CM KCR vents ire over Centre releasing funds to local bodies

The Chief Minister accused the Centre of indulging in \'petty things\' by releasing funds directly to gram panchayats

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Wednesday expressed anger at the Centre for releasing funds directly to rural local bodies bypassing the state government for implementing certain schemes in rural areas.

He said only state governments would be aware of specific conditions and needs under their jurisdiction and the funds could be put to better use only if they were routed through state governments. The Chief Minister accused the Centre of indulging in 'petty things' by releasing funds directly to gram panchayats to implement schemes such as Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and others.

The Chief Minister made these comments during the preparatory meeting held at Pragathi Bhavan ahead of the launch of next round of Palle Pragathi and Pattana Pragathi programmes across the state for comprehensive development in urban and rural local bodies.

"Releasing funds directly to local bodies to implement certain schemes bypassing the state government indicates that the Centre does not trust the state governments. All the Prime Ministers since the regime of Rajiv Gandhi till date, resorted to this practice showing scant regard in the three-tier system of panchayat raj. How could the Centre sitting in Delhi know about the needs of every village in all the states? Each village and each state has its own needs and conditions which the respective state governments are fully aware of," the Chief Minister remarked.

He felt that even during the 75th year of Indian independence, the Centre failed to address basic issues like drinking and irrigation water supply, power supply, education and health infrastructure which are plaguing the villages.

"The Centre's priority should be to address these basic issues first. Instead, the Centre is indulging in petty things and in the process, overstepping the rights and responsibilities of the states. Hence, there has been no major progress on various fronts to realise the aspirations of the people even after seven decades of Independence," the Chief Minister noted.

Ministers, heads of rural and urban local bodies, district collectors and senior officials of various departments were present in the meeting.

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