Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said Panchayats are the best tool to curb corruption and ensure transparency.
"We have reconstituted Accountability Commission and constituted Vigilance Commission to tackle corruption but the best tool in this regard are Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs)," Omar said addressing a public meeting after e-inauguration of 200 Panchayat ghars at Kijpora in Kangan area of Ganderbal District.
Omar also announced Rs 70 crores financial grants to Panchayat institutions for undertaking various development works in their Halqas.
The Chief Minister said many speculations and anti- Panchayat poll propaganda was let loose by the main Opposition to derail the process of establishing powerful Panchayat system in the state.
He said the PDP leadership piloted and passed a Bill in the Legislature aimed at dissolving the then Panchayats in the state prematurely.
"But we met the Governor of that time Gen S K Sinha and made him to send the bill back without giving his assent as it was totally undemocratic and authoritarian," he said.
Taking a dig at PDP for crying hoarse on the issue of corruption, the Chief Minister said the party is gathering all corruption charge-sheeted lot in its basket.
"Actions of every individual and party reveal its agenda and real face. On one hand, they (PDP leadership) are giving sermons on corruption and on the other hand bringing all elements with corruption charges into their fold," he added.
Omar said the detractors of his government are out to
defame his government and diminish the huge achievements registered during the last five and a half years by circulating false propaganda and machination.
"The thousands of macro, medium and micro schemes founded and completed by the present government within the last five and a half years, itself speak loud and clear for the work done and performance of the government", he said.
The Chief Minister said he would be fully satisfied to see all the tiers of Panchayat system working at Halqa, block and district levels.
"We tried our best to constitute Block Panchayats, election notification for the purpose was issued alongwith date sheet, but unfortunately hurdles were created and the process got thwarted," he said.
Omar advised the Panchayat members to exercise the powers of ensuring service deliveries of public services besides monitoring the functioning of Schools, Aganwari Centres, Ration Depots, etc.
"You should devote equal attention towards this aspect besides financial spending on development works in your halqa Panchayat," he said.
The Chief Minister also asked them to spend the Rs 70 crores announced by him as soon as possible judiciously and transparently. "I prefer its utilization well in time and we will release another installment," he said.
Omar referred to the improvement in the law and order and peace situation in last five and a half years and said that more than 10 lakh visitors have visited the Valley this year so far against seven lakh during the last year in the same period.