J&K UT faces herculean task to create profile of GPs on eGramSwaraj portal

VIKAS SHARMA

JAMMU: The Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir is having its task cut out to create a profile of Gram Panchayats (GPs) on eGramSwaraj (http://egramswaraj.gov.in) portal of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR). eGramSwaraj is a work-based comprehensive application for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

The data available on the eGramSwaraj (http://egramswaraj.gov.in) portal has revealed that mere 80 GPs have created their profile on eGramSwaraj on December 29, 2022.  Pertinently, MoPR had launched eGramSwaraj, the e-Panchayat Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP) on 24th April 2020. This application encompasses all aspects of Panchayat functioning viz. planning, budgeting, accounting, monitoring, asset management etc. on a single digital platform including online payments. So far, 2.48 lakh GPs have prepared and uploaded their GPDSs for 2022-23.

“The Ministry constantly engages with the States through virtual and physical training and enablement for States to adopt the eGramSwaraj application. Review meetings, workshops, hand-holding sessions, video conferences and visits by senior officials to States are undertaken regularly to review progress.

A National Project Management Unit (NPMU) also coordinates/facilitates the implementation of this project. Despite all this J&K UT continues to lag behind which is a matter of great concern. For the year 2021-22, a total of 2.56 lakh GPs have uploaded their GPDPs in one Gram Swaraj portal”, officials said.

Pertinently, under the Digital India Programme, the Ministry is implementing e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP) with the aim to transform the functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) by making them more transparent, accountable, and effective.

Building on the achievements in the past, the Ministry has also integrated e-Gram SWARAJ with the Public Financial Management System for Gram Panchayats to make real time payments to vendors/service providers. Further, Panchayats have adopted the mechanism to make payments to vendors through the Public Financial Management System. Under 15th Finance Commission, 1.93 lakh GPs have carried online transactions during 2021-22.

Further, no panchayat in the UT has an approved Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs). In 2020-21, not even a single Gram Panchayat/Rural Local Body had prepared a GPDP. In 2019-20, as many as 4347 Gram Panchayats/Rural Local Bodies had prepared the same. There are a total of 4290 GPs in J&K UT.