SRINAGAR — As the violence has got Anantnag by-poll postponed, the state is reluctant to hold panchayat and urban local bodies elections, resulting the state losing crores of centre government’s funds.
Such kind of violence has also put various elections on hold. The government seems reluctant to hold panchayat and civil polls. The centre has turned down the Jammu and Kashmir government’s request of releasing Rs 1,000 crore citing absence of elected municipal bodies in the state. The centre has withheld funds around Rs 1,000 crore for the last seven years that was budgeted to the state, a senior official of the Housing and Urban Development said. Official sources said the state government had requested the centre several times to release the Rs 1000 crore for urban local bodies of the state as an exceptional case that the situation was not conducive in the valley to hold polls for the past many years.
Civic polls not held since 2011 As the civic polls could not be held since 2011, the official said the state government had again requested the centre last year and then again in January this year to release these funds for developmental works. “The centre told the state government recently that these funds can’t be released in view of non-holding of urban local bodies’ polls in J&K,” the official said. “The state will lose further funds if elected municipal bodies are not in place.” The centre has budgeted around Rs 1300 crore to the centre as per the 14th Finance Commission Awards from 2015-2020. Official sources, said the ULBs were entitled for Rs 350 crores during 2016-2017. These funds were not provided to the state in absence of elected municipalities. Similarly, the state is set to lose Rs over 250 crore during 2017-2018 if elections are not held in this year. The state is entitled for such funds only when elected municipality bodies are in place that had ceased to exist in March 2010. Since then the government has failed to hold these polls. Earlier, the ULB polls were held in J&K after a span of 23-years in January 2005. The panchayats completed their term in July last year. Elections to panchayats were last
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