Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9.30 on Thursday, the 6th July 1978 in the Assembly Chamber with the hon. Speaker in the Chair.

*****

Mr. Speaker :- Let us start the business of the day by taking up unstarred question No.82.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were placed on the table)

Appointments in the Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers Federation

Shri B. WANNIANG asked :

82. Will the Minister in charge of Co-operation be pleased to state-

        (a) Whether it is a fact that many non-tribal pensioners have been appointed in the Office of the Meghalaya State Co-operative marketing and Consumers, Federation Ltd. Shillong on contract basis?

        (b) If So, the number of such persons and the posts held by each of them?

        (c) The reasons why local people were not appointed to these posts?

        (d) Whether it is a fact that the terms of appointment are being extended from time to time?

        (e) If so, the reason for their extension?

        (f) Whether it is a fact that they are being given better pay, etc., after extension of their services?

        (g) If so, the reasons for which their salaries were raised in view of the terms of the contract?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister in charge of Co-operation) replied :

82. (a) & (b)-

Only two non-tribal pensioners (One as Accountants Officer and another as Officer on Special Duty) have been appointed in the Office of Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and Consumer's Federation Ltd. Shillong on contract basis.

(c)-

Because suitable local people were not readily available.

(d) & (e)- (i)

The contract of Accounts Officer which expired on 30th June, 1978, had to be extended once as it will take time to recruit suitable person according to staffing pattern adopted by the Federation with effect  from 1st July, 1978.

(ii)

The contract officer on Special Duty which expired on 21st  February, 1978 was extended once as staffing pattern had not yet been finalised and for the same reason as in the case of the Accounts Officer, his contract had to be further extended with effect from 1st July, 1978.

(F) & (g)-

It is not a question of better pay but it is a question of fitting their pay in accordance with the staffing pattern adopted by the federation.

Shri Manik Das :- 82 (b). Will the hon. Minister let this House know whether these non-tribal officers of Meghalayans?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Co-operative, etc) :- One is and the other is not.

Shri Manik  Ch. Das :- 82 (e). What is the staffing pattern adopted by the Federation with effect from the 1st of July, 1978?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Co-operative, etc) :- It is  a very systematic staffing pattern Sir.

Shri Maham Singh :- May we know, Sir since one is the Meghalayan the other is from which State?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Co-operative, etc) :- I require notice, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- From India.

Election to the Shillong Municipality

Shri BHASKAR CHOUDHURY  asked :

83. Will the Minister in charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state-

(a)

When was  the last election to the Shillong Municipality held and when did the term of the last Municipal Board expire?

(b)

When does the Government propose to hold election to the Shillong Municipality ?

(c)

Whether preparations for holding the election has been made?

Shri P.R. KYNDIAH (Minister in charge, Municipal Administration) replied :

83. (a)

The last election to the Shillong Municipality was held on 19th September, 1966 and the term for the last Municipal Board expired on 30th June, 1970.

(b)-

Government proposes to hold election as soon as possible.

(c)-

Yes. Necessary preparations for holding election are being made.

Shri Manik Ch. Das :- 83. (b). Will the election be held within this year?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Administration) :- We are determined to hold within this year, but I cannot make the assurance.

Shri Maham Singh :- 83 (c). Whether the electoral rolls have been published?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Administration) :-No, Sir.

Dr. B.K. Roy :- How many extension have been given so far in the matter of extending the period?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Municipal Administration) :- There had been so many extensions since September, 1966. After the Board expired in 1963, it went on extending.

Shri Maham Singh :- 83 (c). Whether the wards have been delimitated.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes.

Dr. B.K. Roy :- Are the houses numbered already?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Municipal Administration) :- No, not yet.

Shri TUBERLIN LYNGDOH asked :

84. Will the Minister in charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state when will the election to the Shillong Municipality take place?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Municipal Administration) replied

84 - The election to the Shillong Municipality will be held as soon as all necessary formalities are completed.

Grants and loans to Co-operative Societies

Shri B. WANNIANG asked :

85. Will the Minister in charge of Co-operation be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of co-operative societies category-wise in the State as on 31st  March, 1978?

(b)

The amount of loan sanctioned to invested by Government in those societies?

(c)

The amount of grants and subsidies issued to the societies?

(d)

The outstanding amount of loan yet to be recovered from each of these co-operative societies as on 31st March, 1977?

 Shri P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH  (Minister in charge of Co-operation) replied :

85.(a)

-A statement is laid on the table of the house.

(b)

-A total amount of Rs.19,16,187.00 was sanctioned by the Government as loams to the societies from 1970-71 to 31st March, 1978.

(c)

-A total amount of Rs.1,2364,732.00 was issued as against as grants and subsidies to the societies from 1970-71 to 31st March, 1978.

(d)

-A statement is laid on the table of the House.

Shri Manik Das :- 85 (b). What is the district-wise break-up of these?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Co-operation) :- I require notice, Sir.

Shri Manik Das :- 85 (d). Whether reminders have been issued to these societies for recovery of the outstanding loans?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Co-operation) :- This is being done according to the usual procedures and  not only reminders, but in certain cases, even arbitration cases have been processed against the defaulting parties.

Jhum Control and afforestation Scheme at Jirang

Shri S. Kalwing asked :

86. Will the Minister in charge of Soil Conservation be pleased to state -

(a)

The amount sanctioned and spent annually for the Jhum Control Scheme at Jirang village since the scheme was started?

(b)

The amount sanctioned for afforestation scheme at Jirang?

(c)

The amount spend during the last financial year ?

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister in charge, Soil Conservation) replies :

86. (a) - The scheme was started in 1976-77. The amount sanctioned and spent on the scheme are given in the following statement-

Year

Amount sanctioned

Expenditure

1976-77

Rs.5,38,822

Rs.5,34,228

1977-78

Rs.5,36,280

Rs.5,35,869

        (b) - Amount sanctioned in 1976-77 was Rs.74,825 and in 1977-78 was Rs.1,46,500 on the afforestation programme.

        (c) - During 1977-78 an amount of Rs.5,35,869 has been spent on the Jhum Control Scheme at Jirang which includes an amount of Rs.1,46,798 for the afforestation programme.

Shri Manik Das :- 86 (a) Will the Minister kindly let us know on what basis these schemes have been taken up at Jirang?

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Soil Conservation, etc) :- On the basis of giving help to the whole village of Jirang because the houses were gutted in 1975.

Shri Manik Das :- 86 (b). On what basis has the afforestation programme been taken up in the same area?

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Soil Conservation, etc) :- It is done n the same general basis of increasing and developing forests.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 86 (b). May we know the total acreage brought under afforestation.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Soil Conservation, etc) :- 100 hectares.

Health Sub-Centre at Nongkhasen

Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh  asked :

87. Will the  Minister in charge of health be pleased to state-

(a)

Whether the Government is aware that the building of the Health Sub-centre at Nongkhasen has partially collapsed?

(b)

Whether the Government is aware that for the last few years there has been no stock of medicine whatsoever at this Sub-Centre?

(c)

Whether the Government is aware that apart from one Chowkidar attached thereto, no other medical staff was posted in this centre for a number of years?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister in charge, Health and F.W. Department) replied :

87. (a)

- No Sub-Centre at Nongkhasen has been opened under health Department.

(b)&(c)

- Do not arise in view of (a) above.

Dispensary building at Pathaw

Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh asked :

88. Will the Minister in charge of health be pleased to state-

(a)

Whether the Government is aware that the dispensary building at Pathaw is in a most dilapidated condition?

(b)

The date when  last repair was done and the amount of money spent?

(c)

Whether Government propose to repair it now?

Shri J. D. Pohrmen (Minister in charge, Health and F.W. Department) replied :

88. (a)

-No dispensary at Pathaw has been opened by Government in the Health Department.

(b) & (c)

-Does not arise.

Chief Judicial Magistrate and Assistant District Judge at Shillong

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury :

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

        (a) Whether the Government propose to appoint Chief Judicial Magistrate and Assistant Judge at Shillong?

        (b) If so, the action taken so far?

Shri Martin Narayan Majaw (Minister in charge, Law, etc.) replied :

89. (a) - Yes.

      (b) - The matter is being taken up with the High Court.

Shri Manik Das :- 89 (a). When was the decision taken?

Prof. M.N. Majaw (minister Law etc.) :- As soon as the last incumbent was replaced on the 3rd April, 1978.

Loans issued by the MIDC

Shri S. Kalwing asked :

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

        (a) Whether loans issued by the MIDC to private parties or companies since its inception upto date?

        (b) If so, the amount of ;loans received by different parties or companies?

        (c) The number of tribal parties who were granted loans?

        (d) The number of tribal parties who applied for loans and when?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister for Industries) replied :

90. (a) - Yes.

      (b) - As on 31st march, 1978, the position of loans disbursed by MIDC is as follows :-

Name of Unit

Amount

(In lakh of Rupees

1.

Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd.

...

11.00

2.

M/S/ Meghalaya Plywoods Ltd.

...

  5.60

3.

M/S Meghalaya Phyto Chemicals Ltd.

...

28.00

4.

M/S Associated Beverages Pvt. Ltd.

...

  1.18

5.

M/S Meghalaya Potteries Ltd.

...

  1.25

6.

M/S Meghalaya Cement Products

...

  0.22

7.

Garo Hills Jute Mills Ltd.

...

  1.80

(c) - 2 (two tribal entrepreneurs have been granted loans, one in the case of Meghalaya Roller Flour Mills for Rs.11.75 lakhs which is pending for disbursal and another in the case of Meghalaya Cement Products for Rs.22,000. 

(d)-

Name of application

Date of application

1.

M/S Niandro Syiemiong, P.O. Mawkyrwat, Nongstoin (Prop. Niangdro Syiemiong).

the 13th March 1978.

2.

M/S Meghalaya Wood Carving and Building Posts Planks, Doors, Windows, etc., Mawlai, Kynton Massar Shillong-8.

the 19th May 1978.

3.

M/S. Frankborn, C/o. Diengdoh Motor Works, Mawlai (Prop. K. Frankborn).

the 11th May 1978.

4.

M/S Madanriting Women Machine Knitting Association, Madanriting, Happy Valley, Shillong.

the 25th May 1978.

5.

M/S Hinsen Earth moving, and Hauling Services Lachumiere Hill, Shillong.

the 22nd March 1978.

6.

Mr. J.S. Diengdoh, Lyngkyrdem, Pynursla. East Khasi Hills.

the 19th January 1978.

7.

S. Nelson Basan, Prop. Arecanut Industrial Enterprise, Jaiaw Laitdom, Shillong.

the 22nd September 1978.

Shri Manik Das :- 90 (a). When did the MIDC come into being?

Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question.

Shri Manik Das :- The words :since its inception upto date" are there. The question is on 90 (a).

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- I didn't get the question. Sir.

Shri Manik Das :- When did the MIDC come into being. the word 'inception' is there.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- I require notice but I can oblige the hon, member that it was only in November, 1977 that the MIDC was notified as a functioning under the Act.

Shri Akramozzaman :- 90 (a). Is the Jute Mill functioning?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- To our information, yes.

Shri Manik Das :- 90 (b). On what basis the loans were given to the parties?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- These loans are generally known as bridging loans. It means that the loans had been given on the basis of future reimbursement to the financing institution. Most of these parties are given financial assistance for a short period and, after a time, it will be re-financed by the IDBI in almost all the cases.

Shri Akramozzaman : 99 (c). Why loans have not yet been given to Meghalaya Roller Flour Mills?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- Now, it is only a question of disbursal of the loans. It is a matter of process and it is being done.

Shri Maham Singh :- 90 (b) Garo Hills Jute Mills. Whether the land for the Jute Mills has been acquired?

Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question. How will link it up.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- It has got nothing to do with loans.

Mr. Speaker :- Here the question is with regard with finance.

Shri Akramozzaman :- Whether this Jute Mill is functioning?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- You are in Garo Hills. You know better.

Shri Maham Singh :- May we know where is the Head Office of Garo Hills Jute Mills or its headquarters?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- I require notice.

Shri Maham Singh :- 90 (b) Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know who is the Managing Director of the Garo Hills Jute Mills?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- I can oblige the hon. Member although it is not the question. The list of the office bearers are - Shri M. Reidson Momin, M.L.A. Chairman, Shri M.N. Mookerjee, Secretary, Finance, Director, Shri Hara Gopal, Director, Shri G.D. Goel, Director, Shri Prem Goal, Director and Shri J.M. Jala, I.A.S. Managing Director of the M.I.D.C.

