Bhalla for devolving more funds to Panchayats in J&K

Former Minister Raman Bhalla interacting with Panchayat members on Sunday.
Former Minister Raman Bhalla interacting with Panchayat members on Sunday.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 20: Former minister and JKPCC vice president Raman Bhalla has claimed that tall claims of growth made by the administration and Central authorities have so far turned out to be mere hoax. He sought a report card on growth after gathering reviews from the bottom and expose the tall claims made by the Central authorities for the previous seven years.
During interaction with Panchayat members from Jammu area today Bhalla countered government’s growth narrative on rural growth, which was propagated by way of Back to Villages Programmes which largely remained a publicity stunt and nothing concrete happened on the ground. For the previous few years, the administration has performed three B to V packages which were organized to divert consideration of individuals from the actual points, while there was no growth at villages and Panchayats members have been cheated once more underneath the garb of those packages.
Bhalla claimed that during these programmes, there was no implementation of packages or redressal of grievances on floor, regardless of spectacular participation of individuals. “Even present LG organized one such program, however the relevance of those packages is questionable as no determination taken is applied on floor. After which there’s large loss to exchequer to prepare such futile workouts,” he said.
Unfortunately, there has been no follow up to earlier B2V exercises, which has rendered this new phase a sheer mockery. Non-observance of the official commitments in the previous two rounds of B2V is widening the trust deficit between people and the officials. The absence of a robust redressal mechanism has therefore rendered the entire exercise ineffective,” he said.
Bhalla after receiving feedback of Sarpanchs and Panchs on the developmental issues concerning people blamed the Govt for failing to empower PRIs, besides addressing the rising unemployment, unprecedented price hike and many other issues of public importance, which were being ignored by the Govt.He regretted that nothing substantial was achieved, though many recommendations and directions were passed prioritizing issues at village for their resolution, but they met the same fate as other decisions taken in the past and present by the Govt.
Bhalla said the feedback received from the Sarpanchs and Panchs was disappointing. He blamed the Govt for undermining the authority of democratic institutions, which were directly connected with grass root and deserves to be strengthened further rather than weakening them on one pretext or the other, aiming to hide its (Govt’s) failures. Panchayats need to be allowed to function in a smooth manner, as they hold the key to development at grass roots, Bhalla added.