SAC approves Subsidy Scheme for private transporters

The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik approved the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Transport Subsidy Scheme’ for replacement of 500 old diesel vehicles operated by private transporters – including buses, matadors and mini buses. The scheme has been conceived in light of the budget-2019-20 announcements with Rs 25 crore earmarked for the purpose.

To begin with, the scheme will be implemented in Srinagar and Jammu cities with replacement of 250 old diesel vehicles each in Srinagar and Jammu by modern buses which are eco friendly, comfortable, fuel efficient and fitted with modern safety gadgets i.e compliant to BS-IV and above norms.

The Transport Department in consultation with the Finance Department will propose a standardized procedure to be followed for replacement of the vehicles.

The applicant after approval shall be allowed a three months time to purchase the new vehicle after entering into a loan agreement with the concerned bank and the subsidy component shall be given on capital investment after purchase of vehicle and its subsequent registration.

The scheme of extending subsidy to the transporters shall have many consequential benefits in terms of curtailing air pollution in the twin capital cities amidst rising car ownership and in reducing traffic congestion by providing impetus to the public transport system.

DEVOLUTION OF POWERS TO PANCHAYATS – PAYMENT OF HONORARIUM TO ANGANWADI WORKERS, HELPERS:

The State Administrative Council approved decentralization of disbursement of honorarium to Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme and its disbursement through Gram Panchayats.

The disbursement of honorarium will be through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) using Public Financial Management System (PFMS). The Supervisor in the ICDS being the grass root level worker shall be the nodal coordinator for the purpose. The Gram Panchayats shall monitor and supervise the functioning of the AnganwadiCentres (AWCs) and release the honorarium after satisfying themselves about the functioning of the said centres.

The entire amount of honorarium drawn as advance by Mission Director under proper authorization of Finance Department as advance drawal will be transferred into the account opened in the name of Sarpanch/ Administrator/ Counsellor (Chairperson, Panchayat Counsel) of the ICDS for disbursement to AWWs/AWHs through DBT Mode.

The change in the mode of disbursement of honorarium is in accordance with devolution of powers to Panchayati Raj Institutions under the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj (4th Amendment) Act, 2018.

It is noteworthy to point out that the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 2018 provides for devolution of functions, funds and functionaries to the Gram Panchayats. Government has already decentralized the policy for procurement of supplementary Nutrition under Government Order No.44 SW of 2019 dated 29.01.2019.

Funds to the tune of Rs 24.43 crore every month shall be disbursed to the Anganwadi Workers/Anganwadi Helpers as Honorarium by the Gram Panchayats in a DBT mode.  Similarly an amount of Rs 243.53 crore annually shall be utilized by the Gram Panchayats to procure supplementary nutrition to the children in the age group of 0-6 years lactating and pregnant mothers through a network of Anganwadicentres.   

The mode of disbursement of the honorarium in favour of the Anganwadi Workers/Anganwadi Helpers will not only ensure proper supervision of the Anganwadi centers but also facilitate timely disbursement of honorarium to them so as to motivate them for efficient and improved functioning and service delivery.

ASSURED PENSION TO OLD AGED, WIDOWS AND PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED:

In order to ensure transparency and avoid delays in the disbursement of pension to the eligible old aged, widows and physically challenged persons, the State Administrative Council approved Aadhaar linked payment mode for disbursement of pension to the beneficiaries under various Centrally / State sponsored schemes.

SAC directed that Deputy Commissioners shall undertake rigorous re-scrutinization of all the pending pension cases in the district so that no eligible beneficiary viz old aged, widow or differently-abled person is left out and denied the benefit of the pension schemes. All eligible cases duly supported by Aadhaar numbers will be forwarded by the DCs to the respective Directorates of Social Welfare by July 31, 2019.

The respective Directorates of Social Welfare shall ensure that the process of Aadhaar Seeding and consequent de-duplication and weeding out of in-eligible cases is expedited and the  process concluded by September 30, 2019.

SAC also directed the Social Welfare Department to compile, in addition, a list of all widows below 40 years of age, not covered under the ongoing schemes.

It is noteworthy to mention that the Social Welfare Department is providing monthly pension to the beneficiaries in the State under two schemes i.e. National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) which is blend of Centre Share and State Share and Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS).

A large number of pending pension cases, non-coverage of eligible persons/widows and delay in disbursement of monthly pension are some of the issues that have been reported from time to time in particular during the recently concluded Back to Village Programme. It would be the endeavor of the Government to cover all eligible persons under the various social security schemes including National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS).