Eradicate corrupt elements from Govt machinery: Guv

Eradicate corrupt elements from Govt machinery: Guv

25 January 2012
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: Governor N N Vohra today appealed to the leaders of all political parties, social, cultural and religious organisations and all other segments of society, in three regions of the State, to join hands for resolution of all remaining issues through dialogue and discussion. Greeting the people on the 63rd Republic Day, in a broadcast, the Governor observed that agitations and confrontations have already caused enormous human and economic losses and the recurring disruption of the educational system at all levels has done irreparable damage to the career prospects of our youth. He emphasised that development and growth can take place only in an environment of sustained peace and normalcy. The Governor said that the prolonged period of militancy adversely affected the development process and the generation of job opportunities which are required for absorbing the growing number of our qualified youth. Referring to the turmoil faced in the preceding three summers, he said that the spurt of economic activity during 2011 clearly demonstrated that progress can be achieved only when normalcy prevailed. He observed that the stable environment during the past year attracted nearly 1. 20 crore pilgrims and tourists to visit the State, including over 32, 000 foreigners. Mr Vohra observed that the disturbed situation in the State in the past years has adversely affected its growth and development and added that, nonetheless, the average annual growth rate and the year to year growth in tax collections have shown positive trends in the past four years. He said that the level of capital expenditure has also been progressively increasing and is of about ' 8,000 crore during the current financial year. Referring to other important developments which took place in the State during the preceding year, he said that after nearly three decades, elections to Panchayats were conducted in 2011. The very large turnout at these polls, ranging from 70% to 80% in most parts of the State, clearly demonstrated, yet once again, that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are yearning for peace and development, he added. He said that the Government has commenced the process of imparting training to over 33,000 Panches and Sarpanches and, side by side, of devolving powers, funds and the required staff to the Panchayats. 'The Panchayats should soon become fully functional and start monitoring the effective implementation of the schemes and programmes entrusted to them', he said. He added that the Government was committed to establishing Panchayati Raj Institutions in the State and it is presently engaged in finalising the time frame for the establishment of the middle and apex level structures of the three-tier Panchayati Raj framework. Mr Vohra said that the Government has also decided to conduct elections to the Urban Local Bodies in the next few months and, side by side, carry out the required institutional and taxation reforms to upgrade and rationalise the entire municipal administration framework in the State. He observed that with the establishment of Panchayati Raj, and corresponding devolutions in the municipal administration arena, shall lead to the democratic framework becoming functional at the grass-root level. 'This shall provide an opportunity to people living in the villages and towns to become involved in the planning and implementation of schemes and programmes which shall advance their interests and welfare,' he said, adding that the functioning of rural and urban self-governing bodies in all the three regions shall be truly a revolutionary landmark in the governance of the State. He also dwelt on the growth achieved by the State in various other sectors of development. The Governor said that the State Government has received significant funds for its Annual Plans, assistance under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme and, besides, financial and technical support under a broad spectrum of Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Among the latter schemes, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, National Rural Health Mission, National Rural Drinking Water Programme and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act provide the State an excellent opportunity of building infrastructure and extending services, enlarging education and generating the much needed employment opportunities. To achieve this objective, he said, all concerned departments and agencies must work with efficiency, speed and missionary zeal to draw the maximum possible benefit from the wide ranging Centrally funded schemes and programmes. Mr Vohra thanked the Government of India for its sustained interest in the early resolution of the various problems facing Jammu and Kashmir and for the abundant assistance which is being provided for rebuilding the State's economy and strengthening its infrastructure. He said that if the State administrative apparatus is to provide good governance and deal effectively with the obtaining problems and upcoming challenges it would be of vital importance to ensure transparency in functioning at all levels and complete accountability of both the elected and appointed elements of the Executive. 'All corrupt and unwholesome elements must be eradicated from the Governmental machinery, he added'. He said that for cleaning up the system it would be necessary to ensure that the various statutory bodies and commissions which are established to serve as the watchdogs of the right of information, human rights, vigilance, accountability and anti-corruption are manned by persons known for their proven competence and unimpeachable integrity. The Governor wished the people of the State a good health, happiness and prosperity in 2012. He also wished Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, and all members of his Council of Ministers, high success in their endeavours to build Jammu and Kashmir into a strong, cohesive and prosperous State.