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FAREWEL ADDRESS TO THE ODISHA MEMBERS IN THE BIHAR AND ODISHA LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL ON THE 28TH MARCH, 1936

The Hon’ble the President: Hon’ble Members, before I read the order of prorogation I would seek your permission to say a few words by way of bidding farewel to the Hon’ble members from Odisha (Hear, hear). On the occasion of the creation of the new province of Odisha we regret very much that our long and harmonious association has come to an end now. The Hon’ble members from Odisha took an active part in the deliberations of this Council and they made useful contributions to the debates of this Council during the last 15 years. They have rendered very valuable services to the province as a whole. Our relation with them has been always cordial and intimate. I feel sure that their absence from this Council will be keenly felt by each one of us: I assure them on behalf of the Hon’ble members of the Council from Bihar that they have our good wishes in the future happiness and prosperity of their new province (Hear, hear). I think I shall be failing in my duty if I do not express my personal gratitude to the Hon’ble members from Odisha who have always shown a due deference and courtesy to the Chair since I have been occupying this responsible position. I have always received co-operation from them and I feel that without their co-operation it would have been difficult for the Chair to discharge its functions properly. With these words I wish them good-bye.

Rai Bahadur LAKSHMIDHAR MAHANTI: On behalf of the Odisha members, I thank you, Sir, very sincerely for the very kind words that have fallen from you. We are very thankful to the members from Bihar for the sympathetic attitude which they have all along taken for Odisha. We are thankful to the Government of Bihar and Odisha as a whole, and we are thankful to you, Sir, for your personal courtesy and kind sympathy.

Rev. BRAJANANDA DAS: Sir, I would only add a word. It is very kind of you, Sir, to wish happiness and prosperity for the new province. You have said very many kind words, and I acknowledge with thanks the good feelings that have been shown to us and the spirit of brotherliness that has been manifested on the part of the Hon’ble the President of the Council and others. I have been connected with this Council ever since 1927, and during this period I have found that there has been a growing sense of brotherliness and kindness. I thank you, Sir, for the very kind words that you have just uttered and I wish also that when we part this Bihar Council will be as successful as it has been in the past. I hope and trust that the tie of friendship and brotherliness that has bound us so long will be maintained and that it shall remain even if we are separated.

Odisha as you know, Sir, is a centre of attraction. For the fact that the great temple of Jagannath is at Puri which is visited by people from all parts of India. There is no distinction of caste in Puri, there is no Brahmin, no depressed classes, and when people from Bihar will come to Puri, they will be accorded a warm welcome whenever they come. I again sincerely thank you, Sir, for the spirit in which you have wished us happiness and prosperity, and I reciprocate the same in all sincerity.

                                                                                           PROROGATION OF THE COUNCIL

The Hon’ble the PRESIDENT: I am going to read the order of prorogation. I hope the Hon’ble members will receive it by rising in their seats.

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 72-8 of the Government of India Act, I hereby declare that at the conclusion of the meeting on the 28th of March 1936, the Bihar and Odisha Legislative Council stands prorogued.

    PATNA                                                               JAMES SIFTON
28th March 1936                                       Governor of Bihar and Odisha

The Council is prorogued





                                                                                  THE ODISHA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
                                                                                                      First Session
                                                                                        Wednesday, the 28th July 1937

The Odisha Legislative Assembly met in the Ravenshaw College Hall at 11 A.M. on Wednesday, the 28th July 1937.

                          ORDER REGARDING THE APPOINEMENT OF A PERSON TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF A SPEAKER
The Secretary to the Legislative Assembly announced as follows:-

" I hereby announce the following order of His Excellency the Governor of Odisha: -

"In exercise of the power conferred upon him under sub-section (3) of section 65 of the Government of India Act, 1935, the Governor is pleased to appoint Babu Bichitrananda Das, a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, to perform the duties of the office of the Speaker of the said Assembly until a Speaker is elected."

He then announced the Hon’ble Acting Speaker and conducted him to the Chair.

                                                                                  ADDRESS BY THE ACTING SPEAKER.
The acting SPEAKER: Hon’ble members of the Odisha Assembly: In this historic hall in the capital of the Odisha province, I have the proudest privilege to extend to you my warmest felicitations to day. Friends, you are at the dawn of a new era, because the old order has changed. It has given place to the new. The old autocratic administration has given place to the rule of the majority, the rule of the people. However unsatisfactory the Reform is, it has opened the gate to responsible government. The gate is open, the gate is visible to the people that we are going to establish the government of the people by the people and for the people. Friends, I am one of the oldest Congress members of this province. In 1914 I became a member of the old Congress. Most of you-some of you have experienced, others perhaps do not know that even the word "self-government" or home rule was once taboo in this country. Now, dominion status as Mahatmaji puts it or swaraj, which is visualised by the Congress, is in view, and that is the goal of India, and we, the members of this Assembly, have the proudest privilege to be the pioneers of the struggle for that goal of Mother India-attainment of swaraj or attainment of dominion status. Of course the reforms I cannot describe in happier and more explicit words than did Mahatmaji himself. I will just quote the expression: "The Government of India Act is universally regarded on the whole as unsatisfactory for achieving India’s freedom, but it is possible, however limited and feeble the resources may be to replace the rule of the sword by the rule of the majority." But friends, only the gateway is visible to us. Beyond that everything is dark. If we move carelessly there are deceptive trapdoors and we may fall into them and lose sight of the goal. We have the proudest privilege that we are to carve our future destiny and we are to carve out the path, and in that path we must move on till we attain that Swaraj which is the establishment of government of the people by them and for them, and the problems that stare us I do not want to describe here. This is not the time nor the place to describe the struggles of great Congress workers who have sacrificed their lives for the attainment of this goal of India. We are now out to do service and with a spirit of service, we have accepted office and I hope the entire House will just collaborate and co-operate with us in the service of their motherland for the attainment of that goal which is the establishment of a government of the people for the people by themselves.

