New Delhi [India]: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the continuation of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) till 2025-26 with an outlay of Rs 5,911 crore, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said in a Cabinet briefing.
CCEA, in an official statement, said that of the total financial outlay of the scheme, the Central Share is Rs 3,700 crore, and that of the State Share is Rs 2,211 crore. It also said that the revamped centrally sponsored scheme of RGSA has been approved for implementation during the period from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2026 (co-terminus with XV Finance Commission period) to develop governance capabilities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
The Cabinet said that the approved scheme of RGSA will help more than 2.78 lakh rural local bodies, including traditional bodies across the country, to develop governance capabilities to deliver on SDGs through inclusive local governance with a focus on optimum utilisation of available resources. The key principles of SDGs, that is, leaving no one behind, reaching the farthest first and universal coverage, along with gender equality, will be embedded in the design of all capacity building interventions, including training, training modules and materials.
Cabinet said that priority would be given to subjects of national importance principally under themes, namely, poverty-free and enhanced livelihood in villages, healthy village, child-friendly village, water sufficient village, clean and green village, self-sufficient infrastructure in the village, socially secured village, village with good governance, and engendered development in village.
As panchayats have representation of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and women and are institutions closest to the grassroots, strengthening panchayats will promote equity and inclusiveness, along with social justice and economic development of the community. Increased use of e-governance by PRIs will help achieve improved service delivery and transparency. The scheme will strengthen gram sabhas to function as effective institutions with the social inclusion of citizens, particularly the vulnerable groups. It will establish the institutional structure for capacity building of PRIs at the national, state and district level with adequate human resources and infrastructure.
Panchayats will progressively be strengthened through incentivisation on the basis of nationally important criteria to recognise the roles of panchayats in the attainment of SDGs and to inculcate a spirit of healthy competition.
No permanent post will be created under the scheme, but need-based contractual human resources may be provisioned for overseeing the implementation of the scheme and providing technical support to States/UTs for achieving goals under the scheme.
Around 60 lakh elected representatives, functionaries and other stakeholders of rural local bodies, including traditional bodies across the country, will be direct beneficiaries of the scheme, the Cabinet said.
The revamped RGSA will comprise Central and State components. The Central Components of the scheme will be fully funded by the Government of India. The funding pattern for State Components will be in the ratio of 60:40 among Centre and States, respectively, except NE, the Hilly States, and Union Territory (UT) of J&K, where Central and State share will be 90:10. However, for other UTs, the Central share will be 100 per cent.
The scheme will have both Central Component – National Level activities viz. National Plan of Technical Assistance, Mission Mode project on e-Panchayat, Incentivization of Panchayats, Action Research & Media and State component – Capacity Building & Training (CB&T) of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Institutional support for CB&T, Distance learning Facility, Support for the construction of Gram Panchayat (GP) Bhawan, co-location of Common Service Centres (CSCs) in GP Bhawans and computer for GPs with special focus on the NE States, Special Support for strengthening Gram Sabhas in PESA Areas, support for innovation, support for Economic Development & Income Enhancement support for Economic Development & Income Enhancement etc.
The implementation and monitoring of the activities of the scheme will broadly be aligned for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Panchayats are the focal points for all the developmental activities and implementation of schemes of various Ministries/ Departments and State governments to achieve SDGs.
Ministry under revamped RGSA will shift its focus towards capacitating the elected representatives of PRIs for Leadership Roles to develop an effective third tier of Government to enable them to deliver on localisation of SDGs principally for nine themes, namely: (i) Poverty free and enhanced livelihood in villages, (ii) Healthy Village, (iii) Child-Friendly Village, (iv) Water Sufficient Village, (v) Clean and Green Village, (vi) Self-Sufficient Infrastructure in Village, (vii) Socially Secured Village, (viii) Village with Good Governance, and (ix) Engendered Development in Village.
The scheme will also converge capacity building initiatives of other Ministries/ Departments for the attainment of SDGs. The Sector Enablers of Rural Local Bodies, including traditional bodies, to be included in training programmes of different Ministries/ Departments, imparting training to the functionaries and other stakeholders in their respective domains.
To recognise the roles of panchayats in the attainment of SDGs and to inculcate the spirit of healthy competition. A greater role for the nodal ministries in the assessment of the performance of panchayats and sponsoring of awards in the corresponding areas envisioned.
To provide in-depth analysis, evidence-based research studies and evaluation will be carried out in the fields related to PRIs. Activities related to awareness generation, sensitising rural masses, and disseminating government policies and schemes through electronic, print, social and conventional media will be undertaken.
The Central Government and the State Governments will take action for completing the activities approved for their respective roles. The State Government will formulate their Annual Action Plans for seeking assistance from the Central Government as per their priorities and requirement. The scheme will be implemented in demand driven mode.
This scheme will extend to all States and UTs of the country and will also include institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where panchayats do not exist. (ANI)