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Panchayats needed to be proactive in addressing poverty and issues of vulnerable groups: Union Panchayati Raj Minister Tomar
Speaking at the Conference of State Panchayati Raj Ministers in Madhya Pradesh's capital Bhopal, the Union Minister of Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar stressed the need for quality training and proper use of technology by Panchayats, stated an official release.

He was of view that the  National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and State Institutes of Rural Development should coordinate with other institutes for imparting quality training to the elected representatives and functionaries of Panchayats.

He said that recent years had seen a significant increase in public expenditure through Panchayats in the areas of sanitation, civic amenities, etc. However, he pointed out the importance of peoples' participation and advised that Panchayats should take a proactive role in addressing poverty, social issues and needs of vulnerable groups.

Through the local leadership of the Gram Panchayats, many villages have been able to successfully resolve difficult problems like availability of water, connectivity, open defecation, education for all and have brought about transformational changes in the lives of poor persons belonging to vulnerable groups. He also thanked State Ministers of Panchayati Raj for participating in the conference and assured that all their suggestions would be duly considered, the release added.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh  Shivraj Singh Chouhan highlighted the progress made by Madhya Pradesh  and pointed out that decisions taken through Panchayats were always fruitful.

The release informed that the other highlights of the conference were as follows:

During the conference three panel discussions, one each on Water Conservation, Smart Villages for New India and Role of Panchayats in achieving Sustainable Development Goals were organized. Many recommendations emerged from these deliberations.

Further, two books published by Ministry of Panchayati Raj with the support of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) were released.

A set of twenty books published under collaborative projects of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, UNICEF and Tata Institute of Social Sciences was also released on the occasion.

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