Kochi, November 3: In a bid to promote sanitation across the country, the Centre is keen to prioritise waste management as a prime focus and is set to conduct training programmes for all panachayat members across India, Union Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water, Sanitation and Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said today.
The Minister announced this while inaugurating the three-day BRICS Conference on ‘Participatory Local Budgeting’ (PLB) conference, which began in Kochi, today.
“Panchayats in Tamil Nadu are generating income from waste management and this model can be adopted across the nation. They convert the waste to fertiliser and the inconvertible waste utilized for other purposes. This model has been implemented in 9000 villages and they are generating around Rs 40 lakhs from the whole process. This will eventually help to alleviate poverty,” the Union Minister said in his inaugural address.
“Local bodies should be empowered for sustained and comprehensive development of the nation. Hence, the Union government has earmarked Rs 2 lakh crore for Panchayats in the 14th finance commission. The fund should be efficiently utilised for better projects aimed at upliftment of rural India,” the Panchayati Raj Minister said.
He added that the government will organise training programmes for all the panchayat members across the country. The waste management programme has been started recently under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission which also ensures additional income to people in rural areas
The three-day PLB conference, organised by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, has eminent experts from Brazil, Russia and China besides elected representatives of local bodies from different states of India. The conference is part of an ongoing effort to better synergise PLB initiatives in BRICS countries, cities and civic bodies through dialogue and cooperation.
Shri Parsottambhai Rupala, Minister of State, Panchayati Raj, presided over the event. “Though the participatory budgeting and decentralisation of India has grabbed international interest over the years, the conference aims to initiate dialogues and understand the international practices,” he said.
Member of Parliament Vinay Sahsrabuddhe in his keynote address emphasised on empowering villagers.
“Unlike the cities, people in village have a bonding among them. But, the visiting functionaries have put the character of villages at stake. We should retain the cusp of village by empowering them,” said the MP.
Shri K T Jaleel, Minister, Local Self Government Department, Government of Kerala, highlighted the importance of Mahatma Gandhi and his contribution to the concept of decentralisation.
“We have a good system of decentralization with ‘Grama Sabhas’. The concept itself was coined by Mahatma Gandhi who urged for the self sufficiency of the villages. And India is following his path,” said Shri Jaleel.
PLB is followed widely in Brazil and both India and South Africa also practise “participatory local planning”, although on a smaller scale.
The three-day conference in Kochi will end on November 5.
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