State finance panel for more grants to Haryana local bodies

The fourth State Finance Commission Friday recommended further grants for Haryana urban and rural local bodies through global sharing of state tax revenues.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: April 16, 2014 10:57:59 am

The fourth State Finance Commission Friday recommended further grants for Haryana urban and rural local bodies through global sharing of state tax revenues.

The Commission recommended financial devolution of Rs 442.21 crore for Panchayati Raj Institutions and Rs 238.11 crore for Urban Local Bodies for the 2013-14 fiscal.

The suggested devolution is over the funds already earmarked for these bodies through state excise,stamp duty,surcharge on VAT,grants of 13th Finance Commission and other budgetary transfers.

The proposal was made by Commission chairman LSM Salins during presentation of its interim report for 2013-14 fiscal to Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia. The 4th State Finance Commission had been constituted by the Haryana government to recommend sharing of state revenues with rural and urban local bodies.

The Commission had also been mandated to suggest measures of augmentation of their internal resources,Salins said adding,the Commission explained that resource base of local bodies was quite poor when compared with its extensive duties and noted that they needed more funds for providing minimum civic amenities.

Since the state government had asked the Commission to recommend strategies to enable substantial funding of ongoing schemes of local bodies,it had decided to submit an interim report,he said.

While framing its scheme of fund transfers,the Commission had not only over-viewed fiscal capacities and status of the core civic services of local bodies,but also the state’s financial position,Salins said.

Although he was hopeful that the fresh financial devolution plan will be sufficient to meet the needs of local bodies,Salins cautioned they will need to fully utilise their taxation powers and raise internal resources in order to work as viable and effective units.

Reiterating that the Commission’s approach has been guided by Constitutional objectives of empowering local bodies through the process of democratic decentralisation in line with principles of equity and efficiency,Salins said the Commission’s distribution criteria for local bodies took into account factors like socio-economic backwardness,fiscal capacity and financial needs.

After receiving the interim report,Pahadia elaborated on the main planks of democratic decentralisation and advised the Commission’s chairman and members to lay down the general principles regarding the same in their final report on functional empowerment of these institutions.

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