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SAC approves honorarium for sarpanchs, panchs

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Approves new law for election of ULB chiefs through secret ballot

Jammu, Oct 31: The State Administrative Council (SAC) Wednesday approved honorarium for sarpanchs and panchs to be elected in the ensuing Panchayat election.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Governor Satya Pal Malik, an official spokesman said.

To compensate sarpanchs and panchs for the onerous responsibilities to be discharged by them under the new Panchayati Raj System being put in place in the state, the SAC decided to pay them honorarium as a token of encouragement, he said.

The spokesman said the sarpanchs will be paid a monthly honorarium of Rs 2,500 and the panchs Rs 1,000.

The meeting was attended by Advisors to Governor B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai and Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, he said.

Panchayat election would be held in the state between November 17 and December 11 in nine phases on non-party basis. Around 4,500 panchayat halqas in over 35,000 panchayat constituencies will be elected by over 58 lakh electors.

SACalso approved “The Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018” paving the way for election of Mayors and Deputy Mayors of the Municipal Corporations and Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Municipal Councils/Municipal Committees through secret ballot.

The decision has been taken to remove the anomalies between the provisions of the Municipal Acts, after their amendments through the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2010 and relevant Regulations/By-laws framed in the year 2005 under the original Act of 2000, an official spokesperson said.

Congress expresses reservations

Srinagar, Oct 31: Reacting to the Municipal Laws Amendment Bill 2018, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) today hit out at the government for bringing new amendment saying that the new Municipal Law should have come into force before holding ULB elections.

Though new amendment is not going to make any big difference, but it is indicative of something that has been drawn in hurry, the JKPCC spokesman said adding that since the Assembly stands intact, the bill should be debated so that parties know its pros and cons.

In a statement here, the JKPCC spokesperson expressed surprise over the Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018 paving the way for elections of Mayors and Deputy Mayors of the Municipal Corporations through secret ballot and said the government should have brought the amendment before holding of ULB elections.

“What is the fun of introducing new amendment at this point when the elections to ULB were conducted as per the existing laws?” he questioned.

“The process of elections to the ULBs has been completed; what was the need for bringing the new amendment at this time” — spokesperson said, and sought an explanation from the government.

Although the new amendment will not affect the prospects of the Congress in the upcoming elections in Srinagar Municipal Corporation, but bringing amendment at this time is highly objectionable, the party said while emphasizing that the elections to Mayor etc should be conducted as per the existing law.

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