KOCHI: Kerala has proved its mettle in local budgeting and decentralisation, and set a model in three-tier Local Self Governance (LSG), said Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Narendra Singh Tomar here.
Speaking at the valedictory function of the three-day BRICS Conference on ‘Participatory Local Budgeting’ on Saturday, Tomar said, “the state started local budgeting and decentralisation decades ago. While Kerala is known for the achievement within the country, its LSG model is currently being hailed internationally.” The Minister also urged the authorities to ensure that the people benefit from the public utility projects implemented in the State.
“The Open Defecation Free (ODF) status achieved by the State last week would go in vain, if even a small section of the public resort to open defecation,” said the Minister, and pointed out that development of society would be complete only when the poor man’s life gets better.
“Development should begin with the poor. Officials and people’s representatives should work along with the public in a dedicated manner to achieve sustainable development, both social and infrastructure,” he said. On the occasion, State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac presented the Agenda-2030.
“At least ten per cent of the budget should be managed and implemented by women, for their own programmes. Care should be taken to put in place measures to protect the environment, so as to avoid catastrophes in future,” said the Finance Minister.
The concluding day also witnessed sessions on ‘Participatory Local Budgeting and Social Development’ and ‘Innovations and Best Practices in Participatory Local Budgeting.’World Bank Task Team leader Ivan Shulga, who represents Russia, explained the development modality employed in rural Russia under the Local Initiative Support Programme (LISP).
The projects under the LISP were co-funded by the local population itself. South African representative and UNDP country director Jaco Cilliers, among other delegates, also shared their experiences.