Discretionary powers for mayors sought

Staff Reporter

They urge YSR to vest them with adequate financial powers

Chief Minister promises to take appropriate steps

YSR apprised of financial constraints on account of dues

Kakinada: The State Mayors’ Forum has asked Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy to vest adequate financial powers with Mayors so that they have no need to depend on municipal commissioners to get even minor works done. The mayors sought discretionary power to sanction emergency works costing up to Rs 5 lakhs every year on nomination basis from the funds available. Alternatively, the Government could examine the possibility of introducing the Mayor-in-Council system to bestow full financial and executive powers on mayors, the forum suggested to the Chief Minister.

Responding to these and other proposals made by the Mayors’ Forum, Dr. Reddy said he would review the performance of the 15 municipal corporations in the State in the first week of January, 2008 and take appropriate steps to strengthen the elected bodies.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Kakinada Municipal Corporation Mayor K Saroja said the fact that the State Finance Commission grants were not directly remitted to the corporations, was taken to the Chief Minister’s notice. The Chief Minister was also apprised of the financial constraint on account of the dues from different government departments (Rs 13 crore is due to KMC alone) and the impact of non-filling of vacancies (officers of the rank of deputy commissioner are vacant in some corporations) on the administration. He was requested to release the dues to corporations, in the form of grants so that the corporations were financially better off.

The Mayor said the Chief Minister had promised to waive the interest payable on property tax dues to the corporations so that the principal amounts was recovered. A GO in this regard would be released early next year. Deputy Mayor A Srinivasa Rao was present.

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