Srinagar: Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta Wednesday said that J&K’s finance system after 2019 was the most transparent.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that addressing the daylong workshop on ‘Transformation and Reforms in Financial Management’ organised by the Finance Department here, the chief secretary, who was chief guest on the occasion, said, “Today we can safely conclude that the financial system in J&K is one of the most transparent systems anywhere and is among the key changes that have taken roots in J&K after 2019.”
Highlighting major reforms taken up by the J&K government to bring greater transparency and accountability in the financial system making it more robust and outcome oriented, he said that since 2019 many reforms had been taken in the financial management system, which had resulted in producing far better outcomes.
Mehta said that the key reforms introduced by the government in its financial structure envisaged added transparency and accountability and brought J&K’s fiscal system at par with any other system in the country.
He said that the implementation of transformative reforms such as Budget Estimation and Allocation Monitoring System (BEAMS), online submission of bills through J&K PaySys, mandatory administrative approvals, technical sanctions and e-tendering, digital payments, GFR, GeM, and related measures had helped the financial systems in J&K to be efficient, transparent, and result oriented.
The chief secretary complimented the Finance Department for bringing in necessary changes for the overhaul of the system and said that the department had been at the forefront in eradication of corruption at all levels.
He said that the government had completed 92,000 works during 2022-23, which was unthinkable in the recent past as the number of completed works would be around 9000 before 2019.
Mehta said that the feedback taken from the Panchayats was highly encouraging as no complaint was being received from them regarding the works.
He said that works were taking place 3 to 4 times more on the same amount of money and without facing any obstacles as this year 43,000 works had been completed in panchayats, which was just about 3000 before this system was put in place.
The chief secretary said that the officers involved in this transformation should feel proud to be part of this journey.
Regarding the number of beneficiaries receiving old age pension and widow pension, he said that the number of beneficiaries had increased from 4.5 lakh to 10 lakh without putting any further burden on the state exchequer.
Mehta said that 11.5 lakh beneficiaries had been weeded out from the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) without anyone complaining about it.
He said that the money was reaching where it was intended to reach and there was no siphoning of public money now due to DBT and digitisation of services.
The chief secretary said that the officers of the Finance Department were the protectors of the public exchequer and they should make this department the most happening department in the country and achieve the financial discipline for achieving saturation of all the beneficiary led schemes.
He said that promoting good governance in the financial management had been one of the core objectives of the government and people were able to oversee works being executed in their areas on a real time basis on the EMPOWERMENT portal.
Mehta said that the government had zero tolerance against any kind of irregularity in any recruitment process undertaken by any recruiting agency of the J&K government.
He said that the confidence of the youth in these institutions was paramount for the administration and it would be safeguarded at any cost to ensure that only deserving candidates on merit acquired the government jobs.
Some of the main topics which came under discussion during this day-long workshop include role of GST as a fulcrum of J&K's own tax revenues, people's participation through EMPOWERMENT, Janbaghidari, e-audit and performance auditing, PFMS and CAN and SNA module, introduction of IT in GP Fund, correlation between finance and investigations, and Digital Payments and DBT.