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J&K panchayats to get more financial powers

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

The financial powers of the panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir are being enhanced 10 times from ₹10,000 to ₹1 lakh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday. The panchayat polls in the State would pave the way for making available ₹4,335 crore in Central grants under the 14th Finance Commission to the local bodies.

“On an average, every panchayat will now get ₹50 lakh-₹80 lakh a year for implementing schemes. To further strengthen the panchayats, additional posts are being sanctioned for accountant, data entry operator, block panchayat inspector etc,” he said. The funds will be available after the panchayat polls are held.

For the first time, primary health centres, primary schools and anganwadis will come under the administrative control of the panchayats when the elections are completed in December. The panchayat could also generate their own funds through fees for building permission and taxes on entertainment, advertisement, hoardings and businesses, he said.

“The functions and functionaries of all 29 subjects shifted to the panchayats under the 73rd amendment to the Constitution will be transferred to the panchayats in the State, including such institutions as primary health centres, primary schools and aganwadis,” Mr. Singh said.

Jammu and Kashmir partially adopted the recommendations after the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act was passed by Parliament in 1993. The amendment gave constitutional status to the panchayati raj institutions.

Polling to elect 4,130 sarpanches (village headmen), 29,719 panches (panchayat members) and 1,145 ward commissioners will be held from October 8 to December 11. Urban local bodies elections were last held in 2005 and the panchayat elections in 2011.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2020 4:26:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jk-panchayats-to-get-more-financial-powers/article25074112.ece

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