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Fund crunch forces sarpanches to shell out from their pockets

Fund crunch forces sarpanches to shell out from their pockets
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As the government did not give any funds for the implementation of the 30-day action plan in the villages, the sarpanches of Gram Panchayats have been forced to bear the expenditure from their pockets.

Hyderabad: As the government did not give any funds for the implementation of the 30-day action plan in the villages, the sarpanches of Gram Panchayats have been forced to bear the expenditure from their pockets.

The sarpanches are not sure on how to get back the amount being spent on the programme. The programme would end on October 5.

The government has launched 30-day action plan in the villages to address the issues being faced by them.

It was started on September 6 and under the programme several activities were planned.

The sarpanches and panchayat secretaries have been asked to mobilise the public representatives, residents of the village and staff of various departments working at the village level to address the issues.

Up keeping sanitation, growing nurseries, fixing the electrical problems, construction of graveyards and plethora of other programmes had been planned under the programme.

The panchayat secretaries had been told to keep a tab of the activities being done in the villages every day.

However, according to sarpanches, no amount was given to the villages. Though the government promised that Rs 8 lakh would be given to each GP to take up the action plan programmes, so far many of them did not receive a penny.

A sarpanch told The Hans India that they did not receive any amount from the government for the programme. He said that he borne the expenditure of the programme from his own pocket.

"I have spent Rs 3 lakh from own sources in the past one-month time. The government did not give any amount. We have been told to use the funds of the National Rural Employment Guarantee. But the procedure was not informed," he said.

Several sarpanches said that the officials of the Panchayat Raj or Rural Development department did not finalise the procedure to draw funds wherever they are available.

With fear of audit, they were unable to draw the funds from the accounts of the Gram Panchayats.

They said that they have been drawing funds from the GP accounts only for the salaries of the staff of the panchayats.

The sarpanches said that the officials of the PR and RD have to record the works so that the bills could be raised, and funds could be drawn. But they too should be permitted by the government.

Few sarpanches informed that though the government announced Rs 339 crore for the GPs every month, the amount has not been released to them. They said that at present the GPs only source of funds was Central Finance Commission Grants.

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