Shri D. N. Joshi :- 90 (d) (3) Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether Messrs. Frankborn Co. is a tribal party?

Mr. Speaker :- It is not a company but it is put as M/S Frankborn C/o Diengdoh Minor Works.

(Voices - Not company but care of)


MOTIONS

Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to Item No.2 Private members' motions. I think the Minister, P.W.D. is yet to furnish his reply to the motion moved the other day. Now, Minister, P.W.D. to resume his reply.

* Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in continuation of my reply the other day to the motion moved by the hon. member Shri G. Mylliemngap, I have a few words more to add to what I have already stated the other day. For the information of the hon. Member of the House I would like to mention that as per agreement reached with the Government of India in November, 1976, there is an understanding that a suitable by-pass will be constructed and also for the development of the urban link road, a parallel service road to the central through road may be provided if land of 30.5 meters is available. Sir, the urban link road in Shillong passes through the most congested developed area, therefore, the availability of this 30.5 meters of land is not possible. As such, the development of this road stretch is not considered feasible. Sir speaking about the traffic congestion in Shillong town and also in the Shillong-Gauhati Road and Shillong-Jowai Road as per traffic conducted recently, the Shillong-Gauhati road has 2411 numbers of fast moving vehicles and the Shillong-Jowai road has 986 numbers per day. So, Sir, considering the congestion in the National Highway No.40 and No.41 to avoid traffic congestion in Shillong, a by-pass is felt necessary. Sir, an alternative suggestion of by-pass was initially made in November, 1972. Sir, the proposal was to connect the National Highway No.40 and No.44 on Gauhati-Shillong Section with a by-pass originating at 4.8th kilometer on Gauhati-Shillong Road from Shillong connecting Shillong-Jowai Road National Highway No.44 at the 8th kilometer and again connecting Shillong-Tamabil Road national Highway No.40 at 11.2 kilometres. But due to technical difficulties, the proposal was not taken up. Further Sir, the alternative proposal was still under scrutiny. So Sir, I feel that as far as this motion is concerned, I have clarified the position and made it clear to the Mover of the motion and to the House. I have also made it clear about the Government's intention on this particular subject.

Mr. Speaker :- So the discussion on this motion No.10 is closed. Now let us come to motion No.11 to be moved by Shri Albin Lamare.

Shri Albin Lamare :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discus the functions of the Community Development Department.

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

Shri Albin Lamare :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the last 25 years, the Community development programmes have been launched throughout the length and breadth of the country. I read the other day in news paper and there are altogether 5004 community development blocks in the country and out of these C.D. Blocks in the country, 24 of them are in Meghalaya and the C.D. Programmes have been implemented in our State through these 24 Blocks. There is no denying the fact that with the coming with the C.D. Programmes in our State, the village programmes in our State, the village programmes have been identified and tackled with. The coming of the C.D. Programmes in the State has been an eye opener to the village people. What I would like to dilate today on the floor of this house is mostly is comparative study of the functions of the C.D. Blocks during the pre-normalisation and the post-normalisation periods of this C.D. Blocks. I remember that in the last few years when the C.D. Programmes were in stage 1 and stage 2, a vast army of Government officers have been deputed to the C.D. Blocks. The Gram Sevak has been posted in the villages and the village people did really much help from them. The Gram Sevaks were there, quarters were constructed for them in the villages. This was happened during the stage 1 and stage 2 of the C.D. Blocks. In the Gram Sevaks' Centers some pesticides, fertilizers and seeds were distributed during these days, but those were the things of the past n after the blocks have been normalized. The Block quarters, the Gram Sevak quarters in the villages are now mostly in a ruined condition and I have seen with my own eyes in Jaintia Hills that most of the  buildings have collapsed and they have been left in a ruined condition. So this is the position of the Gram Sevak quarters after normalisation of these Blocks.

        Secondly, regarding the functions of the C.D. Blocks in the villages I would like to come to the performance of the Agriculture Department which is working in collaboration with the Block development officer. The programmes for the villagers have been framed and implemented in a successful way during to pre-normalisation period. I remember that the people have been given training through the village leaders, training camp. Those village leaders, training camp were held from month to month and from year to year and village people did really enjoy benefit training camps are now no more. So this is the result of normalisation.

        Regarding road development scheme, most of the village have been made accessible through the road development scheme conducted by the C.D.  department through the community development blocks. But unfortunately, the majority of those are left without being maintained. I suggest to the Government through the floor of this House that such roads in all the Blocks in the State mast be listed and a sizeable fund be pleased at the disposal of the appropriate ministry for maintenance of such roads.

        Coming to industries, I remember that the Industries Development has deputed the Extension Officer for Industries to work together with the block Development Officer. I remember that even the Training-cum-production Centres have been set up in many Blocks, but with the normalisation of the C.D. Blocks, the E.O. Industries has been withdrawn the most of these training centres have become defunct. So I suggest to the Government through this House  that such centres which are beneficial to the rural areas should be re-opened and they should be revived in the Block headquarters.

        Regarding Health Centres, the C.D. Blocks were responsible for starting the Health Centres in the respective Block areas. But with the start of normalisation period, the Health Centres have been stopped So according to my observation of the functions of the C.D. Blocks on a comparative study, the normalisation had affected the programmes of the C.D. Blocks. I remember also regarding adult literacy education centres and social education during the pre-normalisation period, many adult literacy centres have been started in the villages and the youth, those illiterate youth get the benefit out of these centres. But after normalisation of these blocks those centres were also abandoned and I suggest through the floor of this House to the Government that a sizeable fund be asked from the Education Department to meet the need of the rural areas in this connection.

        Coming to the minor irrigation schemes. We have already discussed the point in the general discussion of the Budget and I had expressed my doubt about the success of the irrigation scheme now being taken up by the Government and the minor irrigation project to be revived through the Community Development Blocks. Before I take my seat, I would like also to suggest that the B.D.Os responsible for implementing the schemes may be drawn from the rank of A.C.S or M.C.S  and the B.D.Os who will have to start now from the rank of S.D.Os be encadered to the rank of the M.C.S. so that the work can be successfully implemented and the programme of the Community development will really succeed in the villages.

        Coming to the inter-relation between the Agriculture Department and the Community Development Department at present we have seen that these Gram Sevaks were not entrusted by the Agriculture Department for the distribution of seeds, fertilizers as pesticides because the gram Sevaks are under the direct control of the B.D.O. Well the seeds and fertilizers are coming from the Agriculture Department and if these gram Sevaks are brought to the cadre of Demonstrators or if they are permanently absorbed in the Agriculture Department, I hope the Agriculture Department would have greater confidence in the Gram Sevaks. Thereby they would have better control over them. These are the few suggestions which I am bringing forward through the floor of this House for the Consideration of the Government for revitalisation of the Community Development Blocks in the interest of the rural people and the State. Thank you.

*Shri Mozibar Rahman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while associating with the motion of the hon. member, Mr. Albin Lamare, on Community Development Blocks I appreciate the suggestions given by him and I like to add a few things to his suggestions. this Community Development Programme has been implemented through the Block agency and this is the only agency which has been entrusted with this programme. But with the normalisation of these blocks, actually development has been blocked. the concerned Department is neither making way for the other Departments to do the work not it is doing the work itself. As my previous Speaker has started regarding the C.D. schemes though actually in the first and second stages some  minor irrigation schemes were constructed somewhere, with cement work and earth work, but after a few years all these cements works were damaged and now that the Block have been normalised all these schemes have not been taken up by the other Department though the people have experienced that those irrigation schemes have given a lot of benefit to the people. But these works were not repaired or improved and the people have been feeling the necessity of these schemes. People experienced the benefits of the schemes but this particular function has not been entrusted with any other Department because the minor irrigation scheme is being taken up by the Irrigation Department and the major irrigation scheme is taken up by the P.W.D. itself and this minor irrigation scheme is left unattended to. So the entire irrigation project has been blocked. So, I suggest to the Government to have a definite and clear policy by appointing an agency which will carry out the work of this minor irrigation scheme and if the the excuse of the normalisation of the blocks would like to remain satisfy I think no use spending, extension for payment of the staff which that are continuing their blocks. If they should be encouraged one many excused for normalisation and if the Government ceases to utilise their energy that would be the last for the people. and the last of the Government. In other affairs like Industries and in other matter of local nature, Government realise the B.D.Os who are entrusted to keep a watch of anything. If in any incidental or accidental happening, the B.D.Os are entrusted to see and look into these matters. Even regarding supply matters where no scarcity is there. Without any reference fair price shops is there, the main recommendation, recommending authorities lies with the B.D.Os Though it is nor a part of the development scheme but it is rather very important in this matters. It has been observed that a particular officer continues in a particular Block for a long time. In this connection, It seems there is some sort of favouritism as a result of which sometimes the people's interest in neglected. So I would suggest to the Government that Block Development Officers should not be kept in a particular place for a pretty long time, but they should be kept in one block for a desired period of time. After that, they should be transferred elsewhere so that local feeling can be created.

        In matters of road communication programme, the Block Development Officers constructed many roads in the State on their account. But practically if we go to see whether the roads are in existence, we find that there are no roads at all, but from the papers we find that almost all the villages are connected by roads constructed by the Blocks. It is not a fact that no roads was constructed. But in some roads constructed by the Blocks, we will find that only 25 per cent of the work was done and after one or two years, repair work was done out of the amount sanctioned for that particular road and in this way, only 25 to 30 per cent of the work was done and in the mean time, the Block is normalised. So there is no money and no work could be carried out and naturally, this is the state of affairs prevailing in the matter of construction of roads by the Blocks. So I urge the Government to revitalise the Blocks or close down the Blocks. The Government and the people should not be satisfied merely with the normalisation of the Blocks. The Block is very important agency and it is very much closely related with the people and also the people are brought closer to the administration practically through the Blocks. Therefore, the Blocks should be given due importance and the community development programme, which is so important especially for the rural areas, should be strengthened. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri Mukul Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to make a few observations on the functioning of the C.D. Blocks. According to my opinion, Sir we will get suitable and satisfactory service from the employees of the Blocks provided we are a little interest to make the Community Development itself a permanent department in our State. The main difficulty according to me, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that this department is not a permanent department. According to the replies given to many questions on the floor of this house, we know that this department is a temporary department. So I understand that this is the reason why the employees of this particular department are not courageous and not very much interested to our expectation to go on doing their work for the welfare of the people. Secondly, in several Blocks, I have seen that the B.D.Os are not full-fledged officers. In many Blocks, the incharge system has become a permanent system. There are officers in the Blocks like the S.E.Os or the Agricultural Extension Officers who are entrusted to act as B.D.Os in the Blocks. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that these persons who are incharge of these Blocks do not have good experience in so far as Block administration is concerned as they are not full-fledged and to that extent qualified officers. Therefore, they cannot function and run the administration well. So my suggestion would be that all the Blocks in our State should be provided with full-fledged B.D.Os. We know that the Blocks has an organisation having many employees coming from several departments. We have also observed that all the branches such as Agriculture, Veterinary are functioning separately although they arte functioning in particular Block and the B.D.Os are something like supervising officers in order run the administration, But it has also been observed that these employees coming from several departments are functioning separately without having any kind of close relationship with each other. Sometimes it has also been noticed that the B.D.Os are not capable of running the administration in a nice way because the employees coming from several departments are quite independent in their own places. The employees of community Development Department as the department itself is not a permanent department, are not permanent and therefore, their service is not pensionable.  According to me, this is also a very important reason. The people who are serving  in the Blocks have definitely come in service to survive in the society and to keep provision for their children for the future. Those employees who are working in the C.D. Department after serving in the department for their whole life, their services are not made permanent and they are not liable to get pension. How can we expect good service from them. If we want to get good service from the employees definitely we should provide incentives and facilities and also provision for their future. This important point we cannot deny and rule out. (At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Chairman took the Chair). Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are health centres and L.P. schools have already been opened and the employees in those health centres and the teachers in those L.P. Schools, do not get their salaries regularly. There are dues for three four, five or six months. If I am not mistaken, these L.P. Schools teachers are supposed to be absorbed in the District Councils and these employees of health centres like A.N.M. and also the Chowkidars, are supposed to be absorbed in the Medical Department. If they are not absorbed they will just face difficulties and you will see that they are not very much careful of their duties. Take the case of gram Sevaks, the very important employees in the Block Offices. These Blocks in rural areas are mainly and should be mainly responsible for agriculture for almost all the people in those areas are agriculturists. I have informations that these Gram Sevaks are also to be absorbed in the Agriculture Department. Since their services also are not pensionable and they are not absorbed in the Agriculture Department we see negligence in their duties. There are Gram Sevaks in some Blocks, I know, who are maintaining three or four offices like Gram Sevaks, Marketing Intelligence Officer, Agricultural Extension officer. But it is surprising that they are not giving any extra allowance. We cannot expect full and suitable service from those e Gram Sevaks and as a result, our agriculturists are not getting satisfactory service from these Gram Sevaks and our agriculture in the rural areas is disturbed. Another thing I have noticed. Sometimes the C.D. Department asked the Block officers to prepare schemes and estimates within the amount sanctioned for a particular scheme. The instructions are such- "This amount has been sanctioned to you, with in this amount you prepare schemes and estimates". Whether it is reasonable or not, they are to prepare the schemes used to be very little schemes and the result is neither the scheme can be implemented nicely nor the people benefited. I should say that the money is not properly utilised but it is to the corrupt contractors and others. The Sectional Officers in all the Block offices and Sectional Assistants, are also to be absorbed in the P.W.D. The services of those employees are also not pensionable. Mr. Chairman, Sir, so far I have referred to the difficulties in the functioning of the Blocks which I have already raised and do hope that he Government will take all these difficulties as important and do the needful early. Thank you, Sir.

*Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not intent to discuss in detail regarding the functions of the Development Blocks. But of late, this Department has become an independent Department even at the State level. I would like the Minister in charge to be very very specific in reply to the few questions I am going to raise. My contention is that this Department, of late, has become completely independent of the Government. Sir, a few days back the Minister took the floor to make a statement regarding the right of franchise in the Block level in the constitution of the Block Committees. It is stated that the right to vote would be confined only top the male adults according to the ancient traditions of the tribals. Let us for a moment, discuss whether the statement is correct, whether it is democratic, traditional and applicable to all arts of the State. But the important thing I would like to informed by the Minister in charge is this ; in recent times Block Committees were constituted by nomination in that Government is to take the people who are engaged in various activities and in some other programmes related to villages activities. I would like to know from the Minister in charge whether this has been, a matter of policy, decided upon by the Government that in future the Block Committees will not be constituted through nomination but by elections. I was surprised to know that last time this was done by the Department and not by the Government. I thank this is Narayan's Policy. There is already a Narayan Minister of the Government of India. Here also there is a Narayan who will act and behave according to his own liking. It is very unfortunate that we have got such Narayan in the House. Sir, at that time the House was informed that the decision to confine the right of franchise to the male folks was done by the Department.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker in the Chair)

        I put this question to the Minister in charge, Mr. Narayan, to be very specific in his reply.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- Sir, it is a convension in this House that one hon. member should address another hon. member by his proper title and his name. In this case the hon. member, Shri Sangma, has addressed the Minister in charge as Mr. Narayan which should be Mr. Majaw.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Alright Mr. Majaw because sometimes also I am called Williamson and sometimes Sangma. I would like the Minister in charge to make a very correct statement that the change in  the matter of constitution of the Block Committee through nomination is not a matter of Policy. Because the policy taken by the Government so far was that these committees would be constituted through nomination and we have been trying to accommodate the people to different walks of like e.g. those who are engaged in social activities, farming, agriculture, fishery, village administration and other such people in the Block Committee. That was the policy and I would like to know whether this policy has been changed by the Government in the Cabinet and whether it is possible for one Department alone to the change the policy. There are two policies involved Mr. Speaker, Sir, one is when this matter of constituting the Block Committees which so far has been through nominations is being sought to be filled in by elections? To my mind it is a matter of very high  policy and I know that the functioning in the parliamentary Government in policy matter is that a policy cannot be decided upon by one department or one Minister alone. It means violating the very norm of a parliamentary Government and I think he will be answerable to the Government as a whole and the public in general for this action. How a Minister of a department without taking the matter before the cabinet for discussing and coming to a policy decision can be take the responsibility in changing the policy. The second policy is about conferring franchise rights on the male adults. This is a very high policy matter of democratic system in our own country through franchise denied to the female population. Now we have had occasion to celebrate what we called Women's Year throughout the whole country to see that they are brought up to the same status. I do not know how this department without taking the Government into confidence can just come to a policy decision to deny the franchise to the female adults. The Minister was responsible for embarking upon this very important policy matter. I would like to be informed Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whether it is possible for the Minister to act in his individual capacity and interest. I can understand that once a policy is decided by a Minister he is responsible for the day administration but here according to my information, the Government has not taken it as a matter of policy as was informed by the Minister on the floor of the House. Therefore I said it appears this department has become independent on this. Whether the Government as a whole will not take serious view of the commission? I would like to be informed on this by the Chief Minister for the violation of the norm of Government functioning. I would also like to be informed whether the Government as a whole will not deviate from this evil system of functioning which will affect the collective responsibility whether we should be guided by the actions taken by other Governments in such matters. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to go into the details but I would like to be clearly informed about this, that the Government through the Chief Minister should inform the House as to what action Government would take regarding the serious violation of the functioning of the Government as a whole a a collective responsibility. With these few words I resume my seat.

Mr. Mozibar Rahman :- On a point of clarification ..............

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I think you have spoken earlier, Let Shri D. D. Lapang speak.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- In the first instance I would like to express my thanks to the other side for moving this motion so as to enable us to express our opinion and suggestion and also to ventilate the grievances on the functioning of the Community Development Department in the State during the last few months.

(At this stage the Speaker occupied the Chair).

        The development Blocks happen to be the only channel to bring the Government and the people in close contact and this programme has been implemented for many years. It is only through the development Blocks and the people can express their desire and their need to the officers representing the Government. So it is in the fitness of things to see that all the functioning of the Block Committee would be really a benefit to all. I would like now to dwell on some points Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I am glad that the Members who have already spoken, have touched some vitals points and I would like to say something about the constitution of  the Block Development Committee. Now it has been the procedure to restore the democratic norm and ideology. The Government in the previous years have constituted the Block Development Committees but the present Government has not been able to do that in view of the fact, as has been stated that it has to be done through election. To hold an election it requires certain formalities and procedure as very well stated by Capt. W.A. Sangma. I do not know how far the election can really reveal justice that democracy should prevail as observed by the members of the Block Development Committee. I was informed the other day that from Nongpoh only two members will be elected to the Block Development Committee and only two persons from each village will have to function and conduct the election of those persons. Sir, the election was conducted by an ordinary man from Nongpoh, but no persons, no officers from the Block office also were included. How only two persons can represent the village and I do not know also how justified would the election be which is not at all acceptable by all the people of that area. It is also against the policy of the Government to have only two persons represented for all these area. The Block could perform very well during those days when Block Committees were constituted by the former Government because it was through the suggestions of the leaders or the B.D.Os, themselves or the Sirdars or other people who really know better about those areas which they represent, that the Block Development Committee could do well. But this time, in order to delay matters more and to allow the B.D.O. or the Chairman or the Minister himself or somebody to implement the schemes in their own ways, the Block Development Committee has never come into existence till now. In support of the arguments that have been advanced by Capt. Sangma, I also do not see any need that he members of the Committee should be elected, the election should be done in proper manner, in a more democratic way and also as early as possible and and not to cause any further delay. I would also like to point out here about the functions and the ways how the Blocks implement the schemes in so far as road links is concerned. It is very much appreciated that the Government have had occasion of allotting quite a sizeable amount of money for road-links which are also very helpful to the rural people besides giving them also works, employment or labour to earn their livelihood. It is also appreciable for making those villages in the rural areas approachable by road and other means of communication. I do not know about other Blocks, Mr. Speaker, Sir, but in so far as Bhoi area is concerned, I had the privilege of knowing these schemes to be taken up by the Block and I am happy to note that there are also several schemes taken up by the Department for the Bhoi area and during the last few months, between 4 to 5 lakhs of rupees have been expanded for road-links by the Bhoi Area Development Block and all these schemes went to the Mawhati Constituency only. No scheme for Nongpoh Constituency or Jirang Constituency But I do not grudge over that Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Bhoi Area is a very important area and I cannot be so narrow-minded only because Mawhati is a far-flung area but I hope there are areas in other Blocks also which need the same attention of the Government. But I will not grudge in that matter. I want to be very clear  that I do not want the Minister or anybody to misunderstand me. They might misunderstand me, but I do not grudge over the matter in so far as implementation of schemes is concerned. But the way in which they have been doing in the past when there was one local Committee which really know how to implement those schemes with the help of the officers of the Block was really very much appreciable. It is not as at present when the contractor even is appointed from the Government side. Of course I do not know whether it is from the B.D.Os side, the Officers' side or the Minister's side, but I know the contractor is appointed by the Government. Generally in order to encourage the local people, we give the work to the people of the locality who know best about the need of the locality itself. People who are able to do the work with full understanding about the locality are offered this type of work. But this time, it has been diverted to those who are in good terms or who are the relations of somebody. The practice been deviated from the normal procedure and formalities of the Government and carried on according to the wish of somebody-either A B or C the contractor himself. It appears that no local committee is necessary. If it is at all necessary, it will come afterwards when the contractor has already taken up the work. For instance, the Local Committee of Umsning-Mawrong Road which was told by the B.D.O. that they would not be given the work but the work was given to A, B, C. So the people said-'what'? The Local Committee was not elected or selected at all! And it was done according to the wish of the Minister! This is not acceptable and the scheme should be withdrawn. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know why it happened like this. Let the Minister explain because it was done under his shoulder, under his shadow. It was a fact Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this was not a correct requirement of the sanction given and a very wrong reason was given that this could not be withdrawn because it was the wish of the Minister. This is the State of affairs Mr. Speaker, Sir. So also as the case with the road at Umsaw Nongbri area. The contractor came to meet the headman, the Secretary of the village, and the Syiem and told them that he was the contractor and he could have all he wanted because he has the authority. The man who got the contract was from somewhere, from a place very far a away from the people of the locality. But the people want that they are not treated as foreigners by the Block Development Committee in respect of scheme to be implemented as they are contributing 20 per cent from their fund. Another interesting case is the road at Umket. If I am not mistaken, about 50 per cent of the road has been completed and the contractor who may be either A,B,C who has got no relation in the village, who is not known to the headman or the Secretary had drawn some advance money. This fellow, according to the report at the time when he draw the amount had built a new house and got all timbers for that building. When the people in the village asked this fellow how could he get this new building and timbers he said that the money was given not by anybody but by the Minister.

Shri M. N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I protest against the hon. member for making such allegations. It seems that it was his custom to do so inn the past also. Therefore he must substantiate his allegations.

Shri D. D. Lapang :- That is right Mr. Speaker, Sir, but that is according to what the report said and let the Minister clarify.

Shri M. N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) :- It is not a light matter to make allegations which impute corruption. When the hon. member from Nongpoh imputes such serious charges, he must substantiate them otherwise it amounts to exploitation of his right to freedom of speech in the House.

Shri D. D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this is not more than the statement made in this very House by the same hon. Minister.

        May I request the Hon'ble Minister to be a little patient and if the Minister has taken exception to this, then I am compelled to  believe that here is really something in it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I am stating with my full sincerity and I do not know whether these are facts or not but this is what I heard from people speaking about the C.D. Department. So I believe this exposes the image of the Government. I had thought that the Hon'ble Minister should be happy that I have brought before the House some matters which concern the entire image of the Government in the estimation of the people so that he will get the opportunity to clarify the actual position. But it is a pity that the Hon'ble Minister should have taken exception to what I have narrated.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, C. D.) :- Like the Leader of the Opposition you may walk out.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry to say that this is not at all. So, I am bringing some more matters and I would request the Hon'ble Minister not to take exception. Otherwise I will be compelled to think that there is something behind the whole affair. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am telling only the facts that he people are believing and they have given this information about this particular contractor.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Lapang, do you know the name of the contractor?

