Shimla: Speaking at the first of its kind two-day state-level workshop on ‘Integrated District Planning’ here today, rural development minister Jai Ram Thakur said integrated and decentralized planning at district level was basic and vital pre-requisite to percolate the benefits of developmental schemes to the poor and weaker sections of the society.
Over 200 participants from panchayati raj and rural development departments are participating in the workshop. This is the first ever workshop of its kind being organized in the Country to find solutions of Integrated Planning and Decentralization.
The minister said that transparency in implementation of various schemes at the grassroots level could only be brought by integrating the schemes of all the line departments at district level. Emphasising upon decentralization of planning, Thakur said that while formulating the priorities of district-level planning efforts should be to seek active involvement of the people. “It was only the participatory approach at local level which could help in the execution of developmental schemes in true letter and spirit and to meet out the aspirations of people,” he said.
The minister said that the concept of decentralized planning was first mooted in the First Five Years Plan in 1951. Later on, it was given utmost importance in all the Five Years Plans. Despite of this, the implementation agencies of PRIs and RD had been facing problems and indeed it was a cause of concern to all of us. He underlined the need to converge the various schemes in health, agriculture, rural development, Panchayati Raj, horticulture department, etc to avoid overlapping and for better results.
He said that out of 24,532 elected public representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions and other local bodies, as many as 24,000 had so far been imparted various types of training to upgrade their skills and capacity building. A provision of Rs. 1.20 crore had been made for the refresher courses being organized during the current year.
Referring to the strengthening of training infrastructure, Thakur said that a Panchayati Raj Training Institute was coming up at Baijnath at an estimated cost of Rs. 4.30 crore. Similarly, the institute of Mashobra was also being strengthened and upgraded by spending Rs. 5.50 crore.