Friday 18 May 2012

Centrality of Panchayati Raj Institutions

This Ministry of Panchayati Raj has taken up the issue of centrality of Panchayati Raj Institutions in various Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs) and Additional Central Assistance (ACAs) in various forums. Among the major CSSs, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Saakshar Bharat Mission, Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) and National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) provide significant roles and responsibilities to Panchayats. Under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), which is an ACA, Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) provides untied funds through States to Panchayats and Municipalities on the basis of plans made by Panchayats. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has revised the NRDWP guidelines under which, from 2011-12, in the inter-State allocation criteria, 10% scheme funds have been linked to States’ performance on a Management Devolution Index (MDI) which measures the extent to which a State has decentralized the management of the programme. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued instructions in July, 2011 that Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committee should preferably function as a sub-committee of the Gram Panchayat. In the revised Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan guidelines of 2011, responsibilities of Panchayats in elementary education have been indicated. The extent to which various Ministries have incorporated the role of Panchayats in scheme guidelines varies as per the existing structure of the scheme and perceptions of that Ministry about the role of Panchayats etc. 

This information was given by the Minister of Panchayati Raj, Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today. 

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