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Rural local bodies have to be revitalised, rejuvenated: VP

Inaugurating National Stakeholders Conference on ‘Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals’, organised by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, he urged the union government and various states to facilitate the devolution of the 3Fs from Zilla Parishads to Panchayats.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for devolving 3Fs—Funds, Functions and Functionaries– to empower rural local bodies for their holistic growth and to achieve national development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Inaugurating National Stakeholders Conference on ‘Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals’, organised by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, he urged the union government and various states to facilitate the devolution of the 3Fs from Zilla Parishads to Panchayats. The rural local bodies have to be revitalised and rejuvenated by strengthening and empowering them, he added.

While referring to the increase in fund allocation to the rural local bodies from Rs.100 per capita per annum in the 10th Finance Commission to Rs.674 per capita per annum in the 15th Finance Commission, the Vice President said the funds should directly go into their accounts and there should be no diversion, dilution and deviation. Similarly, every grant meant for people should directly go to the beneficiaries.

Naidu said that given that nearly 70 per cent of India was rural India (68.84 per cent as per the 2011 census), attainment of SDGs at the national level would require actions at the grassroots of villages.

Observing that the biggest goal was to make the country poverty-free, he said the other equally important missions included providing education to all boys and girls, ensuring delivery of critical services like safe drinking water and creating adequate employment opportunities.

Expressing his happiness that women constituted 46 per cent of the 31.65 lakh elected representatives of the rural local bodies in the country, he said that adequate representation should be given in legislatures and other law-making bodies.”

“Empowering women is empowering the society”, he added.

Calling for people’s participation in all the schemes and programmes at the grass-root level, the Vice President stressed the need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to ensure comprehensive development of the Panchayats and achieve various targets.

Panchayats, Naidu said, have a pivotal role to play in integrated rural development by focusing on the 17 SDGs which are subsumed under nine themes to ensure poverty-free, clean, healthy, child-friendly, and socially secured well-governed villages.