To-days function which is the only duty of the interim Speaker like myself, is the appointment of a permanent Speaker for this House. I find, gentlemen, one of the blessings of the Montford Reforms is the introduction of the non-official President in place of the old official President. There was a time when Governors, Lieutenant-Governors presided in the Councils constituted mostly of nominated members. Before the introduction of diarchy in 1919, there was practically no electoral system and there was no real representative of the people in the House expecting men like Gokhale, Surendra Nath Banerji in other parts of India and Mr. Madhusudan Das and Pundit Gopabandhu Das in our province. They were the people’s men, they were fighting the peoples cause ; but they still were nominated members who were cowed down by and bowed down to the President who presided over the Council. Although in the era of diarchy, the Ministers were meant to be the peoples me, and ought to have been responsible to the Legislature, they went carelessly about their task and merged themselves in the official groove. The Ministry never attempted to feel that theirs is a Government which is responsible to the Legislature. I have told you that this is the dawn of a new era, that the executive is no longer irresponsible to the Legislature, as the Ministry is the Government which is responsible to the Legislature. This is the inauguration day of our Assembly and here really for the first time the Government is sharing with us its responsibility to the Legislature and the people in Odisha. There are 83 lakhs of men, whose representatives about 7 lakhs of voters have sent us as their representatives and in our representative capacity to attend on behalf of each of them. Excepting the nominated members, whom we welcome here, each of you should think and should feel that you are only trustees on behalf of the entire people of Odisha and you are not acting and working in your own individual capacity and if you fail to achieve that purpose, really it will be a calamity. But we have got the proudest privilege that we are the pioneers to leave this glorious heritage to our descendants-the establishment of responsible government.Friends, although I welcome you, representatives of some of the 83 lakhs of people, my heart pains, it pains me very grievously that there are still about 50 lakhs of Oriyas of the outlying Oriya tracts who are left out and who do not share our joy in this House; and I know you all share the sorrow with me that they are not here to-day. The day will come when we will join hands to shape the destiny of our future province.

We have the model of the first Indian President in Mr. Vithalbhai Patel, the great Indian who by his fearless and impartial acts set up a tradition, a parliamentary tradition in the Central Assembly which is to be the guide in future in Central Assembly and all the Provincial Assemblies in India. In fact, by his earnestness, his impersonality and his impartial attitude in times of anxiety, when grave questions arose, he set up a tradition which should be the torchlight to all Speakers in future.

                                                                                                       ELECTION OF SPEAKER

The acting SPEAKER: I am glad to find that there are only two nomination papers submitting the name of my brother Mr.Mukunda Prasad Das as the Speaker of this Assembly. There is no other nomination paper. So I declare Sjt. Mukunda Prasad Das as the Honourable Speaker of this House. (Applause.)
                                                                         CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEWLY-ELECTED SPEAKER.
The acting SPEAKER : Gentlemen, in Mukunda Babu I have seen a man who has fearlessly worked for his people and who has withstood many tyrants although living away from the metropolis of Odisha in the town of Balasore.

Sriman MANDHATA GORACHAND PATNAIK MAHASAYO and Maulvi MUHAMMAD LATIFUR RAHMAN : ALL this is out of order.

The acting SPEAKER : I know my duty.

He has served his people in the past; his intelligence is well known and his services to our motherland are well known. So, I am glad that all parties in this House have unanimously supported him and there is no rival candidate before the House. With these words I request the Secretary to conduct the Speaker.

(The Honourable the Speaker was conducted into the House by the Assistant Secretary, Secretary and the Honourable Ministers.)

Mr. Mukunda Prasad Das, as the interim Speaker here, I offer my heartiest congratulations that the whole House has shown uniform confidence in you and you are elected unopposed. Looking to your past services, your independent spirit, your fearlessness of character, I am confident, as this House is, that the dignity of this House is safe in your hands. I would only request you to keep up the tradition that Mr. V.J. Patel kept in the Central Assembly. I hope you will discharge this noble trust as fearlessly as you have discharged the great responsibilities of life in the past.

The Hon’ble the Speaker then assumed the Chair.

The Hon’ble the SPEAKER: The National Anthem will be sung. The House will receive it standing.

The House standing.

VANDE MATARAM………………..




                                                                                                                                                                                                         28th July,1937
                                                                                 REPLY BY NEWLY-ELECTED SPEAKER

The Hon’ble the SPEAKER: Hon’ble Leader and the Hon’ble Members of this House, I am very glad to notice this day that at least one of my life’s greatest missions has been fulfilled to find that representatives of parts that formerly did not form part and parcel of Odisha have gathered here. Of course some outlying parts have not been amalgamated yet, for which we have been crying for long. It is for about half a century, but still some parts, the major parts, have not been amalgamated with Odisha. I am glad because I joined the amalgamation movement started by the Utkal Union Conference since 1907, and I am glad to notice amongst my fellow-Ministers and associates of those days, Hon’ble Mr. Gorachand Patnaik, Hon’ble Paja Saheb of Madhupur and Hon’ble Pandit Godavaris Mishra and many others, and I am glad that I have to preside over the deliberations of this House, when they, as representatives of these outlying parts, have joined us. Hon’ble members, at the same time, though I am glad for that, our agitation for those outlying parts will not vanish. Our, brethren are there outside the province and in what condition they are, of course we can all judge. We should not remain content by having some of our brothers with us, but should try and try, I should say persistently, to secure all the outlying parts including in Odisha province.

Then, on an occasion like this, words always fall short to express the depth of gratitude for the honour, a sinale honour that has been conferred on me by electing me Speaker of this House. I do not know how to convey my thanks from the bottom of my heart, but I say that I am very very thankful to you and my heartfelt thanks are conveyed to you for the honour conferred upon me. My duty is very onerous and particularly so, when I remember and I am conscious of my shortcoming that I am new to the Legislature and by electing a new member of the Legislature to be the Speaker of this House, you have taken a greater burden, a greater responsibility than you would have taken, had you elected a more experienced hon'ble member. Therefore, I expect and hope that you will realise my great responsibilities to the House and that you will always lead me to come to right and correct decision. I am glad to notice that all sections of this House have in one voice assured me that I will have uniform co-operation. I am glad that this gives me strength. My strength really lies in the heartiest co-operation of the entire House. I am conscious of the fact that when I was elected Speaker I ceased to be a party man. I assure you, the moment I was elected Speaker I ceased to be a party man in this House (cheers), because this offers obviously no allurement, no temptation, for I come here to serve the larger interest of the country. I have no personal interests to serve.

