Minister for social justice and empowerment Kumari Selja is reclaiming the ministry's ground, which her predecessor Mukul Wasnik had ceded to the rural development ministry.
Selja, who took charge of the ministry in October, had in a letter last week to rural development minister Jairam Ramesh sought to continue work on the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana under her ministry.
The scheme announced in 2009 budget, aims at integrated development of 44, 000 villages in the country where the Scheduled Castes constitute over 50% of the population.
Subsequently, the government had in March 2010 approved a pilot where 1,000 villages in five states were selected. But the programme remained a non-starter and following reviews last year, the then minister Wasnik consented to handing it over to the rural development ministry.
Now, Selja, whose mandate is welfare of the SCs and OBCs, wants the scheme to remain with her ministry.
"After careful consideration, I feel that it may be appropriate for this ministry to continue to implement the scheme to ensure that it meets objectives of targeted development of SC concentration areas in full," Selja said in the letter.
But the letter comes after the plan panel, finance ministry agreed to the transfer and Ramesh’s ministry had prepared a roadmap for the scheme.
"We have prepared a blueprint under which PMAGY and all rural schemes... We are also proposing to increase the gap fund per village to Rs. 50 lakh," a rural development official said.
But Selja has said that once Ramesh concurs, she would approach the planning commission and finance ministry for their consent.