Govt says no to revision of backward villages list
J&K Government on Thursday declined to undertake revision of list of backward villages to exclude those villages which have witnessed development over the years and no longer need the benefits.
"If MLAS feel that some backward villages in their constituencies have witnessed development and should no longer be enjoying the benefits, let them forward the list to Government," said Minister for Social Welfare Sajad Lone, in the Legislative Assembly.
The State Commission for Backward Classes Act provides that the government may at any time, and shall at the expiration of 10 years and every succeeding period of 10 years, undertake revision of the list of the backward villages to exclude such villages from the list that have ceased to be backward classes or for including in the list new backward classes.
However the exercise has never been conducted ever since the Act was enacted in 1997 even as the number of backward villages has grown beyond 2500. "Nothing has happened till date which is in itself violation of the law," said CPI-M legislator MY Targami who had raised the issue to undertake the revision.
He was supported by National Conference member Mubarak Gul who argued that some villages continue to be in the list of backward villages for past 40 years.
He demanded the Government should undertake a fresh survey for exclusion of the existing villages and inclusion of new villages in the list.
The Minister, refused to undertake the fresh survey, however he put the onus on the MLAs to recommend the villages for exclusion from the backward category list.
The Government declares a village as backward on the recommendations of the J&K State Commission for Backward Classes which first assess the development scenario of the area on the basis of 52 indicators including its social and educational backwardness.
But the successive Governments have shelved the revision of the list of backward villages as the move is fraught with political ramifications.
Meanwhile, the Minister today assured the House that the Backward Classes Commission would be made functional within next one month. The Commission is headless from past two years after the retirement of its chairman Justice (retd) Ali Muhammad Mir.
"We are amending the law to increase the scope for appointing the Chairperson for the Commission," said the Minister.