JK govt puts PAO system in abeyance

JK govt puts PAO system in abeyance

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government today put in abeyance the Pay and Accounts Office System (PAOS) till March 31, an official spokesman said.

The decision was announced a day after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti axed Haseeb Drabu from her cabinet over his remark that Kashmir was not a political issue.

In January, Drabu proposed a reform in the government’s payment system by replacing the present treasury system by a functionally aligned PAO system.

Quoting an order issued by the finance department, the spokesman said The implementation of the PAO system rolled out on February 8 is kept in abeyance till March 31, 2018 in the first place .

The readiness of stakeholders as well as foolproof technical platform will be reviewed before the rollout of the system early next financial year, the order said.

Earier during the day, a notification signed on behalf of the chief minister said Education Minister Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari, one of the founding members of the PDP, was given additional charge of the department of finance as well as labour and employment as an interim measure.

Reacting to the government decision, opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah questioned was there more to Drabu’s sacking than just his speech.

The first decision of the new finance minister is to reverse a reform his govt (government) had bragged about. Is there more to Haseebs dismissal than just his speech? the former chief minister said in a tweet.

Drabu’s decision to replace the existing system with PAO system, which entailed payments only through online mode, has not gone down well with certain quarters who claimed that the finance ministry staff was not adequately trained.

On March 9, Mehbooba has directed exemption till March 31 of the geographical areas where internet facility is not available or which are facing disruptions due to various reasons in order to ensure that the stakeholders do not face any inconvenience during the switch over to PAO system and to make sure no pendency of bills.

The chief minister had also directed that the bills being returned for want of administrative or technical sanction be considered for payment subject to a certificate by the concerned DDO that such a sanction is granted post facto by the competent authority within two months.

Drabu had proposed that for all receipts and disbursements of the government, the PAO would be departmentally aligned. They would deal with those heads of accounts which are related to the function of their concerned departments.

Instead of receiving the receipts and disbursing the payments of numerous departments in the treasury system, the PAO would deal with just one department.

This will ensure better understanding of the department resulting in better forecasting, budgeting, accounting and reporting,” he had said in his budget speech.