April 6, 2017
Ahamed Hassan makes a Special Mention on the World Bank’s appreciation of the panchayat system of Bengal
Gram panchayats are the cornerstones of the Panchayati Raj system. From the time of our country’s independence, Gandhi ji and Nehru ji had envisioned gram swaraj along with purna swaraj. The hallmark of an efficient and transparent gram panchayat is when it attains decentralised and participatory local self-governance. The gram panchayat system of Bengal has been able to deliver the highest standard of services in terms of e-governance, general working and financial management, even in areas outside the purview of the regular work. This has been acknowledged by the World Bank which said, in a letter from its South Asia vice-president that in terms of transparency, the State panchayat system can be easily compared to the best governed institutions in the world, and that this has been maintained for the last six years. to bring transparency to the working of gram panchayats, the Panchayat Department of the State brought an app. The details of all panchayat work carried out by the gram panchayats including the costs incurred as well as photographic evidence are logged in the app which are then verified by the department. In the interest of transparency too, it has been made mandatory by the Bengal Government that all tenders published by the zilla parishads have to be published online in the form of e-tenders. Under the leadership of the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Hon. Mamata Banerjee, the gram panchayats of the State are most transparent and efficient, bringing prosperity to all corners of rural Bengal. I therefore urge the Government to follow the Bengal model to bring transparency and efficiency in the working of all gram panchayats.