I will also mention that in spite of a proposal to fix my salary at Rs. 1,000, I have decided to take only Rs. 400 (cheers), though the maximum has been fixed at Rs. 500 in some other provinces. I consider that in view of the poverty of the province, Rs. 400 is enough (cheers) and I think that all of us must try to reduce the expenditure as much as we can. Therefore, I assure, if the assurance is needed, that I in fact belong to the House and not belong to any particular party. That is the convention of all the countries governed by party institutions and I must follow that in this House.

As you all know this is the first Legislative Assembly of the Odisha province. I say to day will be memorable day for Odisha, because in this hall we shall be able to gather together representatives of at least a major part of the Oriya-speaking tracts to put our heads together for the common welfare of the largest section of humanity of this province. If we are here, we are here for the purpose of serving the people. It will be our motto. I hope you hon'ble members will conduct the deliberations of this House in a manner worthy of the dignity and respect of this House and the discussions will be raised to such a level which will stand favourable comparison with the other advanced provinces of India. (Hear, Hear and Cheers). As I told you of my shortcomings, I must confess that I am new to legislature, and I hope that all the sections of the House will give me the support which they have so kindly promised. With these few words I again thank you for the hopes that were expressed in some quarters that we should follow the footprints left by our illustrious countryman, late Mr. Vithalbhai Patel, President of the Central Legislative Assembly. I should like to say that in following the rules, limitations and the standing orders or the rules that will be framed, I may have to act sometimes relying on my own resources. Therefore, having regard to the particular point that will arise in this House, I must always depend upon my own ability. Parliamentary practices as you have said there are many in British Parliament. We must have to bear in mind the convention of that Parliament. Some of them will have to be adopted and we must remember this house, being the first Legislative Assembly of Odisha, having no traditions of its own, we have to create traditions which will not only set up an ideal but which will be followed by us during the life time of this Assembly and by our successors as well, as being sound. That will be the motto that will always guide us during the deliberations of this House and I hope you will guide me in that direction so that I may never err. With these few words I beg to thank you, gentlemen, for the honour you have done me.




                                                                                                                                                                                                  [30th August,1937]
                                                                             ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR

Mr. Speaker, members of the Odisha Legislative Assembly,

I have already in private congratulated you, Sir, on your election to the post of dignity which I feel sure you will fill with very great credit. I should like to give you now my congratulations in public.
                                                                  ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR
Next I want to welcome you all. I hope during your sessions I may have opportunities of continuing old friendships and of making new ones. May I give a special welcome to the two lady members? They are returned from general constituencies in which the electoral roll recognizes no distinction of class or creed. Such constituencies are, I believe, unique in India, save for similar ones in Assam. I have no doubt that the lady members of this Assembly will fully demonstrate the wisdom of the electoral provisions which have brought them here.

I am not here to-day to make a political speech. Indeed I should like to dispel the idea, if it exists, that either now or on future occasions of this kind I am voicing the views or announcing the policy of Ministers. They are quite capable of doing that themselves and will have many opportunities of doing it here and elsewhere. But may I say one thing, that I am profoundly thankful that I can come to-day to address you as a legislative body in and likely to remain in being.

There is one particular point of contact between the Legislative Assembly and myself. That is the rules for the conduct of your business. The task of framing these rules in the first instance was placed upon me under the provisions of the Government of India Act ; and I should like to acknowledge the assistance I received from the Secretary to the Assembly in performing this duty. It is for the Assembly to alter, as may be desirable, the greater part of the rules. I understand that you have already taken this into consideration. A few of the rules are reserved to my discretion after consultation with you, Mr. Speaker, pending their revision, I trust that the existing rules, which are based on the rules and standing orders of the Bihar and Odisha Legislative Council, will prove to be reasonably convenient for the conduct of your business.

You are called upon to undertake in your first session one of the most important functions of a legislative body, the consideration of the financial proposals of the Ministry, and the voting of supply to carry on the business of Government. I take it that all of you like myself would be glad if more money was available for the many urgent need of the province, not the least being the mitigation of damage by flood. But as things are, I am sure that you will realise that all desirable projects cannot be immediately put into action.

I have only one more thing to say. I speak with some hesitation, with some reluctance, to parade in public my deepest convictions. Most of you are Hindus, a few of you are Moslems and a few again like myself are Christians. But in Odisha it may, I believe, be said that all of us agree that to use the valuable though very inadequate words of an English essayist there is " a Power not ourselves that makes for righteousness" Our instincts, our upbringing and our experience lead us to clothe that idea in diverse ways, when we come to think out the nature and attributes, of that power. But it is a power to which we all as humble men of heart may combine to appeal. It is on this assurance that I place before you certain passages from the prayers that are read before every sitting of the Houses of parliament. They are that ;

" God may direct and guide us in all our consultations."

That " we may lay aside all private interests, prejudices and partial affections", and finally that " result of our counsels may be to the public wealth, peace and tranquility of the realm and the uniting and knitting together of the hearts of all persons and estate within the same".

I take leave of you, Sir, and of you all and party that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your labours.




                                                                                                                                                                                                  [30th August,1937]
                                                                             PRESENTATION OF THE BUDGET FOR 1937 – 38.

Raja KIRISHNA CHANDRA MANSINGH HARI CHANDAN MARDARAJ BHRAMARBAR RAI: Mr. Speaker, we are unable to hear properly the speech that the Hon’ble Chief Minister is reading. So, may we have a copy of the speech circulated so that we may follow?

The Hon’ble the SPEAKER : Yes, you will have it .

The Hon’ble Mr. Biswanath Das : I am getting copies circulated . Sir , generally they are circulated after the speech is delivered.

The Hon’ble the SPEAKER: Let them be circulated.

The Hon’ble Mr. BISWANATH DAS: If it is the desire of the Hon’ble Members, Sir, that I should speak after the distribution of copies of the speech, I have no objection . I am entirely in your hands.

Maulavi MUHAMMAD LATIFUR RAHMAN: Yes , we should get copies of the speech first.

The Hon’ble the SPEAKER : Let them be distributed .

Rev. E. M. EVA Mr. Speaker , I think the Chief Minister may be allowed go on with his speech after which the copies may be distributed.

