Manohar Lal Khattar,led BJP government’s two key officers the chief secretary and the additional chief secretary (vigilance department), have shot off letters to administrative secretaries, which highlight Haryana bureaucrats’ slothful approach in implementing cabinet decisions.
On September 11, the cabinet branch that functions under the chief secretary sent a “most urgent” memo to all administrative secretaries, seeking reports about the status of the implementation of cabinet decisions.
The cabinet branch had set 2 pm of September 12 as the deadline for submitting the reports through special messengers, according to official records.
“It has been observed that decisions taken by the cabinet are not being implemented by the administrative departments despite the lapse of three months as mentioned in cabinet letters conveying the decisions,” the cabinet branch said in its letter.
The administrative secretaries were “requested” to implement the cabinet decisions “at the earliest”.
The government also sought “implementation report” from the frontline bureaucrats about the cabinet decisions pertaining to their departments since January 1, 2018.
“This letter is a testament of the government’s inability to rein in the bureaucracy. Often this issue crops up in our informal meetings. This problem pertains to certain departments,” said a cabinet minister, who did not want to be identified.
Next month, the first-ever BJP government will complete four years in office under the command of the first-term MLA Khattar, the RSS Pracharak-turned chief minister.
It is this lack of command and control, coupled with administrative inexperience of most of the BJP ministers and the MLAs, which has been at the root of government’s inability to tackle the bureaucracy effectively and get its policies implemented.
The letter in question underlines the anxiety of the government, which is already in a poll mode and has been taking a slew of populist decisions preparing the ground for the high-stakes Lok Sabha polls next year.
No response on graft complaints
In another instance of the poor health of the administration, additional chief secretary (ACS-vigilance) on Thursday sent a letter to the administrative secretaries and the heads of 29 different departments, seeking replies about corruption complaints/source reports of the vigilance department.
The vigilance department is yet to receive responses of 211 corruption complaints and source reports.
“In spite of repeated reminders no replies have been received,” the letters says, pointing out that the vigilance department has been sending complaints to the departments for enquiry/comments.
The vigilance department will hold meeting of the chief vigilance officers on September 26 to discuss the issues it has referred to these departments.
The departments with maximum number of pending complaints and from which the vigilance department is awaiting comments are town and country planning (25), development and panchayats (31), urban local bodies (24), ), cooperation (15) school education (11), transport (10) home and police (10), public health engineering (10) and PWD (9).
This is not for the first time that the vigilance department shot off such a missive. In April this year, it had sent a similar letter ahead of a meeting, pointing out how the departments were not responding to over 202 corruption complaints despite “repeated reminders” to submit comments.>