The Kudumbashree Story

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Women Empowerment


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Project Contexts

The PRI-CBO convergence project is implemented in seven States with diverse contexts in terms of the state of the PRIs and CBOs. The seven States where the PRI-CBO convergence project is under implementation are

  1. Assam
  2. Jharkhand
  3. Karnataka
  4. Maharashtra
  5. Odisha
  6. Rajasthan
  7. Sikkim

Among these States, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Sikkim have been better performers in terms of devolution of powers to their panchayat raj institutions. Assam has been lagging in devolution while Rajasthan had had moderate extent of devolution.

According to the Devolution Index used by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) to measure the extent and effectiveness of devolution, Kerala has been one of the leading States. As per the latest report available, complied by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Kerala remained at the top in most of the indices used. The TISS study attempted to measure and rank States according to their achievements in three core aspects of devolution, i.e., devolution of functions, functionaries, and finances to PRIs.

The study also attempted to assess the comparative achievement of States in establishing systems of infrastructure, governance, and transparency (IGT). IGT covered availability of infrastructure such as buildings, ICT infrastructure, other amenities, systems for governance like book keeping, upkeep of minutes and mechanisms that ensure openness and accountability in functioning that are crucial for effectiveness of PRIs.

The aggregate index of devolution in policy adjusted against practice takes into account the achievements of each State on functions, functionaries, and finances, and IGT as reproduced in the State data sets, and how these achievements are actually reflected in sample PRIs in the field by fine-tuning the value of each dimension in policy with its equivalent practice. The dimensions of the adjusted index are computed by taking the arithmetic mean of the respective indices of the devolution in policy and practice.

States

Policy Index

Rank – Policy Index

Practice Index

Rank – Practice Index

Adjusted Index

Rank

Assam

0.29

22

0.45

6

0.37

13

Jharkhand

0.32

19

0.27

21

0.29

22

Karnataka

0.58

2

0.52

3

0.55

3

Maharashtra

0.57

3

0.49

4

0.53

4

Odisha

0.41

9

0.39

12

0.40

10

Rajasthan

0.47

7

0.38

14

0.43

7

Sikkim

0.57

4

0.55

2

0.56

2

Kerala

0.75

1

0.79

1

0.77

1

Index of devolution in policy used data collected from State level departments of panchayat raj. Indicators used reflect the State’s policy commitment to devolve responsibilities and resource to the panchayats. The indicators included functions, functionaries, and finances officially allocated to the panchayats, and the infrastructure and governance structures created for smooth functioning of panchayat operations.

  • Among the lead performing States in terms of devolution in policy, Sikkim was the best after Kerala in devolution of functions
  • In the case of transfer of functionaries to PRIs, Sikkim, Assam, Maharashtra have been a lead performer
  • Karnataka ranked above Kerala in terms of the funds devolved to the PRIs
  • In infrastructure, governance and transparency (IGT), Karnataka and Sikkim were better off.

Ranks of the seven States in devolving functions, functionaries, and finances and in ensuring infrastructure, governance and transparency are shown in the following table. Rank 1 means a lead State, higher figures mean progressively lower level of devolution and achievements.

States

Functions

Functionaries

Finances

IGT

Aggregate

Assam

10

3

10

13

6

Jharkhand

23

15

22

22

21

Karnataka

2

6

1

6

3

Maharashtra

11

4

2

8

4

Odisha

19

12

12

9

12

Rajasthan

21

7

23

11

14

Sikkim

3

2

13

3

2

Kerala

1

1

3

1

1

Thus, the NRO team has been working in States with diverse extent of devolution in terms of functions, functionaries, and finance; the extent of devolution to the different tiers of the PRI system has also been dissimilar across States.

States

Functions

Functionaries

Finances

Assam

Only 7 subjects have been devolved to gram panchayats by six departments. Activity mapping has been completed for 23 subjects.

Very minimum devolution of functionaries; officials report to their respective departments.

PRIs are empowered to collect taxes but cannot enforce. Main sources of revenue include lease rent from markets, river banks, and ponds.

Jharkhand Elections to the PRIs have been held in 2010 for the first time since constitutional amendments. Activity mapping not yet initiated.    

Karnataka

Karnataka has delegated all 29 subjects to PRIs by notifying activity mapping.

Panchayats employees function under dual control of their respective departments and PRIs.

PRIs collect 7 types of taxes. PR Act provides for mandatory transfer of untied funds to PRIs.

Maharashtra

Eleven subjects have been fully devolved. For the remaining 18 subjects, PRIs implement the schemes.

Class III and Class IV employees at all levels are on the rolls of District Panchayats.

District panchayats and gram panchayats collect taxes. Grants for 11 departments have been transferred to PRIs.

Odisha

Eleven departments have devolved 21 subjects.

Officials of 11 departments are accountable to PRIs.

PRIs collect 6 types of taxes. There has been no clear devolution of untied funds.

Rajasthan

Five departments have transferred all functions up to district level to PRIs. Fresh activity mapping has been done for these five departments.

Five departments have transferred all functionaries up to district level to PRIs.

Five departments have transferred funds up to the district level to PRIs through government orders. PRIs are entitled to 10% of untied funds.

Sikkim

All 29 subjects have been devolved to PRIs as per legislation. Activity mapping has been conducted for 20 subjects covering 16 departments.

Employees are under the control of PRIs; but panchayats exercise limited control over them.

PRIs do not collect taxes. Seventeen departments transfer funds to PRIs. Each of the 17 departments transfer 10% of their funds to PRIs. PRIs get untied funds.

Kerala

Activity mapping for all 29 subjects have been done and activities devolved to PRIs.

PRIs have full managerial control over transferred functionaries. PRIs also have part disciplinary control over functionaries (Dual reporting system continues).

GPs have a domain of nine types of taxes. Untied funds and departmental funds for specific purposes are transferred to PRIs.

Similar to the diversity in the state of PRIs and the extent of devolution across partner-States, the NRO team has also been faced with different levels of penetration and development of community organisations in these States.

State of CBO System in Project States

The States covered under the PRI-CBO convergence project had different extent of coverage by SHGs; effectiveness of the bank linkage programme also shows wide variation. Jharkhand and Odisha, two States covered under the priority scheme of NABARD to promote the SHG bank linkage programme in States ‘affected by Left wing extremism’ show wide variation between them as per the Status of Micro Finance Report of NABARD 2012-13.

In spite of the priority status and attempts in active promotion of the programme, only four districts in Jharkhand had achieved more than 80% coverage by SHGs. Among the three districts of intervention in Jharkhand, Ranchi and East Singhbhum had SHG coverage between 50 and 80% while coverage in West Singhbhum was below 50%. CBO system was in the process of creation and stabilisation in the pilot districts of Jharkhand.

In Odisha, all the four pilot districts – Jajpur, Gajapati, Sunderghar, and Malkangiri – had a coverage above 80% in 2012-13. In fact, in Odisha, except in Rayagada where the coverage was below 50% and Ganjam where it was between 50% and 80%, all other districts had a coverage exceeding 80%.

Both the pilot districts of Assam – Morigaon and Nagaon – had more than 80% coverage of SHGs. In Maharashtra, one of the pilot districts Thane had more than 80% coverage; Wardha had between 50% and 80% while the third district, Solapur had coverage less than 50%.

The PRI-CBO convergence project is being implemented even as the CBO programme is underway in many of the States under NRLM.