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1. Pressing Need for Decentralisation:

  • In most states, and definitely in AP, the governance is too centralized, and the spirit of the Constitution, and often the letter are violated with impunity.
  • A district in India is often larger than 80 nations of the world. There cannot be effective delivery of services, or accountability, or citizen-centered governance without effective and empowered local governments.
  • Only when the citizen can see the clear link between her vote and public good can elections be meaningful. In the absence of such a link in centralized governance, most people are increasingly tempted to maximize their short-term gains by selling the vote for a price. This is perpetuating a vicious cycle of corruption and misgovernance.
  • Spectacular results have been accomplished in India only when local initiative and leadership were given an opportunity.
  • Though Constitution has been amended over ten years ago (April 1993), local governments continue to be overstructured and underpowered. As a result, the disadvantaged sections have only titular representation without real power.


2. Federation for the Empowerment of Local Governments (FELG)

This year, Lok Satta initiated the movement to recognise and realize that "local bodies" are in fact Local Governments with constitutionally endowed powers and responsibilities. As a symbolic gesture, January 26th,2003 was celebrated as "Little Republics Day" across the state. In Feburary, public personalites have been brought together cutting across rural-urban divide, political affiliations and the three-tiers of Panchayat governments. FELG was thus created after a statewide campaign

Federation for the Empowerment of Local Governments aims to transform the Panchayats (Village, Mandal and Zilla) and Municipalities (Nagar Palikas, Municipalities, Municipal Corporations) into genuine Local Governments with clear delineation of functions among them and to strive for the devolution of functions, funds and functionaries through appropriate legislative procedure. This organization is a non-partisan forum whose members include representatives from major political parties in AP.

FELG will organize awareness programmes for the representatives of local governments. It will organize awareness campaigns among people about Local Governments.

  1. It will study the problems of Local Governments pertaining to funds, functions, functionaries and other issues, and after proper research, will come up with detailed plans and organize appropriate programmes for their implementation. It will take up printing of books, booklets, pamphlets and other publicity programmes.
  2. It will organize study tours for elected representatives to gain from experiences of various organisations working in other states on problems of Local Governments. It will work towards creation of a national level platform for empowerment of Local Governments and conduct joint programmes with organizations from different states.
  3. Through these Local Governments, it will work for the implementation of the following programmes. For people living in villages and cities, it will strive for provision of basic services such as clean drinking water, toilets, drainages, roads, street lamps, and an environment conducive for dignified living. -- It will work towards easy accessibility of quality school education, primary health services and provision of better services for all. -- It will work for development of agriculture, increasing employment opportunities, organizing training programmes for skill enhancement. -- It will take up activities, which will facilitate encourage sports, and cultural activities.
  4. To increase the administrative efficiency of local governments, it will work for necessary reforms to ensure greater transparency and accountability.
  5. Membership of FELG The following persons and organizations can join this federation as members:
    • All the current Zilla Parishad Chairpersons. Recently retired Zilla Parishad Chairpersons
    • All the current Municipal Corporation Mayors. Recently retired Municipal Corporation Mayors.
    • State Level Municipal Chairpersons' Chambers.
    • State Level Mandal Presidents' Chambers.
    • Mandal Presidents' Chambers in all districts.
    • State Level Sarpanches' Chambers
    • Sarpanches' Chambers in all districts.
    • State level Mandal Parishad Members' Chambers.
    • Mandal Parishad Members' Chambers in all districts.
    • State level Zilla Parishad Members' Chambers.
    • Zilla Parishad Members' Chambers in all districts.
    • The state level associations invited and admitted by the Federation
    • Invited members:
      • Gram Panchayat members, Deputy Sarpanches, Municipality members. The members selected by this federation.
      • The former peoples' representatives who have rich experience in Local Governments', people who have done detailed study of Local Governments and experts selected by this Federation. The membership of this body would be in consonance with the spirit of the federation. The organizations, which became members of this Federation, will participate in the activities of this federation while retaining their identity and autonomy.


3. AP's Largest Signature Campaign is now underway!

Starting from 9th August (Quit India day) and ending with 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanthi), LOK SATTA is reaching out to practically every village in Andhra Pradesh to mobilize people for local government empowerment in the form of signatures / written support. The goal is to obtain the support of 10 million (1 crore) citizens. We hope to accomplish at least 70 - 80% of the target. This will be the largest ever non-partisan mass mobilization in any state on an issue that is not emotive, and does not have caste or religious overtones.

There are three specific and immediate objectives of this mission:

  • To genuinely transfer real powers of decision making to local governments in respect of subjects listed in 11th and 12th Schedules.
  • To transfer 50% of the state's tax revenues as untied funds to local governments.
  • To create instruments of accountability in local governments- like effective right to information; Citizen's Charters for various services with compensation to citizens for delays; and independent ombudsmen to act against erring local governments and functionaries.

The broader goals of the campaign are:

  • To educate the general public to mobilize demonstrable public support
  • To weld local government leaders into a cohesive, constructive force above party differences.
  • To make political parties respond positively and achieve the objectives


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