CM urged to speed-up devolution of power to ADCs
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 16 2010: A team of Manipur Legislative Assembly's Hill Areas Committee (HAC) led by its Chairman Thangminlien Kipgen called on the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh to demand expeditious devolution of power to the respective Autonomous District Councils.

Accompanied by the Committee Vice Chairman, Khangthuanang Panmei, who is also the Chairman of Hill Areas Sub Committee, and other Committee members, Thangminlien reportedly highlighted to the CM that 25 departments have been enlisted in the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act 1971 .

Speaking to some newspersons after coming out of the CM's official residence, Khangthuanang Panmei said a State Cabinet meeting held on August 26 this year had resolved to devolve power of the 25 Departments to the ADCs for which the matter was referred to the HAC.

Further stating that the Cabinet decision was deliberated upon by the HAC which consequently formed a HAC Sub Committee with himself as the Chairman, Khangthuanang said he had toured some States of the North East region for a detailed information regarding power and functions of existing District Councils.

Informing that spot study report of the HAC Sub Committee was put forth to the HAC which minutely scrutinised the report for four days from October 11 onwards and recommended to the Govt for translating the HAC report into action, the Committee Vice Chairman conveyed that the recommendations were based on the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act 1971 .

He further explained that the recommendations included appointment of staff in adequate strength to ensure smooth functioning of the ADCs, provision of movable and immoveable properties, setting up of relevant offices/institutions, and financial liabilities such staff salary, allowances and office expenditure.

Maintaining that in Assam and Tripura, post of Chief executive Officer of a District Council is held by no less than an IAS officer at the level of Principal Secretary, Khangthuanang informed that when similar proposal was made, the Chief Minister assured necessary amendment of rule for appointment of an IAS officer as the CEO.

Apart from recommendation for devolution of powers pertaining to the executive, finance and administration, the HAC delegation also insisted that the ADCs be provided power of 26 departments at a time, said the Tamenglong AC MLA who added that the CM was also urged to empower the ADCs on the education sector.

On his part the CM is informed to have assured that the HAC recommendations would be placed and discussed by the State Cabinet at the earliest to ensure egalitarian development of both the hills and valley areas.

Khangthuanang expressed is view that the focus should be on the education sector, development of horticulture and forest management.