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Just at the moment I may not be able to tell the name but if the House wants I will supply the name later.

Mr. Speaker :- Since you have brought some very specific allegations it is better that you inform the House the name of the contractor.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am ready to furnish the name if necessary.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, C. D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before he makes a charge he could be ready.

Mr. Speaker :- I have been listening to the allegations brought forward by the hon. member. From all these points it appears to me that it is a specific case and when he brings something specific  I think he will go into the details because it imputes an allegation or charge of malpractice against the Minister.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Now I cannot give the name but I can tell the specific road, i.e. Umkei road. So I think it will not be difficult to find out the name of the contractor who was given contract for the specific road. In any case I will be able to give the name also if necessary.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is not proper to bring the name here in the House. He has mentioned the scheme in which that contractor was involved. I think that is enough.

Mr. Speaker :- What I wanted is that since he was mentioning about some very specific matter, he should give the details. now the he has told that he said contractor was engaged for construction of Umkei road, that is alright. But earlier he was not very clear.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the information of the House it is not very clear because the work for the bridge on the Umsiang river on the Umkei road was done by the local committee.

Mr. Speaker :- You will get the opportunity to clarify when you reply.

Shri D.D Lapang :- Please don't take away my time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there has been a talk but you may say these are hearsay stories but what I bring here is what the people are thinking about the Government. These are the talks in the street about the Government and may I request you Sir, to allow me to continue.

Mr. Speaker :- In fact I have allowed you. But if you bring those hearsay things or what talk is going on the street because people may talk many things about this Government or that Government that I cannot allow. Here inside the House, as responsible leaders we should talk with full responsibility.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Thank you, Sir. Let me come to another point. As you know, the fire incident that took place at Jirang destroyed everything some time and the previous Government allotted Rs.1 lakh as test relief measure but he present Government has abandoned that scheme. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request the Government, through you, to clarify whether it was done by the officers at the lower level without the knowledge of the Minister. In that case I would earnestly request the Hon'ble Minister to find out why this amount was cancelled without his knowledge and as a representative of the people of that area I would request the Government to set up a departmental enquiry into the matter. I would also like to clarify another point about the problems of the Bhoi Area Development Block. Some years back a Civil Subdivision for Ri-Bhoi was constituted and a portion of the Mairang Development Block also came under the newly created Civil Sub-division Ri-Bhoi. But the people from Jirang, Patharkhmah and other villages under Mairang Development Block who come to Ri-Bhoi have to come via Gauhati. It is not only expensive but also most inconvenient. So I would request the Government to consider this portion which falls far in Mairang Development Block and to include it in the Bhoi are development Block. This is the demand of the people and I urge upon the Government to look into this matter. With these few words i resume my seat.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to congratulate the mover for bringing this motion on this very important department, the Community Development Department, as to its functioning in the State. I also like to express appreciation to the constructive approach that has been discussed on this department because in every department, in every work there is room always for improvement. I would like to participate in certain matters regarding the new approach of the department in the constitution of the block committees. First about the proposal or the decision to have elections for the Gram Seva circles. We know, block committees in the block consist of around twenty five members representing areas and organisation. We have in each block, ten gram sevak circles in general and ten members representing those circles and then also, we have members representing the farmers groups, members representing women organisations and members representing the industrial section and also Cooperatives and members representing the administrative unit, like village councils, the syiemship, sirdarship and so on. It come to around twenty five members, all by nomination. Therefore, now, there is a proposal to have elections for the gram-sevak circles.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma :- It think it is not .like that. Last time we have spoken definitely about the decision.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- But it is the idea of having elections of representatives from  the gramsevak circles. We were toying with that idea but here were difficulties resulting in the involvement of the work of preparation of electoral roll for the elections. In view of the fact that we were having twenty five members more or less, fifteen to be nominated, I am inclined to welcome the trial, the experiment of having ten members elected. But in the present situation, I would suggest one very definite condition that we must have at least a definite period of two, or four years' term for the members to be elected. There were difficulties as it involves the work. So I would suggest to the Government that if elections have been decided to be held, there should be a definite period of two, three or four years and this will be helpful in the present situation since we have discussed about the change that has come to the State. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this change of the Government involving the action and policy that has been adopted changed also the members of the Block Committees. We were so surprised that in 1976, there was a change of the government and immediately, there was a change of members of the Block Committees on the party line as a whole. I do not know as Shri Kharbuli the other day was stating "quo-vadis Meghalaya" If we are going this way that every change of the government will also change the leaders, officers and members' it is really a sad State of affairs. I would therefore, in the present context, welcome the trial experiment of having election for the ten  members to the Block Committees and also within a period of two, three or four years so that the change of the Government, the stability of the Government may not affect the stability of the Block Committees. Now, Sir, another point raised by the leader of Opposition is a serious question about the functioning of the Government itself regarding a decision whether it should be at the departmental level or at the Cabinet level. Surely we in the country, and in the State have been following the Cabinet system of Government in this very very serious and important work of collective and joint responsibility. Therefore, to the people, to the State, there is one Government and whatever is done, whatever is decided it should be taken to a decision of the Government as a whole and the Cabinet as a whole. Let us approach this question with a constructive spirit and let us realise that in the present Cabinet we have only two Ministers who have had the experience and eleven of them are totally new and we have come only a few months.

Mr. Speaker :- Does that make any difference?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- We know very well that everything we do will not be exactly correct. Therefore, as human beings, let us approach with a spirit.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification, it may be so. The Cabinet of Minister may be new but they should be guided by the established administrative practice and procedure whether it is a matter of policy taken at the cabinet level or not, it relates to a policy matter.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Anyway, it is a matter of opinion. Now, we are referring to this policy of elections or not and I agree with the Leader of the Opposition that it should be decided by the Cabinet as a whole. It is a matter of policy. But then, this is a new Government, new personnel and not only this department, I have learned that in other respects also, had been deviations very serious deviations, for example, the Assam Cabinet did make a decisions on a very serious matter .......

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Let us confine to ours.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- With regard to the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme the Meghalaya Cabinet also took it up-a very serious matter. I have learned that there was a departmental decision, completely different from the Cabinet decision of Assam, Meghalaya during time, there had been no such instances. In a way, as I have said, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a new Government and I hope that this Government will take our suggestions in good grace that we are speaking in a spirit of co-operation for improvement in the work of the administration and for development of our State.

        Now regarding franchise, if there is time, I would suggest to the Department to modify it and in that in these elections or selections of members from the circles to, the Block Committees I would suggest that every adult, where male and female, should have equal opportunity to select their own members to represent them there because this is not a matter of ancient selection or a matter of political or administrative function. It is a matter only for development functions and in development work, I think, every member of the society, including women, is equally concerned with the work of development. So, we may not go strictly on matters of customs. Here is a new thing, the constitution of Block Development Committees. Therefore, it is a matter of development of certain areas and so the people of that area, male or female, should have equal opportunities of selecting their own representatives. Therefore, I would suggest and if there is time I would also request he Government to modify that. It is really a very simple matter and if the election is to be held in July ......

Mr. Speaker :- July? This is the month of July.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Then they may take the electoral rolls and the last election and these members who have their names may be selected to represent in the Block Committees. It will be very simple. These are my suggestions regarding the constitution of Block Committees and so we may not unnecessarily go according to custom or practice but to have practical convenience in selection of representatives.

        Now, the functions and improvement for more effective functions of the Blocks. The Blocks, as speakers have said before me, are very important agencies to serve the people in all matters of development and in all matters that the people have to do with the Government agencies. They are like a bridge between the people and the administration at all levels and, in this respect, they have done the service to the people. As I have said, there is always room for improvement and improvement can be effected through certain processes, as the hon. member, Mr. Mukul Das had stated, incentives should be given to the Block Officers to render service to the people. Now, there are two aspects of incentives : one is positive, to give encouragement, the other is negative which is also important in the society and that is supervision. All human beings are subjected to incentives and supervision at the same time, other wise we tend to relax. Therefore, supervision may be evolved in various ways through official and non-official agencies to supervise the work of the Block officers. So these are the suggestions that I have because all the Blocks, being so important, are to serve for the interest of the people or to act as a link between the people and the Government at all levels. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to take part in this important motion and, first of all, I congratulate the mover of this motion for bringing this particular motion on the floor of this House for discussion. You know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for more than 25 years the Community Development Department had been functioning quite smoothly in spite of many short comings here and there. it has nevertheless contributed to a great extent towards development of rural areas. Government may come and Government may go but the principles laid down for more than 25 years, I feel, cannot be changed overnight. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the holding of elections for the constitution of Block Development Committees is a welcome venture but we have had enough elections and what more elections do we want, Mr. Speaker, Sir? [Laughter]. We have had enough mud-slinging on each other and the mud is thick enough on the thick skin [Laughter]. But, Still, we are not happy with this mud-slinging on each other. We want more and more elections and there will be many more elections if we keep on going in this sort of elections and there will be many more elections if we keep on going on this sort of holding elections to the Block Development Committees and other committees. Who knows, in times to come, how many elections should be held? Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not outright condemn the decision that was made but I do not know how how it will effect implementations of the schemes. As it is now, the C.D. Department works as a well-knit machine with different organisations at the village level and in our village we are having a field Management Committee to look after the projects relating to minor irrigation and we have also other organisations such as the local committees who look after implementation of the community developmental schemes and as it is now tom implement the annual schemes of the Blocks, it takes sufficient time and with the present set up which are having, the Block Development Committees normally sit some time in the month of June July and latest by August. It comes from the block level to the district level and at the district level to obtained sanction or approval of different departments and to get the sanctions from the authorities, it takes quite a long time. Over and above that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it takes further time for bringing back the approved schemes to the Blocks to implement. Even with the present parties, we have seen that normally, the Block Development Officers use to draw quite a huge sum of money on the 31st March because they could not speed up the office procedures because of the lengthy process. And now Mr. Speaker, Sir, with the sudden change of policy, I am very much afraid whether the annual plans and schemes of the Blocks during this year will be implemented at all or not. Now we are already in July and we have the elections. You know, Sir, this itself takes a long time and after that, a notification is to be issued and after notification, some other procedural matters may be involved and then after that, they can sit and discuss the schemes and discussion over the the schemes by itself takes quite along time and after that, they will will come to the district authorities. By that time, I think there will be no more time for implementation of the schemes during this year. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that if any change should take place, it should not during this year, otherwise we will not be able to implement the developmental schemes of the Blocks. Actually the Department has many other things to do and smoothen the activities. The Department has been in existence for more than 25 years, but it is not a permanent department. Many incumbents are due for retirement but they do not know what will be their fate whether they are entitled to pension or not. Not only that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is surprising to know that in the last session, when I have brought forward one information regarding the non-payment of pay and allowance to the muharirs, the Hon'ble Minister had given the assurance that he has come forward with a supplementary demand and informed us that it could not be paid for the last 10 or 11 months last year because of the ineffectiveness of the then Government. But I would like to inform you Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this time also it is the same thing. The poorly paid muharir in the Blocks were not paid after march, 1978. I don't know whose ineffectiveness it is now Mr. Speaker, Sir, (loud laughter), but I just want to bring it to notice of the Government through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because I feel pity for those people who are living from hand to mouth. I think I need not elaborate any more on this Mr. Speaker, Sir, lest I may come out of control and become neutral. So with these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri Mukul Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to point out .......

(Voices - He had already made a speech).

Mr. Speaker :- No you cannot, you should have mentioned them in your speech.

Shri Mukul Das :-  Just one minute Mr. Speaker, Sir, only on the point raised by Capt. W.A. Sangma.

(Voices - One minute means sixty seconds).

Mr. Speaker :- Alright, as a special case, you can have one minute.

Shri Mukul Das :- I quite agree with Capt. W.A. Sangma when he said that the blocks should be constituted in a democratic way and at the same time I agree with the hon. Member, Mr. Mylliemngap, that the ordinary people, not we, are fed up with the election. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to say only this thing.

Mr. Speaker :- Thank you.

Shri Mukul Das :- That in the areas or the village which fall under each block, let the people of the area select 3 or 4 members under each block, and during the election, there will be a person to contest the election with this general body of 100 or 200 and let them elect these 20 members of the Block.

Mr. Speaker :- Thank you Mr. Mukul Das.

