More powers for local bodies soon

Special Correspondent

Sports councils at panchayat level: Minister

Stone laid for annexe for District Panchayat office `Not only powers but funds also have to be devolved'

Thiruvananthapuram: The Government is planning to equip local bodies with more powers to handle sports and youth affairs, Minister for Law M. Vijayakumar has said.

He was presiding over a function to lay the stone of an annexe building for the Thiruvananthapuram District Panchayat office at Pattom here on Wednesday.

The Government would enact legislation to transfer the new powers to the local bodies, said Mr. Vijayakumar.

Moves were afoot to set up sports councils at the panchayat level to identify and nurture talent. "The Government is of the opinion that not only powers but funds also have to be devolved to local self-government institutions," he said.

After laying the stone, Minister for Local Self-Government Paloli Mohammed Kutty said the State's achievements in the education and health sectors were threatened by global trends. "A time has come when affordable medical care for the needy is becoming increasingly difficult," he said.

The annexe building is being constructed under the Suvarna Keralam programme announced by the Government to mark the golden jubilee of Kerala formation.

Addressing the gathering, district panchayat president Anavoor Nagappan said the new complex would have facilities to accommodate all the institutions transferred from the Government. Moves were on to set up supermarkets at Pattom and Kallambalam to sell products manufactured by Kudumbasree units.

District panchayat vice-president B.P. Murali, standing committee chairmen and Pattom ward councillor Sreekumar were present.

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