GPs to be self-sustained, decentralised and autonomous

GPs to be self-sustained, decentralised and autonomous

The purpose of seeking amendments to Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993 is to ensure self-sustained, self-administered and autonomous local bodies, said G Dakshinamurthy, member of the Legislative Assembly committee that has been asked to make recommendations on the amendments to the Act, here on Tuesday.

Speaking at the meeting held for elected representatives of gram, taluk and zilla panchayats of Mysore division, he said that 12 major issues under which ammendments to the Act will be suggested are being discussed across the State.

The amended Act will improve and empower local elected bodies and will transform the present hierarchical scheme, he said.

The report on intent and objectives of the committee suggests transfer of executive and financial powers to local bodies, so as to bring about decentralisation of powers.

“All three aspects of administration, funds, schemes and executive should come under the control of Gram Panchayats (GP) to ensure de-centralisation of power,” the report said.

GPs should be in a position to avail non-planned funds, in order to fulfill the needs of local bodies. The funds allotted by the State government for Panchayats should be directly debited to GP accounts.

Village accountants and other local officials should come under the direct purview of GPs, the report said.

Decentralisation

Currently, GPs act as mere post-offices or money-transferring agencies for various programmes and schemes of the government, and have little or no control over implementation of schemes/programmes.

The proposed amendments will look into this matter, thereby empowering a GP to implement programmes on priority basis.

There should also be a provision where GPs have the free hand to change projects and schemes planned for a year.

GPs should also be empowered to form a team of experts to implement various projects, depending on local needs.

Autonomy

In case of delay in completion of works, the Act should allow GPs to penalise the contractors, thus giving them autonomous powers.

The scope of GPs should not be restricted only to administration of revenue land. It should be allowed to intervene in issues pertaining to fundamental rights of the villagers.

Natural resources available in a particular village should be under the joint ownership of GPs and Centre/State governments, the report recommends.

Other recommendations include empowerment of women, increasing participation of villagers in grama panchayats, managing the environment and bio-diversity around the village and others.

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