- Madhya Pradesh government has implemented the Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act in the state, which aims to preserve the tribal population from exploitation with an active involvement of the Gram Sabhas on 15 November.
- The PESA Act also gives special powers to the Gram Sabhas in Scheduled Areas especially for the management of natural resources.
- It was formally announced by President Draupadi Murmu at a function organised by the state government in Shahdol district on the occasion of the birth anniversary of tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda.
- It aims to protect the tribal population from exploitation with the active participation of Gram Sabhas.
- The Parliament enacted a special law called the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act (PESA) in 1996 and came into force on 24 December 1996.
- PESA Act in the scheduled areas provides for the constitution of a gram sabha for a village in the scheduled area and more than 50 percent of voters of the cluster of hamlets may propose the constitution of a separate ‘gram sabha’ to the district administration.
- Every gram sabha will act as an autonomous body and it will have an office in the area under the jurisdiction of the Gram Sabha.
- The act will give powers to gram sabha in the scheduled areas, particularly for the management of natural resources.
- It will also allow self-governance through Gram Sabhas in 89 tribal blocks of the state, covering 2,350 villages in 5,212 panchayats.
- PESA Act will also allow the gram panchayats to decide matters that are related to minor forest produce, land, and small water bodies along with an implementation of government schemes.
Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act implemented in Madhya Pradesh
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