Fund crunch to hit state in coming months

Govt pins hope on 15th Finance Commission

SHILLONG: The state government is eager to get assistance from the 15th Finance Commission to tide over the financial crisis.
With December approaching , there will be additional burden on the state government for releasing pending amount as part of the third and last installment of 30 per cent arrears as per the 5th pay commission award.
In the previous two years, the government had released 40 per cent each arrears.
In addition, the government will have to release the salaries of the employees for December much in advance on account of Christmas.
An official said that the ban on coal mining in 2014 has also affected the revenue of the state as the loss is around Rs 700 crore every year.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met the chairman of the Commission, Nand Kishore Singh, for the third time in New Delhi seeking early release of funds.
Sources said during the recent visit to Delhi, the chief minister urged the Finance panel chairman to look into the various needs of the state.
Earlier in July this year, the chief minister had met him in Delhi submitting a supplementary memorandum seeking Rs 4,340 crore.
This was in addition to the demand of the government for Rs 82,815 crore when the panel visited Shillong in June this year.
Sources said that the Finance panel may submit its report to the Centre in December and the release of funds is expected early next year.
According to sources, the order of the finance department taking away the powers of department heads to utilise funds will continue due to shortage of money.
As per the order, the department heads will have to take prior approval from the finance department before releasing funds for all expenditures.
The purpose is to enable the finance department to effectively monitor the expenditure of the state.
Earlier, the department heads were empowered to release funds under the Meghalaya Delegation of Financial Power (DFP) Rules 2006.

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