Thursday, May 8, 2008

Complete all schemes in 3 years, Gogoi tells bureaucrats

GUWAHATI, May 7: Reviewing the works done in the first two years of his Government at a meeting at Dispur last night, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi asked the top-level officials of his Government to take up only those works that can be completed within this term of the Government so that no work is left half-done. The Congress-BPF Government in the State is going to complete two years on May 15. The Chief Minister also asked the IAS officers to drastically reduce their visits to New Delhi and go to rural and remote areas of the State so that they can take stock of progress of works of various schemes and projects.
Talking to newsmen in Guwahati today, Asom Government spokesman Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “The Chief Minister told the officials in no uncertain terms that he only wanted results. No schemes should be left half-done, and all schemes should be completed in the remaining three years of this Government.”
“I have checked tour diaries of IAS officers and seen that some of them have visited New Delhi very frequently. Cut your Delhi visits drastically and go to the rural and remote areas of the State to take stock of progress of schemes. For works that can be done without Delhi tour of IAS officers, junior-level officials should be sent to get the works done. Now on, I will personally check tour diaries of all the IAS officers,” Sarma quoted the Chief Minister as telling the officers at the meeting.
According to Sarma, Gogoi made it clear before the top-level officials that they would have to spend the amounts allocated to their respective departments in the Budget. “If any department fails to use the funds allocated to it in the Budget, fund allocation to it will be drastically reduced, and the amount will be diverted to the performing departments. To ensure it, the Assembly will sit thrice a year — in July, November and March. If a department cannot use the funds allocated to it, the unused funds will be diverted to other departments in the sittings of the Assembly in November and March,” Sarma quoted Gogoi as telling the officials.
When asked about the outcome of the meeting, Sarma took a step forward on his own, and said: “In the remaining three years of this Government, we will solve the ULFA and ethnic problems of the State through talks, update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and fence the international border with Bangladesh. If the Government can’t perform, not to speak of a united AGP, the divided AGP will also be able to show Congress the door.”
Most of the officers were of the opinion that funds continue to pour in but the fund-absorbing capacity of the departments is too low. To overcome that hurdle, Sarma said: “We have to take schemes in a planned and time-bound manner in accordance with priority.”

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