The Hon’ble SPEAKER : I could not bear.

( Copies of the Budget speech in Oriya and English were distributed .)

The Hon’ble Mr. BISWANATH DAS : Hon’ble members will please see that there are small corrections here and there and as I read they will please see the corrections.

Sir, when I stand to-day on the floor of the first elected Assembly of this our newly – created Province of Odisha, to introduce its first Budget for the year 1937-38, my vision is shadowed by the present gloomy picture of my motherland Utkal. Whichever aspect I desire to visualize I find that despondency and disappointment are writ large on all sides and I feel, Sir, my responsibility becomes all the greater on that account when I am called upon to present the first Budget.

We the sons and daughters of Uected under different neighbouring administrations and were gradually losing our identity. It pains my mind and lacerates my heart to think that during the last one century and a quarter we have lost in the outlying tracts lakhs of our brethren who were under force of circumstances either merged in other sister communities or perpetually vivisected to suffer untold miseries as neglected minorities. Our great men and patriots such as late Srijut Madhusudan Das, Maharaja Ramchandra Bhanj , Pandit Gopabandhu Das and others of sacred memories were alive to this gradual national extinction and therefore so wisely started agitation for amalgamation and then administrative separation of Utkal as an autonomous province of our own. We were the last to lose our independence and surrender our political destiny to the hands of the British rulers but we have probably been the first to have completely broken down politically and economically. So when after a long century and over partial justice was now done and cur torn limbs were brought to be linked together and our tattered bones to be re-set, even then we could not have all our limbs to make our body full and formed and we are now still a truncated province with Singhbhum , Phuljhar , Jalantara and other areas lying outside and our brethren there and our selves here suffering the bitter pangs of separation. Had there been no such political and administrative vivisections or had there been a full restoration of all the natural and necessary limbs to our Province, I am sure, our strength as a nation would have been greater and our economic resources and financial strength would have been secure and stable and I would perhaps have been in a happier position of presenting an optimistic Budget to-day. But, Sir, the political destiny of our country has not been in our hands. We are under the domination of an outside authority and the reins of our administration are still in the hands of those that live far away from us and hence the difficulty and deprivation.

We know, Sir, that we have met here under peculiar circumstances. We have been fighting under the banner of the great Indian National Congress to have our full freedom better known as Swaraj. We have stood shoulder to shoulder with all our Indian brethren in all our struggle and strife. Our great leader Mahatma Gandhi has led us in our struggle and we have never lagged behind in our response to the sacred call of the nation in matter of service and sacrifice towards the cause of freedom. As we know, sir, when we were in the thick of the fight this new constitutional change came over us and before we could hold the reins and put a stop to its progress it became an accomplished fact. The new Government of India Act of 1935 has been thrust on us against our will and in spite of our strongest opposition. When this measure became an Act of Parliament and was set to be enforced in its provincial part, the Indian parliamentary programme of combat and construction in order that this imported constitution may go and we may have the constitution of our own through a constituent assembly to be formed by ourselves. Then only we will have real Swaraj and our real growth.

The legislature, however, is now responsible to a wider electorate and the provincial administration, in spite of the reserve powers and special responsibilities would be responsible through its popular Ministry and legislature to the large number of electors of the country.

We know under what circumstances we were called upon to accept office. When the first quarter of the year was past, and the Budget of the second half of the year was practically framed, we stepped in. We assumed charge of office on the 18th July and it was not, therefore, possible for us within the short time at our disposal to give it such attention as we would have given under ordinary circumstances. The present Budget is not wholly ours. After scrutinizing the various budget heads we came to the conclusion that new schemes adumbrated by the previous Government had to be suspended for further and closer examination so as to adapt them to suit the best needs of the Province in a cheaper and efficient way. Most of these schemes are financed partly by the Government of India by the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, and partly by this Government.

2. Difficulties of Budgeting:–
Before giving an idea of the finances of the Province let me state in brief the several initial difficulties one has to surmount in framing the Budget for this new Province. In the first instance, the Budgets of last year and this year have been prepared under circumstances of exceptional difficulties. When the Budget for the last year was originally prepared, the Province of Odisha had not yet come into existence. It got additional areas (consisting of not even the whole of the district, but of parts of districts) transferred from Madras and Central Provinces. It is natural, therefore, that the estimates of the last year in respect of these parts of the districts could not be accurate. In certain cases, the estimates of last year and even the figures of the number of officers shown in the Budget are, in particular cases, incorrect. In budgeting for the present year, we are not in the same fortunate position as other Provinces which have got the actuals of the past year to go upon. Added to these, the actuals of the revised finals of March, 1937, have not even been on hand. At the time of framing the Budget the then Government had not with them statements of the actuals of the last year. Even if they had, those figures would not, in all cases, have been an absolute reliable guide for the expenditure of the present year. The Province had not settled down to normal conditions in the yearly part of last year. In the cases of officers at the headquarters and the Secretariat, last year's expenditure included pay bills only of 11 months, i.e. from the 1st of April, 1036, as the pay of March, 1937, was not paid until April, 1937. There is again another factor which makes it difficult for proper estimation. Officers from Madras who were serving in the newly-created Province had the option of migration and this option was exercised by them at their discretion. In cases of migration, this Government had to contribute the pay, pensionary charges and the traveling allowance of such officers enough to upset the budget provision under the respective heads.

Odisha has to depend on Bihar for her High Court, Medical and Engineering Colleges and such other institutions on payment of heavy proportionate contribution. The demand for this contribution was so high that the Government of Odisha have only paid 70 per cent of their actual demand leaving the rest to be decided either by mutual agreement on further enquiry and correspondence or to be decided by the Government of India. All these add to the difficulties or estimating our expenditure which is often higher than the amounts budgeted. These circumstances necessarily call for sympathy for the Finance Department for unsatisfactory or inaccurate estimations.

