Our Effort Is To Remove Rural-Urban Gap: J&K LG

Says Prosperity Should Reaches ‘Home And Heart’ Of Every Citizen Of J&K

Jammu- The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that his government is making efforts to remove the gap between rural and urban, so that prosperity reaches the “home and heart” of every citizen of the Union Territory.

Sinha made these remarks while addressing 20,000 PRI members from across the UT during a Virtual PRI Conference organized by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in collaboration with IMPARD, J&K at the Civil Secretariat, an official spokesperson said.

Speaking on the occasion, he said, the LG termed the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) 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 LG said.

According to the spokesperson, the LG expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for establishing a three-tier Panchayati Raj system in J&K and said that under the guidance of PM, his administration has been 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,” Sinha said.

While appreciating the initiative taken to bring the PRIs on a common platform, the LG, as per the spokesperson 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 LG, he said, also 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,” Sinha said.

“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,” he added.

The spokesperson said that the LG also maintained that special efforts are being made to ensure smooth functioning of offices of PRIs. He said that 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,” the LG said.

The LG, according to the spokesperson also called for invoking a renewed sense of Jan Bhagidari in the socio-economic development process to make villages of J&K AatmaNirbhar.

“A vibrant and productive agrarian economy is the foundation of high and sustained economic growth. As a watchdog of developmental activities, PRIs can help in making the governance more transparent and accountable to the citizens,” the LG said.

According to the spokesperson, the LG laid stress on continuous capacity building of the elected members and termed it a key aspect of better service delivery at the grass root level.

“Capacity building of elected PRIs will yield productive capacities of agriculture, rural employment, access to basic services like education, health, nutrition, safe drinking water supply, swachhata, social security & transforming rural J&K a business hub,” Sinha said.

The LG, according to the spokesperson further advised the District Administrations, DDCs, and Panchayats to replicate the best practices of others and make concerted efforts to meet the aspirations of people.

On the occasion, he said, a 100 point programme was also 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.

The spokesperson said that Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary said that the Sarpanches, Panches are the foremost priority of the administration. He hoped that the UT of J&K will lead by example for other UTs/ States in the Panchayati Raj system in the coming months.

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