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Five Year Plan at Panchayat: Karnataka villages told to aim for holistic growth

This will help realise Mahatma’s ideal of gram swaraj which aims at making every village a self-reliant autonomous unit, officials said.

Published: 22nd August 2021 03:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2021 06:35 PM   |  A+A-

A file picture of women employed under the MGNREGA scheme. (Photo | B P Deepu, EPS)

A file picture of women employed under the MGNREGA scheme. (Photo | B P Deepu, EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Five Year Plan, the grand scheme  that has been scrapped by the BJP government at the Centre, seems to be making a comeback, though at the micro, gram panchayat level in Karnataka. To commemorate 75 years of Independence, the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) has directed all local bodies to prepare the plan by September 30 which will be made public on October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti).

This will help realise Mahatma’s ideal of gram swaraj which aims at making every village a self-reliant autonomous unit, officials said. The panchayats should prepare the plan after holding discussions with the public, self-help groups and experts. The aim is to achieve holistic development in health, education, women and child welfare, social security, financial stability and environment, they added.

Karnataka is home to over 6,000 gram panchayats, to which members were elected a few months ago. Each gram panchayat will constitute teams comprising elected representatives, serving and retired panchayat officials, local experts, members of NGOs and self-help groups. Panchayats have also been told to organise gram sabhas and get suggestions from the public.

Principal Secretary (Panchayat Raj) Uma Mahadevan said that each panchayat gets a grant of Rs 1.5 crore per year from various sources like the 15th Finance Commission, State Government, Swachh Bharat funds, MGNREGA and through resource mobilisation. But there is no proper mechanism to utilise these funds. A holistic and comprehensive approach is needed, she added.

“Gram panchayats should aim at generating their own resources. For instance, if they take up lake development under MGNREGA, they can rent it out for fishing and generate funds. If their panchayat is a tourist hub, they can take help from self-help groups who can sell their products and improve the local economy... 

They should plan accordingly for five years.  When they know the amount they are getting, they can plan better. The purpose is to make them self-reliant as per Gandhi’s dream,’’ she added. 



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