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Dispur shaky to devolve power to panchayats?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  5 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 4: Why is Dispur, led by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, so shaky in devolving power to the panchayat level? The State government continues to evade the much-talked-about devolution power to the 2,201 gaon panchayats in the State even after a notification towards that end had been published in the Assam Gazette way back on June 25, 2007.

Addressing the press in the city today, All Assam Gaon Panchayat Coordition Committee (AAGPCC) president Durgeswar Mali, working president Shankar Das and secretary general Hem Chandra Baruah said: “The notification issued by the Governor in Assam Gazette on June 25, 2007 said that as many as 29 departments in the state administration would be devolved to the gaon panchayats that are 2,201 in number of the State. In utter surprise to all, not a single department has been devolved to the panchayats as yet.”

This is not the only failure of the Congress government in the state that surprises the people. Dispur has other failures as well. “The BPL list that was prepared based on the 2001 economic census in the State has been anomalous as a large number of fincially well-off people made their way in the list while the genuine poor have been excluded. Dispur conducted the decadal economic census in 2011, but its fil report has not been published as yet for reasons best known to it. Now a large number of fincially well-off people get various benefits like AAY, old-age pension, etc., depriving the poor. We want the fil report of the economic census be published immediately,” they said.

The leaders of the coordition committee further said that a part of gaon panchayat tax, land revenue and other government aided funds should go to the panchayats in accordance with Section 113 of the Assam Pachayat Act, besides making a clear-cut policy for the collection of gaon panchayat tax. This apart, they said, each panchayat should get a grant of Rs 10 lakh yearly so as to meet emergency situations.

Since gaon panchayats are people’s representatives as the MLAs and MPs are, they should also be paid honorarium, besides bonus, allowance, pension etc. They rued the fact that the honorarium to gaon panchayats was stopped after paying it only once in 2012.

The committee leaders said that they are going to stage a protest at Dispur on December 7 when the Winter Session of the State Assembly will start.

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