June 17, 2020 2:23:32 am
Foreseeing a requirement of “isolation/quarantine centres” in rural areas in wake of the pandemic, and in order to provide employment to returning migrant workers, the Centre has asked states to utilise Finance Commission funds to construct community assets like Gram Panchayat Bhawans in villages.
In a joint letter to the state chief secretaries, Panchayati Raj Secretary Sunil Kumar and Rural Development Secretary Nagendra Nath Sinha said, “As per available information, it appears that the effect of Covid-19 pandemic is likely to continue for some time at least. Hence, the requirement for continued establishment of isolation/quarantine centres in rural areas is likely persist in the near foreseeable future…
“It is reiterated that the aforesaid decision has been taken to meet the key infrastructure deficit in rural areas and to provide immediate employment opportunities to skilled and unskilled manpower currently available in rural areas through convergence of central finance commission and MGNREGS funds,” the letter said. It also called for the construction work to be completed within the current financial year “in mission mode”.
Data available with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj shows that out of over 2.5 lakh village panchayats across the country, about 60,346 Gram Panchayats — around a fourth — do not have a Panchayat Bhawan.
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