Centre committed to strengthen PRIs in Arunachal; Aiyar

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Itanagar, Sep 28 (UNI) Union Panchayati Raj and DoNER minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has said that Centre is committed to strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Arunachal Pradesh.

Speaking at the three-day training-cum-workshop of elected women panchayat leaders, organized by Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyaan (PMSA) here yesterday, the minister said that there would be no dearth of fund from the Centre for the PRIs.

He regretted that his ministry had released Rs one crore for 100 panchayat ghars and Rs 50 lakh two years back under Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojna for the training of PRIs members to the state government but the utilization certificates were yet to be received.

'' If utilization certificate of even 60 percent money is received, we would send more money '', he announced.

Though Rs 50 crore was sanctioned under 12th Finance Commission whose first installment of Rs 6.8 crore has been released, seven more installments are waiting to be disbursed which would lapse by March 31, 2010, he informed.

He also released the activity map of 29 subjects devolving functions to panchayats in the state hoping that the state government would notify it within a few days.

Mr Aiyar also asked the state government to complete the process of devolution of financial power with functionaries to pave the way for effective functioning of the newly elected three-tier panchayat in the state within three to four months so that the ruling Congress is strengthened at the grassroots much before the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

Later, addressing ministers, MLAs, panchayat leaders and party leaders from all over the state at the second convention of Arunachal Pradesh Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan (APRGPRS), Mr Aiyar, who is the National Convenor of the Sangathan said that the MLAs should not mind by sharing powers with panchayat leaders at the lower level as it would help them in reducing their burdens.

Responding to a plea for more funds, particularly Rs 150 crore this year which have been transferred from plan to non-plan and Rs 225 crore next year from the 13th Finance Comission as non-pan revenue gap, the minister said a meeting of chief ministers and finance ministers of North East has been fixed at New Delhi on October 4 to be addressed by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram when the states will get an opportunity to explain their financial problems and sort them out.

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