Home Panchayati Raj Pradip Rejects Pradhan Blame

Pradip Rejects Pradhan Blame

Bhubaneswar; Centre and State Government on Friday locked horns over utilisation of Rs 8,500 crore fund provided by the Government of India for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

Inaugurating a National Workshop on Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals in Gram Panchayats in Bhubaneswar, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the Centre had allocated the fund for the PRIs in Odisha as per the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission, but the State failed to utilise it.

Shri Pradhan said that implementation of Central schemes will not be successful unless PRI representatives are properly empowered and involved. The Minister also underlined the need for proper utilisation of funds meant for different programmes.

The Union Minister urged the Odisha government to come forward and sign an MoU for the implementation of PM SHRI Schools (PM Schools for Rising India) schemes in the State.

Odisha will get as many as 800 exemplary schools under PM-SHRI scheme and receive Central allocation of Rs 1,600 crore for the same, he said.

However, the state government is yet to sign MoU for the purpose, Dharmendra said, requesting the State Government to cooperate with the Centre for the development of education sector in the State.

He lauded the incredible contributions of the women in the remarkable journey of development in the country. The Union Education Minister stressed the need to provide access to quality education for all in rural areas.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Education urged the heads of the Gram Panchayats to formulate plans to achieve Sustainable Development Goals due importance to the voice of the rural masses.

Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Kapil Moreshwar Patil called for concerted effort by all stakeholders to realize the sustainable development goals in Gram Panchayats.

Calling upon the heads of the Panchayats to take up the responsibility of the overall development of each Gram Panchayat, Patil said they should aim high, set goals and yearn to achieve them in the best possible ways. Stressing the importance of proper utilization of the resources and funds available with Gram Panchayats, Shri Kapil Patil called for localization of SDGs and its time-bound attainment in thematic areas.

Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water, Minister Pradip Kumar Amat rejected the claim made by Shri Pradhan and said all funds provided by Centre is being utilised in the State.

Amat stated that earlier Legendary Biju Patnaik had taken a historical step for the empowerment of women in Odisha by reserving 33% seat for women in the Panchayati Raj institutes and Urban Local bodies. Further, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik enhanced the reservation to 50%, which has revolutionised the empowerment of women in the State, he said.

Moreover, through Mission Shakti lakhs of women in the State are being economically empowered setting an example for other States in the country.

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra noted that Odisha is one of the pioneer states in the country in women empowerment and development. Fund is not a constraint for development of ‘Child and Women Friendly Panchayats’. He also said that there was 50% reservation for women in the Panchayat election in Odisha, whereas 56% of total Sarpanches are women. 

At the outset, Sushil Kumar Lohani, Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department welcomed the dignitaries, delegates, PRI representatives and domain experts from across the country to the National Workshop and elaborated about the importance of LSDGs in Gram Panchayats.

Chandra Shekhar Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India emphasized on the importance of proper convergence and synergy between Centre and States to localize and achieve the SDGs by 2030.