Unleashing the community potential of Indian villages

1.2 Taxes
Every village should have a complete record of taxes and revenues recovered from the village. Whether it is the revenue for land, dwellings or other constructions or for the consumption of electricity and water… Even arbitrary collections for festivals… Proper audited records should be maintained for suitable inspection by revenue officials who visit for government audits and be made accessible to all members of the village.
Relevance:         This freedom is a great help to achieve and sustain transparency—it has a role in reducing corruption. ... It helps in the analysis of trends, and this helps better planning. It gives great insight when a village takes up initiatives on its own; it therefore prepares the ground for authority being shouldered effectively by the village itself. It provides a reference point for the state to be able to monitor the health of a village community.
Detailed Rationale:         A system that supports freedom needs to ensure freedom for the villages to take up their own initiatives ... and effective auditing by the next higher level of government. Maintaining records of transactions made by the village in a systematic manner helps in both aspects. A team that is clear in its accounts finds it easy to take up new initiatives and pursue its activities smoothly. If accounts are maintained in a manner such that external audit is easy, then it reflects greater credibility in the village team. The higher authorities and other donors can then trust the village team with financial and other resources; they will be assured that there will be minimal misuse.

Making a start at maintaining such records will lay the foundations for great work ahead; it will instill seriousness in common citizens regarding the use and management of funds.
Success Stories and Action:
(Share examples of villages that have succeeded with this freedom. Click here for feedback.)
Most successful organizations, especially companies, have had excellent accounting systems. Also, as evident in the Uttaramerur inscriptions (we see this in detail later in the book), successful nations do initiate systematic processes where there is transparent accounting. Modern prosperous nations too ensure that organizations within their nation keep proper accounts. (Maybe if such a requirement is insisted of the political parties of India, a major hurdle will be removed from the nation’s path to progress.)

A standard procedure of accounting needs to be used, preferably also computerized. The requisite skill must be quickly gained by accountants in the village. Proper opening and closing of accounts books must happen. Standards will surely be developed; standards used in the industry could also be adapted.

Refer to the Uttaramerur system for accounts unde one heading in this article.
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