New Delhi: Despite massive funds granted under various welfare schemes, the Centre’s efforts to revamp villages across the country went in vain due to lack of professionalism among village heads and Sarpanchs. So, the government has decided to appoint MBA and B Tech degree holders at the Panchayat levels to push up development work in the rural areas.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act Scheme, Watershed, National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Indira Awas and other Central schemes will be assigned to technocrats and management skilled youths. Now, Sarpanches will be relegated to mere advisory in the rural development work.

As the rural schemes worth thousands of crore rupees proved a flop, the need of professionals was felt in executing the schemes. Central schemes failed to bring smiles on the poor as village heads, Sarpanches and employees posted at the block development offices have bungled the schemes owing to the lack of professionalism.

A massive irregularity has been found in the UPA’s flagship programme MNREGA and other Central schemes as well. After investigation, it was found that rules were flaunted impudently. That is why the Centre has decided to appoint professionally trained and educated youths in each village Panchayat to implement the schemes effectively.

According to sources, they will be appointed on the contract basis. Rs 12,000 and Rs 10,000 per month will be paid to the managers and engineers respectively. State governments can increase the salary by making their own contributions.

The professionals will be appointed in the 2.5 lakh village Panchayats. However, states like Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh have already taken initiatives in the regard.

Union Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said, “The government’s move will boost the pace of basic infrastructure in the rural areas. It will push up the development work being carried out without concrete plan and technical advice.”

JPN/Bureau