Srinagar Apr 28, CNS: Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement has demanded that CVs of all the recently appointed NREGA Ombudsmen should be made public so that people know on what grounds these officers were appointed by Jammu Kashmir Rural Development Department recently.
The executive committee of RTI Movement which met in Srinagar took a strong notice of these appointments and said that a process was followed which violates the provisions of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
“As per the guidelines provided by Ministry of Rural Development Government of India, the selection of Ombudsman shall be made from among persons of eminent standing and impeccable integrity with at least twenty years of experience in public administration, law, academics, social work or management. No person who is a member of a political party shall be considered for appointment as Ombudsman. The persons selected as Ombudsman must be physically active and capable of conducting field tours, inspections and visits to remote rural locations in the districts. The guidelines further say that the Ombudsman shall be appointed for a tenure of 2 years extendable by one year based on performance appraisal or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years or whichever is earlier. There shall be no reappointment. Performance appraisal shall be made by the Selection Committee headed by Chief Secretary of state. As for as appointment of 11 NREGA Ombudsmen is concerned people are not aware how these appointments were made. It would have been advisable if Rural Development Department would have made their CV’s public so that people would know what kind of work they have done in past for public good. Except G R Ghani Retired IAS officer NGEGA Ombudsman for Budgam/Srinagar, nothing is clear about ten other Ombudsmen. In-fact section 4 of J&K RTI Act 2009 impresses upon the Government to make all the details public while making any appointments to various boards and councils. It would have been advisable that CVs of all the appointees should have been made public along with the order that was issued Vide Government Order No: 89-RD &PR of 2018 Dated: 10.04.2018 “ said Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat Founder / Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement.
“The Ombudsmen are sort of vigilance and accountability officers at district level, but if a transparent process is not evolved in their appointment what is the fun of having such people ? How can they expose corrupt practices committed by BDOs VLWs etc at block or halqa? NREGA guidelines fixes the upper age limit for appointment of Ombudsmen as 65 years , but as per the order issued by Rural Development Department on April 10th , the upper age limit has been enhanced by 3 more years (68 years). How is it possible that Ombudsmen who are more than 65 years of age be physically active and capable of conducting field tours, inspections and visits in remote rural locations of J&K ? Being physically healthy is the basic criteria for the appointment but enhancing age by 3 more years violates the basic guidelines of NREGA” RTI Movement statement further reads. (CNS)