A Model Panchayat Citizens Charter/ framework for delivery of the services across the 29 sectors, aligning actions with localised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as prepared by Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) in collaboration with National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) was released by Union Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar through virtual program for the Panchayats to adopt & customise.
The Citizen Charter would ensure transparent and effective delivery of public services for sustainable development and enhanced citizen service experiences; deepening inclusive and accountable Local Self Governments by incorporating diverse views while designing and delivering services.
On this occasion, Union Minister highlighted the critical role the Panchayats have been playing in the preventing and managing the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19 at the grassroots level, emphasising that Panchayats have been entrusted with many important tasks related to the everyday life of the people. The aim of establishing a Citizen charter is to provide services to the people in a time bound manner, redressing their grievances and improving their lives. This will help in making the citizens aware of their rights on the one hand, and to make the Panchayats and their elected representatives directly accountable to the people, on the other hand. It is expected that the Panchayats will utilise this framework to draw up a Citizens Charter and adopt it through a resolution of the Gram Sabha by 15th August, 2021. States were accordingly requested to draw up a timebound plan of action.
Secretary, MoPR briefed that the basic objective of the Gram Panchayat Citizen Charter is to empower the citizens in relation to public services and to improve the quality of services without any prejudice, and in accordance with the expectations of the citizens. It is expected that the Panchayats utilising this framework, and with the due approval of Gram Sabha, would draw up a Citizens Charter, detailing the different categories of services rendered to the citizen by the Panchayat, the conditions for such service and also the time limit for such service.
The event was virtually joined by all States/UTs – Chief Minister of Rajasthan, State Panchayati Raj Ministers from Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, Panchayati Raj Secretaries & State officials, and officials from Other Ministries viz. Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Panchayats constitute the third tier of government in the rural areas and represents the first level of Government interaction for over 60 per cent of the Indian populace. Panchayats are responsible for delivery of basic services as enshrined under article 243G of the Constitution of India, specifically in the areas of Health & Sanitation, Education, Nutrition, Drinking Water.