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  • Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council strengthened, empowered

SRINAGAR: The State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Shri Satya Pal Malik gave approval to the draft ‘Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018’. The Bill is aimed at making Development Councils of Leh and Kargil highly empowered to exercise administrative and financial powers without any obstacles and to address the concerns, requirements and aspirations of the people living in the remote areas of Ladakh Region.

The amendments in the existing provisions of the Act gives more powers to the LAHDC to levy and collect local taxes and fee within the jurisdiction of the Council on the analogy of Local Bodies and deposit the same in the Council Fund to be operated by the Council. The amendment gives more control to the Council over the functioning of various departments in the districts and more administrative control over the staff. Besides, all such properties like public buildings, public roads etc constructed out of the Council Fund shall belong to the Council.

State Government shall allocate to the Council all funds of the districts under any Budget Head of the State, Revenue or Capex and of such Centrally Sponsored Schemes which do not involve direct and designated flow of funds to the executing agencies or beneficiaries to be deposited into the Council Fund. Moreover, allocations which remain unspent at the close of the financial year shall be carried forward as an additional resource available for the budget of the following year.

The amendments also provide for Panchayats to follow the directions of the Council and the Chief Executive Councilor to be the Chairman of all Tourism Development Authorities. The Councils will also have a Deputy Chairman for better functioning. All Government employees working in the area of the Council, in subjects transferred to the Council will be under the Administrative control of the Council including for disciplinary action. With this amendment, LAHDC will be among the most autonomous councils in the country.