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Inter-state council to meet in Srinagar
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | July 04, 2003 00:28 IST
For the first time in its history, the inter-state council would be holding its meeting outside the national capital. The 8th meeting of the council is to be held in Srinagar on August 26-27.
Chief ministers of all states, Lt Governors of Union territories, Union minister and several official are expected to attend the two-day conference.
Union Secretary (in the ministry of home affairs) Ashok Kumar Rastogi arrived in Srinagar on Thursday afternoon on a three-day visit to finalise the arrangements for the 8th meeting of the council.
Rastogi said the main agenda of the council would be to 'deliberate on the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission and evolve a strategy for strengthening panchayati (village level) institutions in the country.
Immediately after his arrival, Rastogi met Deputy Chief Minister Mangat Ram Sharma, who briefed him about the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the steps taken by the coalition government to address the problems of the people as also to accelerate the pace of development in the state.
In this context, he 'appreciated the state's efforts for empowering panchayats', a government spokesman said.
Sharma had told Rastogi that the state government was committed to fully empower panchayats and that '50 percent of the development funds have been earmarked for panchayats to undertake development work in rural areas', the spokesman added.
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