Additional powers for decision-making sought

Zilla Panchayat President Savitha Shivanand Kotian said the three tier local governance should be given additional powers incorporating decision-making process.

Addressing a seminar to throw light on draft of amendment to Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993, Kotian rued that as most powers lie within the government, the decision is taken by the government for the issues of rural local bodies.

Stating that in the Zilla Panchayat while the house is empowered to chalk out action plan, however, the consent is given by the government. The house takes unanimous resolutions which are sent to the government.

She said the house should be empowered by allotting adequate funds and ensuring opportunities for resource mobiliSations, as also with decision making authority.

The powers assured to the earlier Zilla Parishat, should also be extended to Zilla Panchayat.
Draft amendment

Resource person Janardhan Maravanthe said the draft of amendment to Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993 focuses on the responsibility, rather than the powers assigned to the people representatives working in the three tier local governance.

The draft upholds the dream of Gandhiji asserting that gram Swarajya is possible only with systematic approach towards participation of the people in the decision making process.

The draft  amendments has heralded new hopes in the process of empowering the rural local bodies.

The resource person added the three tier local governance is the self-governing bodies.

However, currently the three local rural bodies act as mere implementing agencies, he regretted.
He added that the solo motto of the local bodies should be the development.

The programmes should be implemented on the basis of reality and should be introduced scientifically.

Elaborating over the essentialities of the draft, the resource person added the local bodies should be the forum for development.

People’s problems

He stressed that the concept of bottom of planning should be focused wherein the programmes should be designed at the bottom level. He stressed importance should be given to the habitation meetings, ward meetings etc.

The public are accountable and Gram Sabhas should be held frequently to know the people opinion and problems. The draft recommends for the transfer of the three Fs, that is functions, functionaries and funds.

He stressed that government should not have hold on the human resources and funs released through the local bodies. The notion of subsidised principle should be followed and all three Fs should be within the authority of the local bodies.

As many as 30 percent of the total budget should be distributed to the three rural local bodies. Of the total 30 percent, 50 percent should  be open funds.

The resource person  added that special Gram Sabhas should be held to ensure the societal justice and the draft recommends  the special Gram Sabhas for women, children and Dalits.

The term of the ZP/TP/GP president should be of full terms besides the members of the GP should elect their president on the lines of ZP and TP. The people currently elect the GP president.

Executive heads

The presidents of all the three local governing bodies should also act as the executive heads.
The draft also recommends for the evaluation of the programmes that are implemented.

The no-confidence motion should be made stringent in order to avoid the malpractices. He added that draft recommends for the provision of special funds up to Rs 5 lakh for the ZP/TP/GP presidents which should be reimbursed during emergencies.

He added that the draft ahs recommended for the Karnataka Panchayath Raj Administrative Service to solve the complications of the local bodies and controversies between the local bodies, he added.

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