NEW DELHI, April 24 (IANS): Sikkim has won the 'best state' award for strengthening its panchayati raj institutions.
Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Union Minister of Panchayati Raj and Tribal Development V. Kishore Chandra Deo presented the 2011-12 Panchayat Empowerment & Accountability Incentive Scheme (PEAIS) award to Sikkim's Rural Management and Development Minister C.B. Karki on a Panchayat Raj Day function here, said a statement by the state government.
The Himalayan state bagged the five national awards totalling an amount of Rs.1.36 crore.
Karki said Sikkim would be made into 'Switzerland of the East' by developing its villages on the lines of the rural areas of the European country.
For this, the government had prepared a holistic plan and budget framework in the form of Village Development Action Plan with the assistance from Bernard Dafflon, a professor from Switzerland's University of Fribourg, he said.
The government wanted to make Sikkim poverty-free by 2015, he said.