Mamata vows to improve work culture in West Bengal

Didi has asked council of ministers to work on Saturdays too

Banerjee, who had stayed in the Secretariat till midnight on Friday chairing a meeting of the council of ministers for allocation of portfolios, returned to her workplace at 1155 hours, five minutes before the scheduled time.

Determined to improve the work culture that has hit its nadir in the last decade in the state, Banerjee stated that efficiency and effectiveness would be the key words for the West Bengal government employees.

“It’s not that issuing government orders will assume a priority, but implementation of the same and other policies is equally important,” she said. Like the new chief minister, most of her council of ministers and secretaries of differnt departments were also present at Writers’ Buildings on Saturday despite it being a holiday for the government staff. “I just need a week’s time for a complete appraisal of the state of affairs and I believe the ministers too need that time to plunge themselves into work,” she said. In fact, during her first cabinet meeting at the state secretariat, after being sworn-in as the first woman chief minister of the state, Banerjee had instructed her deputies to work on Saturdays.

“Today (Saturday), I held talks with the officials of the land reform, power and agriculture departments. I had a detailed discussion. I feel that for a long time there has hardly been any real work in those departments,” she told the waiting mediapersons.

According to her, a Chief Minister's Office (CMO) would be set up here on the lines of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in New Delhi. “Development and negotiations are amongst our top priority and I need to have a CMO in line with the PMO at the Centre,” Banerjee said.

“There is no basic infrastructure for good governance. My priority is to set up infrastructure for good governance and to speed up development work for the benefit of the people,” she observed.

Asked whether she would give priority to eliminate corruption, Banerjee said “we have just started work. Let me see the details. Then I will come out with plans.”

On the first day of work after assuming office, she donated Rs 1 crore, raised by the sale of her paintings, to the state government and said the money would go to the relief fund.
“As there is dearth of fund for the state government, I had earlier said Rs 1 crore, raised by the sale of my paintings, would be given to the government. So, I am handing over the cheque to the chief secretary,” she said.

A total of hundred paintings by Banerjee were displayed at an art gallery in Kolkata in the first week of April. The artworks were later sold to raise funds for the Trinamool Congress’ campaign in the Assembly polls.

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