Sonia, PM to address Panchayat rally in Delhi

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New Delhi, Nov 30: A national convention and a rally of Chairpersons of District and Intermediate Panchayats will be held here on December 22 and 23 to commemorate the 15th year of passing of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment by Parliament and create awareness among the elected representatives of such bodies of their rights and duties to function as Local Self Government.

The convention will be held on December 22 and the rally the next day.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will address the rally at Burari, North Delhi.

All State Panchayati Raj ministers are being invited to both sets of events, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters today.

A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Dr Singh last evening, sanctioned a special assistance of Rs 71.83 crore for holding the convention and the rally. The assistance would be hiked by 15 per cent, if necessary.

The assistance would be extended through the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. The re-appropriated fund from BRGF would be recouped through the Third Supplementary Grant or the Revised Estimates (RE) for 2007-08.

The convention and the rally are being held at the instance of Ms Gandhi. It would be organised by the Panchayati Raj Ministry, in association with the Urban Development Ministry.

The convention would adopt a Charter on Panchayati Raj which would be presented to the Prime Minister and the UPA Chairperson at the rally.


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