Rachol gram sabha passes panchayat budget

MARGAO:  The villagers of Rachol passed  the annual budget for the financial year 2012-2013 for the panchayat at the gram sabha on Sunday, amidst chaos. The meeting was held at Ilha De Rachol.

Majority of the panchayat members along with the locals  approved the budget. However, the former sarpanch and  present panchayat member, Mr  Gilerminho Oliviero,  raised objections to it; he also raised opposition to the  venue of the gram sabha.  

This is the last  gram sabha of the Rachol village panchayat as in the next fifteen days, the code of conduct for the general  panchayat election would come into force.

The sarpanch, Mr Joseph  Vaz,   disclosed that as per the Rule3 of the gram sabha, the sarpanch has full powers to decide on  the venue of the gram sabha and he is using his powers in the  larger  interest of the villagers.

Mr Vaz urged the few villagers that  whatever information, they have sought, would be made available  to them under the provisions of the  Right  to Information Act, 2005.

He  said  that the panchayat being very  poor, it has to  depend  on government funds and schemes to sustain. The increase in tax was not feasible as the panchayat is ST dominated.

A local resident, Mr Rosebelt  Rebello, argued that  it took one year for the sarpanch and the  panchayat members to  have an   ordinary  gram sabha.

Mr Rebello alleged that the gram sabha  was adjourned soon after passing the  budget and  that their  questions were not answered. 

It may be recalled that  few of the Rachol villagers on Friday  had visited the Block Development Office ( BDO)  and complained about the panchayat body that it was violating the Panchayat Act by not convening  ordinary  gram sabhas in the village.

They had also demanded to change the venue of the gram sabha fixed for April 1, to which the BDO, Mr Uday Prabhudesai claimed that the sarpanch had  the power to convene it anywhere within the panchayat  jurisdiction.