Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ call, the Jharkhand government will empower its villages on Tuesday to decide on the nature of work and spend money, with little involvement from the state administration.
Under the ‘Humari Yojna, Humara Vikas’ (our scheme, our development) plan, the state will also seek a voluntary contribution from villagers – in the form of labour – to complete projects, and this would be a minimum of 20% of the total project cost. There are over 32,000 villages in Jharkhand.
“We are letting villages decide what sort of work they want to be carried out in their locality. They will spend money. When you build something from your own hand, you value them a lot,” chief minister Raghubar Das told HT, as he completed one year in office on Monday. The role of the government will be limited to just taking care of the “technical” aspects of the project – a job largely handled by engineers – and the money will be spent through a committee of villagers.
“This will also help check corruption and ensure optimal utilisation of public money under the watchful eyes of those who would be benefited with the work,” Das said, adding, “I will personally visit some of these committees to see how they are functioning.”
The BJP government is trying to make inroads in rural areas -- mostly bastions of the opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha – on the back of the “development” message and the CM is visiting villages to take “feedback” on his next budget.
The feedback is compiled and sent to respective departments in the process of finalising their budget proposals. “This is for the first time that the BJP is in power with a clear majority. The state has remained underdeveloped and we see a good chance of continuing this lead if our government is able to take fruits of development to the underprivileged,” said a BJP functionary.