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Action Taken Report on the Joint Declaration signed by Union Minister, Panchayati Raj and Hon’ble Chief Minister

Action Taken Report on the Joint Declaration signed by Union Minister, Panchayati Raj and Hon’ble Chief Minister

  1. To bring about consensus in implementation of time bound action plan to strengthen PRIs, Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organized seven Round Table Conferences, all across the country. The Seven R.T. Conferences were held between Julys - November 2004. The theme of all Seven R.T. Conferences has covered wide range of subjects. The consensus is arrived on 150 Action points (Resolutions) which comprise a time bound action plan for achieving full devolution of functions, finances and functionaries to PRIs in accordance with the letter and spirit of the constitution. In view of the urgent need of speedy implementation of 150 Resolutions, the Govt. of Assam has constituted a committee on the matter vide letter no. PDA.258/2004/229 dtd. 6th June 2005.
  2. The important recommendations of Seven Round Table are: Activity Mapping b) Opening of Panchayat window in the State Budget c) Constitution of DPC for grassroot level planning at the GP level d) Transfer of Fund e) Transfer of Functionaries f) Strengthening of the Gram Sabhas g)  Constitution SFC h) Imposition of Taxes i) Merger of DRDA with Zilla Parishad j) Ensuring equitable representation of women and particularly members of the deprived class of the society i.e. SC and ST representation k) Decentralization of the planning and the execution of the development schemes l) Definite role of the PRIs in implementation of Major Flagship Programmes like NREGA, Bharat Nirman, SSA, NRHM, National Horticulture Mission, District Water and Sanitation Mission (Swajaldhara) and Mid day Meal etc. m)Capacity building of PRIs through regular training n)Linking of the PRIs  through e-governance and Net working.
  3. Progress made so far in implementation of above recommendations:
    1. Activity Mapping:  Activity mapping of 29 departments have been finalized and government notification has already been issued to this effect on Dt.26th July, 2002. A High-Powered committee headed by Shri PC Sarma, Additional Chief Secretary is constantly reviewing the steps taken by the government departments in order to ensure functional, fiscal and administrative devolution to the PRIs. The activity mapping prepared and issued by the Government of Assam in the year 2002 requires updation.  Therefore, it is felt that activity mapping in Assam for devolution of powers i.e. functions, funds and functionaries to PRI may be prepared on the lines as in Kerela and Karnataka.
    2. The Panchayat & RD department circulated the departmental-wise Model Performa of activity mapping indicating functional, fiscal and administrative devolution to PRIs (Karnataka and Kerela Pattern). The departments are to prepare and compile the activity mapping of  (29 subjects) relating to their respective departments among the three tiers of PRIs.  The Model Proforma prepared on the basis of activity mapping of Kerela and Karnataka is require to be used as a guiding post.  While preparing and compiling activity mapping, the respective departments must adhere to the provisions of Section 19,49 and 90 of APA, 1994 and Government Notification No.PDA.336/2001/Pt/80 dt.26th July 2002 regarding devolution of fund, functions and functionaries to the PRIs. The departments are advised to complete this exercise latest within the month of October. So far except one department (Fishery), no response has been received from other departments. A reminder is issued recently.
    3. Panchayat Window in the State Budget : The provision of Panchayat Window in the State Budget has been discussed in the High Powered Committee. In the last review meeting of the Committee, the concerned departments have been asked to work out the amount of fund to be allotted against the along with the functionaries. Departments are also requested to move Finance department for separate head for the purpose. Accordingly, the departments are advised that the budgetary provisions along with quantum of funds against the respective activity among the three tiers must be clearly indicated. So far, the departments’ in spite of repeated reminders take no follow up action
    4. Devolution of functions and Functionaries to PRIs : The respective departments have been advised by the High powered Commmittee to ensure the issue of executive orders to this effect indicating Functional, Fiscal and Administrative devolution to the PRIs. On receipt of the respective activity mapping from the respective departments along with executive orders, the P & RD department will compile and issue activity mapping of the state.
    5. Constitution of DPCs: The District Planning Committees have been constituted in all 20 Non Six Schedule districts. The guidelines in order to prepare District Participatory plan at the GP level under the aegis of the DPC are finalized and all the DPCs are fully functional and busy in preparing/finalizing District plan. Recently, a Cabinet Sub Committee is constituted with Principal Secretary Planning & Development being member-secretary for finalizing the modalities in regard to the further strengthening the functioning of the DPC.
    6. Twelve-Finance Commission: The grants under the 12th Finance Commission are under the process of release. The State Govt. have laid emphasis on quick transfer of funds to the PRI especially the fund received under the 12th Finance Commission grants and meanwhile bank account numbers of all the PRIs have been collected for transferring fund . Allocation for PRIs is Rs. 526 crore for 2005-2010.  Annual allocation Rs. 105.20 crore.  Assam has secured only the 1st six monthly Installments of 2005-06.   The 2nd Installment of 2005-06 could not be released as the allocation details upto GP level had not been furnished. These have now been furnished wide letter dated 14.8.2006.  The 1st Installment of 2006-07 has also become due from 1.7.2006. The grants under the 12th Finance Commission are under the process of release. The State Govt. have laid emphasis on quick transfer of funds to the PRI especially the fund received under the 12th Finance Commission grants and meanwhile bank account numbers of all the PRIs have been collected for transferring fund sanctioned under the second installment of the 12th Finance Commission grants for 2005-06.
