Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday gave the final shape to a third-party external audit of money spent by 13,047 panchayats on various development works. Punjab would become the first state in the country to conduct the third-party financial and performance audit of village works.
Sukhbir said the state government had finalised a plan to revamp civic infrastructure of all villages in three phases, for which more than Rs 24,000-crore funds had been set aside.
In an effort to ensure transparency and accountability in the rural development department, it has been decided that Punjab be divided into five zones and villages located in these zones be independently handed over to international audit companies. The local funds audit department has been asked to finalise the RFP (request for proposal) to shortlist the companies. The finance department would bear the cost of the third-party audit.
Asking the local bodies department to initiate the same exercise (third-party audit) for all local bodies and municipal corporations of the state, Sukhbir said it was imperative for local bodies to go for the third-party audit as the Punjab government was planning to spend more than Rs 40,000 crore on the revamp of civic infrastructure of 147 towns of the state.
Rural development and panchayat minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia were present on the occasion.