BPL certificates to be issued by gram panchayat pradhans

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Shimla, Jul 15 (UNI) Continuing with the government's resolve to delegate powers to the panchayati raj institutions, the Himachal Government today said that BPL (Below Poverty Line) certificates would now only be issued by the concerned gram panchayat pradhans.

The issue of BPL certificates will empower the panchayats and reduce any delay in issuance of certificates to the beneficiaries, an official spokesman said in a release here.

He said the certificates would be issued on the basis of the panchayat record, which would be countersigned by the pradhan of the concerned gram panchayat.

Penal action would, however, be taken against the certificate issuing authority in case the certificates was found to be wrong or incorrect, he said.

Besides, the person availing the benefit of such certificate would also be dismissed from service and criminal case registered against him.

He said the move was part of the authorities to delegate adequate powers to the panchayati raj institutions and to further speed up development at the grass-root level.

Reiterating the government's resovle to strengthen and empower the panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies, he said it had already been decided to provide 50 per cent reservation to the women in such institutions and bodies.

The honorarium of all categories of elected representatives of panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies had also been increased, the spokesman said.

He said this would not only benefit about 25,000 such elected representatives, but would also empower and encourage them.

UNI AS PS BP1751

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