On June 4, 2019, 15th Finance Commission headed by the Chairman Shri N.K. Singh held meeting with the representatives of Autonomous Development Councils (ADCs) of Meghalaya as part of its visit to the State. There are 3 ADCs in Meghalaya namely the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.
- The Commission was informed that the entire state is covered by the District Councils, except for a small part of the area which is under the Shillong Municipality.
- Term of the District Councils is 5 years and the last elections to the ADCs were held in February, 2014.
- The autonomous district councils are 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.
- Royalty collected by the State Government was 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 was in the ratio of 60:40 between the District Councils and the State Government.
- The revenue was barely sufficient to carry out their day to day administrative activities and primary duties. There were no funds for development work.
- Meghalaya sought Rs 82,815 crore for five years from the 15th Finance Commission.
- The requirements projected by the Meghalaya government include Rs 62,870 crore for pre-devolution revenue gap, Rs 15,609 crore for grants-in-aid for intervention in critical sectors, Rs 300 crore for grants-in-aid for State Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Rs 2,469 for grants-in-aid for upgradation of standard administration Grants-in-aid for and Rs 1,567 crore for local bodies.
- The Commission assured to look into all the matters of the state. It has to review the debt level of the centre and states, and recommend a roadmap; study the impact of GST on the economy; and recommend performance-based incentives for states based on their efforts to control population, promote ease of doing business, and control expenditure on populist measures, among others.
♦ Chief Minister: Conrad Kongkal Sangma
♦ Governor: Tathagata Roy
♦ National Parks:Balphakram National Park, Nokrek Ridge National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Baghmara Pitcher Plant Wildlife Sanctuary, Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary