Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9-30 a.m. on Tuesday, the 31st May 1977 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us take up questions.
( Replies to which were laid on the Table )
Contractors for construction of Nongnah - Kyniong Road
Shri R. Lyngdoh asked :
7. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department to be pleased to state -
(a) The names of contractors who were allotted works since the start of the portion of work from Nongnah to Kyniong of the J.R. Road, and the length together with estimated amount against each ?
(b) The amount of final bills paid or to be paid to each contractor (with names) ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge, of Public Works Department) replied :
7 (a) & (b) - A list is placed on the Table of the House.
Construction of Mawmluh - Mawshamok Road
Shri S.P. Swer asked :
8. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state whether it is a fact that the proposed construction of Mawmluh - Mawshamok Road has been abandoned ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge of P.W.D.) replied :
8. - No. The alignments is still under investigation.
Shri S.P. Swer : It is not a fact that tenders were called for this road ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : I want notice for that question.
Construction of foot-paths and drains in Cherra Town
Shri S.P. Swer asked :
9. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -
(a) When do Government propose to start construction work of the remaining length of foot-paths and drains in Cherra Town ?
(b) Whether tenders were floated for the purpose ?
(c) Of not, the reasons thereof ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge of P.W.D.) replied :
9. (a) - In the current financial year.
(b) - No.
(c) - The estimate is under scrutiny.
Pay of the Headmaster of Mellim High School :
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
10. Will the Minister-in-charge of Education be pleased to state -
(a) Whether the pay of Shri Elphinstone R. Marak, Headmaster of Mellim High School from April, 1974 upto date has been paid ?
(b) If not, the reasons thereof ?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) replied :
10. (a) - The Managing Committee of the School which is a private School receiving Ad-hoc grant from Government has paid the pay of Shri E.R. Marak upto 7th September, 1973, the date upto which he was serving in that school.
(b) - Does not arise.
Border Areas Scholarship Scheme
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
11. Will the Minister-in charge of Education be pleased to state -
(a) How Government proposes to ensure payment of Border scholarships to the students who are the actual residents of the Border Areas ?
(b) Whether Government is aware that there were cases of Border Scholarships being awarded to the students from families who migrated from Border Areas to Shillong or other upland areas ?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister-in-charge of Education) replied :
11. (a) - Education Department have no Border Scholarship Scheme. Students from Border areas are provided with subsidies/stipends. The applications for the purposes are required to be certified by the local M.L.A./M.D. Cs, any Gazetted Officer/Head of the Institution, Headman of the Village that the students are actually from the villages falling within the approved Border Areas.
(b) - No.
Names of Chairman, and Members of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
(12) Will the Minister-in-charge of Tourism be pleased to state the names of the Chairman and the Members of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation ?
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of Tourism) replied :
(12) - The names of the Chairman and Members of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation are as follows :-
(1) Chairman, Shri H. Hynniewta, M.L.A.
(2) Vice-Chairman, Shri Ira Marak, M.L.A.
(3) Director-Secretary, Tourism.
(4) Do-Secretary, Finance.
(5) Do-Conservator of Forests or his representative.
(6) Do-Shri Radhasyama Goenka, Police Bazar, Shillong as representative of the Travel Agencies.
(7) Do C.E.M. Garo Hills.
(8) Do C.E.M. Khasi Hills.
(9) Do C.E.M. Jaintia Hills.
(10) Do C.E.O. Shillong Municipality.
(11) Do Director of Information and Public Relations.
The Secretary, Tourism is also the Managing Director of Corporation.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Is it a fact that Government is considering to induct more non-official members to the Corporation ?
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Tourism) : No, Sir.
Statement by Chief Minister
Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to the next item. I have received an intimation from the Chief Minister that he wants to make a statement on matters relating to Family Planning Programme. But before I ask the Chief Minister, I think I will make it clear to the House that if the Government in the light of the discussions that have been taking place, he may reply tomorrow. But if it is a different the Chief Minister may make a statement today.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the discussion of the budget for 1977-78 some of the hon. members expressed concern about the Family Planning Programme. Sir, you may recall that while I replied to the debate on the Governor's Address I made it very clear that we are not going to follow the programme of sterilization. But in spite of that, because of the provision appearing at p. 255 Volume II of the Budget under 'F Compensation', it appears that the hon. members are under the impression that the Government is going to follow the same programme as in the past. But we are going to concentrate now only on the programme relating to the Maternity and Child Welfare programme. I would make it very clear to the hon. members that we shall take up this matter with the Government of India because of the size of the population of the State .....
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. Just now you yourself, Sir, had given a very definite guidance regarding this proposed statement that if it is a matter for giving clarification on matters arising out of the discussion on the budget, then the Chief Minister may reply tomorrow. So this seems to be exactly a reply as to what is the Government policy in the matter arising in the budget discussion. The Chief Minister said that many hon. member expressed concern about this programme. So I think it is directly against the ruling that the Chief Minister may make a statement now. He may reply on this tomorrow. If it is a different matter altogether not connected with the budget discussion, then the Chief Minister may come forward with the statement. So far it is a matter of reply to the discussion raised in the House on this particular subject, it is exactly against the guidelines given by the Chair to the Chief Minister.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : No, it is only because there is wrong impression on the part of the hon. members.
Mr. Speaker : It is a fact that the Chief Minister has plenty of time to reply tomorrow. But from the statement that the Chief Minister has made, it appears that there will be a change in the fund allotment.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, we generally put a lump sum provision for each programme on the basis of last year's actuals and have to work out the details and get the sanction from the Finance Department. So, it is a lump sum provision on the basis of the last year's actuals.
Mr. Speaker :- May I know the page number ?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Page 225 of Volume II under sub-head 'F - Compensation'. This provision was made on the basis of actuals of last year.
Mr. Speaker : This fund will be utilised for maternity and child welfare, it is under a different head altogether.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, we generally put a lump sum provision, but the details are worked out.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : This is a matter of interpretation in so far as this sub-head is concerned. It is under sub-head 'Compensation'. Now it is a matter of interpretation. What does it matter if the Chief Minister can reply tomorrow. So far as changing of the sub-head is concerned, that can be done by a corrigendum.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : My hon. friend in the opposite know the procedure very well and that it is an estimated lump sum provision. But for details, the Government will come forward with proposals and get the sanction from the Finance Department.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I know the procedure very well and this is for compensation for sterilisation and we are trying to rub it out.
Mr. Speaker : First of all, I have to dispose of the point of order and not the merits and demerits of the programme. The point of order raised by Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh is that the Chief Minister is giving reply to the points raised during the discussion. But what the Chief Minister has submitted is that this lump sum amount will be utilised more for Maternity and Child Welfare. May I know from the Government whether the same amount from this sub-head can be transferred to another sub-head namely, 'D - Maternity and Child Welfare' - If that is the case, a corrigendum may be placed on the Table of the House.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The entire amount will be spent for that purpose.
Mr. Speaker : In that case, a corrigendum will do.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : May we know Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the amount has been sanctioned by New Delhi or this amount of Rs. 10,55,000 was proposed by the Government of Meghalaya ?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a Centrally sponsored scheme on the basis of last year's actuals, a lump sum provision is made.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : That means under the Plan. A scheme under the Plan, according to our humble layman's knowledge, money has been specifically provided for that scheme. I wonder whether by a corrigendum, this money can be transferred to another sub-head which is specifically under Plan allotment. We may be guided by those who know more of budgeting.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I said this is only a lump sum amount on the basis of last year's actuals. Since the Government, as a matter of policy, decided not to pursue sterilisation but want to concentrate on Maternity and Child Welfare Programme, we will take up this matter with the Government of India that we are not going to spend this money for that particular programme, and the details would be worked out by the concerned departments.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : What does the Government want us to vote for ? This House has to vote for certain thing and spent the money for another thing. This will mean contempt of the House.
Mr. Speaker : I think we should not go any further on this. What I understand is that we will have to wait till the Government issue a corrigendum. It is open to all the hon. members to come forward with the cut motions. This is not the time to discuss the merits and demerits of this issue. The Chief Minister has only made a statement on the policies to be pursued but so far as actual implementation of the programme is concerned, when the Government is taking up with the Government of India. That is why the Chief Minister, I think, has made a statement in the House and he has agreed that the corrigendum to this effect will be sent and will be laid on the Table of the House. Then afterwards, if you want any further discussion, there is enough scope under the cut motions.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, can you change the date of giving notice for the cut motions because in so far as the matter of grants is concerned, the last date for giving notice is today at 2-30 p.m. So if the Government can bring the corrigendum well ahead of time, then we can give notice of cut motions.
