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Constitution of local bodies would empower people at grass root level: Harsh
8/21/2018 11:47:17 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Aug 21: Hailing the Governor for initiating the much awaited exercise for holding of local bodies polls in the state, Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and Former Minister today urged upon the Panthers Party leadership to reach out to the masses so as to ensure maximum participation of the public in the said elections. He said that democratic decentralization was the soul of a healthy and vibrant democracy which aimed at providing local self government at the grass root level.
He said that the Governor had broken the Jinx by issuing categorical instructions to the authorities concerned to hold preparations for the said elections proposed to be held in September-October which was being appreciated across the board by various organizations and civil society. He was addressing a meeting of Panthers Party office bearers and workers in Jammu Party Headquarters today.
Lambasting the previous coalition governments for having caused colossal loss to the state in terms of funding for state local bodies, Singh pointed that the 14th Finance Commission had announced an award of 4161 crore for the state, which included 3117.36 crore for Rural local bodies and 1044.51 crore for Urban local bodies with a precondition that funds would be released only if elected local bodies were constituted in the state. He regretted that around 80% of the said funds had already got lapsed in view of the duration of 14th Finance Commission commencing from April 1, 2015 and ending on 31st March, 2020. He deplored that the lackadaisical approach of the govt. and the dirty politics played by coalition partners by postponing elections for political reasons had deprived the general masses and prospective beneficiaries of the benefits envisaged for them under various GoI schemes.
He said that non holding of elections for so long had further deprived the state of 'Performance Grant' of Rs. 607 crore for five years starting from April 1, 2015 which had been assured by the 14th Finance Commission as additional grant in case the State fulfilled the benchmarks stipulated by it.
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