No signal of Assembly polls, Centre floats new native stage govt in J&Ok: District council

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Written by Naveed Iqbal
| Srinagar |

October 18, 2020 4:45:58 am

Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah at a gathering on Thursday. WITH ALL senior political leaders together with Mehbooba Mufti launched, the Centre on Saturday amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, to facilitate the organising of District Development Councils (DDC), the members of which will likely be immediately elected by voters within the Union Territory.
Each district will likely be divided into 14 territorial constituencies for which elections will likely be held, and the winners will elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from amongst themselves. The councils will exchange the District Development Boards, whichearlier (when J&Ok was a state) have been chaired by a Cabinet Minister or a Minister of State and included MLAs, MLCs and Members of Parliament.
When J&Ok was a state, the DDBs have been the centrepiece of the planning and improvement structure, and all funding to districts have been routed by means of the event plan accepted by them. The sources for the plan have been drawn from the state Budget and likewise included allocations made beneath varied Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
Sources within the administration mentioned the notification for holding elections to the 14 territorial constituencies in every district could also be issued inside every week or 10 days.
A senior official within the Union Territory informed The Indian Express that this could empower the third tier of the federal government — the native our bodies, and was aimed toward deepening the political course of on the native stage. But another observers mentioned this primarily disempowered the second tier of the federal government (the state or UT) and means that Assembly elections within the UT might not occur anytime quickly.
While Omar Abdullah of National Conference mentioned the social gathering was nonetheless understanding the implications of the modification, senior PDP chief Naeem Akhtar mentioned this could spell the top of politics. “The aim is total depoliticisation so that there is no central collective voice. It is to cut to size the people of Jammu and Kashmir so that they don’t have a political voice. The aim is to sub-divide, overlap, create layer after later so that nobody would know who is in-charge. In such a scenario, the ultimate arbiter would be bureaucrat and the security set-up,” Akhtar mentioned. A senior NC chief, who didn’t want to be named, mentioned the choice would have far-reaching penalties, particularly in lowering the function of MLAs.
According to officers within the administration, it was vital to conceive a construction on the native stage to kick begin the political course of now that every one mainstream political leaders had been launched. “Some MLAs have indicated their willingness to contest the DDC elections,” mentioned an official, who didn’t want to be named.
Besides the 14 directly-elected representatives, the DDCs may also embody MLAs (as and when Assembly elections are held) and Chairpersons of Block Development Councils throughout the district.
The first step in direction of the structure of the DDCs would be the delimitation of the 14 constituencies. The Deputy Commissioners will likely be accountable for dividing the world throughout the jurisdiction of a DDC into 14 single-member territorial constituencies. There will likely be reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and girls in accordance with the provisions of the (Panchayati Raj) Act.
With the Halqa Panchayat as the essential unit, the district’s yearly and five-yearly improvement plans will likely be finalised by a 3 tier system of Gram Panchayats, Block Development Councils and the District Development Councils. The DDCs will obtain plans from Block Development Councils, and after scrutiny, ship them “for adherence to the Government guidelines, norms and rules” and submit the consolidated plan to the District Planning Committee.
The DDCs will likely be elected for a interval of 5 years and the Additional District Development Commissioner (ADCs) of the District shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the District Development Council. Each DDC will kind 5 standing committees: finance, improvement, public works, well being and schooling, and welfare.
Meanwhile, each district may also have a District Planning Committee, with Members of Parliament representing the world as chairpersons. The committee will comprise Members of Parliament representing the world, Members of the State Legislature representing the areas throughout the District, chairperson of the District Development Council of the District, chairpersons of the city space committees/municipal committees of the district; president of the municipal council/municipal company, if any; the district improvement commissioner; further district improvement commissioner; district statistics and analysis officer in addition to the chief planning officer.
This committee will, “take into account and information the formulation of improvement programmes for the district and point out priorities for varied schemes and take into account points regarding the speedy improvement and financial upliftment of the district. The committee’s powers may also embody formulation of periodic and annual plans and formulating and finalising the plan and non-plan price range for every district.
J&Ok can be set to carry by-polls for nearly 13,000 vacant panch and sarpanch seats in November. Of the 39,521 sarpanch/ panch constituencies in 4,483 Halqa Panchayats for which elections have been carried out in November-December 2018, 13,257 positions are presently vacant as a result of resignations, removals, election of sarpanchs as Block Development Council Chairpersons, deaths in addition to non-availability of candidates on the time of election.
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