Punjab Government has failed to grant incentive to unanimously elected panchayats
During the last panchayat elections in 2008, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP government had announced that a grant of Rs. 3 lakh would be given to the panchayats which elected its members unanimously and not by electoral process. The government had promised the incentive to save the funds spent in holding elections and to promote peace and brotherhood among panchayat members. Around 2,806 panchayats were elected unanimously as a result a total grant of nearly Rs. 84.18 crore was to be given to these panchayats, but the government failed to keep its promise. RTI activist Parwinder Singh had filed an RTI application with the department of rural development and panchayats in this regard. The reply to this application had revealed that the award of incentive grant was announced by the government and the department had nothing to do with it and that it had never issued any letter of incentive grant of Rs. 3 lakh to such panchayats. The applicant alleged that the government had cheated these panchayats by not fulfilling the promise of the incentive grant. 'HELP' an NGO had also sent a legal notice to the department of rural development and panchayats for not releasing the grants to the panchayats.