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Working Paper

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Rural government decentralization in West Bengal has been a focus of the state government since the state’s 1973 Panchayat Act. The three-tiered Panchayat Raj (PRI) system provides a role for governance at the district, block, and gram panchayat levels. The Government of West Bengal (GOWB) has been providing support and assistance to the PRIs to improve service delivery and governance. To date, the perceived problems related to the PRIs include a lack of fiscal decentralization to the PRIs, a lack of untied and own source revenues and expenditure authority, limited capacity especially at the GP level for meeting public service demands, lack of modernization and computerization of budgets, expenditures, and receipts, and poor service delivery, This paper analyzes the current state of PRI finances in the state of West Bengal and provides analysis of options of expanding the level of subnational grants.


International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series #1115, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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