        May I know how many more members would like to participate in this motion, since I have already given too much time for this motion.

(Only Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy stood up).

So after Mr. S.D.D. Nichols Roy, the Minister will reply.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in this motion as it is a very important one and I would like to bring a few points in regard to the functioning of the Community Development Department. This Department was meant to function more in the way of helping people to develop themselves. In our experience in the last 20 years, I do not think that that objective has been fully achieved. As a matter of fact, I would say that the Government need to review very seriously this aspect to examine how we had failed in not getting the people themselves to develop. The Government is to act mainly as extension and one of the failures which I have seen in the past, whether of this Government or of the previous Governments is that there are not enough technically trained and properly motivated extension officers. In one or two Blocks which I have experienced, there is need to re-examine the type of training that has been given to these particular officers that are meant to implement this policy. In certain Blocks, there are vacancies of Gram Sevaks, there are vacancies of Agricultural Extension offices, vacancies of veterinary officers and so on. These are supposed to give advice to the farmers and to the people in the rural areas, and if they are not there, then the work just done not get done. The Blocks have become largely in the minds of the public, a mere grant distributing agency and this was not meant to be the function of the Blocks. As a matter of fact, as the previous speaker has just mentioned there has been so much delay in the past in our Government in the distribution of grants. In the next year a lot of things are to be done because the money is there. the only thing is that they are just cannot distribute the grants in time and this leads a lot to misuse of funds. In addition to that there are certain things that happened. I have come across one, for example, an instance in one Block in which a certain Government officer in 1977 who happened to be in the Police Department, on enquiry from the Block Development Committee, we found out that this Government officer was working in the Police Department. He was given grant of some pigs, you can understand, how such on officer who is well known was one of those who was given this grant. He is not a farmer, but somehow appears so as a grantee. These things are there. In addition, I would like to point out to the Minister in charge the feelings of frustration by the members of the Block Development Committee. I will give an example in the Shella-Bholaganj Block in which certain schemes were presented to the Block Development Committee and the Sub-Committee, I was a member there, and we had approved certain schemes after long discussions and the schemes were only to be implemented. Later on, on enquiry we we fond that the amount sanctioned for these schemes were withdrawn. The B.D.C. was convened, a Sub-Committee was convened to discuss the schemes of different aspects including financial approval. Subsequently, the whole thing was withdrawn and the only explanation given by the Director of Community Development is that the Government has changed its mind and withdrawn the whole thing. This therefore, leads to very serious feeling of dissatisfaction and total frustration among the members of the B.D.C. and M.L.As/M.D.Cs.  When these things were brought to the Block, certain amount had been given and time has been spent in its total frustration because of total withdrawal. It happened in 1978. I examined and enquired from the B.D.C, I asked the Director and there has been no satisfactory reply from anyone. My feeling of discontentment and frustration arises against this type of functioning. I hope that he Minister will look into it and that such things will not happen again. Now, I would like to say something in regard to the performance of these Blocks where the majority of the people in the State are farmers. In my Block Shella-Bholaganj Block, I also attend Mawsynram Block most of the people particularly the border areas depend on agriculture and horticulture. I find in Shella-Bholaganj are the grant available for the Block to be spent today on agriculture, is minimum. The grant is so small that it would have been better that it would have been nothing such, is the feeling of frustration of the Agriculture Department. It has not allotted any grant for the development of horticulture in that area. Now, I am told that because the Blocks have come to the stage 3 or stage 4 they are practically without funds. But there has been a policy decision by the Government from some years back to distribute chanellisation of funds and we expect that here would be some more work to be done by the Block Committee especially in the field of agriculture. I find in the Shella-Bholaganj Block the amount available is very very little and the farmers of that area have been totally ignored when the situation was brought through the members who attended the B.D.C. I request the Minister in charge to re-examine the allocations of the different Departments particularly the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and co-ordinate between Animal Husbandry and Agriculture to see that he Blocks are enroll within. This should be re-examined in the light of the information which I have brought. Finally, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a comment on the question of representation in the Block Development Committees. I was also a Minister, C.D., at one time and had intention  of bringing about this representation in the Block Committee through elections. We examined the matter and while we agreed in principle to the idea, but we found that there are a lot of practical problems involved in holding elections for the Gram Sevak circles representatives. If elections are to be held, then one would have to come to the whole process of setting up election machinery, preparing electoral symbols and so on and so forth. We found that a part from the political facts raised by my colleague from Sohryngkham there are practical difficulties which would result in choosing representative every two and three years and these were just too much and it was fact that the previous practice was simple in the matter of representation to look after development. When you have to consider it is not a matter of electing one Sirdar of one village, then you have to bring the people together, for the whole area and you have to find a complete process of elections. Now the Minister, the other day had made a statement in regard to this franchise which should be on the basis of traditional pattern. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are no longer in the old way electing Sirdars or Headmen. You are electing people for staying at a Block and this come every two or three years, if not every year. Subsequently, he also stated that it was decided to have election on the basis of adult franchise for males. While in the Shella-Bholaganj Block there is an area known as Shella Wahdadarship. Today, the Wahhadad is elected on the basis of male and female franchise and, therefore, even if the Minister says on the basis of the old pattern which old pattern? Are we to go back to 20 or 50 years or just recently occurred elections when the people realised that women have an important role to play. Therefore, in the Shella-Bholaganj Block, there will certainly be many areas where adult franchise includes male and female. Well. it may not be that he election will take place. If it takes place at all on the basis of adult franchise for both men and women, it will obviously be controversial for the Government that only males are going to have the opportunity to elect the Block Development Committees. I would agree with our representative from Sohryngkham that if this is to take place more thought has to be given to it by the Department and by the Government. Therefore, for this year, so, that time is not wasted, I would suggest hat the first B.D.C. be nominated and then if elections are to take place, more thought and consideration of the points raised by the members of both sides of the House be given and then announce for the following B.D.Cs which are to take place after a year or two or whatever  it may be. But certainly this requires reconsideration. I am not inclined to agree with the Leader of the Opposition in toto in so far as this particular matter is a concerned to say that it is incumbent on the Department to take it 6to the Cabinet. It is a matter of wisdom and it is a matter how the Cabinet functions and whether the cabinet insists that such changes in the department functioning is brought to the Cabinet will depend solely on the Cabinet. In the previous Cabinets, it may  have been so. But there is nothing written down in the Rules of Procedure that it is a must. I would agree with him to the extent of saying that since it is such an important matter, it is wisdom on the part of the Government to take into confidence all the Cabinet before this thing is finally decided. However, I think enough has been said on this Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to give the Minister some food for thought, for reconsideration and for this particular purpose for this year, we would suggest that the B.D.Cs be constituted by nomination and if a final decision is taken in the elections to review the matter, then it can be taken up next time.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before the Minister starts replying I have a point to make. I do not agree with the member from Shella that every policy matter is to be brought before the Cabinet. There is a specific provision under the rules under executive function of the Government regarding this. But since there has been serious departure from the Cabinet decision in not bringing these matters before the Cabinet through cabinet memorandum, I would like this particular question to be replied not by the Minister concerned, but by the Chief Minister as the Minister concerned is involved.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- This motion concerns the Minister in charge of Community Development.

Prof M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Leader of the Opposition is not satisfied with the reply, then he may ask for clarification from the Chief Minister.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Because he himself is involved in this and as such, I want that he Chief Minister should reply.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will just put a point. This motion concerns the functions of the C.D. Department. After the reply of the Minister concerned is completed, then after that dive the Opposition is not satisfied I think the Chief Minister or the Minister himself is to clarify.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- In view of the fact that a few days back, the Minister made a statement that this decision was taken by the Department and not by the Government though it is a policy matter, therefore, it is in the fitness of things that the reply should come from the Chief Minister or from the Government. If the Minister in charge replies we will walk out.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- It is anticipatory.

Prof M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) :- They do not have the courage to face the truth.

(At this stage, the Speaker took the Chair).

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this motion is concerned with the statement given by the Minister previously, it is not the way  that the leader of the Opposition should demand that the reply should be given by the Chief minister. If he wants that the Chief Minister should reply or the Government, there are ways and means but not in this way.

*Prof M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed very grateful to the hon. member of this motion though of course one may not agree with all the views enunciated and propounded in the august House. But I must say that it is the very depth of cowardice to make slanderous accusation and villainous accusations and impute motives and not to wait for the reply. It shows of what mettle they are made and we thank the people of the Meghalaya who threw them into the Opposition benches. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have had the privilege of sitting in the Opposition and attacking this very Department. I even used the words, if the old members would remember, which had to be expunged for the strong language I used against this very Department which now I have to shoulder. So nobody claims to be a saint upon this earth nor does one claim that one runs a very perfect Department. But I am very happy in fact that so many valuable suggestions have been given. But I must say first of all that this is one of the most important Departments in the State because it concerns the lives of about 90 per cent of the people of the State. It concerns the lives, development and the progress of thousands of villages in the State. Each and every village in the rural areas is vitally connected with this Department. But as rightly pointed out by the hon. members from both sides of the House, for a member of reasons, there has not been smooth functioning of the machinery which should have brought development to these villages. It is most inappropriate that from the months of our Congress friends, a number of accusations should have been made.

Mr. Speaker :- They do not function as Congress party men, but as MULF.

Prof M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) :- Yes, MULF. But if you turn the letter 'm' upside down, it becomes WULF. It is really unfortunate that such accusations should have come from them when  they themselves few months ago were running this Department and in what condition we have received these augeant stables, one can well imagine. Now, it is our task to revive the entire Department and to see to it that this Department will really deal with all the needs of the people of the villages, the humblest persons, the smallest persons and the poorest persons. Now, as the situation goes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we all know very well that we have at the lowest level these village workers called Gram Sevaks. They are multiple functionaries who dedicate in so many maters or aspects of development at the village level and within their circle. There are ten circles, as we all now, in each Block Above them we have the Block Development Officer. The Block Development Officer is a very over-burdened man. He works very hard but he receives no praise. He receives blame for failures and no praise for success. Unfortunately all these works have to be performed by him. Supply, Veterinary, irrigation and a number of activities are coordinated and chanellised through the Block Development Officer. Some of them are given magisterial works to try particular cases. Some of them are in charge of administrative units, both E.A.Cs and B.D.Os. We can well imagine the amount of work placed upon them. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are certainly short of staff and as the hon. member from Shella has said that we are short of trained staff, that is a fact. This State, not only in the Community Development Department, suffers from back of adequate and technically trained personnel. One of the biggest problems which has been rightly pointed out by the various members is the fact that this Department is not permanent. it is temporary. People come from various other departments like Agriculture, Veterinary, Education, Social Welfare etc. There are also those who come from the P.W.D. Department. though in the past we have received some of the poorest in caliber and that is why their role is not effective. We have got some of those officers whom we are sending for training. But all these need dedicated intensive and quick administration. Now, an example was given by the hon. member from Sohryngkham about the payment of Muharirs. May I inform the hon. member that, that decision was taken during the days of the previous Congress Government, the unlamented Government, that right from 1977, nothing was done about the pay of the Muharirs. But within a few days their salaries were paid upto 1978 and after 1978 it is no more the responsibility of the P.W.D. because the P.W.D. has issued instructions that all the salary be paid to Muharirs from 1978.

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want a clarification. The P.W.D. said that the Muharirs of the Blocks do not belong to the P.W.D. So, they cannot pay to the Muharirs of the Blocks.

Prof M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development Department) :-  That is a matter of information. But the fact remains that all the Muharirs were taken over by the P.W.D. from 1978. They were being requisitioned as loan during the days of the unlamented Congress Government. May I also speak of the appointment of the Block Development Committees. The Members of the Block Development Committees have been nominated by the Government. We will finish our work by the 10th of October. The Department have issued a very simple circular in this matter. As a matter of fact, we have said that it will be done through election and in this particular selection or election or nomination of persons that such and such a person will be taken in the presence of the B.D.O. Unfortunately the Leader of the Opposition is not present at the moment to hear the reply. In 1975 it was decided  that there will be regular B.D.C. formation which will be nominated to the Block Development Committee. I am a democrat, we are all democrats and we would like that his process of bringing in  representatives in the B.D.C. is to be done in a democratic way. If Capt. Sangma does not want democracy let him go some where. But let us have it done in a democratic way so that each village will feel that it is associating  with the development works. The hon. member from Sohryngkham has pointed out that there are many many charges against this new Government. He wanted that this new Government does not allow politics to enter into the running of the Government. We do not want to mislead the people. We want to see that people send their representatives to the Block Development Committees whether through election, selection or nomination. In this regard, we have also issued instructions to the Gram Sevaks that one person will be selected, nominated or elected. that is what our instructions say, so that a person's name must be sent to the Block Committee by 25th of July and if we do not receive by the 26th July, the Government will be free to denominate the person. We have asked all the B.D.Os and Chairmen to help us in this matter. The hon. member from Dalu said that three or four members should be considered to the Block Development Committee.

