As the number of gram panchayats identified by Members of Parliament under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) remains “far below” the target, the Centre has directed state governments to ensure “diligent” implementation of the scheme.
The same was conveyed to state governments by the Union Ministry of Rural Development during the meeting of the first performance review committee, held under the chairmanship of Rural Development Secretary Nagendra Nath Sinha via video conference during August 24-28. The minutes of the meeting were made public on Tuesday.
“Secretary, RD reiterated the importance of SAGY among the central schemes, especially for the creation of development clusters and directed the States to ensure diligent implementation of the Scheme,” the minutes of the meeting.
During the meeting, the implementation of the scheme across states was also discussed.
“The Joint Secretary (SAGY) presented a brief overview of the status of SAGY in the States/UTs. He informed that there was a modest improvement in the progress of programme implementation since the previous Performance Review Committee (PRC) meeting held on 19th & 20th December 2019. More than 400 Gram Panchayats have been identified by the Hon‘ble Members of Parliament (MP) under SAGY-II (2019-24) till 24th August 2019. However, this was far below the targeted identification under SAGY-II (2019-24),” the minutes say.
Earlier, a study commissioned by the Rural Development Ministry and conducted as part of the 5th common review mission observed that the SAGY has not made “any perceptible impact” and the villages selected under it cannot be called “model (adarsh) villages”.
Meanwhile, states have demanded additional funds for the gram panchayats identified under SAGY. This was suggested by the state officials during the performance review committee meeting.
“Additional Secretary, Sikkim suggested that some form of incentives, including additional funds, may be made available for the Gram Panchayats identified under SAGY. The suggestion was supported by Director and Special Secretary, Himachal Pradesh who stated that a Critical Gap Fund under SAGY similar to the provision in SPMRM Scheme may be considered,” say the minutes of the meeting.
“Deputy Secretary, Odisha proposed that the one-time grant of Rs 50,000 given to the SAGY Gram Panchayats may be enhanced to at least Rs 1,00,000 for adequately covering the expenses in preparing Village Development Plans (VDP),” the minutes say.