SPOs remuneration to be increased, employees on poll duty to get one month additional salary

Srinagar, Sep 25: Amid militant threats, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam Tuesday said that adequate security arrangement will be put in place for the upcoming urban local bodies and panchayat polls.
The government has announced holding of 4-phase urban local bodies and 9-phase panchayat elections in the state. The ULB polls would be held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16 while panchayat polls would be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 1, 04, 08 and 11.
Over threats by militants, the Chief Secretary said that government would make adequate security arrangements for the polls. “Around 400 security companies are being brought from outside for the polls. There are security issues in few areas of south Kashmir but government will take care of,” he said.
Over safety of candidates, he said that government has booked 300 hotel rooms in Srinagar and similar arrangements would be made in other districts too. “We will provide them all facilities like vehicles and security,” he said.
On the poll-boycott by NC and PDP, he said, “Governor Rule cannot decide the Article 35A. It is a complex issue and has to be discussed after elected government in JK. The hearing in January and the elections will be over then.”
Two main regional parties, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party have decided to boycott the elections as they have asked the Government of India to clear its stand on the issue of Article 35A. The Hurriyat has also called for poll-boycott.
“Over 700 nomination forms have already been issued for municipal polls and people want to participate in polls for strengthening of grass root level,” he told a press conference here.
Subrahmanyam said that state would face a huge loss of centre’s grant if the polls are not held. “Under 14th Finance Commission, the panchayats will lose Rs 3029 crore and urban local bodies Rs 1306 between 2015-2020, if the elections are not in the state,” he said.
He said that 45,00 sarpanchs and 35,000 panchs would be elected. Similarly, he said that there are 79 urban local bodies and 1200 wards.
He said that government has decided to release an additional salary of one month for those employees who will participate in election duties.
Over recent killings of SPOs and following by resignations, he said, “There are 35,000 SPOs. Their monthly remuneration has already been increased to Rs 6000. In the coming day, there will be further increase in their remuneration and their safety is also being taken care of.” (KNS)


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