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Budget hiked for Panchayat dept

Kolkata: The budget for the state Panchayat and Rural Development department for financial year 2018-19 has been increased to Rs 19,174 crore. This comes at the time when the Centre has slashed its share for different projects, which need to be implemented in the state-level by the Panchayat and Rural Development department.
It may be mentioned that in the 2016-17 fiscal, the budget of the department was Rs 14,275 crore, while it was Rs 16,974 crore in 2017-18.
Subrata Mukherjee, the state Panchayat and Rural Development minister, said that the budget has been increased this time, compared to that of the previous years and it will ensure more development work in the rural parts of the state.
He also attacked the Centre once again as financial allocation for different projects has been slashed. He said that it costs around Rs 60 lakh to construct 1 km of road and the Centre-state ratio of funding a project to construct roads is now around 50:50. The Centre earlier used to give the entire amount.
Mukherjee also took a dig at the erstwhile Left Front government, that had turned the Panchayat offices into its party offices. In the same breath, he maintained that several steps have been taken in the past six years to ensure overall growth of the rural parts of the state.
The state Panchayat minister further said that till January of the 2017-18 financial year, a total of 3.67 lakh houses were being built under different schemes. It has been proposed to construct 3.75 lakh more houses in the 2018-19 fiscal.

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