SAC approves reforms in PSUs

Governor, Satya Pal Malik chairs SAC meeting in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Governor, Satya Pal Malik chairs SAC meeting in Srinagar on Wednesday.

Jamboo Zoo project revived

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, July 3: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved streamlining of the procedure for procurement of Goods and Services and award of contracts by Public Sector Undertakings/Autonomous bodies/Societies and to bring transparency, equity, economy of expenditure and financial propriety.
It is important to point out that most of the public sector undertakings/autonomous bodies/Societies in the State of J&K receive significant financial assistance from the Government. However, there have been issues related to transparency, equity and economy of expenditure in the creation of posts and recruitments which henceforth shall be made with the prior concurrence of the Finance Department. There have also been issues related to award of contracts by these bodies.
With today’s decision, no procurement of goods and services shall be made by the Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous bodies/Societies aided by State Government without following a transparent bidding process. Besides, no contract shall be awarded by Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous Bodies/Societies without following a transparent bidding process.
Further, no new posts shall be created by the Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous bodies / Societies without the prior concurrence of Finance Department. No recruitment against vacant posts shall be made by Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous bodies/Societies without the prior concurrence of the Finance Department.
Moreover, no recruitment shall be made by Public Sector Undertaking/ Autonomous Bodies/Societies without following a transparent process including inviting applications through advertisements from eligible candidates, irrespective of class of the posts.
The Finance Department has been directed to issue appropriate instructions to these Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous Bodies/ Societies for undertaking necessary amendments in their by-laws / regulations/AoAs as may be required.
Meanwhile, the SAC revived the Jamboo Zoo at Khanpur Nagrota which was held up for lack of funds.
For this purpose, an area of 163.42 hectare of land has been transferred to Wildlife Department. The location is just 8 kilometers from Jammu City on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and on way to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. The project is estimated to cost an amount of Rs 62.41 Cr to be completed by December, 2020.
The work on the project was earlier initiated by the Wildlife Department through CAMPA funding and some amount was utilized. However, the work was stopped due to change in the guidelines of CAMPA funding which restricted the Government from allocating any further funds. The Government has now revisited and approved the project with balance amount of Rs 49.17 Cr to be provided through Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC).
The Zoo is expected to serve as an added tourist attraction especially for tourists coming to visit Jammu to pay obeisance at the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Katra.
The revenue earnings from the project shall flow to the Government.
The Department of Forest, Environment and Ecology will rope in a person, with expertise in Zoo management to assist the department in the establishment of the Jamboo Zoo.
Further, the Department of Forest, Environment and Ecology will examine the possibility of developing an area outside the Zoo as a tourist hotel complex with allied facilities on the state land in consultation with the Tourism Department for convenience of the tourists/pilgrims.
The SAC also accorded approval to the notification of the Jammu and Kashmir Victim Compensation Scheme- 2019.
The scheme is aimed at providing immediate succor to the victims of various crimes and their families and also to financially help the victim. The scheme is also applicable to the minor victims and compensation shall be awarded in heinous offences like loss of life, gang rape/custodial rape, rape, unnatural sexual assault, loss of limb, grievous physical injury or any mental injury, loss of foetus/miscarriage as a result of assault or loss of fertility, pregnancy on account of rape, victims of burning-disfigurement/ injury and victims of acid attack-disfigurement/ injury.
Pertinent to mention that the Victim Compensation Scheme of 2013 provided for compensation ranging from Rs 1 lakh to 3 lakh for 8 categories of victims. The Victim Compensation Scheme-2019 provides for compensation to 15 categories along with sub-categories of victims and compensation ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 Lakh. The scheme is more inclusive in that it includes two additional heads, viz., death by torture in police custody and injury causing severe mental agony to women and child victims in cases like human trafficking.
There is also a provision for constitution of a Fund, which shall be called the Victims Compensation Fund from which the amount of compensation, as decided by the State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) or District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) shall be paid to the victim or the dependent(s) who have suffered loss or injury as a result of an offence and who require rehabilitation. The Fund shall be operated by SLSA.
A victim or the dependent (s) as the case may be, shall be eligible for grant of compensation under this scheme. However, the compensation received by them in the other schemes shall be taken into account while deciding the quantum of compensation.
The application/recommendations for compensation can be moved either before SLSA or the concerned DLSA or filed online on a portal which shall be created by all SLSAs.
In a major environment friendly initiative of planting 50 Lakh trees by June 2020, the SAC approved the launch of Green Jammu and Kashmir drive from July 8, 2019.
The massive plantation drive shall be organized by the Forest, Environment & Ecology Department by involving Panchayats, Civil Society, Educational and other institutions and other stakeholders to plant trees over degraded forest land, areas retrieved from encroachment, roadside areas etc. In the 1st phase, the plantation activities will primarily be focussed in Jammu region where the plantation season has just started and 9 Lakh trees over 2300 hactares are targeted for plantation this Monsoon season.
Further, the Department has been asked to make all necessary arrangements for undertaking afforestation activities in various districts of Jammu province including Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Nowshera, Billawar and parts of Rajouri, Reasi, Udhampur, Ramnagar and Ramban. The department will also be distributing plants to the masses and to the interested people for afforestation through Forest Department outlets.
Similar drive shall be undertaken as part of Green J&K Initiative in the month of November-December in Kashmir region and winter zones of Jammu region and thereafter in March-April to achieve the target of 50 lakh trees by June, 2020.