Describing establishment of Panchayat Raj in the State a historic measure to strengthen democratic institutions from grass roots and empower people to draw blue prints of development and be important part in the process of progress, Chief Minster, Omar Abdullah Friday reaffirmed his endeavour for a vibrant, delivering and empowered Panchayat in the State. He said fully empowered Panchayat System in the State is his goal.
“My government rejuvenated Panchayats in the State by holding elections after a gap of over 30 years even though speculations and suspicions were floated by many in this regard when we decided to hold Panchayat polls. We went ahead and today the Panchayat Raj in the State is a reality”, he said and added that a three-tier and fully empowered Panchayat system ruling the roast in the State will also be a reality.
The Chief Minister was speaking to a group of Sarpanches and Panches who called on him here this morning and discussed issues relating to the strengthening of Panchayats and expanding their orbit of activities.
The Chief Minister said that services and powers from 14 important departments have been transferred to Panchayats as recommended by the high powered committee chaired by the then Chief Secretary. He said the transfer of further powers to Panchayats through Legislation is also in offing. “We have taken so many decisions for ensuring welfare of the Panchayat Members”, he added and said that handholding of Sarpanches and Panches by his government would continue.
Omar Abdullah told Sarpanches and Panches to exercise the powers entrusted to them in best of their capacity and help in upgrading the service delivery of various important services in the rural areas. He asked them to monitor works and make public aware of the powers given by the coalition government to them to ask questions to the government departments regarding their performance on development front, status and nature of expending funds and allotting works besides other matters.
“You should also make people aware of the benefits of utilizing powers the government has equipped the people under the Public Services Guarantee Act where under service delivery of about 80 important public services in 13 departments have been made time bound”, he said adding that the initiatives taken by the government to give good-governance and involve people in scanning administration and checking corruption need to be made fully public by the Panchayat Members.