JAMMU: Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary has concluded the extensive and mandatory exercise of pre-budget consultations of Government departments for the next financial year. While winding up this annual process, today he chaired the last and final meeting of Power Development Department and discussed its budgetary proposals.
Commissioner/Secretary PDD, Hirdesh Kumar along with a team of senior officers attended the meeting, while as senior officers of Finance Department including Director Budget, Imtyaz Ahmed Wani participated.
While considering the budgetary proposals of PDD, the Principal Secretary called for speedy implementation of all on-going power projects across the State which are aimed at augmenting the overall power scenario. He stressed the need for regular and effective monitoring the progress of these projects to ensure their time bound completion.
Expressing concern over the gap between purchase of power and revenue realization, Navin urged upon the engineers to make concerted efforts to check pilferage and minimizing the T&D losses. He suggested several measures to check in power theft and asked to step up vigil by the authorities to achieve revenue targets. He also emphasized for a vigorous awareness campaign to educate the masses about the judicious use of energy and using power saving gadgets. He also called for a long-run planning to meet the increased load during the winter months in Kashmir division and in summer in Jammu division to provide appropriate relief to the consumers.
In order to overcome the paucity of staff, especially the ground level functionaries for the smooth functioning of schemes, the Principal Secretary asked for rationalization of staff from one wing to other. He expressed his inability to support the Department for paying wages to the temporary workers, daily rated workers, and asked to manage internally. He said the Finance Department will only support in such matters where its concurrence has been obtained. He advised against engaging any daily rated workers in future and creating any liability on this account rather the permanent employees should be given more responsibilities.
Hirdesh Kumar briefed about the present status of projects, availability of funds, future requirements and overall power scenario in the State. He highlighted some significant issues relating to the overall functioning of the Department and sought their accommodation in next year’s budget, which were agreed to by the Principal Secretary Finance.