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Financial Decentralization, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Rural Development in India
By Mohd. Azam Khan , Tosib Alam

First Published : 2011
ISBN : 9788177082579
Pages : 186
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 33

The passage of the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992 marked a watershed in the history of modern India. With this amendment, a uniform structure of panchayats emerged throughout the country. Article 243G read with Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution explicitly requires the States to devolve powers and authority on panchayats which may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government. India’s decentralisation initiative in the form of Seventy-third Amendment poses challenges and offers opportunities.

Providing basic services at the grassroots level makes panchayats the primary interface of the citizens’ interaction with the government. The principle of subsidiarity implies that matters are best handled by the least centralised competent authority. Following this, these institutions need to be adequately empowered—both functionally and financially—to enable them to fulfil the role envisaged for them in the Constitution.

1. Trend Towards Decentralization: Global and Indian Experience
1.1 Meaning and Scope of Decentralization
1.2 Decentralization: Global Scenario
1.3 Decentralization in India
1.3.1 Constitutional Status to Panchayats
1.3.2 Main Features of Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act
2. Inter-government Financial Transfers in India
2.1 Fiscal Federalism: An Introduction
2.2 Federal Constitution of India
2.3 Fiscal Federalism in India: Evolution and Structure
2.4 Expenditure and Tax Assignments in India
2.4.1 Assignment between Centre and State Governments
2.4.2 Assignments between State and Local Governments
2.5 Fiscal Imbalances: Trends and Issues
2.5.1 Vertical Fiscal Imbalance in India
2.5.2 Horizontal Fiscal Imbalance in India
2.6 Inter-government Transfers
2.6.1 Volume and Composition
2.6.2 Finance Commission Transfers
2.6.3 Planning Commission Transfers
2.6.4 Assistance for Centrally Sponsored Schemes
2.7 Infrastructure Financing at the State Level
2.8 Fiscal Decentralization and Local Governments
3. Financing of Panchayati Raj Institutions
3.1 Importance of Local Government Finance
3.2 Decentralization of Powers and Functions
3.3 Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution (Article 243G)
3.4 District Planning Committees
3.5 Financing of Panchayats
3.6 Trends in the Revenue and Expenditure of Panchayats
3.7 Role of State Finance Commission
3.8 Central Finance Commission
3.9 Role of Centrally Sponsored Schemes
3.10 Reforming Rural Fiscal Decentralization in India
4. Panchayati Raj Institutions and Rural Development
4.1 Decentralization and Rural Development
4.2 Rural Infrastructure Development
4.3 Rural Roads
4.3.1 Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
4.3.2 Bharat Nirman
4.3.3 Role of Panchayats
4.3.4 Financial Outlay and Expenditure
4.3.5 Targets and Achievements
4.3.6 Policy Initiatives and Restructuring of PMGSY
4.4 Rural Housing
4.4.1 Indira Awaas Yojana
4.4.2 Physical and Financial Performance
4.4.3 Bharat Nirman
4.4.4 Policy Initiatives and Restructuring of IAY
4.5 Rural Drinking Water Supply
4.5.1 Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP)
4.5.2 Role of Panchayats
4.5.3 Financial Progress and Physical Progress
4.5.4 Bharat Nirman
4.5.5 Policy Initiatives
4.6 Rural Sanitation
4.6.1 Sanitation Policy of India
4.6.2 Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)
4.6.3 Physical Progress
4.6.4 Financial Progress
4.6.5 Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP)
4.6.6 Policy initiatives and restructuring of TSC
4.7 Rural Electrification
4.7.1 Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY)
4.7.2 Finances for RGGVY
4.7.3 Progress of RGGVY
4.8 Many Others Development Programme
4.8.1 National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
4.8.2 Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana
4.8.3 Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
4.8.4 National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)
4.8.5 Mid-day Meal Scheme
4.8.6 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
4.9 Elements of a Well-designed Panchayati Raj System
4.9.1 Designing, Planning and Implementation System
4.9.2 System for Good Accountability
4.9.3 Transparency
4.9.4 Strengthening the Gram Sabha
4.9.5 Capacity Building and Training
4.9.6 Backward Region Grant Fund
4.9.7 Rural Business Hubs
5. Review of Literature on the Subject
6. Summary and Policy Recommendations
Appendix: Main Recommendations of the Thirteenth Finance Commission
Bibliography; Index


Dr. Mohd. Azam Khan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh. He was awarded Junior Research Fellowship and Senior Research Fellowship by the University Grant Commission (UGC), New Delhi in 1994 for a period of five years. He is currently working on a Major Research Project, funded by UGC, as a principal investigator. He has participated in several national and international conferences, seminars and workshops. A number of articles written by him have been published in reputed national and international journals.

Tosib Alam is a research scholar in the Department of Economics, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh. He completed his M.Phil. in 2009. Presently, he is working as a project fellow on a UGC-funded Major Research Project. He has published a number of articles on fiscal decentralization, women empowerment, food security and sugar industry in professional journals.

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