JK CM for participatory role of public in good governance

Jammu, February 02 (Scoop News) –   Underlining active public involvement in ensuring good governance, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday said that the initiatives initiated by his Government in this regard could be result-oriented and fruitful when the people use these as tools to make government departments to deliver and be answerable for their actions.

            “Unless the common man utilizes the rights and powers granted to him through various legislations like Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) and Right to Information Act and make government functionaries answerable and punishable for delays and laxities in public service delivery or supply of information regarding their various activities, the concept of good governance would not flourish fast”, he said and stressed on participatory role of people in good governance.

            The Chief Minister said that his Government has created platform to restrict chances of corruption and enhance public service delivery, it is now for the people to use the available means to ask questions to the government departments on every commission or omission. “In fact, I have provided you with tools and it is your responsibility to use these to make government functionaries to deliver to your expectations creating good work culture. In this two way traffic public has to be equally sensitized and aware to make the administration accountable and transparent”, he elaborated.

            “Anna Hazere and his team is struggling to have legislation in force in the country like that of Public Service Guarantee Act my Government has enacted and put in place in the State”, he said adding that the success of this Act lies in its appropriate use by the people.

            Answering questions of the members of the civil society at an interaction session organized by Institute of Public Opinion here, the Chief Minister said that about 50 services of six departments of Power, Transport, CAPD, Revenue, Housing and PHE have been brought under the ambit of PSGA so far. “It is being further widened to bring more services of public utility under it”, he added.

            Omar Abdullah said that the powers conferred upon to the people by the Right to Information Act need to be taken best advantage and wherever people want to get clarification and information from the government departments they should positively do this and get answers to the questions within the prescribed time frame.

            Omar Abdullah said that these and similar other initiatives of his Government amply define “our intension that we are keen to make transparency, accountability, good governance and honesty rule the roost”, he said reiterating the need for active public participation to achieve this goal.

            In reply to another question, the Chief Minister said that the tenders for construction of Srinagar and Jammu flyovers would be floated by the middle of this year. He said Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been roped in to finance these huge projects. “We have so many other projects in pipeline to decongest the roads and manage smooth ply of traffic”, he said asking the people to also exhibit their sense of responsibility while parking vehicles on roadsides and indulging in traffic jams.

     

            On industrialization, the Chief Minister said that Government is providing various perks and concessions to the investors and working on industrial-friendly policy to encourage MSME and large industrial growth. “The Government expects the industrial houses to absorb more and more locals and expand their activities in all feasible areas”, he added.

            In reply to another question regarding use of polythene, the Chief Minister said that Government has banned its use in the State beyond some thickness. “It is now up to you to deny receiving polythene bags from the traders and contribute in discouraging its use. I think younger generation is more aware and better than us in this regard as they do not accept polythene bags from the traders. Let us cultivate an anti-polythene culture”, he said adding that legislation to enforce polythene free atmosphere is already in place.

            

            Omar Abdullah also talked about the loss, the State has to bear on account of supply of electricity and said that one can easily imagine that how difficult is the development process in a State where there will be Rs. 2000 crore loss on supply of electricity and had to pay more than Rs. 13000 crores as salary to its employees annually having only Rs. 600 crore income yearly by all means. “We have also to develop the culture making due payments for the services for which we are required to pay the fee”, he added.

            Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather impressed upon the people to play their positive role in making economic reformative initiatives of the Government a success helping to create a strong edifice for growth and development.

            “The funds from the Centre are not flowing without riders and asking for necessary reforms. We have to accommodate these riders to receive the funds hassle-free but whenever the Government takes any measure in this direction, public support is not coming forward. Instead, we have to face protests and litigations”, he said adding that positive mindset and public awareness is required in this regard.

                        Rather said that the burden on State exchequer due to enhancement of salaries under 6th Pay Commission recommendations, payment of arrears and DA instalments besides various concessions on VAT to the industrialists has increased many fold. He said the next year’s wage bill is likely to be Rs. 15,000 crores and the VAT concession to the industrialists is available on 62 percent items of trade. “Government has to deal with this situation befittingly”, he said.

            . He said the peace dividends in the form of successful tourism and faster development are worth mentioning. “Last year more than 13 lakh tourists visited the Valley, 6.34 pilgrims went to Shri Amarnath Ji and one crore yatris had darshan at Shri Mata Vaisho Devi Ji. This is highly encouraging and we have to contribute to keep this trend growing”, he added.

            Initiating the discussion on the topic of the interaction “Aspirations of public from the Government and expectations of the Government from the public”, the Chairman, Institute of Public Opinion (IPO), Arun K Gupta in his key-note address talked in detail about the public aspirations from the Government.

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