Shortage of staff hits development plans in TPs, ZPs: Study

Karnataka is traditionally known as a state which championed decentralisation process but the latest research study by the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, has found that district planning committees (DPCs) have not been constituted in many districts of the State.

In Tumkur district for example the DPC was constituted in 2007-08 but has not held a single meeting till early 2010.

The research, sponsored by the Commission on Centre-State Relations, found existing staff for most functions in general and budgeting and planning in particular working on deputation from other departments which have nothing to do with either budgeting or planning.

"They are usually from animal husbandry, horticulture sericulture,or at best rural development departments.And these planning functionaries hardly know anything about planning and functions that are available," the 147 page study said.

The study on 'Independent Budgeting and Planning at District Level' by V Anil Kumar and S N Sangita of ISEC, focused on functioning of local bodies in Gubbi, Kunigal and Tiptur taluks of Tumkur district, revealed there are no trained staff at TP and ZP levels to perform budgeting and planning.

"There is considerable number of functions devolved but not functionaries,” the study said. Functionaries for planning do not exist with sufficient capacities and numbers to utilise funds that are available. "This is sometimes leading to pilferage and corruption," they said.

In Tumkur district, the study found there is no sectoral integration of plans at the gram panchayat to ZP level. There is no integration of plans and budgets for urban and rural areas at the TP and ZP levels. Rural plans and budgets are prepared by different tiers of Panchayat Raj institutions ) while urban plans and budgets are prepared by a section on urban planning at the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

Integration of plans will help mobilise more resources at taluk and district levels. Integration of rural-urban plans also helps address the problem of massive migration of people from rural to urban towns, the study said.

It also noted that the planning process at village level is done in a better manner than higher tiers but this needs to be inclusive. Many women SC and ST ward members claimed dominant caste male elite take all decisions on planning and budgeting.

It recommended technical aid at all levels of PRIs is possible only if there is adequate capacity building of present staff in planning and budgeting or by creating separate cadre for planning and budgeting at district and sub-district levels.

Comments (+)