The CAG report tabled in the Assembly on Thursday had pointed out that the state did not receive Rs 1,326.6 crore from the Centre due to non-conduct of urban local body (ULB) elections.
“Elections, though due from October 2016, were not held as there were court cases relating to delimitation of wards. For the subsequent years, from 2017-18 to 2019-20, the performance grant of Rs 1,323.6 crore was not released by the Centre despite fulfilment of all the eligibility criteria by the ULBs,” the CAG report stated. The report on the performance audit on implementation of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act for the year ended on March 31, 2020, tabled in the Assembly, focused exclusively on the performance of ULBs, which did not face election from 2016 to 2020.
The report stated that due to non-conduct of elections, ward committees were not constituted in any of the ULBs. District planning committee and metropolitan planning committee were not constituted and in their absence, district and metropolitan development plan were not prepared.
Further, the report noted that the property tax has not been revised since 1998 in Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and since 2008 in other ULBs. According to the prevailing laws, the property tax should be revised every five years and going by the legislation, the property tax should have been revised in Chennai in 2003 and in other ULBs in 2013. However, as the property taxes were not revised the revenue loss faced by ULBs amounts to Rs 2,598.2 crore from 2013 to 2018, which led to compromise the autonomy of local bodies.