The State Administrative Council which met here Wednesday under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik gave its nod for setting up the first-ever Anti-Corruption Bureau in the State to tackle and eradicate corruption in a “more effective and meaningful manner.”
In a statement, the chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said the establishment of full-fledged Anti-Corruption Bureau would do away with shortcomings and multiplicity of roles in the existing anti-corruption mechanism operational in the state.
“Even since the State was put under governor’s rule, the administration has been single-mindedly pursuing the agenda for improving delivery of development and governance in a transparent and result-oriented manner. Keeping this objective in view, the governor’s administration has worked out a mission which shifts
the focus from outlays to outcomes and improving governance through various initiatives which, inter-alia, include establishment of cells for public grievance redressal, monitoring identified mega projects and flagship programmes and setting up an Anti-Corruption Bureau based on best models in the country,” the chief secretary said.
He said with a view to providing clean, transparent and people-centric governance to the people, the governor’s administration recognised the “need to tackle the menace of corruption as critical to good governance in the state.”
To achieve this, strengthening of the anti-corruption laws and the Vigilance Organisation based on the best models in the country, has been accorded top priority,” Subrahmanyam said.
He said at present there is a Vigilance Organisation which implements various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act Samvat, 2006.
“There is a State Vigilance Commission also. Under the existing set up, many shortcomings have been noticed which hamper the effective implementation of the provisions of the anti-corruption laws,” he said.
He said the SAC had, in an earlier meeting, decided to set up an Anti-Corruption Bureau.
“Based on careful analysis and study of various models of states, in particular Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, a new framework/apparatus under the nomenclature Anti-Corruption Bureau is to be set up in J&K. For this, amendments in the Prevention of Corruption Act Samvat, 2006 and Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Act, 2011 have been approved to give the Anti-Corruption Bureau more teeth to deal with complaints of corruption and take these to their logical end,” the chief secretary said.
He said under the Anti-Corruption Bureau, it is also planned to set up six additional police stations at Udhampur (jurisdiction Udhampur and Reasi districts), Rajouri (jurisdiction Rajouri and Poonch districts), Doda (jurisdiction Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts), Anantnag (jurisdiction Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts), Baramulla (jurisdiction Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal districts) and Central (whole of the state).
“While the existing two police stations of Jammu will have jurisdiction of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, the Srinagar police station will have jurisdiction of Srinagar, Budgam, Leh and Kargil districts,” he said.
Advisors to the governor B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and Subrahmanyam were present at the SAC meeting.
NEW GOODS AND SERVICES TAX BILL APPROVED
The SAC also approved the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018’.
“The Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 makes a provision for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services or both by the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The said Act is a replica of the Central Act on the subject. The Central Goods and Service Tax Act has been amended by the Central Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2018. Accordingly, Finance department proposed amendments in the State Act with a view to end inconveniences caused to taxpayers, especially small and medium enterprises viz. process of filing return and payment of tax under the Goods and Services Tax laws,” the spokesman said.
“The new return filing system envisages quarterly filing of return and tax payment for small taxpayers along with minimum paperwork.”
The amendments will improve the tax administration and revenue realization under the GST Act in the State, he said.
PROMOTION OF ACCOUNTS (GAZETTED) SERVICE OFFICERS
The SAC accorded sanction to promotion of Fayaz Ahmad Lone, director, Accounts and Treasuries, Kashmir and Mohammad Yaqoob Matoo, director Finance, Forest department to the Super Time Scale of J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service w.e.f. 11.09.2018.
The SAC also accorded sanction to the promotion of Seema Bhasin, FA & CAO, Revenue department, Mahaesh Chander Tana, FA & CAO, school education department, Madan Lal, CAO, District Fund Office, Kathua, Romesh Singh, finance officer, SMVDU Katra, Mazher Hussain, FA and CAO, SICOP and Ranbir Singh, FA and CAO, Public Works, PW (R&B) department to the special scale of the J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service w.e.f. 11.09.2018.
The SAC accorded sanction to notification of modified implementation arrangements under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme-2007 (MGNREGA).
“Since its launch in 2005 in the Centre and 2007 in the State, the scale, purview and the finances involved in the implementation of MGNREGA have undergone a huge change and presently requiring time bound planning and coordination across multi-departments and not just rural development department. In the modified implementation arrangement, the district development and planning board shall be the principal authority for planning and implementation of the schemes at district level,” the spokesman said, adding: “The district development commissioner shall be the district programme coordinator for implementation of the scheme and the assistant commissioner (development) shall be the additional district programme coordinator (ADPC). The ADPC shall ensure adherence to timelines for planning under MGNREGA at various levels. For convergence of different activities under the scheme, it was felt imperative to designate DDCs as district project coordinator for the scheme since they have direct control over various district level officers and have larger resources at their command than the ACD.”