The 15th Finance Commission headed by Chairman, Shri N.K. Singh alongwith its Members and senior officials today met with the representatives of the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Sikkim.
The Commission was informed that:
- The Sikkim Municipalities Act 2007 was introduced in March 2007 for setting up of Urban Local Bodies in the state. The ULBs in the State were formed in the year 2010-11.
- Sikkim follows a three tier structure for urban local bodies namely Municipal Corporation, Municipal Council and Nagar Panchayats.
- Sikkim has a total of 7 ULBs, of which one is Municipal Corporation, 3 are Municipal Council and 3 are Nagar Panchayats.
- Only 6 functions out of 18 have been transferred to ULBs. Steps should be taken to devolve the remaining functions to ULBs.
- The Fifth SFC of Sikkim submitted its report in July 2017.
- Projected requirement of Rs.134.1163 crores for 5 yrs
- Additional one time grant amounting to Rs 660 crores requested for basic infrastructure, ULB office, town halls and training institutes
The revenue sources of ULBs provided by the State in 2017-18 are –
|Own revenues||Transfers from 14th FC||Devolution by SFC||Grant-in-Aid from State Government|
Some of the issues of concern pertaining to accounting of ULB are –
- The State Government is yet to set up Property Tax Board as required by 13th FC for realisation of Property Tax despite enabling provision in the Sikkim Municipalities Act, 2007.
- Transfer of functions to ULBs have not yet been completed in full.
Meanwhile the recommendations of Fifth State Finance Commission were:
- 4.5% of State’s own tax revenue 2020-2025 should be transferred to Local bodies.
- 0.5% of net proceeds of State’s own tax revenue should be allocated for capacity building of PRIs and ULBs and
- 0.5% of net proceeds of State’s own tax revenue should be allocated for special support to most backward PRIs and ULBs.
Representatives of Municipal Corporations of Sikkim – Mr. Shakti Singh Choudhary, Mayor, Gangtok Municipal, Corporation, Gangtok, East Sikkim; Ms. Lashey Doma Bhutia, Deputy Myor, Gangtok Municipal Corporation, East Sikkim; Mr. Uday Chandra Rai, Chairman, Namchi Municipal Council, Namchi, South Sikkim; Ms. Diki Lhamu Bhutia, Vice- Chairman, Namchi Municipal Council, Namchi, South Sikkim; Mr. Indra Kumar Newpaney, Chairman, Gyalshing Municipal Council, Gyalshing, West Sikkim; Ms. Zangmoo Bhutia, Vice-Chairman, Gyalshing Municipal Council, Gyalshing, West Sikkim; Ms. Tika Gurung, Chairman, Naya Bzar Jorethang, Municipal Council, Jorethang, South Sikkim; Ms. Pema Tamang, Vice-Chairman, Chairman, Naya Bzar Jorethang, Municipal Council, Jorethang, South Sikkim; Ms. Zangmoo Bhutia, President, Mangan Nagar Panchayat, Mangan, North Sikkim; Ms. Nima Doma Lepcha, Vice President, Mangan Nagar Panchayat, Mangan, North Sikkim; Mr. Sawan Kumar Pradhan, President, Singtam Nagar Panchayat, Singtam, East Sikkim; Ms. Bishnu Maya Sherpa, Vice President, Singtam Nagar Panchayat, Singtam, East Sikkim; Ms. Maya Cintury, President, Rangpo Nagar Panchayat, Rangpo, East Sikkim and Mr. Lal Kumar Rai, Vice President, Rangpo Nagar Panchayat, Rangpo, East Sikkim were present in the meeting with the Finance Commission.
The Commission noted all the concerns highlighted by the representatives of the ULBs and promised to address them in its recommendations to the Central Government.