The Lok Satta Party on Tuesday welcomed the Union Government’s decision to constitute a panchayat service cadre to ensure proper implementation of Union-Government sponsored schemes.
Talking to media persons, party leaders Bandaru Rammohan Rao and V Vijayender Reddy expressed happiness over 20 of the 23 districts of the State being chosen under the proposal. They wanted the Government to constitute panchayat clusters so that all of them would be eligible for appointment of new personnel.
The Union Government envisages appointment of four officials in panchayats with a population of more than 5,000 and all panchayats in naxal-affected districts. Since panchayats cannot be merged pending the 2011 population census, the Lok Satta would like the State Government to form panchayat clusters so that most panchayats stand to gain with the infusion of additional personnel.
The Lok Satta leaders said that additional personnel be utilized to strengthen the village secretariat set-up and provide better civic services. The secretariat set-up established in 2001 has failed for want of staff.
They pointed out that since there has been an increased flow of funds from the Union Government to panchayats, there is scope for funds being siphoned off. To ward off such a situation, the Lok Satta leaders suggested the appointment of an ombudsman at the district level.
In addition, if the Union Government were to devolve funds on district governments, better services could be rendered. If people are thus empowered, they will not turn naxalites, they added.