Sarpanches oppose new system for release of funds

The Sarpanches of village panchayats in Rajasthan have taken exception to the State governmentโ€™s decision to discontinue the direct transfer of money to the panchayat bodies and introduce a new arrangement for release of funds for development works in the rural areas through personal deposit (PD) accounts.

Sarpanches in several districts submitted memorandums to the Collectors and MLAs and boycotted the work of panchayats on Thursday. A delegation led by Sarpanch Sangh president Banshidhar Garhwal submitted a memorandum to the Jaipur Collector, while affirming that the new arrangement would divest over 11,300 panchayat heads of their powers.

The loss of interest amount on the bank deposits earlier made for the panchayat bodies has been raised as one of the important points of objection by Sarpanches. Mr. Garhwal said since the panchayats did not have their own sources of income, they depended on the interest income for carrying out the works sanctioned in the Gram Sabha meetings.

โ€œThe transfer of funds to PD accounts will abolish financial autonomy of village panchayats. We will be required to get sanction for each work, which will involve time and energy and affect the development,โ€ Mr. Garhwal said. The State government wanted to weaken the panchayats, he added.

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