Panchayat Raj Act to be amended before GP polls

Last Updated 15 September 2014, 20:26 IST

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil said that the process of amending the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act and the delimitation of Grama Panchayats (GPs) would be completed before April next year, when the GP elections are expected to be held.

Addressing the media at Abdul Naseer Sab State Institute for Rural Development here on Monday, he said the Ramesh Kumar Committee was expected to submit its report soon and an amendment bill would be introduced, based on its recommendations.

“The Nanjaiah Math Committee has sought an appointment with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on October 2 to submit its report on delimitation. The government will elicit the opinions of both the public and the Opposition parties regarding the recommendations of both the reports, before implementing them.

The main objective is to strengthen the GPs,” he said.
Reacting to Siddaramaiah’s opinion that the taluk panchayats (TPs) were not vital in the system, Patil said it was the chief minister’s personal opinion but, admitted that the TPs had been neglected over the years.

When the minister’s attention was drawn to the misuse of funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) by various GPs, he said steps had to be been taken to plug the loopholes with the aid of technology.
He said that till now 1.5 crore transactions had been made on Electronic Fund Management System in the State, to reduce the involvement of middlemen.

“Initiatives like introduction of social auditing, appointment of an ombudsman, an appellate authority, use of bio-metrics, etc, have brought the State a recognition as the best manager of MGNREGS projects in the nation,” he said.

Toll-free number
The State has started a toll-free number (18004258666), on which anybody can provide information about misappropriation of more than Rs 50,000 in MGNREGS works.

 “The information will be passed on by the ombudsman to the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Panchayat concerned as a complaint to be probed,” he said.

(Published 15 September 2014, 20:26 IST)

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