Says staff crunch in panchayats will be solved

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the government will take urgent measures to solve the severe staff shortage at the three-tier panchayats in the State.

Speaking after inaugurating the South Asia School of Governance at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), Mulangunnathukavu, near here, on Saturday, he refuted the allegations about restrictions on government appointments.

The government had been making necessary appointments, including in the health sector and local bodies, he said.

School of governance

The South Asia School of Governance will provide training for elected representatives and officials of the South Asian counties such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Pakistan, on democratic decentralisation and three-tier panchayat system.

The school of governance is the first of the five schools planned on the KILA campus as part of upgrading it as a deemed university. “Kerala model of democratic decentralisation has been discussed even in the neighbouring countries. But the local governance needs a comprehensive overhaul to catch up with the changing times. Amendments should be made wherever necessary whether it is in the rules, guidelines, or practice. The government had already started measures in this direction,” he said.

Rejuvenation of grama sabhas was vital for dispersing decision-making process closer to people, the Chief Minister said.

Transparency

“It adds transparency and credibility to the entire system. The grama sabhas should be strengthened to ensure the empowerment of rural people. Many a time, the grama sabha meetings become just a mockery without proper participation of people,” he said.

Stressing the need for transforming KILA into a deemed university, Minister for Panchayats M.K. Muneer said there was scope for academic activities in the local administration sector.

KILA director P.P. Balan has been appointed as the special officer of the proposed deemed university. KILA’s programmes were meant for sensitising the rural populace to the process of democratic decentralisation, Mr. Balan said.

Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLA; I.A. Hameed, Director, Sri Lankan Institute of Local Governance; Kochi Mayor Tony Chemmani; and others participated.

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