Thursday, June 14, 2007


GANGTOK, June 13: The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today claimed that the SDF Government had failed to extend power and authority to the Panchayats under 11th Schedule of the Constitution vis-à-vis Article 243G of the Constitution of India.

According to a press release issued here today, the BJP said that the SDF’s claim that it decentralized the powers to Panchayats and gave 33 percent reservation to women “is nothing but implementation of the Article 243 of the Constitution of India.” “Article 243D and 243T clearly stipulates that one third of the seats shall be reserved for women. However the SDF failed to give power and authority to the Panchayat which is entitled under Schedule 11 of the Constitution, vis-à-vis Article 243G of the Constitution,” the press release read.

The BJP has listed the implementation of schemes to be entrusted to the Panchayat under Schedule 11. (SEE BOX)

The BJP said that it would be “eagerly waiting” to see as how much power and authority the State Government transfers to the Municipality under 12th Schedule of the Constitution vis-à-vis Article 243W of the Constitution of India.

It further said that the Finance Commission, under Article 280 (3) (bb) has already augmented the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities in State and provided enough fund.

However, the BJP has already raised objection to report with regards to the percentage reservation which the BJP feels, is below the level to which the Scheduled Tribe and OBC (only in the State list but non backward classes [NBC] in the Central list) are entitled.

The press release says that the BJP will raise objections if the reservation is not constitutionally sound and also if the reservation and rotation pattern is not made as per sound logical basis.


Schemes to be entrusted to Panchayat under 11th Schedule of the Constitution:

1. Agriculture, including agricultural extension.

2. Land improvement, implementation of land reforms, land consolidation and soil conservation.

3. Minor irrigation, water management and watershed development.

4. Animal husbandry, dairying and poultry.

5. Fisheries.

6. Social forestry and farm forestry.

7. Minor forest produce.

8. Small scale industries, including food processing industries.

9. Khadi, village and cottage industries.

10. Rural housing.

11. Drinking water.

12. Fuel and fodder.

13. Roads, culverts, bridges, ferries, waterways and other means of communication.

14. Rural electrification, including distribution of electricity.

15. Non-conventional energy sources.

16. Poverty alleviation programme.

17. Education, including primary and secondary schools.

18. Technical training and vocational education.

19. Adult and non-formal education.

20. Libraries.

21. Cultural activities.

22. Markets and fairs.

23. Health and sanitation, including hospitals, primary health centers and dispensaries.

24. Family welfare.

25. Women and child development.

26. Social welfare, including welfare of the handicapped and mentally retarded.

27. Welfare of the weaker sections, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

28. Public distribution system.

29. Maintenance of community assets.