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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Ashok Mehta Committee (1978) - Panchyati Raj (Rural Economics)

Ashok Mehta Committee  - Panchyati Raj

In December 1977, the Janta Government appointed a committee on Panchayati Raj institutions under the chairmanship of Ashok Mehta. It submitted its report in August 1978 and made 132 recommendations to revive and strengthen the declining Panchayati Raj system in the country.

Ashok Mehta Committee  (1978)

Recommendations by Ashok Mehta Committee:

  • The three-tier system of Panchayati Raj should be replaced by the two-tier system, Zila Parishad at the district level. Below it, the Mandal Panchayat consists of a group of villages with a total population of 15,000 to 20,000.

  • A district should be the first point for decentralization under popular supervision below the state level.

  • There should be an official participation of political parties at all levels of panchayat elections.

  • The Panchayati Raj institutions should have compulsory powers of taxation to mobilize their own financial resources.

  • There should be a regular social audit by a district-level agency and by a committee of legislators to check whether the funds allotted for the vulnerable social and economic groups are actually spent on them.

  • The state government should not supersede the panchayat raj institutions. In case of an imperative supersession, elections should be held within six months from the date of supersession.

  • The Nyaya panchayat should be kept as separate bodies from that of development panchayats. They should be presided over by a qualified judge.

  • The chief electoral officer of a state in consultation with the chief election commissioner should organize and conduct the Panchayati Raj elections.

  • Development functions should be transferred to the Zila Parishad and all development staff should work under its control and supervision.

  • A minister of Panchayati Raj should be appointed in the State Council of ministers to look after the affairs of the Panchyati Raj institutions.

  • Seats for SCs and STs should be reserved based on their population.

  • A constitutional recognition should be accorded to the Panchayati Raj institutions. This would give them the requisite status and assurance of continuous functioning.

Due to the collapse of the Janata Government before the completion of its term, no action could be taken on the recommendations of the Ashok Mehta Committee at the central level.

However, three states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal took steps to revitalize the Panchayati Raj, keeping in view some of the recommendations of the Ashok Mehta Committee. 

👉 Previous Page:Balwant Rai Mehta Committee (1957) - Panchayati Raj (Rural Economics)

👉 Next Page:Gadgil Committee (1988) - Panchayati Raj (Rural Economics)



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