Centre Allocates Rs 3,700 Crores To Enhance Local Governance In Jammu And Kashmir
To enhance and empower self-governance in Jammu and Kashmir, Centre plans to allocate Rs 3,700 crore to the Gram panchayats elected last year, reported The Times Of India.
Of this, approximately Rs 1,800 crore will be given to Panchayats in Kashmir for development works and other public welfare programmes. Out of Rs 3700 crore, Rs 700 crore has already been disbursed. After analysing the utilisation of this amount, an additional Rs 1500 crore will be released in two instalments.
A “Back to village” initiative was started to effectively monitor the utilisation of funds by the Gram Panchayats. The initiative required Class I officers to visit the villages and guide the elected representatives to carry out the development work.
According to the Home Ministry, 10% of the funds will be transferred to Gram Panchayats for administrative expenditure, while, nearly 90% will be utilised for the benefit of the local people.
The centre aims to empower 40,000 local representatives in Jammu and Kashmir.
This comes after the government’s decision to increase the financial power of panchayats 10-fold from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh and of block councils from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh.
Panchayats are involved in the selection of the rightful beneficiaries for various welfare schemes and are expected to get Rs 50 lakh-Rs 80 lakh annually for the implementation of programmes, like National Health Mission, Samagra Shiksha etc.
The Modi Government has earlier also formulated a system for distribution of pension to widows, elderly and the physically challenged in Jammu and Kashmir.