Union Cabinet approves adoption of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act

On October 21, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the adoption of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj act.

Key highlights

The adoption of Panchayati Raj act will now establish the three tier of Grass root level democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. So far, the three-tier system was not in practice in the union territory.

After the abrogation of article 370, the people of Jammu and Kashmir will now have the right to elect their local representatives just like the rest of the country. This is the first time in 73 years after independence Grass root level democracy is to be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir region.

The Government of India has been implementing several reforms and schemes in order to bring in normalcy in the Jammu and Kashmir region just like the rest of the country after the abrogation of article 370.

Other recent reforms

The Union Cabinet recently approved the extension of market intervention scheme to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Under this the procurement of Apple from the region will be done by the national agricultural Cooperative marketing federation. So far 12 lakh metric tonnes of Apple ware procured by the NAFED.

Panchayati Raj system

It is a rural local self-government. It was constitutionalised by the 73rd constitutional amendment act 1992.

Three Tier System

The three levels of Panchayati Raj system are gram panchayat at village level, Mandal Parishad or block Samiti or Panchayat Samiti at block level and Zilla Parishad at district level

Exemptions

The areas that are exempted from the operation of Panchayati Raj act are the Scheduled areas in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha. Also, the states such as Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram are exempted. This is due to socio-economic challenges in these regions.

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