Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Titosstarwell Chyne, today said that there is a “technical problem” related to the funds earmarked by the 15th Finance Commission for the district councils, which has prevented their release by the State government.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Chyne said that in the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission there is a clause which states, “…any other condition which the Ministry of Jal Shakti may deem fit in connection with the stated objective of the tied grant”.
Yesterday, the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in the KHADC hit out at the State government for failing to release the funds earmarked for the council.
The UDF alleged that out of the Rs 182 crore earmarked for 2021, Rs 91 crore has already been received by the KHADC. The second half has yet to be released. Of the Rs 91 crore, Rs 45.50 crore is the basic grant (untied) and 45.50 crore is the tied grant. Of the tied grant, the amount will also be shared with the Jaiñtia and Garo councils (JHADC and GHADC). The grant is for the implementation of sanitation and drinking water schemes.
The CEM said that the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission is not clear on who will implement the scheme.
The opposition has lashed out at the ruling dispensation in the KHADC, stating that implementation of the scheme by the Public Health Engineering Department of the state government undermines the functions of the autonomous district councils.
Chyne informed there will be a joint meeting between the district council, joint director of the Jal Jeevan Mission and Finance Department to sort out the issue next week.
The CEM informed that the Chief Minister has given an assurance to find out ways and means that the tied grant from the 15th Finance Commission will be implemented by the district councils.