J&K’s ambitious PAO system deferred after Finance Minister’s ouster

Jammu, March 13 (IANS) A day after Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was dropped from the cabinet, the ambitious public accounts office (PAO) system he had envisaged was put on the hold, said informed sources on Tuesday.

Top sources told IANS that Education Minister Altaf Bukhari, who has been assigned the finance portfolio by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Tuesday ordered that the PAO system be put on the hold till M rch 31.

Drabu had adamantly held to his view that both e-tendering and PAO system that would dispense with the centuries-old treasury system would have to be implemented now or never.

Hundreds of contractors working for various state government departments including Roads and Buildings, Irrigation and Flood Control and Public Health Engineering, had locked the offices of these departments bring ing all developmental works on the hold for nearly a fortnight.

The striking contractors have been demanding their long-pending payments and opposing the e-tendering system on the ground that in the absence of proper system and extensive Internet facility, the shift over to such a system would spell disaster to their profession.

The first order issued by Bukhari putting both the PAO system and e-tendering on the hold for the time being has caused jubilation among striking contractors in both the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region.

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