With the Jammu and Kashmir government contemplating to conduct panchayat elections soon, the Legislative Assembly today passed a bill to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, state Panchayati Raj minister Abdul Haq said.
Explaining the reasons to amend the Act, he said the government is contemplating to conduct elections to Panchayati Raj institutions shortly as the polls could not be held in 2016 due to law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley then.
The State Election Commission which has been empowered inter alia to determine and delimit the Halqa Panchayats in terms of the Act could not be constituted due to various reasons, Haq said.
In view of the 2011 census and delimitation of various administrative units, there is a requirement to determine and delimit Halqa Panchayats, for which the power lies with the State Election Commission which is not in place, he said.
"Accordingly, a need had arisen to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 so that the desired objective could be achieved," the minister said.
The bill aims to amend the Act to provide that till the State Election Commission is constituted, the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for and the conduct of, all elections as well as the powers to delimit and determine the Halqa Panchayats in accordance with this Act shall vest in the Chief Electoral Officer.
MLAs Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mubarak Gul, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Rajiv Jasrotia, G M Saroori participated in the debate and suggested constitution of a joint select committee to examine the bill.
The house also passed a bill to provide for formation of a state road safety council and establishment of Road Safety Fund for implementation of road safety programmes in the state and related matters.
The bill was introduced by Minister of State for Transport Sunil Sharma, and the House passed the bill through voice vote.
Explaining the objectives of the bill, the minister said with the advancement of mode of transportation, the number of accidents, fatalities and injuries caused due to use of motor vehicles has increased.
The state government is committed to provide safe and accountable transport management system to its people, He said, adding the bill provides for constitution of the State Road Safety Council and establishment of Road Safety Fund for implementation of road safety programmes.
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