SINGULAR TRANSITION TO DECENTRALISED GOVERNANCE

Indian Village

Indian Village

 

 

4.INDIA
— Gradual process, due to the effect of 73rd and 74th amendments.
— Central government encouraged State governments to initiate decentralization on a voluntary basis
— Based on expert committee report of 1957 3-teir system proposed.
— Few states made an efforts in 1970s and 1980s, with notable exception of West Bengal
— Direct elections, reservations for women and disadvantaged sections
— Devolution is especially over local infrastructure and welfare schemes.
— Biannual village meetings, appointment state finance commission..
— An effort to correct defects in the traditional systems where state appointed bureaucrats, with limited accountability to local citizens.
— Underlying political compulsions were not transparent. An opinion is that Congress dominated national government was seeking to consolidate its power in response to rising competition from political parties at both national and regional levels.
— The reform is incremental rather than radical, to remedy shortcomings of the previous regime.
— Slow and uneven pattern in different states
— On average, the extent of genuine functional or fiscal devolution is low with state bureaucracies continuing to retain control over public-service programs in all but three or four states.
— By and large elections are regular, wide spread participation of village meetings only in few states
— Indices of devolution were uncorrelated at the state level with ten indicators of economic performance and human development
— Reform has set a learning process in local democracy, with new coalitions of local government representatives emerging as a force even in national politics.A. WEST BENGAL (A SPL. CASE)
— Dates back to 1977, 3-tiers, officials elected directly, election mandatory since 1978 every five years.
— Substantial increase of local government at the expense of state bureaucracies.
— Transferred responsibilities are local infrastructure, welfare programs, but excluded primary education and health services
— Financial devolution is limited as local taxes contribute 4% of the local government budgets, employment grants account for 60%, grants tied to specific projects 25%.
— 2/3rd of local government positions were secured by landless, marginal, and small landowners, the poor constituted majority but underrepresented.
— Dates back to 1977, 3-tiers, officials elected directly, election mandatory since 1978 every five years.
— Substantial increase of local government at the expense of state bureaucracies.
— Transferred responsibilities are local infrastructure, welfare programs, but excluded primary education and health services
— Financial devolution is limited as local taxes contribute 4% of the local government budgets, employment grants account for 60%, grants tied to specific projects 25%.
— 2/3rd of local government positions were secured by landless, marginal, and small landowners, the poor constituted majority but underrepresented.
— Bulk of welfare resources flown to the poor
— Over inter-village allocations disproportionate influence yielded by the medium and small land owners.
— Formula bound allocation is absent and so greater

poverty, literacy, and proportion of low-caste residents were negatively correlated with the extent of resources flowing into the village.

 

 

 

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