By Accommodation Times Bureau
The 15th Finance Commission started its deliberations with the representatives of various Urban Local Bodies here at Shimla on September 25. Himachal Pradesh being a hilly State, less industrialized, having the less income generation capacity and very high debt on the State, all these issues need special consideration by the 15th Finance Commission, a source said.
Infrastructure development in railways, road connectivity especially in border areas was also emphasized to develop tourism as well as to strengthen border security. These would also help in attracting more investment for the industries and job creation for the youth. Industrial package on the line of North East States was demanded
They also urged the commission to change the funding pattern for Smart City Projects.
In the meeting with representatives of Local bodies, “Some policy related issues like the modalities of fund transfer to the local bodies were the main focus area.”
The representatives urged the commission to consider the particular issues of the State like hilly terrain, a flux of tourists and tough climatic conditions for grants and devolution of funds. They urged for special funds for development of civic amenities like drinking water supply, sanitation and disaster mitigation in Municipal areas.
Representatives also focused on the need for the funds to be given to the Zila Parishads and Panchayat Samitis. They requested the financial support for the development of Eco-tourism, road connectivity and other amenities to increase their income generation avenues.