ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Afghanistan Interview with Nodari Simoniya

as "quite often any benefits derived from careful assessments are lost at the stage of appeal". Reflecting this apprehension, the trend of reform in other states has been to eliminate or contain the role of the councillors in the valuation process. The Bengal Municipal Act (BM Act) which the present amendments seek to emulate specifically excludes the commissioner of the ward from which an objection petition is filed from hearing such objection. The BM Act also authorises the setting up of a Municipal Assessment Tribunal with the stipulation that its members "shall be appointed by the state government from among persons other than any commissioner or officer or other employee of a municipality recommended by the commissioner of a municipality". The constitution of the Review Commit- tee under the CVB Act so far was no doubt somewhat inconsistent with the spirit of the provision of the BM Act relating to the constitution of ARCs and the Municipal Assessment Tribunal. As pointed out in the NIPFP study referred to earlier, hearing of appeals by a body which does the original valuation was patently wrong. Total exclusion of popular representatives from the valuation process was also not quite justified. But that did not call for bringing the councillors into the process of determining the assessments case by case and diluting the character of a body which ought to be above politics.

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