Mr. Speaker : Will it be possible for the Government to issue a corrigendum at least before 1 p.m. today ? I mean if the Government can assure the House that they can issue a corrigendum before 1 p.m.
Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Yes.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Then we know what to do.
General discussion on the budget
Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to the next item - general discussion on the Budget.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the very first day of the discussion on the budget, many hon. members had expressed and stated that this is going to be the last Budget Session for this whole term of the present House. Being therefore, the last Budget Session after the term of 5 years, it is expected of this House to make a review and reappraisal of the values, of the effectiveness, of the successes or the failures, of the mistakes of all the policies and programmes during the whole term and we may even extend the term to include the whole 7 years, period from 2nd April, 1970 to this date. In this reappraisal of the values of the successes and failures of the various policies and programmes, we will have to realise that conditions in a society in the country and in any community are never static. New conditions, new circumstances, new situations always develop. Therefore Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is room always for modifications, changes, adaptations of the various policies and programmes to meet the new situations, to meet the new conditions and circumstances, for the sake of the basic fundamental interest of the community - the interest to maintain, to preserve the identity of the community, to advance its growth, its development in all spheres - political, economic, social, educational, cultural, moral and so on. Therefore, Sir, I expected and perhaps all of us have expected that in this last Budget Session in this House the Budget Speech should have initiated the reappraisal and valuation of the policies and programmes of the last 7 years and also a projection as to what in the light of experience in the lights of knowledge, in the light of changes, during the last 7 years, should be the best policies and programmes for the people of the State. But we regret, Sir, that is totally lacking in the Budget Speech. The Budget Speech is a mere repetition, a dull narration, a stereo-type statement of facts and figures. There is no indication of the past, the present and the future. However, Sir, let us take up this question of reappraisal and the assessment of the values, of the efficacies of the various policies and programmes.
Now, Sir, before I go into the discussion in detail of these policies and programmes, I would like to make it very clear to this august House that I will do so in a humble manner without any attitude of criticism or blame any one on any ground. I will do so with the spirit of consultation a spirit of sharing experience, our knowledge and our findings in the last 7 years and I will make suggestions. They will not be suggestions for the Government or for the Opposition. But they will be suggestions for all parties and leaderships and all sections of the people in the State for the next term of the House. I hope the discussion in this House will guide the policies and programmes of the new parties, new leadership and the new Government that might come into the State.
Now Sir, when we talk therefore about what should be our policy and programme for the basic and permanent interest of our community. Let is examine first - What is our community ? Where does it stand in.
In this respect we may remind ourselves of how through out the long course of history this country of ours, India has evolved a great Nation, united and strong as demonstrated clearly in the course of the last 30 years and yet with such variety and diversity of race, community and culture. No matter how small we are here in Meghalaya we are an integral part of this great Nation which has evolved throughout the ages in this great ancient land. Sir, we in this State of Meghalaya which is one of the 22 States of India have got 85 per cent of tribal community, 80 per cent which consists of Garo, Khasis and Jaintia and 5 per cent of other tribals. A very big figure indeed, 85 per cent but then when we look in the whole country we are a tiny speck in the National canvas, we are a small community less that a million in a big country of 620 million people. This is one aspect, one circumstance that we have to be aware and conscious of. Even taking the whole of the North East we are only 2 million tribal people in the country of 620 millions. But, Sir, we feel very safe, very strong under the Constitution of the country, a country of great variety and diversity of races, community and languages, under a federal structure, a federal system of Government in which every group of every region or area is given the autonomy to develop by itself and to look after its own affairs and then join hands together in the national policy and programme of the whole country. We have 66 State subjects. The Centre has 97 subjects plus the concurrent list of 47 subjects. We feel safe under the Constitution. We feel safe because also of the national policy of the country right from the time of the great architect of modern India, the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who had given shape to the Constitution of this country and who danced in joy about the beauty of races, languages and cultures and who found particular pleasure in the culture of small ethnic groups of tribal people in the country. Therefore, Sir, we feel safe in so far as the national leadership and ideology, national policies and programmes are concerned. We feel very free also to grow, to live our own way of life. Now Sir, every step that we take, every item of expenditure in this budget affects our own community in the long run. Therefore, let us discuss the various subjects and programmes.
Take industry. Before we may take up industry I would like first to remind ourselves of one very definite step that was taken a few years ago by this House that was the step taken by the present Leader of the House in 1974; the step taken by the A.P.H.L.C. under his leadership at that time to bring the Residential Permit Bill which was passed by the House. Sir, the Leader of the House, Captain Sangma, is known in the national leadership as a staunch nationalist, a leader of the A.P.H.L.C. party for 7 years, the party which was described as a party with a national outlook and it was stated by responsible men in the North -east that the impact of the A.P.H.L.C. was very much felt in other hill areas of the North-east and it has contributed a great deal towards the integration of the North-east tribes into the National main stream. Therefore, some people did express surprise about the step taken by Capt. W.A. Sangma, as Chief Minister of the A.P.H.L.C. Government to have the Bill passed by this House. It is regretted that the Government instead of normally signing the Bill passed in this House, he has reserve it for the consideration of the President, and the Government of India on some technical plea had refused to obtain the assent of the President. I hope and affiliation this conviction on the part of the leader and members of this House continues to be the same because the reason behind the Bill still exists and it is stronger in view of the exposure of this area, in view of the rapid development of communication and other facilities in the field of traders and commerce. Sir, in this context let me quote what our great leader, the subject of modern India, Shri Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said :-
(1) The tribal people should develop along the lines of their own genius and we should avoid imposing anything on them. We should try to encourage in every way their own traditional arts and cultures.
(2) Tribals rights in land and forest should be respected.
(3) We should try to train and build up a team of their own people to do the work of administration and development. Some technical personnel from outside will no doubt be needed especially in the beginning. But we should avoid introducing too many outsiders into tribal territory.
(4) We should not over-administer these areas or overwhelm them with multiplicity of schemes. We should rather work through and not in the rivalry to their social and cultural institution.
(5) We should judge results not by statistics on the amount of money spent but by the quality of human character that is evolved.
Now, Sir, coming to industries, what should be our industrial policy. There is always this common human tendency that a person being in-charge of a certain department will be solely concerned for the achievement of the particular department without considering the effect on the people concerned. Should it be industry for industry's sake ? We need not elaborate, it will be enough from the experience we have had in the last 7 years in the industries we established in Burnihat and also the experience we have in other hill areas like the industries at Dimapur Nagaland. I would suggest that all of us here decide today once and for all that no industry shall be established in the State that would not give at least 75 percent benefit to the people I am not speaking so much in terms of money. I refer to the influx that Mr. Kyndiah yesterday has very much stressed and also in terms of what we have said about the security of this community in these hills ? This was felt strongly by the State Government in 1975. We have realised the situation that no more industry in Burnihat and we made a decision that no more industry will be established in such areas but to bring industries into the interior where our people may take the full benefit of the employment opportunities. In the budget speech, there is a reference to bringing the industries into the interior. I am glad that in spite of the change politically the same policy is continued as seem in the budget speech.
Now, I come to agriculture. As stated and emphasised by the Chief Minister in his budget speech at page 15, the primary objective of our programme in the agriculture sector is to increase the production of food-grains and lead the State to self-sufficiency. I give full support to this policy in the light of the situation being based on experiences. It is the basic need to develop agriculture in our State, to attain self-sufficiency in food. In this regard we have a very special problem in our hill areas of Meghalaya and the other hill areas as well. This is the problem of destructive jhum shifting cultivation. The Government had, since its inception in 1970, taken up this problem in a most vigorous way. The Leader of the House and myself together have had every time we met the Planning Commission, specially stressed on this problem. We are glad that the Planning Commission had fully realised this and had agreed that any amount that we can utilise in the jhum control programme, the Planning Commission will not stand in the way. But it is a very very difficult problem to change the ancient way of life of the people however much there have been changed circumstances, From a population of less than one lakh like in Garo Hills District when the British came, now it is four lakhs. The great task now is to bring the people to the new programme of regrouping of villages and permanent settlement. Here I feel the Government should have to get full support, full co-operation from the members of this House and also the leaders of all the parties. I say this because of the difficult programme; to give the officers doing this job a sense of mission, a sense of dedication towards this great cause.
Coming to education, it is a very important subject, I would like the Education Minister to hear this.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) : The Education Minister is not here. I will call him.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : We hear and we read almost daily about the leaders, the experts, the educationists, the philosophers all during the last two or three decades talk about the need to change the system of education. That is, to change towards technical, vocational education. For our State, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this emphasis towards a change is most relevant from many points of view, relevant from the basic considerations that we have discussed, relevant from the basic considerations that we have discussed, relevant because of the developments and activities in the State for which we need technical trained personnel who are hard to find from all over the country, and if we follow the advice of our late leader, Pandit Nehru, we should have these persons raised from among our own people. That we build up a team of trained men to do the work of development and administration in the tribal areas from among our own people.
