The West Bengal governmnet may pitch in for the inclusion of another 1,000 gram panchayats under the Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat (ISGP) project funded by the World bank,a senior minister said Tuesday.
The World Bank provides performance-based incentive grant to 1,000 GPs on per capita population ratio for expenditure on local public goods and services on the basis of an Annual Performance Assessment. This APA by an external consultancy firm saw 960 GPs qualifying this year as compared to the 792 last year, \state rural development and panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said at a press conference.
The ministrys steady performance in implementing the ISGP project was appreciated by Onno Ruhl,the World Banks country director in India,in a letter addressed to the chief secretary.
As a mark of appreciation,the World Bank allowed the extension of capacity building support to 1,211 new GPs, he said,adding that if they met World Bank authorities in Washington during its annual meet in November,the ministry would propose for the inclusion of 1,000 more GPs,which would take care of all the GPs in the state.
For the financial year 2014-15,each qualified gram panchayat,on an average,would receive Rs 30.64 lakh as block grant for implementation of planned activity. This year,out of the GPs of nine districts – Bankura,Birbhum,Burdwan,Coochbehar,South Dinajpore,Howrah,Nadia,West Midnapore and East Midnapore – the maximum grant of Rs 70.4 lakh has been allocated to Duttaphulla Gram Panchayat of Ranaghat-II block in Nadia district.
ISGPP was launched in 2010 to make the gram panchayats a stronger institution with an enhanced level of quality service delivery and inclusive growth. The aspects that draw emphasis under the project include better compliance on environmental and social management and creation of sustainable infrastructure. Mukherjee said the emphasis this time would be on projects pertaining to the provision of safe,arsenic-free drinking water to people.
Not only that,the GPs, Mukherjee said,would be given the liberty to plan their own activities and spend the allocated fund accordingly.