1) Prime Minister addresses village sarpanches through video conferencing
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed Gram Panchayat representatives and sarpanches across the country through video conferencing on National Panchayat Raj Day on 24 April.
In his address, he appreciated the contribution of rural India in dealing with the corona virus. Shri Modi said that the village, district and country should become self-sufficient at their level for their basic needs.
Integrated e-Gram Swaraj Portal and Mobile Apps
The Prime Minister launched an integrated e-Gram Swaraj portal and mobile app on the occasion. This integrated portal is a new initiative of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. This will help the gram panchayats to formulate and implement their development plans.
It will also prove to be an important step in ensuring monitoring and accountability. It will become a single platform (Simplified Work Weight Accounting Application for Panchayati Raj) to keep an account of the different functions of Gram Panchayat in future.
2) Launched Prime Minister’s Own Scheme
On 24 April, on the occasion of Panchayat Raj Day, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has announced a ‘Proprietary Plan’ for the rural areas of India. The objective of this scheme is to end confusion and quarrels over property. This will help in starting development schemes in the village.
The Prime Minister introduced experimental ‘ownership scheme’ in six states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
What is a Swamitya plan?
In his address, the Prime Minister was told that 60% of India’s population lives in rural areas. Most people do not have documents of ownership of their property. The settlement of land in rural areas has been taking place since the time of the British. This settlement is the main reason for the village dispute. Villagers will get ownership of their property through the ownership scheme. After this there will not be any kind of dispute again.
Key points of Swamitya plan
Under this, every property of the village will be mapped through drones in all the villages of the country. After this, the people of the village will be given the ownership certificate of that property.
The Prime Minister said that this scheme will help to streamline planning and revenue collection in rural areas and ensure clarity on property rights. This will also help in resolving property related disputes.
Due to getting the ownership certificate of the property, like in the cities, loans can be easily taken from the banks in the villages. For this, minimum documents will be sought from the villagers.
3) April 24: National Panchayati Raj Day
Every year 24 April is celebrated as ‘National Panchayati Raj Day’. This day is considered to be an important day in the history of decentralization of power at the ground level in the country. On the same day, the Panchayati Raj system came into force on 24 April 1993 through the 73rd Amendment Act 1992 of the Indian Constitution.
What is Panchayati Raj?
Only the central or state government cannot be able to run the whole country. For this, administration has also been arranged at the local level. This system has been given the name of Panchayati Raj.
Three tier structure
Panchayati Raj is three-tier in India. In the Panchayati Raj, there is Gram Sabha at the village level, Mandal Parishad at the block level and Zilla Parishad at the district level. Members are elected for these institutions who take the reins of governance at the ground level.
History of Panchayati Raj in India
Panchayati Raj organization has been in presence since earliest times in India. For the first time in modern India, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru implemented the Panchayati Raj system on 2 October 1959 in Bagdari village of Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The celebration of National Panchayati Raj Day started on April 24, 2010.
Constitutional facts related to Panchayati Raj
In Article 40 of the Indian Constitution, states have been directed to constitute Panchayats.
The 73rd Amendment Bill of the Indian Constitution has given constitutional recognition to the Panchayati Raj institution in the country.
The Parliament of India passed this amendment bill in 1992. This amendment bill came into force from 24 April 1993.
The system of Panchayats has been mentioned in Article 243 of the Constitution by the 73rd Amendment. Through this amendment, the 11th schedule was added to the constitution, in which 29 subjects of the panchayat have been included.
The 73rd amendment provides for the establishment of a three-tier structure (Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and District Panchayat).
4) Reduction in dearness allowance for central government employees
The epidemic-induced lockdown has a negative impact on various economic and non-economic activities of the country, which has also severely affected the revenue situation of the government, in view of this, the central government has set up 48 lakh central government employees and 65 lakh pensioners by July 2021. Dearness Allowance-DA) has been banned in growth.
According to the Finance Ministry, the Central Government has ensured that from January 1, 2020, the DA payable to Central Government employees and the additional installment of Dearness Relief-DR payable to pensioners will not be paid.
It is noteworthy that in the month of March this year, the government announced a 4 percent increase in dearness allowance for central employees and pensioners. Following this announcement, in April, all central employees and pensioners were expected to receive an increased DA with their salaries owed from January to March.
Apart from this, dearness allowance will not be increased in the coming year. However, dearness allowances will be provided to all central employees and pensioners at the prevailing rate.
The unprecedented situation arising out of the COVID-19 epidemic has posed a serious financial challenge to the government. Along with spending on health for the poor and weak sections affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, there is also a need for a huge increase in welfare measures for which the government will need more and more finance.
The tax and non-tax revenue that the government receives due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown has almost stalled, while the need for more economic stimulus is being felt to save the economy from entering recession.
A cut in DA and DR of central government employees and pensioners will save about Rs 37,530 crore in the current financial year and financial year 2021-22.
Through this, the government will be helped to increase spending on health and welfare measures.
According to analysts, if the state governments also follow the central government’s measures, then a total savings of Rs 82,566 crore can be done through this medium.
5) Ban on sale and use of tobacco products in Jharkhand
In the midst of an outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country, the state of Jharkhand took the initiative to completely ban the use of all tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidi, pan-masala, hookah, khaini, zarda, gutka and e-cigarettes. Have given. According to the Government of Jharkhand, people use these things and spit from place to place, which increases the risk of spreading the infection further, Due to which it has decided to ban these products completely.
According to the official information released in this regard, the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of all the districts of the state have been directed to follow this order and act in case of violation. Besides, instructions have also been given to install information boards in all government and non-government campuses in this context.