Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday gave a final shape to the contours of Third Party External Audit on the money spent by 1,3047 panchayats on various development works in villages. Punjab is the first state to conduct a third party financial and performance audit of works carried out in villages.
Accompanied by Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra,Sukhbir said the government has already finalised a plan to revamp the civic infrastructure of all villages in three phases. For this,it had set aside funds worth
Rs 24,000 crore.
Claiming that his main focus was to ensure that the funds are properly utilised,Sukhbir said: In a major step towards transparency in the rural development department,it has been decided that Punjab may be divided into five zones. Villages located in those zones may be independently handed over to international audit companies.
For the first time,besides financial audit of panchayat funds,works executed by panchayats will be audited every six months, said Sukhbir. He also asked the local bodies department to initiate the same exercise for all local bodies and municipal corporations.