Panchayat Raj Under the Chairmanship of
In the year 1977, an Official Committee was appointed to examine panchayat Raj under the Chairmanship of Ashok Mehta. Article 40 of Indian Constitution addressing the village panchayats, “Organisation of village panchayats the state shall take steps to organize village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as unit of self-government”
The main recommendations of the committee were:
- The three-tier system of Panchayati Raj Should be replaced by the two-tier system, that is, Zila Parishad at the district level, and below it, the Mandal Panchayat consisting of a group of villages covering a population of the 15000 to 20000.
- A district should be the first point for decentralization under popular supervision below the state level
- Zila Parishad should be the executive body and made responsible for planning at the district level
- There should be an official participation of political parties at all levels of Panchayat elections
- The Panchayati Raj institutions should have compulsory powers of taxation to mobilize their own financial resources
- There should be a regular social audit by a district level agency and by a committee of legislators to check whether the funds allocated for the vulnerable social and economic groups are actually spent on them
- The state government should not supersede the Panchayati Raj institutions. In case of an imperative supersession. election should be held within six months from the date fo supervision.
- The Chief Electoral Officer of state in consultation with Chief Election Commissioner should organise and conduct the Panchayati Raj election
- Development functions should be transferred to the Zila Parishad and all development staff should work under its control and supervision
- The voluntary agencies should play an important in mobilising the support of the people for panchayat Raj.
- A minister for Panchayat Raj should be appointed in the state council of ministers to look after the affairs of the Panchayati Raj institutions
- Seats for SC and ST should be reserved on the basis of their population.