Srinagar: In a significant development, the department-related parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs has recommended to the Government of India and administration of J&K Union Territory to devolve more funds, functions and functionaries to the Panchayats in the UT to bring them at par with Panchayats of the other States/Union Territories.
In its report, a copy of which is lying with news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the panel headed by Anand Sharma of Congress revealed that the administration of the UTof Jammu & Kashmir informed it that the Panchayati Raj Act of J&K was modified in 2018 and 2020 to enable transferring of funds, functions and functionaries to the three-tier Panchayati Raj System.
It was apprised that departments like School Education, Health, ICDS, Rural Development, Social Welfare and others have been transferred to Panchayat Raj Institutions at various levels. “The Finance Commission grants are also transferred to the Panchayati Raj Institutions for their empowerment,” the panel was informed.
In its report, the panel recommended to the government to devolve more funds, functions and functionaries to the Panchayats in the UT to bring them at par with Panchayats of the other States/UTs.
It is worthwhile to mention that all three –tiers of Panchayati Raj have been set-up in the Union Territory by holding district development council elections in November- December last year.
The DDC elections were conducted after the Union Home Ministry amended the J&K’s Panchayat Raj Act -1989 through an executive order under section 96 of the J&K Reorganisation Act.
Before holding of DDC polls, Panchayats and Block Development Councils elections were conducted in J&K in 2018 and 2019, respectively, by Governor’s administration—(KNO)