Tuesday 24 February 2015Press Information Bureau
Functions and Functionaries
Panchayats being ‘Local Bodies’ is a State subject mandated under Part IX and List II (State List) of Seventh Schedule (Article 246) of the Constitution of India. The Panchayati Raj system has been structured according to the relevant provisions in the Constitution. Under Article 243G of the Constitution, State Legislatures are to endow, to the Panchayats with powers and authority to enable them to function as institutions of self-governments. Article 243G allows discretion to the States in the matter of devolution of powers to Panchayats and States vary significantly in the extent to which they have devolved powers to the Panchayats to plan, implement and monitor schemes for economic development and social justice.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj conducts an annual study to assess the extent of devolution of powers to various tiers of Panchayats. States have been encouraged to devolve powers (Functions, Functionaries and Finances) to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) through advisories and incentivization of States that devolve most powers to PRIs.
The Fourteenth Finance Commission (FC-XIV) has recommended devolution of grants to the tune of Rs. 2,00,292.20 crores to Gram Panchayats for the award period 2015-20. This amount is more than three times the grant of the 13th FC. The grants are intended to be used to improve the status of basic services including water supply, sanitation including seepage management, sewerage and solid waste management, storm water drainage, maintenance of community assets, maintenance of roads, footpaths and street-lighting, and burial and cremation grounds.
Vaada Raha Note: With the acceptance of the FC-XIV recommendations, the Government has fulfilled the promise of empowering one 'F' - Funds. Information pertaining to the annual study conduct by the Ministry is not readily available, but access to the same has already been requested and this promise will be updated as and when it is received.