Panchayati Raj: Need to initiate activity mapping stressed

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Shimla, Sep 18 (UNI) Activity mapping, the initial step in devolving the powers to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) was still to be initiated in Himachal Pradesh, even though the deadline for this process had been over almost a year ago, experts here said today.

A workshop over devolution of powers to PRIs was organised by Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) here in an attempt to track the progress of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between state government and the Centre last year.

A delegation including representatives of Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti and representatives of PRIA also met Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, demanding to initiate the process of activity mapping in the state.

A PRIA spokesman said that the state government had undertakern to complete by August, 2006, the activity mapping aimed at clearly demarcating the responsibilities and rights of the three tiers of the Panchayati Raj system with respect to their respective functions, funds and functionaries and issue the necessary notifications transferring schemes based on the mapping.

The meeting, attended by the Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons of Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti of eight districts, stressed that the government should devolve the necessary powers to panchayati raj institutions and for this purpose, the process of activity mapping should be initiated in the state without delay.

It was decided by the elected representatives that they would organise block and district level dialogues of the elected representatives of all the three tiers of the panchayats in this matter, the spokesman said.

UNI

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