JAMMU, Jan 30: Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Abdul Haq Khan today said that process has been initiated for appointment of Ombudsman under MGNREGA and process for 2nd and 3rd tier of Panchayati Raj System will be initiated after Panchayat elections.
Replying to the question of BJP MLA from Kathua, Rajiv Jasrotia in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister said that vide Advertisement No. RD/FC/NREGA/2009-10-E-AF dated November 23, 2016 applications were invited from the eligible candidates for 11 posts and the candidates will be shortlisted for interview by the State Level Committee constituted vide Government Order No.857-GAD of 2016 dated August 5, 2016.
He, however, failed to specify any time-frame for completion of this vital exercise.
About the steps taken to extend various provisions of 73rd Constitutional Amendment pertaining to Panchayats to the State, the Minister said, “73rd Amendment is not applicable to J&K in view of special constitutional position enjoyed by the State. However, the J&K Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2014 has been enacted to bring in the broader features of the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution of India”.
Stating that Government was fully committed for holding Panchayat elections by March this year, the Minister said, “as soon as Panchayat elections are held, the process for 2nd and 3rd tier shall be initiated as both these tiers of Panchayati Raj System are co-terminus with the Panchayats”.
About establishment of Finance and Election Commissions, the provision for which is available under J&K Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2014, the Minister said, “we are committed to establish these Commissions”. He, however, failed to give any specific time-frame for initiating this important step.