In a bid to facelift the villages of the state, the Government of India (GoI) has hiked the allocation for the rural development sector by 140% thereby enhancing the allocation of funds under 14th Finance Commission to Rs 4091 crore as compared to Rs 1700 crore sanctioned during the 13th Finance Commission.
Revealing this Union Minister of state for Panchayati Raj Mr. Nihal Chand, who called on the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal at his official residence this afternoon, said that the Union government has enhanced the share of the state for its glorious track record of optimum utilisation of funds to carry out rural development works in the state. He said that the state would get a major chunk of funds to the tune of Rs 4091 crore under the 14th Finance Commission during the next five years (2015-2020) and Rs 700 crore would be disbursed to the state during the current fiscal. Mr. Nihal Chand assured the Chief Minister that the NDA government would give fulsome support and cooperation to the state to transform the rural scene in the state by providing the best basic civic amenities for improving their quality of life.
The Union Minister, who visited Singhpura village in Ropar district, expressed satisfaction over the development activities being carried out by the state government for ensuring its holistic growth. He said that in fact Punjab was today the torch bearer for the country in the arena of rural development.
Seeking the whole hearted assistance of the GoI for giving further fillip to the development of rural areas, the Chief Minister also envisaged a proven technology for the cleaning of villages Ponds across the state which had posed a major challenge to the Health of these residents. He said that the contaminated water of these ponds was creating a mess for the villagers due to which timely action was required for overcoming this problem. He said that the state government was fully committed to overcome this big hurdle in the development of the villages and no stone would be left unturned for this noble cause.
The Chief Minister also solicited the support of Mr. Nihal Chand for relaxing the norms under the NREGA scheme to allow the Panchayats and other public representatives to contribute funds in the development works. He said that the funds allocated for the material under NREGA was too meagre so the need of the hour was allow the Panchayats to contribute in order to overcome the scarcity of funds.
Responding to the request of the Chief Minister, Mr. Nihal Chand assured that he would soon send a team of senior officers from his ministry headed by Director NREGA to interact with the Deputy Commissioners so as to make them understand the intricacies of the various ongoing schemes run by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
Prominent amongst other present in the meeting included Cabinet Minister Mr. Sikander Singh Maluka, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Mantar Singh Brar, Senior Advisor Ministry of Panchayati Raj, GoI Mrs. Rugmini S Parmar and Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Dr. S Karuna Raju.