JAMMU: All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC)-a frontline body of elected Panchayat members, on Friday urged the Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu to allow all Panchayat members for utilisation of Rs 5 lakh each from 14th Finance Commission funds to provide ration to needy and poor people in rural areas at present time of crisis.
“The funds for carrying out development activities under 14th Finance Commission are still lying with around 4,000 Panchayats across Jammu and Kashmir. In wake of prevailing crisis and ongoing lockdown due to coronavirus in rural areas, poor families and MGNREGA workers in villages are badly affected and need immediate help of the government,” Anil Sharma, J&K UT President of AJKPC said in a statement issued here.
Welcoming constitution of COVID-19 management committees, the AJKPC leader said that the Awareness and Monitoring Committees (AMCs) at block and Panchayat level would definitely bring desired results. “The Panchayat members should be given permission to utilize at least Rs 5 lakh out of available 14th Finance Commission in their respective Panchayats,” he added. “First, they should be given the task to identify needy families and MGNREGA workers who are worst affected due to current lockdown. After identification of these families, the Panchayat members may be allowed to purchase ration for a month including 15 Kg rice, 15 Kg Atta, 3 Kg pulses, oil, salt and other items for providing the same free of cost to needy people, during the lockdown. We are not asking for any new funds for the purpose but should be allowed to use available funds of 14th Finance Commission for the purpose,” the AJKPC leader said.
Sharma also informed that around 40,000 members of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference are actively working on ground level to strictly enforce the lockdown called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat COVID-19.