Public Finance and Revenue Mobilization of Union Parishads:
A Case of Four Union Parishads
Contributors: Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Md Shanawez Hossain and Mohammed Misbah Uddin
The study stated that increasing revenues alone, without supplementary reforms, will not empower UPs to carry out effective public service delivery. Emphasis should be given on enhancing UPs' capacity to manage local revenues and engaging citizens in planning and budgeting local development. Tax management system needs to be improved for example, by conducting more accurate tax assessment, swift disciplinary action against tax related misconduct, public disclosure of revenue and expenditure to ensure transparency, etc. Simultaneously, awareness raising activities can be undertaken to popularize the tax payment system.
To summarize, the desired results of decentralization are accountability, transparency, increased local participation and improved efficiency in service delivery of UPs. The path of progress of decentralization cannot be predicted. While in the short term, UPs' potential is weak to bring about the desired decentralization progresses, there are some UPs that have the potential to emerge as strong actors of local development. However, their prospects are being hindered by bureaucratic controls and political motivations and intervention. Expanding revenue sources, establishing a pro-tax institutional culture and involving citizens will be keys to empower local government, which, together with capacity building inputs will promote greater devolution of administrative and financial power to them.