Port Blair, April 13: The Directorate of RD, PRIs & ULBs, A&N Administration organized an induction-cum-interaction program for the newly elected representatives of the Gram Panchayats, in which the Gram Pradhan and Panchayat Secretaries of almost all the Gram Panchayat of Andaman and Nicobar Islands participated in the program.

The program was inaugurated by Shri Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, Secretary (RD) and in his opening remarks congratulated the newly elected Pradhans and requested all of them to work effectively for the rural population residing in the Gram Panchayat as it is the key focal point wherein all the grass root developmental activities are done. He requested them to have a localized vision for the development of Gram Panchayat. He also requested Pradhans and the Panchayat Secretaries to work in coordination for effective implementation of flagship schemes and utilization of public funds within the legal framework of law in a transparent and accountable manner. He further emphasized to work towards achieving financial self-sustainability of the Panchayats, which is vision of the A&N Administration.   

The Secretary (RD) also informed that the Chief Secretary of Andaman Nicobar Administration has given direction to start competition among the Gram Panchayats on basis of cleanliness in the Gram Panchayat, source segregation, waste collection, plantation of vegetable & fruit bearing trees, rainwater harvesting activities and rural tourism promotion in the Gram Panchayats. As such he urged the Gram Panchayats to work in the said lines to prove their respective Gram Panchayat as the best.

The Pradhans and Panchayat Secretaries were made aware about the administrative & financial rules and responsibilities for effective working of the Gram Panchayat. Smt. Kakali Ghosh, Panchayat Secretary explained  about the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) to be prepared for implementation of various schemes of RD as well as Line Department for the development of the Gram Panchayat and its residents. The Pradhans were requested to make proper selection of works and to take up them as per the priority of public.

Thereafter, Shri Edmond Fernandez, Panchayat Secretary explained about the technicalities and responsibilities of the Gram Panchayat in issuance of Building Permission for construction of buildings in the Gram Panchayats. Subsequently, Smt. Gurjeet Kaur, Extension Officer acquainted the participants about the role and responsibilities of the Gram Panchayat in the implementation of various Rural Development schemes of GOI such as DAY-NRLM, PMAY-G, SBM-G, MGNREGA, RURBAN, SAGY, PMGSY, RGSA.

The Sr. Accounts Officer, Shri Anil Koshi, explained the financial powers and obligations of the Gram Panchayats and requested the Pradhans and Panchayat Secretaries for optimal utilization of fund allocated to the Panchayats. He stressed on use of GeM for procurements under the Gram Panchayats and timely submission of Utilization Certificates. Later, Sr. Accounts Officer, Shri P.S. Satish explained about the use of PFMS for utilization of funds released to the Gram Panchayats and requested to get onboard of PMFS platform.  

In the end of the session, Shri Vinay Kumar Jindal, Director (RD/Panchayat) focusing on the key priority areas of Gram Panchayat such as promotion of Rural Tourism, Solid & Liquid Waste Management, taking up of revenue generation activities, preparation of GPDP, etc., requested the newly elected Pradhans to work in consonance with the rules & regulation and coordinate with the UT Administration for effective development of the rural areas of the UT. He informed the participants that the department will be organizing offline training at Port Blair for all the newly elected public representatives to have one on one interaction and learning about smooth functioning of the Gram Panchayats.