Backward Region Grant Fund - India Gov


BACKWARD REGIONS GRANT FUND
MINISTRY OF PANCHAYATI RAJ

 

Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF) was launched by the Prime Minister at Barpeta in Assam on 19th February, 2006.  The Programme covers 250 districts in 27 States.  The existing Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana which coves 147 districts has been subsumed into the Backward Regions Grant Fund programme.

 

Objectives

The programme is designed to redress the regional imbalances in development. Funds are available for supplementing and converging existing developmental inflows into identified districts. Panchayati Raj Institutions at all levels and Municipalities are the institutions for planning and implementation of the programme, through the participative preparation of district plans from the bottom upwards.

 

Strategy

The structural & institutional deficiencies in backward districts result in lack of absorptive capacity and hence lack of desired outcomes. An inter Ministry task group set up on 4.8.2004 by the Planning Commission concluded that plans ought to be based on perceived need and real capacity in these areas to ensure utilization of resources within the specified timeframe to produce expected results. Hence, BRGF focuses on implementation of the process of participative planning. Centrally sponsored schemes have specific sectoral objectives and targets. Backward Regions Grant Fund can be used to supplement them through a comprehensive macro approach cutting across sectors and meeting  inter sectoral requirements. Creation of capacity for effective planning at district and lower level was seen as a key-pre-requisite to participative planning.  Hence there is a specific component in the BRGF programme for the capacity building of Panchayati Raj Institutions.

 

Implementation of the Programme:

The programme is proposed to be planned, implemented and managed by the Panchayats, Municipalities and District Planning Committees constituted in accordance with the part IX and IX-A of the Constitution.

 

NGOs can not apply for this but, they may help their local Panchyat (s) to access and utilise this fund.

 

Prohibited Works:

The funds can not be used for construction of religious structures in the premises of religious institutions, construction of welcome arches or similar activities.

 

Special Provisions for Schemes for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes.

The indicative list of the schemes for which funds can be earmarked under the programme include training of educated youth, pre-recruitment training for para military and other security forces, provisions of tractors and agricultural implements to self help groups, construction and allotment of shops and provision for setting up of secondary schools, colleges, hostels and Industrial training Institutes.

 

Special provisions for States and Districts not covered under Parts IX & IX-A of the Constitution:

Special provisions have been made in the guidelines for the districts in J&K, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura which do not have Panchayats. The traditional village level bodies and institutions in these districts will plan and implement the programme in these areas.

 

Salient features of the BRGF Programme:

1.     BRGF consists of two funding windows, namely, a Capacity Building Fund and a substantially untied grant.

2.     The substantially untied grant is to be distributed among the districts as follows: (a) every district will receive a fixed minimum amount of Rs.10 crore per annum, and (b) the balance allocation under the scheme will be made on the basis of the share of the population and area of the districts in the total population and area of all the backward districts.

3.     All the 147 RSVY districts will be released funds till the plans approved under RSVY (plus the existing monitoring fee) have been completed to the extent approved.

4.     Non RSVY – BRGF districts will begin the process of District Plan preparation in 2006-07 in accordance with these guidelines.

5.     Each Panchayat or Municipality within the backward district concerned will be the unit for planning under BRGF. Plans prepared by each Panchayat or Municipality will be consolidated into the District Plan by the District Planning Committee, constituted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

6.     During the consolidation of the District Plan, particular care shall be taken to ensure that the District Plan addresses issues relating to SC/ST development.

7.     The State Government will designate a department, preferably the Department of Panchayati Raj, as the nodal department at the State level, responsible for the management, monitoring and evaluation of the programme.

8.     A High Powered Committee headed by the State Chief Secretary and consisting of Members from various departments of State Government and the Central Ministries will consider and approve the proposed District Plans to be taken up under the districts component of the BRGF.

9.     Fund Flow Mechanism and Tracking of funds.

 

All funds will be transferred to the Consolidated Funds of the State Governments.  Those funds that are to be transferred to Panchayats and Municipalities by the State Governments will be transferred to their bank accounts within 15 days of the release of funds to the Consolidated Fund as in the case of transfer of Twelfth Finance Commission Grants.  The States have been requested to adopt the mechanism of bank transfer suggested by the Task Force of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj which was set up to study the feasibility of rapid transfer of funds through Bank to the Panchayats. The State Governments have also been requested to furnish Bank Account details of all Panchayats.

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