Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday declared that local bodies would be strengthened and would be made to play an active role in rural development.
He said the Zilla Parishads and Mandal Parishads would be given funds like the Gram Panchayats and they would be assigned fixed responsibilities. He promised to allocate funds for Zilla and Mandal Parishads in the state’s budget for 2021-2022.
Stating that the New Panchayat Raj Act has empowered the Gram Panchayats to utilise their funds totally without taking any permission from the mandal and district level officials, he called for its effective implementation.
The Chief Minister held a review meeting on measures to be taken to strengthen the local bodies. Minister Indrakaran Reddy, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretary, Panchayat Raj, Sandeep Sultania, Principal Secretary, Finance, Ramakrishna Rao and other officials attended the meeting.
“The government has taken a decision to strengthen the local bodies and implementing it. As part of this, the Finance Commission is releasing funds directly to the Gram Panchayats and Municipalities. Every month, Gram Panchayats are released Rs 308 crore and Municipalities Rs 148 crore. Since there is no dearth of funds, programmes like Palle Pragathi and Pattana Pragathi are successfully implemented,” said Chandrasekhar Rao.
He pointed out that villages now have dump yards, tractors, plant nurseries and Vaikunta Dhams. In a similar way, special funds from the Finance Commission would be released to Zilla and Mandal Parishads. He felt if these funds are linked with the MNREGS, more funds can be accrued. “Fix responsibilities to Zilla and Mandal Parishads besides releasing funds. Officials should suggest what kind of responsibility should be given to Zilla and Mandal Parishads. I will discuss about these suggestions personally with the Zilla Parishad chairpersons. Then we will take a final decision,” he added.
The Chief Minister said new Panchayat Raj Act has given powers to Gram Panchayats to spend their funds totally. He noted that in some places, for works worth more than Rs 2 Lakh, the old rule of taking permission from the Mandal officers is being implemented.
“This is against the new Act. The Gram Panchayats have every right to spend funds for the needs of their villages. No one should interfere in this. On this matter, the officials should clarify once again,” the CM said.