By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 8: Only eight of the 18 subjects enlisted in the 12th Schedule of the Constitution of India were transferred and implemented by the urban local bodies in Assam as on March 2016. In respect of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), out of the 18 functions listed in 12th Schedule, activities under four functions only were transferred to the GMC as on March 2016.
According to the report on the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on local bodies for the year ended on March 31, 2016, consequent to the 74th constitutiol amendment most states have amended their municipal laws. However, since the last one-and-a-half decades, fund, function and functiories are still not completely transferred officially to the urban local bodies (ULBs). The Central Fince Commission and the State Fince Commission have emphasized the need for the complete transfer of funds, functions and functiories (3Fs) to the urban local bodies. According to the CAG report only eight subjects – water supply for domestic, industries and commercial purposes; conservancy and solid waste magement; slum improvement and updragation; provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens and playgrounds; burials and burial grounds, cremations, cremation grounds and electric crematoriums; cattle ponds; public amenities including street lighting, parks, gardens and playgrounds; and regulation of slaughter houses – are being implemented by the urban local bodies.
Subjects relating to urban planning, including town planning, land use and construction of buildings, slum improvement, roads and bridges, urban forestry, ecology and environment, vital statistics including registration of birth and death, planning for economic and social development, urban poverty alleviation, etc., were not transferred to the urban local bodies, the CAG report said. The approach adopted in this regard, according to the report, so far remains limited to constituting a committee for the purpose of transferring the functions to urban local bodies. “Thus the devolution of 3Fs, as listed in the 12th Schedule, remained more or less unimplemented till March 2016. In respect of GMC, activities under only four of the 18 functions listed in the 12th Schedule were transferred to it till March 2016. The remaining functions have been lying with the line departments and other agencies working parallel to the GMC within the municipal area. Thus the devolution of 3Fs to the GMC, in respect to transfer of subjects, has been far from the desired level, the report said.
“Nevertheless, the State Government had created a municipal window in the State Budget for devolution of fund and, every year, a substantial portion of budgetary outlays under plan and non-plan in the revenue account, was earmarked for municipalities against the transferred subjects. However, the earmarked amount was being spent through the functiories of the line departments. Thus the objective of creating the municipal window in the State Budget was frustrated due to lack of effective action on the part of the government to implement its own decisions regarding the devolution of 3Fs to the urban local bodies,” the report said.
Devolution of 3Fs to GMC far from satisfactory: CAG
By our Staff Reporter