Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Panchayati Raj
16-December-2011 15:31 IST
Devolution of Power to PRIS
As per Article 243 G of the Constitution, the Legislature of a State may, by law, endow Panchayats with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government and for preparation of plans and implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice including 29 matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule. As per Article 243H of the Constitution, a State Legislature, may, by law, authorize or assign taxes, duties etc to Panchayats and provide for grants-in-aid.

As the Constitution leaves it to States to devolve power to Panchayats, States vary in the extent to which they have devolved funds, functions and functionaries (3Fs). As per an independent study that ranked States on a Devolution Index (DI) for the year 2010-11, Kerala, Karnataka, Sikkim and West Bengal were found to have devolved most powers to Panchayats and given incentive awards. The States of Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Puducherry ranked low on that DI.

To promote devolution, MoPR has issued advisories on Activity Mapping, Panchayat Finances and Manpower for Panchayats. States have been incentivised for devolution of 3 Fs to Panchayats under Panchayat Empowerment & Accountability Intensive Scheme (PEAIS).

As per Article 243B, three tier Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels are to be constituted in all States. Panchayats at the intermediate level may not be constituted in a State having a population not exceeding 20 lakhs. Where Part IX of the Constitution applies, all the States have constituted Panchayats in conformity with the Constitution. Elections have been held up in Andhra Pradesh as per High Court’s order and in Puducherry because of administrative difficulties.

The above information was given by the Minister of Panchayati Raj Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo in the Lok Sabha today.