Illambazar Gram Panchayat – A shining example in Own Source Revenue generation
The Illambazar Gram Panchayat is located in the South-West part of Illambazar Block in Birbhum District, comprising 23 Gram Sansads, along with three backward villages. A total population of 32,142, including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Minority Communities and General Category, reside in this Gram Panchayat that spreads over an area of about 18 sq. kms. According to the population census the male to female ratio in the GP is 51:49.
With the proactive efforts of the Illambazar Gram Panchayat’s Elected Representative and Government Employees in the last 2-3 years, the Panchayat has set an example in augmentation of its Own Funds. The GP has consistently taken unique initiatives for this purpose. It has achieved the first position in West Bengal in the category of ‘Increase of Own Funds’ for the Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar 2018.
TAX COLLECTION CAMP
To increase own fund, they have diligently followed the tax collection process. Firstly, every year the Gram Panchayat distributes 5(A), the Self Assessment Form.
The 5(A) form helps the GP to collect primary data from the assessees. On basis of the data, the GP evaluates the household/establishment tax amount and collects tax accordingly.
The Illambazar Gram Panchayat stressed tax collection with PDA machine wherein a tax collector visits citizens to collect tax with the machine. The Tax assessment List is presented during the Gram Sansad Sabha and Gram Sabha every year and gets finalized at the Sadharan Sabha within 31st January. After preparing the ‘Tax Assessment List’ every year, the Gram Panchayat conducts awareness campaigns across villages, at the Gram Sansad Sabha and the Special Gram Sabha, on emphasizing the need to pay taxes for sustainable development. On basis of the by-law, Gram Panchayat creates a non-tax list as well. In order to increase overall collections, non-tax collections have played an important role too.
OWN FUND INCREASE
Own Funds of Gram Panchayat in the last 5 years
We can clearly see that every year there has been a continual increase in the funds of the Gram Panchayat. In 2014-15, the Own Fund amounted to Rs. 1,38,595/- and in 2015-16, it had become Rs. 26,12,548/-. The reason for this increase is the tax assessment list which is prepared in a realistic manner and the diligent effort towards collection of current taxes and dues. As compared to 2015-16, in 2016-17, the tax had increased to Rs. 30,01,931/-. From the year 2017-18, the main reason for the increase in taxes is the construction of large flats and houses. As a result, where the tax amount in 2016-17 stood at Rs. 30,01,931/- in 20-17-18 it became Rs. 65,82,088/-, and subsequently in 2018-19 it reached Rs. 94,06,130/-. Due to the appropriate/proper assessment of tax in 2014-15 there has been a substantial rise in taxes. In 2015-16 it increased substantially and became Rs. 11,30,782/-. In 2016-17, the same tax amounted to Rs. 11,80,651/-. Again, because of the same reason, from 2016-17 to 2017-18 and 2018-19, the tax almost doubled to Rs. 22,34,200/-.
In the same way, non-tax collection increased by seven times in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15. In 2014-15, it was Rs. 1,07,877/-, while in 2015-16 it became Rs. 7,14,004/-. In 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2018-19 the non-tax collection was almost the same but in 2018-19 it increased twofold from Rs. 7,98,762/- in 2017-18 to Rs. 16,84,068/-.
Increase in own funds leads Gram Panchayat to focus on permanent assets
|Description of assets created in the last 5 years||Amount|
|Drinking water supply and maintenance, arrangements for drinking water||19,15,908|
|Development of school building (kitchen), school stars development, S.S.K building development, M.S.K building development-||5,78,064|
|Street lighting and solar lighting installation for roads||4,25,136|
|Construction and management of toilets in the area||22,99,068|
|Panchayat Office Building Development, Canteen at Fossils Park, Permanent Market Complex||46,10,000|
|Passenger Waiting Room in the area||3,60,000|
|Book distribution to meritorious students of the area||3,20,000|
Since the Gram Panchayat had more disposable funds in its own possession, it could take up many unique projects. Some assets developed by the GP are a source of revenue generation too. The below mentioned assets developed by the GP bring revenue:
Canteen Management at Fossils Park – In the Panchayat area of Amkhoi village, a Fossils Park is located. With the initiative of the Panchayat Pradhan, a sitting area and a canteen were constructed for the tourists. This permanent asset is leased to an Adivasi family for maintenance and regular operation.
Toilet – Presently there has been an increase in the number of tourists to view the Fossils Park. So, the Panchayat constructed a toilet to keep the environment clean and to create a source of income. Other than this, there is a vegetable market near the Illambazar Bus Stand, where people from nearby villages come to buy and purchase items. By the construction of this toilet in the area everyone has been benefitted. The people who received the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the toilet are benefitted too.
Permanent Market Complex – The Gram Panchayat has constructed a permanent market, where there was a temporary vegetable market. As a result both buyers and sellers are happy and the Gram Panchayat is also generating an income from this.
Passenger Waiting Room – The Panchayat area has a vast spread of forest regions. There are bus stops in between the long stretch of forest where there are no localities. Six ‘Passenger Waiting Rooms’ have been built to provide shelter to those who wish to avail of the bus or rest for a while.
Arrangement of Ambulance – One ambulance service has been started by the Gram Panchayat, which provides services to the local people. This was given on lease for transporting sick people of the area to the hospital at a low cost. At every month-end, a predetermined amount is deposited at the Panchayat Office from this service.
Arrangement of Drinking Water – Gram Panchayats often use a large part of the Government Grants, revenue and own funds for construction and maintenance of tube-wells in their respective areas. So the Illambazar Gram Panchayat, in the year 2017-18 and 2018-19, made arrangements for drinking water facility run by a motorized system. A committee was formed in the locality that used to look after all the maintenance needs and was also responsible for ensuring payment of electricity bill. Presently this asset is no more confined to the Panchayat and has become an asset of the community.
Other than this, the Gram Panchayat has purchased a tractor for carrying waste material. They have created an Eco Park where children can play. Octogenarian Pradhan of this GP says all this development is just the beginning and there is still a long way to go.