuisance to everybody. So the correct approach to this problem will be education and persuasion and not prohibition as advocated by the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat. What is needed is a strong public opinion against illicit dale of liquor and there should be active involvement of voluntary organisations and people from all walks of life to lend active and sustain co-operation for the welfare of our own people and I would request the hon. Member to withdraw the cut motion.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Hon'ble Minister has stated in his reply that as many as 18 M.L.As. have recommended for opening of bars. So we will be in a very awkward position unless the names are disclosed. I would request the Minister to let us know the names of the members.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I think that is not necessary.

Shri H. Hadem :- But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the rule does not allow this inside the House and we will be in a very awkward position unless and until you disclose the names. If any one of them has not signed he will have nothing to say. So I request that the names should be revealed.

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State, Excise) :- With your permission let me read out the names of the members who were present in that meeting :

1.  

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, then Minister Excise etc.

2.

Shri K.M. Marbaniang, M.L.A.

3. 

Shri G. Mylliemngap M.L.A.

4.

Shri B.D. Lapang. M.L.A.

5.

Shri R. Lyngdoh, M.L.A.

6.

Shri D. Lyngdoh, M.L.A.

7.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh, M.L.A.

8.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, M.L.A.

9. 

Shri E. Kurbah, M.L.A.

10.

Shri S.P. Swer, M.L.A.

11.

Shri H. Nongrum, M.L.A.

12.

Shri U. Kharbuli, M.L.A.

13.

Shri M.N. Majaw, M.L.A.

14.

Shri A. Warjri, M.L.A.

15.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang, M.L.A.

16.

Shri B. Kharkongor, M.L.A.

17.

Shri Maham Singh, M.L.A.

18.

Shri H. Hynniewta, M.L.A.

      These are the Members

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the cat  is out of the bag and as such I am glad that my name in not included.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- I have not signed anywhere. It is a very wrong thing that this has been brought to the House. I take strong exception to it. We can verify from the record.

Shri Salseng C. Marak, (Minister of State Excise) :- Where a policy decision has been taken for opening of bars. It was a recommendation to stop illicit sale of liquor in Shillong and the suburbs. This is a policy matter recommended in the meeting of the M.L.A.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it makes no difference whether it is the resolution or the recommendation of that Committee of which he is a party.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I cannot resist the Minister of State and I withdraw the cut motion.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Has the hon. Members leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion ? (Voices Yes, Yes). So the cut motion is with the leave of the House withdraw.

        I put the question that an amount of Rs.7,00,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1978 for the administration of the head "239-State Excise".

        (The motion was carried and the demand was passed).

        Now let me come to Grant No.9.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- My colleague will give the reply let me move the Grant. Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor I beg to move that an amount of Rs.5,85,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "240-Sales Tax and 245-I-Other Taxes and duties on Commodities and Services".

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. In this respect I have received a cut motion which stands in the name of Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh, Shri R. Lyngdoh and Shri S.D. Khongwir. Any one may move.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Sir, we will not move.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Since none will move, the cut motion is deem to have been withdrawn. Now let me put the main question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.5,85,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "240-Sales Tax and 245-I-Other Taxes and Duties on Commodities and Services".

        (The motion was carried and the demand was passed). Grant No.10.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that the amount of Rs.11,00,000 be granted to the Minister in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "241-Taxes on Vehicles".

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received notice of one cut motion which stands in the name of Shri G. Mylliemngap.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.11,00,000 under Grant No.10, Major head "241-Taxes on Vehicles", at pages 48-51 of the Budget Rs.11,000 do stand reduced to Re.1.

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

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will try to be very brief. This particular cut motion I would like to bring to the notice of the Government, through you Sir, that the assessment of taxes on vehicles are based on the size of the engine of the vehicle i.e. on horse power and not on the date of manufacture. As you know Mr. Chairman, Sir the

(Chairman took the Chair)

performance of a vehicle depends not only on the horse power but it depends much on the date of manufacture. Therefore, to fix a uniform rate of tax on vehicle, whether old or now vehicle, and to ask the transport operator to pay the same amount of tax on vehicle irrespective of year of manufacture, is not very fair. Besides that, as you know, Mr. Chairman Sir, there are different taxes on vehicles number one, we have road tax and this road tax we have to pay to the DTO, i.e., District Transport Officer, number two we have to pay also passengers and good tax.

Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Passenger and goods tax does not come under the purview of this Grant.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- That is the reason why I have brought this for reviewing the taxation policy.

Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I think there is no scope for discussion under this particular Grant, hon. Member should confine to this particular grant.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Sir, if the Passenger and Goods Tax does not come under this Grant then I will just discuss on collection of taxes on vehicles. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I said that different taxes are collected on vehicles by the different Departments; one tax is collected by the Transport Department and the other by the Taxation Department and this has caused a lot of difficulties and complications in respect of transport operators. As I have said that the District Transport Officer is collecting only the road tax and the same vehicle is paying tax on passengers and goods tax to the Taxation Department it has caused inconveniences. There is a recommendation of the Tax Enquiry Committee.

Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, that comes under Taxation under Grant No.9 but since they have not moved any cut motion against that Grant, they cannot raise that question under this particular Grant.

Mr. Chairman :- Since that cut motion was not moved will the hon. Mover concentrate only to Grant No.10 ?

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- If you refer to page 51 of the Budget there is a provision for inspection of motor vehicles.

Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- That is a different matter you are referring. The taxes on passengers and goods is dealt with by the Taxation Department and that could have been discussed under Grant No.9.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, as you have clearly stated that taxes on vehicles actually I don't understand that on the same vehicle they are paying two types of taxation to this department and the department is also collecting such taxes under the same Head of Accounts i.e., Sales Tax and other Taxes. Therefore, Sir, my only contention is that if these taxes on vehicles both goods, passengers and road taxes could be collected by the same department under the same Heads it would facilitate the tax payers. 

Chairman :- Is there anybody who would like to take part in the discussions ?

Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I thought that some concrete suggestions would be brought to this cut motion about the principle to be followed on taxation of vehicles. But only one suggestion has been made that the rate of taxation should be made on the date of manufacture of the vehicle. At present we have adopted the Act as passed by Government of Assam and on that basis we have imposed or levied taxes on different kinds of vehicles including horse power and other machines and if the hon. Member is interested then I will quote the rates as fixed by the Government.

        Bicycles not exceeding 90 kg. in weight the annual tax is Rs.30 and quarterly Rs.10.

        Tricycles, annual rate is Rs.14 and quarterly Rs.4. For vehicles constructed and used solely for the conveyance of passengers and light personal luggage of passengers, the annual tax is Rs.135 for 14 horse power or less and for which the quarterly tax is Rs.34. For the vehicles exceeding 14 horse power, the annual tax is Rs.165 and quarterly Rs.42. For the other vehicles used for transport of goods which are authorised to carry one metric tonne or less, the annual tax is Rs.420 and the quarterly tax is Rs.105. And for every additional metric tonne or part thereof of authorised load, the annual tax is Rs.98 and the quarterly Rs.25. And for the tractor not exceeding 2 metric tonne in weight, the annual tax is Rs.63 and the quarterly Rs.16. For the tractor exceeding 2 metric tonne but not exceeding 3 metric tonne in weight the annual tax is Rs.126 and quarterly Rs.32. And for the tractor exceeding 3  metric tonne in weight the annual tax is Rs.252 and quarterly Rs.63. And the additional tax for the trailer drawn by vehicles covered by this article for the light trailer the annual tax is Rs.63 and the quarterly Rs.16 and for the medium trailer Rs.126 and Rs.32 and for the heavy trailer Rs.252 and Rs.63 respectively. For the vehicles plying for hire for the conveyance of passengers and light-personal luggage of passenger say for Tourist Taxis the annual tax is Rs.1,190 and Rs.298 as quarterly tax. For the stage carriage for every seat authorised the annual tax is Rs.56 and the quarterly Rs.14. For the vehicles authorised for one metric tonne or less the annual tax is Rs.420 and quarterly Rs.105 and for each additional metric tonne, the annual valuation is Rs.105 and quarterly Rs.27. And for the vehicle authorised to ply partly for the conveyance of passengers and their personal luggage and partly for the conveyance of goods, for every seat the annual tax is Rs.50 and quarterly Rs.14 and also for an additional tax for every metric tonne or part thereof of authorised load of goods, the annual tax is Rs.140, and quarterly Rs.35. For the tractor not exceeding 2 metric tonne in weight the annual tax is Rs.161 and quarterly Rs.41 and for the trailers drawn by vehicles covered by articles under Part B, for the light trailer the annual tax is Rs.126 and quarterly Rs.32 and for the medium trailer the annual tax is Rs.252 and quarterly Rs.63 and for heavy trailer the annual tax is Rs.504 and quarterly Rs.126. And for the vehicles authorised to ply for hire on a special route under a permit granted by the State Government, the taxes under Article IV to VIII, together with such additional fee as may be prescribed by the State Government. Sir, I don't think that it is necessary to go through all the different rates of taxes as fixed by the Government. Here the most important point is the principle involved in it. The Hon. Member suggested that the levy of taxes should be based on the date of manufacture of the vehicle. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think you will agree with me that it is not the date of manufacture of the vehicle that is so important. It depends on the use of the vehicle and the capacity of the vehicle which is actually important. I have given an example that if a vehicle can carry 5 M.T. naturally its income will be more on that basis and the amount of tax should be levied accordingly. Will Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is the Government of India, who is the main authority to lay down the appropriate principle on this particular matter and not the State Government and we will have to follow the principle as on the entry 32 of the list if I remember alright. 

Chairman :- I think it is alright. The taxes are levied according to the principles of the Motor Vehicle Act as such the hon. Mover has already suggested that he is not going to move against this Act. So it is clear that the levy of tax cannot be based on the date of manufacture of the vehicle and even if it is so that will amount to amendment of the Act and according to the Rule is not allowed.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, that is why in view of this fact I request the hon. Mover to kindly withdraw the cut motion.

