My Work As a Minister

Any big achievement is never of one man alone. This is true in my case too. My vision has translated into results only because of the able support of my team and the consistent participation of people of Maharashtra. It is this collective belief and support that has led to my rewarding journey as the Cabinet Minister – Rural Development.Some of the highlights are:
Strong and Inclusive Leadership – Dynamic Development
  A computerized Rural Maharashtra Development program was conceptualized and implemented at Panchayat Raj level, resulting in transparent, public oriented and dynamic administration. People in the villages were actively involved and encouraged to participate in various projects implemented by the Panchayatraj body. This not only led to a wave of “Our Town – Our Government” sentiment amongst the general public but also provided a higher momentum to the development programs. I strongly believe that the three later Panchayat raj system is not only laying the foundation of Maharashtra’s balanced and all round development, but would also lend strong support to a prosperous democracy at the country level.
Numero Uno in Panchayatraj System
Our consistent efforts and the resulting development got a further impetus when Union Rural Development Ministry awarded us the 1st prize of Rs 3 Crore for best performance and innovation in the field of Panchayatiraj in the state under the “Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Empowerment Mission” ( 2013-2014). That we were awarded this prize, for the third consecutive year, made it extra special for us.
The Ministry has also announced cash prizes worth Rs 2.20 Crores to 18 Panchayatraj institutions in Maharashtra. The department has been bagging various awards and accolades for different parameters since the last three years. In 2011-12, the state for the first prize of Rs 2 Crores for increased delivery system in the country. In 2012-13, the state bagged the first prize of Rs 2.5 Crores for Panchayati empowerment collective delivery mechanism.I am proud of the fact that the department has not only proved dynamic and strong leadership but has also kept the flag of success flying high at a national level. The department has made excellent use of information and technology leading to environment friendly and wholesome development. The department has spread its network in every village of Maharashtra, and has set a ‘gold standard’ for rural development at the national level.
A Gleaming Report Card
The ‘Yashwant Panchayatraj Mission’ has a grading system that evaluates how various Panchayatiraj institutions have performed on various fixed parameters. Various Panchayatiraj institutions are evaluated against these set parameters and awarded points. Our consistent efforts paid off as Maharashtra performed fairly well across the institutions:
Out of a total of 33 ZilaParishads, 11 got A+ ranking, 17 secured an A ranking, 4 got a B and only one got a C ranking
Out of a total of 351 PanchayatSamitis, 124 got A+ ranking, 189 secured an A ranking, 35 got a B and only 3 got a C ranking
Of the 27,895 Gram Panchayats, 1608 got A+ ranking, 15961 secured an A ranking, 8142 got a B and 2174 got a C ranking
Environment Friendly and Wholesome Development
The Rural Development Department instituted ‘Project for balanced and prosperous villages’ in 2010 for complementary and constructive development of villages. Under this scheme, the development of villages is determined through preservation and conservation of natural resources in the village. The villages that successfully meet the criterion set under this scheme for three consecutive years were given grants to be developed under CSR. Maharashtra has fared exceedingly well on the selected parameters and as a result
As many as 12,193 Gram Panchayats were found eligible and given grants worth 389.89 Crores in the first year of the scheme
In the second year, a total of 9802 Gram Panchayats met the criterion and were given grants worth 300.13 Crore
In the third year, 7912 Gram Panchayats met the criterion and were given grants worth Rs 234 Crores
Since the scheme puts emphasis on development through natural resources, this scheme encouraged tree plantation (as many as 15.20 Crore trees have been planted), use of unconventional sources of energy, individual toilet usage and increased usage of biogas. The system of suitable management of sewage and solid waste has gathered steam and the villagers have recycled sewage water to sustain trees that have been planted in a large number under this scheme.Infact, seeing this surge in development and the enthusiasm of the villagers to participate, the government decided to continue the scheme permanently and made an important decision to make an annual provision of Rs 300 Crores for the rural development.
Sustained Growth through Micro and Environment Development Plans
If this picture of towns and village is to be changed, then emphasis should be put on making micro and environment development plan! There are 27,920 grampanchayats in the state. Out of them, the number of gram panchayats with the population of more 5000 is around 1280. Despite having greater population, they continue to be gram panchayats due to the less percentage of non-agricultural employment and commercial activities. A micro and environment development plan is being prepared on the pattern of town planning while developing them with the intention of making available basic civic amenities to them like cities.
An effort is being made to regulate the use of land in town, norms of construction, parameters of land development, zoning of land and deployment of Development Control Rule in a planned manner. Orders have been issued to prepare environment development plan of 275 towns in the first phase. A total of 24 prestigious institutions have been selected for this task at the national level.
Computerised Rural Maharastra : e -Tendering and Mobile Alerts the norm
Building Banking Services in Gram Panchayats
Empowerment of Gram Sabha
“Umed” – Maharshtra Rural Livelihood Mission
Education Development in Rural Maharashtra
Building the Rural Pilgrimage Centres
Infrastructure Development in Rural Maharashtra