Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sikkim Chief Minister launches Mission 100 Days for effective administration


GANGTOK: In a move obviously aimed at ensuring that the administration did not hide behind the excuse of “no specific directions”, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling Monday chaired a meeting “on tasks for each Department for 100 days” and released a 109-page document which spells out specific tasks for 30 Departments. The meeting was in follow-up to the CM’s declaration in his budget speech in which he directed Departments to get working on projects under them and have something concrete to show for their efforts within 100 days or risk having their budget redirected to the performing departments. Today, the task was spelled out and clear instructions passed for each department to institute a monitoring cell to keep tabs on all projects and tasks assigned to it and report to the Chief Minister’s Office on a regular basis. The 100-day deadline ends on 15 July, 2011.

“The State government, mandated by the people of Sikkim, has devised many policies. Out of these pro- poor and poor-people policies emanate many schemes being implemented by the various departments. Budgetary allocations have been made, announced and passed in the recent Budget Session of the Sikkim Assembly,” the Chief Minister explained in his address today.
He pointed out that the “expectations of the Government have to be fulfilled by the machinery in place for providing services to the people of Sikkim and these services had to be of high- quality, timely and accessible.”
He highlighted that the State government has already announced 17 Missions in the last financial year as a road-map of development; these Missions commit the government to total literacy, green mission, organic mission, poverty free mission etc. “which have to be completed at all costs”, he stressed.
He further said that our officials will have to discharge their duties to translate these missions to reality with more sensitivity and a humane touch. The Chief Minister also invited “more innovative, imaginative and fully grounded thinking on the ground situation”.
He stressed that succeed, the departments will have to work in unison and rise to the occasion to meet the targets by creatively utilizing the allocations which have been earmarked.
“Impact assessment will be made and monitoring will have to be done. The expectations of the Government have been outlined for a majority of the departments and are broadly reflected for those departments too which do not find mention here [in the document] and they should also prepare and report to my office,” said the CM.
The highlight of the day, apart from the release of specific guidelines and targets, was the interactive session during which the officials and people’s representatives raised many issues they come across in the delivery process. This frank exchange was effective, being held as it was at a meeting chaired by the CM and attended by the Speaker, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission, Chief Secretary, and Heads of Departments along with panchayats, MLAs and Ministers.
Chief Secretary, ND Chingapa, in his address reminded the gathering that this year’s budget was the last for the XIIth Finance Commission for which a ‘road- map’ has been laid out for effective completion of various projects. This, he urged that the functionaries, should be adhered to with sincerity and humility.
Speaking on behalf of the 27 Block Administrative Centres, Chewang Doma, BDO, Ravangla, spoke on the problems like lack of coordination between the Panchayati Raj Institutions and the administration in the village level.
Secretary-cum-Commissioner, Health Department, VB Pathak, who spoke on behalf of the Secretaries and HoDs, put on record that effective administration and the proactive governance of the State government under the leadership of the Chief Minister had secured Sikkim a 62% hike in its budget, something which no other state has matched thus far in the country.
This, he said, was possible because of the positive image Sikkim enjoys because of its good governance. He went on to say that with the Sikkim Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management [FRBM] Act, the utilization of the funds will become more transparent and effective, facilitating the 22 new programmes and targets set by the State government aimed at sustainable development in the field of tourism, human development, education and health.
Similarly, DC [West], Santa Pradhan, speaking on behalf of DCs, suggested that if works in the rural areas were not given priority then the various missions initiated by the state government would not be as effective as envisioned by the state government. He suggested that all schemes and developmental projects should now be enforced on mission-mode if the 2015 target set by the State government was to be achieved.
Zilla Adakshya, East, Bimal Dawari, in turn, spoke on the need for “full decentralization” and dissemination of powers to the panchayats which was a good proposition since only then will the process of delivering within the 100 days be possible.
He added that the panchayats have often complained of being “deprived” of information and ignored when it comes to follow-up of projects initiated in the villages which was “unhealthy” since the panchayats were answerable to the people. He also stressed that effective implementation of all works in rural Sikkim could be carried out within the time frame of 100 days only if the “unnecessary paper- work which delayed works” was done away with.
The main points raised during the interactive session were the status and progress of various on-going projects and the bottlenecks which was delaying completion. Similarly, issues like the lack of coordination and cooperation between the bureaucracy and the people’s representatives on works being initiated in the grass-root level, were also discussed.
Also featuring prominently in the deliberations was the lack of uniformity in the various surveys undertaken to identity the APL and BPL households, which were proving to be a big problem for the people’s representatives during categorization and distribution of benefits.


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