Implement PESA More Effectively, Says Dr. C.P.Joshi

Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Dr. C.P. Joshi has urged the State Governments and UT Administrations to implement the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act i.e. PESA in more effective manner to reach out to the tribal and rural population across the country. He said that the disparities exist still in terms of the provisions of the act and its proper implementation and the need of the hour is to bridge that divide. Dr. Joshi was presiding over a workshop at Mohanlal Sukhadia University in Udaipur today on the “Challenges and Opportunities in the implementation of PESA” . The workshop is aimed at chalking out the future agenda for the implementation of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 (PESA) in 4 States viz. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh.

The Minister highlighted that in spite of the critical importance of implementing PESA in the Schedule V areas, there has been a lot of difficulties in the implementation of PESA. Panchayats being a ‘State Subject’, States are yet to frame appropriate rules under PESA, and therefore the PESA has not been implemented in letter and spirit. He said, there is also need to make the Gram Sabhas more active and build capacities of Gram Sabha, Panchayat Representatives and officials.

Dr. Joshi urged the states to ensure that while implementing development projects in PESA areas the culture and life style of forest dwellers must be kept in mind so that it is not t affected adversely. He also advised the states to develop model to protect the land ownership rights of the tribal people so that they do not get a feeling of being alienated.

It is important to note that the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) authorises the States give the Gram Sabhas power to regulate and restrict sale/consumption of liquor; ownership of minor forest produce; power to prevent alienation of land and restore alienated land; power to manage village markets, control money lending to STs and power to manage village markets, control money lending to STs and Mandatory executive functions to approve plans of the Village Panchayats, identify beneficiaries for schemes, issue certificates of utilization of funds,

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(Release ID :68941)