Govt re-defines powers of Administrative Secretaries, HoDs for transfers & postings

Major changes made in Transfer Policy of 2010

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Oct 21: The Governor’s administration has re-defined the powers of the Administrative Secretaries and the Heads of the Departments for effecting transfers and postings by making major changes in the Transfer Policy notified more than eight years back with the approval of the State Cabinet.
The Transfer Policy was approved by the State Cabinet vide Decision No.156/12/2010 dated July 27, 2010 and it was notified by the General Administration Department vide Government Order No.861 dated July 28, 2010.
Under Clause-D of the Policy, powers about transfers and postings were clearly defined so as to avoid confusion and to ensure transparency at all the levels in this regard.
However, in pursuance of Section 2 of the Jammu and Kashmir Delegation of Powers Act, 2018 (Governor’s Act No.1 of 2018) and in partial modification of Notification SRO 281 dated June 23, 2018, the Governor made certain amendments vide SRO 307.
It was specifically mentioned in SRO 307 dated July 11, 2018 that every transfer proposal shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of the J&K Government Business Rules and Transfer Policy notified vide Government Order No.861-GAD dated July 28, 2010.
By way of this notification, it was explicitly conveyed that all proposals relating to powers of transfer, which are presently delegated in the Transfer Policy at Item No. I, II, III, IV and V shall be submitted to Administrative Departments for decision.
Now, by way of new SRO 479 dated October 19, 2018, the Governor has made further amendments in the earlier notifications and changes in the Transfer Policy of 2010. The provision of submission of proposals relating to powers of transfer to the Administrative Departments in respect of all categories of the employees has been completely omitted.
As per the new SRO, the transfer proposals in respect of district cadre non-gazetted employees within the district and divisional cadre non-gazetted employees within the division shall be submitted to the Head of the Departments.
In the Transfer Policy of 2010, powers about transfers and postings of district cadre non-gazetted employees within the district and divisional cadre non-gazetted employees within the division were delegated to district level officer and divisional head of the department respectively.
The new SRO further states that transfer proposals in respect of first gazetted level officers in all the departments and inter-divisional transfers of first gazetted level officers shall be submitted to the Administrative Department for the decision.
In the Transfer Policy of 2010, the powers about transfers and postings of first gazetted level officers in all the departments were delegated to Head of the Department within the division. In Power Development Department, the powers vis-à-vis inter-wing transfers up to Assistant Engineers level were delegated to Development Commissioner Power and powers of transfer of AEs within the wing were delegated to the Chief Engineer concerned.
In the case of PWD, the powers for inter-wing transfer up to Assistant Engineers level were assigned to Administrative Department and posting within the wing to the Chief Engineers concerned. It was also mentioned in the Transfer Policy that as and when the post of Development Commissioner (Works) is revived/filled up such inter-wing transfers shall be ordered by him.
About inter-divisional transfers of first gazetted level officers, in the Transfer Policy of 2010 the powers were delegated to State level head of the Department concerned.
However, no changes have been brought in Item No.3 of Clause-D of the Transfer Policy, which pertains to transfers and postings of State cadre non-gazetted employees, which will continue to be made by State level Head of the Department and in case there is no State level HoD, powers shall be exercised by the Administrative Department concerned.
“Notwithstanding latest changes vis-à-vis powers to make transfers and postings, the provisions of the Transfer Policy of 2010 are not strictly adhered to even by the General Administration Department, which otherwise is supposed to be role model for all other departments”, official sources regretted and hoped that all the provisions of the Transfer Policy shall be strictly adhered to at all the levels.