I remember that the Chief Minister found it very hard to convince the leaders in Delhi and the Planning Commission to find a man to come and help us in one very important Department : Economics and Statistics Department. Many Ministers did promise to help Capt. Sangma.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : They promised to both of us.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Both of us, yes. They did promise for years from 1970 onwards because as the Speaker also knows the members of this House are very much critical of the Statistics Department. We want therefore to get qualified men to man this Department. Ultimately, we have had to take resources to advertisement because of the failures of those promises. Then because they would have to leave Delhi to come to this remote corner, they make fantastic bargain when they come. So we have had to advertise over India. Our own people also applied but not a single one of them was qualified. However, we upgraded one tribal officer from Deputy Director to Joint Director. Recently I learned that one qualified person had been appointed. So, Sir, I would emphasise with all the power at my command that we should not only talk and discuss this policy. Let us act, let us decide on certain percentage of funds, say, 50-60-70 percent to be exclusively diverted for the purposes of technical education and training. I would also like the House to consider whether all the developmental Departments should not adjust their programmes with the production of available qualified men to be produced from years to years from among our own people. There is sometimes the danger in too much haste. I will suggest further that the Departments themselves should take up training programmes for all activities in the field of development. Sir, apart from what Nehru said on this, there is also that basic consideration about maintaining the population character of our State. Now, in this respect, I have a feeling of uneasiness, a feeling of apprehension because of the political changed in the State. Now the Ruling Party in the State is no longer a free autonomous body. It is now under the dictates, the wishes and whims of a certain high command somewhere in Delhi. As human beings we apprehend that the Ruling Party will always be conscious not so much of the feelings and desires of the people concerned as of what would cater to their enjoying the confidence, praise, and good opinion of certain highups outside the State. However, time will show.
Coming to the statement of the Chief Minister this morning, I would say that time has shown already but on that I will discuss later when I come to the Subject of Health and Family Planning. Under this Education Department there had been in the last few years a certain programme a very glamorous, very trilling, very exiting programme for the public in general and for those engaged in the programme in particular. I mean about the inter-State sports competition and tournaments in the State and in the Districts. Let I should be misunderstood, I would like to make it clear that I am all for the development of sports in the State. Mr. P.N. Chaudhury smiles because he is also very much interested in sports. He has organised many types of sports and also introduced new sports in Shillong. We will fully co-operate with him.
Mr. Speaker : And I expect that most of us are sports men. I am also a lover of sports.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh : And we have tried unitedly about having a stadium here in Shillong and in Tura built before we could get the stadium we started with the gallery. From year to year we have tried to help the Shillong Sports Association. We would like Meghalaya to be in the Sports' Map of the country. But Sir, coming to this programme to the Department again. I would like to make it clear that I am not against sports amongst the students I would say that every school and college should have a definite period during the week for sports, drill and physical training to build up their health and discipline and character. But Sir, I do not appreciate these exciting, thrilling and glamorous tournaments and competitions that take away the mind and time of the teachers and students for weeks and months together. Even they draw the Directorate and the Inspectorate to be involved in such tournaments and competitions. Well Sir, what health and discipline would come out of the tournaments, competitions-inter-schools and colleges, inter-districts and inter-States ? The very idea of having sports to build up discipline and health is defeated. I was in the Government and I had a very unpleasant discussion with the Minister-in-charge last year. Now, I would really request and suggest that the Government and the Minister-in-charge to please re-consider this question in the interest of education in the State, Sir, let us take the result of P.U. which has just been published; we have 85 per cent tribals in the State but not a single tribal student could come out in the first I was so concerned about it that once I wrote to the D.P.I. to give me a note on the sports activities of those students who passed well in the examination; their achievements and success in the sports. These exciting, thrilling and glamorous competitions have destroyed the quiet atmosphere for study. As I have stated I am not speaking this out of the spirit of criticism. Sir, I would like to come to the last item perhaps, the one which I want to discuss, a very important aspect, on the subject of "Health".
Mr. Speaker : I will give you only 10 minutes time.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : I think I will conclude in time. On this subject I want to discuss one particular aspect, i.e. population control. There could be no two opinions about the over populations problem in the country. I am glad that the new party in power, the Janata Party has also a strong feeling on the subject and they are having the same opinion. Sir, as I have stated, the diversity and variety in physical features, cultures and languages in the country are more varied and diverse than even the whole continent of Europe. Let us therefore not be one track-minded, closed-minded in not to see the diversity and variety in the general interest of the country. We have an over populated country of around 200 persons per square kilo-meter. But in these hill areas like Meghalaya, we have the opposite problem, the problem of under population where we are only 45 per square kilo-metre and that also including Shillong which is a city. Now take away Shillong. Meghalaya has 39 persons per square kilo-meter. Then there is the demographic report about a dwindling population amongst the hill tribes of the North East region. Let me read the news report appearing in the Amrita Bazar Patrika dated 9th September, 1976 of what the other States are doing so far as this subject is concerned. The Amrita Bazar Patrika dated 9th September 1976 read like this. "Family Planning is going to be on the reverse gear in parts of Orissa tribal belt to cover 13 primitive tribes. Steps are under way not to encourage birth control practice among these tribes ............ As per 1971 census, the State of Orissa has a tribal population of 50,71,987". Sir, in that State where there is over 5 million, nearly 6 million of population, family planning is on the reverse gear.
Mr. Speaker : I think this is for primitive tribes.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Primitive or non-primitive tribes, we are tribes and we are facing this problem of small population, dwindling population and also the problem of being surrounded by over populated areas. Now therefore, it is really surprising about the callousness of this department here in our State that goes ahead no matter what the Chief Minister wanted to read out this morning, it is there in the Governor's Address about the policy of limiting the size of the family and then we have the target stated about 3,500. I know that is a fact. Let them deny, let them destroy and let them change. I know for a fact that from 3,500 they had raised to 10,000 for sterilisation programme in the State. From the documents of last year the amount for compensation, i.e., for giving incentives for sterilisation was only Rs. 47,000, less than half a lakh. But now the provision is over Rs. 10,00,000 and a half the same head "Compensation for sterilisation not under this head" D - Maternity and Child Welfare" which is only Rs. 10,000. Let the corrigendum be made. Therefore, Sir, my apprehension and my uneasiness is about the change of party affiliation in the State. This budget as we all know was framed during the emergency thinking that the established Government as they were for the last 30 years could never be removed. Therefore, they went fully with the five-point programme of the extra constitutional individual. When that corrigendum comes to-day, let us see. At least in one respect I am glad the corrigendum is coming because of the speeches in the House that expressed concern and also in view of the fact that there has been a change in the political power in the country. What is this change from Rs. 47,000 to Rs. 10,55,00 ? It is the change from the A.P.H.L.C. to the Congress Party. It is clear no Minister here could be safe to continue to occupy his chair unless he completed the programme of the extra constitutional individual. Yesterday Mr. Kyndiah mentioned his name and then he was not allowed. (Shri P.R. Kyndiah - I was allowed). Therefore Sir, I am glad that the Chief Minister has now responded and would change this Rs. 10,55,00 from compensation to Maternity and Child Welfare. That means from Rs. 10,55,000 to nil for compensation.
Mr. Speaker : From Rs. 10,55,000 to nil, we do not see that.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : No more sterilisation programme. All the amount of Rs. 10,55,000 is going to be nil.
