Panchayati Raj Min seeks enhancement of plan allocations
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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.


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

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