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JK Govt pays all allowances to employees who discharged municipal, panchayat election duties
Excess payment of 43 crores made to employees in contravention of laid down CSR
2/23/2021 12:24:48 AM
Jehangir Rashid

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Feb 22: The employees who discharged their duties in the Panchayat and Municipal elections in 2018 received a windfall after the government paid them an additional amount of Rs. 43.29 crores on account of all allowances which they were not entitled to receive in lieu of the same.
The same has been detected in an audit conducted by the office of Principal Accountant General, Jammu & Kashmir. The Deputy Accountant General in the office of Principal Accountant General, Jammu & Kashmir has in fact shot letters to Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu & Kashmir and Commissioner Secretary, General Administration Department (GAD).
The Deputy Accountant General while quoting Article 27 (b) of J&K Civil Services Regulations (Volume-I) in the letters says that salary means the sum of pay and acting allowance or charge allowance under Article 85 of chapter VIII. The officer said that salary does not include a local allowance, House Rent Allowance (HRA), Deputation Allowance, travelling allowance whether daily, monthly or yearly.
“Audit examined payment vouchers of Rs. 429.85 crores paid to 1, 34,249 employees in respect of 3440 offices of Jammu & Kashmir on account of payment of one month additional salary/wages/remuneration of employees who were deployed to conduct Municipal/Panchayat election, 2018 or both,” reads the letters.
The letters read that government order number 1789 GAD of 2018 dated 21-12-2018 regarding payment of one month additional salary/wages/remuneration in respect of employees who were deployed to conduct Municipal/Panchayat election 2018 or both did not clearly indicate entitlement of components of pay to be paid to these employees.
“Since this order was incomplete and ambiguous regarding entitlement of components of pay to be paid to employees, it was seen in audit that some drawing & disbursing officers had paid basic pay plus dearness allowance to employees but large number of drawing & disbursing officers had paid basic pay plus all allowances to employees. Even House Rent Allowance was paid to employees despite issuance of directions not to draw House Rent Allowance and paid to employees,” reads the letters.
The letters further read, “It was seen in audit that allowances of Rs. 43.29 crores were paid to these employees in contravention to Article 27 (b) of J&K Civil Services Regulations (Volume-I). Non-issuance of clear cut instructions for payment of components of pay to employees who were deployed for conduct of Municipal/Panchayat Election 2018 or both led to payment of allowances to these employees which consequently resulted in excess payment of Rs. 43.29 crores.”
It would be in place to mention here that municipal elections were held in Jammu & Kashmir in four phases from October 8, 2018 to October 16, 2018 and Panchayat elections in nine phases from November 17, 2018 to December 11, 2018.
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