Rajesh B. Nair

Government notification likely in 15 days

Cheque drawing powers for village panchayat chiefs likely

Steps to computerise all panchayats in six months

PUDUCHERRY: The territorial administration is in the process of granting more financial powers to village panchayats for carrying out day-to-day administrative and emergency work.

Official sources told The Hindu here that a notification would be issued shortly to grant financial powers for performing about 50 functions in the village panchayats.

According to the plan worked out by the Local Administration Department, financial powers would be given for maintenance of water supply, construction and maintenance of buildings, laying roads, purchasing stationery, paying rent, catching stray animals, disbursing salary and allowances, paying legal charges, purchasing handcarts and paying telephone and insurance charges.

A Government notification was likely in 15 days, the sources said.

The Government was also seriously considering giving cheque drawing powers to presidents and vice-presidents of the village panchayats. As many as 98 executive officers’ posts had been created and a proposal sent to the Government for framing recruitment rules for filling the posts.

In addition to Rs.6 lakh released to each of the 98 village panchayats as “tied grant” for carrying out specific work and “untied grant” for miscellaneous work, the Government was considering the release of another Rs.3 lakh each, the sources said.

Steps were being taken to computerise all panchayats within six months. The Centre had sanctioned Rs.80 lakh for the purpose. To provide panchayats their own buildings, the administration had submitted a proposal to the Centre seeking sanction of Rs.9.5 crore for undertaking construction work.

As promised by the Government, to engage an institute for capacity building of village panchayat presidents, councillors of commune panchayats and ward members, the Local Administration Department would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Gandhigram Rural University, Dindigul, shortly, the sources said.