District governments mooted for decentralised administration
Foundation for Democratic Reforms and Lok Satta Founder Jayaprakash Narayan has in principle welcomed the proposal of Andhra Pradesh government to extend the State capital to three areas .
However he said that the decision to have three capital cities would be only one aspect of governance. The proposal might satisfy people in different regions but it would not lead to decentralisation of administration. True decentralisation would happen only when people need not come to the Chief Minister and the capital city for their work or grievances.
Dr.Narayan in a release said that a capital city would be different from a mega city which could become an economic growth engine. Thus after allocating 2,000 acres for Secretariat, legislature and government offices, remaining thousands of acres could be utilised for developing Amaravathi as a Mega city. It is a fact that mega cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, etc., would have a cluster effect and attract investments for development.
For genuine decentralisation, Chief Minister should delegate his powers to Ministers and officials. Most importantly ‘District Governments’ be set up for integrated development so that for 95% of their requirements, people need not come out of their districts.
He also said panchayats should be extended to include a population of 20,000 to 25,000 for decentralisation of powers and administration. At least one third of State Budget should be allocated for local bodies - panchayats and municipalities. The responsibility of paying salaries of teachers, maintaining primary health centre be entrusted to the local bodies. State Government should only have a supervisory role, he said.
He also suggested that regional councils be set up for Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra with MLAs and give them maximum powers. If these regional councils did not deliver, then the State Government should have powers to regulate them.
Courtesy: The Hindu