Dr. JP in his discussions, according to a press release, with the expert committee suggested the following reforms:
- Reconstitution of village panchayats or formation of panchayat clusters to ensure that such an entity has a minimum population of 10,000. Such a panchayat should have an office with all modern ITC facilities, high school, hospital, veterinary hospital, market yard for farmers, bus station, mobile court and bank branch.
- Mandatory implementation of citizen's charter in every village to ensure that Government services are extended in a specified period and payment of compensation in case of delay.
- Computerization of treasuries all over the country to ensure that funds released by the Central Government are routed to institutions directly.
- At least 50 percent of the Rs.1,80,000 crore released by the Union Government for various schemes annually should be routed directly to panchayat raj institutions, especially village panchayats. Allocation of the lion's share of funds to panchayats will facilitate a per capita grant of Rs.1000. It will help panchayats address a number of local problems and ensure participation of citizens in politics and local administration. An ombudsman can be constituted at the district level to prevent corruption in utilization of funds and facilitate attachment of properties and removal of the corrupt from offices.
- There should be a council at the district level bringing all municipalities and village panchayats under its purview.
Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar welcomed the proposals and promised appropriate measures from the Government-end.
Dr. JP, who had already met President Pranab Mukherjee, said that he would be meeting leaders of all main political parties soon, and try to build a consensus for fundamental reforms. The Lok Satta, he said, believed that the Government and political establishments would help usher in reforms to ensure a bright future for India.
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