Thursday, April 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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6 special police districts to close
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Accepting the report of the Officers Committee headed by Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chief Secretary, the Cabinet sub-committee headed by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has agreed to enforce various recommendations made in it with immediate effect as a part of fiscal management and to tide over the financial crisis. The meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee was held today, according to a press note.

The committee has decided to bring down the revenue deficit to zero by 2007, reducing its certain percentage on yearly basis. The gross fiscal deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product will be reduced from 7 per cent to 3.5 per cent by 2007. The committed expenditure will be brought down to 60 per cent in next five years from the existing 112 per cent. Reasonable caps will be fixed on public debt and outstanding guarantees for effective management of the huge debt burden of the state. The Fiscal Responsibility Act may also be enacted to ensure effective fiscal management.

The committee has a 14-point charter to reduce expenditure on salaries, allowances and pensions. As part of this charter, all departments have been told to prepare a master manpower record register on a uniform pattern incorporating all category wise details about staff position and deployment etc, within 10 days.

The police districts to be made co-terminus with the revenue districts and the new offices created in the recent past to be reviewed with a view to ascertaining their public utility. In other words, six special police districts Barnala, Batala, Majitha, Khanna, Tarn Taran and Jagraon will be done away.

All major departments will be restructured by preparing a report by the administrative secretaries concerned and subsequent approval of the Chief Secretary within six weeks. During this process redundant functions and functionaries will be identified. They will be transferred to a common surplus pool to be created in the Department of Administrative Reforms to be managed by a competent officer of the rank of a Commissioner. All future manpower requirements of various departments will be met from the surplus pool.

A voluntary retirement scheme may be framed on the pattern of the Union Government and employees of the surplus pool and the redundant state public sector undertakings should be told to opt for the VRS. A blanket ban should be imposed on the creation of new posts in all departments and government undertakings. No vacant post should be filled and the one falling vacant in the due course should be abolished. Employees rendered workless owing to the completion of various projects should be redeployed. Those who do not accept redeployment proposal or the VRS should not be given salary and their services should be terminated in the due course.

No PSU should be allowed to give salary to its employees more than that of the state government employees. Employees should be provided an insurance cover and there should be no reimbursing of medical bills. The LTC, foreign visits of ministers and officers should be banned for year. However, the employees, who are going to retire during the year shall be allowed to avail the LTC. Only Council of Ministers should be allowed to approve foreign visits by ministers and officers, those including at the expense of the PSUs. In case of approval, the allowances to touring officers should be as per the Union Government rules.

The future recruitment whereever necessary should only be on contract basis for a particular period. Same recruitment pattern should be followed in case of centrally sponsored schemes and projects.

The cadre strength of the all India services like IAS and IPS should be strictly according to the approval accorded by the Union Government. It has been felt that the administrative structure has become top heavy and it should be reviewed. Deputation from other states should be banned. Surplus posts should be adjusted against future retirements.

In Health and Education departments, there would be a drastic reduction in the cost of rendition of service and there should be a complete revamping of these departments.

The committee has also approved several measures for reducing non-interest, non-plan expenditure. It has suggested a drastic cut in the security of VIPs, including the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues. Vehicles spared from security duty should be put in pool headed by the Chief Secretary. Security cover sought by individuals, not approved by the committees headed by the Chief Secretary or the Punjab Police chief, should be given on a payment basis.
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