AUGUST 31: In a major decision aimed at empowerment of the people at the grass root level, the State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik after extensive deliberations on various aspects and feedback received from the Departments of Housing & Urban Development, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Home decided to commence the formal process for conducting Municipal Body and Panchayat elections in the Jammu & Kashmir and take all other consequential action as per law.
The SAC decided that the elections to Municipal Bodies will be conducted in four (4) phases with polling dates between 1st October, 2018 and 5th October, 2018.
Similarly, elections to Panchayats will be conducted in Eight (8) phases with polling dates between 8th November, 2018 and 4th December, 2018.
The Chief Electoral Officer, J&K was asked to adjust the schedules keeping in view security, operational and the polling requirements.
The SAC also decided to grant one month’s extra salary/wages/remuneration in favor of the staff engaged in the conduct of elections besides insurance cover to mitigate risks.
Voter education will be given special focus. For this purpose, the government will launch a sustained campaign to sensitize the voters about the importance of these elections in the socio-economic development at the grass root level.
Panchayat and Urban Local Body elections will enable people to take decisions at their own level, without having to go to the state capital or the district headquarters for their basic requirements. Local Bodies will handle a substantial amount of funds and truly empower people all over the state.KNC/KNW