Learner’s Submission: Study of Decentralization in India – The Tamilnadu State Case

“India is a multilingual and multicultural nation. The nation has federation of 28 linguistic/cultural boundaries states. The preamble of the Indian constitution defines it as a social secular democratic republic. At the center the Parliament has two houses– the people council (Lok Sabha) and council of states (Rajya Sabha). The constitution has recognized President of India as Executive head of the nation. The central government is constituted with the council of minister headed by prime minister. The council of ministers is to be necessarily drawn from the member of the parliament. In 1992 Constitution has been amended for recognizing the Urban and Rural Local Bodies as constitutionally recognized organization and brought it under legal frame work. The Constitution has provided Central list for action and law making control to maintain unity and indivisibility. The State list is provided for action and law making control for delegated and devolution subjects. The central government exercise de-concentration and de-localization of its organization for central list of activities. The State exercise de-concentration and de-localization of its organization for state list of activities envisaged in constitution.

Tamilnadu is the most southern state of India. Majority of the people speak Tamil language in the state. As vertical decentralization Tamilnadu State has enacted its own organization of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Rural Local Bodies (RLB). The State is divided into Districts. On Horizontal decentralization Each District has 3 Tier RLB namely Panchayats (Villages), Panchayat Union (Block-Union of Villages), District Panchayat (District Council). In each District there is Single Tier Multi category of ULB namely Towns, Municipalities, Corporations. In Rural Local Bodies (RLB) there are 12618 Panchayats, 385 Panchayat Unions, and 29 District Panchayats. In Urban Local Bodies (ULB) there are 561 towns, 148 Municipalities, 10 Corporations. There is compulsory election to local bodies for every 5 years conducted by impartial State Election Commission.

For promoting local autonomy, interest and diversity, In Tamilnadu ULB, RLB are vested with the responsibility of maintaining water supply, electricity, and sanitation in the civic areas by devolution favoring accessibility and proximity of these services by local bodies. The Local Bodies are delegated with powers to tax on houses, properties, profession, advertisement, market, parking, land use. The state collect tax on entertainment, mines, agriculture and apportion the same to local bodies. Besides these some sizable portion of state and central resources are given as grant to Local bodies as recommended by finance commissions instituted from time to time. Thus the finance is strengthened by central governance in Local bodies. There is separation of political, administrative and technical authority in each local body with social, statutory audit practices to check their function. In Local Bodies, Agriculture, Education, Health, Infrastructures, Poverty Alleviation and Income generation activities are promoted with de-concentration and de-localization of the organization of state and central government staff with subsidiarity, accessibility and proximity. Monitoring and Evaluation process are done by state and central government. The planning and finance commissions facilitate the same from time to time for the state and the central government.

Thus the decentralized governance sticks to the principles advocated by the UN in case of Tamilnadu state of India.” – S. Samuel Inbadurai – Tamilnadu, India

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