Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 a.m. on Monday the 20th March 1978 in the Assembly Chamber Shillong with the Speaker Protem in the Chair.

Present :

Election of Speaker

Mr. Speaker Protem :- The first item in today's agenda is the Election of Speaker. I am to inform the House that five nomination papers were received till 3.30 p.m yesterday-two in favour of Shri Winstone Syiemiong and three in favour of Shri Peter Garnette Marbaniang. The name of Shri Winstone Syiemiong was proposed by Shri Rowell Lyngdoh and Shri Barrister Pakem and seconded by Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi and Shri Fuller Lyngdoh respectively. The candidature of Shri Peter Garnette Marbaniang was proposed as follows :

        (1) Proposed by Shri Bhaskar Choudhury and seconded by Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang;

        (2) Proposed by Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang and seconded by Shri Bhaskar Choudhury;

        (3) Proposed by Shri Upstar Kharbuli and Seconded by Shri Bhaskar Choudhury.

        All these nomination pages are found to be in order. Now, as there are two candidates for the office of the Speaker, the House will proceed to elect the Speaker in accordance with sub-rule (6) of Rule 7 of the Rules and Procedure and Conduct of Business. The members will please proceed to the Secretary's table and obtain ballot papers from him one by one. Each and every member will mark his or her vote in the ballot paper in the ballot box placed on the table of the House. Any hon. Member may now inspect the ballot box, if he so wishes before the ballot begins.

        I would now request the hon. Members to come one by one to get the ballot paper from the Secretary and go to the lobbies and put their mark on it.

Election of Speaker

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Speaker Protem) :- Now I will request the Secretary to count the votes.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to raise one point here about the procedure followed for casting the votes today. Sir, this is a Secret ballot paper and according to the arrangement made the serial number of the ballot paper the serial number in the voters' list should not tally. But Sir, in my case, the serial number of the ballot paper is 26 and my serial number in the voters' list is also 26. If this is the procedure Sir, then there is no secrecy maintained for the voters for whom have they cast their votes. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order to avoid it, I would like to suggest here that immediately after the counting the ballot papers may be destroyed and only in this way the secrecy of the voter will be kept intact.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the hon. Member will read the procedure carefully then he will find that there is no such Rules to declare this ballot paper as secret ballot paper because more or less it is an open secret.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if this is not a secret voting then in that case we should have done it by standing and there is no need for going to the lobby to seal it secretly and then put it in the ballot paper;

Shri W.A. Sangma (Speaker Protem) :- Yes, it is very unfortunate that in case of Shri D.D. Lapang the serial number tallies.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Yes Sir, I do not know such exception has been shown only in my case?

Shri M.N. Majaw, (Minister, Law etc) :- Perhaps he is an exceptional man, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Election of Speaker

Dr. B.K. Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, even in my case the serial numbers tally. My serial number in the ballot paper is 20 and my name in the voters' list is also at serial number 20.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Speaker Protem) :- Yes, but I can assure the House that all the ballot papers will be destroyed after the counting of votes is over and let there be counting agents one from each side of the House.

        I will now announce the result, Shri Peter Garnette Marbaniang has secured 25 votes and Shri Winstone Syiemiong has secured 34 votes. Hence I declare Shri Winstone Syiemiong as has been duly elected the Speaker of this House. I have now great pleasure to request Shri Winstone Syiemiong to occupy the Chair.

        ( Shri S.D. Khongwir, Deputy Chief Minister conducted Shri Winstone Syiemiong to the Chair)

