Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas Act) / PESA - Features

Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas Act) / PESA – Features

Question - Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas Act) or PESA is a progressive legislation, though the implementation of this constitutional safeguard has many issues. Discuss the features of PESA.

Features of PESA

• PESA or Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 has extended the powers of tribal self rule to panchayats

• This is in line with the 73rd AA which seeks to extend self governance to local bodies

• PESA was enacted on 24th December 1996 for enabling Tribal Self Rule

• Act extends provisions of Panchayats to tribal areas of 9 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, HP, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, MP, Orissa and Rajasthan; these are states listed under the Fifth Schedule

• Modalities are worked out to grant tribal rights in the country through the following features in the Act:

- Panchayat legislation should be in concordance with customary law, socio-religious practices and traditional community resource management practices

- Hamlet/habitation or group of these should manage their affairs in line with local customs and traditions; they shall have an independent Gram Sabha

- Each Gram Sabha will work to preserve the traditions and customs of people, their cultural identity, community resources and dispute resolution

- Gram Sabhas also have the following roles and responsibilities:

- Approval of developmental work in villages

- Identification of beneficiaries

- Issuance of certificates for fund utilisation

- Powers for controlling institutes and functionaries in social sectors, local plans

• Gram Sabhas or Panchayats at relevant level should be empowered to

- Manage minor water bodies
- Engage in mandatory consultations for land acquisition
- Resettlement and rehab as well as prospecting licenses/mining leases for minor minerals
- Prevent land alienation and restore alienated land
- Regulation and restriction on sale and consumption of liquor
- Management of village markets
- Control of money lending to tribals
- Ownership of minor forest produce

Facts and Stats

• Provisions of panchayats have been extended to Schedule V areas

• Gram Sabhas are constituted in the state as per PESA rules of that state

• 4 states have framed rules for PESA implementation

• These are AP, HP, Rajasthan and Maharashtra
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  • RE: Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas Act) / PESA – Features -vinod Dalji Katara (08/13/16)
  • Its a usefull for scheduled tribe at graam level