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Achievements/Inititatives of Panchayati Raj in 2010

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A mechanism for efficient management of programmes, funds, and planning functions was worked out . The mechanism is based on switch over from the present system of ‘Advances and Disbursement’ to a system of ‘Authorization’. In this framework, each IE would be given an ‘Authorization’ for up to a certain amount based on their entitlement as per the programme guidelines.

A ‘Plan Plus’ software to facilitate integrated (cross-sectoral) District/Sub-District planning and seamless convergence of plethora of schemes and resources was developed by the Ministry. This application will integrate with the new mechanism for fund transfer and provide anunified Planning, Accounting and MIS system.

In addition, to enable final payments to the beneficiaries, the Business Correspondents (BCs) option is being tried under various schemes. With the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer system and biometric based smart-card technology, the new mechanism is capable of integrating the BC model for the disbursal purposes. In fact Govt. of India has mooted BC model for the 97 unbanked Blocks (86 in NE alone) in the country for extending Banking services.

A two day long National Conference on April 24, 2010 the occasion of the National Panchayati Raj Day to mark the promogulation of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 from April 24, 1993 to provide constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj Institutions in our country. The theme of the occasion was “Roadmap for the Panchayats” It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

. Connectivity to Gram Panchayats through broadband network, is included as a component in the Bharat Nirman II Programme. As on September 2010, a total of 97,392 Village Panchayats have been broadband enabled. Under Bharat Nirman II Programme, the Government has envisaged to provide broadband connectivity to all Village Panchayats.

For implementation of e-governance in Panchayats, an e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP)” has been formulated by the Ministry. Under this MMP, reports on (1) Information and Service Needs Assessment (2) Business Process Re-engineering and (3) Detailed Project Reports for each State/UT (except Delhi) have been prepared and sent to respective States/UTs for operationalising. For this MMP, MoPR has been allocated Rs.5.5 cr. in 2008-09, Rs.22.07 cr. In 2009-10 and Rs.24 cr. In 2010-11. From this amount, development of software applications to automate core functions of Panchayats has also been taken up. PRIASoft, an accounting software and PLANPlus, software for decentralized planning have already been launched.

An advisory, ‘Effective implementation of PESA particularly in the context of prevailing extremism’, dated 21st May, 2010 was issued by Ministry to all PESA States. It is available on website of Ministry of Panchayati Raj, www.panchayat.nic.in

Under the allocation for Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) the allocation for Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) to increase by 26 per cent from Rs. 5,800 crore in 2009-10 to Rs.7,300 crore in 2010-11.

A Model Accounting System for Panchayats (MAS) and PRIASoft, a software for computerized maintenance of accounts under MAS, has been developed by the Ministry to bring in transparency and accountability in the functioning of PRIs.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was requested for giving the responsibility of planning and implementation of National Rural Health Mission to Panchayati Raj Institutions.

Under the Panchayat Empowerment and Accountability Incentive Scheme (PEAIS), State Governments are incentivized to devolve functions, funds and functionaries (3Fs) upon Panchayats to fulfil the Constitutional stipulation under Article 243G read with its Eleventh Schedule. Awards are given based on ranking of the States in devolution of 3Fs through a study conducted every year by an independent organization. Abudgetary provision of Rs. 10.00 Crore per annum for the year 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 was made for incentivization under PEAIS.

All the States/UTs have been asked to involve the Panchayats to actively involve and initiate necessary steps in the scheme of uniquely identifying Indian residents to be initiated by the Uniue Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) very soon and also inform the ministry of the action taken.

India and Norway signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for mutual cooperation on Local Governance at Oslo, the Capital of Norway. The objective of the MoU is to encourage transference of competence between India and Norway for strengthening Local Self Governance including capacity building of institutions, focusing on areas relating to achievement of Millenium Development Goals, e-governance, solution sharing and mobilisation of resources.

The Planning Commission was urged to integrate its Action Plan prepared for the Most Extremist Affected Districts (MEADs) with the holistic participatory District Plans under BRGF/DPC platforms and suggested that this plan be funded through additionality to these districts under BRGF.

Token incentives amounting to Rs. 30 crore to 17 States under the The Panchayat Empowerment & Accountability Incentive Scheme (PEAIS) during the last three Financial years. These States are: Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh , Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, U.P, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

All the States particularly those affected by the Left Wing Extremism were asked to ensure proper implementation of PESA Guidelines in their areas so that the PRIs could be made stronger enough. In a letter written to all Chief Secretaries of States to States the Ministry has urged them to take all necessary steps that are required to check the deepening and widening of extremism in PESA areas. The Ministry also underlined the need to activate Gram Sabhas in a mission mode for resolving disputes, supervisining land acquition and assess the impact and delimitation of villages.

A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Export Import Bank of India for the purpose of enhancing export possibilities of products sources from RBHs. Key activities covered under the MoC are (i) Facilitating identification of suitable exporters, willing to locate their production activities in rural areas, (ii) Fostering a mutually beneficial business relationship between such exporters and rural producers, availing of the support and facilitation of Panchayat, (iii) Facilitating wider visibility and promotion of identified products of RBHs in international markets by linking these products to EXIM Bank’s rural portal and by displaying such products at the overseas offices of EXIM Bank, (iv) Familiarizing select RBHs with the process of obtaining Ethical Trading, Fair Trade, Organic certification etc. so that market realization is better.

A “National Capability Building Framework (NCBF)” has been prepared for regular and sustained capability building of elected representatives, officials and other stakeholders in Panchayati Raj, through a series of training activities that, among other things, include sectorally focused training programmes on rural development also.

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