Guwahati, August 9 : Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda on Wednesday took review of the functioning of the Panchayat and Rural Development Department in a meeting at the Chief Minister's Conference Hall at Janata Bhawan and urged all officials of the department to implement the schemes in a time bound and transparent manner so that confidence of the people remains intact in the system.
He also directed the department to inform about the credentials of the Block Development Officers to the MLAs so that their performance can be increased and corrupt BDOs can also be kept in check.
Stating that the 14th Finance Commission has created an enormous opportunity for responsive local governance at the institutional level of the Gaon Panchayats, Sonowal said that MLAs must be empowered to check accountability of the implementing agencies in their constituencies for the development to take place at a faster pace.
Saying that Gaon Sabhas are the only institution that can effectively eliminate corruption where the villagers can directly question the Panchayat presidents and other members about the implementation of various schemes, Sonowal directed the P&RD Department to start an awareness campaign about the good works carried by the department in last one year through publishing a booklet and holding press events for dissemination of information.
The Assam CM also appreciated the 'Amar Gaon Amar Achoni' scheme conducted
by P&RD Department at village level to ensure proper social mobilisation for active participatory planning through which a buzz has been created for positive development.
Sonowal also asked the department to set up a monitoring mechanism of Joint Commissioner level at Barak Valley so that all implementation of the welfare schemes can be ensured with transparency which cannot be done from Guwahati.
'A separate office will also give confidence to the Barak Valley people that the government is taking developmental steps for the Valley seriously,' Sonowal said.
Sonowal said with improved infrastructure in the villages rural tourism will also receive a boost and asked the department to launch a programme to make the community involved in protecting the environment.
'The government's plan of planting of 10 crore saplings would also create an environment for rural flora and fauna to flourish and attract the tourists to the villages of the state in large numbers,' Sonowal said.
The Assam CM directed the Managing Director of Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission Nandita Hazarika to take steps to open stalls at all the townships of the state to showcase and sell their products which are produced by local communities after being enabled through skill training.
He also asked to register a brand name for marketing the Mission's products and to explore online platforms to reach out to a wider audience.
Minister of State for P&RD Dept Naba Kumar Doley, Legal Adviser to the Chief Minister Santanu Bharali, Chief secretary V.K Pipersenia, Additional Chief Secretary P&RD MGVK Vanu, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia, Commissioner P&RD J.B.Ekka among others were present in the meeting.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)