Boosting the digital payment system in rural India and bringing in transparency into the fund disbursal mechanism, 199,235 gram panchayats have done online payments worth a cumulative of more than Rs. 70,000 crores, including all the onboarded schemes, through e-Gram SWARAJ- PFMS Interface in 2021-22, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Kapil Moreshwar Patil informed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR), Government of India, has provided the eGramSwaraj (eGS) – a user-friendly web-based portal, which aims to bring in better transparency in the decentralised planning, progress reporting, financial management, work-based accounting and details of assets created. The gram panchayats upload the gram panchayat development plans through the planning module of eGS. The online payments to vendors and service providers are done through the eGS-PFMS Interface (eGSPI). So far, 2.54 lakh gram panchayat development plans (GPDPs) have been uploaded on eGS for the year 2021-22. Further, 2,32,190 panchayats have on boarded eGramSwaraj-PFMS Interface, the minister said.
Furthermore, for ensuring timely audit of panchayat accounts i.e. receipts and expenditures of gram panchayats, MoPR has rolled out an online application – Audit Online. This application not only facilitates auditing of panchayat accounts but also provides for maintaining of audit records. This application streamlines the process for audit inquiries, draft local audit reports and draft audit-paras, thus ensuring proper maintenance of accounts by panchayats to improve transparency and accountability. So far, for audit period 2020-21; 1.65 lakh audit plans have been created and 75,044 audit reports have been generated.
Model Panchayat Citizens Charter
Ministry of Panchayati Raj has prepared a Model Panchayat Citizens Charter, a framework for delivery of the services across the 29 sectors, aligning actions with localised sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the gram panchayats to adopt and customize. The aim is to provide services to the people in a time-bound manner, redressing their grievances and improving their lives. The ‘Meri Panchayat, Mera Adhikaar- Jan Sevaayein Hamaare Dwaar’ campaign was rolled out from July 1 to August 15, 2021. The campaign had emerged as an effective strategy for ensuring the gram panchayats have a citizen charter approved by the respective gram sabhas in place, cataloguing the different categories of services rendered to the citizens by the panchayat and the time limit for such service. During the campaign, 2.21 lakh gram sabha meetings were held for preparing the Citizen Charter, Patil informed the lower house of Indian parliament.
Boosting rural broadband connectivity
For attaining the vision of Digital India, BharatNet project is being implemented by Department of Telecommunications in a phased manner to create a network to connect all the rural local bodies (RLBs) (approx. 2.71 lakh RLBs) by broadband in the country. As on 14.03.2022, a total number of 1.76 lakh RLBs (including block headquarters) have been made service ready in the country. The scope of BharatNet on 30.06.2021 has been extended upto all inhabited villages beyond GPs in the country, the minister informed.
RuralMarketing.in is now on Telegram. Click here to join Rural Marketing on Telegram and stay updated with the latest news and updates on rural business and the economy.