New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) The central government has asked the states to ensure panchayats meet at least four times each year, Panchayati Raj Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo said Saturday.
Deo said that advisories had been sent to all the states. "It is a directive under the Panchayati Raj Act," Deo told IANS.
Ministry officials said panchayats were a state subject under the constitution and it was for states to take action on directions of the central government.
Officials said that regular meetings of panchayats were critical for involving villagers in the decision-making process at the grassroots level.
The ministry has also asked states to video record panchayat meetings on sensitive issues such as forest produce, land acquisition, mining and natural resources, which may affect the way of life of the community.