Andhra Pradesh

‘A.P. ahead in public service delivery mechanism’

Andhra Pradesh is a frontrunner among States in public service delivery mechanism through panchayat raj institutions, Deputy Commissioner of Rural Development V. Sivasankar Prasad said here on Sunday.

Speaking at a webinar on ‘15th Finance Commission recommendations: status and position of PR institutions in Andhra Pradesh’ organised by the Tirupati-based Academy of Grassroots Studies and Research of India (AGRASRI), he called the village secretariat as a path-breaking reformatory step after the introduction of the Mandal Praja Parishat system in the State. He advocated a gram panchayat development plan, capacity building and training programmes and convergence of welfare schemes for viable and comfortable financial management in the State and in fulfilling the conditions stipulated by the 15th Finance Commission for utilising more funds.

M. Gopinath Reddy, consultant at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad, suggested allocation of 40% of the State budget to panchayat raj and nagarapalika institutions on the lines of Kerala, besides preparing the Devolution of Index (DoI) and Performance of Index (PoI).

AGRASRI director and event moderator D. Sundar Ram recalled that all the southern States, except Tamil Nadu, had lost their share of grants from the divisible pool of funds from the Centre due to the weightage system in vogue, and at the same time, larger States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh got immensely benefited with the population criteria.

M. Devendra Babu, professor at Karnataka State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj University (Gadag), said the 15th Finance Commission had recommended ₹36,000 crore more to local bodies when compared to its predecessor.

Explaining the intricacies in the functioning of the State’s PR system, E. Venkatesu, professor of political science at University of Hyderabad observed that the parallel institutions like janmabhoomi and grama volunteer systems weakened the gram panchayats at the grassroot level, while the multiple departmental committees shattered their financial autonomy.

I. Satya Sundaram, retired director at The Hindu College PG Centre, Machilipatnam, attributed the disturbance in the PR system to the enormous revenue deficit accrued over a decade and also pointed to the huge presence of ‘de facto’ system in place of elected representatives.

Karnataka State Panchayat Raj Parishat (Bengaluru) Vice-Chairman Venkatrao Y. Ghorpade hailed Karnataka for being the first in preparing the PoI and DoI indexes.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:41:35 PM |

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