Kohima: “We have 1238 VDB, we are not under the 73rd Amendment and because of that we are literally given a free hand on our developmental aspect,” informed Director of Rural Development (RD), Metsubo Jamir, during the observance of National Panchayati Raj Day at RD Directorate Conference Hall on Monday.He added that VDBs are very powerful institutions and very good development tool that the State has integrated.
On the occasion, the director while sharing on the origin of the Panchayati Raj Act, said it was from the Rural Development department that the initiative to declare and to implement the Panchayati Raj Act was taken because Nagaland had the Village Council Act in place and the Government of India wanted to assimilate and incorporate the Village Council Act into the Panchayati Raj Act and to legislate the process.
Stating that Panchayats were in existence since the 1800’s, he mentioned that this is a semblance of the British Rule when they wanted to have local self Government but then it was not legislated. The real process of the empowerment of centralization happened because the Government wanted to make a uniform law like the Village Council Act all over the country even though each Panchayat had their own act of procedures and each town/ward had their own way of doing things.
“All of us here in the Rural Development Department should be very proud of this day because in 1992, the correspondence that was taken up by the Government of India to implement the Panchayati Raj Act was taken from the State Rural Development,” he said. Jamir further put across his gratitude for Nagaland being exempted from the Panchayati Raj Act because the Act entails elections where each member has to be elected and the election process is the same as electing an MLA to the Legislative Assembly conducted by the State Election Commission and each Panchayat chairman is empowered through a general consensus. He expressed his apprehensions about how the system will be functioning now had the Act been implemented, taking into consideration how Legislative elections are taking place in the State.
Additional directors of RD, Imlimeren Jamir and Nolegol Angami also spoke on the occasion.
The programme was chaired by joint director, K. Neibou Sekhose while invocation was pronounce by joint director, Neizovonuo.
The department also informed that a team of RD officials and VDB Secretaries from the State are attending at the National level, Panchayati Raj Day at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Source: Eastern Mirror