Reasons to be specified for time, cost overrun of projects
Each note to reflect employment generation potential
JAMMU, July 6: Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in consonance with the guidelines in vogue at the level of the Union Government for submission of proposals to the Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor by all the departments.
Official sources told EXECLSIOR that after the change of Constitutional structure of J&K through Reorganization Act, 2019 and pursuant to the notification of the Transaction of Business of the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Rules dated August 27, 2020, a need was felt to update the procedure in consonance with the standard guidelines in vogue at the level of the Union Government.
Accordingly, the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the submission of proposals to the Administrative Council by all the departments.
“This has been done as the decisions taken by the Administrative Council are fundamental to governance of the Union Territory and these form basis of policy formulation as also for evaluating impact of Government programmes, policies, plans, projects and schemes”, sources said, adding the SOP will facilitate decision making at the highest level of the Government.
They further said, “proposals that are placed before the Administrative Council are often the culmination of a series of steps and these include consultations with the stakeholders within the Government and outside, inter-departmental consultations and in many cases appraisal by designated bodies or financial institutions”, adding “the Standard Operating Procedure will go a long way in preparation of highest quality proposals for the consideration of Administrative Council”.
Some of the illustrative cases which are required to be placed before the Administrative Council are-annual financial statements and demands for supplementary, additional or excess grants; proposals involving any important change in policy or practice; proposals for the creation or abolition of any public office; appointment of Committees of Inquiry on the initiative of the department and report of such Committees and proposals to vary or reverse a decision previously taken by the Council.
Moreover, the Administrative Council may at any time reconstitute the departments, create new departments, reclassify and distribute afresh the business of the Government between those departments. As the process of inter-departmental consultations is a critical component of the process of writing notes for the Administrative Council, the detailed instructions in this regard and other procedural aspects have also been mentioned in the SOP.
As distinction between decisions of the Administrative Council recorded as “postponed” and “deferred” is very often nor clear to the departments, it has been clarified that in cases where the decision is recorded as “postponed”, the items will remain pending with the General Administration Department and would in due course be placed before the Administrative Council.
However, in cases where the decision is recorded as “deferred”, the same shall be deemed to have been disposed of and hence not pending with the GAD. Accordingly, the concerned department will have to bring up a fresh proposal for the consideration of Administrative Council.
As per the SOP, all the notes for Administrative Council should separately and clearly reflect the “employment generation potential” of each proposal. Similarly, the proposals concerning sectoral policies/policy statements are required to be accompanied by an action plan with clearly identifiable timelines and milestones for different activities.
“While proposing a new legislation, the essentiality of the same and the reasons why the purpose cannot be served through an existing legislation or by framing subordinate legislation or through executive orders etc will have to be explained”, the SOP said.
Similarly, all proposals involving time and cost overrun or extension in timeframe of implementation of projects/schemes referred to the Administrative Council for consideration and approval must necessarily incorporate specific physical and financial milestones with corresponding half yearly targets for their implementation, the SOP further said.
“In the event of any slippage from adherence to these specified targets at the end of every six months, the Administration Council would need to be apprised of the reasons for such slippage along with the strategy to achieve the targets”, the Government has mentioned in the Standard Operating Procedure.
In respect of social sector schemes, the departments are now required to necessarily consult the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to enable empowerment of these democratic institutions at grass root level. Moreover, this department will be consulted in all cases relating to Centrally Sponsored Programmes/ Schemes.