Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water & Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the Panchayats has suggested that National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and State Institutes of Rural Development should coordinate with other institutes for imparting quality training to the elected representatives and functionaries of Panchayats. He was speaking at the Conference of State Panchayati Raj Ministers at Bhopal.
Tomar highlighted that in the context of huge fiscal transfer to Gram Panchayats of about Rs. 200,292 Crore in five years, by the way of the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC), recent years had seen a significant increase in public expenditure through Panchayats in the areas of sanitation, civic amenities among other social sector activities. He pointed out the importance of peoples’ participation and advised that Panchayats should take a proactive role in addressing poverty, social issues and needs of vulnerable groups. Through the local leadership of the Gram Panchayats, many villages have been able to successfully resolve difficult problems like availability of water, connectivity, open defecation, education for all and have brought about transformational changes in the lives of poor persons belonging to vulnerable groups. He also thanked State Ministers of Panchayati Raj for participating in the conference and assured that all their suggestions would be duly considered.
Panchayati Raj Ministers of 10 States made presentations and shared their experiences and gave suggestions for future development of Panchayati Raj Systems. In the conference as many as 40 Sarpanches of Panchayats from different parts of India were felicitated in appreciation of their outstanding performance.
During the conference, three panel discussions, one each on Water Conservation, Smart Villages for New India and Role of Panchayats in achieving Sustainable Development Goals were organised.