PAO to launch in February now

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Jammu: The state will shift to Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) from February, leaving the traditional treasuries department defunct.

Principal Secretary Finance, Navin Choudhary, told Kashmir Reader that on pilot basis, the government will start with two departments including R&B and PHE/IF&C.

“Let us see if any issue comes up, we should be able to correct it and by March end, all other departments shall shift to the new system,” he said.

An official of the finance department explained that under PAO every department shall have its own mechanism to raise the demand for money and get it directly released from the government.

“Currently, we have treasuries and funds department where different departments working in a district administrative unit submit bills and then the treasuries raise demand with the finance department,” he said. “We receive the bills and raise the demand almost on daily (working) basis.”

Funds department deals with GP fund, he informed.

“Then we have audit and inspection department but this all will be replaced by PAO,” he said.

The official added, “under PAO, every department will have its own mechanism and designated officers who will directly raise demand and get the money.” “Everything will be done electronically.”

He said that finance department is training staff for the new system. “The PAO aims at abolishing the human intervention which means there will be more transparency,” he claimed. “A software has been developed for the same.”

The official said that under the new scheme of things, each department shall have its own Chief Pay and Accounts Officer (Pre-audit), Receipt and Payment Officer, Chief Pay and Accounts Officer (GP Fund, Pension, NPS) and Chief Pay and Accounts Officer (Post-audit).

“These four officials will see the finances of each department; they will raise demand, get money, spend it and then get it audited as well,” he said of the new PAO system.

The PAO has been introduced by finance minister, Haseeb A Drabu and he had set October Ist 2017 as its launch date which was subsequently delayed up to January 18 and now the finance ministry officers say that it will be launched in February.