Dept heads who pile up files to be made accountable

Cabinet decides to seek explanation from secretaries sitting on files

With an intention to make administration more effective, the State Cabinet on Thursday decided to act tough against heads of departments who are sitting on files. 

Disclosing this to reporters, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee has been directed to issue notices to the heads of 14 departments who are found to be delaying file clearance. These include Energy, Revenue, Commerce and Industries, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, Higher Education, Public Works and Urban Development. 

Ironically, the Energy and Commerce and Industries portfolios are held by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and he chaired Thursday’s Cabinet meeting. A total of 1,22,670 files are pending clearance by various departments at the secretariat level. 

“It has been decided to pull up these secretaries and seek an explanation from them. We want to send out a strong message that the government will not compromise on anything as far as administration is concerned. The Cabinet also decided to conduct a monthly review of pending files,” he stated.

Action against tainted

The Cabinet decided to dismiss from service two officials – S N Hiremani, Assistant Director, APMC, Sirsi (Uttara Kannada district), and Mallanna, Assistant Engineer, Raichur ZP, against whom charges of corruption have been proved. The Upa Lokayukta had conducted a probe against them and recommended to the government to retire them compulsorily. The Cabinet, however, decided to act tough and dismissed them from service, Jayachandra said.

As Assistant Director, Bagalkot APMC, Hiremani had in 2009 sold 30 acres of land worth about Rs 3.13 crore to a private individual for just Rs 15 lakh. Mallanna had misused Rs 3.47 crore for implementing a water supply project in Raichur. Compulsory retirement is not punishment.

 Hence, it was decided to dismiss them from service. Besides, steps will be initiated to recover the loss they have caused to the State exchequer, he added.

The law minister said he had brought to the notice of the Cabinet the large number of vacancies in key departments like Revenue, Urban Development and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and explained how administration is getting affected.

A direction has been issued to the chief secretary to submit a detailed report on the matter, he added.

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