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The Mission Creep Problem In Panchayat Finances

Avani Kapur

First published on Seminar (web-edition), available here.

Despite the promulgation of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution wherein states were mandated (wholly or partly) to constitute three levels of panchayat in rural areas and assign funds, functions, and functionaries to them, even today the status of devolution for even basic civic functions remains weak. While the Union government accepted the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, including that of not imposing more conditionalities, the period that followed undid the attempt to provide untied grants to panchayat.

As per the latest publicly available data on the status of devolution and fiscal and functional assignments to panchayats by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR), of the 29 functions to be devolved to rural local bodies (RLBs), only five states reported devolution of all 29.

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