Hyderabad: Fund-starved ZPs, MPPs have high hopes on State budget

Hyderabad: Fund-starved ZPs, MPPs have high hopes on State budget

No allocations were made in the previous budget to rural local bodies

Hyderabad: The cash-strapped Zilla Parishads and Mandal Parishads have great expectations from the upcoming budget to be presented in the State Assembly in the second week of February.

As no allocations were made to the rural local bodies from the State government in the previous budget, they have a lot of hope from this budget for implementation of development activities. Though the ZPs and MPPs have been installed in June, last year, they have been starved for the funds as there were no budgetary allocations. The ZPs and MPPs have been getting meager funds to pay the salaries and meet routine expenditure.

The ZPs and MPPs have been entrusted with the job of developing districts and mandals of the State. They have the responsibility of supervising and implementing the programmes of about 29 subjects.

They are responsible to develop infrastructure like roads, bridges, greenery, health, education and others in the districts. The ZPs have to improve the road facilities between the mandal headquarters and district headquarters. The Mandal Parishads have similar responsibilities and they have to provide link roads between the villages and from the villages to the mandal headquarters. They are responsible for the improvement of facilities in the hospitals, education institutions, anganwadis and others.

However, they do not have funds like the Gram Panchayats. The 14th Finance Commission of the Centre has allocated all the grants to the Gram Panchayats and funds are directly transferred to them.

During the 13th FC period, the funds used to be divided between ZPs, MPPs and GPs on the ratio of 20:20:60. As the funds transfer is delayed, the Centre changed the funding pattern and releasing funds directly to the GPs during the 14th FC period.

Though the ZPs and MPPs are supposed to be given funds by the State Finance Commission, the process has not been initiated as the SFC is yet to announce its award. The SFC is likely to complete exercise in this year and it may give the report on the devolution of State funds to the urban local bodies and rural local bodies in later part of the year.

With this, the ZPs and MPPs do not have any source to get funds and they are required to be provided with special grants until the SFC announces its recommendations. The leaders of the local bodies have urged the 15th Finance Commission to release funds to the ZPs and MPPs during its period which begins from 2021.

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