Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Finance Commission
04-June-2019 15:04 IST
Finance Commission hold meeting with representatives of Autonomous Development Councils (ADCs) of Meghalaya

The 15th Finance Commission headed by its Chairman, Shri N.K. Singh as part of its visit to the State of Meghalaya today held a meeting with the representatives of the Autonomous Development Councils of Meghalaya.

       The Commission was informed that:

· There are 3 Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Meghalaya namely the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.

· Except for a small part of the area under the Shillong Municipality, the entire state is covered by the District Councils.

· Term of the District Councils is for five years from the date of their constitution.

· Last elections to the ADCs were held in February, 2014.

· The autonomous district council is governed by an Executive Committee.

· 243M (1) of the Indian constitution made special provision that nothing in the part IX of the constitutions (provisions for creating Panchayat) shall apply to the Scheduled Areas referred to in clause (1), and the tribal areas referred to in clause (2), of the Article 244. The Sixth Schedule makes provision that these tribal areas will be autonomous districts and be governed by Autonomous District Councils

The functions of ADCs as defined in schedule 6 of the constitution included making laws on land, management of forests, except reserved forests, appointment of traditional chiefs and headmen, inheritance of property, marriage, divorce, social customs, to administer justice and make rules regulating the constitution of village courts and their powers, to undertake development works like establishment and constructions of markets, fisheries, roads, waterways and to make regulations on trading by persons not being local schedule tribe

The main Revenue Sources of ADCs as specified by Paragraph 8 of the Sixth Schedule were:

a) taxes on professions, trades, callings and employment;

b) taxes on animal, vehicles and boats;

c) taxes on the entry of goods into a market and sale therein, and tolls on passenger and goods carried on ferries; and

d) taxes for the maintenance of school, dispensaries or roads.

The Commission was also informed that –

· Royalty is collected by the State Government and is shared between the District Councils and the State Government in the ratio of 25:75 in respect of coal. Share of royalty in respect of other major and minor minerals is in the ratio of 60:40 between the District Councils and the State Government.

· The revenue collected is barely sufficient to carry out their day to day administrative activities and primary duties as envisaged in the sixth schedule leaving virtually no funds for development work. (State Memorandum)

· The Fourteenth Finance Commission did not make award for ADCs stating that provisions of Part IX and IXA of the Constitution do not apply to the State of Meghalaya.

· SFC has never been constituted in Meghalaya.

The Commission assured to look into all these matters before making its final recommendations.