Felicitations to the Speaker

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Sir, it is a matter of great satisfaction that you have been elected to this office of honour and dignity. We are however aware that the office is also onerous. As an incumbent of this high office you are to be the impartial custodian of the rights of the Members of this august House. You are in fact a symbol of impartiality. We are sure that you will always gives us guidance and counsel. I am confident that the honour and interest of this House will be kept ever in your mind. I am also sure that you will be able to score yet another standard of better distinction of this august House. May God bestow upon your wisdom and understanding. Thank you.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to congratulate you on your having been elected as Speaker of this august House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you were also a Member previously of this House and through-out the whole term you have always taken active part in the debate of this august House. We have always held you with high regard. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a Member of this august House you always contributed substantially in the discussions that we had throughout our previous term. But since now you have occupied the office of the Speaker, we will miss your valuable speeches which you may deliver in this House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are however glad that you are holding this very high position of being the Presiding Officer of the highest body in the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, your office is actually, as has been stated by the Deputy leader of the House, an onerous one. The dignity of the House has to be maintained and we have no doubt whatsoever that in your able hands you will be maintaining the honour and dignity of the House according to the traditions. Further, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have also no doubt that you will deciding every case according to its merit without any partiality whatsoever. We look up to you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for protection of our rights and that our opinions also may receive due consideration whether we are on this side or that side of the House. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that I am very glad that you have been elected as the Speaker of this august House. Thank you.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I consider it a privilege to have this opportunity of extending and expressing my humble but special congratulations to you on your election to this high office of the Speaker. I hope that all the hon. members will share with me when I say that you are one of the fittest persons - of course, I am not saying that you are the only fittest person- (I mean that you are a more suitable person to be in the Chair. Sir, I said that I would extend my special congratulations because I have special reasons to be proud of you because you have been my close friend (laughter) for the last 6 years in the previous Assembly and, of course, you still are. Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the same time I would say that, you being my friend, I have a concern and fear also because you are now entering upon this high office and that you will be confronted with heavy responsibilities and beset with new problems. I am, however, confident that with your determination and courage. You will face these new situations and problems squarely and I am sure that you will come our successful. Sir, in our Parliamentary democracy as it is existing in our country today the office of the Speaker is held in very high esteem and respect. One of the pre-requisites of this office, Sir, is as everybody has said, impartiality and sound judgement. If I speak of impartiality, Sir, I feel that I need not stress because I know that the word 'partiality' or its meaning is beyond your comprehension because I have known you enough. Sir, I therefore hope that you will be the custodian of the hon. members' rights and privileges. I am also sure that with the experience you are going to assimilate during your work and also from the knowledge you will be gaining through experiences of other legislatures you will be able to give judicious ruling that will satisfy us all. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will not only be the guardian of our rights and privileges but also of the parliamentary practices and procedures and other forms of rules that are being practices in other State legislatures. So, Sir, with the guidance of providence-the power beyond human powers- I think you will shine and that you will be the guide to us, the members of this august House. Thank you, Sir.

Manick Chandra Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a great privilege to have you as our Speaker. Many of the hon. Members, have already showered praises in your honour but I would only say that this is a very proud privilege for all of us specially in this State that we have elected the youngest Speaker in the country. This is really a matter of pride for us and I am indeed very grateful to the hon. Members here that the youth has been recognised. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri Mukul Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a matter of great pleasure that today we have you as the Speaker in this Assembly. Already one of my friends has pointed out that he has been a very close friend of yours for quite a long time. What I want to say is that from now onward all the members should start considering you as a friend and also the people of the State. In this House the members are here from different parties and there are even those who belong to no party. Yet I am very much confident that under your able Speakership all the members, irrespective of parties and those who are not from any party, will be enjoying impartial ruling and justice-I am also very much confident that this House will definitely lead, under your Speakership, to progress. That is all, I have to say.

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, on this solemn and happy occasion when you are assuming the office of the Speaker, am I rise to offer my felicitations. I would at the outset express my apology for my inability to have arrived in time. Despite the fact Mr. Speaker Sir, that I was not able to participate in your election nevertheless, I would like to join hands with the hon. Members who have Spoken and expressed their felicitations and who have also congratulated you. I do this on my own behalf and also on behalf of this House. Knowing your qualities of head and heart and also knowing how ably you have contributed to the proceedings of this House during the past six years which to me Mr. Speaker, Sir, is ample proof and evidence of the meticulous care with which you must have prepared yourself for the job you can have now which in turn shows Mr. Speaker, Sir that with all seriousness and sincerity of purpose you are capable of taking your responsibility. I have no doubt Mr. Speaker, Sir, that you are occupying this high office with justification. I am also sure that when you preside over the proceedings of this House, under your able guidance I know this Assembly will be able to conduct itself in the discharge of its duties and responsibilities in a manner as will enable this House to uphold the best tradition and conventions and practices in keeping with the parliamentary form of democracy. With these few words Mr. Speaker, Sir, I congratulate you.

Shri Alfrein Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also take this opportunity to stand here before you and before all the hon. Members to give my heartiest congratulation on your election to this high office of Speakership. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope with your kind and impartial guidance this House will be able to function smoothly in future. Thank you. 

