The 15th Finance Commission’s visit to Odisha began with a meeting between the Commission, and the representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the Urban Local Bodies(ULBs).
The Commission was unanimous that all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions must get a part of the financial devolution. It was felt that enhancing revenue capabilities was essential to their viability. The Commission was concerned that levying of property tax is still not allowed – it deserved priority along with other measures to make the PRIs and ULBs self sufficient, felt the Commission.
At the meeting the Commission noted that Odisha was a shining example of women empowerment. 10 of 16 representatives of the PRIs and ULBs were women – actual representation even beyond legislated 50%.