Action plan for financial sustainability of local bodies


State Finance Commission will first submit recommendations to KCR, says Rajesham Goud

The State Finance Commission is finalising an action plan to ensure proper revenue collection in rural and urban local bodies and devolution of financial resources to them.

Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) and Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) have been engaged by the Commission to give reports and recommendations on strengthening of urban local bodies and rural local bodies respectively. The institutions ,which held series of meetings, will assess the current revenues, potential to augment the income and analysis of expenditure in the local bodies, said Commission Chairman Rajesham Goud. “The reports are expected soon and the recommendations will be first submitted to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao,” he told The Hindu.

The Chief Minister is firm that without expansion of rural economy and development of local bodies, inclusive development is not possible.

For this the Telangana government not only constituted the first Telangana State Finance Commission in January this year but even made budgetary provision of ₹1,500 crore for rural local bodies and ₹1,000 crore for urban local bodies and passed the New Panchayat Raj Bill in the last Assembly session, Mr. Goud said.

The Commission is planning a State-level conference with experts, economists, agricultural scientists and stakeholders to seek ideas on how to strengthen the local bodies and make them self-sustaining with all amenities. “The main task is to revamp property tax collection. In many local bodies, even 50% tax is not being realised. In gram panchayats and municipalities, the target is to get 100% property tax collected. Efforts will also be to explore avenues for resource mobilisation from mining, railways, forest departments” he said. An online system will be in place to monitor week-wise collection of revenue due to local bodies, he said.

The best practices followed in local bodies of Kerala, Karnataka, and elsewhere will be incorporated in the State..

The Commission has plans to encourage eco-friendly and non conventional energy like solar power, organic manure, plantation of fruit bearing plants in gram panchayats, teak plantations to generate income for panchayats and use government land for building shops and commercial enterprises in zilla parishads and municipalities, Mr.Goud says.

Government’s flagship programmes, Mission Bhagiratha drinking water, Haritha Haram, residential schools, schemes to revive and develop hereditary professions along with agriculture and allied activities are all aimed at strengthening rural economy and make local bodies robust, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 1:57:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/action-plan-for-financial-sustainability-of-local-bodies/article24248327.ece

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