BHUBANESWAR: As the State Government has committed to transfer Rs 12,792.77 crore to local bodies during 2015-20, the Finance Department has been asked to assess the fund utilisation capacity of local self-Governments.
“Evaluate the performance of various departments regarding implementation of non-financial recommendations of the Fourth State Finance Commission (SFC) and suggest specific action points along with timelines for compliance,” Chief Secretary AP Padhi told the Department on Thursday.
Taking a review of implementation of the recommendations of SFC at a high level monitoring committee meeting here, Padhi asked the Finance Department to put in place an integrated cell to monitor progress of implementation of the recommendations of 4th SFC and 14th Finance Commission and submission of utilisation certificates (UCs).
While emphasising on revenue augmentation from own resources by the panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) and urban local bodies (ULBs), the Chief Secretary sought to know the steps taken for handing over infrastructural projects like roads, pipe water supply and street lighting for operation and maintenance by the local bodies.
The State Government will transfer resources to local self-Governments under three different heads such as devolution (Rs 3291.85 crore), assignment of taxes (Rs 6583.19 crore) and grants-in-aid (Rs 2917.73 crore).
In 2015-16, Rs 290 crore was provided to various gram panchayats (GPs) as grants-in-aid, while the grants to ULBs were Rs 59.61 crore.
It has been envisaged to provide Rs 368.43 crore to GPs and Rs 80.48 crore to ULBs during 2016-17, Padhi said.
The meeting decided to float schemes on 50:50 cost sharing basis between State Government and local bodies.
The Chief Secretary asked the Rural Development Department to prioritise pipe water supply projects under this scheme and formulate specific project proposals for the purpose.
The Panchayati Raj Department was asked to prepare draft guidelines for additional fund support to local bodies as ‘performance grant’ and ‘incentive grants’ for better performing local bodies as per the recommendations of both the finance commissions.
Around 20 non-financial recommendations were discussed in the meeting. Some of them include engagement of one Inspector of Local Works (ILW) in each district to give technical advice to urban bodies for execution of engineering works, empowering local bodies to levy tax and collect annual licence fees within their jurisdiction for trade and business.