SRINAGAR — The Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, approved the proposal of winding up the Department of Stationery and Office Supplies.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.
The decision has taken into consideration the fact that the General Financial Rules 2017, mandate the purchase of common use goods and services from the GEM Portal. Accordingly, all departments are making purchases through the GEM Portal, thus making the Department of Stationery and Office Supplies defunct and non-functional.
Presently, the Department has two stationery depots each at Jammu/Srinagar and 12 sub depots at Doda, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur, Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Leh and Kargil. The Department has a sanctioned strength of five gazetted officers, 113 non-gazetted officials and 52 Class-IV employees.
The Administrative Council decided to close the Department and transfer its infrastructure and manpower to other Government departments, as per need, for their optimal utilization.
Earlier, the Department of stationery and office supplies was the nodal agency for procurement of stationery/paper and binding items for its onwards supply to all the Government/Semi-Government Departments; issued rate contracts for photocopiers, copy printers, fax machines, toners, cartridges etc; and appointed a Government auctioneer.
However, the advancements in IT interventions have made all these functions simpler and have obviated the necessity of maintaining a specialized cadre for the purpose.