STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the adoption of a Home Ministry order modifying the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, that will strengthen local bodies with a three-tier power structure that will be directly elected by the people in the UT as in other parts of the country.Lt Governor Manoj Sinha expresses gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Government for approving full application of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment 1992 to the UT of J&K. Sinha terms decision as a watershed moment in the history of J&K paving way for the establishment of all three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions and strengthening the grassroots democracy.“There will be early elections in Jammu and Kashmir in all the three tiers of panchayat, block and district level and people will elect their representatives soon.
Cabinet approves ‘Market Intervention Scheme’ for procurement of apples New Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the extension of a scheme under which cooperative NAFED will procure 12 lakh tonne apple in Jammu and Kashmir during the current 2020-21 season.LG Manoj Sinha terms the decision as a great relief for apple growers, vows to take forward horticulture sector in J&K. Sinha thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Cabinet for approving Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of apples in the Union Territory. The move will ensure optimum prices to the Apple farmers and give necessary fillip to the economy.National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has also been allowed to use the government guarantee of Rs 2,500 crore for this operation. The losses, if any, will be shared between the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government on a 50:50 basis. A decision in this regard was taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Union Cabinet approved the extension of Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for apple procurement in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for the current season also i.e. 2020-21 on the same terms and condition as was done in J&K during last season 2019-20,” an official statement said.About 12 lakh tonne apple can be procured under this scheme directly from apple growers of Jammu and Kashmir, and the payment will be made through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) into their bank account, it added.This will provide an effective marketing platform for apple growers and will facilitate the employment generation for the local people. It will ensure remunerative prices for apple, resulting in the overall income enhancement of farmers in J&K, the statement said.According to the government, procurement will be undertaken by the central procuring agency NAFED through the state-designated agency Directorate of Planning and Marketing, Department of Horticulture, and Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Processing and Marketing Corporation (JKHPMC).The constituted Designated Price Committee of last season will be continued for the fixation of the price of various varieties and grades of apples for this season also. The Union Territory administration of J&K will ensure the provision of basic amenities in the designated mandis.Smooth and continuous implementation of the procurement process will be monitored by the constituted Monitoring Committee under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary at the central level and constituted implementation and Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary at the UT level, it added.
They did not have the opportunity to elect their local representatives. The power to elect will now be with the people,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said while briefing the press after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The three-tier system was not available in Jammu and Kashmir in the “pre-370 period” but now it will be established in the Union Territory like in other parts of the country, Javadekar said, referring to Article 370 of the Constitution that was abrogated last year.
Announces Rs 3,737 Cr bonus for central employees
New Delhi: The government on Wednesday decided to give Rs 3,737 crore bonus to 30.67 lakh central government employees to encourage spending during the festival season and add to demand in the economy. The decision to give a productivity-linked bonus and non-productivity-linked bonus for 2019-2020 was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar told reporters.The bonus ahead of Vijayadashami and Diwali will encourage the middle-class to go out and spend and thus add to the demand in the economy, he said.The bonus will be disbursed in a week’s time.“Payment of Bonus to non-gazetted employees for their performance in the preceding year is usually made before Durga Puja/Dussehra season. The Government is announcing the Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) and ad hoc bonus for its non-gazetted employees to be disbursed immediately,” a press release said.The Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) for the year 2019-2020, having financial implications of Rs 2,791 crore, will benefit 16.97 lakh non-gazetted employees of commercial establishments like Railways, Posts, Defence, EPFO, ESIC, among others.Non-PLB or ad-hoc Bonus, which is given to non-gazetted central government employees, will benefit 13.70 lakh staff. It will cost the exchequer Rs 946 crore.A total of 30.67 lakh employees would be benefited from the bonus announcement and the total financial implication will be Rs 3,737 crore, the release said.
The article gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.The Home Ministry had issued the executive order under which District Development Councils (DDC) will be set up. The DDC along with the other two bodies — the Halqa Panchayats and the Block Development Councils (BDCs) — will complete the three-tier structure in Jammu and Kashmir.
‘Halqa’ means the area comprising a village or contiguous number of villages determined by the government.“After the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, various laws are being implemented there. The three-tier Panchayat system is now operative in Jammu and Kashmir, which was not there earlier,” Javadekar said.He said the power to manage local bodies will go to the people, who will now elect their local representatives and will be able to do district and block level planning, besides implementing various welfare schemes.The promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jammu and Kashmir and Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament now stands redeemed, he told reporters at a press conference.The minister also said that planning at the district level and economic relief would be provided in Jammu and Kashmir.As per the executive order, every DDC shall consist of the directly elected members from territorial constituencies in the district and chairpersons of all Block Development Councils of the district. Once assembly elections are held, members of the Legislative Assembly whose constituencies lie within the district will also be DDC members.Terming the Union Cabinet’s approval of adaptation of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act,1989 as a watershed moment in the history of Union Territory, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for paving way for the establishment of all three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions and strengthening the grassroots democracy thereby giving further fillip to the developmental agenda centered around peoples’ welfare.The Government of India has fully applied the 73rd Constitutional Amendment 1992 to the UT of J&K which was pending for the last 28 years. With this, all three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions shall be formed for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.The Lt Governor observed that a major and final legal requirement towards strengthening the grass-root democracy and the bottom-up approach towards planning and execution has been fulfilled and the historic step shall result in direct representation of people in the district level body through direct elections to 14 seats in the District Development Council.‘A proper system of checks and balances through membership of directly elected members, Block Development Council chairpersons and MLAs in the District Development Council which will ensure that the most genuine demands and needs of people are met’, he added.After the adaptation of J&K Panchayati Raj Act,1989, every district will have a District Development Council having jurisdiction over the entire district excluding Municipal areas. Every District Development Council will now have 14 directly elected members’ i.e 280 directly elected BDC members in the whole UT. Every District Development Council shall consist of the directly elected members, the Chairpersons of all BDCs and members of the Legislative assembly from the district.Moreover, any person whose name is included in the electoral of any Halqa Panchayat of the district can nominate himself as a candidate for election to District Development Council.After this development, every District Development Council will now have a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson who shall be elected by directly elected members of BDC. Further, there shall be reservations for SC/ST amongst the directly elected members on the basis of the proportion of the population. One-third of seats under direct election will be reserved for women.Further, five Standing Committees, one each for Finance, Development, Public Works, Health and Education, and Welfare will now be constituted in every District Development Council.The ADDC will be the Chief Executive Officer of the District Development Council. The DDC will be responsible for the formulation of development programmes and speedy development and economic upliftment of the area of the district under its authority. The DDC will review the progress and achievements of development plans and schemes in the district. Ensuring adequate legal backing to devolution of functions to the DDC, specific functions will be assigned to DDC in schedule III of the Act. The DDC will also supervise the functioning of Panchayat Halqas and BDC and will receive and consolidate their plans at the district level.Pertinently, the Government of J&K has also notified the rules for the constitution of the DDC and the process of delimitation of constituencies for DDC has already been set in motion in all the 20 districts.
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