‘Rs 200 cr being spent on construction of 1,788 panchayat offices’

 Jammu: Government Monday said that Rs 200 crore is being spent on the construction of 1,788 panchayat offices along with the renovation of 2,300 existing ones.
Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Ali Mohd Sagar, shared the information while replying to a question by Congress member Sham Lal Bhagat in the J-K Legislative Council today.
The chief minister has provided a special fund of Rs 41 crore, at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per panchayat, for creation of assets while an additional Rs 11 crore, at Rs 2,500 per panchayat, has been given to them for furniture and fixtures.
Remuneration of Rs 2,000 per sarpanch and Rs 500 for the panches per sitting is being paid for a maximum of two monthly sittings, he said.
He further informed the House that the Centre was in the process of sanctioning a special scheme for strengthening the planning process and shall provide Rs 10 lakh for the same per panchayat for a period of five years.
Panchayats have been strengthened with the powers of 14 departments and a special window has been created as part of which funds under state budget for the various departments whose powers have been devolved are being given to the panchayats, he added.
He stated that tax collection powers are already envisaged under the J-K Panchayati Raj Act. However, the taxes can be collected only with the permission of the state government, he added, maintaining that the proposal was being considered by the government.
Supplementaries were also raised by Ali Mohd Dar, Jugal Kishore, Dr Shehnaz Ganai, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool and Jahangir Hussain Mir.

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