Development of villages of Punjab is something that people of the state look up to as more than 60 percent of the population resides in rural areas. Time to time the government has come up with various rural development schemes to uplift living standards in villages and provide them with adequate facilities as required by them. The 14th Finance Commission is expected to completely change the face of rural Punjab with new schemes and greater investment than before.
In a move to develop the rural Punjab, the State Government shall soon receive a sum of Rs. 4091 crore from the Government of India in the 14th Finance Commission. This amounts to over 140% increase in the total money sanctioned for the purpose in 13th Finance Commission. The money allotted for rural development in 13th Finance Commission was Rs. 1700 crore. Also, for the current fiscal, additional Rs. 700 crore is soon expected to be disbursed to the state.
On his visit to Singhpura village in Ropar district, the Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Mr. Nihal Chand was acquainted with the current development projects in the state by the Chief Minister Mr. Prakash Singh Badal. Calling the state a ‘torch bearer’ for rural development in the country, Mr. Chand lauded Mr. Badal for the efforts made by his government and ensured that NDA shall extend full support and cooperation to them for such endeavors in future.
Mr. Badal also explained to him state’s plan to tackle the issue of cleaning the village ponds across Punjab using a new proven technology. As a matter of fact, dirty ponds pose a major threat to health of the residents. He said that the government was well aware about the issue and was keen to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Mr. Badal also asked the Union Minister for relaxation in NREGA norms so that Panchayats and other public representatives could contribute to the funds in the development works as the funds currently allocated for the purpose were insufficient.
If the move is approved by the Center and norms are relaxed, the State will easily overcome the scarcity of funds that the NREGA scheme in Punjab currently faces. The Union Minister has assured that a team will be constituted which will look into the various schemes in the state and resolve the pertaining issues, if any.
With coming of the next Finance Commission, the State is expected to undergo major reforms and it will not be wrong to say that rural Punjab will see an upliftment that will totally transform its’ face. Punjab, at present, is one of the rapidly developing states of the nation and in the coming years it is expected to rise as a model of rural development that other states will want to follow.