M A I N   N E W S

Nitish moots Right to Service Bill
Law to provide utility services within time frame
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, November 30
Barely a couple of days after assuming the charge, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has started tightening the nuts and bolts of his administrative machinery in order to improve the work culture in government offices and provide efficient services to the people.

In his very first meeting with the top brass of state administration and the police on Monday, the Chief Minister made his priorities clear to them that besides zero tolerance against crime and criminals he would like to intensify his crusade against corruption and red tape.

Nitish said the people have to run around from one office to another, wait for months and some times years to get their work done. Even for petty jobs like new electricity connection or a caste certificate they are asked to pay bribes and run around.

The state government had decided to enact a new legislation to fix accountability and also specify the quantum of punishment for the laxity on the part of guilty officials who deny them their right to such services, he said.

Announcing his decision to bring in the new legislation by the name of ‘Right to Service Bill’ in the coming budget session of the Assembly, the Chief Minister said that it would be first of its kind of Act wherein the officials responsible for the delivery system of public utility services would have to do their job within a specified time frame. In case of their failure to do so there would be provision in the Act to penalise them as well.

Without mincing words, Nitish told officers that the people were fed up with the red tape and rampant corruption in government offices and it was high time the state government took stringent measures to check it.

He directed the Chief Secretary to get the new legislation formulated after consultation with the officials and made it clear that these things will neither be tolerated nor go unpunished.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the progress of proceedings pertaining to confiscation of assets and property initiated against 14 government officials, including two senior IAS and a former DGP under Bihar Special Courts Act -2009. The special vigilance unit had charged these officers with amassing wealth and property much beyond their known and legitimate sources of income. The state government plans to confiscate the palatial buildings they had built and start government schools from them.

The government also plans to constitute a regulatory authority on the pattern of ‘Lokpal’ to check corruption in the 3-tier panchayat bodies and urban civic bodies, informed deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.





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