Now, village committees to be consulted for preparing development plans

Now, village committees to be consulted for preparing development plans
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Srinagar: The state government has amended the Panchayati Raj Act to provide for consultation with the “halqa majlis” (village-level committee) before preparing a development plan for a panchayat.
The State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here last evening under the chairmanship of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, approved amendments to the Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 to provide for consultation with the “halqa majlis” before preparing a development plan for a panchayat, an official spokesman said here today.
He added that the decision was a step towards devolution of more powers to the people, who will be empowered to decide about their development requirements or area-specific activities.
Also, in order to provide continuity to the development of panchayats and in the absence of halqa panchayats, the amendment empowered the block development officer (BDO) concerned to collect fees or taxes already imposed by a halqa panchayat, the spokesman said.
He added that to facilitate the process of early panchayat polls in the state, the SAC approved an amendment proposed by the department of rural development and panchayati raj to exclude the “sarpanch” (village head) from the minimum and maximum number of “panch” in a panchayat, so that no fresh exercise of delimitation of panchayats was required to be undertaken.

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