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Efforts on to realize vision of gram swaraj in JK: LG

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Sinha addresses 20K panchayat representatives

Jammu: Stating that the Jammu and Kashmir government was making all efforts for strengthening the Panchayati Raj Institution (PRIs) in the Union Territory, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha today asserted that the government was working on a mission to empower a more effective system to realize the vision of Gram Swaraj.

Sinha addressed 20,000 Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members from across the Union Territory during a virtual PRI Conference organized by the department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in collaboration with Institute of Management, Public administration and Rural Development (IMPARD), J&K at the civil secretariat here, a government press release said.

The press release further said that a 100-point programme was finalized for ‘Gram Swaraj Month’ which will mainly focus on rural infrastructure, good governance, livelihood generation, financial inclusion, youth empowerment, environment protection and women empowerment.

Terming the PRIs as the foundation of rural construction and development programmes, Sinha said in governance, from policy to service delivery, PRIs act as the living cell of the system. “By strengthening the PRIs, we are empowering a more effective system to truly realize the vision of Gram Swaraj.”

Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor termed the Panchayati Raj Institutions as the foundation of rural construction and development programmes.

“In governance, from policy to service delivery, PRIs act as the living cell of the system. By strengthening the PRIs, we are empowering a more effective system to truly realize the vision of Gram Swaraj”, the Lt Governor said adding that under the guidance of  Prime Minister Modi, the UT government was strengthening the roots of PRIs to build an inclusive society.

“Our effort is to remove the gap between rural and urban, so that prosperity reaches the home and heart of every citizen of J&K”, the Lt Governor added.

While appreciating the initiative taken to bring the PRIs on a common platform, the Lt Governor said that the unprecedented participation of PRI representatives reflects the untiring efforts of the government to make Panchayati Raj Institutions more empowered, participatory and vibrant.

The Lt Governor observed that the effective devolution of three Fs- funds, functions and functionaries has established the centrality of Panchayats in governance and implementation of public welfare schemes.

It will bring effective social and economic empowerment, besides ensuring that the benefits of rapid economic growth actually reach the last person in the queue, he further added.

A historical decision was taken to involve PRIs to formulate District Capex Budget to effectively plan and carry out development works. Funds are also being provided to the PRIs to evolve their development schemes as per the needs of local population, observed the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor said that special efforts are being made to ensure smooth functioning of offices of PRIs. Recently, 1889 Panchayat Accounts Assistants have also been recruited.

“On average, about Rs 1.47 crore has been given to each panchayat for developmental works, besides in this year’s record budget of Rs 1.13 lakh crores for J&K, an amount of Rs 1000 crore has been allocated to all panchayats, Rs 200 crore for Development Fund for 20 District Development Councils (Rs 10 crore for each DDC) and Rs 71.25 crore for Block Development Councils (Rs 25 lakh each). Apart from this, Rs 313 crore has also been given to local bodies and about Rs 1727 crore has been given to all panchayats under MGNREGA, 14th Finance Commission, Mid Day Meal and Integrated Child Development Scheme”, he added.

Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department; Vivek Bhardwaj, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor, Administrative Secretaries, HoDs, senior officials also attended the Conference, in person and through virtual mode. (With inputs from PTI)

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