The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was implemented in all the districts of Punjab.Disclosing this, Rural and Panchayat Minister Sikander Singh Maluka said that the objective of the scheme was to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Central Government has released 200.33 crore and State Government had released 21 Crore under NREGA Scheme under MGNREGA. Approximately 351649 households have been provided employment.He said that Government of India has sanctioned 67 project total layouts of Rs. 377.63 Crore to treat 314686 hectare of land 14 district of Punjab under Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP). Main objectives of IWMP are to harnessing, conserving and developing natural resources such as Soil, Vegetable Cover, Ground Water Table, and Prevention of soil, Runoff, rain water harvesting and recharging the ground water to enhance the productivity and to create livelihood opportunities for assets less persons at village level.
The state government under Rural Livelihood Mission is building self help groups of poor households in order to provide them opportunity to generate income. Self help groups of poor rural womenfolk is also build to impart them training so that they can contribute in generating their family income. Under pilot project launched in 14 blocks of the 7 districts 1474 self help groups have been established. NGO's, social workers, youngsters has also educated people regarding new opportunities of self employment.The Punjab government has sent a delegation of the zila parishad, Chairmen and officers to Kerala for studying the Panchayati Raj Institution of the southern state.He said that the department has generated income of Rs. 48.65 crore from Cattle fairs (Mandis) during the year 2015. On the other hand Panchayats have earned Rs. 279.05 Crore from the lease of 1.40 thousand acre of Panchayat land.
Government of India has sanctioned Rupees 180.10 Crore under 13th Finance commission and Rupees 441.71 Crore under 14th Finance commission. These Grants are being used to develop the infrastructure of the gram Panchayats. During coming financial year rupees 611.61 Crore will be released as basic grant and in addition to this Rupees 80 crore will be released as performance grant under 14 th finance commission.
He said that the department has prepared comprehensive scheme for the restoration of village ponds in the State of Punjab. The work includes the dewatering and desilting of existing pond, brick lining of pond sides, filtration and controlled inlet, fencing all around to earmark the boundary and provision of pumping chamber to pump out the excess water for irrigation use. According to cost estimates Rs 21.77 lac per acre shall be required for the restoration/rejuvenation of village ponds. Accordingly project for Rs 5313.15 crore has been prepared and submitted to Government of India for the release of funds.Minister said that government has initiated the work of Modernization of Cattle Fair Grounds in the State of Punjab. There are 23 Cattle Fair Grounds in the State of Punjab. Since 2010 work of modernization of 11 no. of Cattle Fair Grounds has been completed with an expenditure of Rs 62.40 Crore. Presently work of modernization of Cattle Fair Ground at RampuraPhul District Bathinda with an estimate cost of Rs 7.74 Crore has been taken in hand.
The Minister said that the department has been providing funds for the Buildings and Other Infrastructure of Panchayti Raj Institutions from time to time. Presently, Department is constructing Zila Parishad Complex at Bathinda with an estimated cost of Rs 1314.92 Lacs, Zila Parishad Complex at SAS Nagar with an estimated cost of Rs 387.05 Lacs, Panchayat Samiti Building at Zira District Fazilka with an estimated cost of Rs 164.00 Lacs and Panchayat Samiti Building at Majri District SAS Nagar with an estimated cost of Rs 199.67 Lacs. During current Financial Year Department has constructed Guest House Building with an estimate amount of Rs 99.46 lacs at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.