The Finance Department is understood to have rejected a set of proposals to sanction around 4,000 new posts in grama panchayats on the premise that the existing employees will turn surplus in the wake of the networking of rural civic bodies.

A two-member committee comprising former Panchayat Director K.R. Muralidharan and State Performance Audit Officer S. Divakaran Pillai had on February 27 proposed a thorough revamp of the staff structure and creation of new posts to overcome the shortage which was stated to be the main reason for the poor absorption of funds apportioned for development initiatives.

Official sources told The Hindu here that a meeting of the Principal Secretaries of the Local Self-government and Finance Departments had reportedly concluded that the networking being taken up by the Information Kerala Mission (IKM), complemented with a redeployment, would address staff shortage and hence the creation of new posts was not imperative.

Approving some minor changes proposed by the panel, the crucial recommendations were turned down as it was felt to have a great bearing on the State’s finances.

The committee recommended the government that all panchayats should have at least five upper-division clerks, one lower-division clerk (LD clerk) each to coordinate the functions of three wards and if a panchayat had more than 15 wards, one LD clerk’s post should be created for every four wards.