In another historic step to financially empower the local self-government, the Administrative Council (AC), which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, approved the delegation of powers for granting administrative approval to three tiers of Panchayati Raj institutions in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Administrative Council approved the delegation of powers to Gram Panchayats, Block Samitis, and Zila Parishads for the execution of works, the expenditure of which will be met out of Panchayats' own resources.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K attended the meeting.
In order to promote the involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the development process, the Government has further empowered the Panchayati Raj Institutions financially. Sequel to this decision the Gram Panchayats have been vested with the authority to accord Administrative Approval to works from Rs 1-5 lakh, the Block Samitis have been delegated powers to accord Administrative Approval to works ranging from Rs 5-20 Lakh and the Zila Parishad now has the powers to accord administrative approval up to Rs 1 crore.
The PRIs will be able to incur expenditures as per General Financial Rules and guidelines related to AA, TS, and e-tendering.
The decision comes as a significant step towards empowering PRIs as it shall enable them to set their own priorities and help them in the timely execution of works out of their own resources of the panchayats.
In the backdrop of its mission to enhance the inclusive growth of rural areas in the Union Territory, the Government through this decision aims to promote self-reliance in financial matters.
Abrogation of Article 370 has empowered panchayats in J&K
Recently Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the abrogation of Article 370 has empowered grassroots democracy as the central funds for the development will now go directly to the panchayats.
With the abrogation of Article 370, the panchayats have been given autonomy and thus been empowered, he said. The Union Minister said that the decision to abrogate Article 370 has uplifted the morale of grassroots-level leaders in the state.
After setting up the three-tier PRIs in J&K, the grant issued by the central government is going directly to the Panchayats, resulting in balanced and equitable development in all regions and sub-regions of UT.