Empowerment of urban local bodies of Punjab a far cry

Chandigarh, July 10

Empowerment of urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state is still a far cry.

A review audit of the ULBs revealed that despite amendments in the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, and the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, as per the provisions of the 74th Constitutional Amendment, the move to allow the ULBs to function freely and effectively was missing.

Especially, the State Finance Commission’s recommendations on sharing of state taxes with the ULBs and improving their financial status were not fully implemented.

From 1996-1997 to 2020-2021, the shortfall in releasing of funds by the state government to the ULBs continuously increased from 56.80 per cent to 99.67 per cent, against the recommendations of the State Finance Commission.

The review revealed that the state government has over riding powers over the ULBs to frame rules, cancel and suspend resolution of decisions taken by the ULBs, powers to dissolve the ULBs, sanction of bylaws and sanction to borrow money.

Empowerment of urban local bodies of Punjab a far cry