3. Receipts and charges:-
Before giving a statement of income and expenditure, I may briefly explain that on the introduction of the new constitution certain changes have been effected in budgeting and accounting. Up to 31st March, 1936, Government of India were in fact the banker of the local Government and held all our balances of deposits including those of local bodies also. Consequent upon the Niemeyer settlement and also as a necessary corollary to the introduction of a system of provincial autonomy, the provincial Governments became responsible for their monies and are further required to maintain their accounts with the Reserve Bank of India. We are here treated like ordinary customers and have to maintain always a minimum balance of Rs. 5 lakhs for which the Bank has to perform ordinary banking transactions free of charge. I quote here figures of the provincial Budgets given at page 18 of the Niemeyer Report:-

Population (new 1936-37(Estimates as presented)

boundaries) (in (In lakhs of rupees).

Millions). Revenue. Expenditure

Madras …. …. 44.0 15,90 15,90 ….
Bombay …. …. 18.0 12,04 12.03 +1
Bengal …. …. 50.1 11,49 11,91 -12
United Provinces.. …. 48.4 11.71 12,45 -74
Punjab …. …. 23.6 10,80 10,78 +2
Bihar …. …. 32.4 4,70 4,82 -12
Central Province.. …. 15.3 4,81 4,90 -9
Assam …. …. 8.6 2,37 3,00 -63
N.W.F. Province.. …. 2.4 1,70* 1,80 -10
Odisha …. …. 8.3 1,63* 1,63 ….
Sind …. …. 3.9 3,13* 3,13 ….

* Including subvention from Government of India
The above table shows that we, of all provinces in India, have the minimum revenue and expenditure including the subvention. After wiping off the interest charges on our two protective canal systems amounting to Rs.10.11 lakhs, Central Government gave us a recurring grant of Rs.40 lakhs annually for our normal expenditure. An Order in Council was passed in terms of the Niemeyer Report and we have got this year Rs.47 lakhs which is shown in our estimates. This sum includes Rs. 4 lakhs to make up the full contribution of the Central Government towards our Famine Relief Fund of Rs.10 lakhs and Rs.3 lakhs towards the building grant as a part of the sum of Rs.42 ½ lakhs recommended by the Hubback Committee for capital site construction towards which the Central Government have already contributed Rs.27 ½ lakhs.

Our revised budget for 1936-37 shows a closing balance of Rs.3,55,000. Close scrutiny of this so-called plus balance shows that it is in fact a minus balance by Rs.4,000. This balance of Rs.3.55 lakhs includes the following sums of money which were contributed by the Central Government for specific purposes:-

Rs.1.99 lakhs by the Central Road Fund.
Rs.1.44 lakhs by the Central Rural Development Fund.
Rs. .08 lakhs by the Central Government for the development of handloom industry.
Rs. 0.8 lakhs by the grant from Sugar Excise Fund
Rs.3.59 lakhs

There is again a number of items against which payments have to be made both to Madras and Bihar Governments for the last year. On payment of the aid charges our minus balance of last year will swell into a far higher sum which it is difficult to anticipate at present. It will, therefore, be a misnomer to say that the year 1936-37 closed with a plus balance. The closing balance of the previous year is the opening balance of the current year. During this year the income has been estimated at Rs.1,89.57 lakhs and Rs.184.37 lakhs expenditure though Sir Otto has worked out our budget of income and expenditure at Rs.163 lakhs. The difference of Rs.26 lakhs is explained in the following manner:-

(a) Interest charges previously payable to the Central Government on protective irrigation works amounts to Rs.10.11 lakhs. This sum was wiped off as result of the Niemeyer recom mendations but we are asked to show them in our estimates. If this book account is excluded, out income and expenditure fall short by Rs. 10.11 lakhs.

(b) We have also to remember that Rs. 47 lakhs shown as income in our estimates include Rs. 7 lakhs ( Rs. 4 lakhs. Balance of Famine Relief Fund plus Rs. 3 lakhs building grant) This further reduces our original estimate of expenditure and income by Rs.17 lakhs.

(c) Rs. 7 lakhs and odd include the special grant we have received this year from the Central Road fund, the money we have drawn from the Capital construction grant for building district and sub-divisional headquarters grants from the imperial Council of agricultural Research for this year; Sugar cess, etc., from the Central government.

These figures bring home the fact that there is little or nothing left for the provincial Government to undertake for any new scheme. Time has now come when Odisha must find officials who will be ready an willing to work on smaller scales of pay without loss of efficiency. It is difficult for one to work a small machinery with heavy and costly tools. All these call for greater freedom for Ministers to frame scales of pay for their officers keeping always in their view the poverty and the consequent low taxable capacity of the people.

4. Income and Expenditure:-
It is to be borne in mind that there is possibility of a fall under the head Land Revenue owing to recent unprecedented floods, A part of the Income-tax under section 138 of the Government of India Act has been declared to be distributed among the provinces under conditions which are not possible to be fulfilled immediately. There is therefore, no hope at present to get 2 per cent of the proceeds of the income tax which has been decided to be our share from the Central Revenues.

5. Subvention:-
I have already stated that the Government of India is giving a recurring sum of Rs. 40 lakhs as subvention for our ordinary administrative proposes. On an analysis, it will be seen that it covers two items, namely, first the deficit that this province has to face as a result of the transfer of wide extended partially excluded areas and secondly a part of the overhead charges of the Province. Thus, Odisha got far less central aid than smaller provinces like Sind and North-West Frontier Provinces. Even in the mater of contribution for the construction of the capital Odisha was not given a fair treatment. She got only 42. ½ lakhs which is altogether inadequate for the purpose. I will be failing in my duty if I do not state here that the amounts that we had in deposit with the Government of India on the 31st March 1937 in the account of local bodies, of revenue or judicial deposits or of provident fund accounts, etc., lapsed to the Government of India and we did not receive anything in cash for these amount.

6. Unfairness in distribution of assets:-
Before the actual separation of the outlying tracts of Odisha from Madras, Central Provinces and Bihar, the Government of Bihar and Odisha acted as agent of the Government of Odisha. The Distribution of assets that has been effected by the Government of India. Does not seem to me to be fair. We received nothing from the huge opening balance, accumulations of Famine Relief Fund, rolling stock in P.W.D Workshops as also from the departments of industries and allied departments of the Government of Madras and of Bihar and Odisha. We have seen how the Central Government have liberally contributed for the inauguration of the new capital, High Court, University, and a number of other institutions in Bihar while Odisha was given a separate existence with a hand-to- mouth living with the right to claim admission of her students in the above institutions on proportionate contribution, although the institutions were constructed, equipped and maintained out of the joint revenues of Bihar and Odisha. We have thus to pay heavy contributions for such admissions having no money left to start like institutions of our own. It is therefore necessary that the whole question should be re-opened and justice be done.