Chairman :- No, no, he has also suggested another point that the taxes should be collected by the department under the same Heads and no different taxes should be levied for these cases.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, this is the matter which should be dealt with by a competent authority like Taxation Enquiry Committee. So I cannot give categorical reply on this matter.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Hon. Chief Minister suggested that the tax should be levied on the basis of the capacity of the car. But Sir, I would like to mention here that if we do not levy tax on the basis of the date of manufacture of the vehicle, we will not be taking into notice the capacity of the car. Because if the vehicle is old, I mean to say that older the vehicle it has done more running. So Sir, how can we fix the tax just on the capacity basis both for the new and the old car. I feel that it is not fair on the part of the Government to levy tax on such basis. Another point Sir, ......

Mr. Chairman :- Mr. Mylliemngap, the Chief Minister had clearly replied that the policy followed by the Government is according to the provisions of the Act and what you have suggested means amendment of the Act. If you suggest amendment of the Act, the rule does not allow you to come through cut motion. You have to come through other means and as such, that is not under the purview of the cut motion. 

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have come through this cut motion to have a discussion for consideration ....

Mr. Chairman :- No, my point is this. Even for consideration of an amendment of the Act or repealing of the existing laws, you cannot do according to the rules. If you refer to page 83 of the Rules, you can see there that the Government did not deviate anywhere from the main provisions of the Act.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Only one more point Mr. Chairman, Sir, which I have missed, is the surcharge. This is also a tax to the vehicle owners. I think this surcharge is no longer collected in other States whereas it is still operating in Meghalaya and the transport operators in the State are still paying this surcharge which is so much encumbrous and so complicated even for the sake of calculation.

Mr. Chairman :- Buy you have not raised that point earlier. The Minister has already replied. In this way, the discussion will not be concluded.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- It is upto the Chief Minister.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, my colleague in the opposition knows the background of this surcharge. This was started during the refugee time and after that problem was solved, this matter was discussed by the Government whether we could do away with it. But due to the limited resources available in the State, we thought we might continue with this as ways and means to raise the additional revenue of the State. The amount last year, if it is correct has increased to Rs.69,000. I will have this matter examined whether to continue it or not. But right from the beginning, it was an established fact that it earns revenue for the State.

Mr. Chairman :- Since the Chief Minister has give the reply, you are requested to withdraw the cut motion.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- I withdraw the cut motion honourably.

Mr. Chairman :- Has the hon. member take leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion ? (Voices-Yes, yes). So the cut motion is, with the leave of the House, withdrawn. Now, I put the question that an amount of Rs.11,00,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "241 - Taxes on Vehicles".

        (The motion was carried and the demand was passed)

Grant No. 11 :

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Power) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.1,17,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1978 for the administration of the head "245 - Other Taxes and Duties on Commodities and Services - II - Inspectorate of Electricity".

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved and since there is not cut motion, I put the question that an amount of Rs.1,17,000 be granted to the Minister to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1978 for the administrative of the head "245 - Other Taxes and Duties on Commodities and Services - II - Inspectorate of Electricity".

        (The motion was carried and the demand was passed).

Grant No. 12 :

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.53,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1978 for the administration of the head "247 - Other Fiscal Services - Promotion of Small Saving".

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. There is a cut motion on this grant standing in the names of 4 hon. members. Any one of them can move the cut motion.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, in view of the small amount, I leave it to Mr. Khongwir to move. (laughter).

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I pass it over to Mr. Y. Fuller Lyngdoh.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I pass it over to Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, but he is absent.

Mr. Chairman :- It seems that the hon. members decline to move the cut motion. So the cut motion is deemed to have been withdrawn.

        I put the question that an amount of Rs.53,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1978 for the administration of the head "247- Other Fiscal Services - Promotion of Small Savings".   

        (The motion was carried and the demand was passed).

Grant No. 13 :

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.53,15,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1978 for the administration of the head "252 - Secretariat- General -Services - I - Civil Departments".

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. There is a cut motion on this grant standing in the names of Mr. P.R. Kyndiah and Mr. K.M. Roy Marbaniang. Mr. Kyndiah, you move the cut motion.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that the total provisions of Rs.53,15,000 under grant No.14 Major head "252 - Secretariat- General -Services - I - Civil Departments", at pages 68-74 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1, i.e., the amount of the whole grant of Rs.53,15,000 do stand reduced to Re.1.

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. You can initiate the discussion. But there is only one minute left.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- This is a policy cut. To raise a discussion on the working of the Secretariat Department is not a policy matter.

Shri S. Syiemiong :- One minute has already passed.

Mr. Chairman :- Since the Chief Minister has raised the point. I will leave this matter to be decided by the Hon'ble Speaker on Monday.


ADJOURNMENT

        The House now stands adjourned till 9-30 a.m., on Monday, the 6th June 1977.

D.S. KHONGDUP,

Dated Shillong,

Secretary,

The 4th June 1977.

Meghalaya Legislative

Assembly.

******