Tribune News Service
Srinagar, December 2
Jammu and Kashmir has decided to empower panchayat members by entrusting them with administrative control of various departments in the newly constituted Block Development Councils (BDCs).
Officials said panches and sarpanches would be given administrative control of 21 departments at the panchayat level.
“In BDCs, we have initiated the process to give the administrative control of departments to elected panchayat members. A panch will have administrative control over the works of the Social Welfare Department while others will be given the Education Department at the panchayat level. Likewise, we will divide the departments among the elected panchayat members,” said Director, Rural Development Department, Sarwar Qazi.
He said the panchayat members would look after all works of 21 departments. “Our major thrust is to take democracy to the grass-roots level and also make panchayats revenue-generating institutions,” he said.
The panchayat members will get Rs 50 lakh to Rs 80 annually for implementation of various welfare schemes. The BDC polls were the first electoral exercise after the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to J&K. Nearly 50 per cent of the total panchayats in Kashmir have not been constituted due to a lack of a quorum as people mostly stayed away from the polls.
Of the 4,483 panchayat halqas in the state, 2,135 panchayats are in the Kashmir valley. However, 1,057 panchayats in Kashmir have not been constituted yet.
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