FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
Itagar, Oct 14: Aruchal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has announced that the second instalment of the 14th Fince Commission (FFC) grant for the year 2015-16 will be released immediately to the panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) but called for judicious and planned expenditure and timely submission of utilization certificates. The state has received Rs 88 crore in the first year of FFC (2015-16) of which the state government had released Rs 44 Crore as first instalment to the PRIs.
Addressing members of the Zilla Parishads, Anchal Samitis and Gram Panchayats from across the state at I G Park here on Thursday during the iugural function of the State Level Sensitization Workshop on FFC grants for PRIs, Khandu assured that the state government will not keep pending the release of all centrally sponsored schemes and the FFC grant is one of them.
He, however, reminded that subsequent release of funds from the central government depends upon timely submission of utilization certificates to the state government by the PRIs for further submission to the central government, an official report informed here today.
Hailing the FFC for recommending direct transfer of funds to the Gram Panchayats, Khandu said it has started a new era of development at the panchayat level demanding more participation, more transparency and more accountability. For the year 2016-17, the state is entitled to access the basic grants of Rs 122.58 crore followed by Rs 141.62 crores, Rs 163.83 crores and Rs 221.38 crores in the next three years from 2017 to 2020. Total of Rs 737.93 crores is earmarked for the entire five year period of FFC for devolution to PRIs for development of various assets in gram panchayat levels. The Chief Minister informed that besides the basic grants the state is entitled to receive Rs 81.99 crores as performance grants for 4 years starting from 2016 to 2020 subject to fulfilment of two major conditions.
The said two conditions are that the gram panchayats should submit audited accounts relating to years not earlier than two years preceding the year in which the performance grant is claimed and also show an increase in their own revenues over the preceding years. Emphasizing on participatory planning process as envisaged in the “My Village My Development Plan”, Khandu said that though the FFC fund will be directly transferred to gram panchayats, the gram panchayat development plan has to be approved through the other two tiers of anchal samiti and zilla parishad.
“It is necessary to ensure coordition and consensus in prioritizing projects for the annual plan as well as the five years perspective plan to ensure all three tiers of panchayat bodies are covered under the FFC grants,” he suggested.
Khandu, who has been reiterating on ‘Team Aruchal’ from day one, pointed that without active membership of the panchayati raj leaders the Team Aruchal will remain incomplete.
“Today, as the government and the PRI leaders join hands, Team Aruchal is complete,” Khandu said underscoring that development should begin from the villages, the report added.