7. Opening and closing balance:-
It has already been shown in paragraph 3 under the head of Receipts and Charges that the closing balance of 1936-37 though shown as Rs. 3.55 lakhs is, in fact a deficit balance by Rs. 4,000. the opening balance is shown as Rs. 12.55 lakhs. This does not represent the surplus money that we have no handout of the savings under normal expenditure during the year 1936-37. on as analysis it will be seen that it includes three different items which have nothing to do with the normal revenues of this Province :-Rs.

(1) Closing balance of last year, i.e., for 1936-37. 3.55 lakhs
(2) Grant by the Government of India on the 1st April 1937 to be 5.00 lakhs
Kept in Reserve Bank as the minimum balance necessary to enable Odisha to carry on its bank transactions.
(3) Cash balance in the treasuries of the six districts on the 1st April 4.00 lakhs
                             1937 to enable the Government to carry on its transactions.
                             Total … 12.55 lakhs
The sum of RS. 12.55 lakhs includes items which are not meant for normal expenditure.

8. Famine Relief Fund: –
The Central Government were responsible for the famine relief work in India before 1919. Under the Montford Reforms, this responsibility devolved upon the provinces under the Devolution Rules. Provincial Famine Relief funds were created under this rule with fixed annual contributions from their own revenues to be made to this fund. A similar fund has been created now for Odisha under the Famine Relief fund Regulation of 1937 and we have to contribute annually 1.25 lakhs of rupees towards this fund if it falls below Rs. 10 lakhs. We got no share of the huge accumulated balances of the Famine Relief funds of Madras and Bihar and Odisha. We were given only Rs.10 lakhs by the Government of India for this fund. Northern Odisha, as we have already seen, is often subject to the havocs of severe floods while Southern Odisha is open to periodic famines. The government of Madras in one year had to spend Rs. 38 lakhs for relief of famine in a portion of Ganjam district in 1918. Sind has got a Famine Relief Fund of Rs. 12 lakhs with less than half the population of Odisha and protected by the huge reservoir like Sukur Barrage. It is difficult to conceive how Odisha can manage with this small amount of Rs. 10 lakhs unless permanent remedies are devised to prevent floods in Odisha.

9. Distress caused by flood: –
We are in the grips of an unprecedented flood which has caused severe havoc in the districts of Puri, Cuttack and Sambalpur causing breaches to roads and embankments, casting sand on huge acreage of land and rendering thousands of people utterly destitute and homeless. The floods in 1896 had 67 breaches while the recent floods have caused 80 breaches, both big and small, in roads and embankments. The total loss of lives of cattle and property and crops have not been fully ascertained. The wonder of it is while there was very little rain in Odisha severe rain in Central. Provinces have brought about this unprecedented calamity which has upset the Budget and has compelled us to call for public contribution for relief and also to fall back upon small Famine Relief Fund. Necessary doles and relief measures are being undertaken by the Government with the full co-operation of the Congress Committees and also other non official relief parties who have been working under the guidance of the Congress volunteers. Free grant of timber in certain areas has been ordered to be given as also contribution of money for house construction. District Officers have been instructed to give takavi loans and to make free distribution of seeds as far as possible. Government is examining the extent to which remission and suspension of revenues and rent will be found necessary in those affected areas. Such relief measures, however good they might be, could not relieve distress and anxieties of the people unless the flood problem, as recommended by the Odisha Flood Committee, is faced once for all and solved. It is impossible to face the flood problem without incurring enormous expenditure. The Bihar and Odisha Government have done very little to give effect to the report of the Flood Committee for nine long years but we cannot afford to remain so inactive. For, to ignore it, is to invite death to the nation. Even a moderate estimate of the money required to give effect to the recommendations of the Odisha Flood Committee is about Rs. 50 lakhs, We, therefore, propose to approach the Government of India for their aid.

For the present it is proposed to take the following measures immediately as a necessary preliminary to permanent measures:-
               (a) Setting up a machinery for quicker transmission of news from the affected parts to the various headquarters during high floods.
               (b) Appointment of a Special Officer to investigate into the question of raising special crops in the affected areas which is calculated to resist floods and thus minimize thereof.
               (c) Appointment of a Special Officer to go into the question of floods and prepare a full and exhaustive report on floods.
               (d) To appoint an expert Committee to give effect to the recommendations of the Odisha Flood Committee and also to introduce such legislation as may be found necessary.

10. Excluded areas:-
Odisha has got over 20000 square miles of her area partially excluded from normal administration with a population of 2670000. This works out more than 60 per cent of the entire area of the province. No other province has such is not supplemented by any central subvention. The needs of these areas are like those of a growing child. More than two-thirds of the area was under the Government of Madras which had a remission of provincial contribution for these areas during the Montford Reforms under the Meston Award. Strictly speaking the cost of administration and development of these undeveloped areas ought to be a charge on the Central Finance. Simon Commission after examining the heavy expenses that the Government of India were incurring in the provinces of Ajmer and Coorg and Merwara kept directly under it, recommended that these excluded and partially-excluded areas hereafter be administered by the provincial Governments in the interest of cheap and efficient administration. Education, medical relief, public health and communication are the greatest wants of these areas. There is also ample scope for industrial and agricultural development in them. Some special scholarships have been proposed to be given with a view to encourage education among the hill-tribes, and other backward communities and Harijans. We have issued instructions to heads of departments to give preference to these communities while recruiting menia’s and officia’s in the partially-excluded areas we are entitled to claim at least proportionately half the money that Government of India have been contributing for the minor administrations kept directly under their charge.

