Strengthen panchayats to mobilise internal revenues: CFC member Lahiri

There is a need to strengthen the panchayats to mobilize internal revenues to deliver effective services, according to Ashok Lahiri, member of the 15th Central Finance Committee (CFC).

Speaking at the inauguration of the National Meeting of Government Finance Committees (SFC) organized by the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) here on Tuesday, (CFC), Lahiri said that local governments under the Panchayats are already providing relief to the local level by providing their basic services.

Gandhi believed greatly in popular democracy, and we only see democracy in action in Gram Sabha. Panchayats need to be strengthened to mobilize internal revenues for effective service delivery, Lahiri said, adding that the 15th CFC has recommended an increase in occupational tax from the current limit of $2,500 to INR 18,000 annually. The member of the Ceasefire Commission said, “The collection of property taxes should be compulsory by the panchayats, and it should be considered by the states.”

important role

CS Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Public Relations, said the role of the State Finance Commission was important in translating the mandate of the Constitution of India to make panchayats self-governing institutions. Only nine states have formed the Sixth State Finance Committee (SFC), while seven more states have created the Fifth State Finance Committee. “There is great variance in the performance of SFCs and their recommendations. Despite the granting of tax authorities to panchayats in the laws of the Panchayati Raj State, the rules are not framed in many states. With the results, the panchayats will not be able to mobilize their revenue sources,” he said.

G. Narendra Kumar, Director General, NIRDPR said that the closed meeting will focus on the following issues for comprehensive analysis and functioning of SFCs, and propose a broad roadmap and strategy conducive to the excellent performance of SFCs in the future.