Announces amnesty scheme for power consumers
STATE TIMES NEWS Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday scrapped the recruitment process of 250 probationary officers and 1,200 banking associates in J&K Bank started in 2018 due to various ‘legal infirmities’ and announced fresh recruitment on fast track basis through IBPS. “The ongoing process of recruitment for these posts (250 POs and 1,200 banking associates since 2018) by this (J&K) bank shall stand scrapped”, Principal Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring, Rohit Kansal told reporters here on Thursday night. Kansal said that the issues had been ongoing since 2018 and noted that various “legal infirmities” had been pointed out in the ongoing process. Kansal, who is also the government’s spokesperson, said that the decision was taken by the Administrative Council which met here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor G.C. Murmu. The Council, he said, therefore, directed the finance department to advise J&K Bank to initiate a fresh, fair, norm based and transparent recruitment for 250 Probationary Officers and 1200 banking Associates in the J&K Bank through the IBPS. “The entire recruitment process will be completed on a fast track basis within three months. The detailed modalities and announcements in this regard will be finalized by the bank in its next board meeting”, Kansal said. The bank is being advised to ensure that all applicants eligible in the last recruitment which has been cancelled shall be eligible for the fresh recruitment also, he added. In October 2018, J&K Bank had advertised for 250 vacancies of POs and a three-phase recruitment process. According to the bank’s notification, an initial preliminary examination is to be followed by the mains, and finally the interview round. With protests reported from various parts of Jammu region, where candidates with higher marks had been left out as per the bank’s notification for examination in June last year, and the issue threatening to snowball into a major crisis after the BJP and the IkkJutt Jammu outfit jumped in the fray and called it another instance of regional discrimination , the then Governor Satya Pal Malik asked the bank to revisit its decision. The revised cutoff now has left candidates in the Valley angry, with many people criticising an independent institution for buckling under pressure from BJP. The Government has also announced amnesty scheme for power consumers across UT of J&K, Kansal said, adding that the Administrative Council approved an amnesty scheme for the power consumers which will come into effect from March 1, 2020. “It was decided that as a welfare measure and in order to give an opportunity to power consumers to prevent disconnection of their connections and to facilitate easy payment, the amnesty scheme envisages payment of arrears in three easy instalments,” he announced.
He further said 25 per cent of the payment is to be completed by March 31, 2020, 40 per cent of the payment is to be completed by April 30, 2020 and remaining 35 per cent by May 31st, 2020.
On timely and complete payment, he informed that a full waiver of interest and penalty will be provided by the department.
“Consumers who miss the first instalment will lose 5% of the benefit while those missing the second one will lose 10% of the benefit. Failure to fully pay all three instalments by May 31st will, however, lead to immediate disconnection. It has also been decided that after June 1 no power will be supplied to the defaulting customers unless the arrears are cleared in full. It is estimated that waiver of penalties and interests will cost around Rs 600 crore to the government as against total pending dues of Rs 3000 crore,” he said.
The Administrative Council discussed the difficulties being faced by the local industry.
Kansal said after detailed discussions, the Lieutenant Governor directed the Finance Department to prepare an estimate of interest liabilities of industries operating in J&K owing to the situational difficulties being faced by these industries.
“It decided that the Finance Department will carry out this exercise in consultation with other departments such as Industries Department etc. The department will also prepare an estimate of the forebearings required to see that the local industries can be revived and start functioning normally,” he said and added that the industries department will also engage in a widespread stakeholder consultation in order to prepare a policy for incentivising the local industry on similar lines as is being done for attracting investors from outside.
These consultations will be combined into a comprehensive package for having vibrant industrial/tourist eco system in J&K, he added.
On proposed investment summit, Kansal said that the Administrative Council also reviewed the progress with regard to the proposed investment summit and accorded approval to four sectors specific policies which would help facilitate investment in these sectors.
“Considering the large amount of investment being targeted and consequently the work noted to be done in facilitating these investments the administrative council also accorded approval to the creation of a post of Industries Commissioner in the Industries Department in the pay matrix 14,”he said.
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