Panchayat Accounts Assistants to replace Panchayat Secretaries as first signatory

Expanding the functions and responsibilities of Panchayat Account Assistants (PAAs), the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, J&K has appointed them as the first signatories for all the government schemes run by the department.

According to an order issued today by the RDD & PR department in this regard, the PAAs shall now be responsible for uploading approved GPDPs on jk.panchayat portal, clearance of audit paras and OB items, responding to audit observations and recovering amount, if any, observed in the audit paras.

The order added that the PAAs shall now replace Panchayat Secretary as the first signatories in all government programmes including the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA scheme.

As the first signatory, they are responsible for ensuring that all financial transactions of the Panchayats are correctly recorded, verified and authorized before any payment is made.

Pertinently, a novel approach was developed in the UT to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system and ensure accurate accounting of finances in the Panchayats. For this, the Finance Department created 2000 Panchayat Accounts Assistant (PAAs) posts in Rural Development Department vide Government Order No. 373-F dated 27-06-2019. 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 scrutinize 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.