Saturday, February 4, 2012

J&K govt looks towards Himachal

Jammu and Kashmir government, even as its sits on the horns of dilemma over 73rd constitutional amendment act, has decided to take a cue from states which have already extended this act and have been ranked among the model states. Interestingly, it looks towards a BJP-ruled state for inspiration.

For the purpose, a seven-member committee has been constituted to study the functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions and mechanism put in place for flow of funds to these institutions in Himachal Pradesh. The committee has been constituted as per the directions of Planning and development department, whose minister incharge is the Chief Minister Omar himself.

Notably Himachal was among those eight states where 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act was first extended in their tribal areas in 1996 after the Constitutional (73rd Amendment) Act 1992 came into force to provide constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions on April 24, 1993.

The incorporation of 73rd constitutional amendment in J&K Panchayati Raj Act is a major bone of contention between the alliance partners National Conference and Congress. While the latter (mainly JKPCC president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz) is asserting itself for its incorporation in J&K Panchayati Raj Act, NC has minced no words in conveying its disinterest for the same. For the purpose, the coalition government even constituted a cabinet sub-committee headed by the Chief Secretary whose recommendations are already out yet the issue is still far from being resolved. 

The 73rd Constitutional amendment Act aims to provide a 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj for all states having population of over 2 million, to hold Panchayat elections regularly every 5 years, to provide reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women, to appoint a State Finance Commission to make recommendations as regards the financial powers of the Panchayats and to constitute District Planning Committee to prepare draft development plan for the district.

The 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj consists of village-level panchayats, block-level panchayats and district-level panchayats.

Powers and responsibilities are delegated to panchayats at the appropriate level. Among the powers and responsibilities included the preparation of plan for economic development and social justice, implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice in relation to 29 subjects given in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.

They can levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, toll and fees.

Under the Act, Gram Sabha has been vested with powers for ownership of minor forest produce, development plans approval, selection of beneficiaries under various programmes, consultation on land acquisition, management of minor water bodies

control of mineral leases. It can regulate/prohibit sale of intoxicants, prevent alienation of land and restore unlawfully alienated land of STs, manage village markets, control money lending to STs, control institutions and functionaries in all social sectors.

As per the Government order No 159-GAD of 2012 dated February 2, 2012, the sanction was accorded to the constitution of Committee comprising Commissioner/Secretary to government, Rural Development Department, Director Area Planning, Planning & Development Department, Additional Secretary to government, Rural Development Department, Joint Director (AP), Planning & Development Department, Joint Director (Coord), Planning & Development Department, Deputy Director Budget, Finance Department and Member Secretary, MGNREGA, Rural Development Department to study the functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions and mechanism put in place for flow of funds to these institutions.

As per the order, the committee members will visit Himachal Pradesh in the first week of February 2012 for a period of 4 days and submit a report to the Government in the Planning and Development Department.

No comments:

Post a Comment