Panchayati system will help in uplift of rural poor: Aiyer

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (UNI) Minister for Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyer today stressed the need for the spread of the Panchayati Raj system in the country for the economic and social uplift of the millions of rural poor and backward people in the country.

Addressing the eighth Editors' Conference on Social Sector Issues here, Mr Aiyer said the basic role of the panchayats is no different from those of the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) in the urban cities with the objectives of securing more benefits for their people and resolve their own issues amicably.

He said the government, in a bid to improve the Panchayati Raj system in the country, inducted the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1993 providing constitutional status to Gram Sabha, the three-tier panchayat system at village, intermediate and district levels except in the states with population less than 20 lakh, where intermediate panchayat may not be constituted.

The government would also ensure reservation of seats and leadership position for SC/ST and women, regular election, establishment of independent State Election Commission, State Finance Commission to be set up once in five years.

This would enable the panchayats to functions as institutions of self-governance, he added.

Mr Aiyer announced that out of 27.79 lakh elected representatives, 10.41 lakh are elected women representatives.

The Minister informed that so far Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have introduced 50 per cent reservation quota for women, while Sikkim has given 40 per cent reservation to the women, he added.

Mr Aiyer advocated that the Rural Health Mission should be implemented through the panchayats to make the programme a success at grass roots level.

UNI BKS BDP VC1350

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