OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, April 8: Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Nihal Chand Meghwal promised to extend all possible help to the cash strap Autonomous District Councils (ADCS) in Meghalaya. The Union Minister made it known about the Union Government readiness to assist the ADCs, and it came at came at a time when the three district councils are crying foul on the failure of the union government to sanction the grant-in-aid under the 14th fince commission.
Meghwal had a meeting with the members of the District Council (MDCs) at Hotel Pine Wood , Shillong on Wednesday night where they deliberated on the funding patterns, empowerment of the ADCs as well as the involvement of more women in the grass roots institutions (Village councils).
Speaking to newsmen, the Union minister of state said, “although there is no panchayati raj system in the state, the government viewed the District Councils at the same level and I am here to review their functioning, to strengthen and to ensure better outreach programmes meant for development”.
To a question that the NDA government has any plan to abolish the autonomous district councils in Meghalaya especially when the 14th Fince Commission has not recommended to the Central government to provide fund to the district councils, the Union minister said, “We would not like to abolish the district councils. This issue is a state subject and I have come here to discuss the issue related to development.”
Meghalaya has three councils - Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) and Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
Making it clear that there will be no dearth of funds for the Autonomous district councils and territorial councils in the North east, the minister said, “the Prime Minister has increased the funding from 32 per cent to 42 percent and the states in the Northeast will get around Rs 4,500 crore,”.
He however did not elaborate about the Rs 4,500 crore that Meghalaya would be benefitted.
The Minister who arrived in Shillong on Wednesday will leave for Sikkim on Thursday to hold similar review meetings.