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Minister favours activity mapping of local bodies

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, AUG. 28. The Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Panchayat Raj, Mani Shankar Aiyar, today stressed the importance of activity mapping of panchayati raj institutions for allocation of funds and devolution of power.

Speaking at the second round table conference of Ministers of Panchayat Raj from various States, he said absence of activity mapping of panchayat raj institutions was one of the reasons which acted as an impediment to devolution of power and funds as neither the Finance Department nor the Planning Commission would be aware of their activities.

Stressing the need to constitute district planning committees, he said they were mandatory under Article 243 G of the Constitution and all States and Union Territories should have them in place by December.

The Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, said strong panchayats were the key to winning the battle against poverty. Panchayats, being closer and constantly in touch with the people, were better equipped to deal with their problems.

He called for doing away with superfluous activities and schemes at the Central level and giving greater flexibility to the State to take up local schemes and plans.

He said a major thrust of decentralisation was to encourage planning and implementation from below and allow people to develop their own plans and implement them.

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