State-Centre must work collectively, says Central team

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Ranchi, Sep 21 (UNI) A high-level Central team, assigned to review various developmental schemes of Jharkhand, today attributed non-utilisation of Central fund to the absence of Panchayat bodies as one major reason.

Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar after a four-hour meeting with senior state officials of all departments at Indian Institute of Coal Mangement here, told a press conference that he could not pinpoint one specific reason for non-utilisation of fund and subsequent slow pace of development.

But he felt the Panchayat bodies would have helped the fund reach nook and corner of the state with better rhythm.

He announced that funds for backward classes in the state, held back for a long time, would be released soon with condition to the government that it would hold Panchayat polls in the state within six months of the Supreme Court verdict on the issue.

The issue of Panchayat poll was lying at the SC now.

Mr Chandrashekhar further said the state did well improving the infant mortality rate and ''Indira Awas Yojana'', adding that many areas required collective effort by both state and Central governemnts to tackle them.

He said he would hold periodical talk with the Chief Secretary on the progress of the schemes and advise his colleague in Delhi to monitor them.

Mr Chandrashekhar termed today's meeting as ''essentially'' a continuation of earlier such excercise and felt that poor national highways in the state must get priority in terms of their repairs.

''I have told the departments concerned to do the needful to repair roads as early as possible, as I have got feedback that they are in very deplorable state in most parts of the state, '' he said.

He also appreciated Chief Secretary P P Sarma's proposal to constitute task forces mainly on the nationl highways.

UNI

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