Panchayat Related Machinery Overhauled In J&K

LG chairs administrative council meeting

Jammu: To further streamline the implementation of J&K Panchayati Raj Act and Rules, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday approved an overhaul of the field administrative machinery supporting Panchayats by rationalizing various categories of existing posts in the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the administrative council (AC) under the chairmanship of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha here, an official spokesman said.

As a result of the decision, every district would now have an assistant commissioner panchayat, a dedicated officer to look after the functioning of Panchayats and coordinate their activities, the spokesman said, adding the officer would report to the Chief Executive Officer of the District Development Council, recently constituted in the Union Territory.

He said the reorganization of the panchayats has become necessary keeping in view that the functioning of the department concerned has undergone a sea change after the Panchayat elections in 2018 with subsequent devolution of greater funds and functionaries and decentralization of planning and execution functions right down to the Panchayat level.

“The proposed overhaul in the administrative structure for Panchayats is aimed at strengthening the 3rd-tier of democracy through a cadre of trained professionals, as per the spirit of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act,” the spokesman said.

He said the decision would give way to a uniform structure of the officials performing the duties of secretary to Panchayats by re-designating the posts of village-level worker and gram sevika as Panchayat secretary.

Likewise, posts such as mukhya sevika, Panchayat supervisor, lady project officer, cooperative extension officer, plantation ranger, road roller operator, katib, and photographer, which have become redundant, will be utilized for the creation of posts in tandem with contemporary dynamics of the department, the spokesman said.

Further, to streamline the career progression of employees, the posts of Panchayat Inspector Grade I & Grade II will be merged into a single cadre of Panchayat Inspector.

Similarly, five different categories of class IV posts having similar functions and pay scale will be clubbed in a single category as orderlies to simplify the hierarchical structure, he said.

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