In a memorandum submitted to Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo on Tuesday, Mayor of the City Corporation of Panaji (CCP) Surendra Furtado said that the State government had failed to implement recommendations of the second State Finance Commission (SFC) and had inexcusably delayed the appointment of the third SFC.
The memorandum alleged that the State government also did not implement the amendments made to the existing laws as per the 74th Constitutional Amendment to devolve the powers to urban local bodies (ULBs).
A delegation of CCP, which called on the Governor at the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday afternoon sought his intervention for devolution of powers to the ULBs and made a forceful plea for a greater share of State revenues as per the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act.
It pointed out that the second SFC under late Alban Couto, IAS was entrusted with the work of recommendation for devolution of powers, functions, responsibilities and resources to ULBs. The Commission submitted its report in December 2007 and had recommended devolution of all the 18 functions to ULBs for economic development and social justice as listed in the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968.
Of the eleven functions to be devolved on the ULBs, only eight functions and one activity in another function have been transferred as of March 2011, lamented the memorandum.
Following a submission by the Advocate General before the Bombay High Court at Goa in March 2010 that the State would constitute a Committee of Ministers to submit a report to the State after which the report could be tabled before the State Legislature in the post-budget session of 2010.
Accordingly, a Committee was constituted in July 2010. The Committee met in March 2011 but nothing has been known about the explanatory memorandum on the recommendations of the second SFC since then.
“This is a matter where your intervention is urgently required,” the memorandum pleaded with the Governor.
“We at the CCP...are held at ransom as a ULB... We are afraid that the State government would have no face to go before the 14th Finance Commission with such acts of delays and omissions,” said the memorandum.
The CCP has appealed to the Governor to use his stature as the Constitutional head of the State to implement the above to ensure the Corporation and the Municipalities in Goa in general can build a strong financial infrastructure to provide better facilities to urban areas.
The delegation led by Mr. Furtado called upon the Governor to initiate a concerted and substantive drive so that the laws were amended for the inclusive development of urban areas and its populace.