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Arunachal govt devolves power to Panchayats, finally

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said although power devolution was done and the ‘notification’ brought out in 2014 but unfortunately, no mechanism was adopted to execute the same on ground.

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Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday launched the ‘SPICE’ model of devolution of powers to Panchayati Raj institutions in Arunachal Pradesh, in a function at Golden Jubilee State Banquet Hall here, paving the way for devolving power to the local-self government bodies in the state in the real sense of the term.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said although power devolution was done and the ‘notification’ brought out in 2014 but unfortunately, no mechanism was adopted to execute the same on ground.

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He said under the devolution scheme, the Government has adopted a unique and Arunachal centric devolution model known as “SPICE model”, which stands for Sustainable, Participative, Inclusive, Comprehensive and Empowerment, after studying the functioning of PRIs in other states.

“It has assimilated the philosophy of Prime Minister’s vision of “Vocal for Local” which in this case implies working towards localised solutions for our challenges of public delivery of services. The vision and mission of the SPICE model is to empower PRIs in becoming empowered self governing entities, wherein the State government would nudge the PRIs to work for sustainable development,” he said.

While admitting that devolution of powers to Panchayats in Arunachal had remained “only on papers”, the Chief Minister said, “The then government in 2014 had brought a gazette notification regarding devolution of powers to Panchayats but unfortunately, it did not happen in reality.”

“As I had assured to devolve power to the newly-elected Panchayat bodies in January this year, the government-constituted Empowered Committee after examining brought in the matter and today, I have formally devolved ‘SPICE’ model of powers to the Panchayats.

“This SPICE model of power devolution would be based on three F’s – Functions, Functionaries and Funds. Initially, we have decided that in the coming financial year, we will devolve 10 per cent of the State-owned Resources (SoR) to the Panchayats based on the ratio of 50:50 (50% population and 50% area) basis.

70 per cent of the funds would be given as basic grants and remaining 30 per cent as performance grants, based on the criteria of expenditure of grants and submission of utilization certificates,” he said.

In district level, a committee will be formed which will be headed by Zilla Parishad Chairperson and in Gram Panchayat level, another committee will be set up headed by Gram Panchayat Chairperson and accordingly, they will make a plan and execute the SoR fund, Khandu said.

In coming days, the government will further strengthen the Panchayats based on their capacities and capabilities, assured the Chief Minister.

The hilly state has currently two-tier Panchayati Raj institutions – Gram Panchayat at the village level and Zilla Parishad at district level – after doing away with Anchal Samity at the intermediate level in 2018 in accordance with the provisions of 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act.

Today’s launching programme was also graced by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Minister Bamang Felix, Advisor to RD & PR Minister Gum Tayeng, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Secretary Panchayati Raj Amarnath Talwade, Director (PR) Tamune Miso and SIRD&PR Director Habung Lampung, among others.

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