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This is a  special report in Down To Earth on how the 13the Finance Commission puts three times more money in the hands of local governments to spend—at their own will.




Panchayats and municipal bodies will now have three times more money to spend—at their own will. The 13th Finance Commission has pushed for greater autonomy for local governments by vesting spending power in their hands instead of the state, while increasing their non-plan expenditure from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 63,000 crore. The money is to be distributed among local bodies in the next five years, which amounts to Rs 12,000 crore per year or Rs 4 lakh per panchayat.