Giving in to the demand of panchs and sarpanchs, the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to provide stipend to them and also to insure them.
“We have taken up the issue with the Centre for funds. Whether the Centre accedes to the request or not, the state will make the provision in the next budget for providing stipend and insurance cover to panchayat members,” CM Omar Abdullah told a rally of panchayat members in Srinagar on Saturday. The move is likely cost the state Rs 100 crore, he added.
The nearly 35,000 panchs and sarpanchs elected in 2011 have been demanding security and monthly salary since the killing of two of them in north Kashmir prompted a spate of resignations.
Stressing that the success of the panchayat system is the success of his government, Omar said, “Jammu and Kashmir is a state which cannot be governed from the secretariat but by the grassroots level democratic institutions, as such we have moved forward with a commitment to create a powerful panchayat system. Omar said the state has transferred services of 14 departments to Panchayati Raj institutions.