State Govt constitutes finance commission

Panel to examine transfer of resources, funds to local governing bodies, autonomous district councils

Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council CEM Adelbert Nongrum reaches out to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma following their meeting on Thursday. (UB)

SHILLONG: In what could be termed as good news for the three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and local bodies, the State Government has constituted the State Finance Commission to further empower them, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said on Thursday.
According to the Chief Minister the Commission has been tasked with the job of examining the resources which are required to be transferred to the various local bodies including the ADCs and the municipalities.
“We are also adopting various other mechanisms to speed up the process of fund release to the ADCs,” the Chief Minister said, adding that this was a reflection of the government’s commitment towards empowering the local bodies.
The State government’s move comes in the wake of demands made by the KHADC to the government to speed up the release of shares from the royalty collected from major and minor minerals to the Council, with detailed statements of the actual collection.
Incidentally, the Chief Minister also informed that the State government will knock the Centre on the issue of zero allocation of funds by the 14th Finance Commission to the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the State.
The Chief Minister praised the recommendation of the Finance Commission that the Union government should consider transfer of resources to the ADCs directly and more judiciously.
“I feel that the recommendations made by the panel is befitting to the requirement of the ADCs,” he said.   According to the Chief Minister, this recommendation will provide an opportunity to the State government to convince and prevail upon the Centre to transfer more funds to strengthen the ADCs.
Earlier, KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum had informed the government that on perusal of the report of the 14th Finance Commission it transpired that the ADCs were left out of the purview of the recommendations.
“This has put the ADCs in a dilemma considering its constitutional obligation and responsibilities towards raising the level of administration within the ADC itself,” Nongrum said during his meeting with the Chief Minister on Thursday.
The KHADC chief also informed that the Executive Committee will meet soon to decide on constituting a joint force of the ADCs in the Northeastern region to pursue the non-allocation of funds to the ADCs with the Centre.