    7. State Election Commission: Under the provision of the Assam Panchayat Act 1994 State Election Commission has been constituted to look into the matter related to preparation of electoral rolls, delimitation of constituencies, rotations of seats, qualification of candidates, conduct elections and election disputes.
    8. State Finance Commission: In pursuance of the provision of the Panchayat Act 1994, the Third State Finance Commission has been constituted. The First and Second State Finance Commission had already submitted its reports. The Third State Finance Commission have constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri HN Das, IAS, Rtd. Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Assam. As for TOR, the Commission will examine the modalities in order to strengthen the resource base of the PRIs and ULBs. The 3rd SFC has already a number of sittings and the work is in progress.
    9. Imposition of New Tax : The Panchayat Act 1994 has assigned taxing power to Panchayat  alongwith tax collection. The 3rd SFC is also examining in order to strengthen the resource base of the PRIs.
    10. Gram Sabha : Gram Sabha has been strengthened as per mandate of the constitutional provision. The Assam Panchayat Act, 1994 and the Rules made under the Act have made it mandatory on the part of the GP for convening the periodic meetings of the Gram Sabha.
    11. CAPACITY BUILDING OF ELECTED PANCHAYAT REPRESENTATIVES: Representatives of all PRIs are being imparted training regularly by SIRD. Since 2002, 584 courses have been organized covering 39087 participants. Elected representatives of panchayats and functionaries are deputed to attend the training programmes in different institutes of the country. They are also sent on exposure visits to different states like, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka, Hyderabad, Kerala. The steps are being taken in order to organize regular refresher training programmes at the District and Block level and at the extension/regional training centers of the SIRD.
    12. Merger of DRDA with Zilla Parishad : DRDAs have been working closely with Zilla Parishad. The technical officials of the DRDA also render their services for the works allotted to ZP.
    13. Reservation: 33% of seats are reserved for women. Women occupy total 8,555 seats. 33% of seats of the Chairperson are also reserved for women. The seats are allotted by rotation to different constituencies.
    14. Annual Report: All CEOs are instructed to prepare Annual Report covering – Basis statistics of PRIs, Devolution, Gram Sabha, Annual Action Plan, Budget, Election Status, Audit, Account keeping,  Staff, Fund flow, Implementation of different schemes. Revenue collection, training any innovative measure taken by PRIs and constrain faced by PRIs.
    15. General Audit: The formats formulated by C & AG have been adopted.
    16. Panchyati Raj Rules and Regulations: A compendium of the Panchayati Raj legislation and rules and all important circulars and instructions (English version) is already in place. The respective ZPs/DRDAs will be instructed suitably to get it printed in local language wherever it is required. The various manuals as recommended in the Joint statement like Budget Manual,Accounts Manua, Audit Manual, Procurement Manual’ Office Management System, Management Manuals for transferred institutions, Public Works execution Manual and Fiscal Responsibility Legislation for the PRIs will be prepared in due course of time
    17. Strenghtening of Accounting System and Computerization of the Panchayat records: The Panchayat & Rural Development Department has already started to process of computerization of the PRIs of Assam under database programme of the grant awarded under the 11th & 12th Finance Commission. The customized Software for maintenance of Audit & Accounts of the PRIs (APRISM) have already been developed, tested and found successful. The Networking & Training is going on in Kamrup district and installation of Hardware has been completed in Kamrup district and also the works are in rapid progress in case of the other districts of Assam. The process of development of database in the PRIs of Assam is going on centrally by this Directorate in three stages viz. (1) Development of Software (2) Networking and Training to the staff of the PRIs on the Software so developed (3) Installation of Hardware with peripherals. As per the guidelines of the Govt. of India, it is expected the all the PRIs of Assam will be connected through the V-SAT under the grant awarded under 12th Finance Commission. Necessary proposal in this respect is being prepared and submitted to the Govt. for approval. In regards to the PRI fund transfer Software, it may be stated that State NIC have already developed the Software and will display the same to this Directorate. Collection of Bank Account Number of GP/AP and ZP is going on. On receipt of complete list of Bank Account Numbers of the PRIs, the same will be submitted to the NIC for easy transfer of fund up to the G.P. level.
    18. Panchayat Elections: Elections are due in March 2007.  The State Election commission is already on the job and the preliminary preparations are in progress.
    19. PANCHAYAT MAHILA SHAKTI ABHIYAN : The proposal in regard to Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan is already prepared by the Director, Administrative Staff College and is being submitted to GOI for approval. the proposal contains convening a conference/forum of Women representatives of the PRIs.
    20. PANCHAYAT YUVA SHAKTI ABHIYAN: A proposal to that effect for organizing a  Panchayati Yuva Khel Abhiyan on regular basis is already submitted to GOI.
    21. BACKWARD REGION GRANT FUND: The work in regard to BRGF scheme is in progress. The Planning and Development Department already Okayed the schemes. The preliminary requirement of the scheme regarding constitution of DPCs has already met. The DPCs got constituted in all non-sixth Schedule districts.
    22. Rural Business Hubs (Point No-18): The Blockwise list of products and endowments etc. for promotion of Rural Business Hubs has already been submitted vide letter No. PDA 224/2005/27 dtd. 19/12/2005. Rural Market sheds, SARAS Melas are the steps for promotion of rural business hubs.

