The Minister of Panchayati Raj Shri V.
Kishore Chandra Deo has said that in 1957, a Committee under the
Chairmanship of Balwantrai Mehta on Community Development Projects and
National Extension Services recommended that public participation in
community works should be organized through statutory representative
bodies. Subsequently, the NDC endorsed the basic principles of
democratic decentralization enunciated in the report and laid on States
the duty of working out the structures suitable to each States.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha
today, he said, the Ashok Mehta Committee Report of 1978 recommended
that Panchayati Raj may be included in the Constitution. In keeping with
the spirit of the Ashok Mehta Committee recommendations, some states,
including West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, revisited their
respective Panchayati Raj systems and undertook several new initiatives
to endow local bodies with more powers, leading to these initiatives
being cited as “second generation” panchayats, which served as a prime
inspiration and example for subsequent reform i.e. Constitution (Seventy
Third Amendment) Act, 1992 which came into force on 24th April, 1993.
Shri Deo said, the Ministry of Panchayati
Raj have constituted an Expert Committee to examine how Panchayats could
be leveraged for more efficient delivery of public goods and services
under the Chairmanship of Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, Member of Parliament