STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: The State Administrative Council (SAC) on Wednesday set into motion the process for holding elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in the State.
The SAC, which met here under Governor N. N Vohra, directed the Housing and Urban Development Department to initiate the process of holding elections to Municipal Bodies (Municipal Corporations/ Municipal Councils/ Municipal Committees) across the State in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K.
The SAC observed that as per Section 282(1) of the J&K Municipal Act, 2000 and Section 9(1) of the J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K is charged with the responsibility of superintendence, directions and control of preparation of electoral rolls, determination of wards, etc.
The SAC directed the Housing and Urban Development Department to initiate the required steps in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer, including preparation and updation of electoral rolls for holding of elections to all the Municipal Institutions in the State.
By another major decision, the SAC approved roll-out of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM) in the State.
The flagship scheme is aimed at providing assured health coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation for 1,350 identified diseases through a cashless procedure with the help of a smart health card with unique ID, which would be issued to the beneficiaries.
The healthcare services will be delivered through a network of public and private healthcare providers. In the State of J&K 6,13,648 families comprising 36 lakh beneficiaries, which is about 29 per cent of the total population, would be covered under the Scheme.
In order to implement the Scheme effectively, a State Health Agency has been constituted with a Governing Council under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary. Similarly, an Executive Committee has been constituted for proper implementation of the Mission under the chairmanship of a Chief Executive Officer, who would be assisted by various health experts from the field of health insurance. All Government Hospitals would be automatically empanelled and private hospitals would have to get empanelled to act as healthcare providers. Every Private and Public Hospital will have “Ayushman Mitra” who will act as a facilitator for admission and processing the claims of beneficiaries of the Mission.
The salient features of PMRSSM include, cashless and paperless scheme which provides access to services in any public and private empanelled hospitals across India; there will be no cap on Family Size so as to ensure all members of designated families, specifically girl child and senior citizens, get coverage; the main feature of the scheme is its portability which means beneficiary can avail treatment in any empanelled chain of hospitals, both public and private, in the country; for all beneficiaries, a health card with a unique ID will be provided.
The main aim of the Mission is to cut down out of pocket expenditure of the population in SECC categories, which eventually will raise the Standard of Living of their families by way of savings on medical expenditure and leaving it for expenditure on health, nutrition and education.
The SAC also deliberated upon various proposals submitted by Administrative departments for its consideration and approval.
In an important decision having far reaching benefits for the entrepreneurs of State in general and youth in particular, the SAC approved exemption of turnover and experience conditions for all State Start-ups and Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) registered in Jammu and Kashmir including price preference of 20 per cent for public procurement by Government Departments and Organisations.
The decision aims at creation of a favourable ecosystem for the State Start-ups and MSE Sector by enabling them to participate in the tendering process of all State Government Departments and agencies on an equal platform vis-à-vis experienced entrepreneurs and companies without worrying for turnover and experience qualifications.
The decision would help generate large scale employment opportunities among skilled and budding entrepreneurs of the State.
The SAC also approved the Bill titled “The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety (Amendment) Bill, 2018”, contemplating massive up-gradation of infrastructure, particularly for improving the living conditions of the jail inmates.
In this context, reference was made to a Public Interest Litigation, pending before the Supreme Court of India regarding inhuman conditions in 1,382 prisons and relating to various reformative measures for prisons. The Apex Court has, from time to time, passed several directions to the Union and the State Governments vis-à-vis overcrowding of prisons, inadequacy of staff and poor living conditions for the inmates.
Taking note of the directions passed by the Supreme Court, the SAC emphasised the need for massive up-gradation of jails at Jammu, Udhampur, Anantnag, Kupwara and Central Jail Srinagar.
The SAC accorded approval to the establishment of Medical Block at Zainapora in District Shopian along with the creation of seven posts of various categories for the block including one post each of BMO, Health Educator, Accounts Assistant and Senior Assistant, two posts of Basic Health Worker and one post of Driver.
With the establishment of BMO Office at Zainapora, the monitoring/supervision of healthcare facilities in the area would be done in an effective manner. The area has two Primary Health Centers, 24 Sub Centers, five New Type PHCs and four Medical Aid Centres.
Earlier these health facilities came under the Medical Block Shopian and the general public had to travel a long distance of about 22 km to get their healthcare issues resolved at the BMO office, Shopian. Now with the creation of new Medical Block at Zainapora, the public of the area would not have to travel long distances to reach the BMO Office for availing necessary facilities.
The SAC gave nod to the creation of 22 posts of Full Time Secretaries (Sub-Judge) and 22 posts of Steno-Typist I (with knowledge of Accounts) for 22 District Legal Services Authorities (DSLAs) of the State.
In yet another decision, the SAC approved the proposal for seeking of prior clearance/concurrence of the Finance Department before referring non-gazetted vacancies under direct recruitment quota to J&K Services Selection Board and other recruiting agencies, as the case may be.
While this measure will help to correctly appreciate the manpower requirement of various departments, it will also facilitate data capturing of the vacancy position in the departments and referrals made to the recruiting agency during a particular period, so as to avoid duplicity of referrals noticed in the past.
Advisors to the Governor, B B Vyas, Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai besides Chief Secretary, B.V.R Subrahmanyam attended the meeting.
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