Chhattisgarh Panchayat Provisions (Extension of the Scheduled) Rules, 2021

Government of Chhattisgarh has formulated draft rules called “Chhattisgarh Panchayat Provisions (Extension of the Scheduled) Rules, 2021”, under PESA Act, 1996.

What is PESA Act, 1996?

  • PESA Act stands for “Panchayat (Extension of the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996”. This act was enacted by Central government to ensure self-governance through gram sabhas for people in scheduled areas.
  • The act recognises the right of tribal communities & residents of scheduled areas, legally in order to govern themselves through their own systems of self-government.
  • It also acknowledges the traditional rights of tribals over natural resources.
  • PESA also empowers gram sabhas to play a significant role in approving development plans and controlling all social sectors.

Which states have formed PESA Laws?

Six states have already formed the PESA laws. Chhattisgarh will become seventh state to have PESA Laws, if the rules are enacted.

Significance of rules under PESA

  • PESA rules enables the residents of scheduled areas to strengthen their village-level bodies by means of transferring power from government to the gram sabha.
  • Powers of gram sabhas comprises of-
  1. Maintenance of cultural identity and tradition,
  2. Control over schemes affecting the tribals, and
  3. Control over natural resources within the area of village.
  • Thus, PESA Act enables gram sabhas in maintaining a safety net over their rights.
  • Laws will provide gram sabhas the power to take decisions over their customs & traditionally managed resources as well as on minerals being excavated from their areas.
  • The laws also give power to gram sabhas over management of resources on water, forest & land; mines & minerals; markets, major demands of tribals; minor forest produce; and human resources.

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