The Panchayat & Rural Development Department largely works to enhance livelihood opportunities, address chronic poverty, provides social security and works for economic inclusion of rural poor families. The Panchayat & Rural Development Department has been implementing a number of programmes in the rural area of the State by empowering rural poor through power of rights based law, aiming to transform the geography of poverty in the State. The main objective of various poverty alleviation and employment generation programme are as follows:
Rural Development Programmes are being implemented through the Panchayat & Rural Development Department at State level and by the Zilla Parishad at the District level. At present there are 21 Zilla Parishads, 185 Anchalik Panchayats and 2202 Gaon Panchayats in Assam. The activities of Panchayat & Rural Development Department are implemented through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). There is no PRI system in the Sixth Scheduled districts. The Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) Scheme in the Sixth Scheduled districts is implemented through District Rural Development Agency. Some of the schemes of District Development Plan (DDP) are implemented through both Rural and Urban local bodies.
The Department is implementing mainly MGNREGA, IAY, NSAP, RGPSA, BRGF, DDP schemes through PRIs. Under the Rural Development sector, some programmws/schemes has been introduced which are of the following nature:-
In order to ensure transparency and accountability in implementation of the schemes, intensive monitoring system has been introduced through online reporting system. The Panchayati Raj Institutions Accounting Software (PRIASoft) has been adopted for sound accounting and audit system of the Panchayats at all level.
The Panchayat and Community Development was created by the Government of Assam in the year 1952 with the motto for upliftment of the rural people of the State of Assam. Originally 3 Nos. of Community Development Projects and 135 Nos. of Development Blocks were created in Assam. Now the Development Blocks have been increased up to 219 for implementation of various development programmes and schemes for proper upliftment of rural people.
The erstwhile Panchayat & Community Development Department and the Rural Development Department have been amalgamated into one Department in the name and style as Panchayat & Rural Development since 1st July 1989.
The Department has taken the responsibility of enhancing rural livelihoods through a variety of programmes and projects. The emphasis is on building up of local resources through increasing the capability of the rural poor through self-employment programmes and through building up of critical infrastructure in the rural areas of Assam.
The Panchayat and Rural Development Department is actively taking new innovative projects for building community assets, strengthening the existing occupational strategies of the poor farmers and cultivators and to provide wage employment to the needy from amongst the poorest section of the rural society.