Backward region grant fund:Improve performance of Panchayats

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New Delhi, Oct 10 (UNI) The Backward Region Grant Fund, designed to redress regional imbalances in development, has identified 250 districts in the country and is supplementing the fund to provide financial resources in these districts.

According to an official release issued here today, this fund is used to bridge critical gaps in local infrastructure and other development requirements not being adequately met through existing inflows.

It also seeks to strengthen, to this end, Panchayat and Municipality level governance with more appropriate capacity building, to facilitate participatory planning, decision making implementation and monitoring to reflect local felt needs, Provide professional support to local bodies for planning, implementation and monitoring their plans.

Improve the performance and delivery of critical functions assigned to Panchayats and counter possible efficiency and equity losses on account of inadequate local capacity.

Integrity development will commence with each district undertaking a diagnostic study of its backwardness by enlisting professional planning support. This will be followed by preparing a well-conceived participatory district development perspective plan to address backwardness during 2006-07 and the period of the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

The Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels referred to in Part IX of the Constitution, will undertake planning and implementation of the programme, in keeping with the letter and spirit of Article 243 G, while the Municipalities referred to in Part IX A, will similarly plan and implement the programme in urban areas in conformity with the letter and spirit of Article 243 W, read with Article 243 ZD of the Constitution.

The Programme has two components namely, a district component covering 250 districts and special plans for Bihar and Kalahandi- Bolangir- Koraput (KBK) districts of Orissa. A total provision of Rs 5000 crore was made for the two components in the Budget of 2006-07. Out of this allocation, Rs 1250 crore had been provided in the Demand for Grants of the Ministry of Finance for the Special Plans dealt with by the Planning Commission. The remaining amount of Rs 3750 crore had been placed at the disposal of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj for District Component covering 250 districts.

The allocation of Rs 3750 crore consisted of two funding windows- (a)capacity building fund Rs 250 crore and (b) development grants of Rs 3500 crore for the financial year 2006-07. This allocation was revised to Rs 1925 crore during the Revised Estimates stage.

The existing Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY) has been subsumed into the BRGF Programme. The erstwhile districts under RSVY will receive their full allocation of Rs 45 crore per district as per norms of the RSVY. Thereafter, they will shift to the BRGF mode of funding.

An mount of Rs 1925 crore was released under the BRGF programme during the financial year 2006-07, the release added.

UNI

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