The J&K administration approved the re-designation of posts for employees working under the Prime Minister’s package from the district to the divisional level on Wednesday, in line with its plan to move Kashmiri Pandit government staff to “safer locations” within the Valley following a spate of targeted killings.
According to officials, 5,928 employees in J&K are now employed under the PM package.
Employees can be transferred anywhere within the Kashmir or Jammu divisions – each division has ten districts — now that the postings have been re-designated to the divisional level.
The administrative council, chaired by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, met on Wednesday and approved “promotion of PM package personnel” to “lift the bottleneck in employee career growth.”
According to the administration, the scheme “envisages maintaining a separate seniority for Kashmiri migrant employees appointed under the PM package, by respective appointing departments, which will run parallel to the seniority of regular employees and will take effect from the date of appointment against the supernumerary posts under the PM package and will take effect from the date of appointment against the supernumerary posts under the PM package.”
The scheme, which featured various incentives such as housing, job, and transit accommodation, was implemented during the 2008-09 fiscal year for the repatriation and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley. By creating supernumerary roles in various departments, the employment component of the programme provided work to 6,000 eligible candidates. However, these positions were only available to people who worked in their home district.
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While this does not address security concerns, an employee who did not want to be identified in this article stated the change “resolves issues with relation to promotions.” Employees whose spouses were previously restricted to positions in a different district are now able to seek transfers together.
“Previously, we would present our files for promotion and they would ignore them since these aren’t typical jobs, but rather special jobs.” We can now earn promotions within our departments as a result of this,” the employee explained.
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As a result, the administrative council has approved the introduction of “pre-facto supernumerary posts” at higher levels to allow Kashmiri migrant personnel to advance their careers more quickly, while decreasing the same posts at lower levels in the same ratio. However, according to the recruitment guidelines, these promotions will be based on seniority and eligibility standards.
All PM package employees will be eligible for promotion “as per eligibility and seniority” under the new structure.
Also read: In the early 1990s, 64,827 Kashmiri Pandit families fled the valley due to militancy: MHA
Employee protests started in May after a Kashmiri Pandit revenue department worker in Budgam, central Kashmir, was slain by militants inside his office. The Kashmir Divisional Commissioner ordered that all such personnel be transferred from their villages to district headquarters.