Jul 15, 2024

No headway on decision to recruit Accounts Assistants for Panchayats

Process held up for want of Recruitment Rules

There is no headway on the decision to recruit Accounts Assistants forthe Panchayats in the UnionTerritory of Jammu and Kashmir despite the fact that separate cadre is imperative in view of devolution of hugefunds to these grass root level democratic institutions.The Administrative Council of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir vide its Decision No.51/7/2019 dated February28, 2019 accorded sanction to the creation of 2000 posts ofPanchayat Accounts Assistants exclusively for strengthening the functioning of democratically elected Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

Panchayati Raj Act envisages devolution of powers, funds and functions to thePanchayats. As such, the Panchayats are due for receiving substantial funding from the Government. Therefore,the posting of officials withadequate knowledge of main-tenance of accounts and book-ing expenditure is impera-tive”, the State AdministrativeCouncil had observed.Though there are more than4000 Panchayats in Jammu andKashmir yet keeping in view theresource position and to beginwith 2000 posts of Accounts Assistants were approved for creation with the mention thatone Accounts Assistant will be the in charge of two-three Panchayats depending upon thepopulation and geographical distance.

Thereafter, the Government vide Order No.39-F dated July11, 2019 made it clear that Panchayat Accounts Assistant will be a separate cadre for theRural Development and Panchayati Raj Department andthe recruitment will be carried out under SRO-202 dated June30, 2015 by the Services Selection Board.”The recruitment of thePanchayat Accounts Assistants has to be done on fast track,interview within the recruitment process shall be dispensed withand selection made by theService Selection Board within45 days based on the merit determined through written test”, the Government made it clear in the Order No.39-F dated July 11, 2019.

As the Recruitment Rules for the selection of Panchayat Accounts Assistants were under process of finalization, the Government ordered that pending finalization of Recruitment Rules the method of recruitment to these posts shall be governed by the draft Recruitment Rules.”However, nearly one yearhas lapsed since the approval to the creation of 2000 posts ofAccounts Assistants for thePanchayats but there is no headway on the decision”,official sources told EXCELSIOR, adding “almost everyformality was completed butwith the bifurcation of theerst while State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories entire exercise came to the standstill

“We are waiting for the new Recruitment Rules to fill the posts created by the StateAdministrative Council”, offi-cials privy to the development on this aspect said while wishing anonymity. “Had swiftness been shownin the completion of recruitment process within the 45 days from the issuance of Government Order No.39 dated July 11,2019, 2000 Accounts Assistants would have been available to assist the Panchayats in handling their accounts”, sources said.”No-doubt Block Development Officers are helping in management of the accounts of the Panchayatsbut a separate cadre of Accounts Assistants is imperative to ensure utmost trans-parency in the utilization ofhuge funds, which havealrea dy been devolved to the Panchayats”, they admitted,adding “in near future the necessity of Accounts Assistants would be felt more

as there would not be any let-up in release of funds to these grass root level democratic institutions”.As per the decision of theSAC, the Rural Development Department is required to meetthe salary of these appointees from the provisions available for administrative expenses under various schemes administered by it and in case of any shortfall,the same would be met by the Finance Department from itsΒ  budgetary resources.Moreover, the Accounts Assistant will be a District Cadre Post and transfers will be affected within the block by theBDO and within the district bythe DDC. Their APRs will be reported upon by the Block Development Officer (BDO)concerned, reviewed by the Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD) and accepted by the District Development Commissioner(DDC) concerned.

Source : Daily Excelsior

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