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KHADC urged to raise MDC grant to Rs 1.5 crore
SHILLONG: Financial affairs in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) cropped up again as the Congress MDCs requested the Chief Executive Member (CEM) Teiñwell Dkhar to enhance the grant to MDCs to Rs 1.5 crore from Rs 50 lakhs each.
The Congress MDCs submitted a letter to the Dkhar regarding the grants provided by the Center under the Special Assistance Scheme in which a grant of Rs 52 crore is distributed by the District Council amongst the MDCs at the rate of Rs 50 lakhs each.
The Congress MDCs who are in the opposition in the KHADC have requested the CEM and the EC that each MDC be allotted a sum of Rs 1.5 crore.
Leader of Opposition in the KHADC and Congress MDC Lamphrang Blah on Wednesday expressed concern over the allotment of only Rs 50 lakh by the Executive Committee (EC) of the KHADC for each MDC.
The Central government has sanctioned is Rs 52 crore out of which Rs 34 crore was received by the District Council. According to the Congress MDCs, out of the Rs 52 crore amount sanctioned of by the Center, the MDCs should get Rs 1.5 crore.
Citing that they have a responsibility towards the welfare of their constituents since many of them come from rural constituency, the Congress MDCs have decided to request for hike in the allotment of the central grant.
Expressing disagreement to the decision of the EC to allot Rs 50 lakh, Blah said they had asked the EC to review the matter. Dkhar informed them that it was a collective decision and will look into it.
Similarly, spokesperson of Congress Parliamentary Party, Ronnie Lyngdoh said, “Though the CEM said it was a collective decision, yet some of the UDA (United Democratic Alliance) members are also unaware about the decision. So even in the ruling party, there are some who are oblivious to the decision of the EC.”
“Only a few took the decision,” he remarked.
Lyngdoh said for utilisation of the fund, there has to be District Council level committee headed by the CEM or any other competent and comprising members of the District Council and departmental heads.
He said, “The District Council level committee has also not been constituted. The committee will recommend to the EC for approving schemes.”
Guidelines flouted; will write to NITI Aayog
The Congress MDCs also asserted that the guidelines of the NITI Aayog had been violated by pointing to the construction of a resort at Kalong Bridge, Umiam for tourism purposes as it does not fall within the purview of the guidelines.
Lyngdoh said the guidelines provided that the grants were intended to be used to support and strengthen the delivery of basic civic services including water supply, sanitation, storm water drainage, maintenance of community assets, roads, footpaths, street lighting, burial and cremation grounds and subjects as assigned by the concerned state government through legislation.
“Any project the district council is undertaking which is outside the purview of the guideline has already violated the guideline of the NITI,” he said.
The Congress MDCs have decided to write to the NITI Aayog pointing out that the guidelines have been flouted.