New Delhi: In a new initiative, the Centre has revised the cost norms for construction of Panchayat Ghar in villages and has raised the funds four times the original cost.

The fund sanctioned for the construction of Panchayat Ghar has been hiked to Rs 10 lakh from Rs 2.50 lakh and the assistance will be given only for the construction of new Panchayat Ghars.

A survey conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and West Bengal revealed that out of around 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country, one-third did not have buildings for panchayats.

Surprisingly, according to the report, the amount that was sanctioned was very low owing to the present situation of inflation.

Due to this, many gram panchayats refrained from setting up of buildings which affected the smooth functioning of the rural development schemes.

Under the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojana (RGSY), Panchayat Ghar will be constructed for gram panchayats and old buildings will be renovated.

Former Panchayati Raj Minister CP Joshi had kept the name of Panchayat Ghar as Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra and its construction cost was added in the MNERGS. However, due to political reasons, the scheme did not do well.

Meanwhile, the report has been forwarded to respective states for further action.

JPN/Bureau