Giving an indication that Governor’s rule might continue for some more time in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor N N Vohra on Thursday appointed two retired IAS officers as his advisors.
Sources identified them as Parvez Dewan and Khurshid Ganai. While the former had taken premature retirement as Secretary Tourism in Government of India on January 28, 2014, the latter retired as chairman of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in October last year.
Significantly, the appointments have come two days after both the PDP and BJP leaders had met Vohra to explain their stand on government formation. While PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti had called upon the Centre to initiate some J&K specific confidence building measures to create a congenial atmosphere in all three regions of the state ahead of government formation, the BJP leaders led by state party president Sat Sharma had sought ten days time to sort out things for government formation.
Governor’s rule was imposed in the state following the death of then Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed at AIIMS in Delhi on January 7.
Pointing out that their appointment comes into effect the day they assume charge as advisors, a notification issued by Governor here said that they shall exercise the powers of minister under the Jammu and Kashmir Government Business Rules.
It said the Parvez Dewan will be inchage of School Education, Higher Education, Technical Education, Youth Services and Sports, Health and Medical Education, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Transport, Public Works (R&B), Information Technology, Floriculture, Garden and Parks, Tourism and Culture. Similarly.
Khurshid Ahmed Ganai shall be Incharge of the departments of Agriculture Production, Horticulture, Animal/Sheep Husbandry, Co-operative, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Forest, Environment and Ecology, Labour and Employment, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Social Welfare and Tribal Affairs.
The Governor has also directed that the matters relating to the departments of General Administration; Administrative Reforms, Inspections and Training, Stationery and Printing; Elections; Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Home; Power Development; Science and Technology; and Industries and Commerce shall be submitted to Shri B.R. Sharma, Chief Secretary. The matters relating to the departments of Planning and Development; Ladakh Affairs; Finance; Housing and Urban Development; Civil Aviation; Estates; Hospitality and Protocol; Information; Revenue; and Relief and Rehabilitation will be submitted to Shri B.B. Vyas, Financial Commissioner.
With a view to ensure efficient disposal of various matters, it has been ordered that the Administrative Secretaries shall continue to exercise the powers already delegated to them vide SRO 10 of January 14, 2016.
The Raj Bhavan spokesperson recalled that the Governor had held detailed discussions with B.R. Sharma yesterday to discuss restructuring of the present decision making process with a view to ensuring that every important matter receives timely attention. The departments have been organised in four clusters keeping in view the need for synergy and convenient transaction of Government business.
The Governor has also approved the constitution of the State Administrative Council, with the Governor as its Chairman and Advisors to the Governor as Members, to dispose off cases mentioned in the Second Schedule of the J&K Government Business Rules or such other matters as the Governor may direct to be placed before it. The Chief Secretary shall function as the Secretary of the State Administrative Council. The Administrative Secretary of Planning and Development, General Administration, Finance, Law or any other department may be invited as may be required from time to time.