Khangura for effective implementation of Panchayati Raj in Punjab - 29/01/2011

LUDHIANA, January 29: Maintaining that a lot needed to be done to implement the Panchayati Raj system effectively in Punjab, Qila Raipur MLA Jassi Khangura today said that the governance needs to be taken to people at the grassroots level, particularly to those who are at the bottom of the socio-economic set up.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Working of Panchayati Raj Institutions n India with special focus on North-Western States’, organized by the Department of Public Administration Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujjarkhan Campus here today, Khangura observed that the progress on implementing the Panchayati Raj system in its letter and spirit was quite slow and much more needed to be done.

However, he regretted that there was no political will in the state. He disclosed that the Panchayati Raj Act gives enough freedom to the states to implement it effectively according to their own needs and only the political will was needed, which unfortunately was currently lacking in Punjab. He pointed out, while states like Kerala and Karnataka have done exceedingly well, Punjab remained quiet down below the ladder despite being predominantly rural and agrarian.

Khangura called for massive administrative reforms at the grassroots level particularly the block level. He said, the government should be accessible to the poorest of the poor, who are at the bottom of the social and economic order. “The very purpose behind introducing the Panchayati Raj system was to decentralise the governance and take it to the grassroots”, he pointed out.

The Qila Raipur MLA suggested smaller administrative units at the block level where people do not have to travel large distances for smaller administrative purposes. “Otherwise for them the governance becomes inaccessible”, he remarked.

Khangura suggested greater participation of people in the administration by way of constituting administrative boards for education, health, infrastructure and other public utility services at the local levels. As an example, he said, the schools must have elected representatives of the parents whose children are studying there. He observed, it is quite unjust that the parents do not have any say in the management of the schools where their children study.

The general secretary of the college managing committee, Gurbir Singh Sarna thanked Khangura for participating in the seminar and enlightening the students.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included, Dr SS Tiwana, Dean Academic Affairs, Punjabi University Patiala, Dr Karamjit Kaur Virdi, Principal of the College, Bhupinder Sidhu, PCC delegate and others.

Jassi Khangura

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