Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Dr.C.P.Joshi today informed the Rajya Sabha that 7 Round Table Conferences of the States Ministers of Panchayati Raj had been organized during July – December, 2004, which covers certain identified dimensions of Panchayati Raj like effective devolution of the Functions, Finances and Functionaries to Panchayati Raj Institutions, District Planning Committee, Training and Capacity Building and IT-enabled e-governance. No formal consolidated or one time review of the recommendations, joint statements and other points in this behalf has been done as this is a continuous and evolving process. This Ministry is seized of the importance of the recommendations. Since, the 73rd Amendment came into force the process of political empowerment of the Panchayats has gained considerable momentum. Reservations have been provided for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and women. Some States have provided for reservation for other Backward Classes. State Election Commissions and State Finance Commissions have been set up in all the States. This Ministry is committed to take the States towards meaningful and effective devolution of functions, funds, and functionaries (3Fs) to the PRIs and is in constant touch with them. The Ministry has constantly pursued preparation and notification of detailed Activity Mapping by concerned Ministries and States, opening of Panchayat Windows in State budgets, and assignment of functionaries in accordance with the devolution of functions and funds. The devolution of the 3Fs needs to be backed by grass-roots planning and the concept of grass-roots planning through the District Planning Committees (DPCs) was almost non-existent in most of the States.
Replying to a written question the Minister said his Ministry has pursued the establishment of DPCs in all the Districts where Part IX of the Constitution applies, and thereafter, to make them fully operational. To further the process of deepening of democracy, Gram Sabha is being empowered by incorporating specific roles to it under the guidelines. The period 2nd October 2009 to 2nd October 2010 was declared as the year of Gram Sabha and has heightened the awareness of the role of Gram Sabha.
(Release ID :68193)