Srinagar, Sep 11: In a matter of grave concern, the representation of Kashmiri officers in key decision-making process has come down to all times low as only four of them are administrative secretaries in the current bureaucratic set-up of J&K Union Territory.
Details available reveal that four officers from Kashmir Valley -two IAS and two KAS officers- are presently administrative heads of government departments.
Of them, two are heading significant departments while remaining two are helming departments considered not-so-important. The local officers holding positions of administrative secretaries are Asgar Samoon (Principal Secretary, School Education department), Sarmad Hafeez( in-charge administrative secretary, Youth Services and Sports Department), Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad (Commissioner Secretary, Department of Floriculture, Parks and Gardens) and Zubair Ahmad( Commissioner Secretary, Tourism and Culture).
A senior official, wishing not to be named, said that halt on induction and retirement of several local officers in the past 4-5 years is responsible for diminishing representation of Kashmir in top bureaucracy.
“There has been no induction of local officers in IAS for past 7- 8 years. More than 20 local officers who were holding key positions have attained superannuation in these years,” he said.
He said the government could address the problem by posting KAS officers as administrative secretaries. “At present, many IAS officers are holding additional charges of one or more departments. This is affecting governance. This issue can be addressed by posting KAS officers as administrative secretaries,” he said, adding that posting KAS officers at key slots would not only help in doing away with the menace of adhocism but would also boost the morale of local officers—(KNO)