Mr. Speaker : Do you mean to say that if I go personally no more incentives will be there ?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : There will be no more incentives, no more inducements, no more threats to the careers of the doctors. I discussed this as I told in the last session that in September last I called for the doctors. I took up the mater in Delhi also with the Central officers in Meghalaya House and they appreciated this. Now, of course, the department will be all busy with the corrigendum. It is a democratic process to respond to the feelings of the people here. Yes, a very definite response. Had it been the same party in power in Delhi the response would not have come. I therefore would ask the Chief Minister one question. Will the Chief Minister in view of the recent experience Party in the State should be always the same as the Centre. Sir, I will end my speech, and as the Centre. Sir, I will end my speech, and as I said, we are going out of this House very soon, we may come back or not. Let us make our decision here that we forget party's interest and personal interest, let us all come to one decision that the special needs, special problems will be specially attended to by the leader-ship of the State which is also the national policy which is there in the Constitution. As I have heard in the Radio of the 25th of April last during the 9 Congress States dissolution case that the Centre is arbitrary doing this and do not respect the federal structure in the country. There was a counter argument that the Congress itself had destroyed federalism in India. It has made all the State branches dance to the tune of the Congress High Command in Delhi. Let all the leaders in the country and in the State truly believe in the federal structure in the country, believe in autonomy as the present Prime Minister has made the statement. He believes in the decentralisation of economic and political powers and functions. I wish the Janata Party to stick to it and the Congress Party to change and stick to the true federalism of India. Why should the High Command of the Congress Party dictate every-thing and make every one subservient to that High Command somewhere in Delhi Everything is being centralised in one hand. Let us hope that the change in the last election will bring back the rue spirit of unity for the furtherance and the advancement of the nation, the spirit of democracy, freedom, responsibility at all levels and the spirit of decentralisation. Thank you.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to the Chief Minister who had made clear statements that this huge amount of Rs. 10,00,000 will not be used for sterilisation of the people in the State. I hope our Government will implement this is in the letter and spirit and also hope the hon. members of this august House as well as every citizen of the State will be vigilant that so such forcible sterilisation may take place in our State. This will safeguard our people in the State of Meghalaya.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to say a few words on the subject of forest page 7 of the Budget Speech. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are happy to see in the Budget Speech of the Chief Minister that during 1976-77 some 760 hectares of plantation were raised and another 1020 hectares are proposed to be covered in the next year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to put a simple question through this House.
Mr. Speaker : You want to put a question to the House ?
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh : I want to put the question to the Government through this august House, Sir. Thank you for your corrective. Sir, how many hectares of forest land including reserve forest and protected forests have been exploited during the last years ? Sir, I do not know how the forest has been exploited now in the State of Meghalaya especially in Khasi Hills District. Sir, in the last 10 years this District is covered with thick forests but now I do not know where are those forests. The East Khasi Hills District now has become a semi-desert. Most of the forest has been burnt down to ashes by different agencies such as the Syiems (local administration) the District Council Council and (At this stage the Hon. Speaker left the chamber and Shri S.P. Swer Chairman took the Chair) also the Government. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to suggest to the Government through you, to have a regular or proper agency for the management as well as exploitation of the forests. Well if the competition for exploitation of forest among different agencies is allowed I do not know how long our forest especially in this district will last even though; afforestation is taken up by the Government.
Now I would like to say a few words on education which found place at page 12 of the Budget Speech. We are grateful to the Government for their kind consideration to help our teachers who are doing this noble job, by giving a revised scale of pay. But I do not know whether this revised scale of pay has covered the teachers of all the recognised schools, that is from the High schools to the Lower primary schools ? Whether this revised scale of pay to the teachers has been worked out in accordance with the rise of price in these days as has been done on case of other higher grade officers of the State. We know, Sir, that the teachers are doing a noble profession with the responsibility to create a new generation. But Sir, as we know most of the school teachers in our State especially the non-Government school teachers have been given a small and very meagre pay. These non-Government schools are getting meagre amount of grants from the Government. Therefore, I would like to request the Government through you Mr. Chairman, Sir, to reconsider the case of the school teachers as well as the teachers of all recognised schools in the State to give them the revised scale of pay. So that teachers may be able to give a better service to our children and grand-children who will be the responsible citizens of our State and the country as a whole. I would also request the Government, through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to increase the inspecting staff so that they will be able to go at least once in three months to every school, especially in the interior areas so that the standard of education may be improved.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to say a few words on health. We are happy to see at page 12 of the Budget Speech, para 22 that the Jowai Civil Hospital is likely to be commissioned by the end of the year 1977-78. I think they must see that this is done because this is almost half of the year. And also there is a proposal for expansion of Ganesh Das Hospital and construction of Tura Civil Hospital. Mr. Chairman, Sir, this will give better service to the State but I hope that the construction of Civil Hospital at Tura and expansion of Ganesh Das Hospital will not end in construction only as it was the case with some hospitals in the State, as is the case of the 10-bedded Hospital at Bhoilymbong, Sohra and some other hospitals and Primary Health Centres in the State. Let us hope it will not end in construction only. Sir, like other human beings rural people also need hospitals and dispensaries. I hope the Primary Health Centres and sub-centres constructed by the Community Development Department through the Block agencies may also be commissioned so that people get the real benefit. I hope that the Government will not .....
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- On a point order, Mr. Chairman, Sir, Rule 275 (a) says that the Minister concerned, when a matter relating to his port folio is under discussion in the House, shall not leave the House without the previous permission of the Speaker.
Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, of Health) :- Who says ? I am here !
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I suggest to the Government that these hospitals and dispensaries which were constructed specially in the rural areas may kindly be opened for the interest of the people. I understand the Community Development Department under the backward and most backward areas scheme is constructing various medical Sub-centres for the benefit of the people. I hope that these rural hospitals and dispensaries and Sub-centres will not remain as the over bridge at Bara bazar even after spending crores of rupees. I also hope the words written sign boards "Wat-rung" may not also be put at the gate of those hospitals, dispensaries and Sub-centres. I think for the bridge we can wait but for the hospitals and dispensaries we won't be able to wait because it is concerned with a matter of life and death.
Mr. Chairman : You have got only five minutes.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Thank you very much, Sir. Now I would like to mention a few points here before the time is over. Mr. Chairman, Sir, when we talk of development in the rural areas we get the information from the Department concerned that there is no more fund. But Sir, how much money had been spent by the Government for the beautification of Shillong and where-from has this money come. I have also seen in the last year's budget that about Rs. 30,000 or so have been allotted for this purpose. But I wonder where-from this money came for the beautification of Shillong. Whether any such steps have been taken for the beautification of Tura Jowai, Nongstoin and Williamnagar which are the district head-quarters of our State. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to request the Government, through you, to reconsider the fate of the people living in the rural areas as well as living in other parts of the State. Sir, the bridge at Bara Bazar can wait but the bridges in the interior areas cannot wait since the people have to cross the rivers for their daily works. The flower gardens of Shillong can wait but the hospitals and dispensaries in the rural areas cannot wait. The bridge at Bara Bazar and the flower gardens of Shillong are not the minimum needs of the people, but luxurious one. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the people in the rural areas are very much in need of bridges and hospitals for better life and economic survivals. The developmental works should start from the rural areas and not from the flowers gardens of Shillong.
Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh : Mr. Chairman, Sir, how many minutes will I get.
Mr. Chairman : You will get fifteen minutes.
* Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh : Mr. Chairman, Sir, while participating in the discussion on the budget I wish to make certain observations. Sir, in paragraph 2 of the budget speech, the Chief Minister has mentioned about the impressive gains achieved during the emergency. Sir, I doubt very much how this statement is true to the common man. perhaps it is true only in the case of some sections of the people who are not poor. But to the common people, I wonder whether this statement is correct. I wonder how the people are gaining through the emergency when they do not have freedom to express freely and to work willingly. It has been said that corruption shall not escape from the Governments eyes. But according to my knowledge and information, Sir, corruption is rampant in our State. In this connection I would like to give a few examples here that a certain sectional Officer of P.W.D. has made delay in preparing the bill of the contractor because the contractor is not willing to give him some amount which he demanded, and the bill has been pending since 1975. If this is the case, Sir, I wonder how the people were gaining during the emergency. And another instance, Sir, a certain road from Umpung to Mawpud was constructed for which an amount of Rs. 7 lakhs has been spent for only one kilometre of the road and a few culverts. This work was given only to one particular family - i.e., for husband and wife. Not only this, Sir, according to my information no tender was called for this work. If this is the state of affairs I do not appreciate that the people in our State are gaining through the emergency.
Then Sir, coming to irrigation, it has been stated in the Budget Speech that two flow and five lift irrigation projects started in 1974-75 are being commissioned shortly. Sir, in my constituency, the Kynshi lift irrigation project - I saw with my own eyes and I doubt very much if this project will be commissioned very shortly because uptil now, the work has not yet been completed by the contractor. I, therefore, urge upon the Government through you, Sir, for better development of the State, that the works be speedily implemented and that the contractors should not be harassed and at the same time, should not be allowed to take so long a time to complete the work.
Sir, having gone through the financial statement prepared by the P.H.E. Department, I find that the P.H.E. Department alone has 7 Executive Engineers and 15 S.D.Os. to assist the Chief Engineer. In this respect, I would like to mention that the work implemented by the P.H.E. is so slow in spite of many officers that this department is having. This may be due to the facts as in the case of the S.D.O. Mairang Subdivision, the S.D.O. instead of functioning from Mairang, his headquarters is at Shillong. So this might be the reason that the work cannot be speedily implemented. I would, therefore, request the Government that those officers who have been posted in the interior should not be allowed to function from the State capital (bell rang).
