Hyderabad: The new sarpanches of 12,715 gram panchayats are worried about how they can implement the provisions of the new Gram Panchayat Act with the meagre income at their disposal.
Under the Gram Panchayat Act, the government has mandated that each panchayat must appoint two multipurpose workers and purchase a tractor-trolley to clear garbage and a tanker to supply water in emergencies. But Panchayat Raj officials say many gram panchayats do not have the money for this as their income does not go beyond `1 lakh.
Mr Soudhani Bhumanna, founder president of the Telangana State Village Sarpanches Association, said that around 3,000 villages do not even have Rs 1 lakh income per annum and the tribal thandas which were constituted as gram panchayats earn less than Rs 10,000.
He said that the government is insisting that the gram panchayats buy the tractor with the trolley and a tanker which costs around `6.
He said the government has instructed that two multipurpose workers be appointed in each gram panchayat at `8,500 per month each, but it is not clear who will pay the salary.
Mr Bhumanna said that though the Chief Minister has announced the release of Rs 339 crore per month, including grants from the Finance Commission and a matching grant from the government, the state deducts 30 per cent of the Fin-ance Commission grant for electricity bills.
Mr Bikshu Naik, sarpanch of Mothilal thanda in Yadadri district, said that due to non-release of funds he cannot take up development activities or purchase the tractor.
An official in the Panchayat Raj department said that though there was a delay initially in releasing the grants, the government has been releasing grants for the past two months regularly. The money for tractors would be released from funds belonging to other heads.