Planning Department protests SAC decision and Finance Dept Order , transferring its core functions

Nissar Shaheen:

Planning Development and Monitoring Department has been functioning as one of the pivotal Departments of the state and is responsible for policy planning, plan formulation, resource mobilization and programme implementation. The Department has been performing these important functions including Expenditure Monitoring since decades.

The J&K State has been one of the pioneering States in the field of decentralized District planning with the introduction of Single Line Administration in 1976. The importance of Planning Dept could be judged from the fact that the almost all former Chief Ministers retained Portfolio of Planning with them and any decision regarding its functioning has direct correlation with the future of development in the state. The recent SAC decision has announced certain key functions of Planning Dept shall be transferred to Finance Department and subsequently vide order no 407 Finance Dept has ordered transfer of resource Capital to Finance.

The SAC Order has instantly evoked strong reactions and resentment from the entire Planning Cadre comprising 443 gazetted and above 3000 non-gazetted personnel , on the pretext that order has been issued without any proper homework and Govt has no roadmap ahead. The allegations seem somewhat justified as Govt has now framed a committee to work out a road map as it could sense that Finance Dept lacks Planning expertise and capacity to coup up with huge workload of Developmental planning including CDF and MPLADS programmes. The senior officers further alleged that both Revenue and Capital components were dealt by the Planning Dept successfully since decades and present resource allocation to Departments has also been made through “BEAMS” (Digital portal) successfully for transparency. They opposed the Finance Order and term it as a decision taken in isolation.

Almost all the Deputy Commissioners and Heads of Departments also seem not receiving the decision well and the work has been badly affected in offices due to the pen down strike given by planning officials since 25th of this month.

Many important Politicians have also reacted to the SAC decision and stated that the there was no need to take such a decision prior to better homework as it could prove detrimental to State’s Development in the future. Any decision regarding the Planning Dept should be taken with utmost care and better roadmap. They also favored immediate revocation of Finance order no 407, which has created confusions down the system.

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