Gandhinagar: The CAG has observed that even though the Gujarat government has powers to entrust 29 functions to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs), it was yet to transfer 10 of these functions, including land improvement and land reforms, to these local self-governing bodies.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its audit report for 2014-15 on local bodies, tabled on Tuesday in the Assembly, also said that despite the formation of district planning committees (DPCs) in 23 districts, not a single meeting was held during the year.
Citing the 73rd amendment to the Constitution, the CAG said it was made in order to transfer 29 functions listed in the 11th schedule of the Constitution to the PRIs.
"Article 243G of the Constitution empowered the state legislature to decide and confer powers and responsibilities to the PRIs. As per the Gujarat Panchayats Act, the state government may entrust 29 functions to the PRIs to prepare and implement schemes relating to economic development and social justice," the report said.
"However, the government has devolved 14 functions fully and five functions partially to PRIs. Ten functions have not been devolved, as on February 2016," the report said.
These 14 functions include, agriculture, minor irrigation, family welfare and rural housing. Partially devolved functions include primary and secondary education, adult and non-formal education and social welfare.
Functions, which have not yet been conferred to the PRIs include land improvement and land reforms, small scale industry, rural electrification, technical training, libraries, Khadi, village and cottage industry and public distribution system, among others.
"This way, the spirit of the Constitutional amendment for the PRIs to function as grass root level local self government institutions has not been fulfilled in substantial measure," the report said.