The meetings of the 15th Finance Commission began in Tripura on Wednesday with its Chairman NK Singh, members and senior officials having a detailed interaction with the representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council(TTADC) in the State.
The Commission was disappointed at the fact that even out of the limited 12 functions of devolution to the PRIs so far only few have happened.
The Commission seriously feels that devolution of funds and functions to PRIs needs to be speeded up as it remains incomplete as of date and it requires to meet the constitutional stipulations.
The Finance Commission’s meeting with the ULBs was informative, but the view that came out was that making them self sufficient and viable is still a long haul.
Tripura receives rainfall for almost eight months in the year, and managing infrastructure projects pose special challenges.
The non-availability of Master Plan in respect of major towns of the State is a serious handicap.
The Commission feels that the State Government needs to expedite the Master Plans in a time-bound manner.
The TTADC, which is an institution of local self-government vested with financial, legislative and administrative powers as provided under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, also deserves devolution of Finance Commission.
TTADC has a menu of wide ranging diversity of state specific projects it would like to carry out. The Finance Commission will consider this policy issue sympathetically.