Shri Mukul Das :- I have said something but I was not allowed to complete.

Prof M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development Department) :- So, when there was this decision by the Department on the 28th of May 1975 we consider this to be very important unlike what has been said by the members from the Opposition. We thought it fit to implement it early and it was a matter of opinion whether this should go to the Cabinet or not. But here there was a decision from the Department and we feel it desirable to hear all criticisms on the very slow working of the office. By the time the files moves from one person to another, a great deal of time is lost in the implementation. But we should see that it is implemented on sound principles of democracy. I do not see why the Leader of the Opposition should speak in some emphatic and strong terms and walked out of the House before hearing the reply. Before Inter into the details may I also say that the process of selecting members of the B.D.C. must be finished by the 31st July and by the 10th of October we may announce their names. There are ten members of Gram Sevak circles and there are other representatives of other professions. I am happy to hear what the hon. member from Shella has said about the changes that have been made in the Scheme. I was taken back when I assumed office of the Community Development Department to find that in a number of places this last Government schemes contrary to the wishes of the Block Development Committees and that the hon. member from Nongpoh been honourable enough to be present to hear the reply of how he influenced, how he persuaded the offices concerned to change all the schemes and transfer them to the Ri Bhoi Block under Nongpoh Constituency where he won by 400 votes. But I consider it my duty to reply to the House about the functions of the Block Development Committees. We hope that he proposals of the Block Development Committee for the Ri Bhoi Block as recommended be fully in consonance with sound democratic principles. Another aspect, when he spoke of Mawhati Constituency, he is privileged enough to belong to the constituency which had a National Highway. We have no National Highway. He himself admitted that it is a sprawling under developed far-flung constituency. There are people in the constituency who dress only with loin cloth now. it is our endeavor to get them better housing, better clothing and better education. But there are still people who dress in loin cloth-Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are far more villages in the Mawhati area which are under-developed. If the hon. member has to question the discretion of the former Chief Minister, who has not the courage to listen to the reply, why the biggest programme, the intensive development programme was brought to his Block, Dambu Aga Block which is not under-developed. We will not soil our tongue by speaking n their language. Therefore it is left to  the discretion of the Government to see which is less developed and which area is more developed. Even in Meghalaya there is scope for development and Government can in a more objective manner decide which area is less developed and which is more developed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are a number of points raised and I am very happy because this Department has a lot of activities and a lot of clarifications has to be made. One problem was raised by the hon. member from Nongpoh when he made a very slanderous question about the selection of contractors, and we must take the house into confidence. We tried in the last two months to entrust the construction of roads to local  committees in two places. One road is from Umsning to Mawrong and another is the bridge near Umsiang at the village Umkei. We allowed a loc committee to be selected. Of course he say that the officer concerned stated that the Minister had indicated the names of the local committee. For this we suggest that the Sirdars of the villages could be associated with the local committee to ensure that there is equal representation from all villages from the area. In both the cases we find that the local committee failed to construct the road from Umsning to Mawrong. You cannot even travel and the Minister Industries himself has experienced it when the hon. member himself wanted a road. Since the P.W.D. has no funds to take over this and since Mawrong is a traditional and cultural area this road which should have been constructed in the past may be constructed now. Government is concerned with the job being done and we determine that the job must be done. We had assured the Minister in Delhi that we will produce results and so we must be able to fix the responsibility on person who can finish the work. The Government must fix the responsibility on one person recommended by the village. The main difficulty is that there is a lack of daily labourers as in the case of Umkei. There was no contractor at the starts as the work was taken up by the local committee and the report given by him is deliberately, I submit, misguiding this House that the local committee entrusted the work to U Krontis Makdoh. Finally when the work could not be completed and even the approach road was not completed, not only two weeks ago we summoned all the village leaders of the village and the B.D.O. has been given the responsibility to finish the road, otherwise he will be eaten to task and we must have a contractor recommended by the village. If a contractor wants to manage the work, he will have to pay a fee for registering and also to be recommended by the village. Whether it be a local committee or the whole village, Government will consider whether the amount is financially sound on the norms of the contract made by him. But it is a principle of success to get a job done. For success or failure it is more important to have a contractor recommended by the village, and I totally reject the imputations made by the hon. member from Nongpoh that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others and I would not refer to the Public Accounts Committee......

Mr. Speaker :- No mention about that.

Prof M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) :- Suffice to say that those living in glass houses should not throw stones at others. I think it is enough for that gentleman. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I come to other details about roads. roads are of two types. There are roads under the rural works programme and there are roads under the link roads programme, that is also under the Central Government Scheme. We have received 28 lakhs, and that was a few days before the end of the financial year and the Finance Minister and myself have made an abortive attempt for the grant but the link road scheme this year is being sent under the minimum needs programme and we succeeded to increase the quantum from 28 lakhs to 55 lakhs I stead of 28 lakhs. So it is a good thing that with this amount of 55 lakhs we will construct link roads from the village to the market or link up the village with the P.W.D. road to encourage the economic development of the village so that the people could in access to the P.W.D road. Unfortunately, we have not made provision for maintenance. We have no funds, and some have criticised on this but funds come from the Government of India for maintenance because all the programme is of such a manner that people's participation, to a small extent, is required and the people of those villages are supposed to look after maintenance of the road. In order to over come this difficulty, we are now proposing to have black-topped roads. But all roads cannot be black-topped in a phased manner under the programme of three to four years and schemes for black-topping of the roads are drawn up so that the maintenance will be better ensured than at present. We have the proposal and we will receive a very sympathetic response from the Government of India. We hope we will be able to find out officers of our own to run all this affair. We are doing our utmost in this regard. I may inform the hon. Members to the link road programme of 55 lakhs and in this we have 8 lakhs. C.D. schemes are there to the tune of 10 lakhs 80 thousand rupees and we have also the channelisation of funds up to 15 lakhs of rupees. But unfortunately we have no funds this year from the Agricultural Department while we have 15 lakhs in channelisation. We have a break-up of this 15 lakhs channelisation-Soil-conservation-2 lakhs, Animal Husbandry-2.25 lakhs, Small Scale Industries-1 lakhs and Central Water Supply Scheme-3 lakhs, Road projects-5 lakhs Education and Social Welfare-1.50 lakhs. Therefore we have got 15 lakhs channelisation of funds and 8 lakhs in Rural Works Programme and 25 lakhs in Link-Road Programme. We can assure the House that we will produce a much better result than the previous Government. We are also going to have an engineer because we see that these muharirs and overseers are not well qualified enough and there is a provision under the C.D. Scheme for engineer. We have asked the Government of India to allow to have one S.D.O. for each District to look after these works. As far as L.P. Schools are concerned, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have 151 L.P. Schools in 14 Blocks out of 24 Blocks. Salaries have to be repaid up to 28th February 1979 after which the respective Department will take up all these schools, whether the District Council or the State Government. So we are trying our best to improve the conditions of these L.P. Schools and a lot depends upon the manner and quantum of funds placed at our disposal.

        Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, we must admit that sometimes we have a lot of over-lapping in matter of development. Fro example, there are roads built not only by the Blocks, but by the District Council also. The Soil Conservation Department has also built very good roads. I must praise them for this. The P.W.D. also have built up roads, the S.F.D.A. also until very recently have built up roads. Now if we have the best overseers or Assistant Engineers and Sub-engineers at the lower level to supervise all these works, when the P.W.D. comes to take over, we would not have many major changes in alignments. Unfortunately, some of the persons at the lower level are not qualified an so sometimes when P.W.D. comes in the same area, we find quite a number of times that we have to re-align the road and that means an infructuous expenditure involved. So also with schemes taken up by various Department. We were thinking of having all these road-link works coordinated to avoid overlapping and also ensure exactly, correctly and speedily all development works in the State.

        Now, may I also point out about the other points raised by the hon. Mover of the motion for the training of the village elders. This was done in the first stage by the old Blocks and then it was discontinued after normalisation of the Blocks. Actually we should not blame the State Government for this normalisation of the Blocks. It was the decision taken by the Government of India and so when the Blocks became normalised, all this training of village leaders stopped. If in the meantime we have trained and qualified Persons at the lower level to handle all the minor problems in their area we would not have seen all these difficulties. But since  the Block Development Committees are now going to be more democratically instituted, they may do much better perhaps to help the village leaders. But funds are not available with the Government. It comes from the Government of India. Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, the proposal of the hon. Member from Nongsken to keep this BDC for more than one year. It is really an interesting proposal and we will examine in our Department and see whether to save a lot of time we can extend the life of this BDC for 2/3 years. As regards making the Department permanent, I would like to say that this should have been done much earlier when the Leader of the Opposition who was both with the Chief Minister and the Minister-in-charge of CD took a decision to make this Department permanent but I don't know why it was not implemented, of course it was then the Congress Party. What they could not do so long they are blaming us now. In any case we are very much aware of it and we will see  what can be done because I agree that the ram Sevaks are really the most poor lots. A Gram Sevak has no opportunity, no hope, no scope of promotion; once a Gram Sevak he retires as a Gram Sevak unless a Senior Gram Sevak retires or dies and the is his limit of promotion. Now we are trying and examining this problem to make the Department permanent and absorbing these Gram Sevaks in the cadre of Community Development Department. We are examining this aspect and we hope a solution will be found  out. We are also thinking of sending some of the  officers for training to U.K. because there is an offer from U.K. Government for training abroad at the expense of the U.K. Government. Now I would like to assure the House that all these suggestion made will be considered very sympathetically and I am happy to welcome all of them  but at the same time repudiate those slanderous, nightmarish scheme of utterance. I would like to say all those good suggestions will be welcomed particularly one made by the hon. Member from Nongbah Wahjajer for construction of buildings under Development Blocks in Jaintia Hills immediately. In this connection I would like to inform the House that we have got funds for construction of buildings; now we have got Rs.50,75,000 under non-plan so we will try to  utilise this amount correctly for repair of the buildings wherever it is necessary. Now as regards malpractices by the Police Officers I am really surprised. I do not know about their extra activities, may be it is their hobby but according to the CD Department it is good that they are in favour of increasing the food production in the State. 

        Now as regards the transfer, we are in the process of doing. Because we are having a number of launce and as such we are re-transferring those personnel to the Personnel Department but for all these please give us a few months, time. From our side I again reiterate that all valuable suggestions will be considered which the various Members of this House have been brought forward. I am particularly thankful to the hon. Member from Nongbah Wahjajaer for initiating an interesting discussion which has removed many of our misconceptions and misgivings.

Shri M. Rahman :- May I seek one clarification. Whether the President of the Village Council in Garo Hills has been made the Ex-officio member of the Block.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as regard other 15 members of the Block Development Committee the previous pattern will continue and at the same time the traditional Chieftain will also present. As per previous pattern, out of 15 member 10 Gram Sevak will be elected and nominated by the people. 

Shri Mukul Das :- May I get one clarification. What steps the Government has taken to man our Blocks with qualified officers?

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, here again the question of lack of personnel. We asked the personnel Department to place the services of qualified persons at our disposal and certain number of BDOs have been posted, of course some of them have to be returned to the personnel Department. In one case one BDO has been promoted to the post of District Educational Officer and in case some BDOs get promotion suddenly the Block cannot be left without activities so in that case some one who have some knowledge have to look after the Block. Any way we are trying to have permanent officers. In fact we have seen in West Bengal and Maharashtra even I.A.S. officers are working in the Blocks. So we are also trying to send our BDOs outside for training and I hope the hon. member from Dalu will be happy for the steps taken by the Government.

Shri L. Kharlukhi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Hon'ble Minister in his reply has mentioned several times that the members belonging to the Congress party and so on but I don't think  they are still known as Congress Party in the House. 

