Financial Power Boost For J&K Local Bodies29 November 2011
Times of India
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir government will introduce a separate window 'Panchayat Sector' with every relevant developmental scheme from the next fiscal (2012-13) to give more financial powers to the local bodies. Administrative departments concerned will, however, ensure that the total expenditure incurred by departments and the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are within limit of the approved budget allocation during the current financial year, an official release issued by the Union home ministry said. Referring to the state's decision, it said: 'Starting with Financial Year 2012-13, a separate window titled - Panchayat Sector - with each of the relevant scheme of concerned Line Department will be opened. The guidelines also provides for auditing of the accounts of various tiers of PRIs by Examiner and Local Fund Audit Cell'. As part of the devolution of powers to the PRIs, the state government last Friday issued guidelines covering various aspects relating to pay and allowance of the transferred staff, funds related to transferred functions, financial rules and directions, guidelines or decisions of the government issued from time to time for the panchayats. It also issued directions for utilization of available budgetary provisions for 2011-12 and regulation of funds for 2012-13. The funds in the current fiscal will also not lapse, and will be moved to civil account. The same will be released only after receipt of Utilization Certificates (UCs), said the ministry. The state government had issued orders in September for devolution of functions and identification of activities to be carried out by each of the three tiers in PRI. Panchayat polls were held in J&K in June.