11. Irrigation:-
Time has come when the water-courses of the Province should be harnessed to the best advantage of the people. The State should have full control over the water-courses either with a view to prevent floods or to co-ordinate irrigation resources and activities. Necessary legislation will have to be taken in this behalf without much loss of time. Government proposes also to have a special project section to examine the possibilities of extension of irrigation and in particular, the possibilities of diverting the waters of the Mahanadi river through Daspalla State to the Bora river in the Ganjam Agency and utilize it for the purpose of irrigation in the Ganjam district. This, I expect, will mitigate, to a great extent, rigours of flood in this Province. Added to this, the possibilities of other productive irrigation works throughout the Province will also be ascertained. Then again the practicability of constituting irrigation panchayats will be taken up to rouse a deep sense of corporate responsibility among the people. The Minister is also considering the question of high rates of water-cess in the Odisha Canal system-a subject which has considerably agitated the public mind.

12. Agriculture and forests:-
It is an admitted fact that our Province is far behind all other provinces in point of industrialization. Necessarily, people have to depend on lands; Pressure of population and the problem of unemployment have brought about undue competition. These facts afforded opportunities to landholders to fix high rates of rent which are most uneconomic and detrimental both to the interest of the landholder and the peasants. The Ministry is concerting measures to remove those inequities and disabilities. We have on hand three amending Bills-two on the Madras Estates Land Act, and one on the Odisha Tenancy Act. These will be taken up immediately pending investigation of the possibilities of a uniform tenancy law throughout the Province.

Remission of Land revenue.- The raiyatwari holders of land in South Odisha have been adversely affected by the fall in prices. The Government of Madras followed a policy of remission of rents to mitigate the hardships. Our Government have decided to follow the same policy for this year and are instructing their officials to give a remission of 1 ½ annas in the rupee ." They have also considered the question of the peasants’ difficulty to pay rents before the harvesting season. We have, therefore, decided to change the ‘ dates of Kist – Bandy so as to begin the collection of rent in January instead of the 10th December every year.

Action is being taken to start small demonstration farms in higher elementary schools and middle English Schools. Kamdars are endeavouring to introduce improved methods of cultivation and to help these schools in demonstrating not only commercial crops but also rotation and variety of crops. It is further proposed to take up propaganda work with free distribution of literature to impress these methods on the peasantry and to induce them to adopt scientific methods of cultivation.

Forest. – Forest is the hand – maid of agriculture, and its progress is enhanced by co-ordinating the activities of the forest. Though there are huge areas of undeveloped tracts, We have a very small extent of Government forests. The Ministry is considering the question of making the forest remunerative as also the possibility or otherwise of reducing grazing fees and increasing the number of free forest permits.

13. Education.:–
The primary, middle and secondary education of the Province have to be reorganized to develop the highest and the best in the nation. We must consider these to be the various steps leading to that great hall of learning and knowledge ordinarily styled as University. I do realize the necessity for a University of our own a University free from external domination and calculated to develop the fullest freedom of thought and culture. We are now under two different Universities, namely, the Andhra and the Patna Universities, differing in form, in curriculum and also with different ideals. It is difficult to continue longer under two such Universities. We have decided to depute three gentlemen of merit in our Province to go and study the conditions in certain Universities in India like Bolepur, Chidambaram and Gurukula to evolve a scheme that would suit the needs of the people in Odisha.

We have decided to deprovincialize the zila schools and decentralize education as a whole. A committee will very soon be appointed to advise Government not only on the question of deprovincialization of zila schools but on the reorganization of the whole secondary education. The savings that will be effected from the contemplated system of deprovincialization of zila schools will be utilized in putting secondary education on a sound and satisfactory basis.

It is our earnest desire to encourage higher education among the students of the Harijans, hill tribes and backward communities. We propose to give additional scholarships and stipends to deserving students from among these communities. We are determined to provide schools in villages with a population of 500 and more and with this end in view we have instructed the Director of Public Instruction to collect all necessary information. It is to be admitted that any practical programme of free and compulsory primary education within our limited resources is not possible this year.

14. Co-operative societies.:–
We are under two administrative systems, namely, Madras and Bihar Odisha and our societies and banks are controlled by them. The financial conditions of the two banks in South Odisha are not unsatisfactory, while those of the banks and societies in North Odisha are deplorable. They are till to- day under the provincial Co – operative bank of Bihar. Their accounts were audited by the Bihar and Odisha Co – Operative Federation. They are under the control of the Registrar of Co –operative Societies, Bihar, for which we are asked to pay a contribution of Rs. 2,000 a month. The stage has now reached when the provincial Co-operative bank for Odisha becomes a necessity. Before starting a bank we wanted to take stock of the whole situation and know exactly the conditions of these banks and societies as also their assets and liabilities. With this end in view Government have decided to conduct an enquiry and have secured the services of Diwan Bahadur Devasikhamony Mudaliar, retired Registrar of the Co – operative Societies, madras, and have requested the Government of Bihar also to depute an officer to join the enquiry. The Bank of Bihar claims to have lent to Odisha banks a sum of about Rs. 9 lakhs. My Ministry does not want to make any distinction between the money deposited in Odisha Central banks by private individuals and the money advanced by the Provincial bank of Bihar to our Central banks. Pending report of this committee and having regard to the fact started above; I have ordered suspension of the reorganization scheme of Co-operative ordered suspension of the reorganization scheme of Co- operative credit societies and the clearing off the dues of the Co- operative. Bank of Bihar. Since the Co-operative Banks in North Odisha are not able to discharge their liabilities we thought it unwise to borrow money from Madras guaranteed by the Provincial Government to pay off the dues of the Provincial Bank of Bihar which may ultimately involve this Government in a heavy financial responsibility. In these days of economic depression we are not callous to the acute distress prevailing in the rural areas for want of cheap credit facilities. To relieve this situation it has been decided to introduce a Bill to inaugurate Land Mortgage Banks to secure loans at the cheapest possible rates of interest payable by easy installments spreading over a number of years.

15. Development of cottage industries and Khadi: -
This is one of the effective means of solving the unemployment problem of our country. We are anxious to frame a scheme with minimum expense and have, therefore, addressed Sjt. Kumrappa, Head of the All-India Village Industry Association, to come and advise us in the matter. It is to regretted that the pounding of rice in this Province is being substituted by mill-made rice. Government are anxious to introduce improved pounding machine (Dhenki) so that it may survive competition of mills. To concert measures for marketing officer.

We have also issued definite instructions to the heads of departments to purchase Swadeshi goods and Khadi for the use of Government. We will not hesitate to grant financial or other aids within the means of this Government to indigenous industries. This will receive the earnest attention of the Government as soon as the scheme of reorganization of co-operative societies is effected.

