The Manmohan Singh government is all set to launch a new scheme for poor regions in the current financial year. In this scheme the government has planned to grant Rs 3,750 crore to 250 backward districts.
The money will be used for development and building Panchayati Raj institutions in these areas.
The Panchayati Raj Ministry will launch the flagship scheme under the name of Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF). According to the report, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will launch BRGF scheme in Barpeta, Assam, on February 19.
Assam is a Congress-ruled state as well as it happens to be the PM’s home state for Rajya Sabha membership.
The Central government will grant Rs 3,750 crore to 250 backward districts as annual assistance. The Planning Commission has chosen the 250 districts for the plan.
In the total grant, Rs 250 crore per year will be given to 250 districts at the rate of Rs 1 crore for capacity building of PRIs.
Further, those districts will get Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 10 crore each) as untied funds to the Panchayati Raj institutions.
The districts on the basis of their population and area for other development will share the rest amount of Rs 1,000 crore.
Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said on the planning that under the scheme the District Planning Committees (DPCs) would be constituted to get the funds under BRGF.
DPCs are very crucial part of this scheme. All the districts in the scheme should have a proper district plan consolidated by DPCs.
To avail the grant on time, all districts under the scheme must constitute DPCs by February this year. But there is a possibility that the ministry may relax this criterion for the current year.