SAC approves first ever JK trade policy, amendments to Panchayati Raj Act

Srinagar: The State Administrative Council (SAC), under the chairmanship of Governor, N N Vohra, met last evening and approved the first ever J&K Trade & Export Policy, 2018-28 and amendments to the Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 to provide for consultation with Halqa Majlis before preparing the development plan for a Panchayat.

An official handout stated that the Trade and Export policy reflects the dynamics of Jammu & Kashmir State as an agrarian economy in transition towards a market driven one.

“It is aimed to transform the state economy from a supply constrained one into a competitive export-led entity responsive to enhanced domestic integration and wider participation in national and global economy in tune with the national policies.”

It will create an enabling eco-system to ensure effective participation in the designed framework-based trading system that has emerged at the National and International levels and help in seizing opportunities available in global liberalized market.

“The envisioned targets in the policy include, to enhance the Domestic Trade Volume by 5 times in next 10 years; to transform the system from regulator to facilitator and from performer to enabler; to provide employment opportunities to educated unemployed and skilled youth in export trading of goods and services; to encourage, promote and facilitate more investment in enterprises and built a strong, responsive and vibrant business environment in the state,” said the handout.

The policy shall be valid for a period of 10 years or till a new Trade and Export policy is announced.

An official handout for the amendment to the Panchayati Raj Act said that the decision is a step towards devolution of more powers to the people who will be empowered to take decisions about their developmental requirements/ area specific activities.

The amendment provides powers to the concerned BDO to collect fee/ taxes already imposed by the Halqa Panchayat, providing continuity to the development of Panchayats.

The Sarpanch will be excluded from the minimum and maximum number of Panchs in a Panchayat, so that no fresh exercise of delimitation of Panchayats is required to be undertaken, which will in turn facilitate early elections.

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