Seems PAO system reason for Drabu’s removal, says National Conference

Srinagar: National Conference on Wednesday said that the sudden rollback of the Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) System by the Jammu and Kashmir Government had exposed PDP’s moral smokescreen over the sacking of Former Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu.

In a joint statement issued from Party Headquarters, ‘Nawa-e-Subha’ in Srinagar, NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani and State Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said while the party strongly opposes the remarks of the Former Finance Minister viz-a-viz the Kashmir Issue, it was now evident beyond an iota of doubt that the reasons for his removal were different and the rollback of the PAO reform provides a major clue.

“We strongly opposed Dr. Drabu’s unacceptable and factually incorrect remarks and we continue to oppose them. We believe Dr. Drabu inadvertently spilled the beans and publicly exposed the actual mindset of the PDP – a party which sacrificed the last remnants of its ideological pretence to ally with the BJP. However, the sudden and arbitrary rollback of the Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) Reform brought in by the J&K Government just last month through the Assembly raises a huge red flag. It seems the PAO system was a reason for Dr. Drabu’s removal and the Chief Minister needs to be held to account – how can a reform that your Government pushed through the Legislature just a month or so ago suddenly become untouchable and unacceptable?”, the NC leaders said in the statement.

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The NC leaders said there were apprehensions that the reforms were being rolled back to benefit some particular individuals and players, indicating a collusion with the State Government and this was a serious charge that needed to be probed independently.

“This is a smoking gun without a doubt and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti needs to answer. PDP has been in power for almost three years now and they are still in their experimentation mode. The inherent instability and state of chaos perpetuated by the PDP-BJP Government has cost the State enormously in terms of missed opportunities of growth and development”, the NC joint statement added.

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“It is also a curious case in how the new Finance Minister didn’t wait even a day before rolling back the PAO system on taking charge. Something seems to be going on behind the scenes and needs to be investigated. For nearly two years the PDP-BJP Government persecuted the contractors on account of these changes and ended up accumulating an unpaid bill of nearly 700 crores. If the PAO System was bad to start with, why were these bills allowed to accumulate? What was the reason to bring in the PAO System and what is the reason to roll it back? These are critical questions the Chief Minister needs to answer”, the NC leaders further said.

(With inputs from KNS)

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