Cabinet’s approval of adoption of J&K Panchayati Raj Act a watershed moment: LG

J&K LG Manoj Sinha

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said that the Union Cabinet’s approval of the adoption of J&K Panchayat Raj Act, 1989 is a watershed moment in the history of UT as a three-tier Panchayati Raj system will be put in place first time since 1947.

Pertinently, the Government of India has fully applied the 73rd Constitutional Amendment 1992 to the UT of J&K which was pending for the last 28 years. With this, all three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions shall be formed for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Lt Governor said that a major and final legal requirement towards strengthening the grass-roots level democracy and the bottom-up approach towards planning and execution has been fulfilled and the historic step shall result in direct representation of people in the district level body through direct elections to 14 seats in the District Development Council (DDC).

A proper system of checks and balances through membership of directly elected members, Block Development Council chairpersons and MLAs in the District Development Council will ensure that the most genuine demands and needs of people are met, the LG said in an official statement here.

“After the adaptation of J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, every district will have a District Development Council having jurisdiction over the entire district excluding Municipal areas. Every District Development Council will now have 14 directly elected members i.e., 280 directly elected BDC members in the whole UT. Every District Development Council shall consist of the directly elected members, the Chairpersons of all BDCs and members of the Legislative assembly from the district,” the LG said.

“Moreover, any person whose name is included in the electoral of any Halqa Panchayat of the district can nominate himself as a candidate for election to District Development Council,” the LG said.

After this development, every District Development Council will now have a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson who shall be elected by directly elected members of BDC. Further, there shall be reservations for SC/ST amongst the directly elected members on the basis of the proportion of the population. One-third of seats under direct election will be reserved for women,” LG Sinha added.