Local administrations hold the baton in the development of any society. Gandhi’s Panchayat Raj was implemented by the government through local self-government bodies. It was the most ideal approach to initiate both political and economic democracy at the grassroots level.
The role played by Panchayats, Municipalities and Corporations for the social reform of a region cannot be underestimated. It is the local self-government bodies that deal with all the small and big issues of each region, with the transference of power to the lower rungs of the political order.
Local Government ensures public amenities and services which are necessary for the convenience, healthful living and welfare of the individual and the community are duly provided. It is the need of the country to maintain these local institutions else face a complete dislocation of social and economic life of the community.
However the future of the local governance looks bleak in the situation where the ruling government withholds or reduced the funds towards these self-government bodies. The lack of finance and funds restrict them from formulating an annual plan and thus development work is affected.
The Kerala state government was called out for withholding funds allocated to these local bodies in the current Budget to offset the revenue crunch caused by the State’s fiscal mismanagement. This was recently brought to light by the leader of the Opposition, V. D. Satheesan at a Budget session of the Kerala Assembly.
The Kerala Pravasi Association (KPA) stated that this decision of the government will only serve to create administrative stagnation at the local level.
KPA added that the funds due to these local self-government institutions be restored with immediate effect and restore the Budget’s credibility.