Panchayats empowerment to boost development of villages: BJP

BJP leaders at a press conference at Jammu on Monday. -Excelsior/ Rakesh
BJP leaders at a press conference at Jammu on Monday. -Excelsior/ Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Oct 29: BJP State general secretary, Dr. Narinder Singh has complimented the people of the State for voting enmass in favour of his Party in the recently concluded Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections.
Talking to reporters here, today along with party State spokesperson, Brig (retd) Anil Gupta he said that the party is very much hopeful that the residents of the State will give same love to the party in upcoming Panchayat elections, though the elections are to be fought on non-party basis.
Dr. Singh further said that, the party also expressed its gratitude to the Governor, Satya Paul Malik for amending the Panchayati Raj Act to empower the Panchayats. He said that Panchayats empowerment will be a catalyst to boost development of villages in the State.
While explaining the empowerment of Panchayats, Brig. Anil Gupta said that it is based on 3 Fs as F-Funds, F-Functionaries and F-Functions.

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As of funds, Brig. Gupta explained that the Government of India has earmarked Rs 3209 crore for Panchayats, which will be given directly to the Panchayats and not through Government. He said that the allotment of funds is already made for 2019-2020 and announced in advance. He said that each Panchayat will have Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore for one year depending on the size of the Panchayat.
As of functionaries, Brig. Gupta said that additional 117 posts of Panchayat inspectors are created so that each block will have a Panchayat Inspector for better coordination between Panchayats and blocks. He said that Panchs and Sarpanchs will be elected through ballot directly to cement the public representation and thereafter, elections will be held to elect Block Samiti and Zila Parishad and Legislative Council directly.
Brig. Gupta said that implementation of State and Centrally sponsored welfare schemes like MGNREGA, PMAY, SBM will be ensured after Panchyats are constituted in the State. He said that the funds for all above schemes and mid-day meals will be routed through Panchayats. The Panchayats can levy local taxes and will exercise control over grazing grounds. They will monitor and have supervision of schools and health institutions within their jurisdiction. Panchayats will grant building permissions in rural areas and the revenue generated will be credited to the Panchayats. He also said that the Panchayats will conduct concurrent/ quarterly social audit of works/ programmes in their areas.