Cabinet approves restructured scheme to make local bodies self-sustainable

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Saturday approved a restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) scheme aimed at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient through use of e-governance vis-a-vis service delivery and transparency.

Addressing a press conference here, Union Panchayati Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- who chaired the CCEA meeting -- will officially launch the scheme on April 24 in Madhya Pradesh's Mandla.

As a part of the scheme, a mobile application -- mActionSoft -- for field reporting and monitoring of physical progress of works undertaken by the panchayats has been launched.

The scheme's total outlay from 2018-19 to 2021-2022 would be Rs 7,255 crore, of which 60 per cent would be borne by the Centre.

However, in case of northeastern and hilly states, the Centre's share would be 90 per cent.

Tomar said the RGSA will help more than 2.55 lakh Panchayati Raj Institutions to develop governance capabilities to deliver on sustainable development goals through inclusive local governance, with a focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.

The implementation and monitoring of activities under the scheme will broadly be aligned to achieve such goals with the main thrust on panchayats identified under Mission Antyodaya and 115 aspirational districts as identified by NITI Aayog.

Increased use of e-governance by the panchayat bodies would not just help in improved service delivery and transparency but also strengthen gram sabhas to function as effective institutions with social inclusion of citizens, particularly the vulnerable groups.

Tomar said as many as 2.44 lakh gram panchayat development plans (GPDP) were submitted to the states concerned and the central government but the progress was "not satisfactory".

A new GPDP award has been introduced, which will be conferred on three gram panchayats across the country.

The Ministry's efforts have yielded good results in terms of wider participation and increased number of panchayats competing for Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar, Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar and e-Panchayat Puraskar, an official release said.

--IANS

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