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Chief Secretary directed to fix action point and timeline against each of the recommendations. GPs/ULBs asked to enhance their own revenue sources.

Bhubaneswar, The implementation of the recommendations of 4th State Finance Commission ( SFC) was fast tracked with Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi taking a review of the progress in High Level Monitoring Committee meeting held in Secretariat conference hall today. Reviewing the progress, Chief Secretary advised Additional Chief Secretary Finance, Sri R. Balakrishnan, present in the meeting to evaluate the performance of various departments regarding implementation of non-financial recommendations and suggest specific action points along with time lines for compliance. It was decided to put in place an integrated cell in the department of Finance to follow up the progress in implementation of the recommendation of 4th SFC and 14th CFC along with submission of UCs. It was further decided to focus on enhancing own revenue sources of GPs and ULBs.

The issues relating to taking over of the basic infrastructural projects like roads, pipe water supply, street lighting etc by the GPs and ULBs for operation and maintenance were also emphasized in the meeting. Available data showed that as per recommendations of the 4th SFC around Rs.12, 792.77 cr would be transferred to local bodies during the period from 2015-2020 under three different heads such as Devolution, Assignment of Taxes and Grants-in-Aid. Resources to be transferred under Devolution are around Rs.3291.85 cr, under Assignment of taxes Rs. 6583.19 cr and under Grants-in aid Rs.2917.73 cr. In the year 2015-16, Rs. 290 cr has been provided to various GPs as Grants-in-aid. Similarly, Urban Local bodies have been provided with Rs 59.61 cr as grants-in aid. It has been envisaged to provide Rs 368.43 cr to GPs and Rs.80.48 cr to ULBs during the financial year 2016-17.

The meeting further decided to float specific State Sponsored Schemes on the basis of 50:50 cost sharing between State and Local Bodies. Chief Secretary advised to prioritize pipe water supply projects under this scheme. The department of Rural Development was asked to formulate specific project proposals for the purpose. The meeting also discussed about additional fund support to local bodies as ‘performance grant’ and ‘incentive grants’ for better performance under 14th Central Finance Commission and 4th State Finance Commission funds respectively.

Chief Secretary Sri Padhi asked the Panchayati Raj department to finalize the draft guidelines for such grants. Local Bodies have been advised to focus on implementation of non-financial recommendations of both the Central and State Finance Commission for future release of grants. Around 20 such non-financial recommendations were emphasized in the meeting. The major ones included engagement of one Inspector of Local Works (ILW) in each district to give technical advice to the urban bodies for execution of engineering works, empowering local bodies to levy advertisement tax, collect annual license fees within their jurisdiction for trade and business, sharing of revenue generated from markets between RMCs and G.Ps , sharing of the net profit of kendu leaf operations with the pluckers, revision of the entry tax assignment needs, enhancement of the share of ULBs in motor vehicle tax, allotment of premium free land to ULBs for undertaking the activities like Solid Waste Management, Public toilets, Community halls, Kalyan Mandaps, Town halls, Vending zones etc.

The Secretary Housing & Urban Development Sri G. Mathivathnan, Secretary Panchayati Raj Sri Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, Director Pacnyati Raj Sri Debendra Parsad Das, Director Municipal Administration Sri Pabitra Mandal , Officer-in-charge , State Finance Commission Sri Pardyumna Kumar Mahakud along with senior officers from respective departments participated in the review.