Panchayat Raj: JK yet to begin capacity building
Submitting Proposal To Centre: Govt
Srinagar, June 14: While the Jammu and Kashmir Government is yet to go ahead with the devolution of powers to Panchayats, inviting flak from political circles within and outside the state, it is yet to submit the proposals regarding capacity building of the elected Sarpanchs and Panchs. The delay is all set to hit the vital information campaign, which, according to observers, forms an important component of the effective functioning of the Panchayat Raj Institutions.
Highly placed sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that the state government can’t go ahead with the capacity building programmes as the requisite proposals are yet to be submitted to the Government of India for approval. This, they said, has badly hit the timely impart of training and education to the elected Panchs and Sarpanchs across the state. “As on date the elected Panchs and Sarpanchs don’t know what they have to do. So the capacity building programmes for them form an important component of Panchayat Raj. Without such programmes, it is not possible to ensure effective functioning of the rural local bodies,” said an official in the Rural Development Department, insisting not to be named. “There are two important issues involved in the Panchayat Raj. One is the devolution of powers and the other is the capacity building of the stakeholders. The state government is late on both the issues.”
A group of Panchs and Sarpanchs, who spoke to Greater Kashmir, said they intend to form an association to press for devolution of powers and capacity building. “We are taking a decision in this regard very soon,” they said.
The issues that the Panchs and Sarpanchs need to be made aware of include the role of Panchayats, powers and responsibilities of Gram Sabha, rural development programmes and functioning on ground.
Secretary, Rural Development Department, Yedullah, however said they are in the process of submitting the proposals to the Government of India. “The proposals on capacity building are with the Rural Development Minister for approval,” he said. “We are in the process of the submitting them to the Government of India. We also understand that the capacity building and training of the PRI representatives is very important.”
There are 4128 Halqa Panchayats, 143 Block Development Councils and 22 District Planning and Development Boards in Jammu and Kashmir. This includes the two Hill Councils of Leh and Kargil which shall function as the DPDBs in the two districts.
According to the officials, the training is to be imparted to 36000 PRI representatives apart from 5000 other functionaries at the Panchayat and other levels.
Yedullah said the GOI shall be providing cent percent funding for five districts in Jammu and Kashmir under the scheme called Backward Regions Grant Funds. These include Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and Kupwara. “We have made projects worth Rs 9 crores out of which some money is available with us while the remaining shall also be released as soon as the projects get approved,” he told Greater Kashmir.
He said rest of the 17 districts shall be covered under Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojana, a centrally sponsored scheme being implemented by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj with the objective of assisting efforts of the State Governments for training and capacity building of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions. “Under this the funding plan shall be 75 percent from the Government of India while 25 percent from the state plan. The Planning Department has agreed to give us Rs 3.35 cores. The total projects are worth Rs 12.20 crores,” he said, adding, “Hopefully the GOI will release the funds soon after the projects are sanctioned.”
Asked why government is late in submitting the proposals, Yedullah said: “It is better late than never. Earlier we did not have the PRIs in place. Now that PRIs are there, we will start with informal training course very soon. Politicians have already started interacting with the PRIs.”
On apprehensions that the money on capacity building might be spent on political rallies, Yedullah said, “There is no such provision in the proposals. There is only capacity building which shall be done effectively. We should be able to start the first phase in July itself.”
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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