Making Panchayati Raj System more Effective
Part of: Prelims and GS- II – Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Context: The Panchayati Raj system of local self-government was introduced by the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution of India. Part IX was inserted in the Constitution as a sequel to the 73rd Constitutional Amendment in 1993, bestowing the Constitutional mandatory status to the ‘Panchayats’.
- Panchayat, being “Local Government”, is a State subject and part of State list of Seventh Schedule of Constitution of India. Accordingly, the Panchayats are setup and operate through the respective State Panchayati Raj Acts.
- eGramSwaraj is a user friendly web-based portal, which aims to bring in better transparency in the decentralised planning, progress reporting, financial management, work-based accounting and details of assets created.
- For ensuring timely audit of Panchayat accounts i.e. receipts and expenditures of Gram Panchayats, MoPR has rolled out an online application – AuditOnline This application not only facilitates the auditing of Panchayat accounts but also provides for maintaining of audit records. This application streamlines the process for audit inquiries, draft local audit reports, draft auditparas etc. and thus ensures proper maintenance of accounts by Panchayats to improve transparency and accountability.
Devolution of Power and Funds to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIS)
Article 243G of the Constitution of India empowers the Legislature of a State to make provisions, by law, for the devolution of power and responsibilities upon Panchayat at appropriate level.
A Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog for restructuring of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) to address the challenges faced by the rural local bodies and increased fund flow to Gram Panchayats. Based on the recommendations of the Committee, a revamped Centrally Sponsored Scheme of RGSA was prepared for strengthening of PRIs for the period 2018-2019 to 2021-22.
Note: The Cholas were the pioneers in the formation of local bodies as part of a well-organised hierarchy to oversee the implementation of progressive plans.
News Source: PIB