Curious case of vanishing demand
In the current year till October, the number of gram panchayats which did not spend funds almost doubled. In the previous three years the number of such panchayats was about 26,000. This year the number rose to over 47,000. A senior officer of the rural development ministry says the funds stopped pouring to the panchayats where demand was low. He apprehends the number may go up. "In the face of lower budgetary allocation and confinement of scheme to limited blocks, the number of such panchayats can only increase," he says.