The role of Panchayats varies from State to State in the implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs), which are administered by Central Ministries. Further, since Panchayat is a States subject, States vary in the extent to which they devolve roles and responsibilities to Panchayats in planning, implementation and monitoring of different CSSs. Among the major CSSs, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGS), Saakshar Bharat Mission, Indira Awas Yojna (IAY) and National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), provide significant roles and responsibilities to Panchayats. Under Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) which is an Additional Central Assistance (ACA), Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) provides untied funds through States to Panchayats to bridge the gaps in infrastructure development on the basis of plans prepared by the Panchayats. The Ministryhas been regularly advising Central Ministries by providing comments on the draft guidelines of schemes of the Central Ministries to vest roles and responsibilities on Panchayats in implementing CSSs.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj does not support the proposal of providing financial assistance directly to Panchayats. However, as per guidelines issued by Ministry of Panchayati Raj for the implementation of BRGF Programme, the State Governments are required to release funds to the Panchayati Raj Institutions within 15 days on the receipt of funds from the Central Government to reduce the time lag between availability and dispersal of funds to PRIs.