What were recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta Committee? Panchayati Raj has been entrusted with rural development. It is a State Subject. Rajasthan was the first state to establish Panchayati Raj.
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Bill Ins. Therefore, it is very essential to make villages self-reliant and to implement Panchayati Raj for their all round development in the real sense. Now, the present 72nd Amendment Bill is in consonance with the basic spirit of the Panchayati Raj. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had pointed out that freedom should start from the lower level. Real democracy or Panchayati Raj would exist in villages only if they have complete power, and attain self-reliance.
He also suggested that the Sarpanch of every village should be the Prime Minister of the area. Sir, I will conclude in two minutes. The Committee had also made a number of suggestions in this respect. Later on, Ashok Mehta Committee was constituted in and it also gave some suggestions with regard to three tier Panchayat system.
Now, 72nd and 73rd Amendment Bills are before the House. All these factors prove that the efforts made with regard to the implementation of panchayati Raj or Self-rule have been very slow and how much conscious we are towards the rural system.
It can be easily judged from the above factors that our consciousness was nothing more an outward than show. The total number of MLAs and MPs in the States in about ,, and the number of Panchayats for six lakh villages is only two lakh and twenty thousand and the number of blocks is only five thousand.
If elections are held regularly in those areas too, it would enable the elected representatives to be more and more efficient towards their duties and responsibilities. Rasa Singh Rawat]. The sarpanchs of villages being illiterate get the whole work done through the Gram Sewaks who work as the secretary of sarpanchs and get things of their own choice done buy the sarpanchs. So, the Gram Panchayats should be made obligatory for the Gram Panchayats to provide detailed information to the villages about their earnings as well as the grants received from the Government and the details of the items on which the expenditure has been incurred during the last six months.
A system should also be evolved to have a check on all these things and to maintain a proper account in this regard, is that the villagers may be able to know was to how much amount was spent on their development. Through you, I would like to submit to the Central Government that the Government of Rajasthan has done a very good work by formulating a scheme 'Apna gaon apna kam' When a person does his own work, he ties to do as much as possible with the last expenditure and remains completely vigilant.
But when he is employed in a Government job, he is least bothered about the work because the investment is made by the Government. Under the above mentioned scheme 70 percent of the investment is made by the Government and 30 percent by the villagers. In this way the villagers develop a feeling of interest in the development works.
Thus, they have a sense of faith that their village is developing; electrification is being done in their villages; roads are being constructed and other facilities like education, water etc. Every precaution should be taken while setting up the judicial system in the villages. For instance if a Panchayat area is formed and a political party deliberately merges it with some other areas, which is quite distant, the Panchayat should have a right to go to court for seeking justice.
Sir, there should be no interference in the autonomy of States through this Bill. The Central Government is framing a model. These characteristics are that these panchayats should be given a constitutional sautes; they should have financial powers; elections should be held after every five years.
But it should be the right of the states as how the reservations would be made to which Sarpanch the reservation would be provided, in which condition it would be provided and which area is to be reserved. With these words I conclude and I am grateful to you for the opportunity you have given to me to speak.
Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Bill before us is indeed a historic Bill, but it is not the last word on the subject nor is it a perfect or an ideal Bill. It takes us a step forward towards the structural reorganisation of our polity in line with our nationally accepted concept of decentralisation of administrative power.
It may also be said that it constitutes a step forward towards the realisation of Gram Raj which was Gandhiji's dream; and towards the implementation of the spirit of Article 40 of the Constitution. When I succeed in ridding the villages of their poverty, I have won Swaraj". Gandhi equated Swaraj with the freedom and power to be vested in the people of the village.
Deputy Speaker, Sir, I generally support the Bill, with all the lacunae and all the faults and all the omissions that I find therein. There are still powers who can manipulate the Gram Sabha because of the lack of consciousness and the result is that the vested interests grab all the money that is meant for the villages.
I think, the State legislations that we are going to have must ttake into account that the Gram Sabha must be protected and immunised against such usurpation of authority by the vested interests. In the proposed Article c , the Bill lays down diffcient proportion for the rate of representation of the people in the Panchayats. I would have felt that the Bill should have laid down a uniform pattern of representation of the people in the Gram Panchayats say one representative for every people or one representative for every thousand people, so that the disparity that we see today into he representation of our people in the Lok Sabha and in the Assemblies will not arise.
These are all single member constituencies and the bill envisages a direct election. I would have thought that was time that we start experimenting with the idea of Proportional representation at least at this base level, and perhaps, if not that, at least with the system of a run-off election so that the person who is chosen by this electorate at least enjoys the confidence of a majority of the people of that constituency.
The membership of the chairperson in the next higher echelon of the system is not guaranteed. Again it was been left to the mercies of the State Legislature. I think, the Bill should have laid down a uniform pattern that all chairpersons shall be ex-officio members of the Panchayat at the next higher level.
There is also a distinction in this very article in part 7 where I say that the chairperson of a Pancyahat at the village level or at the intermediate level shall be chosen by direct election while that the district level again is left to the legislature. I do not see any rational for this. I belive that all chairpersons at all the three level should be chosen by direct election. With due respect to the hon. Minister, I made this point last time also when I had spoken in this debate.
I do not regard the women either as a separate community or as a class or as a caste or even as a social group. In fact, our historical experience is that reservation for women has been used by the vested interests in order to augment their power with in the elected bodies because of the disparity in the level of education and consciousness among women belonging to different strata of society.
Therefore, in principle, when all the general seats two third of the seats are left aside, there is a possibility that the very elements who are today dominating the village life shall find their way back ridding on the strength of the women members who will be elected largely from their group. I feel that five years is too long a period. I think, at the Panchayat level, we should have introduced a three-year period as exists in some States.
It is absolutely correct to say that a person is disqualified from being a member of the Panchayat at if he is citizen of India or voluntarily acquires the citizenship of a foreign State. But this phase under any acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State ' is rather vague and unnecessary.
Who is going to determine who is loyal to was an agent of foreign State? Therefore, this gives a loophole for the authorities to disqualify people on a political basis.
I think, this was totally unnecessary and should withdrawn. Syed Shahabuddin]. If you read part ii , it says with respect to the implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice'Good as far as it goes.
Then, it qualifies by saying, ' as may be entrusted to them, including those in relation to matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule. I think, Eleventh Schedule is already there. Who will entrust what to them? Do we accept any other authority which will take away from the Eleventh Schedule. Why limit; why qualify? The villages should be totally autonomous in preparing their plans for economic development and social justice and authorised in implementing their schemes for economic development and social justice within the confines of Schedule There should be no other external authority to put a limit on the exercise of this basic power that we are vesting in the panchayats.
Under I, there is no mention about the distribution of central allocation. Every State today receives a substantial allocation from the Centre. How is the State going to divide that? What part of that or what percentage of that is going to go down to the villages? This is the real question. We are not talking merely of the taxes levied by the State. We should also mention that any central allocation should be subject to this division between the State and the Panchayat this is not clearly laid down.
I come to the Eleventh Schedule. I find two very serious omissions,. One relates to the cooperatives. I imagine that the Panchayat itself should act as a cooperative and should breed lots of primary cooperatives in various fields of activity.
Sir, the second element which is left out is the marketing when the price is high and then finance back the profit to the grower. That should be one of the functions of the Panchayat. Marketing of agricultural products is totally left out. I find that the panchayats have been given some financial resources some administrative authority and also some authority to choose what they want to do for.
Panchayats are going to be cheated of all authority and all the power that we are vesting in them under this Bill, if they have no control or power to discipline,to appoint,to hire and fire the personnel that they require for implementing their schemes at their level. We know the States are very reluctant to part with the real substance of power.
I think that should have been brought into this Bill. There is another omission. The relationship between the gram Panchayat, intermediate Panchayat and Zilla Panchayat is not defined. In what way the power on the subjects included in the Eleventh Schedule shall be divided among these three levels is not laid down anywhere in this Bill. Finally, I make one very humble point.
I have seen the list of Government amendments. With all this lacunae that I spoke about, I still support this Bill because this Bill represents the national consensus. This Bill has come out of the Select Committee. I may have differences or my personnel opinion about it.
But I support the Bill. But I certainly cannot bring myself to support the Government amendments which are unilateral and which have been brought on the floor of the House without due consultation with other parties. These 11 is a dilution of the Bill and therefore, Sir, many of us will be very much disinclined to support the Government amendments. I do hope that the Government will find its way to withdraw those amendments as they go a long way to dilute the impact of the Bill and which have been objected to by very senior colleagues from the treasury benches themselves.
Panchayat Raj Institutions – Balwant Rai Mehta Committee (1957)
Balwantrai Mehta Committee was the first Committee set up in to look into the problems of democratic decentralization in independent India. The Committee made far reaching recommendations in the direction of democratic decentralization and rural reconstruction. It pointed out that the community development programme was not successful because it failed to evoke local initiative and that in the absence of local initiative and local interest, development would not be possible. There should be three tier structures of local self government bodies from village to the district level and these bodies should be linked together. There should be genuine transfer of power and responsibility to these bodies to enable them to discharge their responsibility.
Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee was a committee originally appointed by the Government of India on 16 January to examine the working of the Community Development Programme 2 October and the National Extension Service 2 October and to suggest measures for their better working. The Chairman of this committee was Balwantrai G Mehta. The committee submitted its report on 24 November and recommended the establishment of the scheme of 'democratic decentralisation' which finally came to be known as Panchayati Raj. The main aim of Panchayat raj system is to settle the local problems locally and to make the people politically conscious. Mehta in is attached here. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
What were recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta Committee?