By Express News Service

GUNTUR: As many as 242 gram panchayats will get a cash incentive of Rs 19.4 crore from the State government for electing both the sarpanches and ward members unanimously.Out of 943 panchayats in Guntur district, elections were held in 731 panchayats during the four-phase gram panchayat elections. 

Though the sarpanches were elected unanimously in 20 other villages, elections were held in some wards. Therefore, they won’t be receiving any cash incentive from the government.Out of 242 panchayats, 126 villages with population below 2,000 will get Rs 5 lakh incentive each totalling to Rs 6.3 crore; 89 panchayats with population between 2,001 and 5,000 will get Rs 10 lakh each totalling to Rs 8.9 crore; 24 panchayats with population between 5,001 and 10,000 will get Rs 15 lakh each totalling to Rs 3.6 crore and three panchayats with population over 10,000 will get Rs 20 lakh each totalling to Rs 60 lakh. 

Since the elections of sarpanches and gram panchayats are held on a non-party basis, the incentive will help the elected bodies strengthen the administration at the village level.District panchayat officer Mahesh said that a list of gram panchayats, which are going to get cash incentives, is being prepared and will be submitted to the State Panchayat Raj Commissioner. 

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