16. Excise:-
Unlike Madras and Bombay, Odisha has a small income from excise. Opium is one of our besetting sins. It is more common than the drink evil. Leases for the sale of drugs and liquor have already been given for the current year. It is not possible at this stage to interfere with their business without payment of heavy compensation. Before introducing prohibition we have to reckon with the Odisha States which surround British Odisha on three sides. They have their own system of excise and their rules and regulations. Hitherto, they are purchasing opium through the Provincial Governments but now they are making their purchases direct from the Central Government. Any scheme of prohibition will necessary involve not only the loss of existing revenue but also will entail a heavy expenditure to maintain an adequate preventive staff far more than what we have at present. Besides, Provincial Governments need the co-operation of the Government of India to stop the import of foreign liquor. In this connection, we will be better benefited by taking a lead from the Governments of Madras and Bombay. But at present we shall concentrate our energy to fight against this opium evil.

17. Harijans: -
I have already made mention of the measures that are being taken to uplift the Harijans and the hill-tribes. It is our earnest desire that these classes, kept backward and depressed, should have their due place in society and make their best contribution to the highest well being of the country. I need not make a special mention here again as to what financial and economic provision we have made in the present Budget for the Harijans by way of stipends, scholarships and grant to hostels and boardings. In the matter of appointment we have also taken steps to provide them with posts in different departments. We have also made provision for them in the matter of water supply, etc. The Joint Select Committee has very rightly remarked that Odisha is the only Province which is free from communal trouble. It is the policy of my Ministry to give due protection to the minorities of the Province, be they Christians, Moslems or other minor communities. We always realize that they are flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone and blood and equally share with us the joys and woes of the Province.

18. Improvement of National Wealth: -
While recurrence of floods and famines saps the vitality of the masses, absentee landlordism and rack-renting combined with the usurious rates of interest of the money-lenders have brought about the ruination of the peasants in this Province. To remove the appalling poverty of the masses and their utter helplessness is an uphill task for any Government. We have decided to face these difficulties by legislation and by reconstruction. I have already given an indication of the legislative programme that the Ministry would take up during current session.

The salt industry which was the mainstay of the country till the close of the 19th century has to be revised so as to enable the people of Odisha to find an additional and cheap source of living. Full effect will also be given to Gandhi Irwin Pact for private manufacture of salt for family consumption. The labours of the late lamented Pandit Gopabandhu Das and the suggestions contained in his famous speech in Bihar and Odisha Legislative Council in 1918 will be utilized to revive the salt industry of this Province. It has to be realized that more remission of taxes will not help the peasantry unless they are freed from the clutches of the money-lenders on the one hand and the oppression of the zamindars on the other to create confidence in their minds that the fruits of their labour are reassured to them. Such a course of action will create a living interest in their land and make them turn "sand into gold".

Conclusion: -
If a budget is in any way an indication of the programme of national reconstruction for the year, I have endeavoured to indicate at some length the general lines of our policy and have given a somewhat detailed account of the programme of work that we have kept before us. Reforms in other departments of our Government, such as freedom and enlargement of activities of local bodies, making them really autonomous… satisfactory jail reforms, control of religious and charitable endowments are also receiving our earnest attention.

We also desire to encourage Ayurveda being a system of medicine at once cheap and popular. The rate at which leprosy is increasing in the land is disquieting. It needs immediate attention and we shall spare no pains to check its growth by all possible methods.

All these activities call for financial commitments. It is very hard to tax the people at a time when there is a cry all over the country to lighten the burden of taxation. We recognize the inequitable distribution of wealth and the consequent grinding poverty of the people. The immediate relief that we thought necessary is to relieve the tenant from the burden of the most uneconomic rate of rent and also the levy of fees and illegal cesses. We have not, therefore, come forward with any proposal of fresh taxation for the current year such as income-tax on landed incomes-a tax that would mainly hit the landed aristocracy. Let us hope that they will respond and reciprocate these feelings and co-operate with us in giving just relief to the tenants so as to create in them a sense of security and contentment.

Congress has accepted office neither for emoluments nor for power. Its one desire is to work its constructive programme to uplift the economic conditions of the masses. The well being of the masses is our immediate objective. Council entry and office acceptances are only additional means to win the fight for freedom. We hope that the officials, both Indian and European, will realize this and adjust themselves to the changed conditions and outlook in India and take their due place as efficient and useful servants of the people.

I wish to record my feelings of high appreciation for the co-operation I have received from the staff, the Secretaries and specially the Finance Secretary with whose activities I am closely associated as the Minister in charge of the Finance Department.

Let us pray to God to give us strength and wisdom to act and remain true to the vision we have in view.

With these remarks, I present the Budget for the year 1937-38.





                                                                      FIRST ASSEMBLY QUESTION WITH ANSWER
                                                                                     Dated the 30th August, 1937

TEMPORARY FAIR WEATHER ROAD ACROSS THE KATHJORI.

1. Babu GODAVARIS MISHRA : Will the Government be pleased to state -
            (a) Whether it is a fact that the temporary fair weather road across the Kathjori is sold by auction or leased out annually and, if so, for what amount;
            (b) the amount of money received on this account during each of the last five years ;
            (c) whether any information is taken as to the extent of traffic passing along the road and the gross receipts of the lease on that account ;
            (d) the rates at which different items of traffic are charged ; and
            (e) whether Government considered the advisability of itself managing the road instead of following the existing practice and whether by such a step the public using the road would be benefited, and if so, to what extent ?

The Hon'ble Mr. NITYANANDA KANUNGO : (a) This Department neither sells the fair weather road across the Kathjori nor leases it out annually.
(b), (c) and (d) Do not arise.
(e) The reply is in the negative.

Maulavi MUHAMMAD LATIFUR RAHMAN : Is the land on which this road runs private land ?

The Hon'ble Mr. NITYANANDA KANUNGO : Yes, the land on which the road runs is private land.

Maulavi MUHAMMAD LATIFUR RAHMAN : Is the Government thinking about the acquirement of this land ?

The Hon'ble Mr. NITYANANDA KANUNGO : I require notice.











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