ANDHRA PRADESH

Lack of information irks finance panel

FUNDING MATTERS: Chairman of the State Third Finance Commission B. Satyanarayan speaking at a meeting in Anantapur on Wednesday.

FUNDING MATTERS: Chairman of the State Third Finance Commission B. Satyanarayan speaking at a meeting in Anantapur on Wednesday.  

Staff Reporter

To effect 10 p.c. hike in funds to each department if it fails to get data on requirement To effect 10 p.c. hike in funds if it fails to get data on requirements

Commission has magisterial powers to act against officers Two years of the three-year time to submit report lapse

ANANTAPUR: Chairman of State Third Finance Commission B. Satyanarayan and members have observed that the commission has been groping in the dark over preparing recommendations for devolution of rights, responsibilities and funds to local bodies due to lack of cooperation from officials.

On the first day of its two-day meeting with all district officers and elected representatives here on Wednesday, the commission's Chairman and members said they were not getting the required data from the district officers in spite of repeated reminders. They cited instances where they had even issued up to 40 reminders to get necessary data on a given subject.

Call for cooperation

They said that it was imperative on behalf of the officials to give the required data so that appropriate recommendations were made for transfer of funds and powers. Of the three-year time frame in which the commission had to submit its report to the Government, two years had lapsed and they were seeking the cooperation of the officials in collection of data in the remaining time.

The commission had magisterial powers to act against officers who were not falling in line in the matter of giving required information and data, but it was only willing to get the work done with mutual cooperation and understanding. The commission would simply recommend a 10 per cent hike in the requirement of funds to each department for the next five years, if it failed to get the real requirement from the districts, Prof. Satyanarayan said. Of the 29 powers required to be transferred to local bodies as per the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constititution the State Government had already promised to issue GOs on transfer of nine powers soon, the TFC Chairman said.

Members secretary N. Gangaiah and members C.N.V. Subba Reddy and T. Babji stated that they had also written to the district Collectors concerned on the poor flow of information and data from their subordinates. While some Collectors responded, others were keeping quiet, they noted.

Later, district heads of various departments explained their problems, requirement of funds and the present status before the commission. The commission Chairman and members urged the officers to send them all the required information and data at least in the next two months. Though all MPs and MLAs from the district were required to participate in the meeting, only Kadiri MLA J. Ramaiah attended.

Recommended for you