Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu on Tuesday announced honorarium for the Chairpersons of Block Development Councils (BDC) across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Lt Governor said that the honorarium to be given to theBDC Chairpersons would be among the highest in the country. Further, they shallbe given their due protocol as per warrant of precedence. Requisite securityarrangements shall be put in place for the Chairpersons on the basis of threatperceptions, he added.
The Lt Governor made these announcements after inauguratingtwo-day Training Programme for the Chairpersons of BDCs at Convention Centrehere today. The training programme was organized to make the participantsunderstand their responsibilities while discharging their duties effectively.
During his address, the Lt Governor observed that the peopleof J&K have been truly empowered with the coming-up of elected Panchayatsand Block Development Councils. He said that the elected representatives have agreat opportunity to serve the people and make them aware about their rightsand responsibilities. He advised the participants to consider this trainingprogramme as a session of experience sharing and learning.
The Lt Governor announced that the District Planning andDevelopment Boards shall be constituted for decentralized planning anddevelopment. Besides, Zila Parishads elections shall also be conducted in duecourse of time. With this, the 3-tier structure of Panchayati Raj system willbe completed, he added.
The Lt Governor observed that the promotion and developmentof Panchayati Raj system is an instrument of vigorous local self government, tosecure the effective participation of people in the decision making process andfor overseeing the implementation of developmental programmes under variousschemes.
"Panchayats in J&K have had a glorious history and thevery first initiative on strengthening the grass root institution was taken in1935 with the promulgation of the Jammu and Kashmir Village PanchayatRegulation. J&K took a step forward by passing J&K Village PanchayatAct, 1958, before the Panchayat Raj system could be introduced in the wholecountry, which was replaced by J&K Panchayati Raj Act 1989 which aimed tohave sound institutional framework in the matter of self governance", the LtGovernor said.
Emphasizing on strengthening the Panchayati Raj system, theLt Governor observed that the Government of J&K has made sweepingamendments for the J&K Panchayati Raj Act 1989 in October 2018, which shallhave a far reaching effect on the empowerment of Panchayats. These amendmentsmake the Act comprehensive policy document which provides the vision, directionand powers to the Panchayati Raj system in the Union Territory, he added.
The Lt Governor also reiterated the Government's commitmentfor effectively implementing 73rd amendment for empowering Panchayati RajInstitutions (PRIs) that will further strengthen the democratic set up at thegrass-root level.
He said that the officers and officials at all levels arealso being sensitized about the new setup of the Panchayati Raj system fordeveloping an effective public delivery mechanism.
Underlining the importance of Block Development Councils ondevelopmental front, the Lt. Governor observed that the BDCs have a greaterrole to play as they are now shouldered with the responsibilities to take the developmentalprogrammes in rural areas to new heights. He said that an appropriate structureis being set up to clearly chalk-out the roles of BDCs and BDOs, so that thereis a better coordination among the officers and elected representatives.
He informed that the remuneration and protocol of theChairpersons of BDCs has been fixed at what is best in the country. This willencourage the BDC Chairpersons to be proactive and make the BDCs vibrantinstitutions, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Kewal Kumar Sharma, Advisor to theLieutenant Governor said that the Back to Village programme has got a greatresponse and feedback from elected Panchayats and the powers have been devolvedto the PRIs for meeting the public expectations.
Farooq Khan, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, said thatthe LG was instrumental in steering the rural development programmes inGujarat, a model being followed throughout the country, and therefore, theUnion Territory of J&K will immensely benefit from the expertise and visionof the Lt Governor.
BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, informed that the funds,functions and functionaries of maximum departments shall remain under thesupervision of PRIs. He further informed that around 2000 accountants shall berecruited soon for the elected Panchayats across J&K.
Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Rural Development and PanchayatiRaj delivered the welcome address before the inauguration of the trainingprogramme.
Arun Kumar Mehta, Financial Commissioner, Finance; AtalDulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education; AdministrativeSecretaries; resource persons from various regions and senior functionaries ofseveral departments were present on the occasion.