The office of the Development Commissioner for Hill Areas of Assam is the Commissionerate under the Hill Areas Department. The Commissionerate allocates funds primarily to Autonomous Councils of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills (since renamed as Dima Hasao) under State Own Priority Development (SOPD) after getting the total quantum of the fund from the Finance Department. It is the co-ordinating, monitoring and evaluation agency for the developmental schemes implemented by both the Autonomous Councils. This office also complies the physical and financial progress report of the entrusted and non-entrusted schemes of all sectors and furnish the same to the Niti Aayog and T & D Department. The Commissionerate also co-ordinate with T & D Department as well as Niti Aayog on various developmental issues. Both the hill districts are administered subject to the special provision of the Sixth Schedule (Part-I) to the Constitution of India which confers certain measures of autonomy. Both the Autonomous Council is democratic decentralized institution with participation of people at the grass root level. Planning and implementation of various schemes are being undertaken by the Autonomous Councils.
These hill areas are administered subject to the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India which confer a certain measure of autonomy on these areas. As suggested by the then Chief Minister Shri B.P. Chaliha, the Joint Centre-State Study Team was constituted in 1965 by the Planning Commission to study the development programmes of the Hill Areas of Assam. The team was headed by Shri Tarlok Singh, the then Member, Planning Commission, which later became known as Tarlok Singh Committee. Shri Singh suggested to “ (1) Constitute a Planning Board for the Assam Hill Region which should be presided over by the Chief Minister and (2) to appoint a Development Commissioner for the Assam Hill Region who would also function as Secretary to Planning Board for the region”. Accordingly the Office of the Development Commissioner for Hill Areas was created in 1966 mainly to promote the developmental works in the Hill Areas of Assam more or less in the same line as that of the Planning and Development Department (P&D Department) for the plains areas of the state as indicated by Finance Department, Govt. of Assam.
It may be mentioned that earlier P&D Department was allocating sectoral allocation under Plan Schemes to its department, including Hill Areas till 2016-17. This practice is discontinued forthwith as the Plan and Non Plan are being merged from 2017-18 onwards. Instead Finance Department based on assessment made and communicated by P&D Department has now made the sectoral allocation for both the Autonomous Councils of Karbi Anglong and N C Hills which is now onwards called as State Funding for Priority Development (SFPD) in 2017-18. The SFPD allocation includes State Own Priority Development (SOPD) previously called as State Plan Schemes, Central Share and corresponding State Share of CSS and under Government of India Schemes, such as NLCPR, NEC, EAP and RIDF. Both the Autonomous Councils are instructed to make grant wise budget proposal based on the indicated sectoral allocation and for submission the same to include in the State Budget.