ALL COMMITTEES ARE WORKING ON CLEAR, TIME-BOUND AGENDA, SAYS GOVT. SPOKESPERSON
Chandigarh, March 21
The Punjab government has rejected SAD leader Sukhbir Badal’s charge of using committees as a smokescreen to hide inaction, saying it was essential to evolve a proper framework for implementation of its decisions to avoid the kind of adhocism that had been the byword of the previous government’s functional style.
The adhoc functioning of the Badal government had, over the past 10 years, led to a total collapse of the government systems, which officials across the state had been misusing for their personal gains, a spokesperson of the Captain Amarinder Singh government said.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder had already made it clear that his government would follow a zero tolerance policy towards corruption by making governance accountable to the people, said the spokesperson. He added that a duly constituted committee, comprising several members, was the best way to ensure that due process of law and governance is followed in the execution of any decision, especially in view of the poor fiscal health of the state, whose coffers had been completely drained by the Badal regime.
The Badal government had, in 10 years of its rule, failed to implement even 30% of their poll promises while the Congress government had initiated the process of executing more than 33% of their electoral promises within two days of taking charge, the spokesperson observed.
Reacting to Sukhbir’s reported statement that the new government should first announce farm loan waiver, the spokesperson pointed out that the cabinet had already taken a formal decision to this effect. The committee had been appointed simply to work out the modalities of the process to ensure just and fair implementation of the decision, he added.
The spokesperson further pointed out that all decisions taken by the cabinet in its maiden meeting provided for time-bound implementation and hence there was no question of dilly-dallying or looking for a smokescreen, as alleged by the Akali leader.
Given the SAD-BJP government’s track record of the past 10 years, the data, if any, already available in government records could not relied upon, the spokesperson asserted, referring to Sukhbir’s comments that there was no need to collate farmers’ debt data as the same already existed in official documents.
The spokesperson said it was imperative to put strong systems in place to streamline the official machinery and end the stranglehold of individual officers on the government machinery. Things could not be left to the whims and fancies of officers, who had to be made accountable and responsible for the proper and timely execution of the various agendas of the government if the state had to be brought back on the track of growth and development, said the spokesperson.
It was unfortunate, he said, that an experienced politician like Sukhbir, who had been at the helm of the state government as the deputy chief minister, was adopting such a confrontationist attitude against the new government instead of cooperating with it in the interest of the people.
The spokesperson said the Akali leadership was clearly trying to mislead the people, as was also evident from their repeated allegations of vendetta against the ruling party. The chief minister was on record as stating that his government would not indulge in vendetta politics, and had even stated this at Monday’s meeting of DCs/SSPs, yet the SAD leaders continued to befool the people with their false and baseless charges in this regard, the spokesperson pointed out.