25 July, Srinagar: Guidelines for using Own Source Revenue were released by the Rural Development Department (RDD) J&K on Tuesday for Halqa Panchayats, Block Development Councils (BDCs), and District Development Councils (DDCs) across Jammu and Kashmir.
The instructions were released by the government in accordance with the authority granted by Section 14 of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989.
“The Halqa Panchayat may impose fees on the things listed in Section 15 of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act as it sees fit. The government order was issued by the Director Panchayat Raj J&K, Khalid Majeed, who is also the ex-officio Special Secretary to the J&K government. Section 14 of the legislation stipulates that Halqa Panchayat shall have a fund to be named Halqa Panchayat Fund.
“Section 13 of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 gives details of the assets constituting the property of a Halqa Panchayat and from which the Halqa Panchayat can earn revenue,” it states.
The Halqa Panchayat Fund, which includes Own Source Revenue, is to be managed by the Secretary Panchayat and Sarpanch in accordance with the process that will be announced by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, according to the order.
Every Panchayat is required to maintain a separate account for each scheme under which funds are transferred to it, as well as separate books of accounts, including cash books, for each scheme, under the double entry system of accounts, in accordance with the procedure notified by the government for operating upon the Own Source Revenue (OSR) of the Halqa Panchayat Fund by Halqa Panchayats, BDCs, and DDCs.
“The OSR fund should have a separate account, and separate books of accounts should be kept for it. Under no circumstances may a transfer from the J&K government or the centre be put in this account, the decree said.
The OSR money must be used in accordance with a separate budget that must be produced in accordance with Section 21 of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, and Chapter VI of the J&K Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, and approved by the Gramme Sabha.
“For planning purposes, the GIS planning option offered by the c-Gram Swaraj Portal should be used. The ruling states that the Gramme Panchayat development plan “should also include the annual budget for OSR.”
According to the ordinance, the Gramme Sabha or Halqa Panchayat shall give emphasis to income-enhancing and livelihood-supporting activities including agriculture, horticulture, cattle and sheep husbandry, welfare schemes for women or minorities, and Scheduled Class or Scheduled Tribes.
In accordance with the directive, the government has emphasised the need to remedy the urgent gaps discovered during the Mission Antyodaya Survey in addition to undertaking repairs to government and community assets.
The decree states that in case of an emergency, any additional activity that is not covered by the yearly budget may be undertaken. For this, the Halqa Panchayat is required to convene a special meeting of the Gramme Sabha and get approval for the action.
It states that after receiving approval from the Gramme Sabha, the Halqa Panchayats may spend money on any of the matters transferred to them under Schedule-1(A) of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. The government may occasionally notify priority areas for incurring expenses from the OSR fund.
“The Panchayats shall use complete financial restraint and adhere to GFR while using the OSR grant. The OSR funding shall never be used to develop or repair private assets, according to the decree.