Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said his government will transfer maximum
powers to newly elected grassroot-level representatives for
establishing an effective Panchayati Raj in the state.
A committee of high-ranking officers headed by the Chief
Secretary is working out transfer of functions, funds and
functionaries to Panchayats, Omar said while interacting
with the newly-elected sarpachs and panchs in Beerwah area of
Budgam district, 40 kms from here.
He said the report of the committee is in the last stage
The Chief Minister said holding panchayat elections in
the state after 33 years was a "historic" decision of far-
reaching consequences on the development and social fronts.
"The establishment of democratic institutions at lower
level would on one hand strengthen democracy in the state
and on the other help to empower people to take decisions
about the development aspects by themselves and be important
part in planning process," he said.
Omar said panchayats would prove an effective tool to
keep an eye on the work and reduce chances of corruption.
"By holding panchayat elections, I aim at shifting powers
from the central level to public representatives at grass
roots so that they could themselves decide about the launch of
area-specific development work in their areas according to
public requirement and preference. This cannot be achieved at
the secretariat level," he added.
"You have all the more responsibilities towards the
society and the voters who have elected you by taking part in
large numbers in the elections," he said adding every voter
will keenly watch their conduct and service.