Rajnath Singh chairs HMAC meet in New Delhi, range of issues discussed

Port Blair
28 Jul 2017

The Union Home Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting of the Home Ministry Advisory Committee (HMAC) associated with the Minister of Home Affairs for the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar in New Delhi on Friday. The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Member of Parliament, Mr Bishnu Pada Ray, Mr Vishal Jolly, Member, HMAC, Adhyaksh, Zilla Parishads other HMAC members and Mr B. Eswar Rao, Chairperson, Port Blair Municipal Council attended the meeting.
Mr B Eswar Rao placed various issues pertaining to PBMC before the HMAC,  mainly allocation of funds to mitigate revenue loss of Port Blair Municipal Council on account of implementation of GST, constitution of Pradesh Council,  waving of water charges by APWD, enhancement of honorarium of Councilors and  regularization of services of 200 casual mazdoors in the Council.
Mr Rao informed the meeting that octroi tax is the major source of revenue for the civic body and explained in detail about the revenue collected through octroi during 2015-16, 16-17 and after implementation of GST, the PBMC will require Rs.151.50 crores  for the current financial year (proportionate to remaining months) and thereafter further increased amount after considering natural growth factor. The Home Minister of India assured to provide matching grant to PBMC in lieu of octroi on implementation of GST.
The Chairperson also raised the demand of service regularization of daily wage workers in the Council working in the agency for the last 10 to 15 years. The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands assured to look into the matter. On the issue of waiver of water charges by APWD, the Home Minister  issued necessary direction to the concerned authority to grant fund as per the recommendation of Third Finance Commission for one time grant under Non-Plan towards payment of water charges to APWD and also issued directions for implementation of the recommendations of 3rd Finance Commission in letter and spirit.
The  issue of  Constitution of Pradesh Council in A&N Islands was also taken up for discussion in the HMAC meeting  as the representation of the people in governance and decision making is severely restricted in these Islands in the absence of Assembly.  After a long discussion, the Committee agreed to look into the issue.