Tribal rights body against proposed stripping of power from DC

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Imphal, Oct 30 (NNN): Movement for Tribal People’s Rights Manipur (MTPRM) has strongly lashed out against the State government for alleged stripping the power of deputy commissioners and DRDA chairmen with regards to centrally sponsored schemes under Multi Sectoral Development Programmes (MSDP) and has asked for the order to be reverted forthwith for the interest of the hill districts of Manipur.

‘MTPRM vehemently opposed the standing order of the State Government of Manipur entrusting the works relating to the schemes under Multi-Sectoral Development Programmes (MSDP) by divesting the same from the DCs/DRDA chairmen,’ the tribal rights group said.

The order empowering supervision of works under MSDP to Manipur Minorities and Other Backward Classes Economic Development Society (MOBEDS) for Ukhrul, Chandel and Thoubal districts and to Manipur Development Society (MDS) for Senapati, Tamenglong and Churachandpur districts is a ‘direct challenge to the principle of ‘decentralization’ policy of the Central Government’, MTPRM said.

The tribal rights body accused the State Government of ‘undermining the office of DCs/DRDA chairmen’ and overtly attempting to ‘minimize the powers and functions of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

It further outlined that earlier all the centrally sponsored schemes are implemented through the DRDAs of each districts including MSDP schemes of 2008-09. And under the ‘decentralization’ policy following the successful conduct of ADC elections recently, the powers and functions of DRDA was to be transposed to the ADCs. ‘The recent order of State Government of Manipur dated 6th Oct 2010 entrusting the MSDP Schemes of the hill districts to a society like Minority and Other Backward Classes Economic Development Society (MOBEDS) and Manipur Development Society (MDS) is a direct threat towards the District Administration in Hill Districts,’ it alleged.

With the presence of appropriate implementing agency like DRDA in the districts, it questioned the State Government if there is the need to rope in ”private-like’ firms which functions in Imphal clandestinely for the benefit of some individuals?’ and charged the government’s motive to ‘siphon-off the funds’ in Imphal in the pretext of percentage cuts, resulting in less then 40% of the funds being utilized for the implementation. It probed, ‘Whether MOBEDS and MDS are the construction firms of the State Government of Manipur?’

Invoking the recent visit of Union Home Secretary GK Pillai who advanced the spirit of decentralization, MTPRM accused the State Government of ‘undermining the very words of the Union Home Secretary and has deliberately distorted the principle of decentralization of powers’┬Žand has become the ringleader in suppressing the administration in the hills against the Tribals’┬Žand has also knowingly drawn a communal card bringing a divide between the valley and the hill.’

The tribal rights body general secretary TH Lupheng ‘condemns the recent order of the State Government which undermines the functioning of the District Administration and appraise the authority to retract the order in the interest of the hill districts.’

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