    Role of PRIs in implementation of Major Flagship Programmes:

    1. NHRM : The State Health Mission District Health Missions are constituted . Chairman Zilla Parishad leads the District Health Mission, DHM will control guide and manage all Public Health Institution. DHM will prepare Distric t Health Plan. Fund will flow directly to DHM, President G.P. will be the President of VHC. VHC will prepare Village Health Plan . ASHA the health person will be selected by G.P. and accountable to G.P.
    2. Sarbasiksha Mission : The District Level Committee is being implemented through the involvement of PRI. At District Level Committee Chairman, Zilla Parishad is one of the members of the District Committee. At Block Level , the president of the Anchalik Panchayat is one of the members. At villege level, the President of G.P. is the Chair Person of the Village Education Committee. The member within the village is the member of the VEC. All funds, selection Centre (Alternative School, Sanjogi Kendra) and Selection of Siksha Karmis are entrusted with VEC. The Headmaster of the School is the Member Secretary of VEC. All the member of V.P. are the members of Managing Committee of Primary and M.E. School.
    3. Swajaldhara : Chairman Z.P. is the Chairman of District Water and Sanitation Mission, CEO is the Chairmen of District Water and Sanitation Committee. Executive Engineer PHE is the member Secretary. President G.P. is the president of village water and Sanitation Committee.
    4. NREGP : National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme is being implemented through PRIs. D.C. is the District Co-ordinator of NREGP. NREGP is implemented by the G.P.s of  the following Districts namely – Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and by VLDC  in Kokrajhar, N.C. Hills and K. Anglong.
    5. Mid-Day Meal Scheme : Elementary Education at formal schools will be implemented by school Managing Committee where PRIs are well represented. In alternative schools under SSA will be implemented by VEC. Govt. of India and Govt. of Assam have recently issued notification vide PMA/MDM/7/2006 dated 17th August 2006. Cooking sheds in the school are to be constructed by DRDA.
    6. E-Governance: 
      The Panchayat & Rural Development Department has already started to process of computerization of the PRIs of Assam under database programme of the grant awarded under the 11th & 12th Finance Commission.
      The customized Software for maintenance of Audit & Accounts of the PRIs (APRISM) have already been developed, tested and found successful. The Networking & Training is going on in Kamrup district and installation of Hardware has been completed in Kamrup district and also the works are in rapid progress in case of the other districts of Assam. The process of development of database in the PRIs of Assam is going on centrally by this Directorate in three stages viz. (1) Development of Software (2) Networking and Training to the staff of the PRIs on the Software so developed (3) Installation of Hardware with peripherals.
      As per the guidelines of the Govt. of India, it is expected the all the PRIs of Assam will be connected through the V-SAT under the grant awarded under 12th Finance Commission. Necessary proposal in this respect is being prepared and submitted to the Govt. for approval.
      In regards to the PRI fund transfer Software, it may be stated that State NIC have already developed the Software and will display the same to this Directorate. Collection of Bank Account Number of GP / AP and ZP is going on. On receipt of complete list of Bank Account Numbers of the PRIs, the same will be submitted to the NIC for easy transfer of fund up to the G.P. level.

Information maintained by the Directorate of Panchayat & Rural Development, Assam,
Juripar, Panjabari, Guwahati, Assam, PIN-781022, Phone: 0361- 2333644, Fax: 0361-2333644, E-mail: dprd@assam.nic.in
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