Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government is facing a shortage of administrative officers at mid and high levels in the bureaucracy, officials said here today.
“There is a severe shortage of officers at the administrative level. At some levels, the strength of existing posts is much less than the required number of officers and government is not doing anything to address the issue,” a Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services officer told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
He said right from a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) to special secretary level, there is a shortage of 171 administrative officers.
“While, the actual strength of the special secretaries in the administrative departments should be 36, based on the number of such departments, the present strength of posts is only 24,” the officer said.
Similarly, he said, the government faces the shortage of 21 officers at the level of additional secretaries and 11 at deputy secretary level.
“In addition to that, as per the number of districts, the number of Additional District Development Commissioners should be 22, while at present it is only 13,” the official claimed.
The state government while admitting to shortage of officers, denied that it was of the proportions claimed by some officers.
“It is not a huge shortage of officers. It would not be more than 40 to 50 officers. These figures are exaggerated and wrong,” General Administration Department Secretary Mohammad Ashraf Bukhari said.
Bukhari said it was “a routine” to have so many vacancies as processing promotion cases takes time.
“The process takes time. We do it vacancy-based and merit-wise. It usually takes three to four months. At times, we get a big batch of more than 200 officers and promoting them all at a time is not possible, so it takes time. The officers should have patience,” he said, adding that the state government is pro-active in giving officers their due.