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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 12:09 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 12:09 AM (IST)

AJKPC:Panchayat Budget merely a superficial exercise

Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 12

A day after the PDP-BJP coalition presented the first-ever Panchayat Budget, the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) today came down heavily upon the state government for not making serious efforts to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

Talking to reporters here, AJKPC president Anil Sharma described the Panchayat Budget as a “joke” and a “superficial exercise” and said the announcements made in the Budget held no meaning as they did not serve the real purpose of giving autonomy to the panchayats.

The AJKPC president asked the Finance Minister to apprise the people of the amount sanctioned for each panchayat announced by him in the Budget speech.

“Though the Finance Minister has called for a provision of Rs 1,000 crore for the urban and rural local bodies, he has not clarified the amount allocated for the panchayats and urban local bodies, including the Jammu Municipal Corporation and the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, besides hundreds of municipal committees, councils and notified areas,” he said.

He further said, “There are over 4,100 panchayats in the state and the Finance Minister has proposed a meagre amount of Rs 10 crore for equipping them with broadband and computerisation.”

Sharma also asked the Finance Minister to explain the concept of ‘panchayat banks’ and said “it appears that this is a ploy to enhance the business of the troubled J&K Bank which because of its failure has been facing serious financial losses and has huge non-performing assets liability.”

He said Drabu in his Budget speech had announced the appointment of ombudsmen for panchayats. “This is so bizarre that till date in the state we had no institution of ombudsmen which is a prerequisite for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarentee Act,” he said.

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