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SOURCE: NDTV

Elected panchs and sarpanchs in Jammu and Kashmir will be trained by the Home Ministry about their role in the middle of the ongoing security lockdown in the state.A senior officer told NDTV that a presentation is being prepared for the village heads on all development issues that can they taken up in the state that was stripped of its special status under Article 370 of the constitution last month.

In January, the state administration had conducted a four-month “induction training” for the sarpanchs for their new responsibilities.Each sarpanch was trained for four months for the role. A 10-day digital training was also given to them on how to work digitally, make digital payments, and maintain records and so on.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration is also organising “exposure visits” for the panchayats to see other working models in villages across India.

“We had sent some sarpanchs to villages in Hyderabad. They have been given so many powers and responsibilities, it is essential for the sarpanchs to understand that they will now be a major part of the administration,” added an state level officer.

The ministry has also sought an explanation from the Panchayati Raj Ministry as to why funds have not been disbursed to panchs and sarpanchs who were elected in Jammu and Kashmir.

Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed displeasure and has asked the Panchayati Raj ministry to regularise payments to the elected representatives.

Last week, around 60 of them had met Amit Shah and on Tuesday around 20 more met the Minister of State GK Reddy.

“Each panch is paid Rs. 1,000 and a sarpanch about Rs. 2,500 per month but due to some discrepancy money was not paid to some of them. They brought it to notice of the mantri and he asked Panchayati Raj Ministry to rectify it,” a senior officer told NDTV.

According to him, the village heads have also asked the ministry to increase their personal monthly expense to Rs. 25,000.Panchayat elections in the state were held last year, after a gap of six years. More than 35,096 panchs and sarpanchs were elected to 4,490 panchayats.