Need to strengthen panchayats: PM

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) There was need to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system to ensure inclusive development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Wednesday.

“We must try that Panchayati Raj does not become just a slogan, it becomes a reality in our lifetime,” Manmohan Singh said while addressing a conference to commemorate National Panchayat Day.

“We must always remember the aim of panchayat is to decentralise administration so that people get the right to run administration themselves… We promise that centre will help state governments in every way for this so that the development process becomes more inclusive and sustainable,” he said.

The prime minister added that budget allocation for this had been increased nearly 10 times in the 12th Plan to Rs.6,437 crore as compared to Rs.668 crore in the 11th Plan.

“Across the world, researchers have found that inclusion of socially and economically backward sections in development has given good results,” he added.

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