The state government has directed all block development officers (BDOs) to convene monthly meeting with panchs and sarpanchs with the involvement of the officials of the 14 departments for involvement of Panchayat Raj institutions (PRIs) at the grass root level.
The directions have been issued with an aim for devolution of power. Members of the PRI have been complaining that they are not been consulted in decision-making, and the officials often refused to even meet them.
Panchs and sarpanchs have been consistently demanding that provisions of 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendment, aimed at devolution of powers for panchayats and local bodies. National Conference (NC), the coalition partner, is reluctant though Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had said powers should be given to the PRIs.
The government had already notified devolution of powers of the 14 departments which would plan and carry out developmental and other activities in consultation with panchs and sarpanchs.
A circular issued on Monday said that monthly reports of meetings and achievements shall be furnished by the BDOs to the additional district development commissioner of the district concerned with a copy to the director, Panchayati Raj, Jammu and Kashmir.
The circular has come at a time when reports had suggested that both the coalition partners had reached an understanding on the implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendment. The Congress had already submitted its report to the government but till now no headway has been made.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also been critical of the government for not empowering the panchayats, for which elections were held after three decades in 2011.
73rd amendment calls of reservation for women, SC and ST in block development councils and elected head of the planning and development board.
The circular has also directed administrative secretaries of the 14 departments to take periodical reviews of the progress made under devolution of powers to the PRIs. The secretaries have also been directed to ensure that the devolution of funds is immediately made to the PRIs and their involvement in the implementation of developmental programmes of their respective departments be ensured.