SRINAGAR: The department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj , Jammu and Kashmir expanded the functions of Panchayat Account Assistants (PAAs) on Friday and appointed them as the first signatories for all the government schemes run by Department in the Union Territory.
According to an order issued by the RDD and PR, the PAAs shall now replace panchayat secretaries as the first signatories in all government programmes including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) scheme.
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, if 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 a novel approach ,to strengthen Panchayati Raj system in Jammu and Kashmir , 2,000 PAA posts were created in the Rural Development Department on June 27, 2019.
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.
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.