Panchayats, Municipalities to implement ICDS
Srinagar: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met on Friday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the ‘Decentralized Policy for Procurement of Supplementary Nutrition’ under the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) Scheme to bring transparency, accountability and greater involvement of community in the implementation of the nutrition scheme. The policy shall be effective from the procurement year 2019-20.
The spokesman said that under the Policy procurement of nutrition items will have to be strict as per Recipe menu displayed in the Anganwadi Centres and to be preferably procured from Super Bazaar/Cooperative Stores/Fixed Price Shops/Registered Local Shopkeepers on the rates not exceeding the rates notified by FCS&CA.
The new policy has been framed as per the delegation of powers of Panchayati Raj Institutions under the amended Panchayati Raj Act. Under the revised policy, supplementary nutrition shall be procured at Halqa Panchayat/Municipal Ward level.
Based on suggestions of all the stakeholders and analysis of procurement models followed in different States particularly in the States of Kerala, Uttarakhand and Odisha, procurement process under the scheme has been decentralized to the Anganwadi level except for Rice and Wheat which will continue to be procured from Food Corporation of India (FCI) through Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.
The procurement at Anganwadi level will be made under the supervision of respective Panchayati Raj Institutions as per the delegation of powers to Panchayati Raj Institutions under the amended Panchayati Raj Act.
The Procurement process will be ensured through various Committees including Procurement Committee-Rural, Procurement Committee-Urban and a Recipe Committee, under the chairpersonship of Sarpanch, Municipal Councillor/Corporator and District Programme Officer respectively.
A District Level Monitoring Committee under the District Development Commissioner (DDC) with representatives from line Departments will on monthly basis review the progress of implementation of nutrition programme under ICDS and submission of report to Mission Director, ICDS, for pointing out any deficiency, and give necessary recommendations for improvement/strengthening of the present policy; resolve inter-departmental issues ,if any, at District Level and ssupervise& monitor procurement, expenditure, quality control, hygiene, and other related issues.
ICDS has six main components viz Supplementary Nutrition, Immunisation, Health Check-up, Referral Services, Non-formal Pre-school Education, and Nutrition and Health Education. The first component, i.e Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP), involves the supply of food materials to Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) to ensure adequate nutrition for children aged 0-6 years, pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls. However, the implementation of this programme suffered due to various transparency, quality and delay in supply issues. Further, under the centralised system, Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) did not have any control over the quantity and quality of food supply. Therefore, a need was felt for an alternate Model.
Moreover, Supreme Court has issued orders with regard to ICDS directing “Universalization with quality” and prescribed minimum nutrition standards that must be guaranteed and further envisaged decentralization of procurement by eliminating the involvement of contractors, encouraging engagement of local Self-Help Groups and Mahila Mandals in supply and distribution of nutrition.
It may be reiterated that with the implementation of the new policy, the targeted groups viz children aged 0-6 years, pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls will be effectively covered.
Srinagar, Jammu to have IT Parks, Towers with Plug, Play features
The State Administrative Council (SAC) approved the incorporation of “The Jammu and Kashmir I.T. Infrastructure Development Company Private Limited” under the Companies Act, 2013.
The spokesman said that decision by the SAC is aimed at attracting IT/ITES companies to the State to operate from constructed spaces created by the State and to establish their offices/work facilities on developed land having adequate civic amenities and robust transport connectivity thereby boosting the economy of the State by way of investment, employment and increased economic activities.
With the growth of the IT industry and IT-enabled Services (ITES), there is a need to undertake IT related infrastructure development in a focused manner in the state. Such infrastructure involves constructed space for being hired out to firms delivering ITES including call centres, outsourcing works, software development, etc. Also, IT Companies establish their offices in areas that have developed amenities i.e., providing residential, recreational and institutional spaces with reliable connectivity to existing and future city centres/transportation hubs.
In both the Capital cities, it is proposed to identify and develop certain areas in the vicinity of cities or in the Metropolitan Region that would act as the basis for planned future growth. For attracting investment to such areas as also to provide adequate infrastructure facilities to I.T. Industry, it is proposed that I.T. Parks/City is planned as a part of it. There will be IT Parks with Towers having the latest facilities to attract world-class investment.
Through the IT Parks & Towers, the investors will make full use of the recent extension of the benefits under NE Package to J&K in addition to the existing benefits under Industrial Development Scheme for Jammu and Kashmir (JKIDS), 2017 namely Capital Investment Incentive, Interest Incentive, Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) Reimbursement, Income Tax (IT) Reimbursement, Transport Incentives (TI) and Employment Incentive (EI).
To begin with, a provision of Rs. 20 Crore has been kept in the Annual Budget of 2018-19 with subsequent annual inflows of the same order and it is proposed to leverage it to raise loans of the value of Rs. 200 Crore. This will be used for creating the necessary infrastructure.
SAC grants Toll Tax exemption for special development projects
The State Administrative Council (SAC) accorded sanction to the exemption of Toll Tax on machinery, equipment and key input materials being brought to the State for special projects like those under PMDP, National Highways, Airports, Railways, Educational and Medical Institutions etc.
The spokesman said that such exemption will only be granted if the executing organ of the Central Government or the State directly seeks such exemption in advance specifying numbers or volume of machinery, equipment or key input materials being brought. Such an exemption will not be granted if applied directly by the contracted executing private firms.
Pertinent to mention is that Toll Tax on machinery, equipment or key input materials being brought into the State for the execution of important projects adds up to the cost of the project, which was not originally envisaged. Since all prestigious projects are almost 100% centrally funded in the absence of State’s own resources, therefore, it makes sense that the State plays a facilitating role by not levying an additional tax on machinery, equipment or key input materials being brought into the State for execution of these projects.
SAC approves infrastructure development at Sheep Breeding Farm Khimberwith NABARD funding
The State Administrative Council (SAC) accorded administrative approval to the construction of required infrastructure at an estimated cost of Rs 35.80 Crore at the Sheep Breeding Farm Khimber, Srinagar under NABARD Tranche XXIV.
The spokesman said that Sheep Breeding Farm at Khimber shall have state of art infrastructure & in- house fodder production for livestock. It shall serve as major Germ Plasm Centre/Mother Stud Farm of the State and elite rams produced at the farm shall be distributed for genetic upgradation of local livestock enhancing mutton/wool production besides creating avenues for employment through the establishment of sheep rearing units.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department had a Sheep Breeding Farm at Dachigam. In 2017, the Sheep Breeding Farm at Dachigam along with its immovable assets was transferred to the Forest, Environment & Ecology Department.
After inspecting various sites, land at Khimber, Srinagar was found suitable for relocation of Sheep Breeding Farm. The land measuring 629 Kanals and 7 Marlas at Khimber has been transferred to Animal and Sheep Husbandry department for establishing a Sheep Breeding Farm vide SAC decision No 01.01.2019 dated 04.01.2019.
SAC approves transfer of land for Kendriya Vidyalaya at Doda
The State Administrative Council (SAC) accorded sanction to the transfer of State land measuring 100 Kanals and 14 marlas situated in Village Jodhpur, Tehsil and District Doda to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan on lease basis for establishing a Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) School at Doda.
The spokesman said that establishment of KV at village Jodhpur will give access to the students of district Doda to quality education.
The State Government is keen to have a network of JNVs and KVs in all the district of the State so that the children in interior and difficult pockets can have access to high-quality CBSE education. In this regard, the State Government has requested the Central Government for the opening of additional KVs and JNVs in various districts.