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Sarpanches for more financial powers

Staff Reporter

Panchayats' merger not ruled out

Rajahmundry: The Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Sarpanches Association has sought more financial powers as in other States. In a convention here on Monday, State president of the association Padala Venkata Rama Reddy said that under Article 73 of the Indian Constitution local bodies should be strengthened and also given more teeth under the present laws.

He said that the executive officer of the gram panchayat and sarpanches should be given joint cheque power for spending money on the betterment of villages. He said that in West Bengal the gram panchyats were more powerful and the panchayats were under the direct supervision of IAS officers, which is not the case in Andhra Pradesh.

Feedback from districts

On the merger of small panchayats with the nearest big panchayat, the Government will take the final decision after the awareness programmes by the association in all 22 districts.

He said that they were gathering the opinion of sarpanches on this subject in every district conference like in Rajahmundry. He did not rule out the possibility of merger of gram panchayats.

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