Local Budgeting and People's Planning: A Study of PRIs in Rajasthan and Kerala
There has been a growing concern on the slow pace of progress with regard to rural decentralisation despite the passage of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments in 1992 spelling out the central role of panchayats in local planning, budgeting and administration. This study was undertaken with support from the Planning Commission of India. The broad objective of the study was to examine the extent of fiscal devolution in all three tiers of the administration and the constraints in local planning and budgeting in two districts in each of the states. The study was conducted in Jaipur and Jalore districts of Rajasthan and Ernakulum and Mallapurum districts of Kerala. Along with collecting data on panchayat finances, focus group discussions were conducted to gather perceptions of elected and non-elected functionaries on issues relating to functioning of panchayats. The study sought to provide a comparative picture of democratic decentralisation in two of the better performing states in rural local governance in the country and draw inferences based on their relative performance in having institutional arrangements in place, planning for development, resource adequacy and utilisation.