Shri Mozibar Rahman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to humbly express my pride and happiness to see you as Speaker of this House and to congratulate you on your election to the highest office of the House. I wish that this House will be guided by you impartially during its whole term. Thank you.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong, Speaker :- Hon. Members and friends, I am very much overwhelmed by the praises showered upon me and the felicitations given to me by all sections of this House. I do not know what exactly to say. Now I feel like an inflated tyre to express my feeling because so much has been said of me and you have reposed your confidence in me to keep this very high office. Personally I feel that when I was in the Opposition occupying the back bench I used to shout from there while taking part in the discussion as I have done in the last six years. But then circumstances had changed and I am compelled to take this very high office. I know that I cannot be compared with my previous predecessor who is really a giant in every respect right from his intellect to this size. I stand no comparison to him. But then I am quite sure that with the help of all of you especially the senior Members I will try my utmost and it will be my endeavour to run and guide this House in the true tradition of British Parliament. I am lucky also in one sense that I have here some of my old teachers like the Leader of the House who once taught me in Class IV when I was a small child. I had also Prof. M.N. Majaw, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and I am quite sure that with their help and guidance as well as with the help of other senior Members of this House especially like Capt. W.A. Sangma. I shall be able to guide this House and that I will try my best and my utmost to see that there will be no partiality. First of all I will try my best to be impartial and I am quite sure that each and every one of you will be safeguarded and no one shall feel unsafe whether he belongs to any political party or is an independent. With these few words once again I thank you.

        Before we pass on to the next item, I would like to make the following announcements :-

Constitution of Legislature Committee

        In pursuance of Rule 228 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Business Advisory Committee:-

        1. Shri M.N. Majaw, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, 

        2. Shri W.A. Sangma,

        3. Shri B.B. Lyngdoh,

        4. Shri B. Wanniang.

        The Committee will function under the Chairmanship of the Speaker. I would request the Members of the Committee to attend the meetings of this Committee in my Chamber today, 10 minutes after the House rises to finalise the Calendar for the current Session.

        Now let us come to item No.3. Shri M.N. Majaw, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to move that this House do now adjourn till 3-55 p.m. today to enable the Governor to address the House.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now adjourn till 3-55 p.m. today to enable the Governor to address the House.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Do I have sense of the House that this House be adjourned till 3-55 p.m today to enable the Governor to address the House?

(Voices - Yes...yes )

( The motion was carried )

        Now the House stand adjourned till 3-55 p.m. today.

( After lunch )

The House met at 3-55 p.m.

Mr. Speaker :- I would like to announce that the Governor is arriving at the Chamber exactly at 4 O'clock. So, I am going out for bringing him and I would request all the hon. Members to please remain in your seat. In the meantime, the Governor's Address will be distributed to you. 

        ( The Governor enters the Chamber accompanied by the Hon'ble Speaker).

Mr. Speaker :- May I now request the Governor to address the House?

Shri L.P. Singh, Governor of Meghalaya :-

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members,

        I have great pleasure in addressing this august House for the first time after its reconstitution. I extend a hearty welcome to the newly elected Members of the House and wish you a fruitful tenure of service as Members of the House and all success in your efforts.

        2. The last year has been a period of considerable significance. The year witnessed changes in the national scene which have had far-reaching effects. This period also saw the reaffirmation of the will of the  people, the restoration of fundamental rights and the resurrection of the democratic ideals. The year will remain memorable in the history of the nation.

        3. Though the economic situation in the country has shown some signs of improvement, yet the rise in prices of edible oils and some other items of daily use has given rise to anxiety. The food grains buffer stock has been built up adequately to meet requirement and the foreign exchange position has shown progressive improvement. In spite of a comparatively brighter economic outlook, the situation would need constant watch to ensure that the inflationary trends do not reappear posing a threat to economic development.

        4. As all of you are aware, after the completion of the elections a new Government have taken over the reins of administration in the State. The Government will strenuously endeavour to protect and preserve the distinct identity of the tribal people of Meghalaya and will pay special attention to their economic, social and cultural interests. The Government are committed to provide and clean and efficient administration, responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people. It will make all efforts through constitutional legislative and other measures to provide safeguards against influx from outside the prevent economic exploitation of the tribal people. The Government will make every effort to settle the outstanding boundary disputes with the neighbouring State of Assam. While making all efforts for improving the socio-economic condition of the tribal population of the State and protecting their rights, the Government  shall endeavour to ensure fair and and just treatment to all the sections of the population and communities living in the State. 

        5. The Government are happy to observe that in keeping with the tradition of amity and good will among the various sections of the population of the State, by and large, the overall law and order situation has been maintained satisfactorily. The Government are determined to preserve harmonious relations among all sections of the people and communities living in the State and will take steps necessary in that direction.

