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Jammu KashmirUncertainty looms over Urban Local Bodies polls

Uncertainty looms over Urban Local Bodies polls

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Uncertainty looms over Urban Local Bodies polls

JK loses Centre's grant worth crores of rupees

NL Correspondent

SRINAGAR: The and is losing centre's grant worth crores of rupees annually that the state is entitled to get only when the elected municipal bodies are in place.

The government is undecided over holding of urban local bodies elections in the state for the last many years.

“No decision has been taken over holding of municipal elections in the state. The government has to take the decision when the ULB elections are to be held then we will conduct them,” an official said.

A senior official of the Urban Local Bodies department said the state government has to take the decision when the elections are to be held in the state. “The ruling parties have to take the final call over it and the department can't do anything in that,” he said, wishing not to be quoted name.

In absence of the elected municipalities, the state is losing worth crores of rupees annually that the centre has earmarked for the J&K.

Sources said the elected municipalities in the state are to get around Rs 1300 crore from the centre as per the 14th Finance Commission Awards from 2015-2020.

Official sources said the ULBs were entitled for Rs 350 crores during  2016-17. These funds were not provided to the state over absence of elected municipalities. 

Similarly, the state is entitled for Rs over 250 crore during 2017-2018 if the elections are held in the current year. The grant has been pegged at Rs 315 crores during 2019-2020.

In the previous 13th Finance Commission, the state had lost around Rs 200 crore that were to be spent by ULBs.  The state was entitled for such funds only when elected municipality bodies are in place that had ceased to exist in March 2010. Since then the government has failed to hold these polls. 

Earlier, the ULB polls were held in J&K after a span of 23-years in January 2005. At that time there were 14.5 lakh voters for 76 ULBs. However, the civic polls could not be held since 2011 despite successive governments had set up several deadlines about holding the elections. The NC-Congress government had set October-November 2011 then April 2012 and later April 2013 as deadlines for holding the civic polls but failed to execute their own decision.

After coming into power, the Cabinet of PDP-BJP government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in 2015 gave the nod for holding civic polls in the state. Despite that the state failed to hold the municipal polls.

Since then, the uncertainty has been looming large over holding of civic polls in the state resulting lapse crores of central government funds.

Northlines
Northlines
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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