Orissa neglecting Panchayati Raj institutions, says Aiyer

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Dhenkanal: The BJD-BJP government in Orissa has neglected the Panchayati Raj institutions, union minister Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer said yesterday. Addressing Congress party activists in Dhenkanal, he alleged that the government had failed to implement the scientific activity programme (SAP) and to decentralise finance, functionaries and power to the PRIs.
Mr Aiyer described the state government as being obsessed with mega industries. “Scientific activity mapping is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the three-tier system to empower the people but chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik does not bother about all this,” he charged.
“Government circulars and updated policies, rules and guidelines are regularly sent to the state but they are not properly communicated in local language to PRIs. This affects the capacity-building of the PRI functionaries.�
“The Central government has already discussed e-governance in PRIs on scientific activity programme through scientific programme mapping with state governments,” he stated.
Complimenting the leadership of the former Union minister and OPCC chief Mr KP Singh Deo, he said that he hoped the Congress would do well in the forthcoming elections.
Talking on Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Sabha Sanghathan, he claimed as many as one lakh members would be enrolled by the forum to strengthen it.
MP and former minister Mr Prava Thakur criticised the Naveen Patnaik government and claimed Central funds and funds to empower SHGs were lying unutilised.
OPCC president Mr KP Singh Deo urged Congressmen to unite and strengthen the party. Former chief minister Mr Giridhar Gamang, Rajiv Gandhi Panchayatiraj Sanghthan state chairperson Mr Sarat Rout, former MP Mrs Jayanti Patnaik, former Union mnister Mr KC Lenka, district Congress committee president Mr Samerendra Nanda, Mr Suparna Satpathy and others also addressed the gathering.

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