        The situation on the border with Bangladesh is being kept under constant watch. With a view to ensuring security and preventing the occurrence of crimes along the border, requisite number of police stations and outposts have been set up and patrolling has been arranged all along the border. With a view to enlisting people's co-operation in this regard, Village Defence Parties have been organised in the border area and the steps will be taken to make them more effective.

        6. The Government are anxious to prevent the influx of foreign nationals into the State. With a view to ensuring this objective, adequate number of outposts manned by Border Security Force are functioning all along the border. During the last three years, 4847 infiltrators were detected of them 4022 were pushed back to Bangladesh and 825 were prosecuted and subsequently pushed back after their conviction. The Government of India had issued an order on the 10th July 1976 which took effect from the 14th August 1976 to control entry of Nepalese nationals into the restricted areas under the foreigners Act 1916. The State Government are actively considering ways and means for the implementation of the order.

        The Government are committed to maintain the basic population structure of the State and to prevent economic exploitation of the tribal communities living in the State. With this objective in view the Government will take necessary measures to regulate any large scale influx from outside the State and would initiate legislative and other measures which may be deemed necessary in this regard. The Government look forward to the assistance and active help of the Government of India in the achievement of this objective in the context of the State being backward with predominantly tribal population and considering that the disturbance of the balance in this regard may lead to avoidable tensions which are not in the national interest.

        7. The boundary with the neighbouring State of Assam covers large areas; there had been incident resulting in tension. The Government are eager to ensure an expeditious settlement of the boundary disputes with Assam by making all possible and earnest efforts. The transfer of Blocks I and II of the Karbi Anglong District of Assam to the Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya has been an outstanding issue since the days of the composite State of Assam. The Government are keen to ensure an expeditious settlement of these problems by mutual consultation with the Government of Assam and if necessary by seeking the use of the good offices of the Government of India. In order to prevent further deterioration and to remove the causes for uncertainty on both sides of the border, the Government intensify its efforts to persuade the Assam Government to agree to the demarcation of the boundary on the ground, by a joint survey by the officials of the two State Governments or in the alternative by an Independent agency. The Government are also anxious that difficulties and other anomalies existing all along the border of Meghalaya are removed at the earliest.

        8. One of the most important point in the policy of the Government is the taking of measures for improving efficiency of administration. The Government will take adequate measures to ensure a clean administration. The new districts, sub-division and the administrative units which have been set up will be made more effective centres for the execution of Government policies and programme.

        9. With the coming of the new Government at the centre, there has been a welcome reorientation and modification of plan priorities. The improvement in the economic situation has paved the ground for a renewed effort towards development. The new concept of rolling Plan will ensure constant appraisal and introduction of necessary modifications in the outlays and programmes of the Plan within the overall frame work of the broad priorities. The Sixth Five Year Plan is under formulation and has been discussed recently in a meeting of the National Development Council. The Government expect that in keeping with the policy objective of the Central Government of ensuring concentrated attention to the Scheduled tribes and backward areas, Meghalaya will get a fair and just treatment in regard to the fixation of the size of Plan as also in regard to the allocation of Central assistance. The emphasis in the Plan of the State will be on improvement of agricultural and allied sectors as the vast majority of the population of the State depends on agriculture for their main source of livelihood. The programme for control of shifting cultivation or jhum will be reviewed, with a view to removing its short-comings and making it more effective with added emphasis on the creation of necessary infrastructure and basic amenities. The so-far neglected sector of rural small and cottage industries will get concentrated attention as it is one of the most important measures to ensure intensive development and economic growth in the rural areas. Development of road communications will receive a high priority as this is one of the basic elements of infrastructure for development. The Government will ensure the extension of the provision of drinking water especially in rural areas with more speed. The Government will take steps for consolidation and better utilisation and extension of educational benefits to the people. The schemes under integrated programme for development of border areas will be reviewed and steps taken to make them more effective so as to bring the real benefits to our brethren living in these areas.

        Pending the formulation of the next Five Year Plan the outlay for the Annual Plan for 1978-79 has been fixed at Rs.28.11 crores representing an increase of about 15 per cent over the Plan outlay for the current year. The endeavour of the Government will be to make efforts for upward revision of the Plan outlays so that more resources could be put in for the development of the State.

