The delay in granting digital signature certificate (e-token) by members of the board of directors of the newly-created J&K Forest Development Corporation (JKFDC) has led to administrative inertia in the corporation.
Following the delay, the corporation has not been registered under the Companies Act, 2013, resulting in operational crisis.
The employees of the corporation are without salaries for the past several months while all its operations have been badly hit. New Delhi recently repealed the Jammu and Kashmir Forest Corporation Act, 1978, under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act vide its Order No 73-JK (FST) of 2020 dated June 23, 2020 and created Jammu and Kashmir Forest Development Corporation as a registered company under the Companies Act, 2013.
With the change, the JKFDC is headed by the Lt Governor while its affairs are looked after by the Chief Secretary.
With the change, the Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor, J&K would hold 90,277 shares on behalf of the LG and for its registration under the Companies Act, digital signature certificate (e-token) of the Principal Secretary to LG is required. However, several months on, the digital signature certificate has not been issued yet. Resultantly, the corporation is facing both administrative as well as operational crisis.
The major amount of Grant-in-Aid of Rs 312 crores released for meeting the administrative and operational expenses of the newly-created corporation too has not been released by the Finance department following the non-availability of digital signature certificate.
Seeing the severity of the crisis, Director Finance, Forest, Ecology and Environment department in its commutation vide O M No FST/Acctt/SFC/70th/BOD/201 dated November 23, 2020 observed that the Grant-in-Aid would not be released unless the corporation is registered with the Registrar of the Companies Act.
“I am directed to inform that the JKFDC received Grant-in-Aid for meeting all its administrative and operational expenses from the J&K government. However, the Finance department accorded the sanction to the advance drawl of Rs 34.28 crore as Grant-in-Aid with the observation that the registration of the company under the Companies Act should be ensured at the earliest and no further funds released unless the corporation is registered with the Registrar of the Companies under the Companies Act, 2013,” the communication reads.
It reads that the Principal Secretary to the LG is requested to consider the request of the department and provide the digital signature certificate to complete the process of registration. Following delay in the corporation’s registration under the Companies Act, thousands of employees besides contractors and other workers are without salaries for the past four months. The corporation has generated revenue of approximately Rs 80 crore since March 2020 of which around Rs 60 crore has been added to the state exchequer.