Is Guv still in-doubt over govt formation?

Though PDP-BJP coalition is set to take over reigns of power in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday but it seems Governor N.N.Vohra still has some doubts.

On one side, he invited PDP President Mehbooba Mufti to form the government while at the same time; he went ahead with his State Administrative Council (SAC) meeting. The move has shocked both the coalition partners as well as the bureaucracy. They are perplexed as to why he is in hurry. Either he is being replaced by New Delhi or he has no trust whether the new government would be able take all these decisions quickly.

Vohra held the meeting and took several important decisions. Those who have seen working of earlier advisors said that this is unusual. “He should not have convened the meeting now. It is Saturday and civil secretariat remains closed. Yet he called up the meeting of SAC and took some very important administrative decisions,” said an ex-Advisor. He maintained that with a day to swearing-in of new government, Governor should not shown so much hurry.

In the meeting, which he chaired today, SAC approved the proposal submitted by the General Administration Department (GAD) to increase the cadre strength of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service from the existing 408 Senior Duty posts to 552 posts. The decision to review the KAS cadre was taken by the SAC in its last meeting on 31st March, 2016 while approving the cadre review of IAS (J&K Cadre).

As on 1-12-2008, when the authorized cadre strength of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service was last notified, number of senior duty posts was 408. Various posts were since then created warranting their addition to the cadre, mandated under Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) Rules, 2008. The KAS Rules provide for a periodic review of the cadre of KAS, to be carried out after every five (5) years.

Based on the exercise carried out by the General Administration Department, which was earlier considered by the Establishment-cum-Selection Committee and the Cabinet Sub-Committee, the proposed enhancement in the authorized cadre strength from the existing 408 Senior Duty posts to 552 posts was placed before the State Administrative Council in the meeting held today. The proposal not only envisages addition of the already created posts to the cadre but also creation of 39 Senior Duty posts and 69 Training Reserve posts at the junior level.

With this increase, the functional requirement of the different departments would be satisfactorily met which will help in providing good governance besides providing adequate career progression prospects to the State Civil Services Officers and the officers of different departments for their induction into KAS.

The decision taken by the SAC to approve the proposals regarding IAS and KAS cadre review is significant as the same was overdue besides being a long pending demand of the KAS officers. This would not only enhance the career progression prospects of the officers, like promotion to the different scales in the KAS and induction into IAS but also pave the way for manning key positions by them.

Recognizing the importance of training being provided to KAS officers, the SAC directed that a well defined framework should be devised for the in-service/mid-career training of the KAS officers on the same pattern as the training programmes in vogue for the IAS officers, which should be mandatorily linked to their promotions to various levels. An amount of rupees one crore was also sanctioned to meet the training requirements of the KAS cadre officers, to begin with. Besides, 69 training reserve posts were created at the Junior Scale Level of KAS.

It also approved the grant of State Freedom Fighters Pension retrospectively from 1st July, 2002, in relaxation of rules, in favour of the freedom fighters belonging to Jammu & Kashmir who had participated in the Goa Liberation Movement in 1954-55 against the Portuguese Rule.

Earlier, State pension had been sanctioned in their favour by the State Cabinet from 26th May, 2008 onwards. Today’s decision will address a long pending demand of the Goa Freedom Fighters and make them eligible to concurrently receive pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme being administered by the Central Government.

Moreover, the council further gave approval to the Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2016 for its enactment by the Governor.

The Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Societies Act 1989 provided for the constitution of Appellate Tribunal, which has not been constituted till date. In the absence of such a Tribunal, the parties aggrieved by the decisions of the Registrar have been deprived of exercising their right of appeal under the Act.

The “Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2016 will provide the Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal constituted under the Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal Act, 1988 against the order of Registrar Cooperative Societies.

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