Principal Secretary, Finance, Navin K Choudhary, today chaired the first meeting pursuant to the transfer of Perspective Planning and Area Planning divisions of Planning, Development and Monitoring (PD&M) Department to the Finance Department.
Director General, Perspective Planning, Shahzada Bilal and other officers of the Planning, Development & Monitoring Department were also present at the meeting.
Navin said all the Directors, Joint Directors and Deputy Directors of the Planning Department working in various administrative departments of the State Government will now report to the Finance Department. “All the Chief Planning offices will continue to report to the Area Planning Department which in turn will report to the Finance Department.”
The Finance Secretary urged the officers to continue doing their job since the entire process of integration of PD&M Department will be rolled out in a phased manner. “To begin with, there will be minimum disturbances in the organizational structure and subsequently, once the final decision is taken regarding the cadre controlling authority and other related aspects, complete integration roadmap will be rolled out,” he said.
With the budget preparation exercise commencing soon, Navin emphasized the officers that only such projects should be included in the budget which have received technical sanction as well as administrative approval. “Further, if any project is to be included, there should be a complete roadmap for funding so that it is completed in three financial years. In absence of such roadmap, the government needs to take decision to find resources for completing the project(s),” he said.
The Finance Secretary asked the officers to ensure that the ‘languishing projects’ will be taken up by Jammu Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) are not allocated double funding in the upcoming budget.
“Within one year, there should be a massive and visible change on the ground with assured funding for all the projects,” he said. Stressing the officers to maintain high quality of work and follow secretariat procedures without fail, the Finance Secretary said the State government will ensure that the interests of the cadre affected by the integration of the two departments is taken care of.
“You have to return to the basics of civil secretariat working. I have seen files where you can’t relate one note with another. File work should be qualitative. You are in a position of power to make positive changes and you should write your decision clearly on the file. Take a decision or give me options. Don’t write, ‘the officer may kindly take a view’. We are here to protect your interests but this evasive approach to work will not work any longer,” he said.
The officers assured full cooperation from their side and urged the authorities to take decision in a manner that misgivings of officers of the hitherto Planning, Monitoring and Development Department are settled. The meeting was also attended by the senior officers of the Finance and PM&D Department.