Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 21:
Despite substantial cut in Central assistance to the rural sector following the NDA government’s decision to discontinue support to various schemes, the Odisha government would continue with the schemes for the infrastructure development of backward regions of the state, Panchayati Raj minister Arun Sahu told the Assembly on Friday.
“The reduced inflow of Central assistance under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), delinking of Central support under Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyaan (RGPSA) of the panchayati raj ministry; and equal share of state-Centre in Indira Away Yojna projects is not going to affect the welfare schemes in the state as these would continue to move on despite Central share cut,” Arun Sahu told the Assembly here.
On the other hand, the demand for grant for the Panchayati Raj Department for 2015-16 of Rs 7061.997 crore was passed in the assembly amid Opposition walkout.
The recommendations of fourth State Finance Commission (SFC) will be implemented and majority of the recommendation of the department’s standing committee last year will be implemented too, Sahu informed while replying to queries of members.
Replying to a question from members across party lines on restructuring of panchayats, the minister said, a standing committee would visit various states and submit report on this following which decision would be taken based on it.
Wary of the existence of the ministry, he said, the UPA government in the Centre had allocated Rs 4000 crore for the Panchayati Raj department. However, the NDA government has sanctioned a meagre Rs 95 crore for the department.
The Central plan allocation has reduced by 1 percent as compared to the previous year and this has effected in the cut in the rural sector development projects, he alleged.