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Half of state's budget to be given to panchayat bodies: Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat

PTI 04 Nov 2014, 21:24:29 PM IST

Dehra Dun: Seeking a couple of years more for economic consolidation of disaster-hit Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Harish Rawat today said he would allocate half of the state's budget to panchayat bodies once this goal is achieved.

State Panchayat Raj Minister Pritam Singh said a state Panchayati Raj Act is in the final stages of drafting and asked the Chief Minister to provide a vehicle to each block pramukh to tour areas under his jurisdiction to take stock of the problems of the people.

At a meeting with panchayat representatives here, Rawat said he wanted to give more powers and funds to panchayats but this will be possible only after a couple of years when some more work is done toward economic consolidation of the flood hit state.

"Give me at least one and half years more for economic consolidation of Uttarakhand. Once it is done, I assure you that half of the funds meant for the state will be given to the panchayats," he said.

Noting that he wanted panchayat bodies to play a larger role in implementation of the Centre and state-sponsored schemes, Rawat said panchayat bodies should prepare a think- tank of their own identifying schemes in which they feel they can work hand in hand with the government for better results.

"For example, I feel you can play a big role in implementation of the state government's "Hamare ped hamara dhan" (Our trees Our Wealth) scheme. Identify other schemes like this where you feel you can play a crucial role and we will make you partners in their implementation," he said.

Underlining the importance of panchayat bodies in the development of the state, he said Uttarakhand's growth over the next five years will depend upon how effectively the capabilities of its panchayat bodies are utilized during the period.

Pritam Singh asked the chief minister to transfer 29 subjects to panchayats as per the provisions of the Indian Constitution, saying this will redress many of the complaints voiced by panchayat representatives at the meeting.

On the demand for a Panchayati Raj Act in the state, he said it is in the final stages of being drafted.