MHA holds high-level meet on J&K proposal for elevation of 4 IAS officers as FCs

UT short of posts, may be diverted from AGMUT cadre
*Working of AIS officers on deputation reviewed

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Feb 5: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has held a meeting with senior officers of the civil administration of Jammu and Kashmir on the proposal for promotion of four Principal Secretaries to the rank of Financial Commissioners and working of the IAS officers who are on deputation from different States/ Union Territories to the UT.
Official sources told the Excelsior that proposal of four senior IAS officers which was discussed by the MHA with the UT administration for elevation from Principal Secretaries to the Financial Commissioners after it was mooted by the UT are Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary Jal Shakti Department with additional charge of Revenue, Bipul Pathak, Director General Institute of Management for Public Administration and Rural Development (IMPARD), Ashok Kumar Parmar, Principal Secretary, ARI and Trainings and Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department with additional charge of Smart Cities and Proposed New Jammu/Srinagar MDMA.
All of them are 1992-93 batch IAS officers of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre which was converted into AGMUT by the Union Home Ministry after abrogation of special status of the State and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Sources pointed out that 30 years service is mandatory for elevation as the Financial Commissioner and all four officers fulfil this clause of the Rules.
Presently, there are two Financial Commissioners in place including Atal Dulloo in Agriculture Production Department and RK Goyal, Incharge Home Department. After them, Shantmanu is on top of seniority but he is on Central deputation where he has been posted as Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).
“Sanctioned posts of Financial Commissioners are less in Jammu and Kashmir but the Union Home Ministry can give some posts from the AGMUT cadre as J&K is now part of that cadre,” sources said, adding though the meeting was fruitful the final decision of the MHA will be known only after release of minutes of the high-level meeting which are expected here shortly.
The UT Government reportedly proposed that there is no need for creation of new departments and the officers can hold same or other existing departments as FCs as the Government desires.
The administration is quite confident that the proposal will be through as senior IAS officers of Jammu and Kashmir cadre (now AGMUT) have been working hard for last three years in the wake of series of Central Government decisions.
However, it is the MHA which has to take final call as Jammu and Kashmir is now the Union Territory.
“If the proposal for elevation of four Principal Secretaries as Financial Commissioners is through, four posts will become available for the elevation of Commissioner Secretaries as Principal Secretaries when they become eligible,” sources said.
They pointed out that various other aspects of promotional avenues for the IAS officers posted in Jammu and Kashmir also figured at the meeting.
As per the sources, working of the IAS officers, who are on deputation to Jammu and Kashmir from the Centre and various other States/Union Territories, was also discussed/ reviewed by senior Home Ministry officers with the UT administration.
Following abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, a number of officers from All India Services were posted in the two UTs from the Centre and various other States/Union Territories to overcome shortage of the officers.
While some of them have since returned, most of others are still posted in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh.