CM Pema Khandu Bolsters Grassroots Governance, Devolve Powers To Panchayati Raj Institutions

Posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Featured
Chief Minister Pema Khandu unveiling a training handbook developed by the State Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (SIRD&PR)
  • NET Web Desk

Fufilling one of the long-needed reforms of grassroots governance, Chief Minister Pema Khandu today formally delegated powers to the Panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) in a function held here at the State Banquet Hall.

Terming the development as a ‘significant step’ in the history of grassroots democracy in the state, Khandu said the devolution of power is based on sustainable, participatory, inclusive, comprehensive and empowerment (SPICE), a formula evolved by several brainstorming sessions by the department of Panchayati Raj.

“It was my commitment to empower our grassroots functionaries, which dates back to the first election in 1969 in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, but do not enjoy absolute power they are entitled to,” Khandu said on the occasion.

Earlier on September 30, the state cabinet had taken a landmark decision to devolve and delegate powers to the PRIs as per the 73rd Constitutional amendment and 11th Schedule of the Constitution in 29 subjects.

Khandu informed that 10% of State own Revenues (SoR) shall be devolved to the PRIs which will be effected from next financial year. This will be in addition to the FFC grants and will be in the criteria of population and area based on the ratio of – 50:50. While 70 per cent will be basic grants, 30 percent will be performance-based. This, he said, will be in addition to the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) grants.

He urged the PRIs to plan projects and measures based on the 15 of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) recommended by the United Nations, which are effective in the state.

“A dedicated separate Zilla Parishad Fund  under Section 99 (1) of the Arunachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj (Acts & Rules) shall be created. Capacity building, support of Technical and Human Resources will be done by the Department,” Khandu informed.

He further said that Plan formulation and Implementation by constituting Sectoral Working Committees at ZP and GP level through Zilla Parishad Development Plan and Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) will be worked out besides constituting a Vigilance and Monitoring Committee at district and state levels.

As the detailed formula for devolution of powers and functions across the state has been unveiled, Khandu requested the ZPCs, DPDOs, and PDs to minutely follow the guidelines being shared by experts from the department in the technical sessions.

“There shouldn’t be any confusion left at the end of the program. Also, there shouldn’t be any confusion left between the powers and functions of legislators and the PRIs,” he asserted.

Quoting ‘with great powers come greater responsibilities’, Khandu appealed the ZPCs to work in unison to ensure that the PR institution of the state becomes a role model in the country.

“Now the onus of making the state ‘aatmnirbhar’ lies on you,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Panchayati Raj Minister Bamang Felix, Advisor to PR Minister Gum Tayeng and Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar also spoke on the occasion while Secretary PR Amarnath Talwade explained in detail the process of devolution of power and functions of the PRIs.

A training handbook developed by the State Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (SIRD&PR) and its official website were launched on the occasion.

The technical sessions included topics like the role of PRIs in various RD programs, FFC grants, capacity building, human resources, SHG-CBO convergence, etc followed by interactions and questions and answers.

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