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When Mehta called off meeting over absence of IAS colleagues

Srinagar, Jan 22: A meeting of the high-powered panel empowered to approve funding for languishing projects was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to non-participation of an Administrative Secretary (AS), evoking displeasure from a senior bureaucrat heading the panel, it has surfaced.

Documents suggest that thirteenth (13th) high-powered committee meeting which was scheduled to be held under the chairmanship of Financial Commissioner Finance Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta in civil secretariat Jammu on January 12 was cancelled due to non-participation of the administrative secretaries of the departments of Jal Shakti department (formerly Public Health Engineering) and administrative secretary, Planning Development and Monitoring department) in the meeting.

“The Financial Commissioner, Finance Department has accordingly desired to convey’ displeasure regarding non-attendance by members. JKIDFC High-Powered committee meetings shall not be attended by representatives and this may be duly noted to the committee members who have not attended the meeting on the said date and time. As such the proceedings of the meeting could not be held and the projects related to Youth Services and Sports Department couldn’t be discussed,” the documents reveal.

It is worthwhile to mention that State Administrative Council in 2018 had approved the constitution of HPC comprising administrative secretaries of Finance, Planning, PWD and PHE for selection, authorization, monitoring and regulation of projects under it.

It had also approved the establishment of a new infrastructure company, the Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC). The JKIDFC was authorized to raise a loan not exceeding Rs 8000 crores from various financial Institutions including State/ Nationalized Banks for completion of these unfunded, languishing projects.

Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS, Financial Commissioner, Finance, Jammu and Kashmir


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