Nod to extend Gram Swaraj scheme

Programme aims to improve governance of Panchayati Raj institutions 

April 13, 2022 04:34 pm | Updated 10:20 pm IST - New Delhi

The welfare of women is one of the focus areas of the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan. File

The welfare of women is one of the focus areas of the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a proposal to continue the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA), a scheme for improving the governance capabilities of panchayati raj institutions, till 2025-2026.

The CCEA, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the extension of the scheme that ended on March 31 at a total financial outlay of ₹5,911 crore, of which ₹3,700 crore would be the Centre’s share and ₹2,211 crore the States’ share.

“The approved scheme of RGSA will help more than 2.78 lakh rural local bodies…to develop governance capabilities to deliver on SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] through inclusive local governance with focus on optimum utilisation of available resources,” a government statement said.

The scheme would work towards “poverty free and enhanced livelihood in villages; healthy village, child friendly village; water sufficient village; clean and green village; self-sufficient infrastructure in village; socially secured village; village with good governance; engendered development in village”.

Strengthening the panchayats

The government said panchayats would be strengthened and a spirit of healthy competition inculcated. No permanent posts would be created under the scheme but “need-based contractual human resources may be provisioned for overseeing the implementation of the scheme and providing technical support to States/UTs”.

While announcing the decision to extend the scheme that started in 2018-2019, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the government’s focus had been the development of rural areas which, he said, had been neglected after Partition.

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