July 6, 2021 6:22:38 am
The Punjab Local Bodies Department has revoked the power of the Municipal Corporation’s Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) to spend Rs 1 crore on the grounds that the F&CC cannot incur any expenditure directly.
The development is considered a setback to the Congress which has a majority in the House.
Showing the letter issued by the Director (Local Bodies) to the media, the councillors of Azad Group said that in a letter, dated June 27, to the commissioners of all Municipal Corporations, the director said that only after deliberations in the General House should any work be assigned to the F&CC. “This clearly means only the House has the authority to pass a cost estimate for a work and only after the seal of the House is affixed can the work of contracting for a work be entrusted to the committee. In a meeting held in the presence of Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, the power to spend up to Rs 1 crore was given to the Finance and Contract Committee by a majority vote of the House, to which Azad Group had objected,” Azad Group counicillor Sukhdev Patwari said.
He said that two members of the Opposition should be included in the committee to ensure transparency. The letter was signed by 12 councillors and was submitted to the commissioner as a dissenting opinion.
According to Patwari, the letter from the director said that it has come to the notice of the government that proposals are submitted to the MCs through the F&CC which have to get the approval of the government through the General House. This ignores the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act and the instructions of the government. The director has told all the commissioners to strictly abide by the letter.
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