Dr. Manmohan Singh calls for decentralisation of self governance at the grass root level

Manmohan Singh, current prime minister of India.
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A SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE / EQUALITY INDIA NEWS

The National Panchayati Raj Divas was today observed with a call from the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to act collectively in bringing decentralisation of self governance at the grass root level. He said thouth the concept of Self Government has now constitutional and legal recognition but still we have to go a long way. Dr. Manmohan Singh was addressing the Sarpanch and Village Pradhans came from across the country at a function organised to mark the enactment of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 from 24th April, 1993 which institutionalized Panchayati Raj through the Village, Intermediate and District levels Panchayats.

Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed gratitude to the whole hearted efforts of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in empowering Panchayats and said the impact of the 73rd Amendment on the administration of the country is very much visible and was his endeavour that today nearly 28 lakh people have a formal place in our democratic setup through about 600 District Panchayats, 6000 intermediate Panchayats and 2,30,000 Gram Panchayats.

The Prime Minister said Panchayats have a definitive role in preparing village level schemes on the basis of local needs and requirement. Panchayats also play an important role in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programe and the Indira Aawas Yozana. He said decentralized and perspective Planning is a pre requisite in the Backward Regions Grant Fund Scheme. This emanates from village level so as to cater the local needs. He said the government is considering on the means of capacity building of Panchayats so that they could deliver in a more effective and efficient way.

Speaking on the occasion the NAC Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi stressed upon the need to strengthen the Panchayati Raj institutions and called for Gram Sabha meetings regularly with a fair representation of women participants. She also called for utmost transparency and accountability in the working of Panchayats.

On this occasion the Panchayat Empowerment & Accountability Incentive Scheme (PEAIS) Awards for 2010-11 2011 were also given to the Government of Kerala, Karnataka, Sikkim, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Haryana by the Prrime Minister and the NAC Chairperson jointly.

Earlier welcoming the Prime Minister and the NAC Chairperson the Union Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh said strengthening of Gram Sabha is a priority for his ministry as otherwise , the people of this country will be deprived of their legitimate rights.

Paying tribute to the efforts of Rajiv Gandhi in empowering the Panchayats the minister called for pooling in joint efforts.

Shri Deshmukh said for recognizing and encouraging the Panchayats for outstanding performance through effective Gram Sabhas, his Ministry has instituted “Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar”. He congratulated the Gram Sabhas and Gram Panchayats who have received this award. He said the Award money will be utilized by the Panchayats at its discretion.

Shri A.N.P.Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj while giving his vote of thanks said the most important aspect of self-governance is devolution of Functions, Funds and Functionaries to the Panchayats. It is necessary for the states to expedite devolution of 3 Fs. The Union Government also has a critical role in the devolution of 3Fs because it makes increasingly large fiscal transfers to the States in the functional domain of the PRIs, mainly through CSSs and ACAs. He urged the Prime Minister to give a major role in the 12th Plan to the Panchayats in planning and implementation of all Central & State Schemes.

The theme of the National Panchayati Raj Divas this year would be the “Roadmap for the Panchayati Raj (2011-16) : An All India Perspective with focus on Gram Sabha”. Accordingly, the “Roadmap for Panchayats challenges and way forward” will be presented in detail among the experts, academicians, editors of major newspapers/journals and officials during the day-long deliberations a day before the National Panchayati Raj Diwas . This document charts future path of decentralization agenda for the Panchayat bodies in India for 2011-2016 that would set out strategies and action plan to accomplish the desired goal. It is expected that this roadmap will lead strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions; real devolution of power; proper functioning of Panchayats; and establishment of efficient and accountable Panchayats.

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