Panchayati Raj Min seeks enhancement of plan allocations

Last Updated: Monday, February 15, 2010 - 23:05

New Delhi: The Panchayati Raj Ministry on Monday
said it is planning to seek enhancement of plan outlay of two
schemes for capacity building of panchayat representatives and
empowerment of PRIs by over Rs 900 crore each.

Under its future agenda, the ministry plans to seek
enhancement of allocation for RGSY scheme for capacity
building of its panchayat representatives from the current Rs
45 crore to Rs 1000 crore per annum.

Similarly for PEAIS, which seeks incentives for states for
empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), the
ministry wants enhancement of Rs 990 crore per annum above the
current outlay of Rs 10 crore, sources in the ministry said.

This was conveyed to MPs in a meeting of the
Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Panchayati Raj in
which more than half of its members, including Congress leader
Rahul Gandhi, failed to turned up.

The ministry noted that outlays for the heads of its
schemes like e-governance in PRIs, Panchayat Mahila Shakti
Abhiyan, RGSY and PEAIS were "grossly" inadequate to
incentivise states to devolve and strengthen PRIs.

In the current fiscal, the ministry has an outlay of Rs
23 crore for e-governance in PRIs scheme, Rs four crore for
Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan.

Addressing the meeting, Rural Development Minister C P
Joshi said panchayats are the grass-root democratic
institutions and need to be further empowered through
effective devolution of functions, finances and functionaries
following the "principles of subsidiarity and centrality of
panchayats".

Effective devolution of power to panchayats in terms of
function, finances and functionaries would also "ensure
convergence of the plethora of schemes and pooling of
resources through holistic planning by panchayats," Joshi
said.

He also said "concerted efforts" were needed to make the
PRIs more viable in the light of Constitutional amendment to
provide 50 per cent reservation for women in seats and also
offices of chairpersons in all the three tiers of panchayats.

"This will ensure speedy implementation of all the
Centrally-sponsored schemes and flagship programmes of
Government including the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA through
consistent monitoring and timely financing of works," he said.

Parliamentarians, who attended the meeting, suggested the
ministry to take measures on capacity building and creating
awareness among gram pradhans and Sarpanchs.

They further suggested that the ministry involve them too
in the process of grass-root planning and monitoring of the
functioning of PRIs in their respective constituencies.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 15, 2010 - 23:05

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