Prof M. N. Majaw (Minister, C.D. ) :- I referred this as far as their part played in the party as Congress is concerned recently they are MULF.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Another point; in his reply he had suggested to turn down .....

Mr. Speaker :- That portion has already been expunged. Now the discussion on Motion No.11 is closed. We come to Motion No.12, Shri Manik Das to move.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the need for enhancing the allowances with respect to Grade III and Grade IV employees of the State Government of Meghalaya.

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

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Grade III and Grade IV State Government employees constitute the largest number of employees in the State. In the year 1977 there were 1417 Grade III employees and Grade IV employees in the Secretariat and in the Heads of Department. There were 803 Grade III and approximately 200 Grade IV employees. In the district offices there were over 16,000 employees including Police force. Mr. Speaker, Sir, these Grade III and Grade IV employees are low paid employees living from hand to mouth. They have nothing to save for the future but hey have been playing a vital role in keeping the Government machinery going. We are indeed very fortunate that in Meghalaya we do not have any strike, any agitation by our employees. They have been contributing a great deal towards the development of our State. Therefore, it would be wrong to say that these low paid employees of our State Government have no problem. The welfare of these low paid employees is the responsibility of the Government and there is an immediate need to study the allowances which are being given to them. Meghalaya Government has accepted all the recommendations of the Assam Pay Commission of 1973. The Additional Emolument Compulsory Deposit Scheme of 1974 which provided for deduction of the additional wages for a period of one year and fifty per cent of the additional Dearness Allowance for the period of two years. The impounding of this deduction in the Additional Wages Deposit Account and in the Additional Dearness Allowance Deposit account respectively covers all employees of the private sector under which our State Government employees also fall. This came into effect from 1st July, 1974. Subsequently, however, this scheme was stopped on 1st May, 1977. In view of the very critical financial condition of State Government employees and in view of the rise in prices of the essential commodities, Government of Assam has taken a decision to release the fifty per cent dearness allowance in respect of their employees. Even those employees drawing upto Rs.300 p.m. were given the entire amount of dearness allowance. Therefore, I urge upon the Government to immediately release the fifty per cent of dearness allowance to all our State Government employees so that their basic needs are catered to. The Government of Assam has also given an interim relief of Rs.30 and this has come into effect from 1st January, 1978. The House rent Allowance which our employees have been getting started with effect from 1st July, 1970. During this entire period of eight years, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the rate of house rent has gone up. Many Central Government offices has come up in places like Shillong  and the Central Government employees get fifteen per cent of house rent allowance upto a pay of Rs.550 p.m. whereas our State Government employees only get seven and half per cent. Seven and half per cent of basic pay is a very very small amount Mr. Speaker, Sir. the Fourth Grade employees are getting around Rs.20 to Rs.25 as house rent allowance per month Mr. Speaker, Sir,. In a town like Shillong it is impossible to get a decent room with only Rs.20 or Rs.25  per month. I would suggest to the Government that for the Fourth Grade employees, Government should give a minimum of Rs.60 per month as house rent allowance. There are certain categories of employees who do not get house rent allowance because their total pay, basic pay plus house rent allowance go beyond Rs.757. These categories are Assistant Superintendent in the Secretariat. I urge upon the Government that this category of employees should  also be included for the house rent benefit as applicable to the Third Grade employees. As far as traveling Allowance is concerned, Mr. Speaker, Sir, from March this year, the cost prices of petrol, oil and lubricants have gone up. The Third and the Fourth Grade employees are very much aggrieved on this. When they go out on official tours they have to spend a huge sum of money from their meagre savings. It is impossible for them tom carry on their duty without the bare necessities of life like fooding and lodging. I suggest to the Government that all State Government employees especially the Third and Fourth grade employees should be given advance T.A. and that the Third Grade and Fourth Grade employees when  they submit their T.A. bills, these must be cleared within ten days from the date of submission. For the State Government employees as far as the General Provident Fund is concerned, it is compulsory and Government is deducting 8.25 per cent from the basic pay as a General provident Fund. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that for the Third grade and the Fourth Grade employees this deduction is very high. Since the General Provident Fund is intended to help the employees to save something for their future, I suggest to the Government that it should be left to the employees to contribute to the General Provident Fund according to their own capacity. I will be appreciate to point out Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the mini um rate fixed for the I.A.S. officers is only six per cent of their basic pay.

Mr. Speaker :- Not six per cent but 6 per cent.

Shri Manik Das :- As far as Winter Allowance is concerned Mr. Speaker, Sir, the State Government employees get only 10 per cent of the basic pay. This amount is quite low. With the cost of charcoal and coke going up, it is not possible for the employees to cater to their requirements in winter months. As far as Winter Allowance is concerned, the Central Government employees who are stationed in Shillong are getting Winter Allowance for six months whereas our State Government employees get only for five months from November to march. I suggest to the Government that a period of Winter Allowance for the State Government employees to six months i.e. from October to march and also there is need to increase this Winter Allowance from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. I would also like to make a special mention of the Government drivers. Mr. Speaker, Sir, drivers are a class of people who have to perform a very very hard job. They do not have fixed working times. They are bound to perform their duty at any odd hours. Therefore, I feel that this category of employees should be given special attention. The present scale of pay of drivers is very low. I urge upon the Government that drivers should get a minimum pay of Rs.275 p.m. till they get the need-based minimum wage as per norms laid down and agreed in principle in the Fifteenth Labour Conference in 1967. I also urge upon the Government that since there are many Government drivers, the Government should look into their service conditions. There are many who have served in Government Departments over a period of 5 years but their service have not yet been confirmed. The Government drivers should also get technical allowances. There are certain Central agencies and Departments where they give special allowances to the drivers. Over-time allowances for drivers who work for more then 8 hours a day should also be given. There should also special allowance for working on holidays and on Sundays.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government is constitution the Meghalaya Pay Commission. I have put across certain suggestions for the benefit of our 3rd Grade and 4th Grade employees and I strongly feel that these employees who are the real backbone of the Government, should not be neglected. Their basic needs and basic requirements should be met. I urge upon the Government that my suggestions pertaining to the various allowances should be considered and these should be brought up before the Meghalaya Pay Commission. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Dr. B.K. Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to make a few observations on the motion. three decades have since elapsed we got the independence of our land and we started within promise that we would bring in a socialistic pattern of society. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in that respect, though we are slow, we have taken various steps from time to time to reduce the gap between the highest State and the lowest sections of the society. i.e., to make it really socialistic pattern. But the legacy of the British rule had been, perhaps, so much heavy on us that we would not get away from it as early as in many other countries. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the wage gap between the Class 1 and the 3rd grade or 4th Grade employees is still very wide. The 3rd Grade in particular are the backbone of the administration. We have seen how hard they work; how they build a file and how they utilise their brain for the sake of the high-ups and the administration itself. Yet, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have given them scant thoughts about their living conditions. In these days, particularly when the price index is going higher and fast, we are redressing their difficulties in a very slow manner and we give them nothing but lip sympathy. Here in the hills our index in prices is even higher but, paradoxically enough, our move in enhancing the living condition of III and IV Grade employees are even more reluctant then other States. The people of this State, I mean the Meghalayans, are by tradition and nature socialistic. They have socialism in their very way of life. They are socialistic in their heart from time immemorial.

        The peons of orderlies in our Government Departments should be given special impetus in the matter of giving conditions. They should be given the chance in the matter of living conditions. They should be given a chance to live a decent life so that they can give decent education to their children and bring up a better posterity. Their life should be nearer to that of the high-ups. As every one knows, living in Shillong and also in other parts of the Hills is very difficult due to difficulties in communications; many communities have to be imported from outside and so the prices are very high. yet we could not even extent the gesture that was shown by our neighbouring State. Our people are peace-loving and more dedicated to the ideals of life and so they make no agitation in the manner made in Assam. They are tolerant and more dedicated to the cause of Meghalaya. It is a new State; they know it and so they are refraining from any sort of agitation in order to bring it to a level of  development as has been achieved to other States. In that context, when they have shown this gesture, is it not for the Government to reciprocate by making the living conditions of the 3rd Grade and the 4th Grade employees more meaningful? My friend, the hon. member from Mahendraganj, has talked in details about various aspects pertaining to their pay scale, T.A., Winter Allowance, etc and he has also suggested a minimum pay of Rs.275/- p.m. for drivers. I would put stress on the point that right away an interim relief-more than what is given in Assam should be given to the 3rd Grade and the 4th Grade employees pending the implementation of the resorts of the Pay Commission that is coming up sooner or later.  Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government should behave as a model employer. It is on the pay structure given by the Government depends the standard of living in general. If the Government is very much stringent on this, other private sectors will follow suit. that is why I say that the Government must come forward with a model pay structure keeping in view that socialism in our goal. We are by no means a capitalistic society. We want that all people must have the same rights and privileges, same share in the benefits of the Government. The high ups should not just look upon them as the British rulers did. the British created the class 3rd Grade employees as 'babus'. Should this Government, the Government which is determined to achieve a socialistic pattern of society, retain a gross class distinction between 'bosses' and 'babus' for an indefinite future? Are they are not the intelligentia, the cream of our society? Then why can't a 3rd Grade employee be nearer in living standard to a Class I or Class II officers? So I urge upon the Government, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to consider these points in right earnest while making the pay structure in the next pay Commission. I will finish my speech with only one appeal. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the housing condition in Shillong besides other places in our State has to be looked into on a different footing. Here it is not the high-ups but it is the grade three and grade four employees who are the worst sufferer to get a house to live in. The Government should come forward in making adequate provisions by constructing Government quarters and giving them housing facilities. With these few words, I thank Mr. Speaker, Sir.

*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, previously also while discussing the motion pertaining to house allowances to the Government servants, I had suggested various measures to be taken. While taking part in the discussion today, since my friend has brought forth the motion in the light of the third and fourth grade employees serving in the Government, I join hands with the Mover of the motion and urge upon the Government to plight of our officers under the the third and the fourth grades. Sir, in these hard days when the price of the commodities and essential things had gone up, when the urge for the betterment of the living standard has developed in the minds of the people due to the emergence of a new era of technological practice, it is but natural that the quantum of money to be spent to get all the amenities for the workers and their family members should be raised. But here in our State, the Government it seems, is very indifferent and callous to this very important question of developing the living standard of their own employees. They are very much reliant and satisfied by giving facilities as recommended by the Pay Commission of Assam since adopted by the Government of Meghalaya. But we must near in mind that the living condition of Meghalaya is quite different from the living condition in Assam. Here due to difficult transport bottleneck, due to altitude and due to climatic conditions, life is much harder here than what obtains in Assam. (At this stage, Deputy Speaker, occupied the Chair). The price of a particular commodity is much higher here in these hills than that of Assam. So, to be satisfied and complacent by giving the emoluments and allowances to our Government servants commensurate with that of Assam, sheer injustice goes against natural justice. Sir, this Government is bold enough to declare that it will constitute a Pay Commission of its own. It is a welcome move, no doubt. But to wait till the recommendations of the Pay Commission are made is simply not justified in the present circumstances. Therefore, pending the recommendations of the Pay Commission, I suggest that the various allowances admissible to the Government employees under the rules belonging to the third and fourth grades should be raised at least to cater to their basic needs. To meet that requirement, I urge upon the Government through you, Sir, that it should double the amount of allowances at least in respect of housing allowance, winter allowance and other allowances admissible under the rules to the third and fourth grade employees. While doing that, special care must be taken that the teaching community under the Government falling under this category is not ignored and also the plight of teachers and fourth grade employees serving under the basic schools in the State also is taken into consideration. Thank you Sir.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while associating with the motion, I would like only to bring only two important cadres of people who are in Grade three for whom I considered that pending publication of the pay and allowances to be recommended by the Pay Commission, the Government should think immediately of enhancing or giving special allowances to only these two types of people who are also quite small in number. No.(1), the technicians working in the Civil Hospital Laboratory. The nature of work of these technicians is so minute and they deal with the matter of life and death of the people, because the diagnosis of different diseases depends upon the results given by these technicians. Besides that, the working condition of these technicians is quite different from that of other employees. They are working carelessly without any holidays having no time for relaxation or rest. You know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, previously during the Assam Government's time, they were given a certain percentage of the total amount of fees collected on every particular day. But here in Meghalaya, they are not given that percentage. Therefore, I feel Mr. Deputy Speaker, that these poor people who are doing the maximum job should be given some sort of special allowance till the publication of the Pay Commission's recommendations. Another class of people which I would like to bring to the notice of the Government are the electricians. Electricians, as you know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, are risking their lives. A slight mistake in handling a wire is finished. They pay scale of these people is to meager and they are classified together with the classical staff. Therefore I also feel that this particular type of employees is also to be given allowances immediately before publication of the report of the Pay Commission. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- We got the information from the Deputy Chief Minister that he is unwell. Today he has authorised one of his colleagues, Mr. H. Hadem to reply on his behalf.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, power) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all the Government is very thankful to the hon. member for bringing this motion before the house. But I would like also to say that the Government also is very much alive to the need of the employees, not to say only Grade IV and Grade III employees. Anyhow, since the motion deals with the allowances of the Grade III and Grade IV employees, I would like now to bring to the information if the House the number of allowances as already enjoyed by  the employees of Grade III and Grade IV as it is at present. There are many as 6 (six) categories of allowances given in their respective applicability to Grade III and Grade IV employees. They are as follows -

Dearness Allowance : The Government of Meghalaya had accepted the formula for grant of Dearness Allowance as recommended by the Assam pay Commission, 1973. The formula seeks to neutralise changes in the 12 monthly average index of prices as measured by the Consumer Price Index for working classes in Assam (1949 = 100) by varying the rates of Dearness Allowance admissible to employees.

