Punjab Rural Development Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and Union Minister of State Panchayati Raj Kapil Moreshwar Patil on Monday inaugurated a two-day National Workshop on Localization of Sustainable Development Goals (LSDGs) in Panchayats through Thematic Approaches on Village with Self-Sufficient Infrastructure at the Central Panchayat Center in Crystal Resort near Zirakpur, Chandigarh.
Speaking on this occasion, Minister for Rural Development, Agriculture and NRI Affairs of Punjab, Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that Punjab has fought many battles for the country, be it guarding the borders or filling the country's food reserves to feed the people.
But today Punjab is facing a financial crisis and the union government should provide special financial packages to the state to improve the fiscal situation of the state. He said that 63 percent of the population of Punjab lives in rural areas and comprehensive development of the villages is possible only if the centre government allocates maximum funds for health facilities, drinking water, sports facilities, and maintenance of ponds in the villages.
The Cabinet Minister stressed that it is also the duty of the centre government to extend helping hand to Punjab as Punjab gives a large share as GST to the center in lieu of tax. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal further said that the government in Punjab led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has taken many initiatives to remove illegal encroachment from panchayat lands in the state.
He said that during the last five months, about 9000 panchayat lands have been freed from illegally encroachers. He also said that it kis for the first time that Garm Sabha Sessions were held in 12000 villages out of total 13000 villages in Punjab.
Speaking on this occasion, Union Panchayati Raj State Minister Kapil Moreshwar Patil praised Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and said that Punjab has become the first state to hold a national conference for development of villages and the state government has made very good arrangements for the two-day national conference.
He assured that the necessary funds will be released for whatever proposals are sent by the Punjab government according to the central schemes. He also assured that the funds that were stopped due to technical flaws in some schemes will be released soon.
He stressed that the Panchayats will have to work hard to increase their income from their own resources to become self-reliant so that they do not have to depend on the government for development.
Making an important announcement on this occasion, the Union Minister said that a program will be started in which panchayats will be sent to other states to show the good work of panchayats of different states.
On this occasion, Union Minister Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Punjab Rural Development Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and the other guests present also launched Panchayati Raj Information Mapping and Evaluation System, Prime APP, SDG website and Punjab State Livelihood Mission website.
Speaking on this occasion, the cabinet ministers of the state, Lal Chand Kataruchak, Harbhajan Singh ETO, Dr. Baljit Kaur, Brahm Shankar Jimpa, Anmol Gagan Mann and Chetan Singh Joudemajra said that it is necessary for the all-round development of the village only if the funds are spent on development works in a transparent manner without any discrimination, the real picture of village development can emerge.
Earlier, Chief Secretary of Punjab Vijay Kumar Janjua and Secretary of Central Panchayati Raj Ministry Sunil shared information and said that during this workshop, emphasis will be placed on theme 6 - village with self-reliant infrastructure.
The main objective is to demonstrate capacity building and training, exemplary strategies, visions, coherent actions and innovative models in terms of best practices for promoting and adapting LSDG themes in the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
The national workshop will provide a forum for panchayats to learn together on various models for institutionalizing the LSDG process through a grassroots lens thematic perspective. In addition, it will provide an opportunity for exchange of information/ideas through exchange programs in international organizations and local governance.About 1300 elected representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions from 34 states and union territories across the country are participating in this national workshop.
The workshop will provide a platform for panchayats to showcase and share their experiences and innovative models, strategies, approaches to institutionalize the theme of villages with self-reliant infrastructure at grassroots level, which includes roads, potable water, sanitation by developing self-sustainable infrastructure in the areas of street lights, schools, primary health centers and dispensaries, common service centers, local markets, anganwadi centers, livestock support centers and community centers.
During this two-day national workshop, representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions from States and Union Territories will showcase and share their experiences and innovative models, strategies and approaches for institutionalizing the Sustainable Development Goals (LSDGs) at the grassroots level in various disciplines. . The Panchayati Raj Ministry will also give a detailed presentation on the revised National Panchayat Awards.
Cabinet Ministers Lal Chand Kataruchak, Harbhajan Singh ETO, Dr. Baljit Kaur, Brahm Shankar Jimpa, Anmol Gagan Mann and Chetan Singh Jouramajra besides Shri Sunil Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Smt. Vini Mahajan, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri Vijay Kumar Janjua, Chief Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Shri K. Siva Prasad, Financial Commissioner, Rural Development and Panchayats, Government of Punjab and Smt. Rekha Yadav, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India will also be present on the occasion.