Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Decentralised governance through panchayats in Tamil Nadu will only be effective if the local bodies are empowered with the funds allocated to them by the 73rd Constitutional amendment, which, despite the recommendations of three successive finance commissions, has only been partially heeded in the State, a discussion forum of panchayat presidents and non-governmental organisations concluded on Saturday.

The forum will submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Minister for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, requesting that all recommendations of the State Finance Commissions on fund allocation be implemented, and that all grants sanctioned be utilised only for the development of panchayats.

Members selected for the State Finance Commission should be from local body experts or those working for the empowerment of panchayats, they said, and all reports should be made public.