Tripura ADC wants financial autonomy before raising the strength of council
Agartala/UNI: As Tripura assembly unanimously passed a resolution to increase the number of seat of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) from the existing 28 to 50, left front ruled ADC asked for financial autonomy and proportionate devolution of share of taxes before increasing the seats.
Taking part in the consultation meeting at Guwahati over 125th amendment bill of 6th schedule of the constitution on January 20 last, Tripura ADC's executive member (education) Rajendra Reang demanded proportional increase in share of taxes in terms of population and poverty level and inclusion of dialect of Tripura tribes Kokborok in the 8th schedule of the Constitution.
He asked for devolution of 50 percent of GST fund allocated to states to ADC towards the step for financial empowerment.
He argued that ADCs of northeast have always been plagued by resource crunch in implementing development works.
“ADCs should be either funded directly by the Centre or there should be a provision for earmarking the allocation of funds and their passage to ADC. The ADCs are facing serious financial constraints and there is practically no autonomy of the elected council, as the state government did not provide the fund on time and most of the cases a large amount of allocations do not reach to the council,” Reang pointed out.
He also reminded the decision of Central government to change the name of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) to Tripura Tribal Area Autonomous Territorial Council (TTATC), and the invocation of Article 280 to press for financial empowerment of ADCs through direct funding by Centre or through 'earmarked' funding so that ADCs can work as viable instrument for tribal development with adequate resources without being perennially short of funds and dependent on the state government.
Reacting to the decision of Tripura assembly seeking increase of seats in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) from existing 28 to 50, he said, “Merely increasing the number of elective seats of ADC will not solve any problem. What is needed is provision for better financial provisions; besides, the offices of all departments of state government falling under the ADC must be handed over.”
He underlined that there are 587 elected village committees under the ADC and all of them must be sufficiently financially empowered to implement development and poverty-alleviation schemes at the grassroot level.
Almost all the tribal parties and stakeholders had taken part in the meeting and discussed on the proposed amendments in presence of members of the parliamentary standing committee of Ministry of Home headed by Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma.
In January last year, the Union cabinet had approved the amendment of Article 280 and schedule VI of the Constitution to empower ten autonomous district councils of Tripura, Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya following the demand of amendment for more financial and administrative power to ADCs of Northeast.
The proposed amendment of the Constitution would allow the Finance Commission to recommend the devolution of financial resources to the ADCs as well as the village and urban local bodies of the areas under schedule VI.