PMO asks Niti Aayog to chalk out ways to improve the implementation of the government schemes in states with considerable backward districts.
New Delhi: Having delinked the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) — a scheme meant for correcting regional imbalances in backward districts of the country — from central funding, the government is now concerned about states’ capability of handling the developmental work in such districts falling under their jurisdiction.
The Niti Aayog has been directed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to engage with states having considerable number of backward districts and chalk out ways to improve the implementation of the scheme.
With the states bearing the financial burden of running the scheme, the PMO is concerned about the states’ performance vis-a-vis addressing issues related to backward regions falling under their jurisdiction. Therefore, the Niti Aayog has been directed to visit states having a large number of backward districts and chart a new mechanism to manage the developmental work.
Highly placed sources in the Niti Aayog informed this newspaper that to begin with, Maharashtra has been taken as a model state, with which deliberations will be held to discuss ways of improving development projects in backwards districts. A high-level team of officials will soon leave for Maharashtra to conduct the deliberations on maintaining the tempo of BRGF.
Sources informed that though the Centre can’t help the states financially in implementing BRGF, the main aim is to provide some guidance and hand-holding so that state governments don’t lose focus of the core aim of the programme, which is to correct imbalances by providing financial help to backward districts.
The BRGF was initiated by the UPA regime in 2007 to address regional imbalances in developmental process by providing financial resources to identified backward districts. Through these funds, the backward districts bridge the critical gaps in local infrastructure and other development requirements. This programme covers 272 districts in 27 states.