The ‘great salary scam in J&K history’: Is state exchequer being looted of Rs 70 Cr?

Srinagar: In what’s termed as the ‘great salary scam in the history of Jammu and Kashmir’ Rural Development Department is investigating allegations of a multi-crore scam of almost 70 crore rupees by fake drawal of time bound promotion arrears in favor of Multipurpose workers.

In its order joint director Rural Development, Jammu, Champa Devi Thakur, while responding to a representation by Provincial secretary All J&K Village Level Workers Association, Jammu, has asked the department to ‘furnish a factual report in the matter immediately’. The order was passed on 7/7/2018.

Subsequently Assistant Commissioner Development, Samba, issued another order to all BDO’s reading: In this connection, you are directed to go through the contents of the subject matter and furnish the factual report of each MPWs of your respective blocks in the matter as per service books of MPWs/other relevant records to this office within weeks time positively, enabling this office for onward submission to the Directorate of Rural Development Jammu’.

According to sources, the response is still awaited.

Provincial General Secretary AJKVLWA, Jammu, Ajeet Singh has written to the Governor Jammu and Kashmir NN Vohra on 26/07/2018  that state exchequer is being looted by irregular, fake drawal of Time bound promotion arrears by the ‘ADCs, BDOs, AAOs and other ministerial staff in favour of MPWs of Rural Development Deptt in pursuance to Govt order No 327/RD and PR Dated 11/12/2017, request for re-fixation of their salary, recovery of the arrears drawn.’

“The Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in haste issued Govt order by which MPWs have been brought at par with village level workers of Rural development deptt. The MPWs along with other officers and the ministerial staff of the rural deptt and Panchayati Raj deptt with ill attention by setting aside all the rules have drawn illegally the pay arrears retrospectively w.e.f 1/04/1997 till date without any sanction order towards the higher authorities, by hundred percent cash and without the roadmap designed by the finance deptt i.e, either to be drawn full in cash or by debit in GP fund accounts etc, roughly estimated embezzlement/looting of state exchequer may be calculated as under:

Jammu division= 700 nos [email protected],00000=350000000

Kashmir division= 700 nos [email protected] 5,00000= 35,0000000

Grand total = 70,0000000 (besides lakhs of rupees per month salary drawal under 7th pay commission by covering irregular grades by virtue of Time bound promotion and 8 years placement0, (sic) ,” letter of Singh reads.

Singh further states that concurrence of the finance deptt is subject to fulfillment fo three conditions.

Singh has argued that conditions imposed by the finance department on the Rural Development & Panchayati Raj deptt while declaring MPWs/Gram Sevikas at par with VLW and not in consonance with the factual positions.

He states that first condition as imposed is that the functions and duties of VLWs and MPWs are exactly the same and their services are inter transferrable while as No Govt order has been issued wherein the functions and duties of VLWs and MPWs is treated same.

‘Their job charts are different,  Singh argues, their services can never be inter transferable as the posts of VLWs are permanent and draw their salary towards non-plan salary head.

“Whereas the posts of MPWs are temporary and draw their salary towards plan salary head. Both VLWs and MPWs posts have their own sanctioned strength and on transfer, they join in their own cadre posts. Under such circumstances VLWs and MPWs posts are not inter transferable,” Singh had argued.

As a second condition, Singh says that ‘the prescribed eligibility criteria for appointment to the posts of MPWs and VLWs in also same’, while as ‘MPWs was initially recruited by the District Level Selection Committees headed by the district development commissioner on the contractual basis.’

“The mode and method of their recruitment were also that of class 4th employees till 2007. VLWs were initially recruited by the J&K Service Selection Recruitment Board vide SRO 133 of 1990. It was only from the date of issuance of SRO 178 of 2007 that the eligibility criterion for the post of MPW was brought at par with VLW,” he argues in his representation.

The third condition, ‘ Except for the difference in two designations, the two categories have all along carried the same pay scale (sic)’, Singh says that MPWs were initially recruited on consolidated pay of Rs 500 per month and subsequently, regularized against graded posts of MPWs carrying pay scale of 5200-20200 with GP of 1900.’

“Whereas VLWs are (notionally) appointed in the GP of 2400, which implies that MPWs fail to meet condition no:-03 also,” Singh has written.

Despite repeated attempts and text messages  Sheetal Nanda, commissioner Secretary Rural Development department did not respond to queries.

Director Rural development deptt, Kashmir Qazi Sarwar, said that he has joined the department two days back only.

“The order pertains to Jammu division only,” Sarwar said.

When asked that the allegations are leveled on Kashmir Division as well, will they not investigate the matter which covers an embezzlement of almost 70 crore rupees, he said that he will verify the details of it

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