Centre to launch three movements this year: Aiyar
Gangtok, Apr 2 (UNI) Union Minister for Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar today announced here that three movements would be launched by the Centre in the country this year to give a boost to the development process undertaken through the Panchayatraj institutions.
Mr Aiyar, who was on a four-day visit to the state to review the functioning of the Panchayatraj institutions in Sikkim, told newsmen before leaving for Delhi today that the movements were- Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan, Panchayat Yuva Shakti Abhiyan and Panchayat Khel Kud Abhiyan.
The Minister asked the officials concerned to chalk out detail plans on how to implement these programmes successfully in the state.
He also said the central government had decided to create Backward Region Grant Fund this year to provide funds to the backward region where development projects could be undertaken.
The Minister said though Sikkim had made considerable progress in implementation of Panchayatraj system in the state and was adjudged as the third best state in the country after Kerala and Karnataka, it had to double its efforts and go a long way to jump to the first position.
The Minister said the Centre had also identified seven flagship schemes to be implemented through the Panchayatraj institutions.
They were Sarvasikhya Abhiyan, Midday meal scheme, ICDS, Rural Health Mission, Drinking water mission, total sanitation and Employment Guarantee schemes.
The Minister toured all the four districts and talked to the people during the last three days and said the state was lacking in activity mapping and devolution of power to the Gram Panchayats and Zilla Panchayats. He said except the Rural Development Department, no other department had transferred power to the Panchayats and Zilla Panchayats so far. He said every department should devolve power and plan in a scientific way for the success of the panchayat raj in the state.
The state was lagging behind in activisation of the committees, a major requirement for the functioning of the Pachayatraj system, he said.
Mr Aiyar said the Centre had sanctioned a sum of Rs 5.2 crore for E-goverance for the Panchayats in Sikkim. Whle Rs 2 crore of the amount will be released this year, the rest will be released in 2006-07, he said.
Mr Aiyer urged the officials to find business rural hubs for marketing of local produce and to give a boost to the economy of the state.
For example he said the mushroom found in North Sikkim areas could be marketed in European countries, where it has a good demand and contribute to increasing the income of the people and the economy of the state.
The Minister said the Pachayats and Zilla Panchayats should also be involved in the promotion of tourism which has a big scope.