Assembly nod to SEC, SFC
Jammu, Apr 1: Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly (LA) Friday passed the amendment Bill seeking creation of State Election Commission (SEC) for holding Panchayat elections and a separate bill for establishment of State Finance Commission (SFC).
The Bill to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 has been brought as per the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission.
It provides setting up a separate Election Commission for conducting Panchayat elections in the state.
“The State Election Commissioner be appointed by the Governor on the recommendations of a committee comprising Chief Minister, a senior minister to be nominated by the CM, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Minister Incharge Panchayats and leader of opposition in the House,” the bill states.
“A person shall not be qualified for being appointed as State Election Commissioner unless he is holding or has held a post in the Indian Administrative Service or a post in any civil services of the Union or the State not below the rank of commissioner/secretary to government having knowledge and experience in matters relating to conduct of elections”, the Bill adds. “If the person so appointed is in-service at the time of his appointment, he shall be deemed to have retired on superannuation from the date of assumption of office as Commissioner.”
STATE FINANCE COMMISSION
Conceding another demand of the majority of the political parties, the government also passed a separate bill providing for the constitution of a State Finance Commission (SFC) to “review the financial position of the Panchayats, Municipalities and suggest measures for the same”.
As per the clause 3 of the Bill, the State Finance Commission for Panchayats and Municipalities has to be constituted every 5-years to review the financial position of Panchayats and Municipalities and to exercise the powers conferred upon.
The Commission would comprise of a chairperson and two other members. They will be appointed by the government by notification and will hold office for a term of one year.
While placing the Finance Commission bill on the floor of the house, the Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said that constitution of Finance Commission (FC) would allow independent review the financial position of the Panchayats, Municipalities and suggest measures to improve their efficacy. “It will empower the local bodies after the Panchayat polls are conducted”, he said.
“There have been talks of empowering the local bodies and it will be possible only when a FC would be established. It will recommend the government which area needs funds for development”, Rather said.
Earlier participating in the discussion on the bill seeking amendment in the Panchayati Raj Act-1989, Choudhary Zulfikar said that Panchayats should be made an independent institution so that they are given necessary powers to deal with issues at block and village level.
Peerzada Mansoor expressed his concern that the law which the government wants to approve is self contradictory have many contradictions and would give rise to two power centres.
Nizamudin Bhat suggested that the Bill should be sent to select committee so that the objections raised by the members could be addressed.
M Y Tarigami said that though the Act intends to empower the grass root democratic institutions, but as far as power distribution is concerned it is not defined properly in the Bill.
On the other hand, Harsh Dev Singh, said that 73rd amendment pertains to the constitution of state election commission for Panchayats but the present bill will allow government to poke its nose with the help of State Election Commission.
Interrupting him, Minister for Panchayat Raj, Ali Muhammad Sagar said that keeping in view these factors; Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has constituted a high powered committee under the Chief Secretary to submit a report within 15 days to study how much powers would be given to the Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir.
Later after rejecting the amendments brought by the members, bill was passed by a voice vote.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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