The report of the 4th State Finance Commission, West Bengal, was submitted to the state government by its chairman Abhirup Sarkar today along with his recommendations and suggestions for enhancing collection of revenues and boosting development works in the state.
Handing over the report to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat, Sarkar told reporters that the revenue earned during the Trinamool Congress tenure has increased to 2.2 per cent compared to 1.7 per cent during the Left Front rule.
“However, the target of revenue earning has to be set at 2.5 per cent at least,” Sarkar suggested to the state government in his report.
Speaking about the report, he said 40 per cent of the total revenue was earned from urban area and the rest 60 per cent from rural area.
Contrary to the views of the chief minister, Sarkar appreciated the 14th Central Finance Commission for releasing funds to the state government on various development projects under the panchayat department.
Sarkar said 78 per cent of these funds were utilised at gram panchayat level, while 12 per cent at panchayat samiti level and the rest ten per cent at zilla parishad level.
“We have suggested for enhancing the fund at panchayat samiti and zilla parishad levels to maintain a balance between the three so that the state can reach its target of 2.5 per cent revenue earning and undertake more development projects,” he said.
Sarkar further suggested the state government to strengthen its Tax Valuation Board and train personnel to boost the state's earning.
Terming the central fund flow at Panchayat level as 'steady', Sarkar said that only trained personnel and advanced planning could help utilise these funds properly.
The Fourth State Finance Commission was constituted by West Bengal Government on April 30, 2013. It was supposed to submit its report by April 30, 2014. .
The commission suggested allocation of shares to state and panchayats out of taxes, duties, tolls and fees along with fixation thereof to be appropriated by the Panchayats along with grants-in-aid to them out of the fund of the State, Sarkar said.
The 4th State Finance Commission also suggested the ways for improvement of the financial position of the panchayats.
It suggested allocation of shares to state and the municipalities out of taxes, duties, tolls and fees along with fixation thereof to be appropriated by the municipalities along with grants-in-aid to them out of the fund of the State.
The Commission also suggested how improvement of the financial position of the municipalities in the state could be done, he added.