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Gandhian's dream of Panchayati Raj will be realised: Aiyer

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The Government today reiterated its commitment to strengthening the Panchyati Raj system in the country to make such bodies self-sufficient to deal with the problems of the villages.

Intervening in the debate on the Demands for Grants under the control of the Ministry of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer said the objective of the Panchayati Raj as visualised by Mahatma Gandhi could, however, be realised only with the active cooperation of the State Governments.

Mr Aiyer said his Ministry had so far held seven meetings with state rural development ministers to arrive at a consensus to prepare a broad guideline for strengthening the Panchayati Raj System. In the meeting, 150 steps were identified on which state ministers had a broad consensus.

The recommendations of these meetings of state Panchyati Raj ministers were also sent to the chief ministers of respective states for their comment and opinion. None of the chief ministers objected to the decisions, he said.

Mr Aiyer said he had also visited eight states and two union territories to have first hand information about the manner the Panchayati Raj system was being run there. The states were Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttaranchal, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Orissa, Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh and the two union territories of Lakshadweep and Chandigarh.

The state government, he said, had been forwarded the 150-point programme for implementation. The Ministry was entirely dependent on the State Government for the success of the programme, he added.

He said the Ministry could only take up the issue with the state government when it was given the feedback about the implementation of the Panchayati Raj Institutions, by the elected representatives.

While agreeing that there was a lot more to be done to realise the objective of the Panchayati Raj, he said that under the constitution the ministry could only urge the state governments for its success and to make way for transfer of powers to this institutions to give them more autonomy.

Mr Aiyer also sought the help of the MPs to ensure the implementation of the 150-point programme in their respective states.

The Centre, he said, was committed to implementing the Panchyati Raj Institution in true spirit and would do everything for the success of this system.


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