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The government is of the view that implementation of the e-panchayat project in the state will not only increase transparency, but also help check corruption and make people repose greater faith in panchayati raj institutions.

Stating this here on Saturday, Anurag Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Development and Panchayats Department, said the e-panchayat project formed a part of transparent governance agenda of the state government.

He said all related parties must support this initiative and if any sarpanch or gram sachiv had any doubt or misconception, he or she could come forward to discuss things any time.

“If any gram panchayat does not want to switch over to the e-panchayat project, there is no need to protest. Such a request, if any, should come by way of a resolution of the gram panchayat, fully endorsed by the gram sabha,” he said.

He clarified that the project would not be forcibly imposed on any gram panchayat. He said those deciding against participation would have their financial powers kept at Rs 10 lakh. He said participating gram panchayats would continue to have financial powers up to Rs 20 lakh.

He said existing development works could be completed without fully adopting the e-panchayat project in case gram panchayats on board so decided. He pointed out that non-participating gram panchayats would be deprived of performance grant under the Central and State Finance Commission.

To facilitate the process of implementation by gram panchayats, it had been decided that all components of the e-panchayat project would be made applicable on development works with effect from April 1, Rastogi added.

Giving details of progress, he said 3,638 of the 6,204 gram panchayats in the state were on board and at different stages of data entry and progress. He said concern had been expressed to allow amendments in the development plan of a gram panchayat.

He said at present, the e-panchayat project allowed two supplementary plans in a financial year. To address this concern, the state had decided to approach the Centre to make a provision for three supplementary plans, he added.

He further said one supplementary plan each would be allowed in the first week of July, October and January, with an additional emergency supplementary plan which could be adopted any time during the year.

He said there was concern that implementation of the e-panchayat project would result in delay in development works as it would not be possible to make daily cash payments to labour.

He asserted that this concern was unfounded as the e-panchayat project permitted generation of ‘Contra’ vouchers and payment vouchers, which could be used for cash withdrawal and labour payment.

He said the other major concern of gram panchayats was lack of awareness, capacity building and infrastructure. In order to institutionalise gram panchayats as self-governing institutions, the state government had decided to establish gram sachivalayas at a cluster of three or four gram panchayats, he said.

He stated that 1,620 gram sachivalayas had so far been established in the state. He said the state was shifting Atal Seva Kendras having permanent CSC operator to gram sachivalayas.

He said the e-panchayat project was one of the 31 mission mode projects under the National e-Governance Plan. He said it was a flagship programme of the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

He said once the e-panchayat project was fully implemented, anybody could see the status of financial resources and physical and financial progress of development works in gram panchayats.

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Quelle/Source: The Tribune, 01.04.2018

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