Working Groups for the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012)

Democratic Decentralisation and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)

Dated 7th March 2006

It has been decided to set up a Working Group on "Democratic Decentralisation and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)" for the formulation of the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

II. The Composition of the Working Group is as under:

1. Shri B.S.Lalli, Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, New Delhi Chairperson
2. Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan
Foundation for Democratic Reforms/Lok Satta, 401, Nirmal Towers, Dwarakapuri Colony, Panjagutta, Hyderabad - 82
Tel. 91-40-23350790/23350778 FAX: 91-40-23350783 Email : loksatta[at]satyam[dot]net[dot]in,
3. Dr. M.Govinda Rao, Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, 18/2, Satrsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area (Near JNU), New Delhi - 110067 Member
4. Dr. Rajesh Tandon President, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), 42, Tuglakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi - 110062 Member
5. Shri R.Bandyopadhyay, Adviser (RD), Planning Commission New Delhi Member
6. Shri S.M.Vijaynand, Secretary (Planning and Economic Affairs Department), Government of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram - 695004 Kerala Tel Fax. No. 0471-2541765 (O), 2470730 (R) Member
7. Shri S.S. Meenakshisundaram, Member (Finance), Space Commission, Aantriksh Bhavan, New Bel Road, Bangalkore, Karnataka Tel.No.080-3415234, 2712620-21 Fax. No. 080-3515421 Member
8. Shri P.P. Verma, Secretary (P and D), Government of Assam, Guwahati Member
9. Shri Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, Secretary (Panchayati Raj), Govt. of Bihar, Patna Member
10. Shri R.S. Sharma, Secretary (IT), Govt. of Jharkhand, Ranchi Member
11. Dr. J.M.Phatak, Secretary (RD), Govt. of Maharashtra Mumbai Member
12. Dr. M.N.Roy, Secretary (PR and RD), Govt. of West Bengal, Kolkatta Member
13. Shri T.R.Raghunandan, Joint Secretary Ministry of Panchayati Raj New Delhi Member Secretary

III. The Terms of Reference of the Working Group will be as follows:

  1. To analyse the provisions of State Panchayati Raj Acts and suggest modifications in view of the experience of last 10 years with regard to different aspects of Panchayati Raj set up such as mode of election of chairpersons at various levels, Rotational Policy, State Finance Commissions, Powers of State Election Commission and other related aspects.
  2. To examine the role of Gram Sabha vis-à-vis the village panchayat and suggest measures which would engender spirit of cooperation between the PRI functionaries and Gram Sabha.
  3. To lay down guidelines for interface between PRIs, Non-Governmental Organisations and other Community Based Organisations working in a panchayat area keeping in view the responsibilities entrusted to these organisations.
  4. Suggest fiscal reforms including inter-government fiscal transfer system and improving revenues of PRIs, necessary to make them effective institutions.
  5. To study the State budgets in order to ascertain the extent to which they ensure that budgetary outlays are assigned to the Panchayat sector in accordance with the devolution of functions to the Panchayats.
  6. To analyse the capability of PRIs at different levels to absorb the financial allocations made to these organisations under different schemes, including the Twelfth Finance Commission’s award and suggest modalities to ensure fiscal discipline and financial accountability at different levels.
  7. Assess the training requirements in Eleventh Five Year Plan and suggest training modules / pattern for elected PRI functionaries and Government officials.
  8. To review the implementation of Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Area) Act, 1996 in the States with Scheduled V areas.
  9. Any other Term of Reference that may be decided by the Working Group in its first meeting.

IV. The Chairman of the Working Group may set up sub-groups / task forces, if necessary for undertaking in-depth studies and formulation of proposals for the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

V. The expenditure of the official members for attending the meetings of the Working Group will be borne by the respective parent Department/Ministry/Organisations as per the rules applicable to them. The expenditure regarding TA/DA of non-official Members will be borne by the Planning Commission according to the appropriate rules and practices.   

VI. Chairperson may co-opt experts and constitute sub-groups for specific tasks.

VII. The Working Group will submit its final report to the Planning Commission by 31st July, 2006.