Srinagar: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday inaugurated the Parliamentary Outreach Programme for the empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir at Sher-i-Kashmir Convention Centre in Srinagar. Besides Shri Birla, the programme was attended by UT Jammu & Kashmir L-G Manoj Sinha; Union Ministers Prahlad Singh Patel, Ramdas Athawale, Annpurna Devi, former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah.

Outlining that the objective of the Outreach Programme is to make our democratic institutions at the grass-root level stronger and more transparent and accountable, Birla said that democratic institutions like Gram Panchayats can make people’s lives better and for that collective and coordinated efforts are needed at the ground level. ‘Empowered Panchayats will make our democracy stronger’, and will increase confidence of the people at large, he said. 

Birla also referred to the ongoing Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav events and said that democracy in India has been strengthened over the period of time. He noted with satisfaction that hopes and aspirations of the people have been fulfilled to a large extent and now India is leading the world community in the journey of democracy. Birla lauded the developments in Jammu and Kashmir and said that the UT is on the path of peace, progress and development.

On the occasion Manoj Sinha said that Gram Panchayats and PRIs are at the heart of our development process and they can provide good governance at the grass-root level. Referring to the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments, he hailed the implementation of the three tier Panchayati Raj system in Jammu and Kashmir.

By 2024, all the households in Jammu and Kashmir will be provided 24×7 electricity, Sinha announced.

Srinagar Lok Sabha MP Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that Panchayati Raj Institutions are the foundation stone of our democracy and called for providing more resources to these institutions and transparency in implementation of works at the Panchayat level. Lok Sabha Secretary Ganeral Utpal Kumar Singh, presented the Vote of Thanks.

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