Rs 450 cr bills pile up for want of payment
In what points to a sorry state of financial affairs in the state, bills worth hundreds of crores of rupees are pending at different treasuries in Kashmir causing immense concern among the claimants.
Sources in the directorate of Accounts and Treasuries told Greater Kashmir that bills worth more than Rs 450 crore were pending for want of payment at various treasuries in Kashmir.
They said the non-clearance of bills at the treasuries has hit contractors, traders and in some cases employees as well, besides affecting work on several schemes being implemented by state and centre government in Kashmir.
Sources said Rs 200 crore pending bills are on account of General Provident Fund and Commutation alone. “Around Rs 100 crore are due to contractors,” they said.
“Currently due to financial crunch, the government does not have the funds to pay liabilities of employees and contractors as Planning Commission has not released the Annual Plan for Jammu and Kashmir which has resulted in government treasuries running short of funds,” they added.
Ironically, the non–release of bills at the Treasuries has forced many claimants to postpone marriages of their wards.
“I postponed the marriage of my daughter till September due to non-release of GPF payment in my favour at the treasury,” said a government employee wishing not to be named.
The paucity of funds at treasuries has become a source of inconvenience for the claimants. “I have been doing rounds of Sadar Treasury as my GP Fund bill is gathering dust there for want of money. I am being told by the treasury officer that no MT, money transfer – an instrument representing the released amount, has been released by the government to the treasury,” said an aggrieved government employee.
“The GP fund is the amount an employee saves so that at the time of need he/she could have it. But it is sad that we are being made to suffer even to get our own money,” he said.”
Contractors across the Valley rue non-release of payments by the treasuries.
General Secretary, Jammu Kashmir Contractors Central Coordination Committee (JKCCCC) Farooq Dar said that bills worth Rs crore were pending at treasuries in Kashmir for last few months for want of funds.
“The bills of hundreds of contractors working with different departments have not been cleared since April,” Dar said.
He said the pendency of the funds would hit the ongoing development projects in the state. “If bills of contractors are not cleared at the earliest, all the projects will come to halt,” Dar said.
Director Accounts and Treasuries, Kashmir, Altaf Hussain refused to comment on the issue.
A senior official of the department told Greater Kashmir that it “is the treasuries release funds to the claimants. We are only concerned with cash flow management.”
He suggested to this reporter to contact Director Resources “who cal provide you further details in this behalf.”
When contacted, Director Resources, Finance, Showkat Ahmad, said: “I cannot comment on the issue , Director Accounts and Treasures will be in a better position to reply to your queries .”