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• The Provision of the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 popularly known as PESA was enacted to bring the Scheduled Areas in nine States of the country under the purview of national framework of Panchayat.
Salient feature of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA)
• Legislation on Panchayats shall be in conformity with the customary law, social and religious practices and traditional management practices of community resources
• Habitation or a group of habitations or a hamlet or a group of hamlets comprising a community and managing its affairs in accordance with traditions and customs; and shall have a separate Gram Sabha.
• Every Gram Sabha to safeguard and preserve the traditions and customs of people, their cultural identity, community resources and the customary mode of dispute resolution.
• The Gram Sabhas have roles and responsibilities in approving all development works in the village, identify beneficiaries, issue certificates of utilization of funds
• Gram Sabhas or Panchayats at appropriate level shall also have
– Powers to manage minor water bodies
– Power of mandatory consultation in matters of land acquisition;
– Powers to control institutions and functionaries in all social sectors and local plans.
– Resettlement and rehabilitation and prospecting licenses/mining leases for minor minerals
– Power to prevent alienation of land and restore alienated land
– Regulate and restrict sale/consumption of liquor
– Manage village markets, control money lending to STs and
– Ownership of minor forest produce.