Make obtaining PRCs hassles free

Issuing Permanent Resident’s Certificate should undoubtedly be subjected to full scrutiny , verification and proper identification to uphold its intrinsic purpose but not made unnecessarily cumbersome for those who belong to and have established roots in the State of Jammu and Kashmir as facing avoidable hardships and tumults by them is uncalled for. This document , over the years for decades in a row, has assumed the status of being inalienable part of the possession of vital documents by a citizen of this State. We do not, at the moment, touch political and other reasons wholly extraneous to the eligibility of getting this certificate in so far as its purpose and intent getting eroded by factors of manipulations, proxies, favours and compromising with the objectives of the very concept of PRC are concerned as, innumerable instances of such certificates having been issued over the years have been noticed. Alternately, in the absence of this certificate, those special benefits and privileges which a permanent resident alone enjoys having been bypassed have also surfaced including by rehabilitating in many parts of this State those people who otherwise were not entitled under the rules governing the PRC.
Our aim, however, presently is underlining and focussing on the fact that the State Government appeared totally unconcerned about the bothering scenario and the range in the designated offices in respect of issuing of Permanent Resident Certificates to desiring citizens of the State. Not that the State Government is not abreast of the problems faced in this regard by the people on day to day basis without any signs of improvement which explains a proposal having been mooted in respect of appointing the SDMs and ACRs as ‘Competent Authorities ‘ but perhaps ‘Chaltai Hai’ syndrome is sought not to be shaken for the better. That is what appears on the canvas for the last over two years. The proposal , however, continues to be confined to files and made victim of the red- tape of the officialdom. Documents and papers not related to the issuance of this certificate are still insisted upon to be produced by the applicants which besides generating apparent motives, create confusion, delays and harassment leading to strong resentment by the suffering applicants. We do not dispute the premise of the concerned authorities and their staff for insisting on submission of those papers and documents which under relevant rules of the J&K Grant of Permanent Resident Certificates (Procedure) Rules 1968 are required for the said purpose but asking for superfluous and unneeded documents and papers is tantamount to acting repugnant to said rules and thus inconvenience the applicants.
It has to be accepted as a thumb rule that protracted, obsolete and un-required procedures are sources of delays, blatant corruption, confusion , uncertainties about time factor and resultant pique among the people which every Government must address on top priority in this age of digital revolution where people expect services at their door steps. The scenario has got to be changed. We have reasons for being justifiably but factually critical of the functioning of the Revenue Department and very often, vouch for a complete turnaround of the Department and in the instant case too, its role has been found to be less of a facilitator of streamlining the procedure and more of sticking to the inertial mode. The proposal of appointment of competent authorities stands not cleared which has been viewed with concern by a High Level Committee headed by the Financial Commissioner Revenue . In its report, while it has stressed upon an urgent need for notifying all the ADCs, SDMs and ACRs as competent authorities by designation once for all, why a formal SRO is not issued by the Government? We would urge the Government to initiate suitable action on urgent basis in this regard and simplify the procedure of obtaining the PCRs by the people within or before a maximum period of 15 days.