PDP moves bill for Panchayat empowerment
Srinagar, Sep 29: With the upcoming autumn session of the Legislative Assembly likely to be stormy over empowerment of Panchayats in the state, opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has moved a bill for “democratization” of Panchayati Raj law in Jammu and Kashmir and to “devolve more powers” to grassroots representatives. The Private Member’s Bill to amend, Panchayati Raj Act -1989, submitted by MLA Shangus, Peerzada Mansoor calls for election to the posts of the chairmen of the District Planning & Development Boards and appointment of Panchayati Raj Election Commission and Finance Commission on the lines of constitution of State Information Commission (SIC).
The bill, a copy of which is with Greater Kashmir, seeks election for chairmen of the District Planning & Development Board with electoral college comprising of Sarpanchs and members of the Board for the third-tier body.
At present, the power to nominate chairmen of the District Boards vests with State government by virtue of Panchayati Raj Act. The law says that “chairman of the Board shall be nominated by the Government from amongst the members of the District Planning and Development Board”.
It also sets term of five years for chairmen as well as vice-chairmen of the Boards from the date of their election and adds that chairmen can be removed only if two-third members vote in favour of no-confidence motion moved to oust him/her.
The Bill - which has few similarities with 73rd amendment of the constitution of India - comes at a time when the ruling allies – National Conference and Congress - have locked horns over empowerment of Panchayats with latter seeking incorporation of 73rd amendment of constitution of India, but former is opposing it tooth and nail.
The amendment also pushes for the appointment of State Finance Commission (SFC) on the pattern of constituting State Information Commission to “limit the role of government in financial matters of Panchayats”. Besides, it makes mandatory that recommendations made by SFC over revenue generation and other financial matters of Panchayats should be put forth before legislature.
The PDP Bill also suggests for appointment of election commission for conduct of Panchayat elections on the lines of appointment of SIC.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, PDP spokesman, Naeem Akthar said that the move is aimed at having genuine elected three-tier system as is prevalent in many other states with good results.
“It means doing away with nominations at any level and limiting government interference in Panchayats,” he said, adding “We expect support of like-minded parties over the amendment.”
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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