TN to set up 600 village secretariats for scheme implementation: Stalin

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday said that his government would set up 600 ‘village secretariats’ in the state to help implement its schemes in rural areas.

Speaking in the Assembly, he noted that these village secretariats would have internet connections, room for Panchayat Presidents, Secretaries, and village administrative officers, as well as meeting halls and facilities for basic amenities.

The village secretariats will be constructed at a cost of Rs 40 lakh each and would also coordinate efforts to implement schemes operated by the Departments of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Revenue, Social Welfare, and Farmers Welfare.

The Chief Minister also said that Gram Sabha meetings will be held six times a year instead of the present four times a year. Presently, these are held on Republic Day (January 26), Independence Day (August 15), Labour Day ( May 1), and the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (October 2).

Grama sabhas will now also meet on World Water Day (March 22) and Local Governance Day (November 1).

Stalin also said that the sitting fee for the elected representatives of the district panchayats and the panchayat unions will be increased by ten times on the day when the meetings are held. The sitting fee of the Presidents and members of Village panchayats will be increased by five times on the day of the sitting. This was following several representations from the members of the district panchayats, panchayat unions, and village panchayats, he said.

He also said that vehicles will be provided to the presidents of the panchayat unions. Stalin said that the then Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi had in 2008 granted vehicles for the presidents of 385 panchayat unions but they were not purchased in the past ten years. He said that the vehicles for panchayat presidents would be purchased immediately.

The Chief Minister said that his government would resume conferring the Uthamar Gandhi Village Panchayat Award to the best performing village panchayat on 10 parameters. The award will carry a cash component of Rs 10 lakh and one village panchayat will be selected from the 37 districts of the state. He also said that the AIADMK government that succeeded the previous DMK government had discontinued the award that was instituted by the DMK government in 2006.

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