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Bye-laws and user-charges at the panchayat level: a case study of West Bengal

Datta, Polly and Kar, Saibal (2016): Bye-laws and user-charges at the panchayat level: a case study of West Bengal. Published in:

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Attaining financial self sufficiency has never been an important agenda for the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for the states in India. It has, in fact, performed more as an instrument of expenditure decentralization instead of functioning as a driver of financial decentralization. Quite evidently, without financial self-sufficiency any local government would soon tend to run out of steam and eventually comply with a limited understanding of treating Gram Panchayats (henceforth, GPs) as mere implementing agencies. This in turn is expected to limit the scope of several programs as discussed by Mukarji & Bandyopadhyay (1993). However, it seems that the fiscal limitation is not the only factor which restrains GPs from undertaking desired operations. The legal and institutional frameworks within which the GPs function are of paramount importance and demand explicit considerations if one attempts to review the aspect of financial self-sufficiency among the GPs

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