BHUBANESWAR: In a major shift from the existing planning process, the State Government has decided to start village-level plans by September for fostering rapid economic growth and social justice.
The village-level planning titled ‘Ama Gaon-Ama Yojana’ is in tune with the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission and Fourth State Finance Commission.
A core planning team comprising experts from various disciplines will be formed for every district. The team will assist village committees in formulating annual plans as per their priorities keeping in view the physical and natural resource of the area and availability of funds.
However, in order to make decentralised development a success, a time-bound training programme will have to be initiated as a majority of the new entrants are not familiar with the various programmes of the Government.
The proposed decentralised planning programme was discussed at a State-level Steering Committee meeting chaired by Chief Secretary GC Pati on Saturday.
The Chief Secretary advised the Panchayati Raj Department to engage experts, if required to hire consultancy firms or NGOs, on specific areas for formulating village plans.
With larger devolution of funds to the states from the Centre, each of the panchayat is expected to receive a grant of Rs 45 to Rs 63 lakh from the current fiscal taking population and development factors into account, Secretary in the Panchayati Raj Department DK Singh said.
The annual grant will increase in the subsequent years, he said adding, better performing panchayats are likely to get an assistance between Rs 98 lakh and Rs 1.4 crore.
Apart from providing basic services to the people, rural infrastructure development will also be given importance and emphasis will be on own revenue generation.
In addition to the grants of the State and Central Finance commissions, the State Plan funds and assistance from the local area development (LAD) funds from the MLAs and MPs will also be utilised in the panchayats. The proposed village plans will help the villagers utilise their funds in a transparent manner, Singh said.
Apart from basic amenities, issues like management of natural resources, education, health, agriculture and social security will be included in the village plans. While one year plan will ensure short-term development, five-year plans will help achieve long-term goals, official sources said.