Six posts of FOs created
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 28 2010: Government has created six posts of finance officers in the Manipur Finance Service Grade-III especially to strengthen and streamline the working of Hill Autonomous District Councils District Council Administration as the government goes ahead with the devolution of power to the ADCs.

The government move is despite the strong demand of "null and void" to the recently revived Autonomous Districts Councils by UNC and ANSAM.

The current 25-day economic blockade of the national highways is also related with the UNC's demand.

After agreeing to the transfer of powers from as many as 25 departments of the government as part of the devolution of power to the ADCs, the cabinet of the Secular Progressive Front (SPF) government has agreed to hand over 50 percent of the developmental works in the hill areas to the ADCs.

The government has also created six posts of finance officers in Manipur Finance Service Grade-III to strengthen and streamline the administrative work on the councils, official sources said today.

The posts have been created by amending the Manipur Finance Service Rules, 1998 considering the urgent need to revamp the finance and accounts set up in these six hill districts (including the Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council), it added.

"To achieve this end and further to strengthen and streamline the working of district council administration, finance officers belonging to Manipur Finance Service Grade-III officers are required to be posted in these six district councils," it says.

Cabinet of the SPF ministry had given approval to the creation of the six additional posts and the financial implication for creation of these six posts has been worked out at Rs 17,14,320 per annum (at the rate of Rs 23,810 to each officer) under the revised pay bands of the government, the source disclosed.

The cabinet had also agreed in principle to the transfer of one of the two finance officers in the Tribal Development Department to the newly proposed Directorate of Hills retaining only one, the source added.

Government of Manipur had already agreed to the devolution of 50 percent of the developmental works in the hill areas of the state to the ADCs with a view to empower and enhance the functioning of the ADCs as assured by the Secular Progressive Front government on various occasions.

The Cabinet had already given approval to the appointment of Chairmen of the respective ADCs.

They will also be Chairmen of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) implementing the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Programme (MGNREGS).

Till date the DCs, were discharging the duties of chairmen of DRDAs.

Government has also identified 25 departments which would transfer power and works to the ADCs and asked each department to work out a modality of sharing works and power with the council and to notify it at the earliest.

Some of the departments which would devolve power and works include agriculture, art and culture, adult education, co-operation, education (s), finance, fishery, forest, health and family welfare, horticulture, industries, science and technology, transport, tribal development, veterinary, water supply, youth affairs and sports, etc.

For the Minor Irrigation Department, no power will be transferred to the ADCs.

Otherwise each department has been asked to issue an office memoranda regarding devolution of powers to the ADC.

It is pertinent to mention here that the United Naga Council (UNC) and All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) has been demanding "null and void" of the ADC elections alleging that some of the provisions of the Act on which the ADCs were constituted, Manipur (Hills) District Council Act 2008 hurt the interests of the tribals in Manipur.

Meanwhile, the extended 25-day economic blockade on NH 39 and NH 53 which commenced from August 25 after the end of a 20-day blockade has entered the fourth day.