What is the news?
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has taken several initiatives during the year 2021.
Initiatives by Panchayati Raj Ministry
Finance Commission Grants to Rural Local Bodies: The Fifteenth Finance Commission (XV FC) has made allocations of grants to the Rural Local Bodies. The Grants are provided in two parts, namely, (i) a Basic (Untied) Grant (50%) and (ii) a Tied Grant (50 %).
The basic grants are untied and can be used by RLBs for location-specific felt needs, except for salary or other establishment expenditure, the Tied Grants are earmarked for the national priority focus areas of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation.
The commission has also recommended ‘Health Grants’ for the award period 2021–2026 for the improvement of health services as a component of local body grants.
Social Audit Guidelines: Social Audit is an important mechanism by which the effective utilization of grants and their outcomes by RLBs can be monitored. Social Audit involves verifying the field realities with data in official documents and discussing the findings in a public platform such as Gram Sabha.
Making Gram Sabhas Vibrant: Article 243 of the Constitution defines Gram Sabha as composed of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to the village. MoPR has initiated efforts towards Making Gram Sabhas Vibrant.
National Panchayati Raj Day: The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010. Since then, the National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated on April 24 every year in India.
Source: This post is based on the article “Year End Review 2021- Ministry of Panchayati Raj” published in PIB on 11th January 2022.