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PAAs to replace panchayat secretaries as first signatory in govt schemes

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Jammu: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday appointed panchayat account assistants (PAAs) as the first signatories for all the government schemes run by the Rural Development Department in the Union Territory.

According to an order issued by the Rural Development Department and Panchayati Raj, the PAAs will now replace panchayat secretaries as the first signatories in all government programmes including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) scheme.

The Finance Department had created 2,000 PAAs posts in the Rural Development Department on June 27, 2019, in a novel approach to strengthen the panchayati raj system and ensure accurate accounting of finances in the panchayats in J&K.

After their appointment, they were assigned roles and responsibilities to maintain all records relating to gram panchayat accounts wherein their primary responsibility was to check the accuracy of all financial transactions, to scrutinise the resolutions passed by the gram panchayat.

Expanding the functions and responsibilities of the PAAs, the rural development department and panchayati raj said the PAAs will now be responsible for uploading approved gram panchayat development plans (GPDPs) on panchayat portal, clearance of audit paras, responding to audit observations and recovering amount, if any, observed in the audit paras.

The order said as the first signatory, the PAAs are responsible for ensuring that all financial transactions of the panchayats are correctly recorded, verified and authorised before any payment is made.

In addition to preparing responses to audit reports, they were also entrusted with the responsibility of reconciliation of revenue, receipt and expenditure figures with the office of principal accountant general office of Jammu and Kashmir, the order said.


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