Punjab rural development and panchayat minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on Saturday said that `66.29 crore have been earmarked by the department to ensure development of villages across the state.
Rakhra said that this amount would be spent on ensuring holistic development of the villages, adding that the state government was firmly committed to providing basic civic amenities to the people of rural areas, and was endeavouring to upgrade the infrastructure in villages.
The minister said that the elected representatives of the villages could play a leading role in ensuring overall growth and development in their areas, and called upon the newly-elected chairman and vice-chairman of the zila parishad and block samiti to play a proactive role in the progress of district.
Rakhra said that for the first time, the state government had issued special identity cards to these elected representatives to facilitate them in getting day-to-day administrative work of the people done.
He also said that in order to upgrade the infrastructure in the dispensaries run by zila parishad, `10 crore was being spent by the government.
Criticising the opposition for “unleashing a malicious propaganda” against the state government regarding the fiscal health of Punjab, Rakhra said that `1,700 crore was being spent to upgrade the rural road network across the state, while a sum of `532. 61 crore has been earmarked for rural development, and the Dr Hargobind Khurana Scholarship scheme was being launched for meritorious students.
He added that to ensure transparency in the working of panchayats, e-panchayat project would be started soon, under which the entire map of villages, their needs, grants issued for development and details of expenditure and earnings of the panchayats would be uploaded on the website.