Sir, I would like to say a few words on health. We know that the Government is going to take over the construction works of some Primary Health Centres this year. I would urge upon the Government to kindly take into consideration on a point of priority, the Public Health Centres which are in the interior and in the most unhealthy places like Patharkhmah and other places in the State. According to my knowledge, the land for construction of Public Health centre at Patharkhmah was given by the Syiem free of cost and I do not see that there is any difficulty to go ahead with the construction of the building. Therefore, I would request the Government, through you, to kindly take up the matter and I hope that within this year, the Primary Health Centre which is going to serve the people in the Bhoi areas will be constructed.
Sir, on education I would like to say a few words, I find that in my constituency and in Nongkhlaw constituency also, two Government M.E. Schools have not got their own buildings. Though the land was gifted by the people of Langtor construction of the Langtor Government M.E. School and the land was taken over by the Education Department since (bell rang) 1974, but uptil now, no proposal has been made for the construction of the building. Same is the case with the Tirot Memorial Government M.E. School. Since the time of the provisional Assembly, the people have been pressing very hard for the construction of the M.E. School, but uptil now, no steps have been taken by the Government and the school is running in a godown of the Co-operatives Society. This is no a very pleasant state of things. I would, therefore, request the Government that for the interest of the students of these schools, the buildings should be constructed immediately. Thank you, Sir.
Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap : Mr. Chairman, Sir, how much time do you give me ?
Mr. Chairman : 15 minutes.
Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap : Very short. Well Mr. Chairman, Sir, while associating myself with the Budget speech, I feel sad that I cannot appreciate the Finance Minister this time because the Budget speech was presented 9 weeks ago when he said that "a sense of dynamism has been imparted to the economy". But as one hon. Member has said that the State is not a static and so in 9 weeks' time a lot of changes have taken place and I feel sad also to note that some of the important departments do not find place that some of the important departments do not find place at all in this Budget speech of the Finance Minister who is also the Chief Minister of this State. The Departments of Supply, Police, Excise, Housing, Town and Country Planning and Jails do not find place at all in this Budget speech. Not only that, Sir, even unemployment which is one of the most vital factors in unemployment which is one of the most vital factors in deciding the economy of the State does not find place at all in the Budget speech. Now, Mr. Chairman Sir, this Budget speech, I consider is not al all realistic because of the changed situation in the country. Sir, when we are talking about the National Fifth Plan which is also mentioned in this Budget speech, I think this is also mention made here is useless in view of the newly reconstituted Planning Commission and their approach is also quite different from the approach of the previous Planning Commission. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that this Budget speech does not actually deserve any appreciation from any quarter of this House and if you go through this Budget speech you will find at page 4 that Family Planning is mingled up with Forest. Here they have mentioned something about Family Planning and also side by side, they have mentioned about planning of trees. Therefore, it seems that Family Planning in course of this changed situation is to be planned in forests only (laughter). Mr. Chairman, Sir, as the hon. Member from Mawlai has said, it is quite true and very correct that planning should be done in forests. Mr. Chairman, Sir, since the time allotted to me is very short, I will just touch some important points only. Sir, there has been a mention in the Budget about agriculture and regarding potato production the Government have mentioned that potato production has been on the increase. It is very heartening indeed because potato is one of the most important cash crops in our State. But it is also very sad. Mr. Chairman, Sir, to bring to the notice of the Government through you, that in this proposed Budget there has been an outlay of Rs. 2.25 lakhs for enforcement of weighing on metric system and there has been quite a good number of harassments caused to the people in different trading centres for not adopting the metric system of weighing. It is very sad, Mr. Chairman Sir, to note that in respect of some people who grow potato the traders who are always trading in potato are not at all adopting a proper system of weighing. Usually, they are holding the balance by which one of their hands is always lifting towards the side where they have put the weight and by that system they are taking undue advantage in order to get less weight and give less price to the potato growers or farmers and besides that they never give the weight of ½ k.g. on the side where the growers or producers or farmers would get the benefit. Therefore, Sir, this is a real exploitation of the farmers or growers by the traders. We have brought this fact to the notice of this Government time and a gain, but those people are clever enough, they will never allow the cultivator to be guided by them So here I think I have only one suggestion to make, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to help the producers, to help the farmers - that the Government can ask these big traders to make use of that Avery Weighing machine which is being used now in the Airports so that they will not be able to use their hands on the side of the weights and make a less weight of potato. If that Avery Weighing machine which is being used in the Air-ports for weighing luggages is used here by the traders while purchasing potato, I think it will give a great relief to the potato growers.
Then another point I would like to mention is amount a Central Dairy scheme for Shillong which is located near Mawlai just beside Myrten. I think this is some sort of beauty contest between Myrten where the night-soil of Shillong is disposed of and the Central Dairy scheme which is just on the opposite side. You know, Mr. Chairman, Sir germs are very fond of milk and flies also are very fond of milk. I have been to the Agricultural Workshops there near this place, and when I was sitting there even for 5 minutes, I saw lakhs and lakhs of flies. So I do not know if milk is put there what will happen to the consumers of Shillong, I mean the milk which is to be distributed through this Central Dairy Scheme. If not human beings, at least flies themselves will get drunk, now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that site for this Shillong Central Dairy Schemes is not properly planned and properly thought of. Therefore, I would like to bring to the notice of this Government, through you, Sir, to kindly see to this and review if it can be done or examined and change it accordingly.
Now, coming to industries, I need not dwell at length, but I just want to make one mention about the Industrial Estate in Shillong which is ready for use. But alas; Mr. Chairman, Sir, there is no drop of water and I do not know how planning was made, how they have not even thought about that. There is no proper planning at all when everything is ready but there is no water for utilising in different factories on industries. Of course, the road is just made on the right side and that can be managed even without road.
I do not know how industries are functioning there. Besides that there has been talk from time to time regarding revival of the Meter Factory. This would go a long way in respect of giving employment to our youths and women. But I do not know what snag is there that the Government cannot revive the Meter Factory.
Coming to the Health Department, Sir, I feel that this Department is no longer Health but it would be better if we call it 'A Hell Department'. Why is it so Sir ? As the members said 'the less said about it the better from the head of other departments. The D.H.S. is just a mere post office. He has no power of his own. When ever we ask him to take a decision on anything he always has to refer the matter to the Secretary. I do not know how this Department is functioning. What is the use of having a head of the Department without having any work entrusted to him. He is entitled only with transfer of nurses. Mr. Chairman, Sir, there has been one of my friends who would like to donate Rs. 50,000 to this Department for construction of one Children's Ward (interruptions) If you please check up from your Department you will find out but it is sad to know that man had already donated to other institution. I do not know Sir, that redtapism is so strong there. And I know that there are places at Smit and Tynring that the people have donated the land for construction of primary health units for about 15 years ago, yet nothing has been done in spite of the assurances given by the Minister of the then and now Government to examine the position. It is really surprising Mr. Chairman, Sir, and you know the Civil Hospital in Shillong whose fault it is whether it is the fault of the Health Department or the fault of the Public Health Department, I do not know whether it is the fault of the Medical Department. Here, Sir, there is no water even to wash the faces the of the patients. When my father was ill there, Sir, I had to spend the night there and have to wash the face of the patient with milk. It is a shame, Mr. Chairman, Sir, when Shillong is the Capital and there are many V.I.Ps. here while the accommodation in private wards is hardly 20. So I would request the Government, through you, Sir that the bed capacity of private wards should not be less than 100. You know, Sir all the V.I.Ps are here and people from other parts like Mizoram and Nagaland also used to come here for medical treatment. So I do not know why accommodation only for 20 beds. ( bell rang).
Mr. Chairman Sir, I still have many things to say, please give me some more time.
Mr. Chairman : I will give you 5 minutes.
Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Chairman, Sir, in respect of medical education I wonder whether the State and its people will be satisfied only with doctors having MBBS Degree. I understand that there is no provision or that there is no support for medical students to undergo post-graduate studies. Other State Governments are having provision and are lending support to the medical students for undergoing post-graduate courses. But in our State I do not know whether there is anyone who gets the Government support for undergoing post-graduate study in medical science. Now the nurses Mr. Chairman, Sir, who are still with the Assam Government, although about one year now the Government has requisitioned their services but after that nothing has been done and these poor nurses who are still there working under the Assam Government are suffering and some of them have resigned because they cannot tolerate in serving under the Assam Government any more. Their cases should be reviewed and those who have resigned their cases should be condoned so that they will not be punished.
