Two clauses deleted on directions of Lt Governor
Several other vital aspects to remain unchanged
JAMMU, May 13: Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has modified some financial powers of the Chief Secretary and the Administrative Secretaries, which were conferred last year in respect of developmental works under Plan and Non-Plan.
In exercise of the powers conferred vide Presidential Order dated October 31, 2019 and Rule 5 of the Jammu and Kashmir Government Business Rules, the Lieutenant Governor vide Government Order No.49-JK(GAD) dated November 19, 2019 had conferred a number of powers on the Chief Secretary and the Administrative Secretaries.
It was mentioned in the order that these officers will exercise the powers of the Minister in respect of various matters and any case not specifically mentioned shall be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor through the Chief Secretary.
However, on the directions of the Lieutenant Governor a partial modification has been carried out in the Government Order No.49-JK(GAD) dated November 19, 2019. “Sub-Para (1) of 1(A) and Sub-Para (1) of II(B) of this Government Order shall stand deleted ab initio”, read an order dated May 11, 2020 issued by the General Administration Department.
This means that the financial powers in respect of cases relating to accord of administrative approval to all kinds of works/projects under Plan/Non-Plan costing over Rs 7.50 crore and up to Rs 20 crore will not be exercised by the Chief Secretary anymore. As per the earlier order, he was supposed to exercise this power with the concurrence of the Planning and Finance Departments.
Similarly, Administrative Secretaries will not exercise powers to accord administrative approval in respect of individual works costing up to Rs 7.50 crore as prescribed in Chapter 4.9 of the Book of Financial Powers.
Though the concerned Government officers refused to specify the reasons behind this development yet sources said, “there might be some cogent grounds behind the move”, adding “a clarification is required to be issued by the Government so as to ensure clarity at all the levels in the administration, which otherwise is in the state of confusion as to where all such cases will go following deletion of the powers of the Chief Secretary and the Administrative Secretaries”.
However, the Chief Secretary will continue to exercise the powers with regard to funds authorization in cases under Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Central Mega Flagship Schemes. Similarly, cases where administrative and financial powers have been delegated in various Codes/Manuals in favour of all departments/administrative departments/specified departments, the powers shall be exercised by the Administrative Secretaries with the approval of the Chief Secretary.
Moreover, the Chief Secretary will continue to exercise the powers with prior concurrence of the Finance Department vis-a-vis cases where administrative and financial powers have been delegated in various Codes/Manuals but competent authorities have not been specified.
He will continue to deal with the cases relating to opening of the treasuries/sub-treasuries with the concurrence of the Finance Department; cases of exemption under GST and Toll Tax etc.
Likewise, the Administrative Secretaries will continue to exercise the financial powers vis-a-vis release of funds (scheme/object wise) authorized by the Finance Department in favour of the departments under their administrative control; sanctioning of advance withdrawals up to Rs 25 lakh with the concurrence of the Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer.
Moreover, they will continue to exercise the powers vis-a-vis delegation of DDO powers in respect of officers of the departments under their administrative control with the concurrence of the FA&CAO; all advance drawal cases beyond an amount of Rs 25 lakh with the prior concurrence of the Finance Department and issuance of Government guarantees with the concurrence of the Finance Department.
It is pertinent to mention here that vide Government Order No.49-JK(GAD) dated November 19, 2019, the Lieutenant Governor had also delegated powers of the Minister on the Chief Secretary in respect of transfers and postings/adjustment; deputations; relaxations; recruitment rules etc.
Similarly, the powers were conferred on the Administrative Secretaries for sanctioning of deputation outside the State/Leave/Pensions etc; to handle GF Fund cases and order transfers and postings in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Government Business Rules and Transfer Policy notified vide Government Order No.861-GAD dated July 28, 2010.