Govt to set up Commission or separate deptt for PSGA implementation: CM

Govt to set up Commission or separate deptt for PSGA implementation: CM

11 January 2012
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: Describing Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA) as an effective tool to check corruption and ensure good governance, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today said that Government is planning either to create a full-fledge department or an independent Commission on the pattern of State Information Commission to ensure strict implementation of the Act by the departments, which come under its purview. Addressing a mammoth gathering of Panchs and Sarpanchs at Mini-Stadium, Parade Ground this afternoon, the Chief Minister said, 'Public Services Guarantee Act is the law similar to one for which Anna Hazare was threatening of hunger strike. By enacting this Act and bringing services of six key departments under its purview we have initiated the revolutionary step for curbing corruption and ensuring timely services to the public'. 'Now, you need not to bribe the officers for getting timely services from six key departments of the State Government as under the Act you have been given legal rights to receive services within specified time-frame and seek compensation for any laxity or delay in this regard', he said while disclosing that under the Act District Development Commissioner, Reasi recently imposed fine on Tehsildar for his failure to issue reserve category certificate to the applicant within prescribed time-limit. The Chief Minister further said, 'I want to bring services of more departments under the purview of the Act and directions have been issued for working out inclusion of issuance of character certificate and copy of FIR by the Police Department and issuance of MGNREGA job card by the Rural Development Department within the ambit of PSGA'. 'Since this Act is going to have far reaching consequences vis-√†-vis ensuring good governance, there is a dire need to have proper mechanism to ensure strict implementation of the Act and make concerned officers accountable', Mr Omar said, adding 'in this regard, the Government is considering either to set-up full fledge department called Public Services Guarantee Department directly under the control of Chief Minister or a commission on the pattern of State Information Commission'. 'I want an independent authority to exclusively monitor and implement this Act and issue punishments or impose penalties on the pattern of the State Information Commission', the Chief Minister further said, adding 'final decision in this regard would be taken very shortly'. Lashing out at the Peopleís Democratic Party (PDP) for spreading canards vis-√†-vis empowerment of the Panchayats, Mr Omar said, 'those who have covered their eyes with black glasses only see dark. What they did for empowering the Corporators and Councillors after holding elections to the Urban Local Bodies is known to everybody', adding 'after holding Municipal Corporation and Municipal Committee polls, they made Corporators and Councillors to beg for funds from the Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly'. 'But, we not only conducted elections to the Panchayats but also empowered the Panchs and Sarpanchs by transferring funds, functions and functionaries of 14 key Government departments to these grass root level democratic institutions', he said, adding 'we are even going to involve the Panchs and Sarpanchs in the formulation of Halqa Panchayat plans from the next financial year beginning from April 1, 2012'. About the constitution of other two tiers of Panchayati Raj system, the Chief Minister said, 'Block Development Councils will be in place by March and after the elections to Urban Local Bodies in March-April, the process of framing District Planning and Development Boards would be set in motion in order to put in place all the three tiers of the Panchayati Raj Institutions and involve the people in the planning and development process'. 'As far as giving allowance to the Panchs and Sarpanchs is concerned, the Rural Development Department has submitted a proposal to the Finance Department and I will talk to Finance Minister so that while formulating budget for the next financial year, a provision in this regard is kept therein', he said, adding 'I am also in the favour of transferring metering of electricity connections and maintenance of transformers at the disposal of the Panchayats'. Pointing towards the PDPís allegations vis-√†-vis power scenario in the State, Mr Omar said, 'during their tenure they could not even help generate one Mega Watt of electricity. Only Pahalgam Project was completed because their Chief Minister was elected from that area. But let me make it clear that foundation stone of this project was laid by Dr Farooq Abdullah', adding 'during their rule, they put the Sawalakote project in the cold storage'. 'No doubt we are facing problem on power sector but this problem cannot be resolved overnight as it takes six to seven years to complete one power project. The Kishenganga and Uri projects will help us in improving the electricity scenario', Mr Omar said. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Rural Development, Law and Justice, Ali Mohammad Sagar said, 'those make false propaganda against the Coalition Government are very much frustrated by witnessing the success of Omar-led Government in all the fields', adding 'these people are jealous of significant work culture put in place by the Coalition Government and historic achievements registered to ameliorate the lot of masses'. 'There should be some limit for making false propaganda. The opposition is devoid of all such traits and are upset to see the leadership qualities of Omar Abdullah, who rowed the boat clear of difficult water currents to the shore of peace, stability and progress during the past three years', he said. Presenting resume of the achievements registered in Rural Development and other sectors during the last three years, Mr Sagar said that the funds earmarked for MGNREGA in 2008-09 when the present Government took over were just ' 69 crore, which have been raised to ' 750 crore this year and next yearís allocations would be ' 1500 crore. 'We have sent a proposal to the Government of India for enhancing the daily rate of MGNREGA workers from ' 100 to ' 125. We want to raise it to Rs 200 in near future', he said, adding 'snow clearance operation is also being brought under ambit of MGNREGA to provide additional mandays to the labourers in winter months. Minister of State for Rural Development, Ajaz Ahmad Khan, while addressing the gathering said, 'people are real judges to judge the performance of Government. The work card of coalition dispensation is the mirror of its public friendly and development oriented approach', adding achievements registered in rural development and other sectors itself speak of the Governmentís intention of revolutionizing the socio-economic conditions of the people especially living in far-flung and backward areas'. Earlier, Chief Minister opened the Photo Exhibition organized by Information Department to depict the three years achievements registered in the Rural Development sector. He also released Urdu, Hindi and English version of Public Service Guarantee Act in a form of a book published by the Rural Development Department. He also released Report Card of the Department for last three years and a newsletter by the Department of Law and Justice.