J&K’s Housing, Urban Dev department yet to remove backdoor appointees

The illegal appointments are continuously haunting the Housing and Urban Development Department as there has been decrease in revenue in civic bodies over the years due to “mis-management” of its authorities in running its affairs.
Hundreds of illegal appointments have been made in HUDD over the years. Two high level inquiry committees had submitted their report in 2012 to the government and found around 2000 illegal appointments and fund embezzlements worth crores of rupees in the department. The inquiry teams had recommended disengagement of illegal appointees. Since 2012 more illegal appointments have been made in the department.
Despite several probes were ordered, sources said no action was taken on the outcome of the inquiry reports as most of the illegal appointees were kith and kin of politicians and bureaucrats. The government is finding difficult to pay salaries to these employees as there has been decrease in revenue. An official of HUDD department, said the municipal bodies are “not able to pay” salaries to their employees on their own revenue generation.
“Hundreds of illegal appointments have been made over the years which has put extra burden on the state exchequer,” the official said. Now as the civic bodies in the state have shown poor record of revenue generation due to “mis-management” of their authorities, the government has laid down various guidelines to municipal committees for their entitlement to get funds from centre’s performance grant.
As per these directions, “the municipalities will have to show an increase in its revenue over the preceding year as reflected in audited accounts”. The total income under its own revenue will include income heads of water rate and sewerage charges, property tax, advertisement, rent/lease money and building application fees and development charges for computing overall increase in the revenue of urban local bodies.
“Where a municipality is unable to meet these directives, it has to forfeit its entitlement of performance grant which will be then distributed among other civic bodies,” the directives said.
The performance grant is for improving delivery of basic urban services like sanitation, water supply, solid and liquid waste management, storm water drains, maintenance of community assets, roads and footpaths, street lighting and burial and cremation grounds.

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