In order to align actions with localised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a framework for delivery of the services across the 29 sectors, Government of India has released a Model Panchayat Citizens Charter, prepared by Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) in collaboration with National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) on Friday.
The Model Panchayat Citizens Charter would ensure transparent and effective delivery of public services for sustainable development and enhanced citizen service experiences; deepening inclusive and accountable local self-governments by incorporating diverse views while designing and delivering services.
Releasing the Model Panchayat Citizen Charter, Union Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar highlighted the critical role the gram panchayats have been playing in the preventing and managing the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19 at the grassroots level, emphasising that panchayats have been entrusted with many important tasks related to the everyday life of the people. The aim of establishing a Citizens Charter is to provide services to the people in a time bound manner, redressing their grievances and improving their lives. This would help in making the citizens aware of their rights on the one hand, and to make the panchayats and their elected representatives directly accountable to the people, on the other hand. It is expected that the panchayats will utilise this framework to draw up a Citizens Charter and adopt it through a resolution of the Gram Sabha by August 15, 2021. States have accordingly been requested to draw up a time-bound plan of action.
Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) briefed that the basic objective of the Gram Panchayat Citizens Charter was to empower the citizens in relation to public services and to improve the quality of services without any prejudice, and in accordance with the expectations of the citizens. It is expected that the panchayats utilising this framework, and with the due approval of Gram Sabha, would draw up a Citizens Charter, detailing the different categories of services rendered to the citizen by the panchayat, the conditions for such service and also the time limit for such service.
Panchayats constitute the third tier of government in the rural areas and represents the first level of government interaction for over 68 per cent of the Indian populace. Panchayats are responsible for delivery of basic services as enshrined under article 243G of the Constitution of India, specifically in the areas of healthcare and sanitation, education, nutrition, drinking water among other services.
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