The meeting of the 15th Finance Commission began in Tripura today with its Chairman, members and senior officials having a detailed interaction with the representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) in the state.
The Commission was somewhat disappointed that even out of the limited 12 functions of devolution to the PRIs so far only a few have happened so far. The Commission seriously feels that devolution of funds and functions to PRIs needs to be speeded up as it remains incomplete as of the date and it is required to meet the constitutional stipulations.
The 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 these 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 Commission will consider this policy issue sympathetically.
(With Inputs from PIB)