MARGAO: Benaulim MLA and former tourism minister Francisco 'Mickky' Pacheco has urged the grass root elected representatives to assert themselves in the state's planning process with a view to ensure proper allocation of funds for the needs of every village.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day workshop on 'Decentralization and participatory budgeting' held at Betalbatim on Thursday. Elected representatives such as zilla panchayat members, sarpanchs and panchayat members participated in the workshop. It was organized by Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), New Delhi in collaboration with Goa Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan (GPMSA) and Goa Institute of Rural Development and Administration (GIRDA).
Lamenting that the state's annual budget was not reflective of true participatory planning, Pacheco urged the elected representatives of the village panchayats and zilla panchayat to make individual annual plans for every village and submit them to the government so that adequate financial provisions could be made in the state's annual budget.
"I have seen for the last ten years that when the government makes budgetary provisions, they don't even ask for the views of the (various) political parties, leave alone taking panchayat members into confidence. The money (which is budgeted) belongs to each and every citizen of the country and they have every right to decide how this money will be spent," Pacheco emphasized.
Speaking further, Pacheco attributed the failure of the government to devolve powers and funds to the panchayat bodies, to the threat they perceive to their power and position from the grass root elected representatives. "They have fear in their minds that the grassroot leaders will come up to their level," Pacheco said.
Panchayat minister Manohar 'Babu' Azgaonkar, who inaugurated the workshop, while addressing the gathering that also comprised of delegates from Brazil, hoped that the deliberations at the workshop would help strengthen the grassroot democratic institutions in Brazil and India.
Dr George Mathew, chairman, ISS, New Delhi, in his address, pointed out that Kerala is the only state in India where one can witness effective working of "people's participatory planning" and underscored the need to emulate the model in Goa.
Earlier, president of GPMSA, Nelly Rodrigues delivered the welcome address. Member secretary, GIRDA, Gurunath Pilarnkar, also spoke.


A to Z said...

If  Goa's politicians are involved in planning than Goa is DOOMED.  He wants the politicians to plan to plan their pockets. I think 10% commission they receive  on contracts is not enough for them to distribute to the many wives or NAIKINS they keep. If they are dissatisfied with anyone  they can kill and do away with them. RATOL has come very handy now a days. Goa is famous for planning TWO's  i.e. Two bridges over rivers, Two Housing Corporations etc. Hence most of them got two wives. One is old (Sacramentachi) and the next one young  (C**nt***i).
Goans , let the planning be done by experts with responsibility and accountability if at all Goa should prosper.

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