Only one more point Mr. Chairman, Sir, and that is regarding water supply schemes taken up by the P.H.E. Department. Wherever you go you will find store and store but no water. I do not know what is this. If you go to Polo Ground, Jowai, before reaching Jowai you will find pipes are lying there. And if you go to Tura and everywhere you will find pipes and pipes and pipes but no water. It is surveyed and re-surveyed for many projects but no projects are coming up and any project that have been completed are not satisfactory, and some projects which are reported to have been completed also but water is not there. I do not understand the working of this Department. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as a man from Nongkrem side I do not understand the stand of the Government on the Shillong Greater Water Supply Scheme. May I, through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, request the Hon'ble Chief Minister to make a categorical statement on this particular issue and project so that we can understand where we stand otherwise one man is stating this thing and the other man is stating another thing and all the people will be in the midst of wilderness I understand also that the Government has taken a substantial amount of loan from the L.I.C. and I do not know who is going to pay or to repay the interest and principal of this loan. If we cannot actually understand or if we are trying to politicalise all the issues for the interest of somebody without thinking for the general interest I do not know Mr. Chairman, Sir, where we are heading to. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. (Chairman) : Mr. Prithington Sangma. He is absent. Mr. Cecil Marak. He is also absent. Mr. Nimosh Sangma, he is also absent. Now Mr. Pohshna.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I congratulate the Chief Minister for the speech he has delivered before the House and for the Budget that he has presented. Although some of the hon Members have said that the budget has been presented before the political changes in the country and it appears as it is outdated and as such it should have been made to suit the changes. But I find during the course of the discussions, the hon. members have taken much interest on the various subjects mentioned in the speech in spite of the fact that it has been presented during the time when there was no change, and the discussion has become very lively. Therefore, the Chief Minister deserves more congratulation. Sir, the hon. member from Sohra has mentioned my name during the discussion but I do not want to make any remark on that because he happened to occupy the seat which I was sitting sometime back. Sir, the question of family planning has become a very very big problem and has taken the mind of some friends from this side and that side of the House, even to the extent that one friend on this side did not see the Health Minister who was sitting behind him. Sir, really it was a very important subject. But the statement that we have received from the Chief Minister, I think, has dispelled all the rumours and the fears that are lurking in the minds of some hon. members. Rather when I find that the members want more population for the tribals during the course of the discussion, it reminds me of one very renown saying of a verse and that is, "thy seeds shall multiply as the stars in the sky and thy number shall be as the sands of the sea-shore". Also, I am very glad that we are one in this particular subject at the moment. The hon. member has just referred to something interesting which appeared in the budget speech, that while mentioning of family planning, he said that afforestation is also there. Therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of and I would request the hon. members, as the Leader of the House has said, that we should give full co-operation in all the schemes mentioned in the budget for the interest of the people. Sir, I would be very frank to say that after having heard the arguments, and criticisms of the Leader of the Opposition whatever I have to say, I have almost forgotten. He has said that in presenting the present budget there is no change, no slight changes in the procedure and manner adopted in the previous years considering the fact that it should have been prepared on the basis on the changes in the recent years. Sir, I ma very grateful to the Leader of the Opposition although he was expecting something new and different policies from the past few years and although I am not the man to praise the Government of the past years but with the coming to power of this new party we cannot deny the fact that in the past there has been understanding, the good-will and the sense and spirit of co-operation by the friends who are now on the other side of the House and that the same atmosphere is still in the air of this House. I hope that although there are many shortcomings on the part of the Government and its machinery, yet we have to build this State of ours. We cannot deny the fact which our ex-Finance Minister has some time back said that we are on the way to progress. Going back to the past seven years during those days what were we considering what we are now. In the Secretariat level, can we deny the fact that we have got more tribal Secretaries compared to the number before the coming into being of Meghalaya. So also in the Directorate level and in so many responsible posts, To cite an instance, with the exception of the posts of Chief Secretary, there has been big change and that local people are there in many important posts although we cannot deny the fact that introduction of many outsiders to the officers is also there. Whom are we to blame ? Some time back on the floor of this House we said there is dearth of technical personnel, of people with wide experience to man the departments and as such we have to recruit from outside the State and again now in this House we have blame Government for allowing outsiders to enter into the Department. I think the hon. member know that we should be all very reasonable and we should always remind the Government that they should be alert about this. Regarding achievement in the Burnihat Industrial Estate, Burnihat is at the moment a very important centre and it has attracted the mind of so many people, it has attracted the eyes of so many visitors to come to the State of Meghalaya. But this industry, when has it been started ? The present Government under the name of the Congress Ministry have started only a few months back. Therefore, I would request my friends that while going back to the past we should not simply charge the Government but we should rather go in for more suggestions and more improvement of industries by our local people. Sir, I do not want to say much on what our friends have said but I would just mentioned during the course of my taking part in the discussion that there are many things which we as a State should consider as we have got very very special problems. The very location of our State has made it a problem State. Sir, out State is bounded on the southern side by the foreign country previously known as East Pakistan and now Bangladesh whose relationship was not very friendly with us, in spite of the fact that we have done lots to help them and as such this unfriendly relation has created many problems to our hard hit people. I would urge upon the Government that the problem of the border people should be tackled in a very very cautious manner. Why I say like this ? Because only last week on the 22nd of this month more than one hundreds persons came from Bangladesh and fell trees in Meghalaya areas in the Jaintia Hills District and in the very nose of the B.S.F. stationed there. This matter had been brought to the notice of the Government not only this time but also previously when there was illegal encroachment into the Indian territory on the Meghalaya Border by the people from the other side. On the other hand, Sir, we have a very vast area on the norhtern side; Byrnihat, Khanapara and Jaintia Hills on the other side of our own State is also a border although it is an inter-State border. Our people there are facing a big problem of land dispute and encroachment and nobody can deny the fact that there is a great temptation for individuals to encroach into the land of other people. Therefore, I would request the Government to see to it that these borders of ours are protected so that the land belonging to our own people would remain so. Sir, as I have very little time at my disposal, I would touch upon one point in respect of P.W.D.
The Hon'ble Minister of P.W.D. happens to be my best friend now. Yes, I confess it here. So I would like to bring to his notice the matter regarding road construction during all these years and say that road construction has not been satisfactory considering the amount of money that has been spent. It appears that some of the officers are not efficient and up to the standard to be engaged in road construction, especially in steep places of the border areas. I would cite an instance : there is one very old-road the Dawki - Muktapur Road. On this old road, before widening was taken up, jeeps, trucks and ambassador cars were able to ply regularly. But, as soon as widening of the road was done, the vehicles cannot ply for most part of the year. So the question that came from the people was : whether real road construction was being done or whether the Public Works Department was spoiling the construction. Well, it is not the Public Works Department. But there is something wrong with the officers and engineers to whom the work was entrusted. So I would request the Minister in-charge to look into it.
Now I come to transport. This matter become a very vital question because it has affected throughout the length and breadth of the State of Meghalaya. Everywhere whether in the north, south, east or west, when the people see the beautifully coloured buses of the Meghalaya State Transport, they want that these buses should ply in the different corners of the districts. But, Sir, we learn from experience that in spite of the sincerity of the Government to give good buses for the roads going to the interior, yet we find so many breakdowns, overloading and illegal plying because of the shortage in the number of buses. Therefore, Sir, I would suggest to the Government that while we are going all out for introducing bus service by the Government in the State, we should also increase the number of bazaar buses and also the stage carriers. Let them go side by side with State buses; let there be competition. But the sad story is that when we depend on the State buses and these cannot be supplied in time or if there State buses and these cannot be supplied in time or if there are break-downs, then it will be too miserable for the passengers (Bell rang ). So I would request the Government to be liberal in granting permits to bazaar buses and stage carriers. Moreover, the issue of inter-district permits should be made in the manner that will be conducive to the interest of the permit holders. Why I mention this is because of my experience. The R.T.A. Office at Jowai has granted some permits, but when these were sent to Shillong they were treated as if these were issued by the foreign country and counter-signature was refused. While I would request the Minister-in-charge to look into this matter, I would also say that they should not adopt a dog-in-the-manger policy. (Bell rang) One minute, Sir.
On medical, I would like to say that this Department appears to be indifferent of its our affair. Many dispensaries are without any occupant. When you ask : Any doctor ? The answer is : No. Any mid-wife ? No, Chowkidar ? Gone home ! Gone to the bazaar! No Doctor! (Laughter) and when I asked the doctor why he did not stay there he said that the building was in a dangerous condition and some thing might fall down on him in the night. Because of shortage of time I will not say much on this. I would request the Government to take immediate action on matters which have been there for a long time in order to promote all the medical facilities to the people in the interior. Let us be up and doing; let us ascertain the safety of the people especially of the women who are giving birth in such nooks and corners of the State because there are so many people who die silently in their hearts and homes for lack of medical aid. And of we are here to develop the State in so many spheres of life I say that medical is a foremost problem that we should tackle.
