Former Union Minister and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said that for the Panchayati Raj system to be made effective, presidents of zilla parishads should be given full powers in planning of districts.
Aiyar made the statement while addressing the Navnitbhai Shah memorial lecture in Maharashtra's Palghar district on Friday.
Zilla parishad presidents should be assigned officials for guidance along with sufficient funds and freedom to use the funds, the former Union Minister of Panchayati Raj said.
The Panchayati Raj system has completed 30 years and women are heading several local bodies, including the one in Palghar, he said.
The Congress leader questioned why legislators and ministers were given important roles in district planning and said they were expected to take policy decisions at state level.
Development works of districts should be planned by presidents of zilla parishads and they should be distributed accordingly, he said.
Aiyer further pointed out that presently only 20 per cent of the components of the Panchayati Raj system were being implemented, and all out efforts should be taken at all levels to strengthen the local self bodies.
Citing that Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), 1996 was not being implemented effectively in the country, the Congress leader said President Droupadi Murmu, who belongs to the tribal community, can try for better implementation of the Act.