SAC settles demand of 1573 flood hit traders

Governor Satya Pal Malik presiding over the SAC meeting in Jammu on Wednesday.
Governor Satya Pal Malik presiding over the SAC meeting in Jammu on Wednesday.

ReT scheme frozen; 20,000 flats for cops

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 14: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik approved waiving off the demands raised by the Assessing Authorities of the Commercial Taxes Department against 1573 flood hit dealers by rejecting their input tax credit claim for the stocks destroyed in the floods of September 2014.
The Trade Associations and Chambers had been demanding waiver of demands raised by the Assessing Authorities against the flood affected dealers, by rejecting their input tax credit claim for the stocks destroyed in the floods of September, 2014, in view of the fact that the goods had got destroyed.
Taking into consideration the magnitude of the 2014 flood disaster, the misery it brought to all the sections of the Society, traders included and the fact that the stocks got destroyed in the flood, the SAC settled the long pending demand of the traders.
The SAC also reviewed the Rehabar-e-Taleem (ReT) scheme viz-a-viz its efficacy in the changed education scenario in the State.
It is pertinent to mention here that ReT scheme was launched in the State in the year 2000 for meeting requirements of teachers in Primary Schools/ Middle Schools in inaccessible and far flung areas where teachers posted from other places were ordinarily reluctant to join.
The scheme envisaged engagement of teachers from local area and had to be paid remuneration of Rs 1500 per month initially (later revised to Rs 3000 per month) and had to be regularized after five years of continuous service. Recruitments were made under the said scheme which helped the department to meet the shortage of teachers in deficient areas.
In the meantime, the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was implemented in the State in the year 2003 which has a provision for opening of new Primary Schools as well as upgradation of Primary Schools to upper Primary level to increase access to education to every child. As the scheme had a provision for engaging teachers on contractual /consolidated basis out of the funds being provided by Government of India, the State stopped engagement of teachers under original ReT scheme but continued engagement of teachers under SSA on the pattern of the ReT scheme. More than 41000 teachers have been appointed as ReT/SSA teachers so far,
After critical analysis of the teaching staff in the School Education Department across the state under regular recruitment, SSA and RMSA, it has been observed that Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) is in excess than the prescribed national norm. The State has a PTR of 1:12 and 1:9 in Primary and Upper Primary Schools respectively which is higher than the prescribed national norm of 1:40 and 1:35 respectively. In addition, there are many administrative and legal issues with the ReT scheme/process, including declining quality of education.
In view of these issues, the SAC after considering the pros and cons, decided to formally close the ReT scheme with an enabling provision that the teachers already engaged under the scheme shall continue to be governed by the erstwhile scheme till their regularization or otherwise. The proposal for this is being finalized and will be put up to the SAC next week.
The decision would help the school education Department to consolidate the position and rationalize the staff strength in various schools and also move towards having a single cadre of teachers rather than multiple types of teachers performing the same work.
The SAC also approved in principle a proposal submitted by the Home Department for construction of 20,000 flats to be allotted to the police personnel on a self-financing basis.
Advisors to the Governor, B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and K K Sharma, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary to the Governor, Umang Narula were present at the meeting, which was 19th SAC meeting after the State came under the Governor’s rule in June this year.
10000 of these flats will be constructed in Kashmir division and 10,000 in Jammu division at one or two locations subject to the availability of land in each place.
These flats which would be in multistoried apartments will consist of 2 BHK (800 – 1000 sft), 3 BHK (1200 sft) and 4 BHK (1500 sft). The flats would come up in apartment blocks. The apartment complex will be provided with the required facilities such as parks, playgrounds, shopping areas, etc.
The flats are to be constructed over a period of two years for which State land will be provided by the Government on nominal charges. The flats would be allotted to intending police personnel on elf-financing basis. The Government will facilitate provision of loan from J&K Bank and other banks, if required. A demand survey will be conducted by the DGP to determine the exact demand of flats. This will be completed by 1st December, 2018.
The construction of these 20,000 houses will be a huge welfare measure for the police personnel.
It is pertinent to mention here that there are extremely limited housing facilities for the J&K Police personnel. The objective of the proposal is to create affordable housing facilities for various categories of police personnel along with other amenities. In this way the long pending housing need of the police personnel will be met.
Meanwhile, the SAC accorded sanction to the proposal of the School Education Department for utilization of services of teaching staff hired on academic arrangement for two months of winter vacations (session 2018-19) in the winter zone i.e from 16th November 2018 to 15th January 2019 or till regular selections are made by the School Education Department on the recommendation of the recruiting agencies, whichever is earlier.
It is pertinent to mention here that Education Department hires services of teachers and Lecturers on need basis in various schools for academic session only to fill the vacancies especially in critical subjects like Math, Science etc.
The decision has been taken keeping in view the requirements of the Education Department; compensate the loss of academic session due to unforeseen circumstances in Kashmir valley and gainful utilization of the services of these teachers in keeping with their experience and eagerness to work. They will be utilized to provide winter tuition to students so that they perform better academically.
The SAC also approved the proposal of the Health & Medical Education department to grant extension in the joining time of 254 Medical Officers as a onetime exception.
These Medical Officers will be entitled to all service benefits including seniority from the actual date of their joining the Health Department in accordance with the Service Rules. Their appointments in the department will remain protected for the period only for which extension has been sought.
On joining the department, they will have to work in far flung and backward areas of the State for a minimum period of five years.
Further, in future selections/appointments of Medical Officers, selectee Medical Officers shall not be allowed to continue with PG/tenures of Senior Residency/Registrarship/Demonstratorship and they will have only one choice either to opt for appointment or opt out and go for PG/tenures of Senior Residency/ Registrarship/ Demonstratorship.
It has been observed that Health and Medical Education Department refers posts of Medical Officers to J&K PSC for recruitment but out of the selected doctors many do not join for being under studies, pursuing PG/Senior Residency/ Registrarship/ Demonstratorship in Government Medical Colleges of State including Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura and other institutions. Such selectees often plead for permission to continue their higher studies or other courses. Thus, posts though filled through a recruitment process, physically remain vacant which in turn adversely impacts the services offered by Government Hospitals in terms of critical healthcare.
Now the Government after careful consideration and in the interest of patient healthcare has decided that in future selectee Medical Officers will not be allowed to continue with PG/tenures of Senior Residency/ Registrarship/Demonstratorship and they will have only one choice either to opt for appointment or opt out and pursue PG/tenures of Senior Residency/ Registrarship/Demonstratorship.
The decision will help to further improve patient care in hospitals across the state particularly in remote far flung and difficult areas.