In a major decision aimed at empowerment of people, the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik decided on Friday to commence the formal process for conducting municipal body and panchayat elections.
"The SAC decided that the elections to Municipal Bodies will be conducted in four phases with polling dates between October 1 and October 5," said a statement.
Similarly, elections to panchayats will be conducted in eight phases with polling dates between November 8 and December 4.
"The Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir was asked to adjust the schedules keeping in view security, operational and the polling requirements.
"The SAC also decided to grant one month's extra salary/wages/remuneration in favour of the staff engaged in the conduct of elections besides insurance cover to mitigate risks," the statement said.
Voter education will be given special focus. For this purpose, the government will launch a sustained campaign to sensitise the voters about the importance of these elections in the socio-economic development at the grass root level.
"Panchayat and urban local body elections will enable people to take decisions at their own level, without having to go to the state capital or the district headquarters for their basic requirements.
"Local bodies will handle a substantial amount of funds and truly empower people all over the state," it stated.