        10. The Government will give utmost importance to the improvement in agricultural production so as to ensure the achievement of the objective of self-sufficiency in the minimum possible time. The Programmes will include land-use and cadastral survey and will concentrate on efforts for popularising improved agricultural practices, adequate and timely supplies of agricultural inputs and more practical and effective demonstrations at the field level. The programme will lay adequate emphasis on sound research, land reclamation, minor irrigation and cultivation of cash crops. In view of the promising potential for horticultural development, the Government will strengthen the machinery and take up a programme for establishing progeny orchards and other schemes for ensuring greater attention and better incentives for cultivator taking up horticultural schemes.

        The Block Development agencies continue to remain important centres of activity in the State and the Government will, therefore take steps to re-orient their functioning so as to make them effective agencies for development in rural areas. Efforts will be made to augment their resources by adequate provision of funds as far as possible and by channelising various developmental programmes through them. The Central Sector Programme for intensive rural development will also be implemented. 

        11. One of the biggest handicaps in improving the agricultural production in the State has been the non availability of agricultural credit for short-term, medium term and long term purposes. The Government will make all possible efforts to improve the functioning of the cooperatives so as to make them effective instruments of economic growth in rural areas. Steps will be taken to ensure that the nationalised banks and other financing institutions fulfill their expected role in extending credit operations in the State for agricultural purposes as also for rural and mini industries in the 'tiny' sector.

        12. The rise in prices of essential commodities effects the vulnerable sections of the society and leads to worsening of their economic position. The Government will make all efforts to ensure adequate supplies of essential commodities. The functioning of the State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers' Federation and that of the Cooperative Stores and fair price shops will be utilised progressively for ensuring the maintenance of the price level. The Government will take recourse to the existing legal measures and if necessary, take new legislative and executive measures to ensure price stability.

        13. Communications play a very important role in the development of infrastructure for improving the economy of the State. The objective of the road development programme in the State will be to have a net-work of roads in a coordinated manner with a view to facilitating marketing of agricultural produce, movement of the produce from the border areas, facilitating agricultural and industrial development as also meeting the other requirements for the improvement of economy of the State and for providing transport to the people living in the interior areas of the State.

        With a view to improving the transport system in the State, the working of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation will be streamlined and improved. 

        14. In the industrial sphere, the policy of the Government will be to quicken the pace of the growth of small and cottage industries particularly in the rural areas. The Government policy regarding the medium and large-scale industries will be based in the considerations of the benefits to the people and best interests of the State. 

        15. The Government are alive to the necessity for extending medical facilities in the rural areas. The programme in this sector will include better utilisation of existing and efforts for posting of staff and making available necessary equipments and medicines in the existing medical centres as also the setting up of more primary health centers and dispensaries so as to make available improved medical facilities in the interiors of the State.         

        16. The objective of the Government in the educational sphere will be to ensure consolidation and expansion of education at all levels and to bring about such possible changes in the system of education as will make it more useful and meaningful. The Government will examine the report of the State Education Commission when received  and initiate necessary measures. With a view to providing healthy development of the youth of the State, greater attention will be paid towards the cultural activities and sports and the provision of play-grounds, stadium, etc., in keeping with the availability of financial resources.

        17. The development of forestry both in the reserved forests as also in the forests under the District Councils will be one of the important items of the policy of the Government. The development of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary and Poultry sectors will get due emphasis for improving the economic condition of the people as also to increase the availability of nutritious diet for the people of the State. The Soil Conservation Department will continue the scheme relating to the control of jhum and grouping of villages with necessary modifications as also its programme for reclamation of land.

        18. An accelerated programme for rural electrification and development of power generation is necessary to ensure the availability of power for irrigation, agriculture and industries. The State Government expect that apart from expediting the work on the Garo Hills Thermal Project which is an already approved scheme of the North Eastern Council, the Government of India will approve the taking up of one or two new Projects for generation of power in the State by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board during the Sixth Plan. The work on the connecting of the Umiam - Umtru system with the transmission line in the Garo Hills will be expedited with a view to ensuring the building up of a coordinated power grid in the State.

        19. As a measure of improving the quality of life in the rural areas, the Government is committed to the taking up of an expanded programme for drinking water supply. The work on the schemes already taken up will be expedited so that the benefit could flow to the people at the earliest and new schemes to cover the areas of acute and chronic water scarcity will be taken up. The Government is seized of the crying need to augment water supply in Greater Shillong area and will take expeditious steps in that direction. The work on the schemes for water supply in other towns of the State will also be expedited.

