Let referendum decide; not the Gram Sabha: CM

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 01 April 2013 21:02 IST

Rather than giving powers to the Gram Sabha, chief minister Manohar Parrikar wants to hold a referendum in the village to decide about its developmental plans.

“I am for giving more powers to the people at village level, but not the Gram Sabha”, Parrikar told the Assembly today, during a debate on the Regional Plan issue.

He proposes an idea, but whether it is allowed by the law or not is not clear.

“Let there be voting through secret ballot”, he said.

As he suggests, let the Panchayat Council put all the plans before the villagers and the government would accept what the villagers decide through referendum.

The chief minister also pointed out that the decision of the Gram Sabha is not binding upon the government; may be on the Panchayat Council.

In fact Parrikar was openly critical about the prevailing corruption in the panchayats.

“Not that all the panchayats are corrupt, but maximum are, barring 10 to 15 out of 185”, he said.

If the Sarpanch or the Panch is not corrupt, the secretary is, he said.

The CM even told the House that many builders had requested him not to give more powers to panchayats to give permission for any construction or developmental work.

“They say it is impossible to get the file out of panchayat and sent to the town and country planning department without paying underhand at the panchayat level”, he said.

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