Amid soaring unemployment, Govt re-employs retired officer
Superannuated Parray is again appointed as Director JKEDI
But pulling a fast one on getting himself re-employed at 62 was like a piece of cake for M.I. Parray, who has been at the helm of Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) for the last 15 years.
The government on Tuesday gave the sanction to the “re-appointment” of Parray as Director JKEDI “for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 65 whichever is earlier”.
The March 20 sanction issued “by order of the government of Jammu and Kashmir” has been signed on behalf of Shalendra Kumar, Commissioner/Secretary Industries and Commerce.
Parray’s re-employment not only raised hackles within the institute, furthering allegations that the coalition government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was indulging in brazen nepotism to extend favours to its blue-eyed boys but is also in gross violation of JKEDI’s service rules.
The rules of the autonomous institute under the tutelage of the Industries and Commerce department specifically prescribe that appointments to the senior positions including of the director “may be made on all India merit basis”.
By government’s service rules, Parray should have retired at the age of 60. But in 2013, he re-drafted the JKEDI’s service rules fixing Director’s tenure for five years or at the age of 65 – whichever is earlier.
He had already been occupying the post for almost 10 years.
But by the virtue of fresh service rules, he gave himself an extension of five more years on the pretext that new regulations came into force in March 2013 – the start of his tenure at the reincarnated institute governed by new practices that were cleared by its governing body.
Parray even revised his salary fix his Pay Band at 6700 with Grade Pay of 12000 – meaning he drew a monthly salary of Rs 2 lakh which is only comparable to Chief Secretary or the highest bureaucrat of the state.
Months before Parray’s retirement, the governing body had recommended constitution of a search committee that will advertise Director’s post and appoint his replacement.
However, the post was never advertised, leave aside finding a replacement. Sources at JKEDI said Parray himself scuttled the plan, hoping that the government would give him an extension.
The extension didn’t happen but re-employment did, despite Mehbooba Mufti’s promise that she won’t let bureaucrats and other officers stay beyond their tenure or re-employ them.
All this amid a yet to be settled row triggered by the appointment as executive officer in J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board (JKVIB) of Peoples Democratic Party Vice President Sartaj Madni's son.
Madni is Mehbooba Mufti's uncle and is a known friend of Parray.
It is pertinent to mention here that Parray’s conduct has earlier been questionable when he was alleged to have fudged the data of entrepreneurial success of the institute selling government-subsidized loans in the name of enterprise creation.
JKEDI insiders told Kashmir Images that the success rate of its sponsored enterprises is highly inflated as Parray acts like his own counsel, his own judge to adjudicate his conduct. He has never allowed a third party independent assessment of the institute.