        Under this formula, the Grade III and IV employees are eligible for dearness allowance for every rise in price by not less than 9 points over the base period adopted, at the rate of 2.5 per cent of pay subject to a minimum of Rs.10 and a maximum of Rs.10 p.m. respectively. the other higher Grade, viz. Grade II and Grade I are eligible for dearness allowance for every rise of 10 points and 27 points respectively. When the index average goes up to 36 points, additional dearness allowance is admissible to employees drawing pay up to Rs.900 and on reaching 45 points to all employees getting pay up to Rs.1600 and again on reaching 54 points, dearness allowance will be admissible to all categories of employees, (that means Grade III, IV, II and I). In that way their circle is repeated. According to this formula, dearness allowance, on the basis of entitlement, was sanctioned from time to time, the last occasion of which was for neutralising the rise in the cost of living index up to the level of 360 with effect from 1st July, 1977.

        Shillong compensatory allowance was sanctioned to the State Government employees as follows -

        (i) For those Government employees who have been appointed/posted within a radius of 25 kms. of Shillong on or after 1st April, 1964 but before 1st December, 1964 and those who were in service on 31st march, 1964 Shillong compensatory allowance at 10 per cent of basic pay drawn by them till 31st March, 1964 is admissible as personal to them. The limit should  however, be such that the aggregate of pay and the Shillong compensatory allowance does not exceed Rs. 692 p.m.

        (ii) For those Government employees who are appointed/posted to a place within a radius of 25 kms of Shillong on or after 1st December, 1964 shall draw Shillong compensatory allowance at a flat rate of Rs.7.50 p.m. till their pay does not exceed Rs.544 p.m.

        The existing rates of house rent allowance admissible to the State Government employees are 7 per cent of basic pay for upto Rs.700 p.m. and for those drawing pay above Rs.700 p.m. they are to bear 10 per cent of pay as rent and the balance will be borne by Government subject to a maximum of 7 per cent of pay.

        The house rent allowance is admissible to Government employees stationed and residing within a radius of 5 miles or 8 kms of Shillong and Jowai and localities within Tura Town Committee. The question of revision of house rent allowance to Government employees is also being referred to the proposed Pay Commission.

        Another allowance is that of winter allowance. Winter allowance is admissible to the State Government employees for a period of five months in a hear beginning from October and ending in February at the following rates -

(i)

Pay upto Rs.500 p.m.

10 per cent of basic pay

(ii)

Pay above Rs.500 but not exceeding Rs.707 p.m.

Rs.50 p.m.

(iii)

Pay above Rs.707 p.m.

Amount by which the aggregate of pay and winter allowance falls short of Rs.757 p.m.

        In matter of pay and allowances, the State Government have accepted the recommendations of the Assam Pay Commission, 1973 which according to their report, have not recommended any change in the existing pattern. However, the question of extending the period from 5 months to 6 months for which winter allowance would be admissible and also extending the benefit to higher pay groups is under active consideration of the Government.

        Another allowances is the hill allowance. Hill allowance is sanctioned to the State Government employees in Meghalaya except in places within radius of 25 kms of Shillong at the following rates-

        (i) at 10 per cent of the pay subject to a maximum of Rs.150 p.m. in respect of those employees whose quarters fall within a radius of 16 kms from the District headquarters ;

        (ii) at 15 per cent of the basic pay subject to a maximum of Rs.150 p.m. for those employees whose headquarters fall outside the 16 kms limit from the district headquarters.

        In places outside the radius of 25 kms of  Shillong, the rate of 15 per cent of basic to a maximum of Rs.150 p.m. will apply.

Traveling allowance : Traveling allowance includes the following different kinds of traveling allowances which may be drawn in different circumstances by Government servants -

        (a) Permanent or fixed traveling allowance.

        (b) Conveyance allowance.

        (c) Mileage allowance.

        (d) Daily allowance.

        Permanent traveling allowance or fixed traveling allowance is given to certain categories of Government servants such as agricultural Demonstrators, Gram Sevaks/Sevikas, Sub-Inspectors of Schools, Rural Health Inspectors, Auditors, Weaving and Sericulture Demonstrators, Veterinary Field Assistants etc, whose duties requires them to travel extensively within their sphere of duty and is drawn all the year round irrespective of the actual absence of the Government servants from the headquarters.

        Another is the conveyance allowance. Conveyance allowance is granted to those categories of Government servants like the Police Inspectors and Constables, Overseers of the Public Work Department, Inspector of Government Gardens etc., short distances which do not qualify for traveling allowance.

         Again another type of allowance is the mileage allowance. Mileage allowance is an allowance calculated on the distance traveled which is given to meet the cost of a particular journey. It includes journeys by rail, road and by air. The officers who perform journeys on tour in allotted car or cars or motor cycles/scooters .....

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my motion was mainly concerned with grade III and grade IV employees. So I request the hon'ble Minister to restrict only to my opinion which concerned only grade III and grade IV employees.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power etc.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these are mostly dealt with grade III and grade IV employees because in the same comparative statement of grade I and grade II employees, they are dealing with grade III and grade IV also.  This is however, not relevant in the case of grade III and grade IV employees. But the rates of daily allowance admissible to grade III and grade IV employees are as follows-

        1. (a) Rs.15.75 per day for employees drawing pay above Rs.750 but below Rs.900 p.m.

            (b) Rs.12.00 per day for employees drawing pay Rs.450 and above but below Rs.750 p.m. 

        2.       Rs.8.75 per day for employees drawing pay of Rs.250 and above but below Rs.450 p.m.

        3.       Rs.5.50 per day for employees drawing pay of Rs.180 and above but below Rs.250 p.m.

        Now, regarding release of the additional D.A. of 50 per cent as suggested by the hon. Member, it is under active consideration of the Government. It was suggested by the mover as well as the hon. Members who took part in the discussion that we need not wait till finalisation of the report of the Pay Commission. In this matter, I would .like to enlightened the House that as they have waited so long so long and they need immediate relief, but according to me, they should have patience at least for some time more because the Pay Commission will finalise its report within this financial year. Lastly, as already declared before the House, Government have decided to set up a Pay Commission to examine the structure of emoluments and conditions of service of Government employees including other amenities admissible to them such as dearness allowance, house rent allowance, winter allowance, hill allowance, compensatory allowance traveling allowance, daily allowance etc and to make recommendations for consideration of the Government. The Commission will also examine the need for consideration of relief of an interim character in case of increase in the cost of living during its deliberations and make recommendations as considered desirable and feasible. So the hon. members will also perhaps be given an opportunity to voice their opinion to the Commission at the appropriate time for its consideration. As already pointed out by the hon. member from Sohryngkham regarding the two categories employees, the technicians and the electricians whom he said need special consideration. Sir, I would like to inform the house that these also have come under the proposed terms of reference of the Commission. If I am allowed, I would like to refer to the proposed terms of reference of the Commission. They are as folows-1 To examine the principals which should govern the structure of emoluments and conditions of service of State Government employees. 2. To examine and recommend what changes in the structure of the emoluments and conditions of service of different classes of State Government employees are desirable and feasible. 3. To examine the existing amenities and facilities etc. admissible to State Government employees such as death-cum-retirement benefits, Leave travel Concession, Medical Benefit, Dearness Allowance, House rent Allowance, Winter Allowance, Hill Allowance, Special pay, Compensatory Allowance, T.A./D/A/ etc. and to make recommendations as are considered desirable and feasible. 4. To examine and suggest reorganisation of the existing services with a view to rationalisation of the work-load and efficiency. 5. To enquire into and and examine the level of minimum remuneration on the basis of the State Government employees demand for a need based minimum wage having regard to all relevant factors; 6. To examine the need for the consideration of relief of an interim character in case of increase in the cost of living during the deliberations of the Commission and to make such recommendations as are considered desirable and feasible specific the date from which the relief should take effect. 7. To examine such other connected and incidental questions as may be referred to the Commission by the Government. 8. This one is very very important i.e. the Commission shall make its recommendations having regard, among other relevant factors, to the financial resources of the State Government and the demands thereon : 9. The Commission shall submit its recommendations to the State Government by the end of February, 1979 at the latest, and the Government has also provided in the proposed term that the Government may add from time to time the other terms of reference, if necessary, to the Commission. So I hope the hon. members will be able to place their suggestions, as they have already stated. Not only the hon. members but also the representatives of the various service organisations. Since our State is a new born State, a poor State, I would like to request the hon. members to be kind enough to be patient. I would request the employees through the hon'ble mover also to be patient at least, till the report of the Commission is brought before the House which the House will have full liberty to discuss on the subject concerned, with these words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri Manik Das :- I would like to know from the Minister, under the Additional Emoluments Compulsory Deposit Scheme of 1974, what was the rate of interest being given to the employees of the State Government?

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- This also, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have already stated just now that it is still under consideration of the Government. 

Shri Manik Das :- This is an Act which has been passed by Parliament in 1974. It has already been decided. I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister what is the rate of interest which is given on the deduction to the State Government employees. Now it is already in force, no decision has been taken. the decision is taken by the Parliament in 1974.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- I have already stated that regarding the release of this Additional Dearness Allowance, it is under consideration of the Government and the rate of interest will be according to the provision of the Act itself.

Shri Manik Das :- My point is, under the Additional Emoluments Compulsory Scheme, 1974 which was already in force,  there is a percentage which is given to the State Government employees on the deduction which is made by the disbursing authorities. I would like to know from the Minister in charge what is the percentage of interest which is being given to our State Government employees from the deduction which is made from their pay under the Compulsory Deposit Schemes.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- I think I have made it very clear that the provision  of the Act are being followed and that only the release is under consideration. When it will be released, then the provisions of the Act will automatically come in.

Shri Manik Das :- I think I may be allowed to help the Minister in this regard. So far as the Additional Emoluments Compulsory Deposit Scheme Act of 1970 is concerned, the percentage of rate of interest which is being deducted from the State Government is 12 percent and there has been a charge last year because of 1 per cent of interest being deducted by the Banks and now it has come to 11 per cent.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not suppose to presume, as correct all the informations the hon. member has stated. But as I have already stated, the provisions of the Act will be followed.

Shri Manik Das :- I have another clarification to make, Assam Government has already decided to release the entire D.A. to its employees drawing pay below Rs.300/- per month. What is the policy in this respect so far as this Government is concerned?

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- The House is not bound by the decision of another House as well as whatever has been done by the Government of Assam. But as already stated earlier, the Government is very well alive to the difficulties of its employees and all these things will be assumed. Regarding the point raised by the hon. member just now, that also is under consideration of the Government.


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Since there is no other business to be taken up today, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow the 7th July, 1978.

(The House then adjourned).

D.S. KHONGDUP.

Dated Shillong,

Secretary,

The 6th July, 1978

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

*****