KHADC threatens govt over clearance of grants

Shillong, April 23: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) today threatened the state government against any further delay in the release of Rs 20 crore from the tied grant sanctioned by the 15th Finance Commission.
This comes in the wake of a UDA-led Executive Committee today during which it was decided that Chief Executive Member Titosstarwell Chyne will meet Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday next to seek his intervention in the matter.
Earlier, the 15th Finance Commission had sanctioned a total of Rs 192 crore for the three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) for the year 2019-20. Of this, Rs 91 crore (Rs 45.5 crore for tied grants and Rs 45.5 crore for untied grants) was sanctioned for KHADC as the first instalment. So far, the state government has released only 50 percent of the tied grants for implementation of sanitation, water resources and drinking water supply projects.
Talking to the reporters here today, Chyne said that the EC has unanimously decided to meet the Chief Minister on Monday to discuss the matter for the last time.
“If the state government continues to delay the process, the EC will have to call all the MDCs for discussion (and take a collective decision on the issue),”he said.
Chyne said the state government has failed to submit the grant transaction certificate to the ministry concerned.
“This has largely affected the Council as it could get the second instalment, which was supposed to be released by the 15th FC in March due to the non-submission of the grant transaction certificate,” he said.
On the other hand, the KHADC chief said that if required, the Council would also coordinate with the other two ADCs – GHADC and JHADC for taking up the matter jointly with the government.
Chyne said that the KHADC will continue to oppose the move of the state government to allow the PHE department to implement the tied grants sanctioned for the ADCs.
“We have earlier met the Chief Minister once and he had assured to call us again for discussion but that did not happen till date. During our meeting, the Chief Minister had stated there are separate guidelines from the Ministry that this fund should be implemented by the PHE department but in the sanction letter we have received, there was no mentioning that it will be implemented by the PHE but it did say that we should implement the scheme as per its objective which is for sanitation, water resources and drinking water supply,” he said.
Chyne said the council will be meeting soon to decide on the next course of action.