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    Jammu KashmirJ&K sacrificed funds worth Crores by not holding Panchyat Elections

    J&K sacrificed funds worth Crores by not holding Panchyat Elections


    J&K sacrificed funds worth Crores by not holding Panchyat Elections

    Srinagar, Jan 10 (KNS): With the 14th commission having linked funds in the various categories to be spent only through the elected Panchayats and Municipalities, The and is losing crores for the failure to hold Panchayat and Municipal elections.

    The officials said that holding of timely elections to the Urban Local Bodies will enable the State to derive maximum benefit from the 14th Finance Commission Award which provides about Rs 5480 crore for the decentralized democratic framework.

    Sources said that the Election Department (ED) has so far not received any official document from government to already overdue ULB polls. “Since the formation of the new government in the state, people are awaiting the announcement of the elections,”

    However Chief Electoral officer (CEO) Shantmanu on Tuesday told KNS over phone form Jammu that they have received governments call for the conduct of Panchayat elections. “We have not received any call for the conduct of ULB elections, but yes I can say that we have received the communication for conduct of Panchayat and parliamentary elections for Srinagar and Anantnag seat,” the CEO said.

    Sources told KNS that due to the non-conduct of polls, central Government withheld crores of rupees under various urban development schemes to be implemented through these elected self government units. “As much as Rs 3096 crores worth grants under the14th Finance Commission Award were proposed to be spent through the elected Panchayats, which had ceased to exist in Jammu and Kashmir last year in the event of delay in holding timely elections to them.

    Sources maintained that there has been an intentional inordinate delay in the conduct of local bodies elections even by the earlier government.

    The government sources confirmed that the ruling governments even in the past and present have shown no inclination to decentralize the power to the elected ULB members.

    A senior officer of government whishing anonymity said that the powers if percolated to the elected members would render the ministers and MLA's, MLC's powerless.

    There is growing resentment among people as both coalition partners had promised to hold the elections within months of forming the government to decentralize power and involve people in the decision-making process for development of cities and towns in J&K.

    “Recent controversial issues in the state have also made the government apprehensive of the outcome of the elections, if conducted at this time. The municipal elections are important to improve the conditions of people,” said a senior official of the Urban Development Department.

    There are 74 Municipal Committees, six Municipal Councils and two Municipal Corporations in J&K. The elections to these were last held in 2005 after 23 years.

    Incidentally, the last municipal elections were held in 2005 when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the Chief Minister and headed the coalition with the Congress.

    Non-constitution of the Urban Local Bodies has also enabled the government to rule and administer the urban areas by proxy in the absence of the grass-roots democratic institutions in the municipal areas.

    It is to mention here that the Governor N N Vohra during his term had directed the Election authorities to hold Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir in first week of May 2016.

    Sources said that the Governor was understood to have conveyed his decision on holding the Municipal elections in first week of May 2016 to election commission of . (KNS)

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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