STATE PLANNING Board has approved Rs 90 crore for Indore district plan 2007-2008 after two-day deliberations held in Bhopal this week. This is 20 per cent more than the ceiling limit of Rs 75.75 crore given to the district by the Board for 2007-08.
District Collector Vivek Aggarwal and District Planning Officer R C Kosarwal participated in the deliberations. At the district planning meeting held on October 6 to finalise the plan, the members of the District Planning Committee headed by Minister in charge of the district Himmat Kothari had introduced a few additions in the budgetary allocation. The budget passed by the committee was of Rs 102 crore.
Nevertheless, the Board’s approval of district plan has come through without making village panchayat members deliberate on their development needs.
After the 73th amendment in the Constitution, which has stressed on public participation and planning at grassroots level, the Centre for the first time had insisted on involving Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in preparation of the annual plan where they could spell out their needs for development. However, it had not issued any guidelines on involving PRIs in plan making at grassroots level.
Since most village panchayats lack maturity and expertise for such an exercise, Union Panchayati Raj Ministry and Commission explored options whether the plan could be prepared through Janpad Panchayats or their members could be called to express their views and needs in the District Planning Committee (DPC) meeting. And that was how the district plan 2007-08 was passed at the October 6 meeting.
Another point of deliberation had been the fund-sharing between PRIs, State and Union Government. There were debates as to what extent could the cash-strapped Panchayat institutions with poorly developed resources and weak tax recoveries fund their development projects. The issue is still under deliberation.