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BADAL UNHAPPY WITH BABUS’ CASUAL APPROACH

Punjab’s senior bureaucrats of the rank of administrative secretaries are “short-circuiting” the mandatory procedure of submitting the cabinet memoranda despite repeated disapproval of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, it has emerged.

In an exceptional exigency, the remedy is that the administrative secretary can bring what is called “table agenda” for the consideration of the cabinet. But, what has incensed Badal and his cabinet colleagues is the practice of officers pushing the “table agenda” as a norm rather than as an exception, government sources say. This cavalier approach of officers bypassing the regular procedure with impunity had also cropped up in the last two cabinet meetings. And, the table agendas were not even touched by the Badal cabinet, sources say.

Now, this “casual recourse” of officers has become a hotbutton administrative issue in the Badal administration. The seriousness of the matter can be gauged from the fact that on September 17 — coinciding with the cabinet meeting -- chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, known to be a stickler for rules, shot off a letter to all administrative secretaries to shun the practice of sending table agendas.

Also, the chief secretary forwarded a copy of his letter to all key staff officers of chief minister Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, including principal secretary (CM) SK Sandhu and principal secretary (deputy CM) PS Aujla. “An emerging pattern has been observed in which some departments are repeatedly taking casual recourse to the exceptional exigency of bringing table agendas for the consideration of the cabinet rather than following the prescribed pre-requisites… as applicable with reference to the contents of a memorandum,” the CS’s letter reads.

The communication points out that the matter has been brought to the notice of the administrative secretaries earlier also who were informed that “chief minister, Punjab, has disapproved of such practices”. Inviting “personal and specific attention” of the IAS officers and staff officers of the CM and deputy CM to follow the mandatory checklist while submitting cabinet memoranda, the CS has stated that the cabinet memoranda submitted by the administrative secretaries without “meticulous adherence” to the points contained in the prescribed checklist may “compromise the decision-making process.”

The top bureaucrat has further advised the officers not to submit cabinet memoranda by “short-circuiting” the checklist and regular procedure “except in very exceptional circumstances” and reiterated that “meticulous compliance” of checklist that is a pre-requisites for cabinet memoranda must be ensured, sources quoting the CS’s letter disclosed.

source:Punjab Mail Online

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