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Parliament Winter Session 2022: Rs 1,538.32 cr Released to States & UTs Under Gram Swaraj Scheme in Last 3 Years

These funds were used to build 7,972 Panchayat Bhawans and buy 16,407 computers and accessories.

Ayushi Sikarwar
Women Working In a Field In A Rural Region of India (File Image)

As per a written reply submitted by the Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Kapil Moreshwar Patil in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, funds totaling Rs 1,538.32 crore have been made available to the states and UTs under the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) scheme in last three years. These funds were used to build 7,972 Panchayat Bhawans and buy 16,407 computers and accessories.

During the same time period, Rs.285.54 crore was granted to Uttar Pradesh for building of 3,204 Gram Panchayat Bhawans and purchase of 3,550 computers and related equipment.

RGSA Scheme

Since Panchayats are state subjects, it is primarily the responsibility of the respective state government to modernize and upgrade them by giving infrastructure amenities to Gram Panchayats (GPs).

However, under the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) programme, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been assisting and enhancing the efforts of State governments by providing financial support to States for a limited number of infrastructural facilities, including Gram Panchayat Bhawans, computers, and peripherals for GPs, as well as funding the capacity building of Panchayati Raj Institutions.

The Ministry is implementing the e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP) to provide digital solutions like the e-GramSwaraj portal that addresses planning, budgeting, accounting, monitoring, and payments by the Panchayats with a view to bring transparency, accountability, and efficiency in local governance, in addition to the provisions of computerization of Gram Panchayats, as steps toward digitization of Panchayats.

Further, the Audit Online programme has also been implemented to audit the Panchayat accounts on utilization of Finance Commission funds.

Previously in April this year, the extension of the RGSA scheme through 2025–26 with a budget of Rs 5,911 crore was authorized by the Union Cabinet.

The national portion of the scheme's overall financial outlay was Rs 3,700 crore, according to an official statement from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), and the state share was Rs 2,211 crore.

The programme aims to give elected members of Panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) leadership roles and assist 2.78 lakh rural local government organizations in achieving sustainable development objectives.

It was anticipated that the redesigned RGSA initiative will help PRIs fulfil the SDGs (sustainable development goals) for nine themes: poverty-free and improved livelihood in villages, healthy villages, child-friendly villages, villages with enough water, villages that are clean and green, villages with self-sufficient infrastructure, villages that are socially secure, villages with good governance, and villages that have encouraged development.

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