Committee suggests fixing responsibility in rural bodies

Committee suggests fixing responsibility in rural bodies

A committee constituted by the State government has recommended assigning a clear-cut responsibility to all the three tiers of panchayat bodies in Karnataka and ensuring accountability for their effective functioning.

The committee headed by senior Congress legislator Ramesh Kumar has done a detailed activity mapping and assigned specific responsibility to gram, taluk and zilla panchayats. The government should devolve duties and finances based on the specific responsibility. The panel submitted its report to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday.

“People in a panchayat should be able to take decisions on their basic requirements. So mapping has been done to identify the most appropriate level of panchayat to carry out different functions. The committee has emphasised ensuring the PRIs (panchayat Raj Institutions) do not become sub-contractors of the State,” the report stated.

The committee has said that gram sabha should be viewed as foundation for all development plans, and has recommended bottom-up approach in planning.

Full-time chief executives

The panel has suggested that panchayat presidents be considered full-time chief executives. It has suggested continuing with the existing system of election of the president by other elected members. It has also recommended guidelines for passing no-confidence motions against the presidents and the vice presidents.

Addressing reporters on Friday, former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said the blueprint prepared by the committee for bringing in reforms in panchayat system was worth implementing across the country.

“Panchayat Raj system is becoming weak in the BJP-ruled states, while it is getting stronger in states where the Congress is in power,” he claimed.

He suggested that the name Panchayat Raj be retained in the Act. The panel has recommended making a new law called Grama Swaraj, replacing the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act.

Kumar said that the recommendations were aimed at making panchayat bodies autonomous institutions. The government has been requested to implement all the recommendations before the panchayat elections likely to be held early next year.
DH News Service

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