        20. The Government note that the efforts made so far for the economic upliftment of the people living in the border areas of the State have not yielded the desired results. It shall be the earnest endeavour of the Government to ensure all possible measures to lead to an integrated development of the economy of the border people in the shortest possible time. Apart from improving the infrastructure in the area, the Government steps will be directed towards improvement in various sector of development. Measures to ensure marketing of the border produces will be strengthened and their scope enlarged, so as to make the schemes effective for the people in the border areas.

        21. The Government attach utmost importance to the functioning of the District Councils as they are the representative organisations in accordance with the genius and tradition of the people of the State. The Government will also ensure coordinated functioning of other traditional and customary local institutions of the State. The elections to the District Council which have been over due will be expedited and held as soon as possible. Necessary assistance will be extended to the District Councils to enable them to discharge their functions in the sphere of primary education and developmental sector. It will be the constant endeavour of the Government to assist the District Councils in all possible ways, financially as also by ensuring their effective functioning.

        22. The elections for the Shillong Municipal Board will be held as early as possible. Depending upon the assessment of the relevant factors, the Government will set up such other Municipal Boards and Town Committees as may be necessary in  the State.

        23. The immense potential for development of facilities for Tourism in the State is yet to be realised in a meaningful and purposive manner. A beginning will be made in this direction by taking up the schemes for development of such facilities in the Barapani Complex as also in other suitable places in the State.

        24. The Government are committed to a policy of preserving the purity and high standards of social conduct and curbing the evils of excessive drinking. The policy will be implemented in such a manner as to avoid interference with the tribal customs prevalent in the State in this regard.

        25. The extension of relief at times of natural calamities is one of the basic responsibilities of the Government. The State Government will ensure drawing up of contingency plans for extension of timely and quick relief in times of natural calamities in various parts of the State and will  ensure placing the necessary minimum funds in advance with the District authorities for the purpose.

        26. The State Government are seized of the problem of unemployment in the State. Subject to the availability of finances, the Government will ensure increasing the avenues for gainful employment in the State. The Government would like to press upon the Government of India the need to give due weightage to the local people of the State particularly the tribals in the manner of employment in the Central Government offices and institutions located in Meghalaya.

        27. The Government attach utmost importance of the extension of necessary benefits to the employees to the extent possible within their financial resources and with this end in view the Government are considering the question of setting up a Pay Commission.

        28. The Seventh Finance Commission has started functioning. The State Government propose to place before the Commission a realistic picture of its requirement and expect a sympathetic and fair deal from the Commission in keeping with its status as a backward State predominantly inhabited by tribals and having special problems of its own.

        29. Apart from the financial bills and the Ratification of the Constitution (44th Amendment) Bill, 1977, business of the current session of the House will include the introduction of the following measures :-

        (i)    The Meghalaya Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Bill, 1978.

        (ii)    The Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1978.

        (iii)    The Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1978.

        30. I have briefly referred to some of the main items of the policies and programmes which the new Government are committed to implement for the development of the State. The Government will endeavour to bring about economic development in the State in the shortest possible time and mobilise necessary resources and make the maximum efforts for the achievement of this objective. I am confident that you, as the elected representatives of the people of the State with a fresh mandate, will extend the necessary help and co-operation to the Government to enable it to discharge its responsibilities and accomplish its chosen tasks.

        I hope that the deliberations in the House will be fruitful and lead to the achievement of the declared goals and go a long way towards building up a prosperous Meghalaya contributing its best to the progress of the entire country.

J A I  H I N D

Mr. Speaker :- Under sub-rule (2) of rule 13 of the Rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I hereby report that the Governor has been pleased to make a speech a copy of which has been laid on the Table of the House.

        Now let us come to item No. 5 of the list of business. Here we have motion of thanks to the Governor's Address. Now in this regard, I have received notices of motion of thanks to the Governor's Address to be moved by Shri B.B. Lyngdoh and seconded by Shri. Bakstarwell Wanniang. I now request Mr. Lyngdoh to move the motion of thanks.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in this session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House today, the 20th March, 1978.

Shri B. Wanniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I second the motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. As far as the discussion is concerned we shall take up in the next day or the day after as per programme to be distributed to the members tomorrow. In the meantime, the hon. members may submit their amendments to the motion of thanks to the secretary of this Assembly not later than 3.30 P.M. tomorrow, the 21st March, 1978.


        Since there is no other business for the today, I adjourn the House till 9:30 A.M. tomorrow, the 21st March, 1978.


Dated Shillong,


The 20th March, 1978.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly