ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Decentralised Planning and Panchayati Raj

Report of Wotrking Group in Tamil Nadu

The report of the working group set up to review the status of decentralised planning in the state has made several recommendations to revive the planning progress at the grass roots levels for both rural and urban areas, which may well be applicable to other states as well.

The concept of decentralised planning in India is as old as planning itself. Several attempts were made in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s to operationalise it across the country. Although in some states model district plans were formulated, they could not be operationalised due to non-existence of people’s institutions at district or sub-district levels. But the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution have created such institutions in the form of panchayats and municipalities providing a permanent structure for people’s participation in formulating the district plan. Articles 243G and 243W of these Amendment Acts provide for panchayats and municipalities to prepare plans for economic development and social justice at their levels. Article 243 ZD of the 74th amendment provides for Constitution of a district planning committee (DPC) which will consolidate the plans prepared by panchayats and municipalities and draft a development plan for the district as a whole. Keeping in view the constitutional mandate to formulate the panchayat and municipal plans and finally the district development plan, the State Planning Commission of Tamil Nadu constituted a working group on Decentralised Planning and Panchayati Raj in the context of the preparation of the Ninth Five-Year Plan. This working group was headed by K V Sundaram, noted development consultant, and consisted of 24 members and four special invitees, with the following terms of reference:

(1) to review the status of decentralised district planning in the state and suggest measures for improving its effectiveness;

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