The Himachal Pradesh government Thursday decided to constitute the sixth finance commission to review the financial position of panchayats and urban local bodies.
The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The commission will make recommendations to the governor on measures needed to improve the fiscal health of the panchayats by determination of taxes, duties, tolls and fees besides the grants in aid from the Consolidated Fund of the state, a government statement said.
The commission will also be empowered to examine any other issue related to improvement of finances of the panchayats and urban local bodies.
Among other decisions, the Cabinet increased the honorarium of jal rakshaks/para fitters and para pump operators in the Jal Shakti department by Rs. 300 per month, and enhanced the income criteria for eligibility of grant of 3/2 biswas land in rural and urban areas to houseless persons or families from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 per annum.
The Cabinet also approved the creation of a State Disaster Mitigation Fund, under which 20 per cent of the existing State Disaster Risk Management Fund would be used for mitigation, which comes to around Rs. 90.80 crore for the current financial year, the statement said. It added that Rs. 50 crore from the National Disaster Mitigation Fund have also been recommended for the state for managing seismic and landslide risks.
The Cabinet also approved the establishment of a silkworm seed production centre at Thunag in Mandi district and a government polytechnic institute in Sulah assembly constituency in Kangra district.
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