Decentralisation and Participatory Planning by Pris in Telangana:A Study of Grama Jyothi Programme
AbstractGrama Jyothi programme by the Telangana government aims at inclusive development through a people's participatory planning at Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). This paper studies the status of decentralisation and budget allocations for PRIs and implementation of Grama Jyothi programme for participatory planning in Telangana State. The results are based on State budget documents and a field survey in four villages from two districts - Warangal and Adilabad. The study found that in Telangana, the PRIs, especially Gram Panchayats, are suffering from many problems such as lack of devolution of all the constitutional subjects to PRIs; no direct control over many village level functionaries; major allocation of State budget on the PRI's subject are spent through parallel bodies; low level of per capita revenue and expenditure and limited taxation powers for Gram Panchayats (GP); poor collection of local revenue; low spending on basic services. People lack faith and hope on functioning capacity of teethless GPs since they suffer from devolution of full functions and sufficient funds and functionaries. As a result, the people's participation in Grama Jyothi programme was disappointing and it has not been successful even in famously institutionally developed village -Gangadevipally in the State. Hence there is an urgent need for devolution of all constitutional powers and sufficient funds and functionaries to PRIs in Telangana State for the success of participatory bottom-up planning programme like Grama Jyothi. Otherwise Mahatma Gandhi's optimism about village republic will be unrealised and Ambedkar's pessimism will stay real.
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