STATE TIMES NEWSSrinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said there is no plan to reduce or scrap the honorarium of the representatives of panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies.“Such rumours are being spread by certain vested interests deliberately misleading elected representatives on the honorarium issue,” Sinha said at a programme in Baramulla district.The union territory administration on Saturday issued rules to implement 73rd Amendment of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir, giving rise to speculations that the government might do away with the honorarium being given to panchs and sarpanchs.Sinha also said that the UT administration is not imposing property tax as being misrepresented by some people.However, the urban local bodies are competent to decide on such issues in consultation with the public and for their own development, he added.Sinha said the adminstration has initiated the ‘my town, my pride’ programme with the prime agenda of empowering the urban local bodies by reaching out to the urban population with governance at their doorsteps and ensuring on the spot redressal of their issues and grievances.The two-day long programme, an initiative for the municipal areas, is being conducted on October 19-20, during which camps for public service delivery have been set up.The Lt Governor observed that public outreach in towns, strengthening grass-root democracy, and service delivery at doorsteps are the three main objectives of the initiative.The programme has not been launched to announce anything new but it is an opportunity to discuss and derive solutions to existing needs, issues and for effective delivery of services at every doorstep, he said.During the two days, many issues faced by the cities will come to light, which will thereby help create a definitive roadmap for developing a strong ecosystem for our cities, focussing on the urban-rural partnership, enhancing market and business opportunities, job creation, filling the gaps in education system and ensuring sustainable economic development of our cities, he added.The Lt Governor asked the officers to own the initiative, identify local issues and needs of the people, and serve people with accountable, responsive, and participatory governance.Synchronised efforts must be made for ensuring maximum saturation of social security and beneficiary-oriented schemes; besides ensuring speedy issuance of important documents, certificates; revenue services, and mobilisation of funds towards developmental activities as per the needs of the local population, he added.
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