Economy

PM, Sonia want panchayats strengthened

| Updated on: Apr 24, 2011
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The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the UPA Chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, today emphasised the need to strengthen Gram Sabhas for effective participation of people in governance.

Addressing a function on National Panchayat Diwas here, Dr Singh said the government was considering increasing the capacity of panchayats so that they can discharge their responsibilities effectively.

Noting that timely elections to panchayats were necessary for their effective functioning, the Prime Minister said the 70 to 80 per cent turnout in the panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand a few days back “reflects that people now want to decide their future themselves.”

The Prime Minister said that though the idea of self-governance has got legal acceptance, there is still a “long way to go for bringing decentralisation.”

Ms Gandhi said the Gram Sabhas should have power for social audit of all schemes and it has a special role in the monitoring of MNREGS. She said there was need to consider many options to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system. The meetings of Gram Sabhas should be held regularly and women and deprived sections must participate in them to place their views.

They distributed the Annual PEAIS awards to the best performing States under the Panchayat Empowerment and Accountability Incentive Scheme. Maharashtra bagged the maximum number of awards.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, received the award for his State. The Union Minister of Panchayati Raj, Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh, said the Gram Sabhas need to be strengthened on the lines of Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha.

Published on April 24, 2011

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