Kota, Oct 8, 2014 : Speaking after inaugurating ‘Panchayath Habba-Surajya’ organised as a part of the month long birthday celebrations of legendary litterateur Dr Shivaram Karanth, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister H K Patil said the elected representatives should have control over the bureaucrats for effective administration in the Panchayath Raj system.
The minister said to strengthen the grip of elected representatives over the officers, the government has issued a new order. Henceforth, the Confidential Review (CR) report of Zilla Panchayath CEO would be given by ZP president.
Accordingly, the Taluk Panchayath president will write CR report for EO and Gram Panchayath president will be responsible for the CR report of PDO. The government has taken all measures to streamline the three tier local governance and make it more effective. There is a need for amendments to Panchayath Raj Act to empower the local bodies.
Delimitation : Asserting that Panchayath Raj system is instrumental in realizing social justice, Patil said the system has successfully provided a secure status for women and minority communities. The report on delimitation of the gram panchayaths will be submitted to the government by this month end. The recommendations by the committee constituted under the leadership of former speaker Ramesh Kumar over the reforms for Pancahayath Raj laws will also be submitted to the government shortly. Besides, the government has taken measures to ensure double the honorarium amount to the panchayath members and the amount will be delivered by the end of November. The minister said that to overcome the shortage of workers, government has regularized 27,000 employees for the first time without the court intervention. He lamented that even after 25 years of constitutional amendment, the panchayath bodies were not even offered the functionaries of the low cadre, leave alone the top cadre, he said.
He added the idea of Gram Swarajya as conceptualized by Mahatma Gandhi could be realized only through making the villages waste-free, dispute-free and addiction-free. The government is also mulling over ensuring clean water, toilets and basic infrastructural facilities to the villages. Quoting Mahatma, the minister said that toilet construction, usage and cleanliness would make the villages self reliant. Though the country is reaching the seventh decade in the aftermath of independence, the government mechanism has failed to materialise Mahatma’s dreams.
No dearth of funds : Informing that gram panchayaths do not suffer against deficiency of funds, the minister said gram panchayaths could achieve wonder in terms of executing the development programmes. It can also help nearly 50 people to be self-employed. There is no dearth of funds. The welfare programmes like MGNREGS, NPA, Western Ghat Development funds, 13th Finance Commission, National Rural Livelihood Mission etc fill the coffers of gram panchayath. He criticised that the GPs have not reached the target for most of the development programmes in accordance with their strength. Only 50 per cent of GPs have achieved the target.
Patil called upon the 33 GPs in the district to aim for open defecation free by January 26 and accomplish the credit of being the first open defecation free district in Karnataka. As many as 10,000 toilets are pending for construction to make the district free of open defecation, he added.