There can never be two opinions in the fact that panchayats are the epitome of development, prosperity, modernisation, advancement and growth of villages of any country. As we all know that nearly 70 per cent of Indians live in villages, so importance of establishment of Panchayat Raj institutions in India gets doubled. It is because of this that Mahatma Gandhi advocated that if, we really want to see India as a developed nation then we have to establish Panchayats in India.
Panchayats pave the way for decentralisation of powers and shift the powers to the hands of people so that they can make their development possible by their own hands.
It is only because of this that Mahatma Gandhi called this institution as Gram Swaraj, means this system of governance impart an independent status to a village. A village becomes independent of its social, agricultural, educational, judicial and economic development. Unlike present political set-up, panchayats facilitate the developmental opportunities at the door-steps of every poor villager.
It ensures development at grass root level. Unlike an MLA, MLC or any Minister, a Sarpanch is well aware about the problems, needs and desires of people of his village and also remains accountable to them because he lives among them.
Establishment of panchayats in 4,490 villages will give start to a new era of development, prosperity, peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir. To your revelation these panchayats will bring Rs 4,335 crore grant from centre under 14 Finance Commission.
On an average individual panchayat will get Rs 20 lakh per annum for development purposes. Not even this, Satya Pal Malik former Governor of J&K armed these grass roots institutions with more powers by amending Panchayati Raj Act 1989. Satya Pal Malik has made devolution, a part of Act. SAC has not only given adequate teeth to Panchayats but also make it a binding for Government departments to follow it.
As per a report given by an official spokesman, Panchayats have been given powers over 20 departments. In addition to this, to make Panchayati Raj Institution (PRIs), true harbingers of socio- economic development, this amendment will ensure well-defined taxation powers to Panchayat for generation of adequate resources for themselves.
This also define the role of Gram Sabha to supervise the implementation of important schemes like MGNERGA, Pardhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Mid Day Meal and ICDS. Monitoring of primary schools, Primary Health Centres and Aganwadi Centers has been passed to PRIs to make them accountable to society. To strengthen the Panchayats further, additional posts of accountant, data entry operator and block Panchayat Inspector have been created in them.