CAG indicts AP govt for failure to devolve powers

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Hyderabad, Mar 28 (UNI) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India today indicted the Andhra Pradesh Government for not devolving powers to the Panchayatraj Institutions (PRIs) even as the government claimed that 17 functions had been transferred to the PRIs.

According to a report on local bodies, which was released here, no system was put in place to consolidate the finance of the PRIs.

The budget and the formats for the PRIs, prescribed by the CAG, were yet to be implemented in 'Mandal Parishads' and 'Gram Panchayats.' The transfer of power to the PRIs was incomplete without the transfer of corresponding funds and functionaries.

District Planning Commissions were not constituted even after the Centre directed the state government to collect more funds for the purpose.

Property tax collection in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) showed a decline trend and the recovery of tax and non-tax arrears were poor in local bodies, the report said.

The Municipalities had failed to bring reforms and strengthen civil societies under the AP Urban Services for the Poor (APUSP) Project taken up at the cost of Rs 1,407 crore for which a grant of Rs 747.21 crore was released from the Department for International Development (DFID).

As of March 2006, only 49 per cent of the total grant had been utilised by the Municipalities. At this pace of implementation, complete utilisation of the grant before the closure of the project by March 2008 was doubtful, the report said.

UNI AP SV GC1958

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