COVID-19 empties pockets of local self- government bodies
Thiruvananthapuram: COVID-19 prevention activities have emptied the pockets of local self- government bodies, which have an important role in tackling the disease. With the responsibilities doubling each day, authorities are struggling to find enough money for prevention activities. State government had instructed local bodies to make use of their funds. Most of the local bodies have run out of money and public representatives are going after sponsors.
The responsibilities of employees and public representatives have increased as the disease prevention activities are being done at an increased pace. Local bodies have to arrange facilities at quarantine centres, observe people at home and institutional quarantine among other responsibilities.
The revenue of local bodies comes from tax and non-tax based sources. Buildings, jobs, exhibition, savings, income from market, bus stands, slaughter houses and income from investments are non-tax based sources of income.
Finding sponsors for community kitchen have become the responsibility of local body leaders and ward representatives. Since the local body elections are nearing, the representatives are all busy with COVID-19 prevention activities. There are also representatives who spent money from their pockets as the election is getting closer.
The government has not approved special funds for local bodies, apart from permitting the use of local body funds. A lot of projects that were planned before have been cut short. The funds kept aside for these projects are being utilized at the moment.