Mr. Chairman : Now Mr. P.N. Choudhuri.
Shri P.N. Choudhuri : Mr. Chairman, Sir, at the outset I take the opportunity of congratulating the Chief Minister who also holds the Finance Portfolio, for presenting a tax free budget. Sir, most of the people in our State are living below the poverty line and there is hardly any scope for imposing further taxation. The imposition of taxes could only mean adverse affect. So the presentation if a tax-free budget is very welcome. Sir, the revenue of the State continues to be meagre for years together but the expenditure is bound to increase progressively because the State has to make up the back-log. Sir, I feel that the only remedy is curtailment of wasteful expenditure and plugging of the leakage of revenue. if this is done the financial position is bound to improve to a great extent.
Sir, coming to education, I thank the Education Minister for extending the revised pay scale to the teachers of different high schools and M.E. schools with effect from April, 1975. But this is not enough. There are other categories of teachers who are also continuing much for the betterment of education in this State, I mean the teachers who are working in the schools receiving adhoc grant. This category of teachers gets salary between Rs. 150 to 250 a month, what can they do with this meagre amount ? The teachers of these categories of schools also contribute a lot in the sphere of education but it is irony that they do not get even a living wage. In the interest of education, I would suggest that these schools be given at least enhanced adhoc grant if these schools are not brought under the deficit system just at the moment so that the teachers of those schools get a living wage. Sir, much has been spoken about sports and games. Sports and games play a very important part in our State because our boys and girls are required to take part in the National Sports competition, of course, the Government has done well by introducing sports meets periodically. This not only helps development of sports but also contributes a lot for emotional integration. But Government should also one step further to make sports and games a compulsory subject from the M.E. schools, so that our building sportsmen subject could be spotted out in the school playground. The Government should give more stress on the development of sports and for that purpose provision of playground in every school and locality should be made.
Sir, recently, the Government of Assam has extended the benefit of enhanced dearness allowances as well as enhanced house rent to their employees on the basis of the recommendation of the Assam Pay Commission. Our Government should also extend the same benefit to our employees because of higher indices of price in this State. It is a well known fact that the price is going up day by day Sir, how will it be possible for the Government employee with a fixed income to meet bare necessities of life when the cost of living has gone up. The Government take a sympathetic attitude to help them, by extending the benefit of enhanced D.A. and house rent as their counter parts in Assam are getting. Otherwise, it will be too difficult for them to meet both ends. Our Government has accepted the recommendations and is following the same. I wonder why then our Government should not give their employees D.A. and house rent as are given by the Assam Government to their employees. Sir, while I speak about sports, I like to refer to a particular playground. Sir, during pre-independence days we had a playground now called the Garrison Ground and previously known as the Laban playground. It was a very favourite playground for the people of Shillong where most of the important competitions and sports were held in the past. But after independence, what happened, Sir, the Defence Ministry took over this field. It has been made out bounds for the civilian use. Sir, they have deprived our boys and girls of practicing in this field even for limited hours which they used to do in the past. Sir, it was very close to the Laban Constituency which I have the privilege to represent. As this playground is now out of bounds to the civilian use it has done not only a sever blow to the games of cricket and football but also deprived the building sports enthusiasts of Laban, Riat Laban, Lumparing, Rilbong and Lawsohtun of the opportunity for field practice in absence of any other convenient ground nearby. So, I would request the Minister in-charge to take up this with Defence authority to reconsider the case or in the alternative to find out a suitable playground near about that area. We find that every area has got either its own playground or nearby playground. But this particular area has been deprived of the benefit. A playground is a must for that area and this problem can be easily solved if the Government intend to do. I suggest that Government should construct a playground somewhere near the Sericulture Farm where there is plenty of Government land available for that purpose.
Sir, now, I come to the Public Works Department. This Department practically has done no major work in my Constituency during the last five years. There were several roads and bridges included in the last five year's budget. But not a single project has been taken up and this area has been a very much neglected area. Some of the localities in the Constituency like Riat Laban, Lumparing, Madan Laban are inhabited by the weaker sections of the people and they are inhabited by the weaker sections of the people and they have been denied their minimum needs of communication, water supply and street lights. Riat Laban in my constituency falls within the Shillong Municipality. They pay municipal tax to the Municipality. But no civil amenities have been provided to the people of that area. There is no water supply arrangement, no street lights, no road. So the suffering of the people of that locality can very easily be imagined. Even after 30 years of independence these areas could not be linked up with a motorable road. What a pitible state of affair. The entire Lumparing area is not a connected with any motorable road. It has been deprived of the benefit of motorable road with the result they are subjected to untold sufferings. Sir, I have spoken on the floor of this House more than once for connecting these areas with a motorable road. But nothing has been done so far. A provision was made in the last year's budget for linking this area with a motorable road but I do not understand why the work was not taken up. Sir, this year also there is a proposal for a motorable road linking this area. I would like to request the Government, through you, Sir, to see that the proposal does not fall through. I want to see that the proposal does not fall through. I want to see that the proposal to link Lumparing areas with motorable road materials without further delay. Sir, I request through you, the Public Works Department Minister to see that this motorable road project to connect the whole Lumparing area is taken up without any further delay. This is the minimum need of the people of that locality as their suffering in the absence of a motorable road beggars description. This road project cannot wait any longer. At the time of the emergency like removal of patients to hospitals or in case of outbreak of fire they are deprived of getting benefit of vehicular conveyance. This is the condition. I would also suggest that this area should be included in the slum areas scheme for providing the minimum requirements of a footpath, street lights and water supply to these areas. (Bell Rang) Sir, Lawsohtun road which is adjacent to my area is not connected with a motorable road. Although there was a proposal for this road and money was provided but that was not taken up as yet, and the people are suffering a lot in the absence of a motorable road. Sir, I would not take much time of the House but before I resume my seat I would like to speak a few words about sanitation of Shillong. No doubt there has been a lot of work on beautification, but I am constrained to say that the sanitation of the city is fast deteriorating as will be evident from the flies and mosquito nuisance that we are experiencing now. Sir, this is partly due to the defective drainage system and partly due to unplanned growth of cow-sheds here and there without sufficient drainage system. So Sir, I would suggest that a master plan for drainage system for the Shillong town should be taken up and further growth of these unplanned cow--sheds in the town should be stopped. I suggested on another occasion that a milkmen's colony should be set up in the outskirts of Shillong in a planned manner. If there is such planned milkmen's colony these unplanned and in sanitary cow-sheds could be shifter there. If a planned milkmen's colony is established that will solve the milk problem as well as offer a solution of the insanitary condition of the town. Sir, there are large numbers of incidence of adulteration. Most of the foodstuff that we take is not free from adulteration. On a previous occasion I suggested the appointment of a Public Analyst for our State, but so far no action has been taken. Now the present position is the sample of food articles are to be sent to Gauhati for analysis. It taken a lot of time. In no case it does take not less than 6 months. If we had our own Public Analyst and a Public Health Laboratory in Shillong this problem would have been solved. So I once again suggest that Government should be set up a Public Health Laboratory in Shillong and appoint a qualified Analyst. With these few words I resume my seat.
Shri Samsul Haque : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I found so many of my friends were participating in this budget session; and I also like to take part in this budget discussion to speak something very briefly. And as I am going to talk of something, at the outset of the speech, I would like to say that I have gone through the budget speech and other relevant records of the current year's budget; and having seen so many developmental schemes taken up by the Government I am satisfied and congratulate the Government specially the Chief Minister who is incharge of Finance. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I am known as a member of this House from the border area, I like to raise a serious type of grievance of the people living in the border. Sir, I would say that everywhere crime is going on in my constituency, that is Mahendraganj, where cattle lifting is taking place every now and then for which the economic condition of the people who are living in the border is going from bad to worse day by day. Sir, I do not mean to blame the Government. The Government has taken preventive measures, that cannot be denied. I admit that village defence party is there, B.S.F. is there, the Civil Police is there, Meghalaya Battalion has been set up there yet it is surprising to me that still cattle lifting is going on very frequently by the miscreants of the other side. So, I request the Government to devise appropriate ways and means to protect the life and property of the people of that area. Sir, I know and everyone knows that the Government is spending a lot of money for security and for protection of the people of the border area; but I think people are getting no benefit at all there because these sorts of crimes are going on till today as before. So, according to me I like to offer my humble suggestion to the Government through you Sir, that Government should arrange to provide proper barbed wire fencing along the whole international boundary of our State, and I suggest that the matter be taken up by our Government with the Government of India for taking necessary action so that our people in the border area may live peacefully for ever. Sir, the international border is till now found insecure even though the B.S.F. party is patrolling there. So I find no alternative other than this suggestion.
