BRGF --- The Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme
BRGF was launched by the Prime Minister at Barpeta in Assam on 19th February 2007.
---The BRGF Programme covers 250 districts in 27 States, of which 232 districts fall under the purview of Parts IX and IX-A of the Constitution dealing with the Panchayats and the Municipalities, respectively. The remaining 18 districts are covered by other local government structures, such as Autonomous District and Regional Councils under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and state specific arrangements as in the case of Nagaland and the hill areas of Manipur.
The Backward Regions Grant Fund is designed to redress regional imbalances in development by way of providing financial resources for supplementing and converging existing developmental inflows into the identified backward districts, so as to:
a) Bridge critical gaps in local infrastructure and other development requirements that are not being adequately met through existing inflows,
b) Strengthen, to this end, Panchayat and Municipality level governance with more appropriate capacity building, to facilitate participatory planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring, to reflect local felt needs,
c)Provide professional support to local bodies for planning, implementation and monitoring their plans,
d)Improve the performance and delivery of critical functions assigned to Panchayats, and counter possible efficiency and equity losses on account of inadequate local capacity.
Three unique features of BRGF:
i)the approach of putting the Panchayats and the Municipalities at the centre stage of planning and implementation;
ii) no Central funding stream is as ‘untied’ as the BRGF – the funds can be applied to any preference of the Panchayat/ Municipality, so long as it fills a development gap and the identification of the work is decided with people’s participation;
iii) no other programme spends as much funds, nearly 11 percent of the total allocation, for capacity building and staff provisioning.
BRGF contains a specific component for the capacity building of Panchayati Raj Institutions of Rs. 250 crore per year.
The planning process under BRGF is based on the guidelines for district planning issued by the Planning Commission in August 2006 and January, 2009.
Courtesy - Ved Vrat