Tangmarg/Srinagar, June 06 (Scoop News) – Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday underscored the importance of peace in generation of economic activities and carrying forward development on fast tract. He said peaceful and conducive atmosphere catapults development and enables every household to receive its share in the overall economic growth and employment creation.
Addressing a large public gathering after laying foundation of Mini Secretariat here, the Chief Minister said that the benefits of peaceful 2011 in the shape of faster development, successful tourist season, historic panchayat elections, enactment of public empowerment legislations and anti-corruption measures are visible before everyone.
Giving credit to general people for extending wholehearted support to the government in restoration of peace and putting the development on faster track, Omar Abdullah said that he is determined to empower people and involve them in the process of development.
“My government has successfully conducted panchayat elections and powers from 14 departments to these grass root level institutions have already been transferred through speaking government orders. I am regularly monitoring the status of panchayat empowerment and in a high level meeting yesterday I received complete details of the powers transferred to panchayats by these departments through government orders”, he said and told Sarpanches and Panches to utilize these powers for the benefit of the people. “Government has given you powers to exercise. It is now your duty to utilize these for public good. People will not accept any excuse from you for not delivering as you are already empowered to deliver effectively”, he added.
The Chief Minister said that he has directed the Rural Development Department to provide the booklets of orders issued by the government for transfer of powers to the panchayats in Urdu, Hindi and English languages so that panchayat members are fully aware of their powers and responsibilities to utilize these for public benefit. He said that he has also asked for involving NGOs and experts for imparting training to Sarpanches and Panches so that they exercise the powers in the best way.
On curbing corruption and bringing in transparency in the government functioning, the Chief Minister referred to the strengthening of institutions by his government through legislations. He said that historic Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) enacted by his government to make public service delivery time bound and imposing fine on the officials found showing laxity or failing in performing their duty to provide 50 public services identified in 6 departments of Revenue, Power, PHE, CAPD, Housing and Transport in a time bound manner prescribed for each service is also an important tool to check the corruption at lower level which has direct bearing on common people.
The Chief Minister said the erring officials under PSGA are liable for a fine that shall be deducted from their salaries and paid to the affected consumers. He asked the people to take full advantage of this Act and get service delivery within the time frame fixed for each service. “This Act has empowered you to demand service within the fixed time frame and curb all chances of corruption”, he said and asked the political activists, social workers and NGOs to make public aware of the provisions of this Act so that transparency and time bound service delivery rules the roast in the functioning of administration.
The Chief Minister also referred to the strengthening of the State Accountability Commission and State Right to Information Commission and said that strengthening of the institutions has played a big role to check both higher and lower level corruption and malpractices. He said that government and administration top to down below is now answerable before the general public for its every action or omission. “This has laid strong edifice for public empowerment and development of strong institutions to keep eye on government functioning”, he said adding that State Vigilance Commission will be another institution to monitor the functioning of government officials and booking the culprits involved in malpractices. He said that work speaks for itself and people judge us by the actions we take for the benefit of the society.
On tourism development, the Chief Minister said that the tourist boon witnessing the State at present should not be utilized wrongly exhibiting opportunist approach by the people associated with this industry. He said there are complaints against transport operators and hoteliers. “You should not try to indulge in profiteering and unreasonable practices while dealing with tourists who are our guests. They should not take bad taste with them but return as happy as would encourage them to come again and again”, he advised the traders in tourism trade.
Omar Abdullah said that the construction of Mini Secretariat in Tangmarg would be highly useful for the people as it would house all the departments under one roof and relieve the people from going one place to another to get their works done in different departments.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir thanked the Chief Minister for granting Mini Secretariat to the people of Tangmarg and said that it would prove highly beneficial for the area and its residents.
Ghulam Hassan Mir also talked about various development issues of local importance and sought Chief Minister’s help in addressing these. He said that the holistic programme launched by the government is showing positive results on ground and government will continue to work for the comprehensive development of the State.
Minister for Revenue, Raman Bhalla said that the Tehsil level Mini Secretariat coming up on an area of 25 kanals of land is likely to cost about Rs. 40.47 crores. He said the complex would house 18 departments of Revenue, Education, Health, PHE, R&B, Rural Development, Fisheries, PDD, Horticulture, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry,
Raman Bhalla presented resume of the measures taken by the coalition government under the leadership of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah during the last three years to reach out people in all areas and ensure equitable and holistic development.
Minister of State for Revenue, Nasir Aslam Wani also spoke on the occasion.