My next point is that I would like to say something regarding road communication. Sir, if I am to say something regarding the road communication. Sir, if I am to say something regarding the road communication of our State, I am to say that this south western side of the State, i.e. the western part of Barengapara Public Works Department Division is lying neglected. Although it is known to me that we are living in the border area, the road condition may be improved with the assistance of certain amount from the border scheme. But it is unfortunate that the condition of no road of that side has yet been improved. Sir, one of the most important old roads i.e. from Ampati to Mahendraganj about which I have spoken many times in this House for its improvement, but it is regretted to say that uptil now the condition of the said road remains as it was. Therefore, I would request the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department as well as the Minister-in-charge of Border Area Development to look into the matter so that we may have this road black-top in the near future. Otherwise, Sir, we the representatives of the people will have nothing to say to our people.
Sir, now I would like to touch on Medical Department also. Some of my friends have called this Department as the Hell Department; I do not like to criticise in that way. But it is also a fact that this Department is not providing adequate medical facilities to the people. So Sir, I request the Minister-in-charge of Medical to take more interest in that regard so that a little medical help may reach the people at that time of their need.
Sir, lastly, I would like to say something about rural electrification. Sir, I have gone through the Budget Speech made by the Chief Minister and in that I find that the Government is trying to implement rural electrification scheme. In this regard I would like to extend my humble suggestion to the Government that this electrification scheme should be extended up to Mahendraganj via Garobadha, Ampathi and Zigzak. These are important places having Government staff and I think the people of these border areas will get much benefit from this scheme. As we know, some of the miscreants from Bangladesh are trying to enter into those areas in darkness. So if the people of this border are get this scope of the scheme then they will be somewhat benefited and their lives and properties will be safeguarded from the hands of miscreants.
My next point is that I would like to say regarding stipends for the students who are hailing from the border area. Sir, I was told by the Inspector of Schools in Garo Hills that a very meagre amount has been sanctioned this year for the Garo Hills District and thereby some students are being deprived of getting this border subsidy. I think as they are not getting those facilities a grievance in the minds of the students and also in the minds of the guardians also has been created. So, I would request the Minister-in-charge to sanction an additional amount so that their grievance may be redressed thereby. With these few words I would resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman : Since there is still time at our disposal I would request any hon. Member who may like to participate.
Shri Prithington Sangma : Mr. Chairman, Sir, although my time has passed and still there is time for the participants I rise now to participate in the general discussion on the Budget. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I join with those hon. Members who have expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister who is also in-charge of Finance for presenting this deficit budget in this House in this last Session of our term. First of all I would like to express my personal gratitude to the Chief Minister for bringing this deficit Budget. This time deficit is bigger and it shows that the Government is really keen to take bold steps to bring about all round development here in our State and to bring about rapid progress and to bring about better benefit to the common people in this State of ours. I would like to come to the Family Planning Programme which we now call Family and Child Welfare Scheme. Many hon. Members have spoken against this Family Planning Programme. Specially Prof. A. Warjri, the hon. Member from Mawkhar has gone to the extent of saying that it is God, command to live and multiply our population here on earth. Well Sir, I do not agree with him. At the present context when there is population explosion, we cannot afford to go on multiplying our population at the present rate. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think he has forgotten that on this earth it is we the human beings to control the nature and tame the flowing rivers man has been endowed with power to do anything to suit his way of life. So it if for the man to make the life worth living and it is up to him to make his family life happy life and standard life. Our Government has taken up this scheme and we have in our State, are very much falling in line, in conformity, with the Centre's policy. Sir, I would like to cite one example in my village - it is not exactly in my present village but in my birth place. There is one family which has produced as many as eighteen children (Laughter) and many of them are physically deformed, some are blind and some are deaf and dumb and with crippled legs and all. I also have seen one officer of the Forest Department who has produced as many as twelve children and many of them are also physically deformed. These children, Mr. Chairman, Sir, have become a burden to the family, to the community and extra mouth for the nation to feed. That is why, Sir because of such random bearing of children I feel that our students, boys and girls have become rowdy, way-ward and unruly. Otherwise, I feel that we can go on producing children every year to multiply our population. Such production the Assamese people call it "Bashoria" or in English we may call it "annual production". But to-day we cannot afford to do so. Spacing is necessary to look after the welfare of the mother and the children which is so essential for all of us. That is why this family planning is necessary for the maintenance of mothers' health and also for the child's education. But Government must follow the policy of persuasion and education of the people.
Well my next subject, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is regarding Small Farmers Development Agency (S.F.D.A.). The other day the hon. Member from Mawhati praised the activities and performance of this Department here in Khasi Hills. But so far as Garo Hills District is concerned, I doubt whether any concrete measure has been taken so far. To tell the truth Sir, nothing has been done so far. That is why I would like to call this S.F.D.A. as Small Farmer Deceiving Agency. (Laughter) Small farmers have been deceived very badly from the very inception of this scheme. The poor farmers were given tall promises. Notices were circulated to them. So the poor farmers expected very much from this Agency. But Sir, so may months have passed now and nothing has been done by this S.F.D.A. It seems that promises are not meant to be fulfilled. Is it the main policy of this Small Farmers, Deceiving Agency ? I therefore call upon the Government, through you, Sir, to see that promises are fulfilled and something is done to these poor people. Sir, in Garo Hills, specially in Rongjeng Piggery and in Resubelpara Block this Agency had taken up a poultry farming. This poultry farm could not develop properly and afterwards it was seen in the poultry sheds some people were living. Because many birds of those poultry sheds died and some people are living there and in this way those poultry sheds have now become people's sheds (Laughter), Anyway, Sir, at least some poor people have got the shelter in that poultry shed that something is done to bring about real help to these small farmers and marginal farmers of our State.
Now Sir, I come to the Lower Primary Schools of our State. Well Sir, so far as we know that these schools are run by the District Councils and the State Government give money and the District Councils are the paying agencies. But in this system it appears that there are lots of discrepancies and there are lots of complaints about the teachers not getting their salaries for months together. And there is also a demand that schools should be brought back under the control of the State Government. Well Sir, if we read carefully the provisions of the Sixth Schedule we will find that the District Councils may open and run the primary schools and also construct school buildings and pay the teachers salaries. So Sir, I would request the Government through you to kindly see and examine this mater. There are also some categories of schools which are opened and run by the District Council State schools which could be directly brought under the control of the State Government and I would like to urge upon the Government to see whether these schools can be brought under the control of the State Government or not. This should be examined and the State Government should see whether these schools can be brought under the State Government or not.
Now regarding irrigation I would like to say something. Previously, small irrigation schemes were taken up by the Development Blocks. But recently, I think these schemes are taken up by the Agriculture and irrigation Department themselves. Sir, recently we also have got these Agriculture and Irrigation Departments where we do not have sufficient staff. This Irrigation Department cannot taken up schemes which are very very small. Sir, we also know that there are vast plots of land in our State which can be brought under cultivation of irrigation schemes are provided. But as I have already told that for want of sufficient staff this scheme cannot be taken up so soon. But at the same time people also want that their lands should be irrigated. That is why in the last year's Block Chairmen' meeting when our Shri B.B. Lyngdoh was the C.D. Minister, there was consensus that small irrigation scheme should be given back to the blocks. I would, therefore request the Government to see whether this can be tagged back to the C.D. Department or not. It is given back to the C.D. Department, then the people will be getting the real benefit of the small irrigation schemes and there will be rapid progress.
Sir, I will come now to sericulture which is very important in view of the fact that it gives supplementary income to the poor people of the hill area. There is ample scope for the improvement of sericulture. But I wonder why Mr. G.A. Marak, who was the Sericulture Minister at that time and who was sent to Japan and South Korea to study the development of sericulture there was not given the same portfolio now. It is rather unfortunate and it is a great loss to us that he was not given this portfolio. With his advice and guidance, sericulture could be well developed in the State. Time and again, I have spoken on the floor of this house that in the north-eastern part of Garo Hills particularly in my constituency, people take interest in sericulture like rearing of Eri Silk Worms, Mugha and mulberry silk worms. But unfortunately, there is no specific programme for the development of sericulture in that area. I would, therefore, request that there should be a concentration farm at Adokgiri. I would, therefore, request the Government through you, Sir, to see to the development of sericulture in that part of Garo Hills. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I do do not have much to speak, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman : Any other hon. member would like to participate in the discussion ? As there is no other hon. Member who would like to participate in the general discussion on the budget, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. on Wednesday, the 1st June, 1977.
Dated Shillong :
The 31st May, 1977.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.